0
Browsing Category

Kids

Kids

Children’s week

The kids had so much fun during school week because it was Children’s Day! They were so pampered by their teachers who put so much effort to come up with funfair-like activities and SO MANY presents. The school was decked out in colorful decorations and could you believe it, they set up a bouncy castle at the playground! It was definitely paradise for them!

The good week continued into the weekend, and we brought the kids out to West Coast Park for sand play, kite flying, and *drumroll*… McDonald’s brunch!

 

I know a couple of dieticians at work so if you are reading about my choice of brunch over the weekend you will probably be tsk-tsk-ing me right now, but hey, here’s a picture of Teddy to distract you –

Can you believe he’s already 6 months old? Teddy is such a cheery little fellow. He doesn’t like to be left by his lonesome, not even for a minute, and he wails loudly in protest until his not-so-big sister Amelie comes running. She’d say, “Whutsh rwong Teddy?” and shower him with hugs and kisses. Then they will hang out. Great chilling buddies. Like this.

Unfortunately I probably had too much sun and too little fluids going that weekend, the mild flu that’s been bugging me since the week before that escalated into a full blown sinus infection and I was so miserable on Sunday! I returned to work Tuesday but was kicked out of the office 10 mins in for coming to work sick (in hindsight rightfully so). On the drive to work that day, I coughed so much that I puked in the car. Husband’s cool about it, xo 😅

Diligently taking the antibiotics and decongestants prescribed, hopefully I will feel 100% by Friday because the husband is traveling (again!) so it’s me and the 3 kids (again!!). I will need all the energy I can get!

Family Kids

It’s too difficult

Our oldest boy is 6! I cannot believe that I’ve been a mom for 6 years now. Where did all that time go?

He’s such a great kid. Sociable and bubbly, he’s great at having fun, and best of all he’s motivated to learn. Recently, his home-school work has become quite challenging, and he’s having a really hard time moving past the fact that, drumroll… he does not always get the answers right on his first try. When we ask  questions about the methods he used to arrive at his answer (which is important because you want to know which part he understood and which needs work), he gets super defensive and irritated, at times even bordering on rudeness.

It was difficult to see him having so much trouble processing all that frustration and unhappiness. The look on his face when he reluctantly said, “this is too difficult!” is all too familiar because I’ve been there. We have all been there. I wish I could make this easier for him to understand but kid, you don’t have to have it all figured out from the get-go.

Your attitude and the method, the process, the fighting spirit – it’s everything. Be an explorer! Not just a conqueror. We are here to challenge you, guide you, and love you (even if you currently suck at multiplication and division) 🙂

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King

 

Theodore

Sleep Training

I thought I knew exactly what I signed up for when we found out there was a third baby on the way. Tiny baby clothes, breast-pads, infant car seat, golden poop, wonderful baby smells, and night feeds. Since I am responsible for mixing up a good bottle of go-back-to-sleep milk for Amelie who still wakes like clockwork every 5.58am, night feeds are going to be a breeze, right? Right.

WHO WAS I KIDDING?!

With Theodore being the last baby (this factory is closed, y’all), I am extra determined to see through the ‘breast-feed as long as you can’ idea, only if because it is the last time I get to savour this whole attachment-parenting phase (excuse me while I sit in a corner to sob). Teddy latches on demand, which sounds scary but really it’s just convenient because I don’t have to worry about pumping and bottles and sterilising. Night feeds are usually twice or thrice, but thankfully it’s all good after my boob is offered as sacrifice as he lops back to sleep without much fuss. Yet, I have found it increasingly hard not to doze off in the day time! Sleep deprivation is real, people. So much so that I am treading cautiously into the dodgy waters of Google Searches for HOW TO SLEEP TRAIN YOUR BABY and DOES SLEEP TRAINING REALLY WORK. Mom to kids who are now 6 and almost 2, you’d think I have this by now. The truth is, I ain’t got this! These babies of mine have such different personalities, there really is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting these babies contented and willing to sleep according to schedule.

Aidan was generally a sound sleeper and rarely fussed. Set him on his bed and voilá, he drifts off to ZZzs all on his own. Amelie was fine for the first few months, but as she got into the latter half of her first year, no amount of patting, shaking, or cajoling worked. I remember carrying her in our ErgoBaby carrier and walking around the house for HOURS. I ended up doing modified squats with Amelie still straddled to my chest, to make my time as baby-toting mommy-prisoner walking-machine count. If I stopped moving, I was bestowed with an onslaught of needy so-tired-but-just-cannot-sleep wails.

Then came Theodore. I couldn’t bear to let him cry for more than 2 minutes and wound up in a cycle of carrying baby, walk around the house, sing songs, baby getting drowsy, put baby down, baby cry, carry baby, repeat. Sounds familiar? Thus came Google. Sleep train a 6 week old baby?? Are these parenting articles supported by evidence-based research, or even tried and tested on actual babies???

There are hundreds of methods recommended online and preached to parents on how to cure them of their own sleep deprivation help baby sleep better, but I have summarily categorised it into two:

  1. Let them CIO (Cry It Out)
    This one, I just cannot. How can you bear to hear the sad cries of your baby, all by his lonesome, just begging to be snuggled and soothed? In intervals of 15min/10min/5min, go into the room where the crying baby is and give some reassuring pats, then leave. What??? How??? I’d feel like a horrible parent!
  2. Don’t let them CIO
    This method calls for parents to give baby all the attention baby wants in a firm and consistent manner but don’t overdo it. OK… Question, when is it considered overdoing it? Cry, pick up, pat, calm down, put back down, cry, pick up, pat, calm down, put back down, repeat… you get the idea. Apparently one parent did this for 146 times one night, and 30 the next night, then 4 the night after. OK, I definitely prefer this over the CIO method, but 146 times?? HOW????

After an hour of carry/walk/sing/pat, Teddy sleep until ‘lao nua’ (drool)

 

While I continue to try and wrap my head around thiswhole sleep-training business, if you have any tips on how you helped your baby to sleep better (which does not include the ingestion of alcoholic beverages), please feel free to share!

Family Kids Life

Being a self-employed SAHM

Being a stay at home mom has its perks – I get unlimited cuddles with the kids, bras are optional, and if I should choose to remain in my pyjamas all day no one could care less. But I guess every mom is different. I know some mommies who are super hands on with their kids – a fixed time table, self-created learning materials, pre-prepared meals…the full works.

Me? I’ll probably go cray cray if it is just me, the kids, four walls, 24 hours a day 7 days a week!

Hence Aidan goes to childcare, and Amelie will start infant care when she turns 3 months old. It is hard to let her go so soon, but hey, I comfort myself with this premature quote:

Wings

Anyhow, knowing the kids are safely cared for at the childcare frees up time for mommy to get work done around the house and to generate some much-needed income from my home-based web design studio.

Have you ever felt like you are generating income simply to pay off childcare fees?

I recall when Aidan first started infant care, the damage to our bank account was around $1,400/month less working mother subsidy (-$300). Now that he is in Nursery 2 the fees are more manageable, ranging around $800/month less subsidy.

Just last month I was searching for infant care services (IFC) for Amelie on ECDA which showed that IFC now costs a whopping ~$1,900/month (PCF Sparkletots)!! There were the odd 1 or 2 centres whose names I have never heard of that offered their IFC at ~$800 but their location is too far from our place.

After subsidies, I will have to fork out $2,200 (Amelie $1,400 + Aidan $800). Thinking about childcare costs drives me up the wall. It seems more economical to simply hire a domestic helper (who will do the laundry and dishes, and watch the 2 kids as well), but we all know how hard it is to get a trustworthy, mature helper. Sigh. The kids need their grandparents! Unfortunately the kid’s 爷爷 and 外婆 are both working, and they plan to remain in the workforce for another few years.

To actually qualify for subsidies, you will need to be a working mom. Otherwise, be prepared to pay full rate! Since I am self-employed, I had to declare my working hours aka make a statutory declaration at the Supreme Court. If you are a freelance worker, working from home, or run your own business, make sure not to miss out on the subsidies!

How to Obtain a Statutory Declaration

  1. Download this declaration form and fill it out – don’t sign on the form yet! You will need to do this in front of the Commissioner.
  2. If you are lazy (like me) to print the form, just go to the address below and ask for a form to fill out on the spot.
  3. Bring your NRIC!
  4. You can make the statutory declaration at this address:

    Commissioner For Oaths Section New Supreme Court Building
    1 Supreme Court Lane
    Level 3M S178879

    There is no need to make an appointment. You can just walk-in to the customer service front desk and inform them that you wish to do a statutory declaration.

  5. Payment first: the statutory declaration will cost you $20. Cash and Nets only.
  6. You will be called into a room where you will verbally declare the contents on the form, sign, and you can keep the form and go.
  7. Submit statutory declaration to your child’s childcare centre for processing. I made a copy for my own safe-keeping. You should too! 😉
Kids Life

At 1.5 months

image

Baby Amelie. Everytime I scoop her into my arms she melts my heart into a puddle with her milky baby smells and cute chubby cheeks. She is one contented baby, rarely fusses but is quite a stickler for routines. Throughout the day she gets her milk in between regular 3 or 4 hour long naps, then she stays awake for a stretch in the evening from 6 to 9pm. After her night bath the cycle of milk/sleep starts again.

Last night she stayed asleep longer for about 5 hours before she woke again. I am hoping she will continue to be an easy baby and soon sleep through the night just like how her big brother did. It will be a big win for Mommy because I am due to start work full-time in November!

Being a stay at home mom (SAHM) for the past 10 months has been really great. It granted me time to coordinate renovations, moving in to our new home, spend much needed quality time with family, to catch up on my masters program and of course, to take it easy whilst being pregnant! Now it’s time for a reality check… because there is more to life that I want to achieve. I hope that with this new position at a non-profit organisation working with the elderly, I will be able to truly make a difference in bettering the lives of others. This is a totally different level of job satisfaction that I can’t wait to realise!

Kids

Tumbling Fun

Aidan and Jenga

Aidan and Jenga 2

For his first time, this lil’ fellow is surprisingly good at Jenga! Except that this set of tumbling blocks is not really Jenga, so it was a bit tricky to pull out the unevenly cut blocks from the stacked tower.

Maybe I should import the actual Jenga set from Amazon – it is so much cheaper from the US than getting it in local toy stores!

Kids

Learning Mandarin with 百力果

Aidan - Berries

First day at Berries 百力果学习丰收园 and he loved it.

Aidan is a great kid. He’s easy going, inquisitive, and loves to chat about his day, and gets super excited when Wheel of Fortune comes on the television. He also loves doing activity books – Math, Science, English, and er, not so much Chinese. I love everything about this lil’ critter except for the fact that he DOES NOT nap.

// New baby + 4 year old with boundless energy = Exhausted, cranky parents.

We needed to get creative about harnessing his zeal. After hearing so many great reviews about Berries being able to capture kids’ attentions and actually get them to learn Chinese without fuss… I decided to sign Aidan up for the weekly classes. What? 1 hour 45 minutes of mommy-sans-kids time? Shut up and take my money!

Aidan comes home proud of being able to identify new mandarin words and shows off all the school material in his berries bag. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside when he says, “妈妈, 我以后要当华语老师 at Berries, so I must attend Berries class every Monday (to learn Mandarin)!” 🙂