Joram is 6 months old today! As with the older ones, he started his first taste of rice cereal tonight at dinner time. Jaide was so excited that her little brother is finally eating at the table too that she kept hurrying me to start the meal! Unfortunately, because of his reflux problem, feeding him solids may just be even more difficult than feeding him milk. Looks like this is going to take some time getting used to... Watch the video below to know what I mean...
Monday, October 28, 2013
|Screen-capture from the surveillance camera|
There have been many insightful articles or blog posts regarding the dangers of too much screen time for toddlers and methods of cultivating independent or creative play in children through regular unstructured time for themselves. I'm a firm believer of such philosophies and ever since my kids were born, I've minimise their exposure to technological gadgets.
Our TV is mostly for display purposes and will only be used on special occasions when we have guests such as Christmas parties or birthday parties. They only have access to things like iphones, ipads or even the television sparingly when we visit relatives. Even then, we seek our relatives' understanding and implore them to refrain from doing so. Thankfully, most of them are enlightened people and will stop their well-meaning but damaging actions.
I find that boredom is really good for children. If they are not allowed to feel bored and are constantly stimulated by adults and IT, they will never learn how to be creative and find true joy in playing among themselves. My fondest memories of my childhood were the games my brother and I invented and played by ourselves: pretending that our double-decker bed was a treehouse and using a bucket to transport toys up and down the beds; utilising towels and blankets to make costumes and imagining that we were various characters such as warriors or the grocers.
Many may find it tough to keep children out of their hair unless they resort to gadgets. On the contrary, if you simply teach them different ways to play with their toys and give them gradually lengthened time of being alone with toys or/and their sibling(s) within a safe and confined environment, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that they quickly learn how to think up of brilliant ways to keep themselves gainfully occupied. Let's also not be too quick to intervene if they quarrel. Give them basic rules and let them have a chance to sort things out before adults step in to referee. They will surely come to you for help if they encounter a stalemate.
It may stretch our own creativity and patience in the early years to teach them independent play. However, if we keep at it, scenarios like ours will become possible: the older children play peacefully together while Joram watches on, giving Joshua the time to do his work and allowing me the space to blog about this.
Okay, I think I hear Jaide calling for me. Gotta go now! :)
Okay, I think I hear Jaide calling for me. Gotta go now! :)
It's Joram's turn to be dedicated to the Lord! We are so thankful that God has entrusted 4 precious children into our care and now we are promising that we will bring up the youngest in the ways of the Lord too.
|The main character of the day|
|Support from Grandma and big bro...|
|... and not forgetting his sisters too!|
|We pray to do our part|
in helping you know and
exalt our mighty God!
|The actual thing|
It starts to get difficult managing the children at the altar with so many of them. Joash and Jayna started asking for food and Jaide was taking the chance to explore the steps at the stage! *faint* Hmm... At least, this shall be the last time, no? :P
Sunday, October 27, 2013
|Breakfast at Macs|
Last year, we went to the Underwater World for Joash's birthday without knowing that there was an even better one nearby which was due to open a month later. To make up for that missed opportunity, we brought Joash to S.E.A Aquarium this year to celebrate his last birthday as a preschooler.
After breakfast, we took 2 cabs (can't all fit into a single cab!!!) to get to Resort World Sentosa. We made it for the opening time and enjoyed the relatively deserted place before going in. The kids were very impressed with the decor at Candylicious and Joash was especially enamoured by the revolving Universal Studios globe.
Joash was so eager to get into the aquarium that he asked me repeatedly why we were not going in yet 15 min before the opening hour at 10am.
|Raring to go!|
|We're all ready to conquer the world! Bwahahahaha!|
|Here we are, finally!|
|I'm happy to be here too.|
The kids enjoyed themselves but the star attraction to Joash was the sharks. He kept asking about it till we reached the grand finale at the end of the tour.
|The star of the show|
|Enjoying the view|
We had our late lunch at the Malaysian Food Street and the adults were very impressed with the design of the place. A lot of heart must have been put into making the food court look authentic. The food were pretty nice too.
|Night street in the middle of the day.|
We could have gone back in for an hour before the weather was cool enough for beach play but our dear Jayna couldn't wait any longer and kept pressing for us to leave. Joash kindly agreed, so we relented and went to Siloso Beach ahead of time. We had to endure the hot sun for a good half an hour before the sun started to hide behind the clouds while it made its way to the horizon.
|Arrived in style|
|Fetching water from the sea|
|Mucking around in the sand|
|Time for the big artillery|
|Took over the watering can|
|Needed a caffeine boost...|
|Can you guess what this means?|
Joash made this on the sand. Both Joshua and I guessed that it was to tell the fishes to go into the sea. But our son was far more logical than we give him credit for. He shot us a puzzled frown and said in a condescending tone, "No [silly, implied], there are fishes in the sea."
While the two older ones had great fun at the beach, we were trying very hard to convince Jaide to join in too. However, we were unsuccessful. She screamed murder when we attempted to put her down on the sand. After a few times, we gave up and let her gaze longingly at her siblings and later on simply to chill out together with her grandma and the baby under the shade.
After having a blast at the beach, we headed home. Thank God for a Maxi-Cab which allowed us to travel back all together in luxury, complete with cartoons for the children to occupy themselves while we were caught in some pretty heavy traffic. I'm grateful that we were charged a flat rate or the trip home would have cost us a bomb. To get the normal cabs would also have been near impossible with the super long and slow-moving queue at the taxi stand.
Joash asked to eat pizza for dinner so we trouped to Pastamania. I wanted to get a nice cake for him but he strangely asked for the eclairs which he totally hated because it was whipped cream inside instead of the lovely fillings of the mini ones he tried in the past at weddings. Ah well....
|Blessed birthday, my fabulous firstborn!|
As souvenirs, we allowed the older two to choose a sea creature plushy each from the aquarium gift shop and let Joash have a go at the penny printing machines. He was so proud of himself that he managed to turn the crank without help after the 3rd attempt. At the beach, the kids actually independently found quite a few nice cute seashells but we encountered technical errors with some of the pictures we took and we lost that particular photo of them finding the shells. Despite that, I'm happy that they could look for the shells themselves as I was the one who found seashells for them last year. They are indeed growing up fast. *nostalgic*
|Dolphins are still their favourite|
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Joram is now agile enough to get toys for himself if they are placed near enough to him. He can be so intrigued by them that he'll laugh out loud during play. I don't remember the other children ever having so much fun while left alone at such a young age. He is indeed a miracle baby! LOL
Saturday, October 12, 2013
I've never approved of getting toy guns or swords for the children because I do not want to promote senseless violence. There are already enough healthier games, activities and playthings to occupy them.
However, Joash has recently been very inspired by what he learnt in school about how policemen and soldiers protect the innocent people against "bad guys". Also, he wants to be like Joshua and Gideon of the bible who fought against the enemies of God to claim the promised land. His ambition at the moment is to be a soldier or a black-uniformed STAR (Special Tactics and Rescue) Officer.
He has even roped his sisters into role-playing with him and ingeniously used the building blocks to make weapons like guns, rifles and swords. Soon, we all realise the cons in doing that: they fall apart easily and they tend to hurt badly when one of the kids accidentally hit another with them.
I thought that it is actually a good thing for them to role-play such positive real life scenarios and so I was racking my brains for a way to get weapons that are safe for them to play with. I couldn't find foam ones in the shops, so I decided to make them myself after I remembered a photo of ones made from recycled materials by a cell group mate.
Armed with paper, anti-slip mats, silver tape, sticky tape, mounting tape and a pair of scissors, I made toy swords and guns for my three older kids. I even used ribbons in the children's favourite colours to indicate who the weapons belong to.
Even so, this is considered an activity that needs parental guidance. I caught Joash shooting himself in the head with his gun and I had to explain to him that it was no laughing matter. I cautioned him against playing that way. They need also to know that soldiers and policemen do not lightly fire their weapons. May they be continuously reminded that they should always remain on the right side of the law.
|The toy guns|
|The fake swords|
Today, we celebrated my MIL and SIL's birthdays together at 鼎泰丰 restaurant. The kids drew birthday cards for them and decorated their cake with simple piping and sugar icing. I hope that they enjoyed the simple gesture of blessing from them. Blessed birthday, Mum and Sis!
|Doing the piping|
|Ta-Da! End result.|
|Posing with the birthday ladies|
Friday, October 11, 2013
Just now, while I was coughing my lungs out as I did the laundry, Jaide looked at me for a few moments. Then, she came closer to me, squatted down, put her hand together and started mumbling, " God, Mama... (gibberish)... Mama... (more gibberish) AMEN!"
"Are you praying for God to heal Mummy of her cough?" I asked. Immediately, a beaming smile spread across her face and she nodded vigorously. I was extremely touched by her gesture and gave thanks to the Lord for His wonderful work in her heart.
I do try as much as possible to demonstrate reliance upon God through prayer in all that we do. Apart from saying grace before meals and bedtime prayers, whenever the children hurt themselves, I will pray for them before I administer first aid. When anyone falls ill, we gather together to pray for healing. If they come to me with any difficulty, I remind them to approach God and His word. If we encounter good things, I lead them to give thanks to God's grace and mercy.
During the many times when I find myself struggling to handle the children's tantrums or needs while having so many chores to be done, I cry out verbally to God for help. Whenever I lose my temper and make mistakes, I ask them to pray on my behalf to ask God for forgiveness and abide in Him. I recite verses when I start feeling overwhelmed by everything despite how much like a deranged woman I must look.
I want my children to know the depths of God's love and care for us and our great need for Him in our daily lives. I desire for them to know that God is our first, and very often only, line of defense. There is only so much I can do for my children no matter how much I give of myself. However, God is infinitely more powerful, all-knowing and is able to be there for my children when I'm not with them. If they know nothing from me except how to depend on the Lord, I would have fulfilled my purpose as a mother. I am humbled by how mightily God can use a broken vessel like me regardless of my many failings and inadequacy.
Now that I see how the Holy Spirit nourishes the budding growth of prayerfulness in my children's lives, I am filled with thankfulness. How wonderful it is to see them pray for one another without my prompting and even remind one another to depend on God when they are afraid or in trouble!
Let's take Joash for example. He previously developed a sudden fear of being alone after watching some shows about monsters at my in-laws' place. Yet, after much reminder of God's presence with him everywhere he goes, especially through BSF, he gradually overcame his fear. Jayna, too, says that she asks God to help her be obedient and I can indeed see the fruit of the Spirit in her life. May the Lord continue His amazing work in their lives and I'm utterly privileged to see that first hand.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
I was using the hair rubber bands to teach Jaide her colours when she asked me to use them to tie her hair. She said, "Nice things?" while pointing to her hair and holding out a pair of blue bands. Of course, I obliged and she started heading towards the mirror to preen. I've always thought of her as quite a bit of a tomboy. She loves playing with vehicles and loves to imitate her older brother's sound effects as he played with imaginary guns or swords while he pretended to be a soldier.
However, she seems to be catching on in terms of the girly activities recently. This is actually the first time I've tied her hair. It looks like her hair has finally grown long and thick enough to look decent tied up. That said, she kept wanting to wear the blue and yellow (even the black ones later on) rubber bands in contrast to her sister's tendency to zero in on the pink and red ones. Perhaps we can try letting the girls wear them out one of these days?
|Let me check my appearance...|
|The blue bands are nice, right?|
|And so are the yellow ones!|
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
It's time for me to take out the teethers for the last round of chewing. Joram enjoys them as much as his older brother. Perhaps it's a guy thing cos the girls didn't quite fancy them as much... So, at least for now, Joram has something to bite into at the breakfast table.
I'm enjoying Joram's baby stage as much as I can. He would most likely be my last one. Thus, here's a clip of his super duper cute baby sounds. Next up is a video of Joshua making Joram laugh. His bright squeals of delight are such music to our ears!
(To listen to the laughter of the older children, pls click HERE)