I’m thankful for:
- Breakfast with my mom.
- An uncle who opens his home (and grill) on every memorial day weekend for family to visit.
- The opportunity to see a lot of family all at once before traveling back to Singapore.
I’m thankful for:
Thanks to the marvel of Skype technology, we’re able to keep in touch with our family without feeling too deprived or lonely separated by, oh, half the world between us! However, there’s nothing like sharing life in person.
My mom made it out back in 2012 to visit
us her grandson, but this time the grandson is a grown up toddler! Here are some of the highlights from her stay with us.
While seeing some of the grand destinations that Singapore has to offer is fun, really the best part of visiting is sharing every day life. Incorporating my mom into our daily routines and giving her a [second] taste of Singapore was what made her visit special. Now when we catch up with one another while we’re apart she’ll be better able to picture what our lives are like even though we’re on the other side of the world.
It didn’t take long for the grandson to realize that while Mommy was busy with household chores, his Grandma was only too happy to spend time reading books with him. To add to the treat he received quite a few new books from the doting grandma. Grandma also introduced him to the past time of coloring.
Of course our daily routing in Singapore included a lot of “normal” things like going for walks.
And much of the time the walks involve a little toddler control or perhaps a dash of playful chasing!
The downside to all this activity is that it is always summer here. Though my mom would argue that isn’t a downside at all. Despite which point of view of the pros of summer one holds, one would probably concede that walking, running, or otherwise in Singapore outside results in a hot sweaty mess. Thankfully there is a temporary remedy for such sticky situations:
Ice cream is good, but thankfully it isn’t the only way to escape the heat. (Good thing too, or our stomachs would show our predicament!)
But not all of our day to day actions are quite so laborious as chasing a toddler or making sure the toddler had adequate support in the pool. And ice cream and water aren’t the only ways to forget about the uncomfortable humidity and heat. Some of best moments during the days, rain or shine, are spontaneous hugs and snuggles.
And if you’re paying attention to the above pictures you’ll not that there is a distinct theme that came about because of the nature of the visitor. And that theme would be Grandma Green!
Now on to the unique points of our time together
Although my mom would’ve been happy as a clam to sit at home every day reading, coloring, and snuggling with a 15 month old, she did politely request to see Gardens By the Bay. She did fly umpteen many miles, the least we could do was bring her to the beautiful gardens (twist our arms!).
Visiting the Gardens gave us a good excuse to catch a glimpse of the Marina Bay Sands – the backdrop of the gardens.
Although the sites were spectacular, I think Gideon was more impressed with the grassy area where we allowed him to run around freely.
One of the advantages about visiting a touristy location is that there are always several strangers that are only too eager to stop and help us with a group shot!
It is amazing how neat the view becomes when you take the elevator up to the top of the trees for the Sky Walk.
But, really to be honest, everywhere on the grounds, high or low, at Gardens by The Bay provides a beautiful backdrop or subject for scenery.
After eating a lunch outdoors we sought refuge from the heat in the coolness of the Cloud Forest.
My mom didn’t care as much as we did for the cooler temperatures, but she did care when it came to the gorgeous tropical flowers all around her!
Gideon slept through the first of the green houses but woke up in time to enjoy going through the second, the Flower Dome.
I could go on and on, but let me allow the pictures to talk for themselves.
Though we had seen a lot we had time to stop at the newly opened water park to let the little guy have some fun.
Suffice to say my mom was glad that she put the Gardens By The Bay on her list.
We also visited the bird park again during my mom’s stay. I think she enjoyed the greenery and flowers almost as much as the birds.
As Andrew was only able to spend part of the time with us before heading off to work, he requested that we first visit the Lori Loft. My mom was in for a surprise when she saw birds clambering to Andrew to take a sip of his offerings. It took a bit of encouragement but both of the ladies in the group were convinced to try feeding the birds once we were reasonable sure they would stay on the railing and not claw their way onto our arms!
My mom and I remarked that after awhile you start to become numb at the sheer variety and impressiveness of the birds on display! The bird park really is amazing. (And Gideon thought their play area was amazing too!)
After a long day, and a short break at home, none of us had the energy to tackle preparing dinner. So we took the opportunity to introduce my mom to an Asian adventure: Sushi! (Complete with the conveyor belt.)
Despite not trying the raw fish sushi, she thoroughly enjoyed her time at Sushi Express!
We worked out that this had probably been Gideon’s forth or fifth time on the famous ferris wheel (the advantages of free admission for the little guy)!
But it was Maureen’s first time on the big wheel, and it was her first time seeing the city lights of Singapore at night.
I have to say, even though I have been on the flyer quite a few times (the advantage of having visitors and being able to obtain passes through Andrew’s work) … the city still looks great lit up at night!
After the “flight” on the Singapore Flyer, Gideon and Grandma felt like they were ready to direct the flight.
Okay, maybe not quite – but it was so cute, I had to chuckle.
Our final special outing that we saved was the Aquarium. We had heard many rave reviews of the new aquarium from our friends since the attraction opened late 2012. (I don’t know why we didn’t realize it was already open when we had all our other visitors last year! Oh well. If you’re one of them, you know who you are, come visit us again and we’ll take you there. 😉 )
In order to visit the Aquarium, we had to get to Sentosa – the resort island of Singapore.
Oh my – the aquarium was amazing!
I really don’t think our pictures of the vastness of the view of the home to these sea creatures would do it justice. So let’s focus on the pictures that show off our enjoyment of the visit to the world’s largest Oceanarium.
The aquarium really was stunning. I can’t say enough.
I could’ve spent many hours gawking at the ocean creatures right in front of my eyes … if I didn’t have an important toddler to keep occupied. So eventually we had to leave the ocean behind us and head outside to see some of the rest of Sentosa.
I don’t know how to sum up my mom’s visit or adequately share all the pictures while being concise, so I’ll end my post here. But I just want to take a moment to thank my mom:
Mom, thanks for coming. We made so many memories. I can’t thank you enough for visiting and sharing our life here in Singapore together with us. Can’t wait till we see you again.
I’m thankful for:
I’m thankful for:
We are learning that outings with a little one in tow take more planning, preparation, and flexibility. But once you’re out, you may as well make the most of the time that you have outside the home. When my mom, Gideon, and I went to my follow-up OB appointment, we figured we were already out, why not stay out?
It was a gorgeous day, especially considering the fact that we thought rainy season had already begun and we’d be doomed to stay indoors most of my mom’s trip.
We asked two gentleman passing by to take our picture.
The two men had strong Aussie accents (think Steve Irwin sounds). I commented as much to my mom who replied, “Oh! I thought the were British.” The comment made me smile because I realized that such a difference in accents probably wouldn’t have been easy for me to distinguish before living in Singapore.
After getting our shots in front of the Marina Bay Sands, we walked towards the building via the Double Helix Bridge. Once we crossed, we poked our heads in the fancy mall at Marina Bay Sands. My mom offered to treat me to some ice cream. I told her to save her money till we walked back and found a cheaper option.
We stepped back outside and were greeted by a beautiful lily pond beneath the Art Science Museum.
After snapping some shots, we realized that the letters for Art Science Museum had the first letters of our names.
Once we had had our fill of the lily pond, we walked back around towards the Esplanade theaters and then crossed over to the other side of the bay.
It was such a gorgeous day. And since it was the middle of a weekday, it was practically deserted. This is seen by my mom being almost the only person on the walkway (see above) with me. Normally the same walkway is packed with tourists snapping away.
When we got to the other side we stopped in a souvenir shop. Then we made good on our plan to find an ice cream cart. We got some ice cream sandwiches (mango for mom and melon for me). My mom was thrilled to have seen downtown Singapore. Gideon was content to have had a meal and gotten to sleep in the carrier. For myself, the memories of the outing and the taste of ice cream after a warm afternoon outing were the perfect souvenirs.
My mom loves flowers. Consequently, we knew one of the places we really wanted to take her was the National Orchid Garden at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Additionally, Gideon has yet to develop his taste for flowers, but we figured it’s never too early to start. Both of these seemed good reasons to take the sunny day that dawned when Gideon was 10 days old as a day for an outing to the Orchid Garden.
(Forgive me ahead of time for taking lots of pictures of my mom – but she looked so at home amongst the Singapore greenery!)
Can you tell my mom is happy? Can you tell she isn’t missing the colder East Coast weather? Not very subtle…
After Gideon ate, we took advantage of his awake time to take some pictures amongst the orchids.
Mom suggested I take a few pictures of Gideon with the flowers. Unfortunately looking back it looks like he has a flower in his hair! Not very masculine if you ask me. Oh well.
And let us not forget to take a family picture.
There isn’t much else to post about. There were lots of orchids and plenty of lush greenery. The outing went well, and we had enough energy left over to make it to our afternoon church service before heading home. A simple outing, but special nonetheless, with memories that will remain with us as long as the Singapore Botanic Gardens are pretty (… forever).
I am so thankful for my mom’s visit. And I am doubly thankful that the Lord allowed my recovery to go smoothly and quickly to the point that I was able to enjoy several outings with her before she returned to the States. Granted we did several everyday outings (doctor’s appointments, grocery runs, etc), but we were also to do many outings to “see Singapore” with my mom.
For our first special outing we went to the Chinese Gardens since it was close by. We realized that Andrew and I hadn’t been together to the gardens in over a year! My, how time flies! When we arrived at the garden it wasn’t raining, but it was overcast. Within a few minutes of arriving it started to rain lightly. Then we remembered that almost every time we have been to the Chinese Gardens it has been lightly raining, not heavy enough to cancel the outing, but enough to use an umbrella.
My mom was excited to see real pagodas.
We impressed her further by telling her we could climb up the pagodas (for free no less)! We took one of the three story pagodas our climbing challenge.
While at the gardens we took some time to recreate the shot from our Christmas card last year.
Raining or not, it was quite humid and we were sweaty. We thought it was a good opportunity to introduce my mom to one of our inexpensive Singapore delights:
For our flavors, I chose mango, and my mom chose blueberry. Both were delicious. (And for S$1.50/each!) With out stomachs full, we continued on.
As nice as the gardens are, our ulterior motive for coming to the garden was really to visit the Turtle Museum. We can’t get over the variety of turtles that are available for viewing pleasure.
We had a lot of fun hearing my mom’s exclamations and watching her shocked expressions over the sheer turtle oddities. Gideon didn’t have his tummy full from ice cream though, and thought food was more important than the turtles. So we took a break for Gideon’s snack before heading on.
Of course we couldn’t leave the gardens without taking some time out for some photos with our cute son!
It was so nice of Gideon for him to be happy and alert for the pictures. (It probably helped that he was fed and had already had a good nap recently.)
After walking a little bit more, the clouds started to get darker and it started to thunder. We took that as our cue to leave. Thankfully we made it back to the MRT before the rain started pouring. Although the weather shortened our stay slightly, it ended up being just the perfect length for our first special outing with Gideon and Grandma.