Monday, September 22, 2014

Singapore F1 Thursday Rev Up Pit Lane Experience

The highlight of last week in Singapore was the Singapore Airline Formula One Night Race Event.  The entire city was buzzing with all things related to the F1.

The little boy, being not so little anymore at the age of five, had been very excited about the race because his friends in school were talking about it.  Some of them were going to be watching the race.  He had asked about going last year but thinking that he was too young to really enjoy it, we were quite hesitant to spend the money getting the tickets since neither of his parents are keen.  This year, being the doting mum, I was still thinking that maybe one of us could just bring him for one of the nights.  The husband, however, disagreed.  So, one afternoon I was surfing on the Singapore GP website and came across the Thursday Pit Lane Experience page.  Now, one of our concerns with bringing the boy to the race is that the noise is really loud and that it could cause permanent damage to the ears.  It does not help that the organisers make parents sign a disclaimer that states they are not responsible for hearing damage etc.  So, the Thursday Pit Lane Experience sounds like an awesome idea and there was a ballot on the page for two of the tickets to the event.  I quickly submitted hubby and my name for the ballot.  Lo and behold, we both won the tickets!  What are the chances?!

With that, even though normally the children's bed time is at 8pm, we decided that we should make an exception for this special experience!  The Pit Lane walk was going to start only at 9:20pm but what an awesome fun it would be for the kids.

The Singapore F1 Pit Lane Experience

On Thursday (18 Sept), I made sure that the boy had a nap after coming back home from school.  We left home around 7:30pm and parked the car at the stadium and took the mrt for one stop to Nicoll Highway station and walked for about 10 minutes to the Marina Bay Circuit Gate 1.   There were some food stands in the village but they were not exactly interesting nor yummy.  Oh well, we were not there for the food.  There were also some activities.  The boy managed to try changing the wheels of a F1 car! 

After hanging around for an hour, we noticed that a queue was forming to get into the circuit.  By the time we managed to walk to the queue, it had stretch to possibly 400m long!  After waiting for another 30 minutes, we finally managed to get onto the pit lane and that was when the real fun started!

The kids on the Pit Lane

The highlight of going onto the Pit Lane experience was visiting the various teams garages to see the race cars.  All the garages had simple temporary barricades to prevent the visitors from getting too near.  We were, however, very blessed in that at the Caterham Team garage, a very nice gentleman saw how the little boy was looking intensely at what the mechanics were doing and opened the barricade to allow us in!  The closest we got to a racing F1 car!

Inside the Caterham F1 Team garage

Checking out the Ferrari Garage of Fernando Alonso!

A closer shot of the Ferrari mechanics working on Alonso's car

A funny thing happened just as we were at the Ferrari garage, a young man standing next to me commented, "If you can get in here as well, I would be your son too!  I can be 5 years old!"  Hahahah.  Guess he saw us at the Caterham garage.  That really showed how privileged we were to have the chance to get so close inside.

And after a long walk past all the various teams, we finally got to the end and were going to walk back out when we kept hearing loud noises which I did not know what made it.  I am really quite clueless when it comes to the Formula One race.  We then saw a crowd watching one of the teams and realized that it was the sound of wheels being changed.  The team from Scuderia Toro Rosso was practising their wheels changing sequence.  The papa took the boy on his shoulders so that he could look at what was happening.  The boy really enjoyed watching how the wheels would be changed in a split second and it was a wonderful finale for him.  

By then, at almost 10.30pm, we can finally start to head home! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I love my husband more than my kids

Yes, you read that right. I love my husband more than my kids!

Recently I read an article, "Why I put my Husband before my kids" discussing about the very same thing and that resounds with me.  It sets me thinking about how this comes about and that is the starting point for this post.

The baby was the Priority

I do want to state that I agree with the writer however, initially it was not like that.  It was the opposite when I had my first child.  After my daughter was born, she was the main focus of my life.  During the first six months of her life, everything I was doing pretty much revolve around her and her schedule.  I was breastfeeding exclusively and focusing almost all my attention on making sure that all her needs are met and more.  I stopped going to Church because the timing was not suitable for her naps and it was hard to breastfeed her as we were in a small church without a separate room or area for me to nurse her.  And that period was also the hardest for my husband.  He was definitely neglected.

Up till today, I thank God for for my husband's patience and immense love for me.  And aside from my husband who was being neglected, someone else was being pushed aside as well, and that person was ME.  I was slowly ignoring my personal needs and desires.

Biblical Hierarchy of Relationships

However, as I mature as a parent, I realized how important God's truth is.  In the biblical hierarchy of relationship, God is first, followed by the spouse and then the children.  The rest of the family is next.  I learnt the personal truth of how allowing God's will into our family helps to preserve and unite us.

Putting my husband first is not about neglecting my children.  It is about making parenting a joint effort.  Allowing my husband to take his role as the head of the household means letting him take responsibility for the coverage of our family.  When my husband takes on his role, it means that he will also become involved in the children's life in more ways than I can imagine.  When I make him a priority, it makes us a team, we become parents who are both involved in our children's lives.  I'm not the only one following our children's growth or development, he is 100% involved too.  For example, when it came time to sleep train our children and night wean them, he was in it with me.  As I could not bear the cries of the little ones, he would be the one to carry them for two to three hours in the night to help them get back to sleep.  And I empowered him to manage the kids and not undermine his capabilities as a father and as the head of the household.  I know many mums who would not think their husband capable nor willing to do that.  Sometimes, i figured it is also because as mothers, we always feel that we can do it better but we need to let that go and empower the fathers so that they can also be more involved in the process.

More importantly, when my spouse realises that he is the most important person to me, after God, it strengthens our relationship.   With a strong marriage and love between us, we become better a example of what a happy and united family looks like to our children.  We also support each other when parenting gets tough.  We have each others back.  It is much easier to face challenges in life when we have someone who is on our side.

As children, my little ones would sometimes ask who do I love the most, hoping the answer would be them.  However, whenever that question comes up, I would gently tell them that in our (the parents) lives, we love God first, then papa/mummy, then them followed by our larger family and then friends.  Initially our elder girl found it hard to come to terms that she is not the most important or most loved in our lives.  We had to explain to her why and also that even for them, the little ones, they have to love God before us, their parents.  And for us, their parents, how we love each other and treat each other with respect is how the children will learn a marriage is supposed to be.

My children has no doubts in their hearts that we (the parents) love them immensely.  I consider myself a very hands-on and involved parent but I believe maintaining a good balance. Now, I would rather be 100% focused on each activity then try to multi-task on numerous.  Being involved in my children's lives does not mean being there 24/7.  It means knowing when to be a 100% there and when to let go.  It also means knowing when to take the time off for the other things in life.

Taking time for myself

In all that, I have also learnt not to lose myself into my roles as a mother or a wife but to take time off to care for my unique person.  I recently shared about this too in my post "Mummy personal time off"

Ready to be Relegated!

We believe that it is an essential part of our household to teach the children that God should take first place in our lives, our individual lives.  I know one day, both my little darlings would probably find their own partners and form their own families.  Maybe it would become hard for us at that time to become displaced from second place to some lower importance but I firmly believe that it is the way it would be.  When I become an in-law, I pray that I would be a kind and understand mum and mum-in-law to my children and their spouses respectively.  And for now, I will start to pray to God that He would bless them with a Godly, loving, caring person.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Human Body Experience at Singapore Science Centre

Last Tuesday was the last day of school for the children and so I decided maybe we should take a little field trip to the Singapore Science Centre.  A few months ago they opened a new exhibition called The Human Body Experience.  This exhibit will be housed in hall 2 of the Science Centre for about two years.  A friend went with her children and quite enjoyed in and I thought it would be an interesting learning experience especially since both my kids are of the age to better understand how the human body works .

And after about a thirty minutes drive from home, we live in the east and the Science Centre is in the western part of Singapore, we finally arrived.  We were greeted by the dinosaurs at the entrance!  

I paid for the tickets, which were $20 per adult and $15 per child (3-12 years old) and we happily went in.

The Human Body Experience

Hall B where the Human Body Experience is located is easy to find using the map that was provided at the cashier.

Once we got to Hall B, you can hardly miss the larger than life entrance of the human body.  Yes, you get into the body from the mouth.  It was a little daunting at first as it looks dark inside and the steps up the tongue is not smooth.  Even the older girl was telling me she was scared.  The little boy obviously wanted me to keep close and hold his hands! 

Once we enter into the mouth, there's a little slide down to the larynx or more commonly known as the voice box.  We could push along the vocal chords which will make noises.

There are many different parts of the body that we would go through including the ribcage which protects the lungs, the cardiovascular system where we see the heart and be bombarded with loud pumping music/sounds that mimics the heart, the stomach which has soft and unstable walls/floors to replicate how ours would feel like.  And the fun part of the exit?  Coming out of the butt! It made the little ones laugh.

With the tickets, you could enter into the Human Body twice.

After we finished the Human Body Experience, we went on to discover the rest of the Science Centre.  It was then that I realised I had never been here with the children!  And it was full of fun things to learn and discover.

The kids stop at one of the activities stations to learn how to build a stable structure.

They also had fun inside the Sound Exhibition in Hall C.  They tried out the Echo Tube, played a ringing sound game to test the accuracy of their sense of hearing and checked out all the various exhibit stations.

We definitely enjoyed ourselves especially since we were there on a rather quiet weekday.  Towards the later part of the afternoon, there were groups of school children who swarmed the place.  The Human Body Exhibition had a long line of more than 30 children in school uniforms!  I guess there were some school field trips being organised on that day as well.  Thankfully, we missed the crowd as we had arrived earlier.   Would we recommend going?  YEAH!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fire Station Open House Visit

The little one, like most boys, love all things fireman, policeman etc.  I happened to find out by chance that every Saturday morning, from 9-11am, most of the fire stations in Singapore are opened to visitors!  The moment I was told me about the open house, I made plans to bring the little boy to one of the fire stations.  As I was going to be busy for the next couple of Saturdays, I had to rely on the hubby for this little field trip.  I managed to convince him into bringing the little one on the day that the elder sister was away for a sleepover.

And so, off they went early last Saturday morning. The little one even had his fireman costume/jacket on for the trip! He had wanted to bring his siren and fire extinguisher as well but we convinced him not to.

The Visit of Paya Lebar Fire Station

They arrived at about 9:30am and there was a small group of visitors being shown around.  A very kind fireman came over to hubby and son and offered to bring them around.  The tour started with a show of the different types of vehicles that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) uses for fire fighting. 

Fire Fighting Vehicles

The fire engine! The boy looking smart with his Melissa and Doug Fireman costume sitting on the front of the truck.

The boy going into the fire engine truck and even onto the driver's seat after.  He was very excited to check out the fireman's accessories and equipment in the truck.

Next up is the Fire Bike.

Learning to be a Fireman

After the tour of the vehicles, the boy got a demonstration of how to use the hose for putting out fires. He was even given a chance to try it out. I understood from hubby that he was the only one during that time who had the chance to use the water hose.  Just look at how proud he looks!  The little fireman told me that the hose was really heavy and it was not easy maneuvering it. 

After that, the firemen also demonstrated how to get down the fireman's pole. The boy was eager to try that but it would have been a tad too difficult for him.  Nonetheless, hubby let him checked it out by carrying him higher up the pole and letting him slide down.  It was definitely not from the second story of the building! 

And finally, after about 45-60mins, the tour has ended and here is an obligatory photo of the boy and the real firemen!  The boy very seriously told me that he was invited to "work" with the firemen to put out fire with them since now, he knows how to use the equipment and could go on the fire trucks.

A big thank you to the very friendly fire fighters who kindly made my son's day that Saturday morning!

Fire Stations You Can Visit

The fire stations that are open for the open house includes the following:-

  • Alexandra Fire Station
  • Ang Mo Kio Fire Station
  • Bishan Fire Station
  • Bukit Batok Fire Station
  • Central Fire Station
  • Changi Fire Station
  • Clementi Fire Station
  • Jurong Fire Station
  • Paya Lebar Fire Station
  • Sengkang Fire Station
  • Tuas Fire Station
  • Woodlands Fire Station
  • Yishun Fire Station
  • Tampines Fire Station

  • I understand that the Central Fire Station is very popular however, if you would like more personalised attention, I believe the smaller stations would provide a more intimate setting.  In our case, the boy was attended to by one of the firemen who literally took him by the hand around the station, patiently explaining each and every feature of the tour.

    If you have a free Saturday morning, I definitely recommend checking out the Fire Station Open House.  It's fun and it's free.