Saturday, January 31, 2015


I guess we decided that one far away adventure wasn't enough for us and the day after MacRitchie we got back on public transportation and headed down to Chinatown. They have it all decorated for Chinese New Year which is in a few weeks. This year will be the year of the goat so there were goats everywhere! As we were walking from the MRT stop to Chinatown I was talking to Tatum to try to keep her distracted from the fact that she was walking which generally leads to whinning. When we started to see some decorations I was telling her it was for a holiday and then I said how it was the same day as grandma's birthday. Big mistake. She has become fixated on it. Now anytime she sees decorations (which are pretty much everywhere now. They have even put some up at the guard stations at our complex.) she points out that they still have decorations for grandma's birthday. And she pretty much thinks that every day is grandma's birthday. Which means that everyday I am asked if we can go to grandma's birthday party and have cake with her. So sad that I have to say no. :(

I don't want to place blame so I won't name names or anything;) but someone sort of led us astray after we got off the MRT and we ended up hiking up the biggest, steepest hill through a park that only seemed to have stairs to get down the other side and we had a stroller. It was sort of an evenful beginning to our day. The walk took us so long that we ended up stopping in the park to eat the lunch we brought. We hadn't really planned on eating before we even got to Chinatown haha.

Tatum looking cool in her shades eating her PB&J.
Chinese New Year decorations.

We took a little break from the heat in an air conditioned building. They had a huge model of Singapore. It was kind of fun to look at it.
And destory, in Declan's case.
Tatum loved having me show her where we live and where the park is that we go to and other familiar things.
We heard that the red dot museum was worth seeing and free! Can't beat that. We decided that would be our last thing and we would do it quickly. We walked down to it only to find out it was like 10 bucks a person for the kids too, who totally weren't going to appreciate the art or the fact that they couldn't touch it. So we had to miss out this time. Maybe one day...

We had a good visit to Chinatown. I'm definitely glad we went during some of the New Year hullabaloo. It was fun to check out the shops. We may have thought they were selling little Chinese outfits for dolls and almost bought one for Tatum before we realized that they were wine bottle covers. :) There were lots of different temples to see which brought up some interesting and unexpected conversations with Tatum. Someone gave us a sample, of what I couldn't tell you, all I can say is that it was like trying to chew raw bread dough and it was disgusting. There was a bank with some sort of Chinaman mascot-character-dress-up-thing. He tried to say hi to Declan which resulted in screams of terror. And can I just say that the lack of public restrooms and drinking fountains here drives me crazy!!! Brennan had to go down five flights of stairs to take Tatum to the bathroom. Five floors underground is the nearest restroom?! And drinking fountains are non existent as I have mentioned before. I have seen ONE so far, in all the places we have gone. It gave us a good excuse to try some lime juice while we were in Chinatown though and it was refreshingly delicious.

Friday, January 30, 2015

MacRitchie Reservoir

Last Friday some work needed to be done in our apartment and Brennan's work offered to let him take the day off to spend with us since we need to be out of the house for most of the day. We won't turn down an offer like that! We decided to head to MacRitchie Reservoir. We heard there was some hiking there and a cool bridge high in the trees. Somehow, somewhere along the line I got the impression we would be able to take a stroller. Definitely not the case.  We were unprepared for that and so we didn't make it for the 11 km round trip hike it would have been. Next time. :)
At the beginning of our hike. Looking mostly happy.

Brennan saw this lizard (no idea what it really is, so I will just call it a lizard) and thought it was pretty big and neat.
When we got to the head of the actual trail, where we would have to ditch the stroller, we thought it would be a good time to stop and have our lunch before we really got started. Next thing we know these monkeys started coming out from the trail! It was pretty neat.
Remember that lizard? Yeah, then he found this one and suddenly the first one didn't seem so big.
Tatum and I were both a little nervous about the monkeys. They kind of creeped me out a little bit.
More monkeys.

Just doing what monkeys do, being disgusting.

Both of our blond haired, blue eyed kids get a lot of attention here in Singapore. But since Tatum pretty much gives a death glare and a cold shoulder, Declan tends to receive most of the attention. This guy stopped and asked him for a high five and Declan obliged.

Tatum was whining about having to walk and Declan was screaming about being in the carrier. We tried completely switching it but Tatum hated the backpack so they both walked for awhile. Unfortunately Declan doesn't know how to walk, only run, and the path was quite rocky. Lots of falling was happening. But when he wasn't falling he sure was happy to be hiking and carrying rocks.

We never get to have pictures of all four of us. So here is our lame group selfie attempt. Hot and sweaty and the end of this leg of our adventure.
The tired and whiny kids suddenly have an abundance of energy when they see a playground. Fakers.

I think my favorite thing about being in Singapore so far is just being some place new, getting out of our rut. I am loving this time we have as a little family to explore and go on little adventures, instead of just doing the same old thing all the time. MacRitchie was a win. We will definitely be going back, but this time to the entrance that is closer to the bridge and possible with two backpacks instead of one. :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Downtown Singapore

Last Monday we had our appointment at the Ministry of Manpower to get Brennan's employment pass and mine and the kids' dependent passes. Everything went smoothly except for getting Tatum's picture. She has been a little bit more of a stinker than usual since we got here and much more shy. So asking her do something with an audience never goes well. And they seemed to be quite particular about the photo considering she is only three! There was a small shadow on one side of her face, Brennan's finger was in the corner of the picture, her head isn't quite straight on, she isn't looking up enough, her chin is too far down. Oh boy, it was quite a process. And then somehow the lady got Declan's on the first try. It was strange. Anyway, we got through it and then decided to take advantage of the fact that we were downtown. It is a bit of a jaunt, especially via bus or train so we thought we would walk around a little. But that little turned into a lot. Like miles and miles. And all we had was the single stroller. :/

Tatum looking all grown up. When did this happen?

We walked along a very long stretch of seafood restaurants along this river. I love Tatum's face in this one, Brennan had just said something about the crabs or lobsters behind her and she is looking a little worried.

Right as we were getting to the end of this row of restaurants and their lovely awnings it started to pour. It just kept coming, harder and harder. I had told myself to bring the umbrella, but of course forgot. We had no idea where we were or what was around and by the time we took cover at a bank we were pretty well drenched. It was actually nice to be a little cooler and the kids loved it.

Tatum loved playing in the standing water on these benches after the rain stopped.
A horrible picture, really, I just thought it was hilarious that Tatum had to stand on the other side. What a teenager.
We bought an ice cream sandwich from a street vendor which was a little different. The ice cream certainly had a different flavor and the sandwich part was just a really thin wafery thing that was much shorter than the cube of ice cream. Tatum was weird and wouldn't hold it or bite it. So I would just have to hold it for her like this so she could lick it.

Some of the iconic parts of Singapore. The Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

We walked all around this bay, I'm not sure where I thought I was going, and then we could see these trees from the Gardens by the Bay and I remembered I had wanted to go there. So we back tracked and trekked all the way in there too.
The Singapore Flyer. Tatum calls it the spinning wheel and really wants to ride it. We told her we would ride it when we have who's coming?? :)

Walking in the Gardens by the Bay.
This girl was getting TIRED. She really was a trooper. We carried Declan for awhile and let her ride. And then Brennan carried her for awhile too when we needed the stroller so Declan could sleep. We got to the mall that is right by the Gardens by the Bay and he put her down and told her she needed to walk. He started walking away and she started to follow. After about three steps she stopped, bent over and grabbed her legs and while crying said "My legs hurt!". I definitely laughed but I'm sure it was probably true! Another random happening in the mall...We had run out of water and so Brennan asked the information desk if there were any drinking fountains. They told him no and said there was a grocery store in the mall and he could go buy some water. He started to walk away and I guess she thought he wasn't going to do that because then she said "or we have some water bottles...complimentary". First of all the absence of drinking fountains in this country is a little annoying. Second of all, kind of weird/funny that she told him he could go buy some or take some from her for free. Hmmmm....what will we choose?
Declan woke up to find that we were STILL walking.
There was supposed to be a splash pad in the Gardens so we thought we would just let the kids do that and then head out. We forgot that Monday is the day things are usually closed here. Tatum was heartbroken to find the splash pad blocked off and not running. So Brennan grabbed her water bottle and said "Tatum there's a splash pad right here, see!" And started spraying her water bottle everywhere. It totally worked! She thought it was awesome and it totally rejuvenated her. We had our happy Tatum back for at least a few minutes.

We stopped at a hawker center next and got some food. We really liked everything but the kids were not impressed. The guy brought these things called love letters out for the kids though and they devoured them. They are made out of maybe the same thing as fortune cookies only thinner? And then they are just rolled up sort of like a taquito would be but hollow and then they have a coconut taste. They were pretty yummy. It was so nice of him-we were so grateful to have something that our kids would eat.

First hawker center for everyone but Brennan.
When we got done eating it was starting to get dark so we thought we would take a quick look at the skyline lit up.
We didn't stay for long though because everyone was tired. Beyond tired. She just laid down on the ground and we just let her. :)
The kids were crazy hyper on the taxi ride home and then Tatum crashed on the couch within five minutes of walking in the door. And she slept for over 12 hours that night. We wore that poor girl out.

It was a lot of walking but a really fun day of exploring and seeing as a family.