Category Archives: Kids

growing up

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If you could turn back time, would you?

baby selfie

the little miss sprouted 2 teeth. She turns 10 months old in 3 days time. she cruises around the living room and hallway, pushing her walker. If something gets in her way, her brothers help move her walker so that she can continue her way.

She has a temper. If she is unhappy, she grabs and pinches the closest piece of flesh. And she’s got a mean pinch, wth. Oliver blocked her from grabbing his Lego and he got pinched haha. Oops, poor Ollie.

But she’s mostly all smiles. Smiles she saves for the ones closest to her. Pats she saves for her immediate family. Good job she seem to say.

90% smiley. 10% super mean temper. Not sure if I should be glad for that, or should I wish for a 50 smiley – 50 even tempered baby. Hmm..tough one.

I love the way she cups my face in her hands, and looks at me. I love the way she closes her eyes in anticipating of a nuzzle from her brothers. I love the way she giggles/chortles at the way her brothers play with her.

I love the bond the 3 of them have with each other.

Oliver is 5.5 years now. It is fascinating to have a conversation with him. This year has been a little rough on him, as Sarah grows older and robs more of our attention away from him; as he learns to care for his younger siblings and realise that the world doesn’t really revolve around him.

As he learns that..sometimes discipline isn’t always bad. There has been lesser yelling, tho the frustrations are more intense as expectations rise. But we work it out. He understands a little more about tough love and he tries his best.

Mummy, are you proud of me?” Always, always.

Just because we get angry with you sometimes, doesn’t mean we don’t love you okay? Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that the 5.5 year old does have insecurities, and we need to reassure them that anger doesn’t mean the absence of love.

His thirst for knowledge..is still unabated. Space. Words. Languages. Art. He is like a sponge, absorbing everything that is novel to him. Down side? He gets bored easily. Argh.

He has a sense of humour which sees us laughing more these days as we crack silly jokes. Or rather..his assumption of certain things cracks us up so much.

Case in point:

#shitolliesez #mandarinfail #jiakkantang

Oliver: mummy,why 名子 got a 女 part.
Me: whut??
Oliver: yar, on my homework. Got a ‘nv sheng ming’
Me: *wtffff* let me see!
Oliver: there *shows me* i am not a girl, why 张老师 put that there..
Me: that is 姓名lah!!!!!!! What 女生名…

Yup, definitely my child.

He’s learnt how to ride the 2-wheeler and scoot on a 2-wheel scooter. He is willing to coach Quentin in a lot of things: spelling, reading, Lego building. He has mellowed a lot, and is a lot more patient. And he is willing to accept explanations.

Next milestone, primary school.

Oh time, where have you gone. 

someone proud of his coloured peranakan tile

ah the middle child. The one who has to speak loudly to be heard, amidst the older brother who communicates better, and the younger sister who cannot communicate.

Speaking of Quentin makes me pack for my guilt trip. Just when I wasn’t done babying him as a toddler, Sarah came along and he got shoved into the backseat. Sorta. Donald and I constantly remind ourselves not to make him the middle child, but we unconsciously do so.

But thankfully, it is not being so much of a conscious effort these days. It was heartening to watching him fall into his own persona in his class. Watch him speak to HIS friends (not his brothers), go to HIS class, do HIS homework.

Watch him sing the same songs as Oliver, put on the same uniform as Oliver. You know, also doing the big boy stuff.

Watch him play and care for HIS sister. Sometimes, Oliver doesn’t really care much for Sarah, and Quentin steps in. Cos Sarah will give him her full attention, where mine are tied with chores and Oliver, in a world of his own.

I am thankful to have been able to be there at every step of their lives. Watching my boys grow into the little men they are. Watching my baby gradually stand unassisted. Watching the kids move on with life.

Would I turn back the time? Probably not. Why go back, when there is so much more ahead that awaits? =)

Category: Kids, Special | Tags:

FREE activities for kids | June Holidays 2017

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Okay, I couldn’t think of a catchier title for this post, so the obvious would be best.

June holidays. If you have kids like mine, who attend kindy, you are probably feeling a slight sense of dread and having to face the kids the whole day instead of getting a break when the kids go to school. *heavy sigh* I do treasure those 3 hours leh! I know the teachers and kids are rejoicing..haha.

This time round, the kids are older and I figured we should have an eventful school holiday going outdoors. With a tight budget, and getting around on public transport, I got into my #auntiemode and started hunting for free activities for the kids. I mean, surely there could be some meaningful and fun stuff for the kids to do that doesn’t break the bank? I mean, I was even happy to fork out maybe like $10 pax for an activity/workshop (which means $30 min per outing..omg). Basically free or cheap.

…got anot huh?

GOT wor!! And the angels sing. Please do note that my list of activities is catered for the boys who are 3.5 years old and 5.5 years old, and the events are free for Singaporeans and PRs or the cost is fairly low #kiamkanna

Therefore, I present to you

justsometings’s free or cheap activities for the June holidays 2017

Let’s start with the basics: getting the kids to use as much energy as possible.

Free Outdoor Playgrounds:

Top Outdoor Playgrounds by Little Steps Asia

Additional information: 

Free Outdoor Playgrounds with individual reviews by BYKidO
Mass Chalk Art Drawing at Parkland Green
by BYKidO
A video walkthrough of Seletar Aerospace Park
 by UmeKids

Free Waterparks

18 free waterparks in Singapore by UmeKids

Additional information: 

Sentosa’s Port of Lost Wonder reopens by Young Parents

Events: 


Imaginarium: To The Ends of the Earth
| Runs till 27th August 2017
10am to 7pm, Singapore Art Museum
Website

Chicken & Egg: A Fowl Tale | Runs till 18th June 2017
10am – 7pm, Singapore Philatelic Museum
Website
Review by Bumble Bee Mum
Note: There are other exhibitions that run concurrently to the zodiac based exhibit, so do check out the rest of the exhibitions too!

Children’s Biennale
20th May – 8th Oct, 10am to 7pm, National Gallery
Website
Note: not only the Biennale, you can also head along to the Keppel Centre for Art Education for more activities!

Faber Castell Art Festival
27th May – 4th Jun, 11am to 9pm, Marina Square Central Atrium
More information here

Children’s Season @ The National Museum
27th May – 30th July, 10am to 6pm
Website

Children’s Season 2017
27th May – 25th June, various locations
Website

Familes for Life Celebrations 2017 | 1-Day event
28th May, 8am to 9.30pm, Civic District
Website | Registration required

Book Swap & Movie in the Park by Yoga Seeds
3rd June, 4.30pm to 7.30pm
Website

The Kidz Academy
9th – 11th June, 10am to 8pm, Suntec Singapore Halls 404 – 406
Website

Activities:

Garden turns 5 | Gardens by the Bay
19th May – 30th Jun, Garden Extravaganza on 3rd & 4th June
Website

National Gallery, Keppel Centre for Art Education
10am to 7pm
Website

Pip’s PLAYbox
11am – 6pm (closed for cleaning from 2pm – 3pm)
Website

Bollywood Veggies
Wed – Sun, 8am to 6.30pm
Website
Note:
1. The farm offers guide tours (9839 8896, Donna) for a min group of 20 pax. Costs range from $200 onwards for a potting session. You can wander around the farm at no cost if you do not wish to go for a guided tour.
2. There is a daily shuttle bus from Kranji MRT that will take you around the countryside to the various farms, so transport not an issue! For the bus schedule, click here
3. Other farms that allow free tour access are Farmart Centre, Jurong Frog Farm and Hay Diaries

Into The Wild Exhibit @ Art Science Museum
10am to 7pm
Website

Low Cost Activities / Promos

The Active Detective Carnival | HealthZone
3rd June, 9am to 5pm, Health Promotion Board
Ticket prices: Child – $2 | Adult – $3
Website

KidsSTOP @ The Science Centre
Various themed workshops catered for kids on selected days. For holiday programmes, booking is required. You can make a booking here
Ticket prices: Below 18m – Free | Child – $10 | Adult – $5
Website

Soap Art
10th June, 2 to 3pm, Takashimaya Departmental Store
For children 3 yrs and above: Learn the art of soap making in this hands-on workshop. A great sensory activity for young kids, your child will learn how to knead, mold, and mix colours and scents to create his or her own soap. This fun activity for kids will get their creative juices going and they’ll be excited to show off their own personal soap masterpiece at the end of the workshop!
(Even I also wanna sign up lah!! Quite surprised about this June holidays program for kids by Taka! Downside is you gotta pay $16.05 for a 2 yr membership to be eligible..which I think is still ok for all the events they have)
Ticket: $8
Website

 

The Science Centre
Visit the current travelling exhibit from Japan, Dino Robot Factory, on top of the regular fare at The Science Centre Singapore. For more details on the Dino Robot Factory, click here
Ticket prices:
Dino Robot Factory Exhibit: Child – $7 | Adult – $5
The Science Centre: Child – $4 | Adult – $6
Promotional bundles: Click Here

Kids Watch Free at Movies by BYKidO
Kids get to watch movies free with a paying adult. Participating cinemas are Golden Village and Shaw. Current & upcoming movies that you want to take note of are:
SING, Boss Baby, Smurfs: The Lost Village, Diary of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul and Despicable Me 3.

Kids Craft Corner @ EatPlayLove Craft Cafe
a unique experience where kids and adults can get crafty at the same time’. Adults get to eat in peace and the kids get to craft, win win situation for me for sure!
Crafting cost: $5 for 1st hour, $2.50 for subsequent 30 mins.
Website

Multiple promos by BYKidO [discount code for a 6 mths pass to be up soon!]
The BYKidO pass works as an online coupon booklet with various vouchers for you to use every month. All you need to do is to purchase a pass, redeem the voucher you want to utilise, and show it to their Partners! Great way for you to try out various workshops or classes. Examples of discounts are:
2 Trial Classes @ $10 with Ready Steady Go Kids
2 Soccer Trial Classes with FRISCKIds @ $10
Free Kindergym Trial with Bubbles Gymnastics
3 Play TIme at Kidz Amaze Toa Payoh (Toddler 0 – 36 mths) @ $20
Various discounted attractions tickets, including one of the cheapest KidZania Tickets available.

Phew. I think I have pretty much gotten as much and as accurate (I hope!!) information as I can. Please feel free to add on if you come across any events/activities that is free and cheap. This will definitely get me started with the school holiday planning.

Many thanks to the kind folks at BYKidO who have kindly offered me some information and a discount code for you guys to use when you purchase a 6 mths pass from BYKidO. eh, discounts every month for various vendors leh..plus I specifically highlighted the cheap deals! #kiamkana This I will write in my next post else this post is too long liao!

Category: Interests, Kids, Outdoor, Special

adulting: age is just a number?

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almost a month ago, I turned 35. There I said it.

to be honest, it feels weird to say that I am 35. I often joke to my younger friends that I feel older. But then again, I..don’t really feel 35. I do feel younger (denial much..haha). Donald is older than me..so maybe that’s why I always feel younger, so yay!

Then heck..I have 3 of these and they remind me every day that I am old.

my jazz band

Not verbally, but the aches and pains that I feel. To think about it..I have been babywearing my kids full on for the past..5 years or so. My knees are going to give out soon man. I get frequent backaches and I see a chiropractor for my neck and lower back pain. Donald is in a better shape than me, err aches and pains wise. Not figure =P

Big shoutout to my chiropractor, Dr Richard Kissun at Kissun Chiropractic! You can contact them at 6243 2191 for a consult.

Just put Sarah to bed..and the thoughts that ran through my mind were..

should I fold the laundry now? about 4 loads on the laundry chair now.
i should go clear the stuff outside now. drats, the dining table looks horribly messy again. let’s see what I can clear.
oh hang on, empty the tub, then clear the dining table.
i’m so sleepy tho. maybe I should sleep early. but Sarah’s asleep now..if I don’t do this now, I won’t get any done tomorrow. dammit.
..
oh drats, we haven’t helped Quentin with his school project. And it’s almost the end of the school term.
…homework, remind me to ask Oliver about his homework tomorrow.
…accounts, I think I’ll start tomorrow. I need sleep.
oh CRAP. I still haven’t booked Sarah’s 9 mth appointment at the polyclinic. 

Deciding to sleep..doesn’t end my train of thought. It goes on, as though I needed constant reminders to myself before I commit them to memory. My memory is the shits now. I have notes written everywhere..just in case.

Cos you know..my brain is trying to remember many things sequentially and my husband tells me to stop multi-tasking. Riiiight. I thought I might try and write down what exactly that I’m reminding myself and I gave up. I don’t even know where or how to begin hahaha.

So..Donald and I spent this arvo..adulting. Latest buzzword leh, adulting. I’m no millenial (or am I? dammit, 1982, counted anot ah?). We decided to be good parents, and good husband and wife, and tidy up some admin work for the 5 lives in this household.

A few years back, Donald and I did our wills at my insistence. We are parents, and I felt that we needed to be prepared for the worst at any time. It is a morbid and emotional process, but it had to be done. It made us sit down and think about the people around us, and who we could really depend on. We needed to pick the right people who believed in our values and would act in our interest, to be the guardians for the children. Moments like this, you truly realise who are the ones you can depend on.

The will is but just one tool to protect the kids. We had to write down a list of everything we owned, the details and the access. I was about to get Donald to write down a simple list and I would type it out. Surprisingly, he said that we should write it by hand.

eh? 

A digital copy leaves room for hacking and amendments, making it vulnerable. Unless there is gonna be someone who can imitate Donald’s chicken scratchy handwriting, I think having it handwritten makes it safer.

The lengths we go to to make things easier to process in the event we pass away. Make me feel…so grown up and responsible. Wah lao.

Then I tidied up our insurance policies and did up a payment schedule so that we could see how poor we’d get at certain months. It’s like really damn poor lah!! But argh..coverage..and protection so that we don’t burden anyone around us. T_T so much expenses.

Btw, if you are looking for an NTUC Income agent, please look for Kenneth Han. I swear by him cos if not for him, I would not have ever learnt about using my child’s Medisave for hospitalisation plan premiums! I also wouldn’t have learnt about the new Maternity 360 standalone plan for pregnancy too but wah lao, it like came too late lor. People give birth liao, then come up with this policy. Previously they had a Ladies Rider for hospitalisation plan but I wasn’t with them for my hospitalisation. Oh wells..wasted. But yes, he is my go-to guy when I got any insurance related questions, even plans not by Income. Hahaha I think he very boh eng when I keep asking him about maternity or kids related stuff. #notasponsoredadhor #realtruth

After done with insurance..then I had to check my poor bank balance. I’m a low risk taker, so means I would rather keep my money in the bank. I would keep the money under my mattress lar, but no interest, so next is to put it in the bank lor. I know nuts about investments and don’t think I am willing to do so. Had to start thinking about saving for the kids’ education!

T_T As the kids grow older..that’s where the expenses really start racking up man.

Been trying to squeeze as much out of ah kong as possible, being in the sandwiched class. You know..not poor enough to get more subsidies (ie. CHAS), but at the bottom of the next benchmark. Kua kua. But hey, we cool okay. Just manage within our means lor.

So what we’ve squeezed so far is from CDA and Medisave grants. Quentin’s racked up quite a bit of medical bills which we used his CDA to pay for (when we didn’t know about the Medisave grant yet), so there isn’t much left to pay for school fees..until jeng jeng jeng jeng! Can tap into Sarah’s CDA to pay for school fees too! Phew. That is effectively give us 50% discount on school feels liao. Thankyouberrymuch, ah kong! I only knew that we could use sibling’s CDA to pay for medical fees, didn’t know it applied to school fees too. Err, thank you Sarah hor.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I made the husband relook at his tax submission cos I realised that there was so much we could claim as a tax deductible. Parenthood tax rebate, insurance tax rebate, Qualifying Child Relief, Working Mother’s Child Relief (er, not me lah..not yet but one day!). Can claim quite a fair bit leh. Sure as hell bring me back to the days where I would scrutinise my tax and try as reduce my taxes cos I was a poor student in Australia. Very painful to pay AUD$8k in taxes. So very very thankful for low tax rates in SG.

Man..we are only 5.5 years into being parents..I think the real deal is starting soon. Next year, we’ll say hello to textbooks, uniforms and stationery.

Category: Daily, Kids, Parenting