I still remember the day the little girl arrived in this world. On our first night at the hospital, I looked at her angelic face adoringly, admiring her double eyelids, big eyes and round face and feeling so thankful to have her in my life. She is my rainbow baby and came after I suffered a loss, and this somehow made that moment we laid eyes on each other even more emotional for me.
Time flies and this cutie pie turned nine years old at the end of last year. Yup, her last single digit year. She was a little sister when she was born – and still is – but now, she is also a doting big sister to two younger brothers. She is also my bundle of sunshine with an infectious laugh, my aspiring chef and kitchen helper, and my personal masseuse who gives a pretty good massage.
To celebrate her special day, I asked her to choose a place she wanted to visit and she decided on the same place that we went the year before – Bird Park! I know how she is thoughtful in helping us to save cost and that she chose this attraction since we already have the Friends of Wildlife annual pass. But, I reckoned this sweet darling of mine deserves a little extra. So weeks prior to her big day, I booked the highly popular feeding sessions because I knew being able to feed the birds would make her so, so happy. And it did.
HELLO, JURONG BIRD PARK
We’ve been to this park umpteen times yet each visit still delights and excites the kids. It doesn’t matter if we’ve seen the same bird up close, watched the same show, ate the same lunch and did the same thing because the kids just want to repeat the fun experience over and over again.
Since it was a special day, it was time for an ICE CREAM treat! Yay! It was our first time having it in the park because the ice cream was not cheap! The usual me would tell the kids that we should get it from the supermarket and eat at home. Haha. So yes, they were all ecstatic to get a treat that day. Just look at the birthday girl’s smile!
Other than making sure we were on time for the feedings, we took everything else at a slow pace that day. We didn’t queue for the shows but instead let the kids roam around to explore, learn and enjoy, like how they dug in sand to look for fossils. It was such a simple activity but they still liked doing it together.
How they pretended to be chicks hatching from a gigantic egg. They climbed up, jumped down, hid within, ran around and were probably the most active and happiest chicks ever.
How we had pizza takeaway and sat at a secluded bench to enjoy a family lunch. This was surprisingly deserted despite that there was a slide beside so we managed to both eat and play.
How we walked on foot to explore nearly every corner and when we got tired, we hopped onto the tram. Thankfully we also had our 12-year-old Maclaren buggy which could even withstand the weight of the boys, they looked so happy here!
See the cute bird plushie Ariel is holding? It was a gift from the staff after finding out it was her birthday that day. So sweet of them, the plushie made her day and it even came with a lanyard so she could wear it all day long.
How we stopped in our tracks to take photos to keep in our closet of memories. The waterfall makes a beautiful backdrop so I always like to snap some shots here with the kids. These are precious to me and it’s nice to see how our family has grown over the years too.
WRITTEN WITH LOVE
You know how sometimes the best things in life are not planned, right? To our joy, we chanced by this giant chalkboard at Parrot Paradise and the kids started doodling away. Each of us wrote our wishes for the birthday girl and she appreciated it so much. In return, she said “Thank you!” and drew a portrait of our happy family. This was one of the times I was glad to take things slow and not have to rush, but instead let the kids enjoy to their hearts’ content.
A FEEDING FRENZY
The highlight of the day was the bird feeding and we were lucky to be able to complete four sessions in a day, woohoo! That is the most we’ve ever done and no wonder the kids were so delighted!
-> Lory Loft
The first place we went to was Lory Loft to feed the lories and lorikeets! Did you know? In general, lories are bigger, with tails that are short, rounded, or square. Lorikeets tend to be smaller, with longer, pointed tails. We really love them because they come in multi hues and look so pretty!
-> Penguin Coast
This was our first time feeding the penguins because they are so highly popular and it’s always so hard to get a slot. Penguins are so cute and we’ve always been very fascinated by them. Did you know? Penguins poop nearly every 20 minutes! Yup, they have a very fast metabolism and therefore need to poop a lot. Each of the kids received three fishes – it cost $5 for each pax – to feed the penguins so they made the most of it and enjoyed every second.
-> Pelican Cove
We’ve fed the pelicans here several times but the kids were still very excited and eager to visit once more. Well, being able to wear the rubber gloves and throw the fishes into the water can be quite fun, I guess. Did you know? Pelican has the largest bill of all birds!
-> African Treetops
Lastly, we made our way to African Treetops to feed the starlings and hornbills. We used to be able to touch and hold up mealworms to feed the birds back in Waterfall Aviary. That was something the kids really looked forward to and they somehow loved being able to hold every mealworm in their palms. Yup, that courage definitely didn’t come from me because I’m not a fan of worms. Things have changed since then and now, we can only hold up metal holders which will contain the mealworms. It kind of makes things less exciting for the kids but they were still happy to be able to do this.
Through the years, we’ve come to realise that the most important thing on birthdays is being able to spend time together as a family. I know that this girl truly appreciates family time and is happy as long as we stick together as a family. She also comes up to me from time to time to thank me for giving birth to Ansel because she really loves having a baby in the family and dotes on him so, so much. Awwww.
Guess what surprise gift I got for her? It was a mini whack a mole game I got from Kiddy Palace and given how she loves arcade games, I knew she would really like this. And she did!
On our way home from the Bird Park, we were thinking if we should get a cake for her since it was her actual day after all and I make it a tradition to let my kids cut a cake, blow candles and make a wish on their special days. She was so sweet as to decline so as not to go to all the trouble and instead, we decided to make a banana split at home, using what we already had in our fridge. Yup, it was a ceremony that was so simple yet full of love, bliss and joy.
That sums up our celebration for this baby girl to mark her turning nine. I know you enjoyed the outing to the Bird Park and the home party we had with the grandparents, my dear, and I hope you can continue to be 知足常乐! It’s been a joy having you in the family and you’ve been an awesome, doting sister and a sweet, thoughtful daughter. May you go on to spread more love and joy not just in our family but everywhere you go too!
We love you so much, dear Ariel!
P.S. I know you love watching our videos so here’s one for you to remember your special day. We had so much fun and went home with precious memories. Thank you for being a constant reminder that family is everything.
Read more on Ariel’s birthday parties here:
Ariel is 8 – It’s a MAGIC Party!
Ariel is 7 – Let’s have ICE CREAM!
Ariel is 6 – The Ocean is Calling
Ariel is 5 – It’s a Shopkins Tea Party
Ariel is 4 – A Royal Princess Party
Ariel is 3 – Sofia the First Birthday Bash
Ariel is 2 – Let’s Get Frozen
Ariel is 1 – Turning One Under the Sea