Today’s challenge…

Today’s challenge…

Managed some time to do cutting, pasting, drawing and colouring with the boys today. And as usual, I had to draw buses, cars and taxis. J2 challenged me by asking me to draw trains, diggers and then dump trucks. He knew he was asking the impossible of me and gave a loud chuckle as he saw my surprised face and expression of loss…
That obviously left me dumbfounded and it was indeed a level up for me. I managed a train and was stumped at drawing dump trucks and diggers when J1 came happily to my rescue. 😆

Losing a little of myself and gaining a little insight of the children has made me a more involved parent 

Losing a little of myself and gaining a little insight of the children has made me a more involved parent 

After thinking through my topics of conversation with the boys, I realise that I am into a lot of boyish topics, of cars, trucks, trains and even farts (we call them “toots”)! 😅

I realised I had lost a little of myself and gained a little of them in me as I get to find out more about their world. 

I didn’t realise the importance of bonding to me until the children came along. Their presence made me want to reach out into their world and connect with them. It is an inherent interest in getting to know what ticks in them and to understand their likes and dislikes. 

A Friend was sharing with me yesterday that if parents wait too long to establish connection with their children, or to shoo children away from their presence repeatedly, or to focus on chasing paper qualifications and nothing else, it’ll be too late to reverse it when there comes a time when the children find no joy and meaning in maintaining the connection with their parents. That affirmed my actions and encouraged me to continue in what I was already pursuing.

These days, we discuss about how various types of helicopters vary from each other and look at videos of wrecking balls demolishing a building. Other days, we get excited over pouring time into making sense of the characters in ‘Thomas and Friends’ books. We tell apart between Thomas, Edward and Gordon though they are all blue, and we got to know that Spencer is big and fast yet very cheeky. And there’s always the angry and sulky Bulstrode that was hard to please. Being involved with what the children know brightens up my world and opens my mind to more knowledge of things I wouldn’t know if I hadn’t had boys.

In time to come, I hope that our conversations will transit along with their age and we can freely talk about their day and challenges faced. Looking forward to open conversations where they feel a sense of security and acceptance within the Home and to turn to my Hubby and I as trusted adults and sources of wisdom whenever they need help.

Vege-tales 🥕🌽🥗🥙

Vege-tales 🥕🌽🥗🥙

They say (actually I’m not sure who ‘they’ refers to) ‘Eat your greens’. 
There’s more to vegetables than greens. ☺️
I never knew this till I became a Mum, and learnt how to cook. 
It may not be easy to incorporate every colour type of vegetable into our meals daily, but having a variety is something you might want to consider. 
Some of the staples I have ready at hand are mushrooms and onions (white), leafy vegetables like chye sim and xiao bai cai (green), tomatoes (red), carrots (yellow).. with a little mix and match, they somehow find their way into every meal. ✌️
It isn’t easy getting children to eat every single kind of vegetable as compared to eating junk, but daily, I try to incorporate these healthier eating habits in them by modelling what it means to be eating right. Tough one, but needful.
Below is a useful chart to help you plan your meals as you try to add some vegetables into your dishes!
Have fun! 😊

Don’t let caustic remarks determine your pace of motherhood

Don’t let caustic remarks determine your pace of motherhood

Came across a caustic remark from another Mother? Sometimes it’s best to ignore it and continue to trust that the decisions you are making for the family are best at the point in time.
Many times, we allow such words to sink into our minds and cause us to feel inadequate or lousy. Words that pierce the soul have that kind of effect and to forget these remarks may not be easy after all. 
Once, I was on my way home when another mum saw me and asked ‘Going to get groceries for cooking today?’ I was under the weather that day and replied with a slip of my tongue ‘No, I don’t feel like cooking today’. That mum responded ‘Woah, you need to have mood in order to cook ah? I cook for my family everyday, you know?’ looking at me with a challenge in her face. Maybe she was expecting me to retort, but then, what’s the point of me retorting? I smiled and walked away.

Hurtful words? Yes, definitely, to a person who intentionally tries to cook every day. Yet, I figured I cannot allow myself to dwell on such remarks and put myself down as well. No, I wasn’t cooking as I wanted to recuperate, and that doesn’t diminish my dedication to the family one bit. Everytime the words come to mind, I’ll replay my response to it to counter that negative thought and move on. On and on… optimism takes awhile to sink in, ya? 

There are countless similar occasions that mums will face that put them in a spot and challenge their competency. Most importantly, if you’re already doing your best, give yourself that pat on the back, because you wouldn’t have done it any better anyway. Comparison would only serve to make us discontent with our current state. 

Move on with life, and move away from caustic people. Surround yourself with likeminded mums who share your values and not judge your daily decisions. Motherhood will be a lot more encouraging then.

How to possibly fall sick less…

How to possibly fall sick less…

“Mummy doesn’t get much of a break…” that is what I hear from my peers who are also SAHM. 

This is true and from morn to dusk, time is taken over by countless tasks, routines, schedules, appointments, errands and everything else that happens to ‘just happen’. Hardly is there any breather and a toilet break to relieve oneself is such a luxury. 

End of the day, what was planned to be accomplished the night before most of the time becomes undone.

The the cycle repeats itself the following day.

This gets particularly trying when children fall ill. In between, there will be visits to the doctor, time to prepare meals, creativity to think up meals that they would possibly eat and not refuse, as well as to handle meltdowns and all-of-a-sudden throw ups and cases of diahorrea. 

The ultimatum would probably be when Mummy falls ill. With a forever-I’m-having-a-lack-of-sleep state to deal with, energy is drained and the day just gets badder and maybe badder than baddest… And the demands of the family still hold true: meals, sending kids to school, checking on their work, chores and nightfeeds/nightmares. 

I’m no saint, and most of my days are awry… 😅 but over the years, I learnt a few knacks that might possibly help in such a situation.

An immune boosting supplement a day comes a long way. Try it! I take those that come in effervescent form, so I get my additional one cup of water intake as well. 

As for children, elderberry and vitamin C supplements come in handy as well.

Eat simply most of the time, leaving out hot sauces and spicy curries that could upset the stomach and irritate the throat. I usually include a soup during dinner so that some soup could be poured over the rice to go with. 

Eat real food and cut down on processed ones where possible. This might be challenging when everything else seems like fighting for your attention, but the pay off is great. I suppose there is more nutrition packed into real food and there is also less of fats, sugar and sodium. Real food gets digested more easily and this doesn’t choke up our digestive system too excessively.

Set aside 2 big bottles, each filled to the Brom with water, to consume through the day. That’ll make up 3 litres of water daily! Yay.

Think happy thoughts, complain less, and that might free the head of some pains and mentally or emotionally induced illnesses.
If already unwell, try natural remedies to aid recovery as well. If antibiotics is not an option, consider visiting the Chinese physician for a course of medication or brew soups such as 四神 or 六味 to tune your health back to its healthy state.

As the flu season approaches in May, take really good care and if you have not, it’s about time to start building on your defenses. 💪💪💪

Them gaining independence is such a bittersweet pill to swallow…

Them gaining independence is such a bittersweet pill to swallow…

As J2 grows older by the day, his quest for independence seems to increase in leaps and bounds. Few days back, my gregarious toddler declared that he was no longer a baby boy but a small boy. And I agreed so.
He doesn’t want me to help him up the bench for meals.

He wants to practice brushing his teeth every morning and evening.

He attempts to wear his socks and shoes before going out of the house.

His strides are getting longer and quicker whenever he races home with his Brother.

He starts to read to himself.

He sings accurately and engages himself with actions.

He doesn’t need much coaxing to get to sleep.

He walks confidently to the bread shop, pick a loaf he likes, passes it to the cashier and pays up.

He takes medicine bravely when asked to.

He insists on sitting on the train seat all by himself, using the escalator, and even enthusiastically putting an old lanyard round his neck (at home) and pretending to tap to enter the train station.

He dares himself to climb stairs whilst holding on to he railings and squats at every step to put a leg down at a time when he descends from the steps.

J2 climbed the entire flight of stairs with very minimal help from me

I almost can’t believe that he is growing up so fine, so well, and way too fast.

I often call him ‘Boss Baby’ because of the quirky resemblance, and I think he is becoming one, wanting to be like a mini adult and so full of ‘I want to try…’ and ‘Didi try!’.

The Boss Baby

I need to learn to let go and this is probably the most difficult part… something I will choose not to tell him, and to continue to edge him on to better himself as he seeks his independence.

We can still find happiness in simple things…

We can still find happiness in simple things…

A not-so-usual Sunday where everything seemed drabby; all of us seemed to have caught a bug of some sort, except for my hubby. The hours passed slowly and everything suddenly seemed more than tedious, well, at least to me. 

I would usually prepare dinners for the family but today, we decided to embrace a change and eat out instead, hoping that it would lighten everyone’s mood and also take the opportunity to enjoy the sounds and sights around us. 

As early as 5pm, we set off to Punggol SAFRA for dinner (because we thought, such an ulu place, surely very peaceful and quiet) for dinner. 
No doubt, the place was quiet (initially only) and with very few seats occupied. We found a cosy spot and had a great meal.

It had been a tough 2 weeks or so for us, visiting the doctor(s) every few days, taking note of medicine timing, waking up in the middle of the night to make sure things were fine, and so on. In short, we were all tired out. 

Tonight’s dinner was probably the highlight of the past 2 weeks, and though it was a quiet one, it was a restful one as well. There was fussing from J2 every now and then, but it didn’t matter too much and we did what we could to make him feel a little better with his discomfort.
Dinner over, and we took a leisurely stroll along the Waterway.. and apart from the dark skies which seemed to hamper my mood due to impending rain (??). 

Thinking back, there wasn’t any much complexity in how we spent our evening; it was very simple and there wasn’t any out of the ordinary activity deliberately planned out. Yet, we enjoyed it thoroughly and everyone was happy. Looking forward to more of such times where family time spent need not be a rushed activity and can be captured in more entirety. 😊