Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Jet Lagged

We made the epic trip from Singapore to the States a couple of weeks ago. Leslie was able to fly back with me which was a life saver. I was not looking forward to this flight at all. It was pretty much the number one reason I did not want to come back to the States while we are in SG. Jeg lag, 11 hour plus flights, gag me with a spoon. Sounds so awful. But it turned out to be one of the easiest trips I have ever taken. Lyndon gave me a blessing the night before we left and I could feel the power of God throughout the trip. He was watching out for us.
We broke the trip up a little bit by flying to Shanghai and staying the night there. Then we had a direct flight to Seattle the next day. It was really nice breaking it up like that. We were all well rested for the long flight to Seattle. And Asian airlines are so nice. Comfiest airplane ride I have had in awhile. 
Leslie gets the best Aunt award. She was amazing with the kids on the flight. Wish she could live with us forever. People on the flight were nice for the most part. Those tray tables are the worst because Henry likes to put them up and down, up and down. Of course he was doing that while I was trying to get everything situated with luggage, kids, stuff, etc. He was contained in the seat and that is what was important at the moment, but some person sitting in front of us had to make a comment to me about it. She is lucky I did not go New York on her telling her that's a real bad attitude to have at the beginning of an 11 hour flight. But that was the only thing that happened. Everyone else was so nice. I have never had anyone be nasty to me about my kids when flying. There is the random comment here or there but most of the time people are always saying they did not even know the kids were on the flight they were so good. I am lucky with that. We come prepared or armed with our special airport activity bags and lots of snacks. I kept Raphael satisfied by letting him crawl up and down the isles. I don't care if anyone thinks it is unsanitary. It kept him sane which meant it kept everyone on the plane sane because I think we can all agree it's better to have a happy baby then a screaming one. He loved it. He made a lot of friends. And it was nice to get up and stretch my legs. I didn't want to sit down after walking around with him. It felt so nice to walk around. But yeah, best flying experience with three kids I could have asked for. They were total rock stars, total rock stars. 

Hugs in Shanghai. Somehow I ended up with all three of us sharing a bed that night. It was quite "cozy". 

This is how we got them to stay with us and not running around almost getting hit by cars at the airport. They loved it but still ran around almost running into people inside the airport. 
First stop Washington. We spent a little over the week in the Evergreen State with my sister. We had the best time minus the jet lag. 
Henry napping never happens. That is how jet lagged we all were. Cosette took a nap with me. My kids do not nap very well, so if they do fall asleep during the day for a nap they are TIRED.
We flew from Seattle to Knoxville with a layover in Chicago. The kids could not have done better on the flights. It was the easiest trip. They were awesome! So awesome! I was proud of them because they did not even watch movies on their kindle the entire trip like I thought. Coloring books and silly putty for the win! We are happy to be back in Rocky Top Tennessee. Looking forward to visiting with family, friends, and enjoying summer. This Tennessee heat is not too bad after experiencing what it's like in SG. I am really enjoying not sweating constantly. We ate dinner outside last night and it was so pleasant. We did not melt. Now just to get over this jet lag. It's a beast.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Showing Leslie Around SG

I wish I could say that Leslie's trip to SG was relaxing for her and we got to see everything she wanted to, but alas it was not. She came to help me out and she helped a lot. She did drop off and pick for school with the kids a lot. We went swimming just about everyday. She helped put them to bed, and was a life saver. I seriously do not know what I would have done if she had not made the trip to SG. She helped lift my burdens and I am so grateful for her. I do not think I can say that enough. She felt the prompting to come and she came without hesitation. On Sunday in Relief Society the lesson was on the small choices we make and how they impact our lives. Leslie made a small choice to listen to the holy ghost and came to Singapore. Her small choice to do that really helped me when I was in a time of hopelessness. I do not want to say despair, because that is a little dramatic, but I was in a state of almost despair. Don't ask me why, because I have no idea. I have been trying to do everything I can to stay a float and take care of things, but it's not been enough. Although it has been pretty amazing that I have been doing everything that I have with what's been on my plate. I really needed this. She came to my rescue and I know that my prayers are answered.

Anyway, we did manage to do some things while she was in town. First stop was the Botanical Gardens. We headed straight for the children's garden, because these days the outings revolve around the kids. There were a lot of different fruit trees over. It was pretty neat.

Henry on his orange "motorcycle".

Rapha loves Aunt Leslie. Loves to bite her that is.....

There's this great tree house play ground we went to. Poor Henry kept getting bit by ants. We did too even just sitting on the bench. Tropical life problems. 

We visited friends at our service apartment and took Leslie to see Orchard Road. 

Leslie was all about eating the food. We took her to our favorite soba restaurant there. We frequent it not as much as I would like so extra happy to have an excuse to go. Henry was showing Leslie the art of eating soba noodles. The kids love them. Often times Henry will end up eating a portion of our meal.

We got baby sitters and had a girls night. Leslie is a fashion designer, so it no question of where to go. Arab Street it is! There are a lot of fabric stores down there with good prices. The fabrics come from Asia, Europe. It's really a fashion persons dream. I love going and I go too much. I have a suitcase full of fabric for projects I am going to be doing while I am in the States this summer. 

Sister at the Masjid Sultan. 

The Art Science Museum was on Leslie's list, and I freaking love that place. 

Lyndon was able to steal an hour away from work and came over to hang out with us there. It was his first time and he is hooked. He is starting to appreciate some modern art (knock on wood). 

Baby Rapha was a big fan of the colored blocs. 

Space. The final frontier. 

Chicken rice at the hawker center. It's a legit Singapore experience right there.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Zoo Hoppers

During Leslie's visit we wanted to make sure to take her to our favorite places in Singapore, namely the zoo. All four wildlife parks actually. She got the zoo hopper pass and it had to be used within a week of purchasing it, and it worked out that we could only make it the last part of the week. So we did it, four parks, three days. We dud the Night Safari one night, Jurong Bird Park the next afternoon, and the following day we did the Singapore Zoo and River Safari. It was exhausting, but worth it. The wildlife parks here in SG are pretty amazing. I have done posts on pretty much all of them, except the Night Safari. They do such an amazing job at getting the visitors a really up close look and experience with the animals. I love it! It is the best to do with the kids because they get so excited to see the animals. Henry asks me to go about once or twice a week. I like to experience new things and have a different schedule a lot and the zoo fits so great because it is a different experience every time we go. I have probably mentioned that before. With Leslie we did see different parks of the parks that we have not been to or check out that often. It was the best. I love showing visitors our favorite things that we do where ever we are because it shows them a little bit of how our life on a daily basis is. And the things that we do a lot. We are regular zoo hoppers and glad Aunt Leslie was there to join us.

Our top things to show her were
1. The Flying Foxes at the Night Safar
2. The Bird Show at the Jurong Bird Park
3. The Lorikeet Lori at the Jurong Bird Park
4. The Giant Pandas at the River Safari
5. The Squirrel Monkeys at the River Safari
6. And pretty much everything at the Singapore Zoo-especially all the free range exhibits.

The Night Safari was so much fun. I love it! We saw the fire dancers, the Asian Elephants which are especially amazing because they have their full grown tusks on still. It is so cool. We went into the Flying Fox enclosure and had them flying over us around us. It was thrilling and a bit chilling to be in the jungle at night when it is pitch black. Leslie mentioned she felt like we were in Jurassic Park. The first time we went to the Night Safari I kept thinking what would happen if the animals got out. Ahh!!! They have lions, and tigers, and bears, ahhh!! Luckily it is just a crazy thought and will never happen. The kids loved it. It makes me so happy to see them pointing to all the animals they see and their excitement when they see their favorites. Plus, riding a tram and having a tapir walking right next to you is two thumbs way up. 

We made it just in time for the bird show and of course it was amazing as usual. Although our Macaw, Berry, did not win the game. The other one cheated. It started before they said go. It is just incredible to see all the different species of birds flying over you around you. This time one of the Toco Toucans did not catch it's grape and it fell into the audience and down went the Toucan right in the middle of the audience to get the grape. Wish it was where we had been sitting. 

The lorikeet loft was the top of our list at the Bird Park. It is so so cool/fun! Leslie was dare devil Dunn and got tried to get the biggest birds in the loft to land on her. She had four birds on her at one time. I was impressed with her adventurous spirit. It reminded me of what she was like when she was little. She was into bugs and her favorite color was green. She is not so much into bugs, but she is fearless. I love her.

That green bird was big. It made me a little nervous to think of it landing on me, but Leslie was determined. 

We made it back to the waterfall aviary, which we had not visited before. It was amazing! at the end it had a 100ft waterfall in the enclosure. How incredible is that?

Sister time is the best.

The Singapore Zoo never disappoints. The Tamaran exhibit at the entrance just sets the tone so well. We saw two babies and this mommy carrying her baby! It was adorable. 


Naked mole rat for the win. Our sister works at a zoo and sent us a pic of a naked mole rat with that caption while we were at the zoo. This is what we sent back to her.

The River Safari is my favorite I think. I can't decide. Each park is really great, but the River Safari is peaceful and just stunning. It's hard not to love it. My favorite part about it is the covered walk way so we can go even when it rains.

So glad the Giant Panda was out. Sometimes it is not available to view and I was a bit nervous that we would miss it, but we got lucky!

The cutest wall ever!

One the river cruise. I had not been on it before because none of the kids are tall enough to go. Lyndon was still with the kids at the zoo, so we were able to enjoy the river cruise. 

SG is so beautiful and constantly amazes me how beautiful it is and how much I am falling in love with it. 

Ended our day with the incredible manatee exhibit. We sang a few lines from Barbara manatee while we were there.

I'm so grateful for Leslie. She has been my angel these past few weeks. She really enjoyed going to the zoo and seeing everything, which made me so happy. I know not everyone is a zoo person and I was grateful that she enjoyed herself. It is really hard not to. These wildlife parks are top notch. I can go on and will go on I'm sure in other posts about how amazing and fun they are, because they are. Getting our zoo passes was money well spent. And I am a dork and cannot wait to go again. Seriously as I am writing this I am things of when will be a good time to git into our schedule when we get back to SG.

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