Sunday, 5 March 2017

Fun Afternoon Spent at the National Gallery Singapore

Intermittent heavy downpours thwarted our outdoor plans for the day but it didn't dampen our spirits to have a fun-filled Sunday. Recalling a recommendation by a fellow mummy gf, we made our way to the National Gallery Singapore & it certainly exceeded our initial expectations!!

One point to note: For Singapore citizens & PRs, before starting your exploration, go to the ticketing counters at the basement concourse to get a free ticket & admission sticker which allows you to enter the exhibition galleries. Since we usually adopt a top-down approach, we took the lift to the 5th storey which brought us to the Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Gallery. From here, you can get a partial view of the city skyscrapers above one of the 2 reflection pools.

Walking around the garden, we came to our first exhibit for the day which is a series of compelling sculptures presented by Vietnamese-born Danish artist Danh Vo as part of his first outdoor installation in Singapore. Please note the warning sign displayed around the exhibit, especially on rainy days.

Don't forget to climb up the flight of wooden steps as you'll be in for a lil' treat at the Public Viewing Deck ;) BB can never resist the temptation of climbing up (as well as down) stairs so that's exactly what we did & it was all worth it! You can get a totally unblocked view of Padang & the Marina Bay area <3 

It started to drizzle again so we took the tour indoors. From the external architecture, to right inside where the Rotunda Gallery was, we were awed by the various parts of the building which were preserved. Lil' boy is still too young to appreciate these but he was enjoying the open spaces & stairs..yes, lotsa stairways within the building but u can always opt for the lift too *wink*

    Replica chairs, 1 of the 2 link bridges that connect the former Supreme Court & City Hall buildings
    as well as parts of the original architecture of the buildings.

    Originally, a circular law library lies beneath the smaller Rotunda dome of the former Supreme Court
    (viewed from Supreme Court Terrace)...coooool!!!

After so much walking, it was time for TEABREAK! We happened to chance upon some cube-like enclosures (in front of the main entrance of the Keppel Centre for Art Education) where some families were resting. Seeing this, BB climbed into an empty one & started monkeying around..lolz! We had the yummy traditional custard buns & pie we brought from Chinatown earlier but Daddy-O was still hungry so we decided to try out the Owl cafe which is just round the corner. The chicken strips in the prawn noodles were kinda Atough & soup was a far cry from our fave Beach Road Prawn Noodles but at least the 3 prawns were fresh & of a decent size. 

       Wefie inside the cube <3

Once recharged, BB cldn't wait to enter the Keppel Centre for Art Education (L1, City Hall Wing) where children can discover art through imaginative play. We noticed several huge rooms situated along the walkway so we decided to explore all of them. We were captivated by the interesting artworks of homes in the sky, buses & boats hanging from the ceiling of the Project Gallery so we purchased a $4 buses kit for BB to build his own miniature versions. Both the big & small boys got to work immediately so they were done in no time at all.

Next, we came to the Art Playscape which features a fantastical play area, The Enchanted Treehouse by Sandra Lee whose whimsical works bring the wonder of fairy tales, children literature & nursery rhymes to life through elaborate, intricate drawings. Here, LOs can explore a magical forest, roam through a labyrinth & even survive a treacherous river. I feel like I've entered the world of 'Alice in Wonderland' & BB was completely ecstatic! He was running all around, crawling the holes, climbing up the ramp & downtvthe stairs with other kids. There're also long benches where one can sit & read one of the books provided but that did not happen for us with the 'Energizer' boy who had found an outlet to burn off his unlimited energy..hee ;)

We skipped the Children's Museum that allows you to explore handling art tools & materials or purchase a special activity kit to create a pocket sculpture as BB had spotted the playroom he had been searching for next door. 

The playroom includes magma tiles, cardboard bricks & colouring areas for the kids to entertain themselves. BB loves building with the bricks & knocking them over gives him much pleasure too >.< 

We had intended to just wait out the rain then proceed on with our planned programme of bouncing time at Art-Zoo, kite flying followed by the i Lights Marina Bay 2017. Just when we were about to leave, we realised it had started to pour again. However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we actually got to explore more parts of the gallery & found more fun areas for BB. Therefore, we procceded to the Ticketing Office to get our free tickets before backtracking to where we had stopped just before taking our break earlier. 

The Chief Justice's Chamber has a very solemn yet peaceful atmosphere & we only had some quick glances of the art pieces on display as BB were not really into them yet.

Exiting the gallery, we came to the Former Supreme Court Historical Lobby then proceeded down some steps & an olden days' police post was standing right in front of us at the Former Supreme Court Foyer. So nostalgic! Bet you didn't know that a time capsule containing Straits Settlements currency & newspaper, to be opened in the year 3000, lies underneath the original eight-sided foundation stone ;)

Evening was upon us so we mentally-prepped BB that we would be leaving for dinner then. On the way to the carpark, a cute-looking poster greeted us at L1, City Hall Foyer & who can resist taking a peek inside Who's in the Woods, right? So, inside the interactive platform we went & we sure weren't disappointed! All three of us, yes Daddy & Mummy included, each found a monitor & put our creative juices to work ^.~ After creating your masterpiece using different colours & patterns, you can even send a copy to your email before sending it onto the gigantic screen. Nothing beats seeing your animated creature walking across the day-to-night digital forest-scape & interacting with other animals.

Just as we thought we are able to leave finally, something colourful caught BB's eyes again. He dashed towards the Art corridor & wasted no time in fitting the colourful chips into the various slots, completely ignoring the colour & distance challenges. Well, at least he enjoyed himself immensely in the process. Voyage is actually a large scale, colourful puzzle artwork by Twardzik-Ching Chor Leng who has received the President's Young Talent Award in 2009. It develops curiosity, imagination & tactile sensibilities in younger visitors. One can learn about colour theory by observing the interplay of colours, patterns & rhythms.

The National Gallery Singapore never fails to surprise us around every corner & we'll definitely be back. Sad to say that while doing some research during the writing of this blog post, I saw the temporary closure notice of the Project Gallery, Children's Museum & the Art Corridor from 13 March to 19 May :'( However, this means that we can all look forward to a brand new experience from 20th May 2017!!!

Friday, 24 February 2017

EZPZ Happy Mat in Lime Giveaway by MumsPick + Discount Code for GnG'sReaders

We were thrilled to receive an EZPZ Happy Mat in Coral from MumsPick. I'm sure most of you would have come across this fantastic product too but lemme share our reviews after using it for the past week ;)

Some key features which I really like are as follows:

1. All-in-one plate + placemat that suctions directly to the table, making it nearly impossible for tiny hands (designed for infants / toddlers from 6mo onwards) to flip over.

I even placed it on BB's tray & even though it's not flat, it fits kinda nicely & the best thing is that the tray is still completely clean after each meal which means lesser cleaning for Mummy..yeah!

2. FDA-approved & is made from high-quality 100% food-grade silicone that is non-toxic, BPA, BPS, PVC, latex & phthalate free - & third-party quality tested. Furthermore, it is built to last since silicone is bendable & flexible & doesn't fade, corrode or deteriorate.

To be honest, I was quite taken aback at how sturdy the plate is despite it being made from silicone which is flexible. The border of the face seems to be fortified silicone which is actually harder.

3. Portion sizes are catered to toddlers at 4oz (eyes) & 10oz (smile) & the 3 compartments also serve to remind parents to serve a fruit or vegetable, protein & carbohydrate. In addition, its smiley face design puts kids in the right mood for a positive mealtime experience. Imagine even me, a Mummy with not much artistic flair, is able to do simple food arts now to bring more fun into mealtimes!

     BB smiling as widely as the toothy grin..lolz!!

4. Promotes self-feeding (minus the messiness..hee) & develops fine motor skills.

One point I'll like to highlight is that I'm quite impressed when BB is able to use just a spoon to scoop food up without much difficulties despite the low height. I believe this is due to the slight curvature at the sides. This'll definitely help to build the confidence level of those who're just learning to spoon feed themselves.

5. 3-4 mats can be stacked & carried with food plus food actually gets cooled down faster due to the larger exposed surface area..perfect for my impatient lil' boy!

6. Easy to clean with warm soapy water since silicone doesn't support the growth of fungus, mold or bacteria.

7. Easy to store by placing in utensil drawer or cabinet.

8. Dishwasher, microwave & oven safe (up to 350 degrees).

Please note that EZPZ's unique products (which EZPZ works hard to maintain the highest & most rigorous standards for safety, non-toxic materials & quality) have caught the attention of counterfeiters worldwide. Thus, if you don't see the EZPZ brand name, the product is sourced from another manufacturer who may not be compliant with regulatory requirements & may be infringing upon their intellectual property rights. By fighting false products, we keep our children safe!!! &, MumsPick is the exclusive distributor of EZPZ in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines & Singapore so you know where to go if you're keen to get one. In fact, they'll be at Booth B33 at the Baby Market Fair from 7th to 9th April, Expo Hall 5 so do pop by ;)

Try your luck by taking part in our giveaway & you may be the lucky winner to get an EZPZ Happy Mat in Lime (worth $52) kindly sponsored by MumsPick for GnG's readers!!!

Directions to win:

1. Like both "MumsPick" as well as "Grub n' Grow" Facebook pages.

2. Tag at least 5 friends to this Facebook post. The more friends you tag, the higher your chances of winning.

3. Like & share this post publicly on your timeline.

4. Closing date is 21st April 2017, 2359hrs.

If you're keen to make a purchase, you may place your order here as MumsPick has 
has also agreed to extend a generous special 15% discount code to GnG's readers till 2359hrs on 21st April 2017! Simply enter "MPGnG" at checkout from this page: Don't forget to check out the Limited Edition Happy Mat in Berry while you're at it ^.<

Disclaimer: Finanical compensation was not received for this post. The EZPZ Happy Mat in Coral is kindly sponsored by MumsPick but opinions expressd here are BB's & mine ^.~


MumsPick is an online store and an exclusive distributor of innovative and multi-awarded baby and children products from US and Europe. 

Monday, 12 December 2016

Shoo Shoo, Stomach Flu!!!

Stomach flu seems to be prevalent in the recent months. Apparently, there's a very strong airborne stomach flu virus going around. BB was down with it & I've heard of many other LOs in numerous mummies' chat groups who had succumbed to it too..haiz! Thus, I decided to share some of the knowledge which I've gained from my experience.

Initially, I thought the chicken rice which we had eaten that fateful aftnoon was too oily for BB so it caused a bit of loose stools. To my dismay, it was something more serious & he had most likely contracted it from a neighbourhood indoor playground despite it been not crowded on a weekday & I follow basic hygiene of sanitising / washing hands before & after food as well as upon leaving the playground. That fateful night, BB started developing a slight fever just before bedtime. I immediately applied lemon essential oil to help support his immunity. Shortly after, he started to complain that his tummy was hurting. I then applied some ginger essential oil on his stomach to help support his digestive system. He fell asleep shortly after but I was awoken by his whimpers in the middle of the night. Asked him how he was feeling & his reply was "Tummy very pain". Knowing my boy well, I knew something was amiss so brought him to a nearby 24hr clinic straight away. The GP commented that he could hear a lot of wind in his stomach. Some probiotics & 2 other medicines to help relieve the abdominal pain & gas as well as for the diarrhoea were prescribed for BB.

The next morn, he was kinda lethargic which cld be due to insufficient sleep the night before. The medicines seemed to be working as BB told me his tummy wasn't hurting anymore. However, he was still having intermittent runs & bouts of mild fever. 

    Poor listless boy :'(

Unfortunately, his condition suddenly took a sharp turn on the 3rd night. After dinner, he diarrhoead numerous times & all within a span of 2 hrs. Worried that he might become dehydrated, we decided to bring him to KKH for a second opinion. After the expected long wait, it was finally our turn. I would say we were quite lucky to get a patient paediatrician who gave us very detailed explanations to all our questions. I've summarised them & added a few other frequently asked questions with reference to the KKH pamphlet handed to us.

Qn 1What's gastroenteritis?
Ans: It refers to a gut (intestine) infection where there is diarrhoea & is frequently accompanied by vomiting. Fever & abdominal pains (may be relieved for a while each time some stool is passed) are common too. 

Qn 2What causes gastroenteritis?
Ans: Viruses such as rotavirus are usually responsible. Bacteria, such as salmonella, campylobacter or shigella may also caused it, as in food poisoning.

Qn 3How long will it take for the virus to clear?
Ans: The vomiting typically lasts 6 to 24hrs whereas the diarrhoea usually lasts 2 to 4 days. Occasionally, it may go on for 10 to 14 days.

Qn 4What's viral gastritis (gastric flu)?
Ans: When the infection predominantly affects the stomach, the child has nausea, vomiting, fever, stomach cramps & fatigue as the predominantly symptoms.

Qn 5Is gastroenteritis / viral gastritis dangerous?
Ans: A major problem is dehydration due to too much fluid lost. However, occasionally, the vomiting & abdominal pain may be early manifestations of more serious illnesss, such as intestinal obstruction, appendicitis, brain infection or a growth in brain, which require early attention.

Qn 6What're signs of dehyration?
Ans: Signs to look out for are
        - not passing urine for the past 6hrs or more (less than 5 wet diapers per day for an infant).
        - loss of weight
        - lethargy
        - dry tongue, eyes &/or lips
        - increase in heart rate

Qn 7How to prevent dehyration?
Ans: Increase the amt of liquid intake by giving small amt in more frequent intervals. However, if LO refuses to drink, u can offer small, frequent amts of barley water, rice water, clear soup, diluted milk or diluted juice (1 cup juice diluted with 4 cups of water). The KKH pd as well as one of the nurses also advise us that we can give him probiotics drinks like Yakult or Vitagen. Therefore, I gave Yakult Ace once a day till he fully recovered.

Qn 8What other medications can be prescribed for this infection (since the earlier prescribed probiotics & medicines don't seem to be working even though he had been consuming for 2 days already)?
Ans: Majority of children do not need any medicine so the main treatment is to ensure your child remains well hydrated through adequate intake of oral fluids. According to the KKH pd, the only proven & tested effective medicine is actually probiotics. Thus, he prescribed Lactogg probiotics for a course of 5 days. He went on to explain that doctors may occasionally give some medications to relieve the symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pain. However, generally, medications used to stop vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pain in adults are not used in children due to their side effects. Now that I know this, next time (which I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there won't be) I'll just head to the nearest pharmacy to get Lactogg probiotics ;p

    Meds prescribed by 1st doc (top) & Lactogg prescribed by KKH pd (bottom)

Qn 9Is there any way to prevent my child from getting gastroenteritis?
Ans: Good hygiene is the key to preventing the spread of it. To reduce the risk
        - for newborn babies & infant, bottle hygiene is very impt. Use sterilised milk bottles if 
        - for older children, parents shld set a gd example by washing our hands & teach them to wash 
          theirs after going to the toilet / after changing nappies, before touching food, after gardening, 
          after playing with pets (healthy animals can carry certain harmful bacteria) as well as between
          handling raw meat & food ready to be eaten.
Qn 10What food can we give?
Ans: While there's no need for dietary restrictions, it doesn't matter if your LO has no appetite for solids. However, ensure that he / she continues to take sufficient fluids. Preferably start on a soft diet & fluid of choice. For older kids, bread / biscuits or mashed potatoes can be offered as alternatives too. Been a more cautious Mummy, I only gave him very light stuffs like organic chia seed mee sua with fish / chicken soup, watery fish oats porridge or bread with organic jam as requested by him.

Qn 11When should I consult a doctor immediately?
Ans: You should when
        - your child shows any signs of dehydration.
        - there is blood in the diarrhoea or vomitus.
        - the vomitus is greenish, which may indicate that there's blockage of the bowels.
        - your LO complains of persistent abdominal pain or severe headache.
        - the vomiting is persistent, that is, unable to tolerate small amts of fluid at frequent intervals.
        - your LO appears pale or lethargic.
        - there's painful swelling of the abdomen.
        - fever persists for more than 5 days.
        Whenever in doubt, trust & follow your maternal / paternal instincts as parents always know their kids best!         

The entire ordeal lasted 10 full days but we kept him at home 2 more days for good measure. Looking back, I think we've been quite blessed as BB only had diarrhoea & not vomiting or else it could have been worse. Furthermore, the only other person infected was me & I only diarrhoead once. Stomach flu is highly contagious & some gfs shared that their whole family took turns to come down with it. Thus, it is extremely crucial not to share food as well as wash hands more frequently & thoroughly, especially after handling soiled diapers etc. Take extra care & stay safe, peeps!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Siliskin Silicone Straw Cup - Another Plastic-Free Product

Replacement of BPA-free plastic bottles - checked off!

Next in line is BB's BPA-free plastic drinking cups ;) He's a lucky boy to be one of the 1st few in Singapore to try out the newly launched Siliskin Silicone Straw Cup by Silikids Singapore & Malaysia. Let's call it silicup in short, pronounced as 'silly cups' (pun intended), but they're far from silly..lolz!

As the name suggests, the silicup is made from 100% silicone & the advantages of silicone over plastic are summarised below:

- Always BPA free
- Always DEHP free
- Hypo-allergenic
- Inert
- Resistant to high temperatures
- Dishwasher, freezer & microwave safe
- Does not harbor bacteria

The cup itself comes with an embedded 100% stainless steel ring which ensures that it holds its shape & doesn't collapse when gripped by little hands. In fact, the entire cup is very thick & sturdy.

Furthermore, the universal silicone spill-proof lid prevents big, messy spills. I can really appreciate this feature now as BB tends to have 'accidents' whenever he tries to walk around with open-top cups. I was curious to know whether water will leak out after inserting the straw into the small cross hole so I tested it out. Depending on the force which turns it upside down, almost nil to very small amts (which I believe to be residual water in the straw) will drip out. Well, of cos if u give it a gd shake, more may leak from in btw the straw & hole but I don't think we'll encourage our LOs to do that, right? Thus, it definitely serves well to prevent accidental spills :) Another pt worth mentioning is that the lid is actually compatible with cups of multiple sizes so u can bring & use it with other cups when dining outside too!

Last but not least, you can also boil all the parts as & when you'll like to do a more thorough sterilisation but this is optional.

The introductory price available at BabyBuys is only S$12.90 (UP. S$19.90) & the full set comes complete with the cup, universal straw lid & reusuable silicone straw shown in the pic. There's also a sippy cup version if u've younger toddlers. Since BabyBuys are currently having their year-end sale till 31st December 2016, don't forget to shop for more great buys while u're at it..hee!

Disclaimer: Finanical compensation was not received for this post. The Siliskin Silicone Straw Cup is kindly sponsored by BabyBuys but opinions expressd here are BB's & mine ^.~