Friday, January 21, 2011 ;
9:57 AM
Wow, long hiatus...

Many reasons... End of year craziness in 2010, then the new year, school reopening, the kids' birthdays coming up and then Chinese New Year.

Important updates prompted me to finally log in to post, because if I don't, I will forget when the kids sprout their teeth, and so on. :)

Little dd has 9 teeth now. The latest one, the upper right premolar, sprouted about 2 weeks ago. She's been mightily chewing on anything in sight and stuff all kinds of things into her mouth, and drooling copious amounts since a month ago.

On the other hand, she's been cruising for a long time already but she has yet to make the step towards walking. We do realise she is more timid than her brothers. However, it is still early to say if she'll be similar in reaching the walking milestone as them or later. ds1 started walking at 11months+, and ds2 at 1yr (12mth+). dd is 11months + now. She still has 1mth's time before we can really say she's slower or not! Jia you!

So far, she has been standing unaided, and taking one step only. But with that unsupported one step, she will usually realise she is not holding onto anything, get scared, look down, and then squat and start to crawl instead. Even with all my encouragement, she'll still not take more than 1 step. I'm leaving her to be ready herself. :)

Linguistically, she is not saying anything meaningful thing yet, although her babbling is taking on more and more "sentence structures" and similar intonation to how we speak. So it can be very entertaining and "cute" to listen to her and nod my head knowingly like I understand what she is saying, in order to encourage her.

She does understand quite a bit of what we say though. Words like "no" from us gets her very excited cos she will want to repeat the action we forbid her to do. "Give" when I want her to pass me something... "drop down" or "fall", and she will look down at the ground to check what has fallen off. This comes from letting many things, including food, drop from her high chair, of course.

She learns cause and effect from throwing her things off, according to experts, but it makes me have to clean up a lot more and I have to patiently pick things up and repeat to her, "drop down, mommy pick up".

It's a lot more fun playing with her now though. She laughs readily when we play endless "catching" games and peekaboos. She also shakes her head, sometimes very violently, especially when I want to feed her something new!

As for ds2, he lost his 1st tooth already. Same as ds1, at 5yo. His came out on 8 Dec. It had been shaky and loose for 1-2 months. Several times he asked to have it out, and several times both Dh and I tried, with our old thread pulling method, but it usually slipped out cos his new tooth was emerging and it blocked our access to encircling the thread really high up on the old baby tooth.

Finally Dh did it that day! Ds2 was so happy cos he had seen ds1 get visits from the tooth fairy several times already, and he eagerly got into bed that night. The next morning, he woke up super early! Earlier than me, cos he jumped into my bed and woke me up, holding a S$2 note, announcing that the fairy did visit him and he found it under his pillow! (I slid it in after he fell asleep the night before).

ds1 caught on that it was me early on, but ds2 was still blissfully unaware, he still believed the fairy flew in through the window, past the window grill! But he knows the truth now already, thanks to ds1 who informed him, and burst his bubble of magical fun.

I gave him $2 cos when ds1 dropped his first tooth, he was overseas, and I used the exchange rate to make sure we gave ds2 the same amount. So the kids have had visits from the tooth fairy in USA, China and Singapore, with different currency!

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Thursday, January 6, 2011 ;
8:19 PM
I will be moving to my new blog.
Please re-subscribe or re-follow or update your bookmarks.
Thank you for being such a great reader and friend!

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 ;
2:07 AM
1-4 Dec
Bible Lectureship

We attended every day, but Dh will stay for most of the lectures while I'll bring kids home to nap when they needed to. At night, there'd be the gospel meeting. It was a very busy week, but very edifying. Great to hear from speakers hailing from so many different countries around the world, because they bring with them refreshing ways of teaching the same Word.

4 Dec

ds1's 3rd chess competition this yr. This one is by the Singapore ZongXiang Huay Kuan. Nice premises, organised but lasted much longer than expected. We couldn't even pick him up and had to let the teacher bring him back to CPS cos my dad's Appreciation Dinner was at 6.30pm.

So our whole family went for the Appreciation Dinner except for ds1. Didn't expect the competition to end so late.

My dad stepped down from his presidency. Old age (he is 74 this yr), health reasons, and perhaps I think he wants to slow down and do something else. Since the Bible college is modelled after US colleges, they now termed him the President Emeritus. With this prestigious sounding name, he still got a huge pay slash but not much reduced workload. He was mumbling about it but not sure what will happen next.

Pics of the dinner are on FB. My sis was late cos she had to drag both her kids from Queenstown, and then she didn't realise the dinner was quite formal. (Everyone was wearing their best clothes, incl our family, and other guests.) She rushed down and had no time to dress up, so was in her jeans and nursing top. Not the nicest nursing top too. However, she still looked fantastic in the pictures, so I think it didn't matter at all.

9 Dec
Met Mary and kids at Thai Express for lunch.
Pics at FB. It's lovely to live nearby so we can meet up impromptu and have a good time together.

10 Dec

Dh and I have been married for 9 yrs on 8 Dec! But we chose to celebrate on Friday cos Wed is in the middle of the week and there was Bible class at night.

We dropped ds1 off with mil and ds2 at school, then brought dd (no choice, the nursing one) along with us to Applebees at Triple One Somerset. We'd a lot of happy and yummy memories at Applebees when we were in Utah, and this is their only outlet in Sg.

After lunch, we planned to walk around 313 and just enjoy the time together leisurely.

Alas, something happened that caused us to spend the celebration of the anniversary in the paed's office instead.

I do have to be thankful that at least we had a great lunch. It was after lunch that we decided to walk to the nearby NTUC finest to check something out. Dh sat dd on his shoulders and I walked to a separate aisle to browse.

Suddenly I heard dd's piercing scream cum wail. It was a kind of cry that I seldom hear from her (i.e. not the want-to-nurse or diaper-full or sleepy kind). It was more like "i'm terrified and in a lot of pain" kind.

I rushed to their aisle and saw that there was a crowd there already! Later on, I learnt from Dh that a promoter was already in that aisle, he witnessed the whole incident. And then he went to grab a lady promoter in the next aisle, and both fussed over dd. And an expat couple was also there, and they stood there, shell-shocked but concerned. Then, 2 other couples, one Singaporean and another Filipino probably rushed over from another aisle cos they heard the loud cries and wondered if there was anything they could help with.

What happened was, Dh held dd by her legs as she sat on his shoulders. Initially they were just looking around, but then she started to play with his glasses and pull his hair and shift around.
Suddenly, she threw herself backwards (maybe cos she was restless or wanted to get at something along the aisle). At that point in time, Dh slipped or loosened his grip on her legs, and she fell from his SHOULDERS onto the ground. Yes, the NTUC concrete floor.

There was a loud smack when she fell. She was on her front when Dh went to pick her up and he told me, ashen faced later on, that he thought he'd see her face flattened and full of blood when he carried her up. Thankfully, that was not the case.

Me, who was oblivious that she fell from that great a height, and only reached her when she was crying, in Dh's arms, did not sense anything amiss and thought it was just a normal fall. I just carried her over and patted her back and she stopped crying. When she was whimpering, the onlookers came over to give advice.

I did wonder why they all looked so shocked but just dismissed it as us being in the NTUC in Orchard, maybe everyone was more friendly? The guy promoter kept saying I should let her drink some water to cure her from shock. The lady promoter said nevermind, don't be too alarmed, kids all have falls, just make sure she doesn't vomit. etc etc.

Since she had stopped crying, we walked to the cashier to pay for our stuff and left NTUC. I did notice the expat couple and Filipino couple trailed us for a while, observing dd.

It was only outside NTUC did Dh give me a detailed account of what happened. I was glad I didn't witness it. I might have a bigger response, which might have scared dd and not be able to calm her down so soon.

I examined her whole body for bruises, only her thighs looked very red. Her head did not have big bumps, but there was a small one on her forehead. I put her in the sling and she slept while we were still thinking whether we should get her checked. At first, we thought let her sleep, so we did walk to 313. But after I walked into Zara, I felt that I had no mood to browse anymore.

Dh was still pale and shaken, and he kept checking to see if dd was still breathing, quite funny, now that I am recalling the incident. So we finally decided, to give ourselves the peace of mind, we should bring her to a paed.

Since she hasn't seen a paed from the time she was born (in the hospital), we decided to go to the boys' doc at her clinic in Bt Timah. That's how we spent the rest of the day. Fortunately, she was given the all-clear after a thorough check (rib-cage, breathing, heart beat, head, stomach). Doc says it was surprising she came through with so few injuries, so she felt that dd must have tumbled before falling on the ground, hence the impact is lessened. Perhaps she did, on Dh's back?

Thank God she is fine!!

11 Nov Sat

Our boys were invited over to Mary's! They had so much fun watching TV, playing Nintendo, playing chess with ZY, and making sushi with Mary for lunch! Thank you thank you!

Meanwhile, Dh and I also had a great time having lunch at Bakerzin (with dd), and then grocery shopping. haha. It's nice to go shopping with just a baby (who has to go wherever we go) rather than 3 kids, all of whom would like to go in different directions. So we love this arrangement. Sometimes we'll take their kids, and sometimes they'll take ours! yay!

In the evening, after dinner, the church youth came to our place for Games Night. Remember how we decided to entertain friends but had to restrict the numbers? This time, it was the youth, so no families with young kids. Thus, the challenging board games and wacky card games were taken out, and everyone had fun laughing at each other.

Everyone also brought drinks or snacks. Ben (kwan) made fruit salad, and Andy baked choc chip cookies. I made banana pudding. There was so much food! Some brought their games to share as well. Philip (VW) brought Super Munchkin, Zel brought Slamwich and Janelle or Eustacia brought Rummikub.

They are young and full of energy, so they made the atmosphere in our house much livelier! At 10.30pm, I had to make our boys and dd sleep. It was way past their bedtime and the next day was Sunday. Somehow, even though I told the youth to carry on playing, they seemed to take this as cue. Audrey said her car coupon was set up to 10.30pm only, so they decided to leave.

By 11pm everyone was gone.

It was great fun, should have more of these. We will definitely do so, since dd is getting older and older too, and we'd hopefully be able to entertain more.

13-17 Dec
9am - 5pm
Vacation Bible School

This was organised by LAP congregation so every morning, Dh has to send ds1 all the way there. It's open to P1-P6 kids only so ds2 can't join yet.

I went with dd on Mon though, just to meet the youth there, and see how it is like. ds1 looked like he was enjoying himself with the introduction and ice breakers, so I left with Angeling. We went to Compass Point to walk around, eat breakfast at Starbucks, sit in the library and read and chat softly... Then we borrowed some books, had lunch at Jack's Place and took bus back to Angeling's house. I would be there till evening when Dh came to pick ds1 up. ds2 had school and would be at my mom's place till evening time when we got back.

On Tues, it was the day they were going to Bedok Reservoir for the Forest Adventure. It builds up confidence and self-esteem through a series of challenges above-ground. Something like an obstacle course. I find it fun and very good for the kids indeed. Because if they can complete it, they will feel like "I did this, I can do it, so I can try other things and succeed too!"

I brought ds2 along because he saw me surfing the net on the place and said he wanted to try as well. I wasn't sure if he met the height requirements so we just went to try. Dh kindly agreed to take time off work and drive us there.

Pics are all on FB. ds2 was very brave. He barely hit the minimum height requirement. It was 1.1m. He fell shy of 0.1cm I think, but the guy said he could go, so I paid for him (ds1 is covered by the VBS). Thankfully we came as a group cos he was paired with this P6 boy from LAP, Shawn, who was such a sensitive and caring boy!

He took care of ds2 throughout and watched out for him. Whenever ds2 felt scared or hesitant, he will shout encouraging words to ds2. The trainers were very good too. They put ds2 in between Shawn and another boy who is P6 as well. This is so that if ds2 gets stuck, he can get help from the one in front or behind.

The problem is that parents or other adults cannot get up to reach the child. And the child cannot come down halfway. Only at certain stations there are ways to come down. Else you are just stuck up there. Trainers may be able to reach you, cos they have the harness, but generally they discourage you from stopping halfway.

ds2 couldn't reach some of the ropes, too high, and he couldn't manage his clip sometimes. Too short, arms not strong enough. haha. Worse, some steps were so far apart, his feet and legs couldn't reach the next step despite stretching his widest. I wondered how he got his courage to get up there. Cos the VBS organiser was concerned for him and asked him "are you sure?" and showed him the entire course. I think at that time, he just wanted to do it cos his brother was going up and he didn't want to be left out!

But once he was up there, and ds1 was way in front, where he couldn't see him, he was scared! I was worried he'd cry and want to give up. Thankfully he completed everything, albeit a few, I almost thought he would give up, cos he hesitated for so long! At these times, Shawn and the trainer would encourage him and help him and he'd eventually pluck up enough courage to do it.

Funniest thing is, at the last part, when the kids get to sit on the flying fox thingy and zip all the way down, it looked very fun and was certainly much easier than some of the courses he'd completed, he started to cry! Yes! There at the end!

I wondered what he was thinking. When he came down and I asked him, he said he wanted to go again. He didn't want to come down. I was not convinced. He just went through the course with so much difficulty... I asked if he cried cos he was scared of the zipline? He said no... But then, I don't know why he had to cry then. Later was discussing with Dh, perhaps it was pent-up feelings. He was scared at all the earlier courses, and those were all over, so when it was the last station, it was tears of relief?? Just our guess.

ds1? Why didn't I talk about him? Cos we saw he was totally in his element, so there was no cause for concern. In the end, we took pics of ds2 mostly cos ds1 was so fast. He did not give any thought to risks or danger. He just plunged ahead onto every course without any hesitation or fear. That fellow. There was one station he just walked on without holding on to the rope above till someone shouted at him to hold on. Fortunately there was a safety harness around his waist, else I'd have freaked out.

2 sons, 2 different personalities. But I was so glad ds2 overcame his fear. Now whenever he is scared and don't want to try something, I am so happy that I can bring that Forest Adventure up and say, hey, you survived that right? You can do this, it's nothing compared to that! :)

After that we went to Ikea for a nice lunch (Tampines Ikea is nearby).

I didn't follow on Wed or Thurs. Had chores lined up at home to complete. ds1 went alone. He enjoyed himself a lot and got to know many LAP youth and kids. So happy for him.

On Thurs I even managed to go to Amore for cardiolatino with Mary! It was a disaster though. I found out I have 2 left feet! I used to dance Chinese dance in Pr sch and learnt gymnastics when I was young too. Had no problems with the rhythmic routines on the gym floor and danced my Chinese dances pretty well lei. Somehow, after growing up, I must have become more and more clumsy. I remember in JC, dancing the mass dance was quite ok for certain songs but for the fast ones, I was already not catching up, and always forgetting the moves.

Well, now I have confirmed it. It will be the last cardiolatino session! I will focus on toning and cardio-aerobics kind of exercises in future! (Btw, we were accosted by the staff cos I went for only 6 sessions in the whole of last yr! Tsk tsk. So my new yr resolution is to go more frequently else I can't use up my sessions!)

On Fri, I followed ds1 to LAP and then went Ikea Tampines, this time with ds2. We met Angeling, Mary and kids there, and played and ate, then went back to Angeling's house for the kids' nap. Mary and her kids left after the nap. At night, the presentation at LAP was at 8pm. We all went to watch the kids put up skits and show us what they learnt and did during the entire week of VBS.

They went to the Marina Barrage for a tour on Thurs and the pics were put up by the VBS organisers in a slideshow too. Very interesting. They also painted a wall mural on Friday. Lovely. Then the kids presented a cup they made for Daddy and an apron they made for mommy, and an art piece for their siblings, as well as a glove showing the whole family.

The whole camp was free! I am sure to sign him up this year again and this time, ds2 will qualify too!

19 Dec
Supposed to be my group's LF session but dd fell sick so I couldn't go. Mary was going for a staycation again so her helper came to our place for the night that night.

The next day was Monday, and Angeling came over for some fun activities. We made ice cream and popcorn, and the kids learnt how to make ice cream. Then we had lunch. I cooked simple lunch. Rice with soy sauce chicken, french beans and carrot, and eggs. Then the kids watched a DVD together while eating the pop corn. Then they napped.

After the nap, we had ice cream with toppings of graham crackers and Hershey's Choc fudge. Then we all headed for the playground to swing and climb! That was the end of our gathering. Mary's helper left with them to spend one night with Angeling as well. I hope it was fun for her too!

23 Dec

Brought the kids to Mz's house for a Uni friends gathering. ds2's school was having an Xmas party but we skipped that for this rare reunion.

There was a lot to play there. Hot Wheels, Beyblade etc.. ds1 also played chess with Yunhao who used to be a chess champion in school. Yh taught ds1 a few tips also and gave him some can2ju2 to work on. Wah... ds1 was so engrossed and interested.

It's amusing cos we were discussing how my sons were not interested in the violin when dh is so good at it and has tried to teach them. Yh's sons are also about the same age as ours. His older son is also in P2 now. But his sons are not interested in chess.

I had lots of fun chatting and catching up with everyone. We had a good time eating too.

At night, it was ds2's Yamaha class concert so dh, ds1, dd and i all went. Next year he'll be switching to the Sat timeslot so this was his last day in this class. Pity cos this class had more kids his age, and a couple of really cute girls. :)

He played Tug of War and Happy Day. Everyone sang and danced a few items too. The parents were all very supportive. Pics on FB.

24 Dec

My turn to host. Last time while I was teaching, I was so glad that my school became such a warm and friendly place where my colleagues were mostly my friends. Some of us became really very close friends. These relationships were very important to me because it made going to work very fun and I looked forward to it. It also made all the irritating admin work or the lousy terrible days feel better cos your friends are sure to cheer you up.

Even though I taught Biology, besides the Biology teachers (who have become like family), I was also close to several Physics and Chemistry teachers. Last time, we all sat in a mixed bunch. (Now I heard they have zoned it such that Bio sits with Bio, and thus there is less interaction across subjects.)

And as you know, I have been on no pay leave for 4 yrs now. My friends have all moved on and moved UP. haha. Yes, so my friends are now principals, VPs, HODs, subject heads, and some have fancy names like Dean of xx, Consultant, Director...

This particular day, I played host to a very busy principal and a very busy other friend who moved to another JC. We had a simple lunch and basically just chatted. Years have passed but we still had so many things to talk about!

This special day had ds2's school tr come visiting too! She brought the kids each a surprise! She bought them a cupcake each (dd incld!). And she also brought ds2 all his Xmas presents from his friends and teachers in school. I took him out of school for the last 2 weeks in Dec, you see. So kind of his teacher. I think I love her more than he does, haha.

That night, we all went to Leon's house for games night. His place is really good for games cos there are 5 storeys and free parking. haha. So many different games were played by different groups, so he could host a large large group. I got to play BIG taboo, which is a new form of taboo. I like it, all the new twists were funny.

The rest of the time, I spent trying to keep dd out of other people's games. :)

ds1 had a field day playing Risk with the big guys and also Saboteur, which I had never heard of. ds2 played Slamwich and Uno. We all had a smashing time.

The last week of Dec will be updated in my new blog. Decided to set up a new blog for the new year, since it's high time, with the new member in the family being almost 1yo now! Can't have this URL anymore, it is stale! :)

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Thursday, December 30, 2010 ;
11:00 PM
A friend, who has 4 kids and is a very inspiring person, has been visiting because she was buying a violin for her then 1+yr old boy, and then later, also having a bow made especially for him because no factories would make 1/64 or 1/32 violin bows. She also had a bow custom made for her oldest son who is 13 now.

She visited a few times and we also visited her place, because Dh had to listen to how her 2nd son played the erhu, and then modify and change the erhu strings to enhance the performance. Her son won 2nd prize in the National Chinese Music Competition for erhu, by the way! Well done!

Anyway, I am blogging cos I received a lot of good stuff from her, some of which she handmade, and I am so grateful!

Here's just a sample of her handmade books. She also passed me puzzles and many board books that dd loves thumbing through (err, and chewing, unfortunately!).

2 Nov
Misulo free trial

Misulo is an art adventure center that started in Korea. It has finally come to Sg and set up shop right where my place is! So I had to go and take a look right?

They were offering Safra members a free trial. We were members so I jumped at the chance. I would have signed all 3 kids up, but their course is for kids from 2-6+yrs old, so I only had one who "qualified".

It was scheduled for this particular Tues. I was very impressed cos it was a full hour lesson, with 2 teachers to ds2 alone. What a ratio!

It's called an art adventure because it doesn't teach kids how to draw a cat, or a plane, nor does it teach kids art techniques per se. Instead it is about exploration of various materials, and how they can form art.

This trial session revolved around marbles. Parents don't sit in (I went for a walk with dd), but I was shown pictures and told about the whole session by the teachers and ds2 at the end.

They rolled the marbles, played with them, then dipped them in paint and rolled them in a paper tray. (Photo in FB) Then they made "watermelon juice" in an empty plastic bottle by rolling marbles dipped in red paint in the bottle. After that, when asked to add some lemon juice, ds2 dipped the marbles in yellow paint and added them to be shaken in the bottle.

After that, they used marbles to paint a picture. ds2 painted a garden pic. Then they painted on the wall and ds2 enjoyed spraying water onto the wall picture to create "rain". He didn't want to stop spraying even when the lesson was over. (Guess I deprive them of making such mess on a regular basis at home, that's why!)

I didn't sign up actually, thinking of saving money. But I was very moved by it because it will boost ds2's confidence and self esteem which I think is lowered because he is the younger one and he constantly compares himself to his brother.

It was only when my niece Eva went for a trial and my sis was very very keen cos it was one of the few classes where she would be interested and involved throughout the lesson. She also loved it very very much so my sis signed up and wanted ds2 to be in the same class so he can motivate her.

Since my sis might be leaving for the UK soon, I thought it would be a good chance for ds2 to bond with Eva and during their class, me and sis can bring our younger ones for some eating and bonding too.

These pics are a sample of other sessions. This one involved tissue paper and the messy part was what ds2 enjoyed too, flinging tissues soaked with different coloured paints all over the wall, incl the ceiling, to create a masterpiece.

(Just look at the walls! I am glad it is not my house. haha)

ds1 liked Misulo a lot too, but he is overaged. So I let him mix stuff at home. He was happy too.

5 Nov
Deepavali hol

Went for a friend's wedding. She invited Dh and I, so we left boys at home and mom babysat them. This friend was the one who played the piano for us at our own wedding, and she was also my S7 junior in hc. She happened to be Dh's junior in String Orch too (plays both violin and viola). She was from DHS CO, and plays the harp too. Very musically talented.

Pic on FB - she's carrying a huge "bouquet" of balloons. (She married a magician btw, and there was a professional magic show during the wedding, so pro that I've never seen anything like that before.)

It was at Goodwood Park Hotel, and I wore a dress that wasn't nursing wear, so I had to ask for a place where I could nurse dd (since the dinner was preceded by the solemnisation, we were there since 6pm, and it ended at 11.30pm). I asked the waitress who was serving our table, for a place where I can "nurse my baby".

She said sure, it's at the handicap toilet, and gave me directions! I said no, I need to "breastfeed my baby", thinking maybe she didn't know the meaning of "nurse". She said, "yeah, it's inside the toilet. There's a plastic thing you can lay down and put your baby on top." I almost fainted.

She looked very young, perhaps waiting for her O level results or something.

Ok, I looked for someone more senior, and immediately, this guy got a bunch of keys out, ushered me to a meeting room near the ballroom. He even switched the air con on and made sure I was comfortable before leaving. He told me I could lock it from the inside.

Initially I thought I'd be bored cos the bride's more of Dh's friend. But we were seated at a table where the rest were also people in the music circle. Another guy was also from HC Strings and was my senior. He's now in SSO. Another 2 are conductors of several secondary schools' string orchs. Then there was another couple with a baby and the mom also bf her baby and naturally we had lots to talk about.

7 Nov

ds1 had his 2nd chess comp. This time it was a group one. He was again the youngest one fielded. He didn't do too well this time, lost his 3 matches. Fortunately his other team members were ok, but the group did not win. They consisted of only P1-3 kids. The school fielded other teams, and the A teams managed to win. Phew, else I think we'd feel bad. The TIC says no problem, he fielded the younger ones just for exposure and experience. No expectations placed on them.

My mom happened to be in Sg that weekend so she helped us accompany him as a volunteer. She helped the teachers and then was able to ensure that ds1 ate his lunch. Good, at least this time he had something to eat and drink.

Later in the evening, we picked ds1 up and went to celebrate fil's birthday at the restaurant in Safra club. Then we walked back to my house cos I baked a cake after mil requested for it. They didn't want any present, just the cake. I guess at their stage, presents don't mean as much as family time.

8-15 Nov

Dh went to USA again. For another competition. Mom helped me again, thank God.

9 Nov

Parent-meet-teacher session for ds1.

Met the form teacher first then the Chinese teacher. Both discussed his strengths and weaknesses in the subjects they taught him (academic nature) and showed me the marks he obtained for the different modes of assessment. They then suggested ways to help him improve on the weaknesses.

Eg for Chinese, he is poorer in his speech (oral), so I was asked to use the language more. Cos if we speak to him in the language, then he will learn more descriptive words and expand his vocab. I nodded my head. I must remember to! It's just so easy for me to lapse into a tirade in English, especially when scolding them!

Both teachers also talked about his personality and character. His Chinese teacher even said, "我超喜欢" (I super like him!). His form teacher did give me more insight. He is a mischievous boy who would often think up tricks or pranks to play on his friends. He also cannot keep still and still moves everything on his table while listening to the teacher, which is distracting.

But she did say he is adorable because he would crack jokes with her and also tell her "stories".

He is forgetful and absentminded though. Will make many careless mistakes and will often forget to do corrections or homework or miss out pages, that kind of thing.

Ok, I know what areas to help him in P2 now!

10 Nov

ds1's school went to East Coast to clean up the beach.

12 Nov
ds1's school held a Green carnival, and they could wear green tees to school. They had activities and performances in school that educated them better about caring for the world we live in.
Parents were invited, and we were also encouraged to wear green and bring stuff to recycle.
If we brought a lot, we could even exchange the stuff for coupons to get rice and stuff.

Sounded fun, but I couldn't make it!

13 Nov
Mary and CY had to work, and their moms couldn't help out, so they brought Ch and L, plus the helper to my place for the whole day.

I wasn't worried I couldn't cope cos the helper would be there to take care of her own charges. I just had to supervise.

In fact, I got very excited and started planning a fun-filled day for them.

We went out to JP, budgeted and made lists and browsed at Popular before choosing something useful to buy (each kid had $5 but L napped and didn't spend his money). ds1 chose erasers and pencils (4B-6B ones), ds2 and ch both chose a packet of plasticine with various colours. So cute. They made plasticine animals, fruits, food etc together at home.

We bought fishball noodles and had them at home for lunch. I also bought them popcorn and the kids watched Toy Story3 while munching on popcorn (after lunch, of course).

The kids were well-behaved even though in a group they tend to be noisier. They did not mess up the place and listened when I gave instructions.

After the movie, I said it was nap time, and everyone obediently napped. Wow. Then, we made kaya from scratched.

Showed them how to harvest pandan leaves, blend, strain etc, and I let them crack an egg each since the kaya portion I made needed 6 eggs. After that they played while I and their helper did the tedious stirring over "water bath".

Mary came to pick them up later, around 7pm, I think. It was a really fun day. I was tired at the end of the day mainly cos dd did not nap well and thus was very cranky and required me to sling her the whole time (yeah, while making kaya and supervising kids). But I wouldn't mind doing such things again. :)

Mil came over for dinner too, and she did meet the bunch of them before they left.

16 Nov

ds2's PTM.
This time, Dh just returned from USA. The rest of ds2's class already had theirs and the teachers were kind enough to reschedule it just so Dh could be around. He missed all of the kids' PTMs this year, so at least he was able to make it for this one.

ds2 received a lot of things from the school. Besides the "report card" which had comments from teachers and a checklist of stuff he could achieve, there was this scrapbook of photos which was so beautiful. The teachers must have put in tremendous effort because the pages were full of pretty stickers/ cut-outs, and printed with personal anecdotes of what ds2 did in class.

Photos had captions, and each page would be filled with pics of him and his friends or teachers doing something, and the descriptions would bring smiles to my face.

It was great seeing all his excited and happy expressions in those pics. Wonderful to see him having a fantastic time with his friends too. It'd serve as a great memory of his K1 yr.

Teachers comments were mostly praises, similar to what we had in June. But this time, Dh got to listen to it. Of course, these PTMs are for parents to feel very proud of their kids and to congratulate themselves for choosing the "right school" for their kids to blossom. Cos that's the idea I get with both boys' PTM. It's like wow, they enjoyed so much, learnt so much, what a great school, the teachers are so amazing, and wow, how clever your son turned out to be...

I really am proud of my sons, and I really appreciate the teachers and love their schools to bits. But after hearing so many rounds of such PTMs since they were in Nursery (and in different schools), I know how it works and learn to smile at praises and nod my head at things I need to help them to improve. It's funny that even though I know what to expect, I still love the PTMs where I get to meet the teachers. Never boring.

So I hear the same adjectives again. ds2 is advanced in reading and Math. His spelling is amazing. His Chinese word recognition is surprisingly good, and he writes pretty well.

However, he cannot speak well. (similar to Ds1 right?) But ds1 is at least loud and proficient in English. ds2 prefers to be soft. When it is his turn to present things, he will speak very softly. In Chinese presentations, he mutters even fewer words. Some words have wrong intonation. I *smack head*. Can't believe that just 2 yrs in USA and us not speaking Mandarin at all can cause such a big effect. I do admit I didn't put in effort to speak it much in USA since there was hardly the environment and we go out so much. I think it happened to be their most formative years too.

Experts say linguistic abilities are greatest from 0-3yrs right? Then after 5 yrs old, sorry, drastically reduced. Now we can only play the catch up game.

Recently the papers had this Asian mom say we Asians need to learn to accept praises about our children graciously. We tend to play them down. When the teacher told Dh that ds2 was quicker than his friends in Math, such that she had to give him extra and more difficult Qs to work on, Dh looked incredulous (even though I know he must be happy).

He asked the teacher what kind of Math she was referring to. She said addition within 20, for eg. The rest of the class would be figuring it out and she had to give him addition above 20, but within 100 to keep him occupied.

Dh then asked, "But did he get them correct?"
Teacher said, "yeah!"
Dh (still not convinced) asked, "hmm, but is he doing it correctly cos he is good at memorising and thus it is just rote answering, or does he really understand the concept?"
Teacher: (hesitated) errrr...

I think she was stumped. Then she had to ask Dh what he meant, and he explained himself fully, saying maybe ds2 has a good memory only, so maybe he remembered that 25+25 is 50, but actually he doesn't know how to do working, and doesn't know why it adds up to 50, blah blah blah.

I was quiet at the side and let him talk, since PTM is for us to ask Qs and understand our kids better. But I just found it mildly amusing. Dh seems to be unable to believe that ds2 could be anywhere better than mediocre.

17 Nov
Hari Raya Haji hol

Our family went to Mag's house and had a smashing time catching up with my ex-colleagues. There was Wii and ds1 got to play chess with my ex-colleagues too. They are all very good as well. Wah, so many hidden talents I didn't know about in the past. Photos on FB.

20 Nov

My niece and nephew's bday party at my sis' place. It was the last time we visited that place. She vacated it shortly after and moved in with my mom, with the intention to sell. Glad we made that trip.

Everyone had a great time playing together and enjoyed the food we all helped to prepare. Photos on FB too.

25 Nov
PSLE results released. Niece (another one, not the above bday girl) got pretty decent results and got into RV. She didn't get into RV through DSA a few months ago. Thankfully she did by PSLE results.

27 Nov
Four Seas Commencement Exercise

Went for this graduation. Pics on FB. It's my dad's last time as President.

In the evening, there was cottage meeting and I made Korean chap chae this time. Pics on FB too.

29 Nov

We visited Diana at her house in Tiong Bahru then went for a playdate together with Angeling and kids at Fidgets. Before that, we had a scrumptious lunch at Sol Playground Cafe first. It was so yums!

Fidgets was very fun for the kids. Such a large space and I like it that the baby area, where I was stuck with the crawling and climbing dd, had CCTV monitors and screens that I can view the boys playing at the big kids' area further away. Nice.

What a fun-filled and packed November!

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 ;
9:43 PM
Oct 7

ds2's school was taking part in the event where kids all over the world will read the same story on the same day, to raise funds for other needy children. Funds will be used for education, to buy books, set up libraries and so on for kids.

Last year, the boys were in Tianjin and their school also took part. Then, it was the story "The Hungry Caterpillar". The school had this giant caterpillar move around and the kids had fun acting and reading the story and doing many activities.

I was delighted that ds2's school was taking part this year too. Sad that ds1's school didn't. Most primary schools in Sg didn't take part.

This year's story is "A Snowy Day". It is a lovely story, imaginative, and well-illustrated. Kids can learn a lot from it. There are many activities that can be done too. Unfortunately, it is not so easy in tropical Sg.

ds2's P suddenly called me up to ask if I can help out. Initially, it was just asking if I can volunteer to read, but in the end, when we were discussing, and the P was saying the teachers in school would all jump at the chance to help me take care of dd while I read the story to all the kids. At this, I started to wonder. Cos dd has entered the stage of stranger awareness and separation anxiety. She absolutely sticks to me and if a stranger carries her, she cries.

After discussing, I volunteered Dh. I said that'd make everyone less stressed. Cos I'd have to do 20min readings to the playgroup class, toddler class, nursery then kindy. All these add up to quite a long time. I said I'd still go and help, but I'd carry dd myself and Dh will do the reading.

The P thought for a while, and was hesistant. She said she felt Dh was a quiet and introverted personality. My jaw almost dropped. I wanted to guffaw loudly into the phone! Fortunately I could control myself and informed her that there would be no problem. That Dh had acting background.

He acted in the Tan Kah Kee play in Sec school and was one of the impt roles. In JC, he joined the HuangChengYeYun each year and also acted in key roles. Even in Uni, he was still acting in outside productions. He performs violin/ viola solo and in groups and in orchestras all the time. He sings so loudly. Hmmm, quiet? Introverted? Those who know him would laugh too.

So she said ok, and said the teachers would take care of all the activities/ art and craft and decorate the school/ music room. All we had to do was come and read the story. She also had props but I said we can bring our own.

ds2 was excited that we were all going to his school. His friends all chanted dd's name over and over when we reached. The tr had to stop them. I signalled sorry to her for disrupting the class. They said no problem, she's too cute, that's why.

All the teachers in his school were clamouring to carry her. Unfortunately she was very uncooperative. She makes me embarrassed all the time cos people love her and want to carry her but she'll cry and reject them.

Anyway, this is their breakfast time. I really love their classroom, wonderful view that makes the room look airy and bright.

Dh went to the music room to prepare his music Cd and props. I put dd there too.

The different classes started streaming in. The playgroup consists of kids 18mth to 2yrs old. They were mostly attentive and interested but they did not respond as appropriately when asked Qs. Probably Dh and I haven't attuned ourselves to that level yet, cos the Qs he asked could've been a bit tougher. It has been awhile since we had an 18mth old kid, you see!

Then the toddlers (2-3yrs) came in. They were livelier and laughed a lot more. They also squealed and jumped around when Dh did anything funny. So it was more fun.

This pic shows everyone trying to make snow angels like how Jack did in the story.

The Chinese teacher of the toddlers managed to hold dd for a while!

After just 20min, the kids had bonded so much with Dh they didn't want to leave. They all hugged him before saying goodbye. So sweet. This age is so fun.

After that, the Nursery kids had their turn. They're between 3-4 years old.

Then the K1 and K2 kids, incl ds2, came in.

They responded the best, asked the most Qs and were very spontaneous. They reacted quickly when the cotton snow balls were thrown and at once started a "snow ball fight" that was read out in the story too. The younger kids were more "blur".

After the story, all the kindy kids posed for a pic, together with the trs and P.

Dad and son had a good time bonding together too. That's why I am all for schools who are open to parents participating and for schools who invite parents to their field trips and to volunteer.

I like the convenience of the kindy below my apt. They also have a pretty good curriculum and programme and is much less expensive than ds2's current school. Besides the fact that they have no space for ds2, they were very reluctant to let parents into the classrooms. They didn't want us to observe, neither did they welcome parents on field trips.

I wonder why. I always think schools who try to keep parents out must be hiding something?

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Friday, December 10, 2010 ;
9:22 PM
30 Sep

Met my American friend at Thai Express for lunch. Brought dd only. I received a beautiful gift from Greece from her. Hearing her speak about her trip there makes me want to go there too! I will keep that place in mind, it is a coastal area near Athens, if I remember correctly.

She also invited us for playdates at her place, because there is a terrific swimming pool there. But I haven't yet gone cos it was flu season in Nov and Dec and till now, I think our family has gone through 3 rounds??!?

Other events, I will probably post the pics on Facebook so it would be quicker. And I'll just make a short record here, for my kids' sake and for my future self, in case, amnesia stirkes, and I can refer back to the blog. :)

Then I will revert to posting pics and updates here and try and be more current in 2011. Must be my new year resolution!

3 Oct
Sun evening

Had a rare dinner with my parents. Seldom eat with both of them due to my dad's schedule. Ate tze char at Boon Lay. It was delicious. After that, we strolled to their old place at Boon Lay and passed by the expat kids playing hockey. Apparently they play hockey every week at the Boon Lay CC. Some kind of coaching clinic or maybe a junior league.

9 Oct

Ladies Fellowship group
My group is the Wings Sisters this year.
We had lunch at Kichi Kichi at Ngee Ann City.

Dh ate with the boys and dd went with me.

We managed to get Josiah's birthday present there at Takashimaya, so happy!

After that we brought Meda along and went to Lai Mui's place for the singing session.
I let the boys swim at her mansion's pool. They had so much fun. I didn't bring dd down cos it was too much hassle for me. (the boys can shower by themselves, but I'd have to shower myself and dd if I went down, and I would have to bring all of my clothes/ swimwear etc. it's so easy for boys, but so troublesome for girls, many more pieces of clothing to bring, and more accessories to pack too)

Lai Mui's helper kept praising my boys for being so well-behaved. She was amazed that they could shower and change themselves. She said she was comparing them to another boy who's the same age as ds2 who often goes to her mdm's housr.

After that we were ushered into the guest room. Lai Mui kindly offered a bucket of toy cars, so the boys played happily, Dh and singers sang downstairs gustily, me and dd relaxed on the queen-sized bed. I lazily switched the TV on, and she had cable in the guest room! I ended up watching a korean movie while nursing dd, so lucky!

10 Oct

Bday party at philatelic museum.
ds2's classmate booked a Museum birthday party. Very interesting. The kids learnt more about stamps and played group games that involved running around the museum looking for clues. Us moms sat in the party room, drinking coke, munching on chips and chatting. Fun!

12 Oct

Dinner with Mel at Sakura, Science Center.

Our dear friend, who was a teacher at the intl school in Tianjin, visited Sg with her son. She is now teaching in the intl sch in Jakarta and used her short hol to vacation in Sg.

She came alone with her son, leaving her dd with her hubby in Jakarta cos she wanted to wean her dd off bm and it was impossible with her around, so she was going to give her dd the cold turkey.

I asked Dh if I could do that in future. haha. He gave me a look of horror. It takes a lot to be the parent at home with the bf child who wants bm and starts crying, and the source is nowhere to be seen! All I can say is, her hubby is very brave and her hubby must have had a week without much sleep at night. :)

Mel and her son were awesome company. She's Australian and her hubby's Indonesian. Her son is so so beautiful. Anyway it was good we met up cos they toured the science center before dinner and he got all wet. We have boys so it was easy to offer extra clothes, socks and shoes. She returned us the next day cos we planned to go to the zoo together.

After a good meal, we all squeezed into the car. Having been in Tianjin for a while, Mel was able to squeeze, no problem! (Most Americans and Australians would be concerned about safety, especially with the kids not in car seats) Dh sent me and kids back first, then sent her and son back to YMCA in Orchard.

13 Oct


We don't often take the kids out of school. But friends from overseas who come once in a blue moon are an exception. We took both boys out of school to go to the zoo with Mel and son. We had an amazing day!! The boys took to each other so well, despite the age gap, and that while in Tianjin, they hadn't actually met each other before. (Mel's son was too young to go to school then)
Pics are on FB.

16 Oct

Josiah's bday party at Changi chalet.
Jon and Angelia rented the chalet. We had fun blowing bubbles and the boys played at the beach, wetting themselves fulling running into the sea, and then getting sand stuck all over their wet clothes.

I didn't bring any extra clothes for them cos it was supposed to be a short birthday celebration. Argh, they sat on trash bags in the car all the way home, wet, sticky and dirty. But they loved it. Reminds me of that old nursery rhyme: girls are made of all things nice.... then boys are made of all the yucky icky stuff like frogs and lice?

19 Oct

ds1 at mil: PSLE marking day.
There were 4 longs marking days! Holiday for ds1! So my mil said he could spend one day at her place. She wanted to bring him out and also do some activities with him, like listen to music and do calligraphy (but ds1 hated that). ds1 said by lunch time, he was very bored and asked for his gonggong (fil) to return from the factory to play chess with him.

After that, he was happy cos they played 6 straight sets of chess before fil had to return to work.

dd had her vaccination that same day. She was also weighed and checked by the doctor. Everything's fine. She is also slimming down, a natural progression with all my kids. She was then at the 97th percentile already, down from 100th.

For my kids, because they take only bm for the 1st 6 months, absorption is very good and they put on weight quickly. After 6 months, they start having more and more solids. The more solids they have, the less efficient the absorption. Also, they start running after 1yo and then there is no looking back. They become thinner and thinner.

I also tend to control the amount of deep fried/ salty/ sugary stuff they eat at home, so I guess that's how they don't put on much weight thereafter. And of course, there is the genetic component. (The only time we all did put on weight was in Utah, I think. We ate a lot more fatty food, salty stuff and soda/ candy/ ice cream/ chocolate.)

21 Oct

Rochester Park

Since ds1 was still on holiday, I took ds2 out of school, and we had a playdate with Eva and El and went to check out this new indoor play area. It is a 2 storey bungalow with all kinds of lovely playthings inside the house. Train sets, doll houses, ride-ons, dress-up and puppet play, kitchen sets... And Wii, Nintendo upstairs for older kids. Outdoors, there are sand pits, water play areas. But it was raining that day, so we only played indoors.

Surprisingly, halfway through, ds2's former music tr at his kindy walked in! He was a great music tr and taught them all kinds of dance, like hip hop, tap, and introduced them to a lot of different genres of music. He also played many musical games with them and sang very interesting songs. Ds2 came alive with music during the time Mr I taught them.

But sadly, he left. And then I found out he left to set up this new playcenter! Ahhhh, no wonder. He has his own "baby" now. He looked very happy, and was carrying a lot of props which he said were for birthday parties. The 2nd storey had party rooms and he said they were fully booked for parties till March 2011!

The boys got extra playtime without charge that day. :)
Pics on FB.

22 Oct

Dinner for guests.

When we were renovating our house, Dh and I dreamt of entertaining our friends at least once a month. We'd like to cook something special and invite a small group of friends over for a meal. Thereafter, we can chat or play games together.

After our house was renovated, we had dd and then were so busy trying to get the house in order. I think we only started having guests over for the kids' birthdays and other special occasions.

Then Dh had a coffee party idea, and we started the entertaining ball rolling.

This Friday night, we had some church friends over. We drew up lists of different "cliques". Those with young kids, those without, the youth etc. Because our house was small, we can only manage small groups. So we divided the groups up and lined them up to be invited. :)

So far, we had a few groups already. This particular Friday, we roasted lamb, steaks, pork, potatoes and I stir fried French beans with sze chuan veg. Then I made mushroom sauce (with red wine) using Portobellos and brown mushrooms, lots and lots of them. We used loads of the sauce with the meat.

After the meal, we played games, and I actually FORGOT to bring dessert out! Argh! can't believe it. There was ice cream from Island Creamery that Leon brought and lots of potato chips. I only remembered the strawberries and grapes from Peter and Sab.

Must be cos dd was bugging me non stop towards the end. All of us had a great time, especially the boys. They always get very hyper with guests around.

(This has now evolved into more of potlucks with games, cos I realised after all the cooking and cleaning while tending to dd, I am too tired to play games, haha. Next time when kids are older, I will start cooking more to entertain. Now, I rather prepare dessert only. :))

23 Oct

Met up with dear old ex-colleague HM at JP's Ichiban for dinner, then still adjourned to Bakerzin for desserts later. haha.

ds1 was very well-liked by her 2 girls. Pics on FB.

It was great catching up, especially since 2010 had been tough for her. And me, actually, come to think of it.

24 Oct

Very sinful feasting over the past few days!
Sunday evening, had a rare dinner out with Tim, Law, and Mary's family. All the way at Upp Bt Timah. There's this super famous tze char stall near the Hazel/ Dairy Farm area.

Very yummy indeed! And there are wildlife species to spot while eating too! It was a long wait, and the boys took a nice long walk with Dh along the canal. They saw monitor lizards, amongst other animals!

Pics on FB. And dd had her first prawn paste chicken wings there too! Thanks to Tim and Law for recommending.

27 Oct

Old friend returns with her hubby and dd from UK. She was my classmate in Sec sch and we went to different JCs. After that, she worked in the finance sector, all the way up. She's a vice-president of a certain dept in a big bank now, in London. She has a romantic love story too.

Met her British hubby in New Zealand while she was backpacking. How cool.

Anyway, they settled in UK but then as their dd grew, she felt that an education in Sg would be good for her dd since it is bilingual.

There are a lot of parents here who want to bring their kids overseas cos they hate the system in Sg, but then I meet lots others who want to come to Sg for their kids' education instead. I think it is just how different people think differently.

Anyway so she returned to buy an apt near a good school and we met up at Bakerzin. Her dd is so adorable and she loves dd very much, so dd was very entertained by this big sister while YP and I chatted. Her hubby is very easy to get along with and surprisingly he can join in our conversations with ease too. (I say this cos sometimes Dh gets bored when me and girlfriends yak non stop).

I had to leave cos it was time to pick the boys up from school, and we promised to meet up the next time she returns for CNY and then later on, for good.

28 Oct
Diana visited me with her dd, who is just a month apart from my princess. They had a fun playdate, eating their Baby bites together, while me and Diana chatted. Her hubby lectures at NTU. Sometimes she'll follow him and since I live here, she will visit with me till her hubby is done.

There are several times she smsed me to meet up but I was not available. Otherwise we'd have had many more playdates than the 3 we already had, I think.

Pic below: A quarry near in-laws' place. They like to walk to this quarry as a form of exercise, so they often ask us to go along. Sometimes they bring just the boys.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Thursday, December 2, 2010 ;
8:57 PM
After Vivocity on Friday, 1/10/10, Mary's helper stayed the night at my place, sharing a room with the kids (let her choose between the kids' room and the study and she chose the kids' room).

Mary's helper likes to cook/ bake a lot. She told Mary she prefers that to looking after kids actually. haha. It is way less stressful indeed, and satisfaction can come after a much shorter period of time, don't you agree?

So I decided to bake cupcakes and make our own pizza for lunch.

The cupcakes were for the boys' Sunday school teachers, as well as for Ch and L and Mary's helper.

Icing was done a day after on Sun morning.

Pizza was made from scratch too. Used a recipe from Then kids could put whatever ingredients they wanted. They put a crazily disproportionate amount of mozzarella!!

Mary's helper was pretty adventurous. She tried many different combinations and in the end, she also followed the kids and used lots of cheese.

I, on the other hand, love my mushrooms and olives. Yum.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

8:06 PM
25 Sep

Went to Rama's house for cottage meeting. I cooked red bean soup with tapioca pearls.
He has so many cats! Amazing.

27 Sep

ds1's school organised a field trip to IMM. There they had fun locating different stores/ banks and filled up some worksheets. They also had $2 to spend, and they realised they could pool it to buy bigger stuff, which they lugged back to school and had a super class party.

Some parents went as volunteers but this time I didn't. Shopping is not my specialty anyway, haha.

29 Sep
ds2's turn. His school brought them all to West Coast Park to celebrate Children's Day. They had a blast. I didn't join in either, thanks to dd.

ds2 received so many gifts for children's day!

His Chinese teacher was very thoughtful in giving each kid a book teaching them traditional values too. Plus candy and stationery of course, to please the kid.

When he reaches Pr sch, he will get this, which is what ds1 got:

On my part, I gave them several coupons which they could redeem, some had deadlines/ expiry dates (have to use by 1st Oct), some didn't. ds2 requested to go to Vivocity, using one of his wishes. ds1 was simple, he wanted to go Popular, which was just in JP.

ds2's wish required more manpower and Dh wasn't free, and I was fortunate that Mary and family were going to spend their weekend at a local hotel. They thus deposited their helper with me. With an extra person, I had someone to pacify the screaming dd all the way to Vivo.

This trip was mainly for the kids so I didn't really shop, only to buy a gift for ds2's classmate whose bday party was imminent.

They played hard indeed!

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Thursday, November 4, 2010 ;
1:40 AM
Today something happened that made me wonder if I am too caught up with tending to the baby and letting my boys grow up too quickly?

Already, I have been advised to not be too trusting of strangers or my environment, that I shouldn't let the boys wait at the void deck alone (like wait for the car) or walk to the bus stop and back from school bus stop alone etc. I also let them go down to the playground to play by themselves for short stretches of 15-20min.

Initially it was because I was breastfeeding so frequently (dd needed it every 30min or so in her 1st month) and changing diapers at a high rate, so if the boys wanted to run around, throw ball, cycle etc, they'd to go downstairs alone. There was no choice.

Now, it is not that bad, but I've gotten busy with other stuff like preparing dd's food, cleaning up her mess, so I still let them do those by themselves. But I wonder if I should slowly start getting into the groove of being with them more often. (btw dd is clapping her hands, waving bye bye now and she drinks from a straw and has stood without any support for just a couple of seconds, very exciting time for her)

Safety is one reason, but another could just be that they are still young and need guidance.

So the thing that happened today was that his piano teacher had to trim his fingernails for ds1. My mom brought ds1 to his lesson today and said it is so embarrassing that his nails were so long that his teacher had to cut it for him. She also commented that his school shoes were very dirty.

Oops. That was my fault. Cos since the beginning of his P1 yr, I told him to be responsible for washing his own school shoes. I also let him cut his own nails ever since I was quite heavily pregnant.

Being a 7yr old, I think he would try to get away with doing these tasks as infrequently as possible.

My fault is that I did not "follow up" or supervise. Even if I were training him to be more independent, I should still check and guide. But I failed to do so. I have not really noticed his teeth, nails or cleanliness of his shoes for such a long time.

Then, one of his shirt buttons came off maybe a month ago. It popped out in school and he kept it for me. He came home and passed it to me. I praised him and told him I'd mend it for him. But I kept putting it off cos he was perfectly fine wearing his shirt missing one button. It's still not mended yet.

(yup i should not even be blogging now and should just look for that shirt and sew that button on) (oops, but then i think that shirt is in the wash and then i can't remember where I put that button!)

The last time ds1 got his nails trimmed was also not by himself! We were visiting my in laws, and having the weekly dinner together, when mil noticed his nails were too long and dirty and she trimmed them for him!

Yup, very embarrassing.

But ds1 is always very sweet. He always defends his mom in public, no matter how much he argues with me at home. He patiently explained that it's his own job to trim his nails and that he enjoyed doing it by himself. He also often tells others that his mom is very busy. :)

ds2... He, at 5 yrs old, has to shower himself everyday after he gets home from school. He can fold and put laundry away, and is good at sorting my groceries for me after every trip to NTUC. He knows which drawer for the canned food, what goes into the fridge and freezer and that the bread goes on the table.

When both of them spill anything, they wipe it up themselves.
They know when to use Kleenex tissues, toilet paper or kitchen paper towels already because different situations call for different cloth/ tissue and I've screamed at them so much they learnt how I like it to be very quickly.

Finally, ds1's schoolwork.
At the start of the year, when P1 was new to me and him, and dd was not born yet, I would check his homework, made sure his bag was packed properly and remind him to learn his spelling/ tingxie.

After getting full marks several times, I let him handle those himself. Since then, his tingxie marks have fluctuated greatly. For English spelling, he is lucky that he reads a lot so he can still get away without much revision. Today he just informed me that for his final Chinese revision of the yr, he obtained 38 marks out of 50. *faint*

I didn't check the paper but he did tell me some mistakes he made. And 38 is a low low mark for P1 when most can achieve 90+% easily.

Hopefully this hols I can get him to read more Chinese books so he can fare better next yr. I believe reading is most impt in improving any language skill.

This hols, I won't be signing him up for any camps (besides the vacation bible school) cos I hope to read more with them, do some baking and bring them out more myself.

It's time - I should spend more time with them!

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Monday, October 25, 2010 ;
8:57 AM

Dd had her 3rd DPT jab due at the polyclinic. It's almost a week now and she hasn't had any fever from it. However she does have a runny nose from the recent haze due to the fires in Indonesia.

She weighs 9.33kg now, has a head circumference that's 44.9cm and a length of 69cm. She only put on 0.1kg since last month but is still at the 97th percentile for weight.

She has grown longer though, so she looks slimmer now, which is nice. Her head's supposedly pretty big too, hopefully it has substance within!

She currently has sprouted her 7th and 8th teeth already. These are the secondary incisors at the bottom.

Other developmental milestones this past month (she is 8mths+ now) include being able to cruise. She was pulling herself up to stand last month, and crawling more steadily.

Now she will hold onto the TV console, or various chairs, or go along the sofa, cruising to get at something. With this new found skill, she now much prefers to stand or cruise and will only stoop to crawl rarely. Like if she wants to get at the pencil ds1 is holding and he is right across the living room with no chairs or whatever linking her across, then she'd reluctantly slowly stoop down to touch the ground and then crawl over then pull herself up to get at his pencil.

She is still very much the cautious little girl though. Hence she experiences less falls or injuries than her brothers at every stage (but learns slower than ds1 at the same stage). She'll also cry and bawl much easier and longer when she does fall. What a "sissy" or "guniang" as Dh calls her. Maybe she is not the tough tomboy we expect her to be!

Some photos of her in Sep in the church's cradle roll class.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Saturday, October 2, 2010 ;
9:04 AM

Went with Tim, some LAP members and Angeling's family to Marina Bay for a kite festival.

The kids had lots of fun!

See the hundreds of kites in the air!

Lots of buskers too. I like how the Marina Bay Sands structure gleamed in the setting sunlight.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 ;
9:34 PM

ds1's school had their Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations. There was a carnival in school, so we all turned up for lots of fun!

There were many stalls. These craft and calligraphy and cultural stuff were all free. Food and games stalls required coupons.

ds2 enjoyed the paper cutting immensely and he was "stuck"at this booth for ages!

The clay craft booth was so attractive because all the creations looked so yummy. ds2 initially thought it was a food stall and asked me to buy some for him to eat! That was how realistic the creations were!

Many different nationalities spotted. Students come from at least these countries that I observed: Sg of course, Philippines, Myanmar, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Korea, USA. There were a couple of ethnic groups I couldn't place at all, perhaps they are Eurasians.

There was a chess booth too and ds1 met his friends there.

Both learnt how to write a "chun lian" at the calligraphy booth. The school is strong in calligraphy as well. Thinking of letting ds2 join this CCA next yr, haha. Capitalise on 2 of the school's niche areas (chess and calligraphy). They are also strong in Chinese and Malay dance. Maybe for dd in future. :)

Towards the later part, there were performances by parents and students, and then a magician. The entertainer/ magician was very talented. I enjoyed the segment where he drew a face and then the face could move and talk. Very funny. As he erased parts of the face, it was hilarious to hear the protests from the parts of the face still remaining.

My parents walked over to the school to join in part of the festivities since they lived across the street. This pic was taken at the Butterfly Garden.

ds2 apparently had a knack for playing games at the games booth. Many older kids could not get any prizes cos it was difficult to get the cars zooming into the correct holes (the board was kind of tilted at a weird angle). But ds2 managed to get 8 prizes!! (each prize consisted of a glow-in-the-dark rod, which the students pieced together to make flowers/ rings/ necklaces/ spheres, very fun).

At night, in bed, he insisted on hanging them above him because I told him they only lasted the night. He was sad to see them no longer glowing in the morning, but it was a good lesson in being thankful for the good stuff while it lasted!

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 ;
9:04 PM
8am - 5pm

ds1's 1st chess competition this yr. He was the youngest fielded. Cos usually none of the P1s would join CCAs. Even if they join chess club in P2, they usually go to the non-competitive chess club where they are taught the basics. Thanks to the teacher-in-charge (TIC), he switched ds1 from the non-competitive club early on last yr. ds1 was feeling very bored re-learning all the basics then, but I encouraged him just to continue and see whether he could learn something new.

After he started with the competitive club, he enjoyed himself tremendously, naming Tues and Thurs the best days in the whole school week, cos he gets to stay back for chess. Even though chess is from 4-5.30pm!

Also, P1s have class till 3pm only, so that meant he had to stay back in school from 3-4pm alone, having nothing to do. For a P1 kid, I think it is tough. Initially, after the 1st week, he did cry and asked for company, said no one to talk to, and every minute was like an hour. My mom lived right across the street at that time, so she'd walk over to accompany him for that hour. Thankfully, after several months, he finally was able to spend that hour alone in school.

The problem was that none of his classmates had CCA, and the P2s and above have supplementary classes from 3-4pm, which is why CCA starts at 4pm. Fortunately that problem has been solved now that he is in P2. I used to worry at home, even while nursing dd, whether he would be in the canteen or running amok in school or worse, running out of school during that time.

After chess, the school's CCA bus will bring him back, so he reaches home at 6pm. From morning 7.45am till 6pm, I'd imagine he'd be very tired, but he was never so, always re-energized by the CCA session. I guess that's why it is very important for the kids themselves to choose an activity they love, then they'd have lots of energy for it! After he returned home, he'd want to eagerly share with me all the new strategies he learnt.

He usually spends the entire session pitting his skills against the rest of the chess club members, and the TIC will walk around coaching them. He thus learns from his opponents/ seniors and the TIC.

Finally, in Sept, his TIC felt he was ready for his 1st competition. The TIC did caution me that with his many years of experience, he had many young ones go for competitions and then drop out of chess club after that because they were demoralised. He said kids at a younger age would be disadvantaged at most of these competitions, because the category is just Primary, open to all 6 levels. the P5-6 would have an obvious edge due to experience and age.

So I did tell ds1 just to go play for fun, gain experience, losing is ok.

This is the pic I took when we went to pick him up at the end of the day.

His inexperience showed. He was too focused on the matches and forgot to eat his lunch!!! From 8am till 6pm, he had nothing to eat! All the things I packed for him in his bag was untouched. He fell sick the next day in school- bad headache. I think it was cos of the entire day without water/ food? Dehydration?

As for results, he did alright. His ranking was 40+ out of 57, if I remember correctly. Most of the kids were in upper primary, so I think it was a good showing.

Mid-autumn festival:
Mooncakes, lanterns, pomelos...

And having dd, now our youngest, wear the pomelo cap. Her hair smelt so nice after that! Citrusy...

Time for weaning:
What were the first foods she ate?

1st stage (4-6mth): I boil brown rice, then push all the soft brown rice porridge through a sieve. She loved it. Just plain.
I introduced non-citrus fruits like banana too. Just for taste, not a lot.

2nd stage (7-9mth): I wash the rice grains, dry them, then grind the grains. Then I boil like I was making porridge. At this stage she appreciated having the outer layer of the brown rice to chew on. Since it was ground, it is still soft and in small bits, but chewy.

As she grew older, I reduced the grinding time more and more, so the bits became bigger and coarser.

Now she doesn't like porridge anymore! So I save myself the hassle. She just eats off us now. Whatever we happen to be having, I will give her some. But on the days when it is just her and me having lunch (boys at school, hubby at work) then I'll cook porridge or boil some pasta. However, being used to our food, she is becoming more and more picky about bland food now. I guess I'll just move on from here, no point looking back.

L's bday

On the morning of L's birthday, we sat dd in the walker my sis passed to us, so she could wait for us to get ready.

She was very happy that day, perhaps she knew it was her L kor kor's birthday!

At L's house, see how dd was straining to get at the cake?

So funny, the way L closed his eyelids with his fingers, to make a wish.

Same day evening, we went rollerblading/ kite flying together with L and Ch at the park.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

about us ;
-{dear-hubby}- dh
-{dear-son}-ds1 T
-{dear-son}-ds2 J
-{dear-daughter}-dd E
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