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 3rd Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Third Birthday tickers

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Jayna is cycling!


The strider bike was such a wonderful investment! It has now taught my second child how to ride a bicycle Yay! Jayna took a year longer than her older brother to master the strider but now that she is adept at it, I bought her a pretty pink bike of her own. Within 2 hours, she could ride it on her own. I'm so proud of my elder girl. *double beam* 

Ok, two more kiddos to go... I can see Jaide making very obvious progress with the trusty old strider. 

Here's a clip of Jayna's successful attempt:

Friday, May 1, 2015

My Mother's Day Celebration


As a teen, I used to dream of housing many cats in my home. It would have been a cat haven and I would thoroughly enjoy taking care of and playing with all the kitties. However, I have my hands full with taking care of 4 young children so I hardly have the chance to enjoy the company of such feline friends. 

Thus, for this year's Mothers' Day, I chose to celebrate it at a Cat Cafe and indulge in my teenage fantasy for an hour there. Before I set off, I was hard at work in the kitchen cooking fried rice for the kids so that my mother-in-law would have an easier time during lunchtime when she took over my duties for a few hours. I also packed, in advance, the bentos for the picnic in the afternoon so that we could bring the children out once my short reprieve from my homemaking work was over. 

Lunch was all ready and I was set to go!

Here we are!!!











Enjoying my chamomile tea

Tried an interesting dessert...

Ah... What a luxury!

Pretty cat paintings on the wall

So cute!!!

Joshua's gift for me:
A set of cat-themed accessories

Posing with the gifts
  

Picnic Bento @ U Town


We joined a homeschooling event this afternoon: a picnic at the University Town. The lawn was very well manicured and the space was great. However, the heat and humidity was horrid. We had to escape to the air-conditioned Fairprice Express nearby quite frequently! LOL The older three played some soccer with the other kids. As usual, the big brother seemed to have had the most fun. 

Star-shaped sandwiches for the big brother

Hello Kitty heart-shaped and flower-shaped
sandwiches for the girls

Time to dig in!

Water comes first...

Me too!

Yums...

Enjoying the mayo corn

Having a lovely tumbling time on the comforter
(for a very short while... Hahaha...)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Lazy Eye

Taken when she wore her
spectacles for the first time

Perhaps because both my husband and I started wearing glasses since P3 and P2 respectively and have endured the various inconveniences of needing eyewear for the most part of our lives, I wanted to give my children a fighting chance at having perfect eyesight. 

I have reduced screen time to nearly zero, installed sufficient lightings around the house, taught the children the importance of looking after their eyesight, told them my own cautionary tale and made sure they develop good reading and writing habits with plenty of outdoor activities. The environmental factors were almost completely eliminated. 

However, I could not fight the hereditary factor: Jayna has amblyiopia, commonly known as lazy eye. My brother has that condition and that's where the gene came from. It has never been noticed because she had all along been relying on the perfect vision of the right eye and thus the left one had been left unused and untreated. By the time it was detected, she was already 5 years old, a little too old to completely cure it.

Still, I harboured hope that it might actually improve over time. I was also terribly disappointed with the need for her to wear glasses despite all my efforts and I have been in a state of denial over this issue. That is why I've not blogged about it till now, when the reality of her wearing spectacles for life has finally sunk in. 

I had been very diligent in making her wear her spectacles at all times and putting the eye patch on her right eye for 3 hours each day faithfully to stimulate the usage of the lazy eye. Yet, after 4 months, there was no improvement. Patching for 3 hours a day became 4 hours. Initially I made her wear the patch only when at home to reduce the chances of her esteem taking a hit due to insensitive remarks from others but I decided to let her patch her eye during school hours when the lazy eye is forced to do more near-work. To prevent her classmates from teasing her, I drew pictures on it so that the focus will be on the drawings instead. Thankfully, there was some improvement but the doctor did say that the lazy eye will likely remain far-sighted. 

Recently, my eldest has developed myopia and needs glasses to read the words on the projector screen in school. I threw my hands up in utter defeat. I did notice that he started developing the bad habit of reading books while lying down ever since he entered primary school and I warned him countless times that it would spoil his eyesight. I guess there is only so much a parent can do to safeguard her child. Makes me wonder if my younger two will eventually need glasses too. Then we'll indeed become a "four-eyed" family... *facepalm*

She loves asking me to draw
the different ponies from MLP...

... and Hello Kitty in different costumes and poses

I did some in keeping with the festive moods...

... and even one to go along with her
Show and Tell about skeletons.

Yet other 'hungry' times, she
asked for pictures of food! LOL
 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Enjoying Beginner's Ballet


When the eldest child was in K2, he asked to participate in the Speech and Drama class which most of his classmates attended. I thought that it was a good way to help him overcome his shyness and aid in the intervention for his dyslexia since they also taught phonics. Thus, I signed him up for it. It was a great investment because he thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and they benefited him tremendously. Watching him perform so confidently on stage at his preschool graduation made me so proud!

Jayna asked me back then if she could also join the class but to be fair to the brother, I told her she could only join any class of her choice when she reaches K2 too. This year, she was delighted when the timing of the ballet class in our community center fits our schedule and she can attend it!

The teacher was very surprised that it was Jayna's first attempt learning ballet since she could follow very well the instructions and moved accordingly. You should have seen the glee on my sweet girl's face. When we got home, she was so eager to show off to the entire family the dance steps she practiced in class. I'm so glad she loves it so much. She even says that her favourite day of the week is the day she has ballet class!




After one term of lessons, her ballet class had a mini performance for the parents. Here's a short clip of that to enjoy:


Whether or not Jayna eventually perseveres in this art form and does well in it is not important to me. I'm happy enough that my children get to try their hand at their choice of interest, something which I couldn't do no matter how much I wished for it as a child due to my own family's financial constrains.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Blessed Second Birthday, Joram!

Totally dig these vehicle candles!

To celebrate Joram's two-year old birthday, we took the older kids out of school on a weekday to be able to enjoy unlimited playtime at an indoor playground instead of the 2 hours allowed on weekends. This is because Joram takes a very long time to warm up to a new place and it would be very disappointing for him if we have to leave just when he starts to have fun. 

We started the day off with a breakfast treat at McDonald's. The kids totally love the hot cakes and orange juice there! Perhaps it was because there were very few customers on a weekday morning, they actually felt that the air-conditioning was too strong and decided to put on their jackets.


Having fun moving the butter
portion around like a vehicle

We arrived at The Polliwogs @ Suntec 10 min before their opening hour and so the kids had fun with the colourful game carpets outside. The boys looked so cool with their matching Superman jackets!

Playing hopscotch

And it's open! First customers of the day.

Getting a kick out of seeing
their shoes lined up together...

As I have predicted, Joram spent the first two hours getting used to the place in Daddy's arms while the older ones disappeared into the jungle of play equipment the moment they stepped in. At the end of the second hour, he was willing to come down from Daddy's arms but was contented to simply watch his older siblings at play.

Sucking his fist as
a coping mechanism

Joram: "That looks interesting...
Perhaps I should try it myself?"

It was this lighted slide which
tempted him to take the first "plunge".

With Gor Gor & Jie Jie's
help, the rest is history!

Wweeee!!!!

Love this wistful look!







It was time for a nap to recharge! Because the place was largely deserted, we could put together two sofa chairs to form an impromptu bed for him. With so few kids in the large playground, it was relatively peaceful and quiet. This makes for such a comfortable environment that Joram slept more than 2 hours, a record time for a nap outside of home. In the meantime, we had our lunch...



After waking up to a milk break and 15 min to restart his "engines", it was time for the second round of non-stop fun! He enjoyed himself so much that he cried when it was time to do the birthday song at tea break. We wanted to sing it while he was still awake and alert, so there was no better time. 

Unfortunately, the cafe did not serve cakes so we had to make do with ice-cream and waffles. We coincidentally did the same for his first birthday last year, but it was due to his hypersensitive oral cavity that time. Never fear! Joram will eventually get his long-awaited cake when we do another celebration at his grandparents' place this coming Sunday. 

Peek-a-boo!


Sliding down butt-first! ROFL

He adored the candles!!!

Joram: "Why are my siblings
not here yet? The nice candles
are already melting..." *pout*

Yay! Everybody fall in for the birthday song!

Eating time!

First bite

Joram: "Oohh... This is really good."

Joram: "Eehhh???
Wasn't that for me?"

Must share with everybody mah...

After the celebration was done, we had a bit of time before dinner and so we stopped by the Toys"R"Us beside the playground to chill. The place was deserted too so we had a relaxing time there checking out their toys. Hee hee...

Mad about vehicles

Can't believe that he was still holding
onto a toy car while banging on the drums!

This swing was made for him!

He is very good at kicking the
soccer ball around, much
like his older brother.

Then came dinner at Kopitiam. It was unexpectedly challenging for us parents because all the kids wanted to eat different things. They even wanted drinks from OUTSIDE the food court! I spent most of the mealtime dashing all over the foodcourt getting their food and bringing them outside ONE BY ONE to choose their beverage. I didn't want to dampen the mood by saying 'no' on a special day like this and so I ended up super drained after the two hours we had dinner.

Joram is such a great blessing to us being the most obedient of the lot. I don't think I could have coped as well if not for his good nature. Sadly, Jaide's wilfulness rubbed off on him especially of late and he developed the same fussy eating habits of his older sister. Still, after having gone through the worst, he is so much easier to handle. 

Dear Joram, no matter how old you grow, you'll always be the "baby" of the family. And yet, don't let being the youngest one deter you from setting the best example in the family and exalting God in all that you do. I look forward to the day when you, too, will know your Maker personally as your Lord and Savior! Blessed birthday, my little one!

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." - Timothy 4:12