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 Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Countdown to Joram's Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Our Christmas Tradition


Two years ago, we started the tradition of giving back to the community during Christmas. Because the Santa Run for Wishes we were involved in was scheduled to happen a long month ago, we wore our race t-shirts again during our Christmas lights tour down Orchard Road as a reminder of what we did.

The race packs included one-for-one vouchers for Swensen's ice-cream buffet and so I thought it appropriate that we started off our night indulging in sweet treats to sugar-charge up our bodies. LOL It was like a dream come true for the children!



The street performances were already starting after dinner. I'm really thankful that we decided to watch them first instead of admiring the light decorations because we could only enjoy two of them before it began to rain cats and dogs. 




We hid from the thunderstorm at Paragon's Toys R Us. The kids entertained themselves with the available scooters and toy strollers and us bored parents resorted to taking selfies and having "sword-fights" to pass the time. :P After which, I exchanged notes for a dozen of coins so that the children could binge on kiddy rides, something of a rare delightful occasion to them. 





It was getting relatively late and we were trying to grab a cab home when we realised that the traffic jams were worse than normal due to the downpour. The taxi queue was also unbelievably long. What a blessing to then discover that the rain had finally diminished to a feathery drizzle!

Since we didn't manage to see much of the Christmas lights before, we took the opportunity to take the MRT home instead and in doing so, get to enjoy the decorations on our way to the train station. Furthermore, we had ended our stay at Paragon with a hearty supper of wholesome broths at Soup Spoon, so the kids had enough energy for the especially extended tour which pushed past midnight.






It was amazing how this trip downtown has tested the physical limits of the entire family. In the first place, it was an extremely early start to the day because we had something on in the morning too. Yet, I found the children to be exceptionally well-behaved despite the rigors and I truly enjoyed the evening out with them. Praise God for sustaining us! Here's wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and may we continue to spread the joy of our Saviour's birth.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Keepsake


Joram just outgrew his yellow baby bag. It has been a tight squeeze ever since we added a notebook and colour pencil case for him to bring out. However, it was still considered a low priority issue because the bag was not damaged. Thus, we didn't try to upgrade for him till now. His aunt just bought him a new bag for Christmas. 

After transferring the contents, I was about to put the old bag up for donation when I realised that this is probably the only other non-furniture/toy item which all four children have used, some for a longer period than others. The other item was a pair of yellow overalls which I posted about a while back. (You can read about it HERE.)


In the end, I decided to wash the bag and keep it together with the overalls as souvenirs from their babyhood. I wonder if they'll last till my first grandchild is born to be useful once again... *wistful*

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Final Frontier


The last time we were at IKEA Smaland, Joram was not allowed to enter the playground because he was an inch short of 90cm when he took off his shoes. We had to deal with his profound disappointment for the rest of the day since we told him that he could go in because he has already been using the EZ-link card from the time he was the right height, with shoes on, a few months before the trip.

Can you guess which one is Joram's? :P

Fast forward half a year, Joram can finally enter the play area there! *applause* I nearly had tears in my eyes when I saw all four of my kids go inside together. My baby is rapidly growing up, much to my delight. He is now able to fully enjoy all our outings because he understands so much more than before. He has gained confidence and can do so many things he didn't dare do in the past. No longer confined to the stroller, he is right at home with his older siblings having fun. 

My heart was warmed when I saw the sparkle in his eyes during our trip down to the Land Transport Gallery this school holiday. He was utterly excited running from one installation to the next. Gone was the stranger anxiety from his younger days as he happily chatted with our tour guide.

His favourite vehicle by far.

Got the bus bell
as a souvenir.
He kept pressing it
all the way home!

Used to be afraid of getting wet, Joram had always got to sit out on water play. The poor timid boy would have been relegated to the sidelines, watching the older ones squeal and laugh in their games. The recent trip to the IMM rooftop water park saw him overcome his aversion and join in the exhilaration after half an hour of coaxing. The rest is history. 

Approaching with caution

This is so much fun!

Furniture Upgrade


I have replaced the blue Mammut round table and chairs with these. As the younger two start to do more pencil-work, the shaky play table is no longer viable and they fight over disturbing each other's work. Thus, I have to say goodbye to those pieces of furniture that have endured since the firstborn's era. I chose this particular set because it is relatively cheap. I didn't want to spend much because it'll only be a couple more years before the younger two go primary school and upgrade to regular-sized study tables like their older siblings. 

At first, I bought the set with one table and 2 chairs but I felt that it might be a tight squeeze for them to share the table. Yet, I'm unwilling to purchase two sets of furniture and the silly thing is they don't sell them separately. However, God has the best timing. As it happens, a fellow church-mate was giving away their IKEA table. (Probably because their matching chairs were broken.)

Now they can have their own tables. God knows best indeed!


At the same time, I have revamped the reading corner. I was constantly appalled by the terrible postures the kids find themselves in while lounging on the mattress as they read. It has gone from bad to worse despite daily reminders. Enough is enough! Sure hope that these armchairs will help...

P/S: The kids actually spotted these new colours and asked for them last year but I thought that it would be such a hassle to assemble all four armchairs so I said no back then. I was right, cos my shoulders are still aching from the exertion of putting them together yesterday! LOL


BEFORE
(And this is after telling them to stop slouching!)
AFTER

Monday, November 21, 2016

Archery





I discovered, via a CG mate, archery courses for children. Thus, to kickstart the school holidays, I signed my kiddos up for the class. However, in order to use the ActiveSG discount, I had to go through a very complicated and troublesome process to make it happen. But what to do? With 4 kids, I can use whatever savings I can get my hands on. 

Regrettably, Jaide and Joram could not get our money's worth. For one, my little boy was too tired from the unexpected activities of the previous day and could only be coaxed to try the sport for a mere 5 mins before he retired himself to the stroller. Jaide had no stamina too. Halfway through, she said she was tired and wanted to draw instead. Looks like I should only sign them up again when they reach primary school age. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It Works for Me!


I am simply amazed how God brought along a brand of moisturiser which cured the last bit of itch from my crucible experience earlier this year. I bought it at first for my daughter with eczema to try. After weeks of application, her skin seemed to have no improvement. In fact, she said that the previous product she used worked better. I didn't want to waste the half bottle that was left and so I used it on myself instead. Lo and behold, my lingering pruritus vanished after a week! Hallelujah! It seemed like God prompted me to purchase this new line of skincare from Japan for my sake, even though I originally meant it for my girl. Truly, God works in mysterious ways...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Jaide Is 5


Sadly, our little imp was sick on her birthday. Despite our best efforts to convince her to celebrate another day when she's well, she pestered me for the entire day that she couldn't wait. So against our better judgement, we allowed her to buy her presents and have her birthday ice-cream during dinner, hoping against hope that after two whole days of TLC from us, she'd have recovered enough not to relapse. Alas! She fell ill again the very next day. When will Jaide ever listen to reason??? May God have mercy on us!


At least there was one thing nice that happened. Jaide wanted to try her hand at the ice-cream crane machine and I allowed her to do so since it was her special day. I fully expected her to need my help in getting the ice-cream eventually but to my surprise, she got one all by herself! She is really very capable if she is sufficiently motivated. If only I knew how to do it all the time...

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Necklaces Galore


I made a whole rainbow set of necklaces for my MIL's birthday so that she could have something to match whatever she's wearing. My elder girl helped me do some of the beading too!






Sunday, October 30, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Stroller Transformed


Now that the stroller is hardly used for the children except for naps out of the house, I have found a better use for it. Normal shopping trolleys tend to be difficult to use. The wheels don't roll smoothly enough and one has to bend down all the way to arrange the items which is very hard on the back. Plus, it is a hassle to bring the whole trolley into the house to unpack the groceries, not to mention that the wheels will dirty the house floor too. 

Instead, I place a basket in the stroller when I go to the supermarket. The products are easily accessible because of the elevated height and I can use the hooks for the frozen or wet stuff. My youngest even finds it very easy and enjoyable to help me push the stroller while I select the things I want to get. When I reach home, all I need to do is to bring the clean basket in for unloading and leave the stroller parked outside my door.

This last stroller in the family can thus continue to be useful for the rest of its lifetime as my personal shopping cart. LOL

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Revamping the Menu

Pork Cutlet Curry Rice

I've always cooked with very little seasoning in my food both because I love the taste of the natural ingredients and it is healthier. Ever since my eldest son's proclamation that he did not like my cooking anymore a couple of months ago, I got demoralised and we started eating out, packing back or ordering food delivery more often. I also thought to have a break from daily cooking due to my poor health condition.

However, we realised that our food expenditure increased significantly and I started missing my own cooking a lot. The girls also asked me occasionally when I will cook for them again. One perfect solution would have been for my son to go pack his own food while I cook for the rest of the family. However, he refused to, claiming to be too scared to buy on his own. It also didn't make sense for me to go out to pack dinner and yet rush home in time to make a meal. It means double effort for me! Nor is it logical to pay the delivery charges for a single child. Frankly, I can't even clock the minimum amount if I purchase just one portion.

I thus decided to work out a menu that includes both a replica of the outside food my eldest wants to eat and what the rest of the family appreciates. This means I am learning new recipes with strong seasoning like pork cutlet curry rice, grilled fish in brown sauce, Korean BBQ pork and teriyaki chicken wrap. So far, for the past three days since I started the new dishes, everybody is very happy with the dinner fare. I pray that this status will continue for a long time to come...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Off-peak Work Period


September is my favourite time of the year because it is my husband's off-peak season at work. We can then enjoy frequent couple-time during lunch and chill out more comfortably at home without late-night markings to rush.

Here are some pictures of our hot dates. Hee hee... And I realised that we simply love Japanese cuisine! LOL

Sakae Teppanyaki

Osaka Ohsho

Teppei Japanese Restaurant

 老火汤 @ JEM

Hanare Japanese Cafe

Bingki Korean Dessert Cafe