Tuesday, May 03, 2016

How I Met Your Father

A poem to my two precious about how I met their father:

My little darlings
How did I meet your daddy
This is our story

Twenty-five years back
At a campfire we met
In the mid of June

With floppy long hair
A loud booming voice, he wrote
I love all of you

Teenagers we were
His friend caught my eye, not he
T’was young puppy love

So daring me called
We met at old library
Lunch at Burger King

Your daddy and I
Hit it off extremely well
Fast pals we became

Midnight calls till 3
Nothing we could not confide
He was my soul mate

Younger days

Then I went away
To study far down under
We drifted apart

We led our own lives
Apart, not knowing, two souls
Waiting to find each other

Lost and bruised, weary
Life likes to throw a curveball
We met, nothing changed

Still best friends, soul mates
Yet we know it's not the same
We’ll be more than that

Korea trip

Look left, look right, straight
Years searching for just the One
He's just beside me

And so together
We start a life adventure
From friends to couple

Wedding

My little darlings
That's how I met your daddy
My soul mate for life

Terracotta

Hua Shan

To my husband, soul mate and best friend of over twenty-five years, nothing is the same without you. Thanks for being my pillar of support back then, now and for many years to come.

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This post is part of the "How I Met Your Father" blog train hosted by Michelle of The Chill Mom, where fellow mum bloggers reminisce our love stories and share how we met the daddy of our kids.

The Chill Mom
 
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Monday, April 25, 2016

A Week in the Life of a Blogging Mum

Time passes so very fast. We are almost in May. Honestly, I have not been blogging much the past few months. The heart is willing but the body is tired. From the organizing the kids’ birthday party in January to preparing for Chinese New Year, to clear in the house for the 10-day HDB toilet upgrading and cleaning up the mess after, it's been a terribly busy start to 2016. That of course is on top of juggling work and being a mum. And now as I'm typing this, I'm down with the flu bug that I tend to get every year around this time. Think my body is asking me to slow down. 

Minus all the ‘distractions’ that we had this year, what is a typical week like for me? What do I have to do that keeps me busy, besides looking after kids who don't even let me have 5 minutes of peace to shower?

Work
First and foremost, there's work, from Monday's to Fridays. The days typically start at 530am, when I prepare myself, squeeze in 15 minute of yoga, then wake the kids up and prepare them. After getting them on the bus at 705am, the hubby drops me off at work. Then it's trying to get as many things done as possible within the working hours, so that I can try and go home without thinking about work. On long days, I don't get home till 630pm, but there are good days when I can reach home around 3pm, and that's when I try to do home learning with them.

Homelearning
The kids are happiest when I can get home early, because it means painting or messy or crafting time. I treasure these moments too, when seeing their smiles just brightens everything up. I admit, this year we have been doing less, with what have been happening at home, and also with the increased homework and spelling (both English and Chinese) that EV has been getting from her kindergarten to prepare her for primary 1. But I try to make it fun for her where possible, for example create letter cards and dump them into her sensory bin so she gets messy and learns her spelling at the same time. And because AA likes to do whatever EV is doing, I do simple CVC letter cards for his sensory bin too. 

Still, I know that I can do more. After this flu bug goes away, I have to. And I will. Ganbatte!!!

Alternative Activities
My two kids do go for activities outside of their kindergarten. Both have music, Abacus, phonics on weekdays, and swimming, Berries (Chinese) and Shichida on weekends. EV’s music lesson is near our home, so transport is not a problem. It's the same for the Abacus lessons, which both EV and AA attend. I'll usually bring both kids for their phonics lessons after work, and I also accompany AA on the day of his music lesson. These days are also when I try to get the grocery shopping done.

Saturdays are designated swimming days. That happens in the morning, after which we head over to my mum’s place to spend the rest of the day. That's also where the kids attend their Berries class. 

We head to Shichida lessons on Sunday mornings. Both kids have been attending this since they were one year old. Beneficial? Well, both kids have great memory, but I really cannot tell if this is thanks to Shichida or thanks to their own ability. Both enjoy the class though, so that's why we've been at it for such a long time.

Wind down time
Every night, since EV was in my tummy, I have been reading to her. The habit continued with AA. Now, there’s no way that I can sleep until I read at least one book to each of them. Even though EV can read on her own now, and does sometimes read to her brother, she still enjoys me reading to her, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction books. 

Us Time
How do we squeeze in time for ourselves? Where possible, I try to do yoga one or two hours a week, but there are times when I don’t do yoga for weeks at a stretch. At the same time, I also try to squeeze in a few laps while EV is having her swimming lessons, provided AA doesn’t insist on sticking to me.

And then couple time. Well, to be honest, there’s not much, but we do try to arrange our times so we have some time away from work and kids. Normally, we’ll go for late night movies after the kids are asleep. Recently, we managed an impromptu date after hubby picked me up from work, and we had some pretty unhealthy food washed down by a few bottles of cider. Yeah, not very healthy. But for the couple time we enjoyed, I think it’s worth it.

Us Time

Blogging
So, how do I squeeze in blogging time? Granted, the busy period that we had the first few months of this year rendered it almost impossible to find much time to blog, as I’m usually exhausted physically and mentally to write anything. And I guess the life of a blogging, full-time working mother is like that, at least, for me. 

Even without the crazy upgrading and what not, it’s no easy feat to juggle work, kids and home learning. I will usually do up my posts after the kids fall asleep, so that I can fully focus on what I’m doing. 

Unknown to many people, except for fellow bloggers, posting a post is more complicated than it sounds. 

First, the content of the post needs to be conceptualised. What am I going to write about? Is it going to be a review? Or perhaps am I going to share about home learning activities? Or maybe I want to write about this great adventure we had? 

Once that’s done, images need to be taken and then edited. And of course, words have to be written.

All of these take time. The sad thing is, many people think that writing a blog post is as quick as snapping one’s fingers. The truth is, it takes time, and effort, to maintain a blog. So if I can’t do it after the kids fall asleep on the weekdays, then I will find time on the weekends to do so. Rare days when I can leave work much earlier than usual are extremely precious to me; I will usually head to the library or a cafe and catch up on my posts.

Despite the time required for blogging, do I still enjoy it? You bet I do! Though I’m more selective of what I blog these days, I still enjoy the creative process immensely. I guess I’m still very much a writer at heart.

So there, my typical week in a nutshell. It seems the same week after week, but the kids and hubby keep me going, with much laughter and tumbles every day.

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This post is part of a blog hop where fellow Singapore Parent Bloggers share a week in their lives. Peek into the life of 29 other families over at Week In Life of Blogging Mum and Dad, including

Meiling, a mom blogger at Universal Scribbles who shares about her parenting adventures with her two children while juggling the various roles as mom, tutor, coach and trainer. Check out how her week goes in a week of a blogging mom.




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Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Giveaway: heART Studio March Holiday Art Class (x3)

March holidays are coming! And the kids are bugging me to let them join the holiday art programme at Heart Studio. As some of you may know, we’re fans of this great art place that truly teaches from the heart. From the time EV attended their holiday and term classes, she has never stopped enjoying the lessons there, and she has never stopped talking about the wonderful teachers she met, like Teacher Syafiq and Teacher Jay. Do read about our experiences here.

So anyway, we are very excited to take part in the March holiday programme again, because they do have some pretty good canvas painting themes that kids can work on. Besides that, children will learn how to paint their favourite characters using different art techniques. They will also get to blend colours and understand colour values, contrasting and complimentary colours. 

Giveaway!!!
And heART Studio is really generous to offer THREE winners aged 5 years and above the opportunity to win and attend one of the following classes, each worth $75.

Heart Studio
Yokai Watch - 1 winner
Monday, 14 March 2016
1.15pm - 4pm

Spider’s Web – 1 winner
Wednesday 16 March 2016
1.15pm - 4pm

Bing Bong – 1 winner
Wednesday 16 March 2016
4.45pm - 7.15pm

Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below (there’s one Rafflecopter for each class). Most are optional but they do give you more chances to win. Good luck!
- Entries that do not fulfill the requirements stated will be disqualified without notice.
- The child has to be at least 5 years and above, based on the month and year of birth.
- No repeat winners are allowed. Only one winner per household is allowed.
- The winner(s) will be notified by email, through the email address provided.
- The winner(s) must confirm by reply email or phone call, within three days. Otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- No changing of date or time is allowed.
- No existing customers allowed
.- This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only. 
- This giveaway starts on 2 March and ends on 8 March (inclusive) at midnight.
- The winner(s) will be chosen from a random draw of entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
- The winner(s) will be announced on this post by 9 March.
- Toddly Mummy's responsibility will end once the winner's details are passed to the sponsor.
- The organisers accept no responsibility for entries that are lost, delayed, incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason.
- Entrants into the giveaway shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions.
- Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice, at the organisers' sole discretion.
- This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.
- Participants are providing information to Toddly Mummy and the sponsor(s) of this giveaway and not to Facebook.

Disclaimer:  We received two holiday art classes from Heart Studio for the purpose of this giveaway. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and images are my own, unless otherwise indicated.

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Kids can teach: Understanding

It has been an extremely busy two months, from organising the two monkeys’ joint birthday party to Chinese New Year preparation to home upgrading. So it’s quite understandable that tempers can get a little short. Couple that with the fact that it’s soon the first anniversary of my dear grandmummy’s passing, yeah, you get the idea. Rather emotional too.

It’s times like these that I realise, my kids can teach. Just the other day, they taught me about understanding. Though young, their ability to empathise with another can be amazing. And it certainly took me by surprise.

Our home upgrading started last Thursday. A week before that, we were already packing and sealing everything, every cupboard, every furniture. We moved everything that we thought we might need to last about two weeks into one single room - that would be where we would camp out while the upgrading was underway. The other room was the temporary storeroom. The final room and the kitchen were to be out of bounds because of the upgrading. 

The two monkeys observed what was happening. Of course, at their age, they don’t quite understand what upgrading or renovation means, but they knew something major was happening.

On the day the upgrading started, we had to be out of our home by 8am. That day was also the day we had to bring AA for his regular specialist check up. That, plus the wait at the pharmacy, plus lunch meant that we spend a few hours at the hospital. By the time we reached my mummy’s to camp out before heading back to our home in the evening, we, including the adults, were all exhausted. AA had already fallen asleep.

This is where EV surprised me. Upon reaching her grandmummy’s home, after greeting her grandmother, without a word, she took out her Lego, and started playing quietly on the floor.

Just like that, she entertained herself for the next thirty minutes. 

And then AA woke up, and unlike his usual grumpy self, he went to play Lego with his sister. I told them, mummy is very tired, and wants to go lie down for a while. Can you both please play together and let mummy rest.

The thing with this pair of siblings is this: very often, they can play well together at the beginning, but sometimes, after a while, some squabbles would occur, and adults might have to step in.

Not this time. The two of them played together so well, so peacefully. I was able to get a short power nap that really helped to energise me.

I guess at times, I underestimate my kids’ power to empathise. I was prepared to be the mediator should any squabble happen. I even kept the room door open just in case. 

But I was so wrong. My kids showed me that though they may see the world through different eyes, they do have an ability to understand, that’s way more powerful than I realised.

Thanks, darlings for teaching me that.

EV playing

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