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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Monday, September 30, 2013

Willing Helpers

It never fails to make me feel very much blessed when the children seem so cheerful doing things that I would balk at doing as a kid. 

I'm so surprised that they all enjoy taking medicine and would be strangely happy when I tell them that it's time for the next dose. Also, they are all so brave about having their vaccinations and the doctor would always compliment them on it. 

I love the way they clamor to help me with chores and would even feel hurt if I forget to ask them to share my load. Of course, during the times when any one of them refuses to answer my call for volunteers, I would not force him/her to respond. That being said, positive peer pressure is at work here because the unwilling one would eventually help out too when he/she sees the other two pitching in so joyfully. 

I want to remember their willingness to help even at such a tender age and I must never forget to always be helpful, just as they are. 

Mini Joash

Jaide is like a little female version of Joash in many ways. She is very neat and organised. She has great dexterity, amazing physical agility and is extremely active. She is not afraid to explore places by herself and thus I have to get her squeaky shoes, like I did for Joash at the same age, in order to help locate her whereabouts when she runs off on her own in the blink of an eye. 

Recently, she started doing something which gives me the feeling of deja vu: Race. You can see the uncanny similarities in the way they both did it. Click HERE to see how Joash raced and watch the video below to observe how much Jaide takes after her elder brother.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Joshua's 36th Birthday

I hardly post about Joshua's birthday because it might seem like I'm boasting about the things I did to make the day special for him. This year, however, was different. I asked the older kids' cooperation to surprise their Daddy.

I told the kids to occupy Daddy's attention while I prepared his pseudo cake at the fruits stall just a few feet away. I asked them to start singing the birthday song when they see me approach with a lit candle. Jayna managed to do as I asked but Joash was overcome by sudden shyness and did not sing the song at first.

Fruit Platter "Cake"

Being the terrific father, Joshua was willing to share the limelight by letting Joash play at the MegaBounce.

The girls cheering him on.

Just enjoying the view

Waiting at the queue

All 'suited-up'

Watch Joash bounce to his heart's content!

Joshua with his mighty troop!

My in-laws also celebrated it for him.... with KFC!!!

A real cake this time round

Don't we look alike?

Jaide was only interested in her food... (0_o);

My favourite boys!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The beginnings of toilet training

Okay. I've procrastinated blogging about this long enough. I just wanna chronicle Jaide's successful toilet trips in the recent months. So far, she has successfully peed and pooped in the toilet three times! *applause* 

See, I dun even remember the exact dates now. Life has been really too hectic for me to remember to note down such a mundane but important milestone. I have thus started to bring her to the toilet whenever she tells me she needs to go even when they are mostly false alarms. I look forward to the day she can go diaper-less too. Press on, my not-so-little-anymore Jaide!

Friday, September 27, 2013


Moments after I warned Joash and Jayna not to run so fast in the house and play so rough, I heard a sickening thud and an abnormally loud wail of pain. 

'Not the eye, Lord, not the eye!' I prayed silently while I approached the scene of the accident. I let out the breath that I was holding when I saw Joash rolling on the floor holding onto his chin. He took a peep at his hand and let out an even more tortured scream when he realized that it was covered with blood. 

I checked the wound. Yup, he had split his chin open. I took a wet wipe to clean away the blood and asked him to hold the wound close while applying light pressure to stop the bleeding. Joshua carried him onto the pram and pushed him to the 24 hr clinic cos that was the only nearby clinic open on a Sunday evening. Unfortunately, the clinic did not offer surgical procedures for young children so they had to go down to KKH's A & E to get the stitching done. 

Joash was a brave boy. He did not flinch when they sewed up the gash, even though they only applied numbing gel on the area. In fact, the experience had not made a dent in his boisterous nature. He was bouncing on the bed that very night after bath-time! *faint*

The monkey of a boy was extremely nonchalant about the healing process. Joshua and I were the only ones who 'suffered' real consequences cos I was the one who had to change the dressing on his wound twice a day. He actually seemed to have enjoyed the additional attention that I give him because of it. Joshua had to take leave to send him to the hospital to remove the stitches a week later cos I had to take the rest of the kids to BSF at the same time as the medical appointment given to us. And of course, there was still the hospital bill to take care of. 

After all that has been said, I'm still very thankful that it was nothing more serious than that. What's a small scar on a boy's chin? No big deal. Yet, I pray that Joash has somehow learnt his lesson from it all before something worse happens to him or those playing with him.

Before the stitching

The stitches

The dressing

Finally... a scar to remember by.

Eating Together

I know that it might make life much easier to feed the children one by one when I'm handling everything alone. I would probably have a far more peaceful meal if I eat separately from the children. However, having family meals is something I will never compromise on. Even when Joshua does not come home in time for dinner, I want my children to have a sense of togetherness when we eat at the same table at the same time. 

On most days, the dinner conversations are pretty amusing. It is nice to hear about the older kids' day at school and talk about what each person learnt recently. Even Joram seems to enjoy the banter while he sits with us. It is challenging to eat while serving the kids their food and drink but at least the older ones are getting rather good at taking what they want themselves. Handling Jaide is especially hard at this point of time but we are all very proud of her when she does manage to eat pretty well on her own. It's still a messy affair, but she'll get it in time. 

I do pray that my efforts will pay off in the future and that the kids will remember fondly of dinner together day after day when they become old enough to have their own dinner programs. 

I can cut the food up on my own!

I can get my fav food myself!

Yums! I can eat by myself!

This looks fun! When will it be my turn?

Treasure Chest

The things we can do with a toy box! Jaide likes to empty the fake treasure chest, which we bought from IKEA, of all the toys inside and have fun with the box itself. She was the one who suggested putting her brother into the make-shift Moses' basket...

Getting a little too big for it.

I want to try too!!!

How about a magician's closet?


Monday, September 16, 2013

Total Surrender

"All these financial struggles and constant pain are so unnecessary!" I cried to my husband. I had to bite my lips to prevent myself from adding once again, 'And it's all YOUR fault!'

3 months ago, Joshua told me that he couldn't come home for dinner at the very last minute for 4 consecutive nights, leading to my back injury. You see, the way I do things is very different when I'm alone with the kids as opposed to having my husband's presence and help. 

If I had been told beforehand that he would not be back the entire week, I would have gladly planned and handled everything by myself. I would have cooked simple meals such as fried rice instead of the usual soup with 2 dishes. I would have nursed the baby before starting dinner so that I wouldn't have to breastfeed while playing the role of a waitress to 3 hungry children and trying to get some food into my own stomach so that I would not suffer low blood sugar at the same time. I would have prepped the children to fall in line with the Mummy-has-no-help SOP and that they would have to pull their weight accordingly. The bath-time sequence would be different, playtime would be cut short and the kids would be in bed earlier so that my battery wouldn't run flat before everything is done.

Yet, at 6pm dinnertime, my husband messaged me that he would be 10 minutes late, only to tell me again at 6.15pm that he was delayed by another hour. By the time he finally came back, the kids were already in bed and the chores all done. Throughout the process, the kids kept asking me if Daddy was going to be home soon or was working late as they wanted to know what was expected of them but I could not tell them for sure too. 

Imagine running a relay race. At the point when you are supposed to take over the baton, you keep jogging forward while looking back and reaching out your hand expecting your team mate to reach you but he never does. When I tried to ascertain the next morning whether Joshua would be home for dinner that day, I was once again assured that he would. However, the unfortunate turn of events had a repeat telecast again and yet again. My back suffered badly for trying to be an ambivalent octopus that week. 

Thus, I have had constant backache despite trips to the doctor, massages, expensive chiropractic sessions, physiotherapy and popping of painkillers till this very day. Living simply, we have barely enough to support 6 people on a single salary, but to add my unexpected medical bills? 

I was reminded last week that I had harbored unresolved bitterness against my husband all this time and I had allowed the evil one to gain a foothold in my marriage. I had to ask God to help me release total forgiveness to Joshua because he definitely did not sabotage me on purpose. In fact, his love for me prompted his desire to be there to help me during the nights in spite of his heavy work week but he simply couldn't do it, against his very good intentions. 

Nevertheless, I have learnt an extremely important lesson through it all. God had allowed this injury to happen in order for me to learn total surrender and dependance on Him. Just as a shepherd would break the leg of a way-ward lamb and carry it on his shoulders till it recovers to teach it not to wander from his protection, God is teaching me to depend on Him instead of my own strength by giving me this torn in the flesh. 

I would be lying through my crooked teeth if I were to tell you that people marveling at my ability to care for 4 young children and running the household without much help do not stroke my ego one bit. I didn't even know that my self-reliance and pride were in the way of my relationship with God till I realized I was chaffing at the bit each time I had to ask for supernatural help to continue with my homemaking work while enduring pain with every movement I make. 

I have to surrender my strengths and abilities at the feet of the cross and boast only of my mighty God who enables me to do what he has entrusted me to do. I can now joyfully say that even if I'm never going to be completely healed from my back pain, I can indeed do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Furry Hair

Joram: "I'm not a soft toy, Gor Gor!"

Joram has such lovely hair that Joash keeps rubbing his nose in them! Really look forward to the day when the two boys can play together... *wistful*

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Teaching Jaide

Playing dress-up

Given her fiercely independent streak, Jaide is highly motivated to learn life skills. She is now very capable of helping me do chores around the house and is quickly learning to self-feed and even dress and undress by herself. Yet, perhaps because of that, she is not patient enough to articulate her needs for things she can't do herself. Or perhaps the muscles necessary for speech are not yet fully developed. Whatever the reason, Jaide is lagging behind in her vocabulary which makes it very hard to figure out what she wants to say. It took her ages to even call 'Mummy' and 'Daddy' properly. This very often leads to tantrums borne out of frustration. Thankfully, she is very happy when we successfully guess what she wants to say and will accept our explanations even if the answer is 'no'.

In order to accelerate the learning process, I've recently started structured home education to teach her the labels for things and how to pronounce the words properly. I make her repeat after me when I count the scoops of milk powder I put into milk bottles. Using toys, I help her recognize colours and I use books to encourage her to correctly name commonplace things. At each meal time, I also try to reinforce the names of the food instead of simply asking if she wants 'this' or 'that'. I don't remember having to work so hard to teach Joash and Jaide how to speak as they picked it up naturally by themselves, so I need to learn how to patiently and deliberately do it for Jaide.

It's very easy to assume that she is simply being rebellious, but having gone through the 'moving goal post' era with Jayna, dealing with the 'semi-visible goalpost' syndrome with Jaide is far easier to do for me. At least I know 'burl' means vegetables and 'siew' means tissue according to Jaide. May the Lord help Jaide to learn how to communicate well as soon as possible so that tantrums caused by misunderstanding what she wants will be reduced to the minimal.

Are you ready to revise the colours?

Which is the colour blue?

How about pink?

Is there purple somewhere?

Which is your favourite colour?

Yay! You got it all correct!

Where are the apples?

Yes, that's right! Watermelon!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Riding a Bike

Joash has been doing very well on the strider for quite a long time now. Thus, it's high time letting him have a go at the real deal. Within minutes, Joash was zipping around on the red hand-me-down bike we got. Bravo! *applause* He did not even need much help from us parents at all, thanks to having learnt how to balance previously from using the strider.

Jayna couldn't use the strider at all when we first got it. Over time, I did let her try a couple of times but she gave up too quickly, perhaps out of fear. However, watching her older brother riding a bike with ease gave her new-found motivation to overcome her inertia. This is her first time being able to move forward on it. You go, girl! With enough practice, I'm sure you can master cycling in the future too.

Dinner Entertainment

With Joshua working late frequently these days, the kids and I found a new way to cheer ourselves up during dinner, with the cooperation of the baby, of course. *grin*