The first term (2019)

I’ve been away from this space for so long that I find myself not knowing how to start a post.

Where shall I begin?

In the twinkling of an eye, term one has departed and we are now journeying into the second term. I survived the first three months with a new schedule and the girl seemed to enjoy formal school life. I could tell, by how she skips to school each day.

My worries were unfounded, up till this point in time. I fear that she would be bullied, that she would not be able to overcome her shyness to make new friends, that she would be alone. I’ve come to realise children, my kids, are resilient and they adapt to their environment easily. Before I knew it, she would come out of the school gate and bidding her friends farewell with a cheerful note in her tone.

All is well.

That’s us on Chinese New Year, taking the opportunity to capture a family portrait since we were dressed rather, erm, well. This was perhaps the first year I enjoyed CNY as a parent. The kids were older and didn’t really require naps or being breastfed or whatever. It’s so much easier to 拜年 with them now.

Dan has always been looking forward to school and he was all ready to meet his teachers and friends. This year, we have the whole afternoon to ourselves and it is indeed a great opportunity to bond with the little man. We spend the afternoon reading away and venture out for some outdoor activities when it doesn’t get too hot. The school started him on blending of the letter sounds and this teachermom also helped him along the way. His attention span is depressingly low – five to ten minutes each time – and that’s basically the amount of time I could spend to coach him. Thankfully, he could stay glued to stories when I read aloud to him.

Since the afternoon was so long, we could have big blocks of time to do art. Dan loves painting and he showed pride in his artwork. If you know me well, I don’t particularly love to keep their art pieces which could create a mountain at a corner of our apartment. So it’s a common practice of mine to dispose of their work after, say, a week or two. So our little man’s memory of his work was sharp and he would ask where his work was. Oops… this mama has thrown his work away! (Recording this down to remind myself not to throw his stuff away).

From the light Cruzee balance bike, Dan has progressed to the kinderbike after he could maintain a good balance. He soon managed to cycle and we made 4 April as the official date that he could ride a bicycle. 😄

Faith was promoted to an 18″ bicycle… finally. We would love to have her own a 20″ one so that we could stretch the mileage of the bicycle but we have to recognise that she is petite by nature so….

The girl adopted a new sports – rollerblading – much to my delight! She had initially wanted to learn skateboarding but thankfully on one occasion, her cousins went to try on the rollerblades and all four of them were on the wheels and left Decathlon with a pair of rollerblades each. That was the start of the new sport.

During the March hols, I plucked up the courage to drive the family up to Malacca with two other families. I’ve met the two moms online through Dayre and we soon become good friends, supporting one another in this motherhood journey. I find myself entering another season of being a mom with the girl entering Primary School and the moms whom I spent time with during her kindy years have moved on. I’m thankful that I still have these two moms with me and that we could share our joy and struggles together. 感恩。

Up till this point, I’m just sharing snippets of what went on in the early part of this year. There is so much more to record and be thankful for – CG, serving in Chinese Sunday School, my dad, how the Lord has guided us, etc.

I’ve also intentionally taken a small step back with regards to my time spent on social media. I question my purpose for sharing on the various platforms and if what I’ve been doing is necessary. I do still want to record for memories’ sake but it may not take the usual form.

In any case, I do really hope to write more on this little space that I’ve owned for more than 10 years. With Dayre turning into a subscription-based app in late April, this might be a good motivation to return to WordPress?

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March & April in pics

[Be warned. It’s going to be a long post.]

And so April comes to an end and we are welcoming May. So much, so much have happened in the last two months but I just couldn’t find the time to update on this space. So this post is the summarised version of these two months.

The March hols was a memorable one. The family had a retreat (church) at our neighbouring country up north and personally, I was greatly ministered to by the Lord. There were a lot of pent-up emotions, frustration and bitterness in me and the Lord used the retreat to touch me with His love. The kids had a great time at the children’s programme and the adults could be thoroughly present, all thanks to the two wonderful sisters-in-Christ.

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I was restored, no doubt, and look forward to the months to come. I have even changed my perspective of how I look at da man’s service in church in that retreat. The Lord has dealt with me ever so gently and patiently and for that, I’m grateful.

Dan started Nursery school after the March hols. Was I nervous? Absolutely! After all, he has always been with me and has not attended any drop-off classes except for BSF and Sunday school. However, I believe the retreat did him good in the sense that he knows he would be in good hands even though Mama isn’t with him. So, on the first day of school, we saw a very happy Dan attending school and went into the classroom without any problem. It’s the mom who was feeling a bit upset that he just went in, without any hugs or kisses given to her. Bleh.

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On that first day of school, he went to lalaland really quickly. Woke up midway, walked out of the bedroom to the sofa and fell asleep in this way. No joke.

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Why send him to school, since I have mentioned before that I would homeschool him until he reaches 5YO? As much as I love to teach my kids, their presence also means much squabble, so much so that on some days, all I did was to be a referee and break up fights. Their constant quarrels contributed to my frustration as a mom and for the good of everyone, we decided to send him to school.

Because Dan is in school in the morning, that frees up time for me to spend quality time with the girl. I could revise her work and have a good chat with her without any interruption from the brother.

It’s not all work, of course. Some mornings, we chose to go out, like maximising our Friends of Gardens by the Bay card and going to the park to take in the much needed vitamin D!

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These days, besides dinner, I need to prepare lunch because the girl wanted to bring her lunchbox to school and well, Dan needs proper lunch now. He was so famished each time I went to pick him up from school!

However, time with the boy has been rather limited. He would nap after he came back home and would only wake up when we have to set off to pick the girl from school. So whatever time I have with him, I use it to read to him and have fun at the playground. Not much teaching, sad to say. ;(

These are after-school activities. Going home after school can be rather boring at times. How about a visit to the museum or outdoor play with schoolmates or playmates? By the way, Rolling @ Tag at The Artground is really fun for the kids. The Festival for Young Audiences will be held from 25 May to 3 June 2018. Please make time to go there! Your kids would love you for that.

Faith started a new art class after the March hols, together with her kindy friends. I do think she has interest in art since it’s one of the things she would do when she’s bored. I would really love to sign her up for some drama classes because she is forever in her play pretend mode when she’s left on her own. Then again, she said she’s shy (roll eyes pls).

She has made some slight progress with her ukelele class, thank God! Still, she has a long way to go.

I wish you could watch the whole video in which she sang to Leaving on a Jetplane. Her facial expression is just so funny!

These days, I’m trying to play more games with the kids. We always have fun playing say, board games with the kids. We only hope that we could have more energy to play with them. I was personally very inspired by a CG-mate who loves playing boardgames with his kids. Toytag has a good variety of games to choose from and I should really ask our CG-mate to recommend good ones.

On a personal level, I could finally attend a few Mary Kay workshops in April! I know it sounds crazy but I really couldn’t find the time to get out of the house! Mary Kay is something I enjoy doing because it gives me the opportunity to meet up with ladies, mostly moms and I enjoy the interaction with them. I don’t know how much time I could put in into this area in the following months but I certainly hope I can do more, learn more, interact more!It’s been an enriching experience thus far.

Hosted the mommies’ group recently and saw God at work in the lives of these wonderful ladies. Felt challenged to do more but I need to pray, first of all, and seek Him.

I’m ending this post with this personal achievement. I ran my first 10km in 2018, together with a few mommies! It was tough! I didn’t manage to run much in these four months and I had to run the 10km without much training. Nonetheless, I did it! The timing wasn’t anything fantastic but the company was great. I wanted to run a half marathon at the end of the year but judging by how things go, it would be tough because how could I find the time to train for it?

I would really love to record my homelearning resources and journey on this space so I think you can expect regular updates from May onwards. I used to update on Dayre (difficult to track previous posts) and then on another WP account until the space was all used up. I guess it would be best to record on this platform and on IG since these are the most stable among the ones I am using.

So, May, we welcome you!

Highlight of February

February has come to an end and we are marching on to March! How has your second month been?

My days have been long and filled with joy though there are still many times when frustration sets in. I have finally come to a state in which I could safely say I have settled, in being a SAHM. Yes, after four long years! All along, I have been questioning God why He has to call me out of my work to be a SAHM.

I wanted to teach! I love teaching and I thought this is what You have called me to do in the first place. Then why call me out?

I realised I do enjoy teaching both kids. Those days, when I was a teacher, my mind was filled with ideas to engage my students. Now, it’s happening too and my kids are my students now.

I got the boy to work with his fine motor skills a lot and to learn to concentrate when he’s on a task.

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I also attended a workshop conducted by an ex-colleague who is passionate about Math. The workshop on Early Childhood Numeracy has been helpful in getting me to start working with Faith on her number sense and to go deep into the concept. I hope to do up a blog post on that workshop soon!

After that workshop, I started to get her to work on her number sense more intentionally. You see, Faith got to do a lot of activities pertaining to language, geography and art which are my strength. I have not really touched on Math and Science though we include them in our daily lives. I guess from now on, I have to get her to work on them more intentionally.

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BSF commenced three weeks ago and both kids are in class as well. Dan adapted well. Praise God for that! Faith? She has been looking forward to BSF since last December so she’s happy to be back!

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Glad to be back on the machine after missing in action for a few months, all thanks to the busy school holidays. The hubs join me during the weekends (we try to make it into a routine) and I try to squeeze in a workout on one of the weekdays. The above is a rare occasion when I could meet up with a fellow mommy to work out together! Oh yes, and how could I forget to mention the Safari Zoo Run that the family participated? We had great fun!

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Family time is still very important and we try to create (hopefully fond) memories together. We have started to play more board games recently and thankfully, the girl likes it lots. Bible and prayer time is a routine now and when we skip bible reading, the girl will question so we’d better not forget!

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Recently, Faith started to pick up books and browse the pages. She has started to read simple readers on her own now and you can imagine my joy! Effort paid off! When she realised that she could read on her own, she wanted to continue to learn and read. Yay!

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This little man? He has evolved from a fussy eater to Mr Tamchiak and even refused to let me feed him. Okay, you go ahead and feed yourself. But oh, the mess! Thankfully, we have this EZPZ Happy mat. A post and giveaway is coming up soon!

So, that pretty much sums up our February. Hope yours is good!

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.