Tag Archives: birthday

Nyan Does Universal Studios Singapore 

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:

More dancing:

(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:


Nyan claimed to not be tired. Sure.

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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Nyan Turns Six! 

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.

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Posted by on August 8, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Five Years Old, Day 5

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.




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Posted by on August 22, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Five Years Old, Day 4 of 5

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…

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Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Uncategorized



Five Years Old, Days 1, 2 and 3 (of 5)

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…


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Posted by on August 10, 2016 in Uncategorized



Birthday Party Part One

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…

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Posted by on November 6, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Balloons, Fish, and Much More: Nyan’s Third Birthday

Our boy, and the star of this here blog, turned three years young on July 26. We were far away from friends and family, but Mommy and Daddy were determined to make it a special day, and we dare say it was a success.

The fun actually began on Friday the 25th, when Mommy — fresh off a long overnight flight from San Francisco — and Daddy stopped by Nyan’s school in the late afternoon with candy, balloons and cupcakes for Nyan’s classmates and teachers. The balloons were a big hit:

As were the cupcakes. And so was Mommy as she read books to Kyle and other friends of Nyan.

That evening, we went out to dinner down the road. The Thai BBQ place we had our eye on was going to be too long of a wait, so we ended up at this odd little place called Fluffy Butter Flaps. Felt like being in a Japanese cartoon, somehow, which is not a complaint. The food was good, the place was friendly, and they gave Nyan a big mug full of milk, which he happily drank while sitting on a couch with some stuffed sheep.

Daddy’s grand plan for the birthday day itself was to get an early-ish start to avoid the crush of crowds at the aquarium, but after all the Friday fun — and all the flying — Mommy and Nyan wanted a lie-in. So we changed our plans and let them snooze:

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So the morning plans instead became opening presents, playing with presents, Skyping and talking on the phone with grandparents in Iowa and England, and eventually a leisurely stroll to a nearby restaurant for some lunch. Then we caught a bus into town, hopped on a subway train, navigated our way through a shopping mall, and squeezed onto a monorail that took us on a short ride to the small island of Sentosa. It’s just off shore from Singapore itself, and it’s pretty much completely resorts, amusement parks and the like. Several hotels, some upscale housing, casinos, a water park, bars and restaurants, and a big ol’ aquarium. It was even more packed than Daddy had feared it would be by mid-afternoon, but aside from a few places where it was heaving, it wasn’t bad at all. And the aquarium overall was very good. Some good displays, touch pools, and some absolutely HUGE tanks filled with the usual suspects — octopi, jellyfish, stingrays and manta rays, tropical fish of all shapes, sizes and colors, and lots of sharks in one of those tanks that has a tunnel running through it, so they’re right above your head. Nyan was pretty fascinated by most of it. His attention and energy started to wane after 90 minutes in there, so we rushed a little bit through the last quarter of the place, but that’s pretty good for a three year old.


To get off of Sentosa, we decided to skip the monorail and take a ride on a cable car that soars over the bay. Tremendous views, particularly right at sunset. We could see most of Sentosa, the Singapore skyline off in the distance, the massive container port of Singapore, and military helicopters carrying giant Singaporean flags, practicing for the National Day celebrations in a couple weeks. Best of all, maybe: the cable car had some sort of comic book superhero promotion going on, so our birthday boy got a superhero mask to wear. He hardly took it off the rest of the night.

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Back on the mainland of Singapore, we looked around a mall called Vivo City — said to be the biggest shopping mall in Singapore, which is no small feat, if you’ve seen the number and size of shopping malls here — for a place for dinner. Unfortunately for us, it was 7pm on a Saturday, so every place was packed. We quickly decided to just put our name down at Jamie Oliver’s Italian place, and only had to wait about 20 minutes. Really good food, albeit with rather lackluster service; both are, in our experience, very much standard at most Singaporean restaurants. The restaurant is right on the water looking out to Sentosa, so we had a view of the nightly fireworks show going on across the bay. We pretended they were doing it in honor of Nyan’s birthday.

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Yes, it was quite a day – and no nap either. We got in a taxi at about 8:45pm and the birthday boy was zonked out by 8:48. Didn’t stir when we undressed him and put him in bed, and slept until 9 the next morning. Happy birthday, little guy!

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Posted by on August 5, 2014 in Photos, Video



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