Our hero turned 10 years old in July! Singapore was back on Covid restrictions so we were limited in what we could do, but we still managed to make it a nice day for the boy.
His bestie, Jayden, certainly helped, as he came over for a mythical, rarely-seen “double sleepover” — two nights in a row of sleepover! They spent a lot of time in the pool:
They played a lot of computer games.
Nyan wanted Shake Shack burgers for his birthday dinner, and since restaurants could only do takeaway, we got takeaway:
More time in the pool:
More games in the mornings:
And Nadia came over on his birthday night for birthday cupcakes and general silliness:
Remember the recent post where Nyan played on the Oculus virtual reality headset with Kyle? We all enjoyed it so much that we got one for Nyan for his birthday. He, Jayden and Nadia all had a blast with it. Check out all these videos:
On July 26, 2019, our boy turned eight years old. We kept the celebrations a little on the low-key side this year, but we did manage to have fun and properly honor our fast-growing little man.
It so happened that Cirque du Soleil was back in town, so we paid them a visit for Nyan’s birthday. We posed for a few family selfies on the way:
The show itself was fantastic, of course:
We all enjoyed it, and Nyan especially enjoyed dinner afterwards at a Japanese pub, where he got to drink cranberry juice out of a boot-shaped beer stein:
The birthday itself featured a “double sleepover” — two nights in a row of Nyan and Jayden doing more playing than actual sleeping — as well as a present-opening session and hanging out with Jayden and Lily.
Nyan turned seven years old on July 26. Every birthday in the past, we’d been able to have a cake-filled birthday party with all his chums at school. But this year was his first year to have a true summer break, which meant no school on his birthday. That meant Mommy and Daddy were on their own when it came time to celebrate.
Not to worry! Though it may not have matched 2017’s celebrations — which included the circus and Universal Studios as well as cake at school — 2018’s were still pretty decent, we think. The main event: a trip across the border to Malaysia for a day at Legoland!
We had done a daytrip to Legoland back in 2016 for his fifth birthday, so we pretty much knew what to expect: some rides, a lot of Legos, and some heat. Happily, as in 2016, we didn’t run into many crowds or long lines.
One of his favorite rides — this year like last time — was riding the jousting horse. A little mellow, maybe, but he enjoyed it:
We enjoyed riding the Lego train around the park:
At the center of the park is a large area of Lego creations, showing sites from around Asia. There’s the skyline of Kuala Lumpur, the Taj Mahal, some Thai temples, various other Malaysian sites… as well as downtown Singapore and some Burmese buildings, too.
The same Star Wars exhibit was there, and it was just as cool. The same Lego stormtrooper too.
A highlight of the day was the time we spent inside an (air-conditioned) room where we built Lego racecars and zoomed them down a sloped track. Even Mommy got into it!
And what’s a birthday without sweets? Gotta have a chocolate ice cream bar.
All in all, to be honest, Legoland was a little disappointing this time around: the general maintenance seemed to be lacking, and a surprising number of the rides were closed down for undisclosed reasons.
But whatever: our boy got to spend the day playing with Legos, and Mommy and Daddy got to spend the day with their boy. Win win!
To continue (and wrap up) Nyan’s birthday events this year: we took him, Jayden and Kyle to Universal Studios Singapore, our local theme park. Kyle’s parents and sister came along too, so it was a great group of people. Jayden had been to Universal Studios many times before; it was a maiden voyage for the rest of us. And in spite of the heat and the crowds, we managed to have a great, super-fun, super-exhausting and super-sweaty day.
There was so much to do, so many rides to go on. Let’s start with a random assortment of shots of the boys (and some of the others) just hanging out:
Can’t keep Nyan from dancing, no matter where he is:
(In that last video, there was a moment, about 14 seconds in, when Kyle accidently bumps Nyan’s knee. No big deal, except he happened to have a scab on there from a recent tumble, so it was tender and hurting. That’s why the dance paused for a moment and Nyan sort of whined momentarily. I love, though, that Kyle – one of the sweetest-natured kids you’ll ever meet – immediately got down to inspect it and make sure Nyan was okay! He was just fine, of course, and the dance resumed.)
It was a big day for both Mommy and Nyan: their first roller coaster ride! Mommy and Daddy went on the adult one, which uses mag-lev technology to get going really fast, really quickly. She did great! Nyan was a bit skittish about his own first roller coaster – a more tame ride, though still relatively fast and twisty. But he passed the test with flying colors. His verdict at the end, said with a huge smile: “It was scary!”
Here he is, with Daddy, just before the ride started.
There was a ride in the Jurrasic Park section that involved pyterodactyls spinning around, and going up and down. Considerably more mellow than a roller coaster, but the kids seemed to enjoy it. Videos by Mommy:
Not far away was a giant T Rex head that the kids had fun playing around. So did Mommy and Daddy, actually.
Inside the Shrek’s Castle exhibit was this pretty cool indoor ferris wheel. If you look closely you can see the birthday boy peeking out.
Here are some nice (and silly) photos of Kyle with Kara, Sara and Bryan:
And finally, at the very end of the day, we happened upon the boys’ hero, Optimus Prime. (He’s one of the Transformers.) The big guy was just about done with his day’s work of posing with little boys and girls, and it so happened that Nyan, Jayden and Kyle were the final three guests of the day. They insisted that Daddy join them for a meet-n-greet.
(By the way, those glasses were for the 3-D Transformers ride. The boys loved it.)
So overall, was the birthday outing to Universal Studios Singapore a success? Yep. Exhausting though, as we mentioned. Check out this snapshot from the taxi ride home:
We couldn’t quite believe it, but the calendar didn’t seem to be lying: on July 26, our boy turned six years old. Where does the time go, and all that. But there wasn’t much time to ponder the sifting sands of time, because we had a birthday to celebrate!
His birthday this year fell on a Wednesday, which means a school day. So we did what we did last year: ordered a special cake and brought it in to share with all his classmates. Here’s the cake:
There were candles of course. And songs.
As Mommy cut the cake, Nyan played the gracious host, passing out napkins to his friends.
Then everyone patiently lined up and got cake. Nyan helped here, too.
Here are all the kids, enjoying the cake and the party.
Of course, it’s not a birthday without presents! Nyan was quite happy as he opened his various gifts. When he saw that he was getting a Lego Batwing, he exclaimed, “Yes! All my dreams are coming true!”
Coming soon: a look at a very special Sunday with Nyan’s besties to celebrate his birthday.
Last in our series about the multi-day festivities surrounding our boy’s fifth birthday.
Our marquee event on the day after his actual birthday was a school field trip to Snow City, an indoor attraction in Singapore that features manufactured snow, ice slides, and a huge sledding hill. The field trip was originally going to be on his birthday proper, but it got bumped by a day, extending the birthday celebrations by an extra 24 hours.
And it was a lot of fun! Really cold of course — the place provides coats and boots, and we brought our own gloves and hats (got to bust the beloved monkey hat he used to wear in London!). Nyan had fun running around and playing with his friends; he wasn’t crazy about the sledding hill; Daddy sat on an inner tube while Nyan rode on his lap, and the thing actually went really fast and bounced a bit (enough that his helmet flew off at one point). But he was a brave trooper and tried, at least.
The place also had an educational component of sorts: staffers did a demonstration of how to make ice cream from liquid nitrogen. Plus a little demo of blowing liquid nitrogen smoke rings.
After all that snow and ice, we were all more than ready to get out into the more than 90 degree F sunshine outside. After a quick lunch, Nyan and some classmates played around on the little playground, which included a trampoline and a water screw.
Busy day! Everyone took a little nap when they got back to the school around mid-afternoon. And as you can see and hear from this video that Daddy shot at pick-up time, around 5:30pm, all the kids had plenty of energy left over:
We leave you with a few random shots of before and after the field trip – goofing with Adrianna, riding the bus.
And with that, the five days of birthday celebrations came to a close. Next year, will we do six days for six years? Eh, hopefully not — we loved celebrating with our boy and reminding him how special he is, but wow it was exhausting for Mommy and Daddy! We’re thinking that for Birthday No. 6, we’ll try to pack it all into just one day.
Continuing this chronicle of the extended celebrations for Nyan’s fifth birthday, we come now to day four, Tuesday the 26th. A.k.a, Nyan’s actual birthday.
The actual day itself ended up being one of the more mellow of his five birthday days. It was a school day, but that’s fine: most of his best friends are his classmates — he’s really close to many of them — so it makes perfect sense to spend the day with them.
And with Mommy and Daddy too: they showed up in the late morning with a cake. Nyan had requested a Transformers cake, so that’s what he got:
His friends all came together and sang before Nyan blew out the candles:
Other than that, there were goodie bags, silly children, and loads and loads of sugar. (Oops, sorry about that, teachers!) Really a fantastic way to celebrate.
Next up: the chilly conclusion to Nyan’s Five Days of Turning Five…
The hero of this humble blog turned five years old on July 26. (No, we can’t believe he’s five already, either.) A couple months back, we started thinking about how to properly celebrate. Last year, you may recall, we had a big family gathering in the US on the day itself, and then a pretty big party with all his friends by the pool back home in Singapore a couple months later. Each was a ton of fun, and each was a ton of work. This year, after looking at a few options, we thought we’d make it a little more restrained: a small cake party at school, and some special excursion the weekend before. Simple.
That’s not how it worked out, though. Because of a confluence of events and activities, the birthday celebrations ended up starting on a Saturday and continuing til Wednesday. That’s five days for five years (which might make a catchy #hashtag if this blog was into that sort of thing).
Let’s take a look back at the festivities, day by day by day by day by day.
Day One: Saturday
The Shaolin Monks were in town, and Nyan and Daddy got tickets.
The Shaolin Monks, you may or may not know, are Buddhist monks from China who practice a very impressive style of martial arts. And they’ve turned it into a stage show, and they tour around the world, giving a performance that tells the ancient history of the Shaolin temple (lots of warlords and fighting and the like) while also showing off their pretty amazing dexterity. (Sorry, no video of the actual performance.)
The show was at Marina Bay Sands, and afterwards, Daddy and Nyan took a nice long slow stroll along the water, with Nyan of course asking questions about every. single. thing. he. saw. Until finally we met up with Mommy for dinner. A nice start to the five-day party!
Day Two: Sunday
Nyan wanted a playdate with BFF Kyle, so a playdate he got. We met Kyle, his baby sister Kara and his parents at a newly discovered waterpark near the National Stadium. It’s a small place but just right for splashing around, swimming a bit, getting huge buckets of water dumped on your head, and the like. And it’s free! The boys splashed around for a while until a storm rolled in. Bummer. But the waterpark is actually on the roof of a shopping mall, so in we went. Strolled around for a while, ended up getting an early dinner at a food court. And goofed around on Kara’s stroller.
Day Three: Monday
On Monday, we played hooky from school and kicked the celebrations into another gear. A day trip into nearby Malaysia for the Legoland theme park! We had no idea what to expect, but had heard good things about the place, so off we went.
The bus ride was only about an hour on the road, but it still took us about three hours to get there, thanks to having to get off the bus and clear immigration in both Singapore and, a mile later, Malaysia. It took a looooong time. But no real worries: by late morning we were inside the park. It was an overcast day, which meant it never got hot, and it was a Monday, which meant it never got crowded. Our timing couldn’t have been better!
One of our first stops was, of course, the Star Wars exhibit – home to lots of Lego models of various scenes from the movies. Plus life-sized Lego characters, and of course a gift shop.
There was also a section devoted to knights and castles and the like, also with a gift shop, where we bought Nyan what quickly become his favorite toy:
It also had a (somewhat tame) joust/horse ride:
Yes, Legoland had a lot of rides. Some of them were far too much for Nyan, like the roller coaster that Daddy went on solo. But other were more Nyan’s speed, like this quasi-roller coaster:
One sort-of downside to there being no crowds: no lines for rides like these, so both Mommy and then Daddy went on the ride with Nyan about three or four time each. Got a little seasick by the end, truth be told…
There was also a train:
And driving school. Nyan did pretty okay, for his first time. He’s certainly a cautious driver:
Legoland also had a lot of really intricate Lego models throughout the park.
And there was a movie theater with a 3D movie:
Best of all, there was a silly and goofy little boy, having the time of his life.
A great day overall, even though go through immigration on the way home was a test of patience, to say the least. But all’s well that ends well, and we got home and got to sleep, resting up for Day Four in our seemingly never-ending birthday extravaganza. Stay tuned for more…
Back over the summer – July 26, to be exact – our boy had a birthday. Turned four years old. We happened to be in Iowa at the time (to be precise, we happened to have planned our trip to make sure we’d still be there on the 26th) so Grandma and Grandpa helped Mommy and Daddy throw a big ol’ bash.
It was a real family affair, with dozens of aunts, uncles, cousins, you name it Lots of kids too, and they all had a blast together:
There were gifts to open too:
And of course, there was cake. Dinosaur cake.
And this wasn’t planned, but at some point, Mommy Daddy and Nyan were out on the front porch, and someone had a camera, so we did an impromptu photo shoot.
So why did we call this post “Birthday Party, Part One”? Because we had another birthday party when we got back to Singapore. We’ve got pictures from that one too, which we’ll share in the near future…