A Splashing Good Time - Angel is 13!

Posted by ~Summer~ on February 27, 2023
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Turning 13 is a big thing because it means you are officially a teenager. That happened to the big girl last November - yes, how time flies, this blog was started when she was still a baby and we were living in Sweden - and this precious firstborn of mine has now blossomed into a fine young lady. I still remember the first day she came into this world and I will always do, no matter how big she grows.

Just so you know, I am the kind of mum who loves to surprise my kids. For all of their birthdays last year, I kept our celebration plans a secret and only dropped them hints when the big day was approaching - and I did that only because we needed to pack the luggage, haha. I told them how many nights we were staying but declined to reveal the venue and told them to just go with the flow and follow me. It was easy to see that they were curious and truly excited. I love keeping them in suspense and then shouting "Ta-dah, happy birthday!" at the end of it all.

For Angel's 13th birthday celebration, I booked a 3D2N stay at D'Resort as I knew they would enjoy a chalet stay in Downtown East very much. Yes, it's like a hotel stay to my kids. It was quite a good deal because being an NTUC member gave us complimentary access to Wild Wild Wet for all three days, woohoo! Here's sharing more about the splashing good times we had.

On the morning of her actual birthday, we took a cab to Downtown East and that was when the kids first began to realise where we were heading - the younger ones were still quite clueless, haha. It was fun to hear their guesses and I loved sensing their enthusiasm. 

Oh by the way, this was basically a mum-and-kids trip for the most part but the hubby did at least manage to join us for dinner on the first night and we were reunited as a family for Angel's cake cutting ceremony. Some of you were asking how I could manage to visit a water park with four kids in tow so I'll try to share more tips below as we go along.

Enjoying the Simplicity of D'Resort

For accommodation, our room was simple but sufficed to meet our needs. We are the kind of folks who don't need a luxurious room and are okay with less space, less amenities or even a less-than-perfectly-clean room. The kids see every staycation as a holiday and are really appreciative of every opportunity we get to sleep elsewhere other than home. 

We combined the two queen sized beds and pushed them towards the wall so that I would sleep at the outermost side and the kids were all protected and wouldn't risk falling off. I love snuggling with the kids on a staycay and it somehow warms my heart - even if the room is freezing cold - and makes me happy and thankful.

Having Exhilarating Fun at Wild Wild Wet

The first thing we did when we arrived - it was before check-in time - was to deposit our luggage at D'Resort and make our way straight to Wild Wild Wet! Yeap, not a moment to lose. We arrived on a Monday and since the park closes every Tuesday, that gave us merely two days to play here and we wanted to make the most of it.

I had packed our swimwear, change of clothes, towels, toiletries and other necessities in separate bags so that it was easy to grab and go after depositing the bulkier luggage. It was also useful that we had a pram because it could contain all our barang barang as we had to walk a short distance to the park.

We got a little lost the first time and walked into a dead end, haha, so we had to detour and try again. But that was the fun too, being able to explore with the kids and seeing where the road ahead took us. The kids started to grumble a little as the sun was scorching and I had made them walk a long way. But we learned to keep a positive mindset and as long as we kept trying, we would get there one way or another.

For those of you who have not been to Wild Wild Wet yet, it is a family-friendly park designed to cater to the likes of everyone. With a total of 16 rides, toddlers and young kids will love playing at the Kidz Zone which has mini versions of some of the thrilling rides - this was where Ansel spent the majority of his time and loved it, or simply let the current push you along in Shiok River. 

Older kids can try out the moderate rides like Kraken Racer - a four lane mat racer rider, Ular-Lah - a raft slide for up to 6 pax, or the Tsunami Wave Pool to experience the giant waves.

Teens and adults can go for the more extreme rides such as Free Fall - a near vertical slide which looks really intimidating, Slide Up - a tube ride for 2 down a four-storey ramp or Torpedo - a 6-storey free fall ride with twists and turns.

Having four kids of different ages meant that there would be different likes and preferences when it came to the rides. Some rides like Free Fall and Vortex required a minimum height of 1.22cm so Asher could not qualify. Royal Flush required a minimum weight of 35kg and Ariel had to skip that ride (it was the only one she did not qualify for) while Angel just met the requirement as she was 36kg. 

So I had to juggle the needs and wants of everyone while making sure that there was always someone to accompany and look after Ansel. Having more kids also meant I could task the rest to help out when one of them needed me for parent accompany - some rides have that as a requirement if the child is below a certain height. 

For instance, I left Ansel to Angel while I took the rest on Ular-Lah and then passed him to Ariel when I took Angel on Royal Flush. But for most of the time, he was with me and since I am the type of mum who goes around filming the kids so as to make videos, this toddler is a champ by how he didn't complain but patiently waited for the siblings to whizz down the slides so I could catch them in action.

It took some persuasion to get Angel to go on Free Fall - she did it years ago and knew it could be a little scary - but she eventually did it, woohoo. See that long, yellow, almost vertical slide? Yup, that is Free Fall. She also went on Torpedo - the other free fall ride where you enter a capsule and drop down but then twist and turn after - for the first time and that was an achievement for her. Well done, birthday girl!

As for the daredevil Ariel who loves thrills, she went on Free Fall not once but twice and was the youngest, shortest participant at Torpedo. I was told that everyone clapped for her when it was her turn to go. You go, girl!

The boys and I stayed in Jaccuzi Pool for a long time while waiting because Asher loved the mini waterfall here and even piggybacked me all around the pool too. Check out our video below.

Our lunch was settled within Wild Wild Wet and we ordered hotdog buns, nuggets, popcorn chicken ane fries from the food kiosk. There isn't a huge menu selection to choose from but we didn't want to head out so we were very contented to just stay put under the big umbrella and tuck in. Seeing their big smiles made me very happy too and this was a good, memorable and fun-filled mum-and-kids day.

On the day that we checked out, we also did the same thing - deposited our luggage and came over for another round of play. Yes, must make full use of the complimentary passes! This time, we dined at Pizza Hut which was just outside the park before we headed in.

We went on the rides once more and the kids said that I screamed the loudest, which is usually the case because I find it fun then to remain quiet, haha, and I do love the adrenaline rush too! What made this day much harder for me was that I had my menses and thus had to put on a tampon - something I am not used to at all - so that I could continue with the water play and not disappoint the kids. The discomfort made me waddle the entire afternoon but I would do it again in a heartbeat if it meant that the kids would be happy. I knew the birthday girl enjoyed herself very much and that was the most important thing to me that day.

Building Resilience at Upwall Climbing

So what did we do on the second day when Wild Wild Wet was closed? Well, this was Part 2 of my surprise for the kids and I brought them to E!Hub at Downtown East before announcing "Woohoo, you are going indoor climbing!"

Yeap, I had booked tickets to Upwall Climbing when I booked the chalet stay as I knew the three elder kids enjoy this sport and would wanna challenge themselves. We've done indoor climbing several times and I've always found it a good way to build up the confidence, strength, resilience and determination.

While the two sisters scaled most of the walls with ease, some were more challenging and helped to push them beyond their limits. When they couldn't do it the first time round, they took a break, planned their route and tried again. When they succeeded, that look of accompliment and joy on their faces was plain to see and I cheered for them from below too. Yeap, Mama is always your biggest supporter!

As for Asher, I guess the difficulty of the walls here was much higher than any of those that he climbed before. Thus, he got stuck on even his first attempt and started to cry halfway. He couldn't move up from where he was yet he didn't want to drop down and give up too - I have to give him credit for the latter because he hung on for a good 20 minutes or so and we all know that it is very taxing and exhausting, not to mention for a preschooler.

I tried to comfort and assure him by telling him "You can do it, believe in yourself and keep going!", I tried to guide him on which hand to move and where to step, I gave him incentives like telling him we would go to the arcade if he could reach the top etc. Alas, they didn't work and he was still stuck there, alone and afraid. 

So guess what happened eventually? Well, the big sister scaled the wall beside him so that she could be closer to him, she gave him tips and told him how to move past the obstacle, she climbed with him and didn't give up on him or let him give up on himself. Slowly but surely, he made it to the top of the very wall that got him stuck and made him cry. What a feat! I heard another family who commented "The small boy made it to the top!" because one of their kids gave up halfway, so well done, Asher, and thank you, Angel!

How did I entertain the little one while the Korkor and Jiejies were climbing up the walls? Well, thankfully there were some kiddy rides right outside so he was contented to sit and play there. Phew. 

We had prawn noodles after the climb, went shopping at Daiso and then headed to the arcade for some fun too. Frankly speaking, I am thankful that the kids still like to hang out with me. Some friends told me that it's nice that Angel still goes out with us now that she is a teenager, and that not all teens are like that, so I don't take it any of this for granted. I earnestly hope we will continue to do so for many more years - mum-and-kids outings are awesome! - even though I know there will come a day when I will be alone because the kids are all busy with their own social lives. So yup, gotta cherish this while it last.

On her actual birthday, we had dinner at Hai Di Lao together with the hubby who took time off to join us. It's always a treat to dine here because it ain't cheap and the kids know this yummy meal came about because Papa works hard to support the family.

The kids love eating the handmade noodles and seeing the classic dance by the noodle master. This time, it was made even more special for the birthday girl because they presented her with a gift and did a very entertaining 生日快乐 dance performance that made the kids laugh.

At this age, the birthday girl says she doesn't need a big celebration for her special day but is happy so long as the family can get together. Well, I sure hope this chalet stay and all the fun things we did made her feel extra loved and happy. We also had a movie night and watched "Slumberland" when we got back to our room and did some crazy dancing and spontaneous performances too.

Back at home, we had a second round of gathering for her because we always celebrate the kids' birthdays with our parents and the extended family too. The hubby and my father-in-law whipped up some home cooked dishes and we also added KFC to spice things up too. The birthday girl loves the crispy chicken - she only ate the original one when she was younger - and it is a sign of her growing up too.

See the adults vs kids table? Haha. For years and years, I have always been at the kids table because I will have a little one to feed and look after. But I am totally fine with it because it's nice to listen to their stories and it just means we are blessed to have a huge family who can't fit in one dining table.

For her birthday cake, we had this super chocolatey cake from Chocolate Origin because this girl loves anything chocolate! We presented her with handmade cards - the sister and brother even bought her small gifts like stationery and squishies - and I gave her something she needed and loves very much - a Sumikko Gurashi wallet.

Having a big family, to me, is awesome and I don't think our family is that big actually. Four kids seem perfect and ideal for us and I am thankful and glad we are where we are today. It also makes birthday celebrations merry and fun when you have more siblings to play with you, right?

To the firstborn, happy turning 13 and I hope it's okay that I still call you my baby girl from time to time. That's what you'll always be to me and I hope when you spread your wings to explore the world, you will remember that Mama is always here to look over you, to lift you up when you need a hand and to sit down with you when you need a listening ear.

It's been a privilege and blessing to be your mum and I can see how you have grown and bloomed in the last few years. It's not easy being the big sister to three others but you've aced it and you continue to amaze me by how much you dote on the toddler and is able to take care of him.

Thank you for being the responsible and independent one who doesn't need me to nag (much) when it comes to academics and for being the one who constantly challenges my limits but makes me wanna strive to be a better mum each day. 

I love you so much and can't wait to see what life has in store for you as you grow up. Please know that you are very much loved by all of us that that is something that will never ever change.

Hope you enjoyed every bit of your surprise celebration and had fun to the max! I did! Muaks!

Love you, 


Here's a video to remember all the fun times we had and memorable things we did. Happy turning 13, my love!


Read more on Angel's birthday parties here:

Angel is 12 - A Surprise Staycation
Angel is 11 - It's a Magic Party
Angel is 10 - A Unicorn Party
Angel is 3 - My Bubbly Bunny


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