Hands off day…

Hands off day…

What makes caring for the children more challenging is when Mummy is coping with a cough and sore throat.

As much as I really hate it when I can’t even speak a proper sentence without coughing the house down, I realised, to the naggy reminders of my hubby (I appreciate it still), that I needed to draw the line, and let the children engage in some extended time of quiet activity.

So I went ahead and busied my boys with activities of their own. Occasionally, they come to me with a book, and ‘Mama, read!’ I’d oblige, and start coughing a fit again after the fifth page. Couldn’t utter another word because I was choked in a fit. So I hand signalled for the water bottle… J1 saw that I was tearing from it and rushed to hand me a tissue. J2 reached for the water bottle. For a moment, I felt blessed that the boys took the initiative to care for me. ☺️

After regaining my composure, I told them that I could t carry on and needed to keep my mouth shut. 😆 They seemed to understand and went about their own play…

After 30 minutes or so, I found them playing Lego bricks, and here were their creations.

So glad that that gave them time to interact and explore creativity, as well as give me a much needed breather. 😊

Learning from historical recounts certainly enrich our lives…

Learning from historical recounts certainly enrich our lives…

J1 hurriedly grabbed a non-fiction book from the library prior to borrowing the rest of the books with my hubby last weekend. It was not a book we had intentionally wanted to borrow. My hubby told J1 that this was a book probably meant for older children; J1 insisted on borrowing it and so they did.

We had quite a bit of time for reading this morning before J1 went to school and I took out this particular book, not knowing what it’s contents were.

As I gathered the boys to my side to look at the photos and recount of the explosion, we then realised that the Hindenburg was an airship, or otherwise known more affectionately as the blimp. The only blimp I came across was that of the Turtles… 😂

The Hindenburg Explosion brought us back to history as they brought the unfortunate incident of its explosion alive, sharing details of its grandeur and class, only to have ended in a terrible blast, and dissolved into ashes in less than a minute. For a moment, history came alive in our little study room, as we discussed how dangerous it was to knowingly fill the airship with combustible hydrogen gas, and that also sparked discussion of whether the boys would want to ever ride on an airship if given an opportunity to.

J2 chirped in every now and then, saying that he would rather be playing with a toy blimp than be on a real one, because it was dangerous. J1 didn’t want to have anything to do with airships, except to see the modern day helium filled ones floating in the air, broadcasting advertisements.

To make the reading impactful to them, we counted on 30 seconds on the wall clock, to make it as tangible as possible, how fast the incident took place, and how frail life can be, with such a sudden turn of events.

Ending it, J1 requested if he could watch a footage of the Hindenburg incident over YouTube. I managed to find one which was narrated by a survivor…

I never expected that a book based on a historical recount could stir up so much learning in not just my boys but for myself. I see blimps in a different light now, and will remember the many incidences dated back in history that their invention simply did not pull through.

My boys and I also appreciate the advancement in engineering and technology in planes that bring us relatively safely to places in a fraction of the time that an airship could possible take.

So much for our learning for today. It was a simple but eventful time of enriching ourselves. 😊

Letting go can be bittersweet… 😝

Letting go can be bittersweet… 😝

While we were out one evening, J2 insisted that he held on to the railings of the escalator, despite struggling to do so. A petite toddler with a longing to grow up… and grow up fast.

And so I asked him: “J, you are holding on to the railing because you want to be like an adult?”

Without hesitation, this little man replied with a firm and collected “Yes”.

I don’t know whether to laugh or what…

Where has my baby boy gone to? 😅 I think I need to let go just that little bit more.

I’ve a little reader at home!

I’ve a little reader at home!

Last week, J1 borrowed a book from the kindergarten library and to my surprise, it was a book from the popular readers series, Peter and Jane. He had been introduced to the series about a year or two ago by my hubby and was stuck at book 2B for like, forever… 😆 We had moved on to other books such as these, which were more interesting, to me at least.

Before the library period comes again for the book to be returned, I thought I had better read the Peter and Jane book with J1. So here was the book he borrowed…

To my surprise, he was able to read the words in the book since most of them are common sight words. He was glad to be called an independent reader. I was also happy that he is able to read, process and extract information from the books that he picked up these days.

What a comfort to know that he is picking up literacy bit by bit and having fun in gaining knowledge. It has always baffled me how young children pick up language. Today, I finally understand.. that it is by frequent exposure to it, actively using it, and explicitly pointing the words out, that a language is gradually infused into a little one. This would well apply to other aspects of learning as well. 😉

Finally, before he packed his bag for school, was my challenge to him: to look for the 3B reader or 4A reader during library period, so he could carry on to the next level of reading…

Food for thought…

Food for thought…

Life has been hectic, weather has been bad, germs have been thriving… triple whammy, I think to myself. 🙄🙄🙄

For friends who know me personally, I prefer natural remedies to manufactured medication, real food to processed ones, in building up the body.

Regardless of how busy life and demands are, I try to prepare dinner for all, to have a taste of home cooked food at least once a day. Food, real and natural, used for nutritive value and medicinal properties, is what motivates me to ‘keep calm and keep cooking’. 😆

You do not know how many times I’ve kept flyers of Tingkat, toying with the intention of relying on them for daily cooked meals, and only to crush them before willing myself to the kitchen. And I still do look at these flyers every now and then when they find their way into the letterbox… ahh, that struggle is so real lor. Today is another mad day, but something that cannot be compromised is really the health of the family. So the children and I had honey citron tea with a mini bun and an egg for breakfast, before rushing out one no-brainer recipe of chicken stew (and putting as much ingredients in as possible), and preparing macaroni lunch for J2, before a late morning appointment.

So for now, the Mummy-guilt is temporarily lifted from me, and I can have a less stressed day, having in mind that meals have more or less been settled. Maybe this one trait of mine might just leave me with being a SAHM for a longer time (or permanent?) 😆 since I really cannot bear to think of is having every member of my family reverting to my old lifestyle (when I just got married) of eating 3 meals of outside food.

Outside food isn’t totally to be shunned, because it comes with conveniences when we cannot afford time to prepare meals from home. On the other hand, having too much outside food might have unforeseen repercussions later in life, owing to the amounts of sodium and sugar added to make it more appetising.

At one point before the children came along, when I was going through the motions of eating to live (or to survive after a day of irregular meals), I recall feeling lethargic and bloated after meals, and there was a constant craving for more and more of such food, not to mention the very occasional lure of fast food (they are so convenient to buy these days, isn’t it? Just a call away…) I couldn’t figure out what caused my health to deteriorate till J1 came along and I started learning to cook from scratch, eating what he eats.

Surprisingly, hubby and I began to see changes in our tastes. After a period of more home cooked food, our taste buds seem to have awaken and sensitised to natural flavours. We began to feel less lethargic and bloated. Sounds too good to be true, we thought… so we continued with this lifestyle. We were all the more convinced by this when we were at our favourite haunt for dinner but, that time round, all of us couldn’t finish the meal because what tasted fine and yummy to us a few years ago, then tasted far too salty.

5 years on and I think this has done us more good than anything else. Most of the time, our comfort food is found from home in the form of cheesy eggs, steamed sweet corn and even wolf berries on its own. On cheat days or on days I didn’t want to enter the kitchen to cook, we would then eat out. This provides more of a balance to my processed diet from the past.

Looking forward to better health in the years to come, as I plough deeper into the wonders of food that God has so richly given us to eat.

Catch them young!

Catch them young!

J1 has always expressed interest in food preparation and today, I roped him in to help me out in the preparation of meatballs. 😃 He used a chopper to mince the chives, mushrooms and onions before mixing it in a bowl of minced meat with sesame oil and soy sauce.

He was all excited to help me out, and kept asking when he could start ‘work’. Haha! What keenness to learn. As much as I had other washing and cutting to do at the kitchen sink, I tried to hasten my steps so that he could be involved soon. With an enthusiastic learner, the least I could do is not to quench that thirst to know and to do more.

J2 was just as keen to find out what was going on. He seemed hesitant though, about getting his fingers all oily and sticky, but stayed to watch on. J1, on the other hand, was quite garung, and nonchalantly washed his hands with soap and water after he was done with the mixing.

Looking forward to more hands-on experiences with my boys. The time they have with me at home as preschoolers is short, and I can’t afford to wait for them to grow up a little more to try these out. By then, they would have their own activities to occupy their time, and it would be a different kind of motivation for them to pick up what they were once interested in.

So, catch them young, for it’s never too early!


Teachable moments

Teachable moments

The planes were at it again, blaring their engines one after the other in the skies. J2 stopped his activity and immediately did this:

He was frustrated and scared, due to the loud noise.

I saw it as a teachable moment to tell him about what our Air Force is doing to protect our skies. We cannot take peace in our country for granted and there are many people in the backgrounds doing all they can to ensure the safety of Singapore. This, I needed to let J2 (and J1) know.l, lest they become complacent that we will never be attacked by enemies.

I will be showing this to my boys as well about what takes place in the skies as we go about our daily lives. Maybe they will come to appreciate these sounds one day, when it all clicks and makes sense.