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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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

I have been hearing many good reviews regarding the buffet at Himawari Japanese Restaurant. However, I had not the opportunity to try it till this year for Mother's Day. I tasted the freshly grated wasabi for the first time and found the flavour more full-bodied and less pungent to the nose. What a heavenly combination with succulent slices of raw salmon, tuna and sweet prawns! We also ordered the beef shabu-shabu and our deep-fried favourites. Their fried salmon skin was especially crispy and delicious. I love their lotus root chips too.

My older three children decided to each buy an ornamental gift for me out of their own pocket money. Although I truly appreciated their lovely thoughts but I had to let them know that I far prefer gifts with practical uses for future references. Can you guess which present was given by which child? I was told by the giver that the four dolphins were supposed to represent my four kids. LOL

P/S: I especially look forward to receiving cards from my elder girl because she always writes the most thoughtful things. She even composed a poem for me a few weeks ago!

I had a list of prayers last Mother's Day and I would like to review them now:

1) Kid no. 1 will learn the value of diligence
He had finally agreed on his own accord to attend the Chinese remedial classes, which he refused to previously. A small step in the right direction.

2) Kid no. 2 will be totally healed of her eczema
She has yet to be healed but we have discovered that she is gluten and dairy intolerant and has thus made adjustments to her diet. May the day of complete recovery be close at hand!

3) Jaide will mature exponentially
I must say that she has grown indeed. I really think that transferring her to a more suitable school helped. Praise God for that! Still much room for improvement though.

4) Joram will be toilet trained and drop his afternoon nap
He has done so! Hallelujah!!! May he be diaper-free at night too next year and I can finally say goodbye to diapers for good. 

5) Most importantly, for the older three to have deep personal encounters with God and for Joram to finally accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.
Joram is not ready yet because his understanding is not mature enough. I'm still asking God to tell me when it is the right time. As for the older three, there's no discernible change in their spiritual walk. I shall continue praying and rest in the Lord while I trust that He is working beneath the surface.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Strider's Last Lap

Jaide has been doing very well on the strider for quite a while and thus I figured that she's ready to try cycling for real. That is why our trusty old strider is at long last inherited by our fourth kid, making it such a great investment. Look at Joram's wide grin riding it!

Check out Joram riding 
the strider for the first time!

I tried to teach Jaide to cycle using her older sister's bike but it was a little too heavy and wide for her petite stature to manoeuvre. I ended up buying a new one which is more suitable for her, in the hope that it'll help her learn. She sure needs all the help she can get. Strangely, for a girl as daring as she is, Jaide is quite timid when it comes to riding as compared to her older siblings. Plus, she has a pronounced problem with back-peddling halfway suddenly. 

Well, I can only pray that it'll not be long before I can write a post about her learning how to ride a bicycle successfully. *grin*

Teaching my no. 3

So happy with her new bike
that she kept asking me to
take a picture for her!

Train Eraser

I had meant to blog about this train eraser which I got for Joram when I bought it but it must have slipped my mind.

The three older kids were pretty difficult to handle at mealtimes outside of the home environment as toddlers because they had very short attention spans and required a lot of improvising and quick thinking to keep them sufficiently entertained so as not to disturb the other patrons with their cries. Since we do not EVER resort to using gadgets to shut them up, we have developed a whole arsenal of tricks up our sleeves: drawing, colouring, fiddling with the discount cards in my wallet, counting sugar sachets and playing quiet games such as "I spy". As the kids got older, reading became the norm.

So imagine my surprise when one day, I suddenly realised that Joram has been automatically, very silently, taking one piece of cutlery, most likely a spoon, and moving it around like a vehicle while my attention is occupied by food-ordering. It is simply so easy to overlook him because he hardly makes any noise apart from soft humming sounds as he mimics the engine's vibrations.

This was not a new trend. He had been able to keep himself occupied this way ever since he was one and a half years old, albeit for a much shorter period of time. It was also not as noticeable back then because we always had such a difficult time getting him to drink his water before his meal. With the water issue resolved and him being able to eat independently now, I finally have the presence of mind to be aware of how well Joram can self-entertain.

Joram could pretend
that the wet wipe was a phone
or move it around like a vehicle
while waiting for food to arrive
even as a young toddler

However, I don't really think it is hygienic to let him play with an eating utensil with the possibility of him dropping it onto the floor. I thought of bringing one of his toy vehicles around with me but the squeaky wheels rolling on the hard surface of the table can be pretty loud and annoying. To solve this problem, I bought him a 60-cent train eraser in his favourite colour instead. The rubber material makes absolutely no noise at all. He was delighted with it! Thank God for the inspiration! It is now permanently in my purse so that I can have it handy whenever we have meals outside of home. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Joram Turns Four

My youngest boy followed the eldest's footsteps in choosing Swenson's topless 5 ice-cream as his birthday "cake" on his actual birthday. He was so eager to have it that he could bear to postpone it despite the late return of his brother and I for the celebration. He stayed up past his usual bedtime of 8.30pm for us to join everybody in this special annual ritual. 

As for his present, Joram chose a toy electric motorbike. He is truly as crazy about vehicles as his older brother, who rode on the child's electric car at his grandparents' place for ages. Similarly, Joram nearly drove the rest of the family insane with his constant riding around the living room and terrorized all of us with the loud honking and funky built-in music all day! LOL

Actually, his sisters were very nice to buy a small Pokemon figurine as a gift for him using their savings. Unfortunately, he misplaced it before I could take a picture of it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Homework for Parents?

Being a parent to school-going kids these days gets increasingly challenging as the schools are expecting much more parental involvement in the assignments they give to the children. Apart from weekly show-and-tells which require parents to assist preschoolers in picking out the item to bring to school and practicing what to say with them, there is a variety of projects which we have to put in time and effort to complete with our little boys and girls. 

Festive seasons demand us parents to make ornaments to decorate the school. There are also activities which need us to cook or prepare food in advance. On occasions, we put together a montage on a certain theme for the child to share about in class. We sometimes even have to grow plants with them!

I understand that educators are trying to encourage working parents to spend time with their children but for homemakers, like me, who are already doing tons of things with the children, it is rather excessive. I can only hope that as the children grow more independent, the need for such time-consuming projects which require the parent to pitch in becomes far less. 

On a more serious note, I thank God that I possess the skills necessary to make these assignments a success. But what about other parents who can ill afford the time or have no idea how to help the child? Wouldn't the poor kid feel left out if he turns up for school with nothing to show? What's worse is this practice sets up certain expectations which some under-privilege families are unable to meet, such as traveling abroad, having internet access or being educated enough in certain technical know-how. I am simply not comfortable with schools highlighting such socio-economic differences on regular basis. 

Using fruit to make an animal
A montage about a trip overseas

Growing, harvesting and juicing wheatgrass

Monday, March 13, 2017

Farewell Milk Bottle

We can now finally say goodbye to the last milk bottle in the house. Despite being able to drink from a straw and eventually a cup, Joram had been unwilling to surrender his milk bottle. He always cried for it before he napped in the afternoon. 

We recently decided to drop the nap time because he was starting to find it difficult falling asleep at night  with too much sleep during the day and he seemed perfectly fine without it over the weekend when we went out and had no chance for him to snooze at all. 

Since he no longer needs the siesta, the milk bottle is not necessary anymore. And down the rubbish chute it went! Yay!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Last Toilet Training

My older three kids were toilet-trained by the time they were around 3 years old. So imagine my disappointment when Joram cried in fear every time I suggested for him to use the toilet despite turning four soon. I even bought a sticker book to entice him but he refused for the longest period. 

Thinking that he would be more willing with nice underwear like Jaide, I purchased ones with his favourite robots and vehicles. But nope. It didn't work. In the past, his sisters did not need the child toilet seat at all so I had long given away the one that his older brother used. To coax him further, I bought a new seat with pictures and colours which he like. He still refused to use the toilet. 

We can tell that it was an irrational fear which he had to overcome on his own because he had the ability to control his bowel movements for quite some time. There were occasions during bath time when he insisted on wearing his diapers while halfway showering because he felt urgent. He held it in and cried all the way till we finished the bath time and put on his diapers and clothes. He simply refused to go in the shower or in the toilet but preferred to do his business in the familiar comfort of the diaper. As with the older children, I decided to wait till he was ready.

Recently, his teachers also started encouraging him to use the urinal too. Because of that, he became more willing to try. I was delirious with excitement when he told me last week that he wanted to wear his underwear the moment he came home from school. He successfully went toilet to pee and so at the end of the day, I gave him his sticker book as his reward. But alas! He wanted his diapers back the very next day. I was devastated. Regression never happened with my older ones and so I was totally unprepared for this response. Thankfully, my CG mates assured me that it was normal and thus I continued to wait for his readiness. 

This morning, Joram finally said he wanted to wear his underwear again. He also managed to poop in the toilet bowl for the first time! I'm so glad that he has conquered his fear and reached this milestone. There might still be regressions or accidents from now on but I can definitely look forward to him being diaper-free during the day pretty soon.