Thursday, October 31, 2013

Miniwalker tandem umbrella stroller review.



No that's not Papa Saigh with me
and Linna... It's Dominic of Mgroup
in Singapore, personally delivering our
MiniWalker Tandem Umbrella Stroller!
We have been using the MiniWalker Tandem Umbrella Stroller in Singapore for about six months, and even having just one child (so far), we're pretty big fans! It's 10.5 kg. with accessories (9 kg. without), which is pretty light for a double stroller. It's very easy to collapse and set up, and I love that it can stand upright with no problems. The stadium seating is great, as it's never easy pushing around a big side-by-side double stroller, and we love that this stroller comes with a rain shield, cute bag for extra storage that attaches to the outside of the stroller, extra seat cushions, and cup holder (every mom needs one). One thing to be careful of though, is how your children's little feet treat the foot rest in the back seat, as it can't take a lot of "abuse". However, after using our MiniWalker for six months with one child, our stroller almost looks as good as the day we got it!

SPECIAL DEAL FOR MINNESOTA BABY FRIENDS: If you purchase the MiniWalker Tandem Umbrella Stroller, and mention my name (Melissa Saigh) or our blog (Minnesota Baby), you will get $20 off the total cost, as well as free delivery!

MiniWalker Tandem Umbrella Stroller

Retail Price: $399
www.miniwalker.com.sg
contact@mgroup.sg
+65 9385 2018

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Linna has to wear an eye patch.

Linna wearing her first eye patch at the doctor, while waiting
to do some testing. My pouty-lipped little pirate:)
This morning, I took Linna in for her follow-up eye appointment with Dr. Sonal Farzavandi at the Singapore National Eye Center before we leave for the US on Friday. Bummer news... Linna will have to wear a patch over her left eye (her strong eye) for two hours a day over the next month, to work on strengthening her weak eye.

It's really no big deal and I remember my younger cousin Ian having to wear an eye-patch as a baby, but thinking about keeping an eye patch on a two-year-old while she's playing for two hours, sure sound like tons of fun, right?! Insert sarcasm. However, the patches Linna got at the doctor are super cute, and I'm excited to search for more (I only have four patches, so I better shop soon)! When Linna was wearing her first patch (a princess design, of course) at the doctor's today, she walked around telling everyone she was a princess pirate:)

Last month, we took Linna to see Dr. Sonal at the recommendation of Linna's regular pediatrician in the US during her two-year check-up. Dr. Sonal diagnosed Linna with Intermittent Exotropia (AKA a Divergent Squint of misaligned eyes), but thought it would just correct itself. Today, after some follow-up testing, Linna's eye wasn't improving the way Dr. Sonal would have liked, so she thought it would be best to have Linna start wearing a patch.

We will follow up with a doctor in the US in a month to see if Linna's condition is improving. If not, she'll wear the patch until we are back in Singapore on January 1st, when Dr. Sonal can check it again. So, we basically have a little pirate (a cute one I might add), until her weak eye can get stronger. ARRRRRRRRR... or is it, "ARRRRGH"?! We'll have to work on our pirate lingo;)

If you know of any children's eye patch companies that make fun prints for girls, let us know!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Body massage at indigo organic.

*** Congratulations to Jessica Barry of Farmington! You are the winner of a 60-minute body massage at INdiGO Organic in Mankato. Please email me with your phone number and address so we can verify and get you the information about claiming your prize. Thanks for participating everyone, and make sure you enter to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Cinderella at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis! - Melissa Saigh (minnesotababyinfo@gmail.com) ***

There's two ways to enter for a chance to win:

1. "Like" the Minnesota Baby Facebook page, and share this contest post with your Facebook friends (you must click "share" under the INdiGO Organic contest post on our Facebook page).

2. Comment on this blog post (below) with your first and last name, along with the city you currently reside in.

Two simple ways to enter, and if you complete both ways, you'll double your chances to win! You must enter by Monday, November 4th at 8 p.m. to be eligible, and this contest is only open to US residents. One winner will be randomly selected to win a 60-minute body massage at INdiGO Organic in Mankato, MN (valued at $60). The winner will be announced on this blog on Tuesday, November 5th, 2013. Good luck everyone!


MORE ABOUT INDIGO ORGANIC:

INdiGO Organic is a clean air salon, offering salon and spa services as well as a lifestyle shoppe featuring USDA organic food items and lifestyle products. They incorporate eco-friendly practices to protect the future of the earth. They exclusively use Intelligent Nutrients hair and skin care products for salon services (free of sulfates, parabens, silicones, ethyoxylates, PEG, pthalates and synthetic fragrances). Every aspect of their salon is based on organic practices, designed to nourish the inner and outer beauty of their clients.

1541 East Madison Avenue
Mankato, MN 
(507) 386-0021

State your full name and age please.

This morning, Linna showed me a picture that she drew, and told me it was a picture of her family. The fact that she drew three objects is pretty impressive. What's even more impressive is that it looks like she wrote the word "Dad". Totally a genius, right?! ;)

Two-year-old Linna's drawing of her family.

She has also learned to say her full name, as well as her age. We're working on the "where do you live?" part...


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Clean up.

I'll have to remember this video when Linna does her normal routine of NOT cleaning up her toys, and leaves them all over the house. Love spying on her when she's having a good moment. Kind of sounds like she's picking up a British accent in Singapore, as she sings the "clean up" song.


Bleagh and bleep book review.


Earlier this year, Linna received her very first book by a Singaporean author. The book is called BLEAGH!, and it's one of Linna's favorites! The author, Leana Lyn Doray, just came out with the second book in this series and sent Linna a copy about a month ago. The new book is called BLEAGH and BLEEP!, and this time around BLEAGH brings his sister into the story.

The story is about BLEAGH returning home after his first successful day at school, and he's eager to share his new experiences with his mom. But, someone gets in his way…BLEEP, his baby sister. BLEAGH learns important values such as respect and independence, and the two siblings team up to become an unstoppable learning force.

This book is very cute, but both my husband and I think the first book in this series (BLEAGH!) is our favorite. There's something about the way this second book is written that's different than the first book. Both my husband and I tried to figure it out, and we both think the sentences are a bit long, and the author doesn't use punctuation marks like commas and periods all the time, so the sentences seem to run on. It's not bad, it's just a different writing style than we are used to. The story is still really cute, and Linna requests it often. Out of the entire story, Linna always focuses on the Mama Monster's green hair. So funny. We're thrilled to continue Linna's BLEAGH! book collection, and I can't wait until she one day realizes how cool it is to have a couple books by a Singaporean author that were signed just for her:)


Singapore river cruise.

If you want to sit, relax, AND take in many of Singapore's beautiful skylines and landmarks, then take a ride on the Singapore River Cruise. For S$20 (adults) and S$10 (kids), you can hop on a bumboat and cruise the Singapore River through Marina Bay, Robertson Quay, Boat Quay, and Clarke Quay. Linna and I went this week, and made it a fun, full afternoon in Clarke Quay. We visited the Singapore Philatelic Museum, took a River Cruise, and then met up with Papa Saigh for dinner at Sque (they have good happy-hour beer specials, and french fries with a delicious truffle dipping sauce). We need to do nights out like this as a family in Singapore more often! Here's some photos from our Singapore River Cruise...


Mama Saigh and bug with Marina Bay Sands in the background.

Merlion.

Clarke Quay at sunset.

Linna with Marina Bay Sands in the background
(and some random lady's elbow).

Frightening attempt at a "cheese" face:)

Elgin Bridge... built in 1929.


Can't get enough of Singapore's beautiful landmarks!

Checking things out. "Tall buildings Mama!"

Excited to meet Papa Saigh after she got off the boat,
because he told her that he ordered french fries for dinner:)

Esplanade in the background... AKA "the durian".

Singapore philatelic museum.

Who says a museum of postage stamps has to be boring?! I had to check out the Singapore Philatelic Museum to write an article for work, so I brought Linna along to "review" the children's rooms for me, and we both had a lot of fun! This museum has a good amount of things for kids to do, and most of it is hands-on learning. Admission is S$6 for adults and S$4 for kids age 3-12, so it's also pretty affordable. Oh, and the Central Fire Station is right next door, and they have a FREE open house every Saturday morning, where kids can get on fire trucks, and meet Singapore's fire fighters! Check out pics from our adventure at the Singapore Philatelic museum in Clarke Quay...

Pushing buttons and learning where different things
grow all over Singapore.

Crawling through a snake's body.

Lots of hands-on learning here, and they switch the theme of
some of the rooms every year!

ET phone home;)

Big Snakes and Ladders game.

Found out that Linna is about 87 centimeters tall.
Her ponytail makes her 90cms. :)

We're on a stamp!

Our guide showing Linna how to be a snake charmer.

Drummin'.

She had to sit on this motorcycle.


This was a big hit. Lots of little doors to open with a piece of
history inside each one!

It's the year of the snake, so this Children's room was all about snakes!

Discovering spices in this room that was set up like a ship.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Our first trip to malaysia.

Today, the brand new Lego Land Water Park opened up in Malaysia, and our family was invited out for the media preview this past weekend. To make the most of our trip, we decided to do an entire weekend in Malaysia because we've never been there before. So we booked a hotel room, so we could kick back, relax, as so we could visit Little Big Club in Malaysia as well.


Lego Land provided us with complimentary transportation (via Coach bus) to and from the water park. We took the bus to the park from Singapore on Saturday morning, but then we had our hotel book us a car service back to Singapore on Sunday. The entire bus trip took about an hour and a half, as you have to get on and off the bus TWICE at the boarder check-points. While getting a bus service is much cheaper than booking a car or taxi service to and from Malaysia, both AJ and I agreed that it's worth spending the money on a private taxi or car service, just to be able to stay in the car at the check points, and have your driver do the handing over of passports, green cards, etc. Our hotel (Traders by Shangri-La) booked our return car service for us, at about RM$290 (approx. S$100), but the company they booked our car through is called Discovery Overland Holidays. They had free Wi-Fi in our car as well:)



Lego Land Water Park




First of all, Malaysia is HOT (maybe even hotter than Singapore), and Lego Land is no exception! You have to walk a bit from the drop-off point at Lego Land, so don't bring a lot to carry, and I would highly recommend bringing a stroller for little ones (especially if they fall asleep). We had SO much fun at the new water park! There's more than 20 water-based rides, and most are pretty "tame", so it's great for the whole family. They have a special area for little kids, where Linna spent a lot of time going down little water slides, and playing on the Duplo pieces in the water. We also loved the "Build a Raft" lazy river, where you float in a tube while the kids build onto the tube with the big Lego pieces floating in the river.

Getting on the bus to take us to Malaysia.

(Lego Land Water Park's area for little ones.)

Wave pool at Lego Land Water Park.

Lego Land Water Park - So colorful!

Our cabana at Lego Land Water Park.

We also decided to shell out the S$50 (approx.) to rent a cabana for the day. Like I said, Lego Land is SO hot, and our cabana came with a fan, shelter (obviously), chilled water and soda, two free Lego Land beach towels, lounge chairs, seats, and cabana service. Again, WELL worth the money, as you don't have to wait in the hot, long line for food, and Linna was able to take a nap in peace in our "cooler", private area. I don't think we would do this water park again without getting the cabana for the day, so if you go get one while you can! AJ and I took turns going on water slides while Linna napped. Both the rides I went on were pretty "tame", but AJ said the rides he went on (the red, blue, and yellow slides off to the left - up high) were pretty fast. All of us enjoyed the wave pool too, as it was right near our cabana, and it was another one of Linna's favorites.

We left the park at about 3:30 p.m. to get to the hotel, and we had to take a taxi because we missed our hotel shuttle by about 10 minutes. No big deal, as our taxi only cost about S$6 (RM$20). We were happy to get settled into our hotel after a hot day!

Our Hotel: Traders by Shangri-La at Puteri Harbour


(Our family at the Traders pool.)

So thankful that we chose this hotel! It made our entire trip extremely convenient, and since it's a Shangri-La we knew it was going to be nice (we are BIG Shangri-La fans). Since Traders is a step under the Shangri-La, our Deluxe Harbour View room was priced very reasonably (about S$175). Seems a bit expensive, but it included free shuttle service to and from Lego Land, a breakfast buffet (which was incredible), it has a great infinity pool, and Little Big Club (where we were going on Sunday) was attached to our hotel.

Our room was very nice, and you can tell this hotel is new. The service we experienced was exceptional, and we seriously had no complaints. We enjoyed the buffet dinner on Saturday evening, which included food from all over the world! They had fresh homemade pasta that was made to order, Indian food (my fav), stews, salad, fresh fruits and juices, sushi, soup (loved the curry laksa), meats, deserts, and lots more! Linna of course loved the deserts, and we really appreciated how the hotel restaurant employees remembered Linna's name when we'd walk into the restaurant. Some of them would even sing songs with her while AJ and I went up to get food.

Mama Saigh and Linna at the infinity pool at our hotel.)
Happiest girl in the world at the Traders Hotel dinner buffet at the Harbour Cafe.

The hotel offers babysitting service for just RM$25 (about S$8) an hour for up to two children over the age of one. We had booked a babysitter for Saturday night at 9 p.m. when we thought Linna would be sleeping, but she had a really tough time going to bed so we ended up canceling:( So much for our date night at the Sky Bar. Oh well, we enjoyed a quiet night in the room with our little bug, got some rest, and headed up to the Sky Bar pool after breakfast on Sunday morning. The infinity pool was SO much fun! They had a smaller pool for little ones, and a jacuzzi too. We just loved our experience at this hotel, and would stay again if we go back to Puteri Harbour (Malaysia).

Little Big Club and Hello Kitty Land


(So proud of my girl who got right up there - front and center. Even though she marched to the beat of her own drum, she loved her dance class with Angelina Ballerina!)

Linna in Hello Kitty's bed.

Linna in Hello Kitty's tub.

I had no idea that Barney, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, and Thomas the Train lived in Malaysia (haha), so when I found out about Little Big Club I made sure to plan a visit. Little Big Club is located in the same building as our hotel (Traders), which is why we chose to stay at Traders. You could spend an entire day at Little Big Club, as there are three levels of all of kinds of rides, meet & greets with characters, dance lessons with Angelina Ballerina, and a food cafe all in one air-conditioned building!

(Linna meeting Angelina Ballerina for the first time.)

We visited the Hello Kitty level, where they had a musical performance, and Linna got to step inside Hello Kitty's amazing house (I would move in there if I could). There's hands-on arts & crafts for the kids, a tea cup ride, live shows, and it's seriously every little girl's fantasy! We aren't big Hello Kitty fans, but this level was really cute and fun.

The second level has a ton of rides, indoor play areas, and it's pretty much dedicated to Angelina Ballerina's dance studio, Barney & Friends re-created TV set, Bob the Builder's play land, and Pingu the Penguin's house at the North Pole with lots of free arcade games. The third level is entirely devoted to Thomas the Train, and we got to go on a train ride, bus ride, and had a late lunch at the cafe before heading back to Singapore. We only spent 2-3 hours at Little Big Club, but we could have spent much more time there! We were so bummed because our car service was booked at 3 p.m. to get us back to Singapore, and the Barney & Friends live show started at 3 p.m., so we missed out on meeting Barney, as we had to get back... and Linna fell asleep:) However, we enjoyed our time that we did spend at Little Big Town!

(Meeting Pingu the Penguin at Little Big Club.)

(Papa Saigh and Linna on the Teacup ride at Hello Kitty Land at The Little Big Club.)


Overall, we had an amazing and relaxing time during our first trip to Malaysia. It was mostly for Linna, but I didn't feel like this was a "kid" trip, as we all had a really good time as a family. I definitely think we made the right decision to stay overnight at Traders, so we didn't feel "rushed" to get back to Singapore in one day. We're looking at other spots to visit in Malaysia (there's so many beautiful tropical islands off the coast of Malaysia), so if you have any recommendations, let us know!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Saturday social bbq at timbre in singapore.

AJ, Linna, and I were invited out to the premiere of Timbre @ Gillman's Saturday Social BBQ for families last Saturday. This restaurant in the Alexandra area brings in activities for kids every first Saturday of the month. When we went, there was arts and crafts, henna tattoos, a field with activities for the kids, and a BBQ. AJ and I were able to relax with a col beer, while Linna immersed herself in the painting table, and played the drums with one of the restaurant workers (the drums were a big hit!). Since the BBQ was outdoors, it was REALLY hot. They do have fans, but it's still hot without a breeze. However, please consider that we are from chilly Minnesota, and everywhere in Singapore is hot:) We asked one of the restaurant workers to move a fan closer to our table, and once he did that, we were just fine. The restaurant does have an air-conditioned bar that we stepped into every half hour or so. We are weak;)


We all enjoyed our dinner and drinks, and Linna had a blast! All of the children's activities are free, which is great, and it was a nice way to keep the little ones entertained while parents relaxed a bit. Our service was excellent, the food was decent (I wish we would have ordered off the grill/BBQ menu), and our drinks were nice and cold. It was a nice change of pace for us, and we got to experience a restaurant that we hadn't been to yet. I'd like to go back (sans Linna) for a date night with AJ, as they have live music in the outdoor area most nights. I'd say it's worth checking out, but make sure you don't wear long pants, as the restrooms were a little less than "clean" (the floors at least).


Thanks for having us Timbre @ Gillman! We'll be back... only next time I'll wear shorts or a dress instead;)

Papa Saigh and Linna, getting her first tattoo:)

Painting at the arts and crafts table.

Captain America in the field right outside the outside dining area
at Timbre @ Gillman. Linna loved the bubbles and making super her masks!

Timbre @ Gillman's Saturday Social BBQ

9A Lock Road. #01-05, Singapore 108926
Every first Saturday of the month, starting at 4 p.m.
http://gillmanbarracks.com/galleries-details.php?e=213


Thursday, October 17, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Play sessions at singapore's newest gymnademics location.

***WIN 4 FREE-PLAY SESSIONS AT GYMNADEMICS***


Congratulations to LYDIA SUNTORO! You're our winner! Please email me at minnesotababyinfo@gmail.com with your address and phone number, so we can confirm and get you the info for your play sessions at Gymnademics. Thanks for participating everyone! 
- Melissa Saigh

There's two ways to enter for a chance to win:

1. "Like" the Minnesota Baby Facebook page, and share this contest post with your Facebook friends (you must click "share" under this Gymnademics contest post on our Facebook page).

2. Comment on this blog post (below) with your first and last name, along with the area of Singapore you currently reside in.

Two simple ways to enter, and if you complete both ways, you'll double your chances to win! You must enter by Friday, October 25th at 8 p.m. to be eligible, and this contest is only open to those currently living in Singapore. One winner will be randomly selected to win four free-play sessions at ARC's Gymnademics (valued at S$40). The winner will be announced on this blog, Saturday, October 26th, 2013. Good luck everyone!



More about Gymnademics at ARC in Singapore:

Linna and I have discovered a new children's learning center in our neighborhood. It's called Gymnademics and their new location is at the Alexandra Retail Centre. Gymnademics' mission is to give each child a head start in life, and they are the first and only early childhood enrichment center in Singapore affiliated with the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (founded by Glenn Doman) in Philadelphia (US). They have a holistic approach toward early childhood development, with the goal of helping children enjoy learning and develop the joy for reading. As the brain grows tremendously in the first six years of life, Gymnademics helps children achieve their fullest potential. With play being a child’s natural way of exploring the world, Gymnademics curriculum is designed to be extremely fun, engaging, and purposeful for little ones, setting a strong foundation for a lifetime of discovering and learning. Linna and I are excited to explore some classes at ARC's Gymnademics!



Grand Opening Promotions at Gymnademics at ARC: