Countdown to Joash's 6th Birthday

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Countdown to Jayna's 5th Birthday

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Countdown to Jaide's Birthday

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Countdown to Joram's Birthday

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Big Kids Now

Now that the children are both older than 2 years of age, it has become easier to bring them around. We don't really need the stroller as they mostly are able to walk by themselves. Joash has been able to go without a nap during the day for a while now. Only Jayna needs short power naps on either of our shoulders when she gets tired.

Me and my huge 'watermelon'
Jayna is getting stronger each day. (At least we know where all the food she ate went to... Hee hee .... For the past half a year, she has been eating more than Joash!!!) I was pleased to see her able to hang onto the monkey bar purely by the strength of her arms. Good job, my darling girl!

Now that we no longer have the car over the weekend, we're taking the public transport to get around instead, much to the children's delight. Joash is already tall enough to need a child EZ link card. We went to buy a card-holder for him and he chose blue. (Why am I not surprised?) Jayna wanted one even though she has no need for it for at least another year but we got a red one for her anyway.

Joash was so excited about tapping the card by himself that he kept bugging me to take the train again after we've reached the destination. In the end, we humored him by taking the bus home despite being near enough to walk back. He kept saying that he is a big boy now while pulling out the retractable portion. He grinned widely as he repeated to me what I said about the card being valid for either train or bus ride since the picture shows the two mentioned vehicles. Haha...

Notice the device hanging
from his shirt's neckline?

Jayna: "Hmm... Why isn't there a card in mine?"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Timezone Kids

My kids always ask us to bring them to Timezone whenever we pass by it in the malls. They are attracted to the noise and bright neon lights. However, we're not too keen on bringing them there because some of the games inside are very violent and too overstimulating for young children. So when we saw this Timezone for kids at City Square Mall, we were very intrigued. We brought them in but, as with our policy regarding kiddy rides, we did not put in any tokens to activate the games.

They have Whack-a-mole
just the right height for them!

Jayna: "Mummy! I've got 2 hammers!"

Joash: "Hmm... Isn't this supposed to be
a touch-screen? Why isn't it responding?"

"Playing" side by side

Dance machine for kids!!!
(The songs are all nursery rhymes.)

It was fun enough to throw
the balls at the screen...

... and playing with the hammers!

Jayna: "Oops! This is too high for me to reach."

Jayna: "I'll just be contented
with the police bike then."

I was quite surprised when Jayna took out the big gun, pointed it at the screen and went "Bang! Bang!" Where did she learnt that from???

There were also games where you are supposed to catch the various types of fishes. Joash could identify most of the sea creatures which appeared on the screen. (e.g. clown fish, flying fish, puffer fish, stingray, shark, jellyfish, squid, angel fish, turtles...) Well, at least those which we could name and teach him. Heh heh...

Bye Bye Yeye's Car!

Children in their car seats

Joshua at the driver seat

Yesterday was the last day we drove my father-in-law's car. This 老爷车 (grandfather car) has seen Joshua and I through our friendship, courtship, proposal, marriage and raising of our children. It's only short of three months that it would also get to 'see' our third child but alas, it'll be scrapped in a few days' time. It is probably one of the oldest car you can find on Singapore's road. Although we only had the car on weekends and public holidays when my Dad-in-law did not have to work, it has served us well for so many years. Before we returned the car last night, we all said our final goodbyes. So long, trusty old Yeye's car!

Educating themselves?

"Studying" our computer game manuals???
Beaming proudly after figuring out the puzzle
entirely on his own...

Capturing on video

My children are video shy. No, not camera shy as they love posing for shots. Despite the fact that they normally sing with gusto, they will mostly freeze when they are asked to perform before an audience, even if it's only for a video. Thus, it is very difficult to put on film their singing, recitation of verses, clever speeches or funny antics.

Since I managed to capture Joash's singing when he was younger (click here to view), I thought I wanted at least one such clip of Jayna. Sadly, this task is even more difficult with her older brother around as he would alert her of the fact that I'm taking a video after I painstakingly sneak up on her singing. Sigh... So this was all I could capture in the end.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stopping at 3

I've been mulling over the issue of how many children we should ultimately have for a long time. Looking at how things have been over the past half a year, I have come to the decision that I'll stop at three.

During the months that I have been incapacitated by my pregnancy, many things in the house have deteriorated into a state of disrepair; many of the toys had gone missing or were destroyed. My family's nutrition has suffered drastically because I have not been able to cook healthy food that they love to eat and everyone's health has taken a turn for the worse. My poor beloved husband has become demoralized, exhausted and frustrated after having to operate like a single-parent most of the time and worst of all, my children's discipline and well-being have taken a backseat during this survival mode.

Joash and Jayna's bedtime has been pushed back by an hour and a half since Joshua can't do things as quickly and efficiently as I can and the children tend to bully him more. As a result, they do not have enough sleep and wake up tired and cranky, which makes life difficult for Joshua in the morning. As it is, the children reach school late pretty often now and their Daddy, in turn, is very much affected in his work. In fact, Joash has entered into another phase of unreasonable tantrums and I am not able to minister to him as I did in the past and thus this frustrating period has dragged on for longer than it has ever been. Furthermore, my son's regression in his linguistic ability over the past few months has become extremely worrisome.

It is no longer a simple matter of me enduring the intense hardship when I'm pregnant. It's not even a matter of pushing myself beyond the suffering as whenever I overexert in trying to do something for my family, I'm endangering the baby inside me with frequent black-outs and bloody discharge. I'm not the only one paying the price if I were to conceive again. My family needs me to be at my full functioning capacity. It would be selfish and unreasonable of me to insist on having more kids.

Although I will never forget my desire to raise more children, I do not have the clear conscience to try for another one unless God miraculously gives me an unplanned but easy pregnancy or grant us a windfall so that we have enough money to adopt. There is no point adding to the number of family members if I can't even make sure that the existing ones are well taken care of.

It's a tough decision to make but a needful one nonetheless.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Favorite Toys

Jayna in her favorite pyjamas
playing with her beloved pink phone.
(Notice the pink star sticker on her cheek?)

Joash using the giant lego blocks
to create a train and its tracks

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

National Day 2011

We've never really thought to do anything special for National Day in the past years as the children were too young to understand much and Joshua and I don't really fancy even watching the NDP on TV. I have even less impetus this year due to my exhaustion from the pregnancy.

However, the children have learnt many national day songs from the school and Joash has been asking me about National Day for the past one week. Thus, I decided to put in the effort to make it a meaningful day for them.

Jayna counting her fingers for me.

Joash's latest fad: Winking

Dressed in the national colors, we headed down to IMM for a McDonald's breakfast (We've not been to Macs for a very long time.) The children loved the bread with grape jam from my big breakfast meal, the hash browns and the orange juice. After the meal, we roamed the mall. The kids kept pulling us to the various pastry shops to admire the colorful and pretty cakes on display.

They were very intrigued by
the sweets deco at one of the stalls.

Then, we went to Giant to get some groceries. Thankfully, Joash likes to sit in the trolley seat while Jayna prefers to be in the trolley itself so there wasn't any arguments at all. Phew!

The princess treatment

Happy with the view from his vantage point

We lunched at Secret Recipe and went for a joy ride with the children napping along the way. (I was pretty surprised that Joash liked the cream of broccoli soup more than the mushroom soup.) The moment we reached home, Joash asked for the jelly which I promised him in the morning.

I had not been able to cook during my pregnancy since I can't stand stationary for more than 5 min without fainting. So it was a difficult choice for me to decide to make the healthy red dates jelly. Since I don't allow the children to eat the commercial type of jelly, they would be deprived of one of their favorite snack if I don't put in the effort to make the home-made (no sugar added) ones. I had to take multiple breaks in the cooking process but the result was worth it. They enjoyed the jelly so much, especially those heart-shaped ones, that it was all gone in a matter of minutes, which explains why there weren't any photos taken.

After some down time reading books and drawing on the magnetic boards, we had pizza hut dinner delivery. I was kinda disappointed that the kids didn't fancy the stuffed crust which I ordered specifically for them. Instead, they ate the chicken diplets which were meant for Joshua. Ah well...

Soon it was time for the National Day Parade on TV!!! I bought them the Singapore flags to wave around while we watched the live telecast. They were curiously quiet when the National anthem or the National Day song came on despite singing them enthusiastically for the past one week. They only sang along with the song "Singapura, Oh Singapura".

On the whole, Joash could appreciate the show much better than Jayna. Halfway through, she simply wanted her Daddy to carry her. Poor Joshua... Towards the end of the program, I switched off the lights so that we could all better admire the fireworks and the city lights. The children had so much fun that they BOTH threw major tantrums when it was time for bed. We knew they were really tired so Joshua had to manhandle them through most part of their bath in spite of their loud screaming. After all that protest against going to bed, they fell asleep the very moment their heads hit the pillow!

Wow, look at the flags fly!

Free tattoo stickers from Guardian Pharmacy
on Joash's hand...
...and Jayna's arm!

All in all, despite being totally tired out making the day happy and meaningful for the children, I was glad I pushed myself to do it. Perhaps next year I can do even more when I can function at my full capacity. *grin*

Here's a video of them waving the flags vigorously during the singing of the National anthem.