Countdown to Joash's 6th Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Countdown to Jayna's 5th Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Countdown to Jaide's 4th Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Countdown to Joram's 1st Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Second Birthday tickers

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Family Values

I remember discussing with my husband regarding the core values we wanted to inculcate in our children. Although we discipline and train them accordingly, we've never spelt it out in full to them what all the family values are. With the older three mature enough to understand such concepts, I decided that it's time for us to highlight the values in a visual and explicit way. 

1) Be loving

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~John 13:35

- Love others because God loves us
- Think loving thoughts, speak loving words and do loving things
- Be polite: say thank you/excuse me/please and ask permission
- Do to others what you want others to do to you
- Be punctual and not make people wait for you

2) Be responsible

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord," ~Colossians 3:23

- Take good care of your own belongings
- Keep your body healthy for it is the temple of God
- Work hard in all that you do
- Use the talents God has given you to bless others

3) Be pure

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~Matthew 5:8

- See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
- Protect yourselves from harm
- Run from temptation

4) Be forgiving

"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." ~ Colossians 3:13

- Be quick to apologise for wrong doings
- Forgive easily and hold no grudges

Pasted them on the storeroom door
above the kids' to-do-lists

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Biting Better

Joram survived a month-long illness: Flu virus brought home by Daddy and later phlegm and sore throat from way too much egg rolls during CNY season. Yet, apparently, his fever and crankiness actually have another explanation. He was sprouting three new teeth! That explains why is he able to bite off chunks of food without needing me to cut it up for him these days. Still a long journey to a complete set of teeth though. Press on, little buddy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Horror Story

Joram bit my shoulder hard
while I was carrying him.

There are good days and then there are bad days. It's part and parcel of life. However, there are really times when I wish that a big hole would open up underneath and swallow me whole. Today is such a day.

With the morning taken up by bible study fellowship and the husband not coming home for dinner, I did not cook. I thought that I could just eat out with the kids as I had done so before on such occasions. After all, the older ones had to go to the library to borrow books they needed for their school work anyway. 

It all started out pretty normal when I brought them to the food court for their fruits tea break. Jaide refused to "water parade", which was not unusual, so I simply ignored her whining. Joram was unwell and thus augmented his separation anxiety. He started crying loudly when I stood up to go buy the fruits. I took that in my stride too and quickly made my purchase. Things began to go downhill when the eldest started to sob because he soiled his pants! I don't even remember the last time he did such a thing...

We had to hurry through the tea break with three crying children. Joram was so fussy because he couldn't make up his mind what he wanted to eat. Meanwhile, the big brother had tears running down his face as he valiantly finished his bananas while standing on his feet with a pair of stinky poopy pants. Jaide didn't eat anything in the end because she still refused to drink her water. 

I couldn't pander to her any longer. With half the meal left uneaten, I dragged all the kids out with Jaide screaming that she wanted to eat. I sent kid no. 1 alone to the toilet to clean up his own mess as I brought the rest with me to buy new pants and underwear for him. Cranky Joram cried whenever the stroller stopped moving forward. 

After this crisis was averted, I thought that the nightmare was over. Boy was I wrong. 

At the library, Joram pooped and I realised that I ran out of fresh diapers for him! Feeling uncomfortable, the youngest started crying, much to my chagrin. I heard clicking tongues and felt dagger stares at my back as I tried to pacify him to no avail. In the end, I had to bring him out. Jaide came out crying to look for me and screamed for food since she didn't get to eat tea break. Joram wanted to go somewhere else but I couldn't risk leaving the older two kids alone at the library without proper instructions. Joram starting rolling around on the entrance floor in a meltdown and Jaide wailed on top of her voice. I didn't think I could re-enter the library with two crying children to look for the other two. 

Thankfully, my older boy came out to go toilet and I could give him the instructions. However, the eldest had problems understanding my instructions amidst all the crying chaos. It took multiple trips in and out of the library before the older children finally accomplished what I asked them to do and borrowed the books they needed. Joram got so frustrated in the meantime that he scratched Jaide's nose and bit my shoulder hard. The screaming symphony crescendoed. When that was done, I still had to pack home dinner with a screaming toddler trying to wrestle out of the stroller and the rest of the kids insisting on taking library books out to read in a crowded food court because they were bored. 

This episode is only topped by the incident a year and a half ago when Jaide peed in her pants in the middle of dinner at the food court. Jayna unwittingly stepped on her urine, which pooled on the floor, slipped, fell and sat on the puddle of pee. That time, I had a hyperactive kid no. 1 running around like crazy in the crowded food court, a crying little infant scared by the mayhem and the two girls wailing away because they were soaked in urine. I really thank God I had spare clothes for them at hand. I steeled myself against the unfriendly glares of onlookers and changed the girls right there and then because I loathed to trek urine all the way to the toilet at the other end of the big establishment. 

Such are the horror stories only mothers can tell...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

CNY 2015

This CNY is a time of many firsts. 

This is my first time purchasing a complete family outfit. When I stumbled upon the website JumpEatCry, I was absolutely delighted. It is not just family tees or mere colour coordination but a whole set of identical pieces of clothing! It's like a dream come true for me who has an obsession with matching things. LOL 

Not only was the price affordable, I was downright pleased that I could find a design which I adore with the right sizes for everyone. The material is surprisingly comfortable and the kids love wearing it. We wore the outfit on the second day of CNY.

The kids

The boys

The girls

Since the older children were mature enough to help me with putting up the Christmas tree, I decided to involve them in decorating the house for CNY. However, I made the mistake of doing it with the younger ones around. What a highly stressful experience! Hahaha... Looks like a child must be at least 5 years old before their "help" becomes welcomed and enjoyable. :P

The older two did the cushions
all by themselves.

This is also the first year I made a personal contribution to the reunion meal. Ever since I got married, I had to adjust to my extended family's custom of going to restaurants for the reunion dinner. My own family did steamboat reunion dinners at home for as long as I could remember. 

Time time, my in-laws decided to make it a private affair, which I think was pretty awesome because it gave a more traditional feel to the event. I tried cooking abalone, probably the most expensive dish I ever made! I also experimented with using plum sauce instead of the usual rice vinegar for the sweet and sour pork. I'm glad to say that the dishes turned out pretty well. (Except that I realised I cannot use the microwave to reheat abalone cos they'd turn rubbery.) The kids loved the sambal chicken so much that they ate more than half of what I prepared. There were more than 2 dozen wings in all! Strange that my children are so good at taking spicy food without any encouragement from us adults. They are true blue Singaporeans! 

Abalone with chinese spinach

Grilled sambal mid-wing chicken

Steamed batang fish

Sweet and sour pork
(I separated the sauce and the
fried meat to prevent sogginess)

My mother-in-law gave the children quite a few pieces of new CNY clothes all of a sudden this year. Combined with the ones we already have, I actually have enough traditional costumes for them to wear a different one each day! They are really spoiled for choice. I didn't have to "recycle" the clothes for the kids at all for this year. *beam*

CNY visitation is truly exhausting and tricky with young children. Joram especially had it the hardest since he is such an introvert. He takes time to adjust to new places and people. It didn't help that whenever he started getting used to a relative's home, it was time to leave for the next visitation. He also couldn't nap well outside. Today, he could finally sleep on his own bed during his nap for the first time in four days. He actually squealed in delight before leaping onto his mattress and napped for 4 long hours! Poor boy... He must have been so tired not being able to sleep properly on the go this week.

But with the kids getting more independent and the food allergies of my daughters becoming increasingly under control, I can foresee better years to come. Thank God we survived! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Greater Independence

The eldest has been bathing on his own for quite a long time. Now, the second-born is also attaining independence in this area of self-care. They can now take turns to use the kitchen's bathroom to take their showers while we bathe the younger two in our bedroom's bathroom. Another milestone reached! I added more hooks for her clothes and got another toothbrush in her favourite colour to commemorate the occasion. Bath-time is now officially shortened by another 15 min!

P/S: Two months ago, Joram graduated from bathing in the bathtub since he was already able to stand under the shower. We gave away the trusty old bath stand which served us well over the many years. It was bittersweet saying goodbye to this piece of baby item. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Definitely Brothers

Can a pair of brothers be anymore alike than these two? 

I've already mentioned before that they are both nuts about vehicles. They are equally excited about lights and simply love to walk along drain covers and stomp on manhole covers. At a certain age, they are both crazy about throwing toys into strange places. The older one ever threw one out of the window. The younger one just slam-dunked one into the toilet bowl. And they both hurled countless things out of our front gate. 

Despite being hilariously mischievous, they are still much more obedient and sensible than most children. On top of that, they get along fabulously, having the same interests and sense of humour. I am simply blessed to have them as my sons!

Here's a little silly trailer I compiled regarding them. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Blissful 8th Wedding Anniversary

This year's anniversary celebration was by far the most elaborate and enjoyable! A wonderful friend from our church CG agreed to let two of our kids have a sleepover at her place with her daughters while my mum-in-law took care of the other two at our place. Then, off we went to Quincy Hotel for our first staycation all by ourselves. 

We started with a soupy lunch at Soup Spoon in ION Orchard. We normally do not have the luxury of slowly choosing and sampling different flavours with the kids around, so we took this rare chance to do it to our hearts' content. The meal was followed by ice-cream from Gelateria Italia

Four different soups to try

Let's commemorate!

We made our way to check into the hotel and it was far better than we expected. The room had an open concept bathtub, which we totally dig, and a comfy window seat, where we spent quite some time chit-chatting and snacking away. The swimming pool was as beautiful and unique as rumoured, however, the water was exceptionally cold due to the strong winds at 12th storey high. The mini bar was complimentary and there was 24 hour light refreshments at the cafe downstairs. No need to fear starving in the middle of the night. LOL

The hotel from afar

We arrived!

The open concept bathtub

Gorgeous pool

Lovely lookout

Freezing cold water *burrrr....*

FOC tea break at the cafe

Joshua took me to Wan Yang for a nice neck and shoulders massage which melted away my muscle strain, an occupational hazard as a SAHM with very young children who need lots of carrying. After which, we went to Bliss House, a themed restaurant at Clark Quay Central for a luxurious dinner. The food was very well done. I enjoyed the cod fish the most, while Joshua found the Agnus beef steak extremely juicy.

The best part was a live performance with great singers. Most of the time, I would cringe at the voice quality of the performers in such a setting. I was most grateful when I was serenaded, instead, by two beautiful voices that blended perfectly. We even made two song dedications! 

The restaurant was truly stunning in its decor. There were even props to aid in our photo-taking. We had a blast exploring the enchanting dreamland. 

On the swing of happiness


Pretending to be a
haughty queen

Michael Jackson???

Act cute only... :P


The live band

The night was still young. We went down to Lido to watch a late movie, the last installation of The Hobbit series. When the movie ended, we packed some supper, collected the complimentary chardonnay and cookies, and continued to enjoy each other's fabulous company. It was so much fun! It reminded us of our honeymoon experience, only much better, as we know each other in deeper ways than 8 years ago.

Outside Lido 7

Breakfast the next day was sumptuous and it fuelled us for a nice ride on the City Tour around town, an exhilarating experience on a "topless" double-decker bus. Before we checked out of the hotel, we managed to have yet another soak in the bathtub and drink some left-over chardonnay mixed in Pepsi by the window for one last time.

Check out the view!

At the hotel lobby

Since we still had some time before lunch, we did silly poses with the remnant Christmas decorations at Orchard Central. Finally, we ended off our celebration by treating ourselves to crabs at Tung Lok Seafood Restaurant. This is something we love to eat but hardly get the opportunity to satisfy our cravings because it is simply impossible to tackle the shells with kids in tow.

As my reward for planning the entire celebration, Joshua let me have all the crab pincers to myself! *pure bliss* Thank you, Bear bear! Praise God for allowing everything to go so smoothly without a hitch and blessing us with good weather throughout the stay!

Off to dreamland... Zzz...

Martial arts performer? ROFL

Jaclyn in wonderland

Our turn to wear bibs! Haha...

Savouring the first bite
Hmmm mhh...