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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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Active but Obedient

Now that the older kids have converted to full day childcare, I have more time to play with Jaide and appreciate how much she has grown. In a blink of an eye, she is now an active baby romping all over the place. It has become difficult to capture a decent shot of her as she moves too fast and the pics turn out blur most of the time. Using flash would improve the sharpness but the contrast and the colors are hideous, like the photo above. LOL

I've begun to teach her the concept of obedience since she's mobile enough to reach things that are potentially dangerous for her such as the fan and the power sockets. It took a while but it totally warms my heart when I see her flash a brilliant grin at me and crawl back to me for a hug after I speak her name in a stern tone which indicates that what she's about to do will earn my disapproval. How much more our Father in heaven delights in us when we obey His commands!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Faith Journey

We had decided to settle for 3 kids and even if we were to have a 4th one, it'd be many years from now. However, a series of events changed our minds. 

1) I suddenly hear of many instances whereby older women found it hard to conceive, had miscarriages or had babies with birth defects. It made me rethink the viability of getting pregnant when I'm past 35 years of age.

2) We decided that we will not want to get a car after all. That would mean we are able to financially afford a 4th child.

3) I had 2 separate visions regarding the gender of our next kid.

4) God seemed to be telling me that the next pregnancy would be different. We hope that it means an easier one. So far, I'm still coping well with the symptoms.

5) We realize that the best timing to have another kid is before Joash enters primary 1. After which, he'll need a lot of help from me to manage his studies. This is something that I've become very certain about after homeschooling him Chinese this year. I might even have to homeschool him completely for his primary education. And if I do homeschool, it'll not do to have a 9 months blank academically for him if I get pregnant then. Also, at the moment, we can still simply convert the older 2 kids to full day childcare before they hit primary school to lighten my load while I'm pregnant.

6) An infant care center recently opened right at our block. There's vacancy for Jaide if need be but I am hoping that I can still take care of her while preggy. After all, she is the easiest among the 3 kids to take care of since she is able to play by herself, has no major health, sleeping, eating or pooping issues and, unlike Joash in the past, she's content to stay at home.

7) We are now more experienced in managing the various difficulties that come with my pregnancy and have made, hopefully, better plans in coping with my incapacitation. 

It is with fear and trembling that we embark on a potentially "perilous" journey for our family but God's will is sovereign. How else to explain conceiving on our first try? That has never happened before.

Tested positive at week 3

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dream Room

Ever since Jayna was born, I had been dreaming about getting the IKEA Mammut series in pink for her but yet I was also toying with the idea of buying two bunk beds instead as I wanted to have four children eventually. At that time, there was still enough shelf and wardrobe space, thus, I postponed the decision with regard to revamping the room.

Looking at how active Joash is in climbing furniture and Jayna's penchant for following her brother's example with absolutely no consciousness of her own much less developed motor skills and lack of agility, I fear for the children's safety if I were to get bunk beds. I think it wise to shelf that idea till they are much older. 

Yet, I was stumped as to how I can house 3 or 4 kids in one room comfortably with space to play during the day. 

One fine day, an obvious answer struck me: I can simply tuck another kid's mattress under the Mammut bed! With one on each side, I can house 4 kids without needing to add new furniture and still have plenty of room when the mattresses are shoved back in. It's such a simple idea that I really wonder why I didn't think of that in the first place! 

Just nice that, recently, I've been hard pressed to find space to keep things that belong to my current three kids. What better time than now to implement the plans I had in mind for so long?

Ta-da! Now Jayna has her own side of the room. With this arrangement, I'm intending for the room layout not to change till Joash hit his teens. Therefore, despite the temptation to get wall decals in the kids' favorite cartoon characters, I wanted something that will not be outgrown too quickly. I finally decided on something generic. 

As the children do not really use blankets (they don't sleep in air-con and wear long PJs to bed anyway), I did away with the comforters completely. Instead, I bought adult-sized bolsters and pillows which they totally love.

[In case you're wondering, the thing above the pink wardrobe is an air-purifier.]

The best part is, with the wardrobe blocking the way, the kids can no longer stand on the bed's headboard to look out of the window! Yeah, one more problem solved.

A close-up on the wall decals

When Jaide finally learns how to climb up and down the bed with ease and walk with confidence, she'll upgrade from the playpen in the living room to join the older kids in the room, sleeping on the mattress that can be pulled out from under her older sister's bed.

This is the prayer corner. After the church camp, I was inspired to pray for the nations with the children. So far, we've only managed to pray for 4 countries. 

The table can double up as a changing station.

Previously, I wrote on a white board the names of the kids and the meaning behind them but it was merely a temporary measure till I can finally put in place the 'formation' below. Hee... These are pictures of them on the day each of them was born.

Now there's enough wardrobe space for everyone!

Pink Wardrobe: 
Top rack - Jaide's clothes
Bottom rack - Jayna's clothes
Blue Wardrobe:
Top rack - For clothes the kids 
are not wearing at the moment
Bottom rack - Joash's clothes

Jayna's accessories have increased in number over time so much so that they threaten to overcrowd my own accessory cabinet. Thankfully, I found space in the new mirror for all of them. Joash has only a watch and a comb! LOL! Ah... the difference between boys and girls.

Jaide's toys are now within easy reach for her when we play in the children's room. Instead of getting a rug for the play area, I decided to use our trusty old travel mattress instead as it doesn't trap dirt and heat as readily as rugs and it can be kept very easily when we need to put it away for the night since the extra mattresses from under the beds will be occupying the very same space in the middle of the room.

Which one should I play with first?

The treasure chest

Roomy play area for baby and preschoolers

How the travel mattress can be stored at night.

The new room arrangement helps to keep the children's clothes within easy reach so that they are capable of getting their own clothes and in the near future, able to fold and keep their own clothes.