A day in the life of …

Eight and a half months with a Primary School kid and a preschooler and life is still as busy as before. I have friends who asked me why I’m still caught up with so many things and I’ve to remind them that my children are in different sessions and hence there won’t be any rest except when they go to bed in the evening. That’s when I could take a real break.

In recent times too, I find myself unable to reply a text message ( especially in group chat) that requires me to think deeper in terms of my comments. My train of thoughts would often be disrupted by an inquisitive kid or a request to help them. In the end, I give up. I just need to be updated of what’s going on and hope that my friends would pardon me for my lack of sharing or reply.

Let me do a post of what’s going on in the life of this Mom.

6.30am | The kids used to wake up much earlier in their younger days but thankfully, they get up later these days. By this time, the husband would have gone to work and my day starts.

Breakfast scene these days. Most of the time, they would go off to play after having their bread. I try not to interfere because I know they need time for each other but I find that reading is much neglected by the older kid especially and I have to intentionally place a book on the dining table to entice the reader in them.

7.45am | By this time, both kids would have done the necessary and the boy is ready to go to school. The girl is in the afternoon session but has to tag along to send the boy since there isn’t anyone at home to look after her.

Audiobooks are a great help when we are on the road.

8.30am | I have about 1.5 hours of quality time with the girl before I have to busy myself in the kitchen (lunch). Normally, she would do her school homework or tasks given by yours truly. Thankfully, her teachers don’t normally give much homework and I have time to revise and read with her. 1.5 hours fly back very quickly and before we know it, I have to rush out lunch.

Lunch for the girl is in the kindy. Obviously she’s very much distracted and all she cares about is to spend time with her brother. A few mouthfuls and she’s done. The brother? He’s so absorbed when it comes to playing with his classmates. At times, I find myself having to feed him until I realised that I’m inculcating a bad habit in him. Arghhh…

12.30pm | The girl is in school and the boy and I are back home. Between now and 6pm, the boy and I have plenty of time to interact. He’s doesn’t nap and this means he needs to be sufficiently engaged. There are pockets of time when he could find something to engage himself (most play pretend) but mostly, he would want my company.

Most of the time, we stay indoors until about evening when we would go to the nearby park for some forms of exercise like cycling, scooting or simply having fun at the playground.

When I’m up to it, I’ll choose one afternoon to head out to some museums, zoo, bird park and the like. It’s field trip day and he absolutely likes it.

On normal days, I would have prepared dinner before Dan and I set off to pick the girl up from school in the evening. She would have her 10 minutes of playground time with her classmates before we head home.

6.45pm | Dinner is usually at this time and it’s normally one-dish meal (that’s all I can manage for now). We would all be ready for family devotion by 7.45pm. Lights off, ideally is at 8pm but sometimes we drag for 10 to 15 minutes.

And then….

It’s ME time for me!

I don’t particularly like such a schedule. It’s such a rush in the morning and I’m left with very little quality time with the girl. Time spent on the road and while waiting for the boy to end school and having lunch in the kindy is almost comparable to the amount of time spent with F. On the other hand, I’ve much more time with the boy and we could explore places at times.

Something has to change.

A letter to Faith on her 4th birthday

Dear Faith

You turn four years old today! Blessed birthday! Mama couldn’t help but be thankful for you because you are indeed one precious gift from God.

This past one year has been eventful. You were promoted to be a big sister to Dan and you did a wonderful job caring for him. Your love for him was evident. Each morning, when you awoke, you would look for him and spent the time after breakfast playing with him while Mama tried to get ready. You read to him and taught him skills that he would need. You encouraged and cheered for him when he reached his various milestones. No wonder Dan was so fond of you.

I remember I had a hard time adjusting to life with two kids when Dan was just a few weeks old and I was tough on you. I know you must have felt terrible and perhaps felt a sense of loss since you had to share Mama with Dan now.  And with so many of us giving our attention to him, you must have felt insecure. Thankfully, that period was over and as Mama learnt how to cope, things did get better.

This year, you got real chatty and must have asked a million whys. I must say Mama was exasperated and wish for more quietness at home. However, I also recognise that many of your questions are valid and you truly wanted to know more about yourself and the world you are living in. I only pray for more patience.

In March this year, I had the utmost privilege to lead you to invite Jesus into your life. What joy! Nothing is more important than this! From then on, you have been sensitive and extremely teachable on things above and asked questions pertaining to the Christian faith. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide you as you grow in your knowledge and love for Him.

Dear Faith, I want you to know that you have brought me much joy and love. Through you, I see how ugly and selfish I am as a person yet you have always extended your grace towards me, just like our heavenly Father. I love it when you say “It’s ok!” to assure me that you are not upset when Mama has done something that could sadden you.

This year, you asked to celebrate your birthday in school and you were not particular about the type of cake or the design. “You decide” is what you told me and when I baked you a Hello Kitty lychee chiffon cake, you were cool about it. I know you are not ecstatic about Hello Kitty, but you would just let me bake that for you because you know Mama would not be free to design a special cake for you. Thank you for being so understanding.

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I wish you could stay at this age because I really did enjoy your company this past year. You were so teachable and were my little helper. I recall the many times that you wanted to help me juice, vacuum and mop the floor, bathe and feed Dan. When Papa had to come home late after BSF, you would wait patiently in the living room while I put Dan to bed. One of those nights, you fell asleep on the sofa while waiting for me and I couldn’t help but feel bad about leaving you alone. However, I’m assured that you are mature enough to be on your own and that Mama doesn’t always have to be with you.

Perhaps, the greatest compliment that I get from you was when I asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up. Your reply encouraged me so much. “I want to be a mom like you!” I must have done something right to warrant such a response!

Thank you, my little angel for being you. We have had many conversations and I love how you make me laugh. I thank God for the privilege to be able to see you grow and develop from the time you were born. May you continue to show great zest for life and be mindful of the things of God.

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-25

Threenager no longer…soon

Faith is turning 4 years old in less than two months’ time and would no longer be a threenager. I realised I have neglected to record her development on this space. Sigh! I find myself loving this age and if I have all the patience to answer her many ‘whys’, it would have been perfect. This is an age in which the child listens to you and yet takes opportunity to challenge you. She is curious about all things and continues to try to make sense of the world she is living in.

She is still the Miss Tamchiak in the family and is getting all the more adventurous in tasting new food as she grows older. I allowed her to consume {good quality} ice-cream after she was about 3 1/2 YO (yes, I’m one of those moms) and she was thrilled. We have often taught her to be thankful for food and that she MUST finish all that she is given especially when we are being invited for a meal. She manages to achieve that, 98% of the time. The order of preference for each meal? Carbo –> protein –> greens but she loves fruits and baked goods.

She could scoot and manages the balance bike well. We should be getting her to use the pedals on the bike soon since she has gotten the hang of balancing it. Faith has been enjoying her swim class all these while and we are thankful for that.

I do think she enjoys art and a part of me wanted to get her to go for art classes. Yet at the same time, I do not want to crowd her life with too many enrichment classes. It’s so hard to balance! She could really concentrate when she works on her art pieces and the longest record was one and a half hours.

In terms of language, she is stronger in her Chinese and could recognise many characters. Thus she is able to read.

I wish I could say the same for English but sadly, her progress for English is not as fast as Chinese. Perhaps, I am not consistent in coaching her in English but we do read more English books than Chinese. That being said, she could spell words using phonics but in terms of word recognition, there is much to work on.

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Numbers. I don’t even want to comment on that. I hardly teach and she’s the weakest in that. But we talk about numbers, time, measurement, etc with her through daily activities. Is that not sufficient?

This girl loves her little brother and cares for him like every good sister does. Many times, she got scolded because I was frustrated with the brother but she bears no grudges towards him. Each morning, when she wakes up, she would walk to his room and look for him. The little brother is truly pampered.

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We started learning about the different countries (Geography) a few months ago and she is absorbing all the information really well. I waste no time, of course, in getting her to learn about the continents and some of the famous landmarks of each country.

Loves to help out, as usual. Once, we were out and I was carrying a lot of stuff. She saw that I had a lot to handle and said,”Mom, you have many things to carry right? I help you carry the owl bag.” She was tired then after a day of activities but she offered her assistance. Please stay this way!

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Loves taking pictures.

Generally, she is a happy girl.
May you grow up to be a graceful and joyful lady, bringing joy and blessing to those you meet.

I love you, Faith.

Dan’s first experience with Bellamy’s Organic

Life gets really interesting once a baby reaches 6 months old. During our last visit to the PD, I was asked which brand of milk powder I wanted to try on Daniel. A few options were given and in the end, I chose the one that I grew up with and which the older one had used – Dumex.

I didn’t immediately use that can of formula milk powder because Daniel was diagnosed to have baby eczema by the PD and the latter had suggested that I watch my dairy intake since that might be the cause of the condition (he’s on total breastmilk). Although his condition is under control now, I thought it would be better that I source for an organic baby formula instead and hope that he would react well to it which is the main reason why I participated in the Bellamy’s Organic Experiencer Project.

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The subject

It is not difficult to like Bellamy’s Organic when I read up on its mission –

“to provide a pure start to life for babies and children everywhere and we are passionate about promoting healthy eating practices amongst children.”

It resonates greatly with me because that is what I desire for my children as well and I use organic ingredients in my cooking as much as possible. I certainly do not want my family to consume too much harmful chemicals! So starting the young ones with organic food is the way to go for me and I’m appreciating the fact that Bellamy’s Organic produces only 100% organic foods.

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Daniel has been on total breastmilk until now and he latches directly to the milk source so getting him to try the milk using the bottle has been a challenge. He was resistant to the bottle and in the end, I had to feed him using the spoon. It seemed that he noticed the difference when he took the first few spoonfuls and it didn’t take long for me to understand why. I tried the milk myself and realised that it is not really that sweet. My breastmilk must have been sweeter! This works for me since I dislike formula milk that is too sweet or contains artificial sweeteners.

Thankfully, there is no rejection from the boy and more importantly, no adverse reaction (i.e. allergies, constipation, etc) to the milk and that means he is not allergic to cow’s milk! You can imagine my joy! This is his first experience with formula milk (apart from the ones he drank in the hospital as an infant) and I’m happy that it is organic food that he is starting off with.

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Since Dan has started on solid foods, it was definitely a welcome move to get him to try Bellamy’s organic baby porridge which is organic oats blended with organic grains. It has added iron but no added sugar or salt. Adding the organic baby formula, this makes a very healthy and easy meal for me to prepare. Initially, it took the boy a while to get used to the taste and perhaps, texture, but after a few days, I am happy to report that he could finish the whole portion that was given to him. It’s definitely a far cry from the few teaspoonfuls at the beginning stage.

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Now, I could even rope in the husband to help since there is no more resistance from the boy anymore.

You could say that I’m very satisfied with the products and progress thus far and I went a little further and purchased the food pouch for Dan to try. You need to know something. I dislike these ready-to-serve baby food because I bought some food jars from other brands for my girl to try when she was around Dan’s age and when I tasted the food, I stopped myself from giving it to her. It had some weird taste to it and didn’t taste natural. If I find that a certain food tasted weird, I wouldn’t want my child to consume it, would I?

Having gained confidence and assurance from Bellamy’s organic formula milk and rice porridge, I decided to give its food pouch a go at it. I had the banana apple porridge and it tastes very similar to the original food. So yes, you can be sure that I would stock up on these because it promises convenience for me and nutrition for my kid!

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So I find myself becoming a believer of Bellamy’s Organic products and went on to purchase the milk rusks for my teething boy.

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At the end of the day, we all want our children to grow up strong and healthy, to be able to have a strong immune system and to grow up choosing the right food to consume, all the way till they reach adulthood. To achieve that, it has to start with providing the children with a healthy diet, one that is filled with wholesome, nutritious food from an early age. I’m glad to share the same beliefs as Bellamy’s Organic and from this experience, it is obvious that they truly care about the well-being of the young ones. Admirable. You have gained for yourself a loyal fan now.

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Do you have a photo of you and your child that is especially precious to you? You are invited to share that photo at Bellamy’s Organic Facebook Page and do let them know why the memory of that photo is held dear to you. You can stand a chance to win $200 TANGS shopping voucher + $50 Bellamy’s Organic Hamper. It is truly a Mother and Child’s well deserved treats!

Contest ends 25 May, Wednesday. Don’t wait anymore!😉

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Disclaimer: We are given a box of Bellamy’s Organic milk powder, pasta and rice porridge to sample for this experiencer project, as well as supermarket shopping vouchers. All opinions are, as usual, mine.

 

The baby eczema episode

Since the beginning of 2016, the son has been scratching himself like a monkey and yours truly thought that it was a natural thing for the baby to do. “He’s discovering his fingers,” so I thought. That action persisted and it got me worried because discomfort was shown all over his face. That’s when I realised that I had better do something about it lest it got worse.

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Dan at 6.5kg and 60cm (4th month)

The condition did get worse and on Dan’s 4-month’s visit to the PD, the latter diagnosed him as having baby eczema. My heart sank. Why would he have eczema when the rest of the family members do not suffer from this condition? What would I have to do? I guess the panic button was activated because I knew little about this condition. Thankfully, the doc assured me that in most cases, the baby would outgrow baby eczema as he gets older. However, he did ask me to watch my diet and cut down on my consumption of eggs and dairy intake. I was perplexed because I don’t take in large quantities of eggs and dairy products? Very little. So what could be the cause?

“…No one knows for sure what causes it, but the tendency to have eczema is often inherited. So your child is more likely to have it if you or a close family member has had eczema,asthma, or allergies.

Eczema is not an allergic reaction to a substance, but allergens or irritants in the environment (such as pollen or cigarette smoke) can trigger it. Less frequently, it can be triggered by allergens in your child’s diet – or in your diet if your child is breastfeeding.

The rash can also be aggravated by heat, irritants that come in contact with the skin (like wool or the chemicals in some soaps, fragrances, lotions, and detergents), changes in temperature, and dry skin. Stress can also trigger a flare-up of eczema…”

Source: http://www.babycenter.com/0_eczema-in-babies_10872.bc

I soon realised that I am not alone and found out that there are actually many who have this condition. The mummies’ community in Dayre is awesome and many of them offered their advice and shared their experiences. The PD had prescribed Zaricort cream (steriod) and Ceradan but after much consideration, we decided not to use steriod on Dan.

The days following the PD visit had been exasperating. Each day, I witnessed the scratching and even after applying the cream, his condition didn’t improve. Okay, I must confess that I was impatient and expect miracles to happen, like, you know, I expect the redness to disappear within a day. Obviously, that was not the case. Fellow moms have recommended products that have been effective and this exasperated mom just went out and buy and amassed a good collection of cream and oil.

The above work on different folks and I have learnt to be realistic and let each cream perform its magic on Dan and be PATIENT. Dan has very dry skin from the beginning but I have not been diligent in applying moisturiser on him, thinking that he could rough it out since he’s a boy. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!! He’s still, after all, a baby! This second-time mother needs to be scolded!

Apart from finding out which moisturising cream works on him, I have been experimenting with different brands of baby wash on him since that could be a factor that triggers his condition. And yes, I have to watch my own diet since I’m currently his only food source. 😉

Some of the brands that are recommended (for my own reference):
:: Four Cow Farm
:: Jo Lauren (I personally like the miracle balm. It does work miracles)
:: Emu oil
:: Moo Goo (another highly recommended brand)

A month has passed and his condition has improved. The cool weather during the Chinese New Year period has been immensely helpful.Dan scratched less often and his wounds in his scalp have healed. The rashes around his neck, hands and body still exist but at least, it is not as bad as before.

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The journey continues…

Since I’m lazy to write another post on his development, I will just record his 18 weeks progress in this post.

:: Loves to shriek non-stop
:: Doesn’t like to be cradled
:: Loves to turn and turn. Time to use the cot bumper.
:: Loves to use his fingers to explore all things that he sets his eyes on
:: Observant
:: Drools a lot, a lot!
:: Nap pattern in the morning has changed as a result
:: Feed on demand
:: Loves to be read to and chuckles in response
:: Loves it that people talk to him and he will flash his most charming smile in return

Dear Daniel (@ 4 months old)

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Dear Daniel

You turned 4 months old today! And mama realised that she hasn’t been recording much of your development. It’s not that you are less precious than your sister. It’s just that Mama is learning how to handle both of you and the learning curve is super steep. Now that things have gotten better, I’d better lock some of those memories here.

I remember during your first month, I asked the confinement lady if she was tired since she had to wake up in the middle of the night to bottle-feed you and her reply was,”He’s easy to take care of. Cry so softly and it’s like whimpering unlike some of the babies who scream. He’s considered gentle to me.”

I laughed at her comments but it’s so true. I have not really heard you cry that loudly. The only few times that you did was when you were hungry in the car and when I showered you. Since then, I make sure that you have your fill before we go places.

You take to the bottle well which is a relief for me since Papa is doing the night shift and that means I do not have to wake up in the middle of the night to feed you. I hope you are not giving him a difficult time! He has to work in the daytime, you know? But he has graciously offered to do the night shift because he knows I need the sleep or maybe he’s worried that I would harm you and Jie Jie if I don’t have enough rest? *Just kidding* On the average, you wake up 2 times for milk according to Papa and we didn’t bother to sleep train you since by doing that, you might wake Jie Jie up who has school the next day. We certainly hope you will grow out of it in due time, just like your Jie Jie.

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I want you to know that you have an awesome sister who treasures you a lot. Whenever Mama asks her to look after you, she would never refuse me because she just wants to spend time with you and take care of you like a good Jie Jie. She wishes that you would grow up quickly though because she can’t wait to play with you.

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You are very predictable and adhere to the same routine each day. You nap every 2 hours and have a longer 3-hour nap in the afternoon before retiring for the day at 7pm each day. In terms of bedtime, I must say you are much better than your sister. I don’t have to sing you songs or rock you to sleep. You just, well, fall asleep. Because of that, I could spend the evening with your sister. What a wonderful brother you are!

Today, you flipped and I missed you in action as your sister was asking me to play with her. I got distracted. Sigh! But it’s a neat surprise when I turned to see you in that “flipped” position! I was quite sure your neck was not strong enough since I didn’t really conduct tummy time often enough for you. So, I was surprised and literally cried for joy.

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Mama likes the way you observe your surrounding and this shows that you have a curious mind (colloquially we term it as ‘kaypoh’) and I absolutely love it when you flash that smile of yours whenever we chat you up. So adorable. Stay that way, will you?

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Mama will try to record your milestones and development diligently from now on. It has not be an easy 4 months but I’m reminded that I can always count on the Lord for strength daily. May you grow up to love the Lord and seek Him always.

Love
Mama

Play dates for Faith

At times I find that Faith can be rather lonely playing by herself while under the adults’ care. Putting myself in her position, I think I would love to hang out with peers my age. Thankfully, once in a while, my girlfriends would meet up and the that will be the opportune time for the kids (same year) to play together. I am hoping we can aim for more regular sessions!

Recent play time at the Chans

Recent play time at the Chans

Both Faiths playing with each other

Both Faiths playing with each other

The older Faith feeding the younger Faith

The older Faith feeding the younger Faith

Every Saturday, at CG, the kids will come together and Faith has another chance of play time with her mates.

Faith and Samuel, two months apart.

Faith and Samuel, two months apart.

Cathy playing with Faith

Cathy playing with Faith

Of course, I love it whenever my sis and her family come back for a visit and am hoping for her return in December, this time for good.

Cousins at play!

Cousins at play!

It’s nice to be kids.

Faith @ 10 months old

20130920-204541.jpgDear Faith
You turn 10 months old today! How exciting! It’s 2 more months before you have your first birthday!

This month, you have been really active. You crawl faster and your reactions towards your surrounding are sharper. You treat your home as your playground, crawling all over, under the tables and chairs, and using them to help you practise your standing up. Mama didn’t really want to restrict you and let you roam around. I figure I cannot set a boundary for you since I value freedom myself and I hope you have fun exploring all the different parts of the home.

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I think you are a fun-loving girl. For two weeks, the teachers at BSF’s infant class have been telling me that you laughed and played a lot, to the extent that you wouldn’t want to take a nap. You are a happy child and love your snacks now. But it seems you have more preference for the biscuits to the puree that Mama made for you. Not good, you know? Mama has started introducing you to threadfish porridge but I think you need time to get used to the taste?

Tasting threadfish porridge for the first time

Tasting threadfish porridge for the first time

You have started to communicate more by participating in conversations with the adults. Although we don’t know what you are babbling about, we are always amused by your input. One evening at CG, you went on and on with your rambling and we got distracted by you! But how adorable you are! You have also started to respond to prayer whenever Mama starts with, “Dear God…”. You literally stop and listen and when I finish with an ‘Amen’, you laugh. You know that is a prayer right?

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One thing you taught Mama is that you don’t really fancy toys that much. You are much entertained by boxes, tissue papers, plastic bags…things that make sound. This certainly is good news. There are really a lot of things to explore outside, say for example, nature and Mama can’t wait to bring you on some trails. Also, I realised you want our company more than anything else. Our presence is what you want, not the toys. Noted.

Oh yes, Mama thinks you love the kitchen. Whenever Mama is in the kitchen, you will come in and play with whatever things that you can lay your hands on. Maybe when you grow up, you help Mama bake some goodies to bless others?

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Oh yes, you have been upgraded from the infant car seat. How awesome is that? Mama actually prefers that you are seated facing the front now as you fuss less which is bliss for me.

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May you continue to be a happy child. Know that you are a beloved child of ours and of God. 😉

Faith @ 9 months old

Dear Faith

You turned 9 months old a couple of days ago and it has been an eventful month, at least for your mama.

Socially, I do think you like to play and be around with friends around your age. The teachers at the infant class in BSF have been telling me that you refuse to take a nap and love to play. One of them commented that you didn’t want to miss out on the fun, is that right? You seem to have integrated well into the class now and the teachers sing praises of you but please do learn to take a break when the occasion calls for it?

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Playing with cousin Lester

The other day when you and little Samuel were placed in the play area, you turned energetic all of a sudden (@ 9pm) and started crawling around and reaching out to him. Were you trying to sayang or hit him? Mama couldn’t really tell. I would have loved to let you play with him and figure out your friendship with him on your own but well, I’m just afraid you will hurt him physically. Oh well…

Physically, you are really active. You are so curious about a lot of things and you just keep exploring! So, Mama has been really busy too, looking out for you. You love danger zones, like the fans, cables and the drying rack. You are also trying to catch my attention by purposely reaching out for them. Many times, I have caught you looking at me before you pull the dangerous stuff. Why would you want to test Mama’s limits?

Danger zone!

Danger zone!

Standing confidently. Oh no!

Standing confidently. Oh no!

In terms of your diet, Mama has introduced you to broccoli, potato and peach for this month. You don’t seem to like broccoli but I hope you know that Mama will not stop giving you that just because you don’t like it. Broccoli is good for you! Well, as expected, you like junk commercial food. I started giving you those ‘Wang Wang’ balls and you love them. You also those Heinz finger biscuits which your Aunty bought for you. Mama is just trying to get you to learn how to bite but well, I think I should get you to chew on meat instead.

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Big appetite for little snacks

In the middle of August, something happened to you and there was one night which you just screamed your head off and couldn’t be put down to sleep at all. You cried rather hysterically and Mama and Papa wondered what had happened to you. Mama had to carry you to sleep. During those weeks, you woke up many times in the middle of the night which was unlike you. We were baffled and thought you might have been affected by something. Mama and Papa were so tired and Papa actually felt sick due to a lack of rest. Thankfully, you returned to your usual sleeping patterns last week and we thanked the Lord for that! Now, it seems that your nap times are at 10am and 3pm for about 1.5 hours each. Hopefully, that will sustain.

Bye bye!

Bye bye!

Linguistically, I think you know the meaning of bye-bye and accompanied that phrase with the relevant action. Good job! It’s such a funny sight seeing you do that! Oh, you have been rather loud these days. Who are you calling out to? You don’t have to scream, you know?

Recently, you develop a running nose and we are waiting it out to see if you can recover on your own. Overall, we are just thankful that you are growing well in all aspects. Great job!

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Stay happy and healthy!

Stay happy and healthy!

Fisher-Price® Early Learning Fund

Dear parents, we have good news!

Fisher-Price®’s much anticipated campaign – The Early Learning Fund – is back!

‘Play’ & ‘Toys’ are two words not conventionally associated with learning for our children. However, child psychologists have long recognized that toys are a catalyst for impactful, interactive learning with our child and can bring about meaningful learning opportunities at every age. In a bid to promote meaningful playtime between parents and children, FisherPrice® unravels their 2013 Early Learning Fund.

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The Early Learning Fund campaign is aimed at helping parents give their children a head-start
in life and Fisher-Price® has kicked it off with a five-month promotion to give parents the chance to win a S$10,000 cash scholarship when they purchase Fisher-Price® toys.

By purchasing any Mattel Fisher-Price® product that is $20 or above (excluding Thomas & Friends) and submitting the accompanying receipt, photo and completed form, contestants stand a chance to win a Grand S$10,000 Cash Prize or be among 20 Weekly Draw Winners to walk away with a Learning Hamper worth $1,000!

Weekly Draw – Learning Hamper

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For the 20 weeks leading up to November 30th, any contestant who submits an entry for the Early Learning Fund stands a chance to walk away with a Learning Hamper worth over S$1,000.

Grand Prize – S$10,000 Cash of Early Learning Fund

On 16th December 2013, a winner will be picked for the Grand S$10,000 Cash Prize, of which WeeklyDraw Winners are also eligible. The Winner for the Grand Prize will be published on The Straits Times on Monday 23rd December 2013.

Do visit the Joy of Learning website for more details on how you can participate!

*Faith receives a Fisher-Price® toy to add to her expanding collection of ‘playmates’.

Fisher-Price® wants YOU as their Play Ambassador!

Little kids love to play, explore and use their imagination!

As parents, we know it is important to follow our child’s lead, to guide and facilitate that desire for play.

Fisher-Price® believes that interactive playtime becomes a more well-rounded learning advantage for your growing child when it involves not just your child and his/her toys but YOU as well. Perhaps it’s time to re-think children’s play and join Fisher-Price® as its Play Ambassadors!

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What does it mean to be a Fisher-Price® Play Ambassador?

As Play Ambassador, you will have to share with the audience on any social media platforms (twitter,
instagram, blogs etc) how you are encouraged to help your child play with FisherPrice® toys. You should also share how your child is learning and enjoying while you play with them.

Fisher-Price® will guide you on this journey of impactful and interactive learning with $5,000 worth of Fisher-Price® products based on the age of your child. From time to time, Fisher-Price® Play Ambassador moms will also receive different products for reviews where you can even host play dates with family and friends to share the Fisher-Price® experience. After such play dates, it is encouraged that you reflect about how it went and actively share about your experience as well as what your family and friends have to say about Fisher-Price® products on your social media sites.

In addition, ambassadors will be on featured interviews across various television/print/digital media to talk about the Fisher-Price® Play Ambassador programme and their Fisher-Price® playing journey.

How to participate?

To participate, send a photo of you and your child with a slogan on why you want to become a
Fisher-Price® Play Ambassador to: Fisher-Price.Singapore@mattel.com

Expectant mothers are also more than welcome to participate! Send in your entry any time from now to 15th August 2013 and selected candidates will be notified via email on 31st August 2013. Fisher-Price® will be selecting 2 local Play Ambassadors.

*For Singapore readers only.

Faith @ 8th month

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Okay, so I’m late in reporting Faith’s development. It is now already 2 weeks into her eighth month but oh, a lot of stuff has been happening!

IMG_5643I think the greatest milestone for this month is her ability to crawl. Faith has been practising that pose for some time but couldn’t really figure out how to crawl until one fine day, viola!, it makes sense to her. She is still not good at it but at least she is able to make good, small steps towards this particular area of development.

As she grows, she needs more space to explore and we have shifted her play area from her room to the living room which is designated to be our reading corner as well. A bigger mat was bought and Faith is able to play on her own without having anyone around her ALL the time. Well, when she gets bored with the toys, that is another story. in the play area, she is also able to learn her crawling stunts and then as she crawls and explores, she puts whatever stuff that she can find into her mouth! Oh no!

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Besides crawling, Faith loves to stand and gets excited when we pull her up and guides her to walk. A little too soon for her but let’s just see how she progresses as the weeks pass.

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With all these new skills that she is learning, Faith gets all too excited, so much so that she wants to practise them even during sleeping time. She refuses to nap and it takes really LONG and a lot of effort for us to get her to take a LITTLE nap. Then at night, she wakes up 2 to 4 times! When we reach her room, she is already sitting up, waiting for us. Thankfully, after giving her some milk, she goes back to sleep. My dark eye rings are getting worse.

I think Faith really likes company. Thankfully, her cousins are back and she loves hanging out with the boys. I should really send her to some playgroup soon!

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MTP | Faith’s development @ 6 months

While parents met their child’s teachers last Friday to get an update of their development, I thought I should pen down Faith’s since I am her teacher (Am I not?). Here goes.

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Faith’s two lower teeth have grown by the sixth month and the days leading to the ‘eruption’ saw her crying out in discomfort every night. It’s such a pain to see her in that state but she’s better now.

She takes to semi-solids well too. In fact, she loves the fact that she could sit on the high chair and have a meal together with us. Nope, we don’t encourage switching on the TV or to have any other forms of distraction. Meal time is a time for the family to be together, to enjoy the food and each other’s company. Her appetite is good; she could finish the portion of puree in 10 to 15 minutes. It isn’t too much mess either when feeding her but when she’s tired, she likes to kiss the bib and that’s not very desirable; it’s messy. So far, that’s no rejection of food on her part but let’s just wait and see.

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Faith is also a happy child. My parents have no problem in handling her. In fact, the evening I was away for a dinner, she stayed up to play with her grandmother. My mother gave good report about her! Faith has also grown to be more at ease with my in-laws which is definitely a good thing. Way to go!

In terms of sleeping, Faith still has trouble falling asleep on her own. Currently, she needs to be soothed and wants to be breastfed before she could fall asleep. Ok, I recognise that I have contributed to this problem. This is a bad habit and I have to retrain her to sleep on her own. When she was younger, I was definitely stricter and sleep-trained her. Recently, I let go and well, bad habits are formed. Argh! At times, she wakes up in the middle of the night and I believe that’s because of teething. Other than that, she could sleep from 9pm to 7am. We will have to continue to monitor this area of her development.

Faith loves to play and is very active. She could sit up straight with minimal assistance now but we are hoping she could do so WITHOUT any aid in the very near future. She loves music and responds to the same song(s) when I play them on my iphone. However, her interest for books has not been detected. Oh well…

On the whole, Faith is growing well and she is much loved by God and her family!

Fisher-Price® Joy of Learning Workshop

Time passed so quickly. Faith is already six months old and ready for another stage of her development!

As the little munchkin grows, I find myself not knowing what to do to engage her at times. Being a new mother and a SAHM, I have to keep up with reading on relevant books and materials so that I could be well equipped in handling her. Thankfully there are workshops and online resources that reach out to people like me. Here’s one by Fisher-Price® that is coming up and I would be going for it. The following is a little information on it.

Fisher-Price Joy of Learning

The Fisher-Price® Joy of Learning Workshop is an interactive, informative, and practical workshop to arm you with a clearer understanding of your role as principal caregivers in this scheme of play and offer tools to better engage and nurture your little ones through joyful play activities. Recognising the irreplaceable role of play-based learning, when our little ones are provided with settings where they can readily interact with us whilst actively investigating, exploring and manipulating toys and items in their surroundings, they are not only ‘playing’ but developing critical skills for daily living and relationship-building.

Conducting the workshop is Ms Carrie E. Lupoli, educational and parenting expert, spokesperson for Mattel Fisher-Price® “Joy of Learning” in S.E.A and founder of Singapore’s premier private education agency – Live & Learn Consulting.

Four topics of interest will be covered at the Fisher-Price® Joy of Learning Workshop:

1. The Roles and Responsibilities of Parenting
2. Understanding Developmental Milestones
3. How Children Learn Best
4. Age Appropriate Play-based Ideas for Optimal Growth and Development

Date: Sunday, 9 June 2013
Time: 9am – 2pm
Venue: Raffles City Convention Centre
Fairmont Singapore & Swissotel The Stamford, Atrium Ballroom, Level 4
80 Bras Basah, Singapore 189560
Cost: $50 (inclusive of a goody bag worth more than $100)

This workshop is open to parents with children up to 5 years old and expectant mothers only. However, children are not allowed as it is a hands-on workshop for parents.

If you are interested, please email your name and mobile number to fisherprice@asiaprwerkz.com