Getting close to nature

Nature beckons. On a day when the hubs doesn’t have to work, I would much prefer that we would head to some parks and explore that environment. Being in the nature calms my soul and today, the weather was perfect. It wasn’t burning hot like the past few days. In fact, it was cloudy with a high chance of a thunderstorm. Still, we pressed on.

We were joined by the Pangs as we entered the Pasir Ris Mangrove Boardwalk. Interesting sights greeted us as we strolled along the path, stopping by ever so often as we spotted the mangrove swamp inhabitants. I only wish my mind still retains the information about this habitat which I had read during the many hours of Geography lessons. Alas, not much was saved in this memory bank. Thankfully, there’s always Mr Goo(gle).

These two stripey kids were busy collecting fallen sticks as branches and trying with all their might to stuff them through the holes between the planks. What’s with that? I do not know. It’s a mystery.

It’s a haven for photography enthusiasts. There’s much to view and capture, if only we stay observant. Mr Pang kept stopping in his tracks to snap beautiful shots of what nature has to offer. What beautiful creation!

Midway, it rained and thankfully, we could seek shelter at the tower. The kids wanted to be in the rain so much because in the evening, when we had our family devotion and prayer, the girl thanked God that she could have a chance to be out in the rain. 🙄

Taking every moment to play so there’s hardly any dull moments.

We headed back to Gallop Stable, another highlight of the trip. The kids scooted past hens and roosters and arrived eagerly, waiting in anticipation to feed the ponies.

The girls were thrilled, the boy was terrified. 🤷🏻‍♀️

She scored a $10 ride round the field on the pony and was mighty pleased with it. She’s truly an animal lover and went off after that to feed the bunnies.

There’s a cafe at Gallop Stable but we reckoned it would be better that we head to the hawker centre which is about 5 minutes’ drive from the park. Love such a trip and really, we should do that more often.

There’s a huge playground on the other side of the park. We love the it but decided that we could save that for another day. Again, as long as the kids have one another for company, it really doesn’t matter where they are. That’s the beauty of playmates. 😀

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Scaling new heights

Scaling new heights!

The girl was so excited as we approached Tampines Green Forest Park and immediately set off to climb up the ropes. I was quite sure she needed my help but nope, she was on her own.

It was pretty high, I must say, for a preschooler? In that instant, she showed me her courage. She’s no longer the little girl that I knew who would whined and needed much coaxing to attempt to climb such heights.

She was mighty pleased with herself and each time after she has climbed up, she would shout to her Papa and asked him to watch her. So indeed, the father impact phase has come.

…they are moving gradually from the embrace of mom to the shoulders of dad. The child should now spend even more time with the father. His role in this phase is to affirm the strong capacities of the child and to teach them basic life skills. These are also the years where the emotional security imparted by the mom, coupled with the security of the beneficial disciplining the father provides, becomes a strong fortress from which the child operates. (The World Needs A Father by Cassie Carstens)

We love the outdoors. How I wish we could have access to the mountains. How adventurous, how fun! For now, outdoor playground would do. ;p

While the girl was enjoying herself, the brother was cycling (on his balance bike) along the tracks. He soon got bored and asked to go to the smaller playground which is toddler-friendly.

Overall, this is a really nice park in the east. Hoping for more of such playgrounds!

February roundup

 

The shortest month. One of the busiest months. The month which I dread.

And it’s over.

Like many of you, February is the month I was busy with spring cleaning and getting ready for the Lunar New Year. Of course, with my capacity, I could only do so much. However, it was not so much of the chores that irritated me; it’s the daily squabbling of the kids that got to me. I had to be the referee every morning at least once and that is not fun!

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In the end, after much consideration and prayer, we decided to enrol the boy in Kindergarten. I had initially thought he wouldn’t need to be in kindy until when he’s of age for K1. I could teach him and he could spend time with the sister in the morning and learn together. Besides, I really loathe the thought of having to be on the road more with him in kindy.

But I also know I need to spend more time with Faith, guiding her on certain issues and we do need some quiet moments to discuss. With Dan around, it’s not quite possible. He…likes me and wanted me to be with him most of the time. Yea, I’m that popular. ;p Faith was also easily distracted when Dan was around so even if I gave her some task for her to complete independently, she would more often than not turned to both Dan and me, especially when we were reading books. Deep learning couldn’t really take place.

So yup, Dan would be in school in Term 2. Asked him if he wanted to go to school, he gave a different answer each time. Oh well.

 

 

Anyway, for homelearning, I am introducing letter of the week for Dan while the girl worked on some tasks which I have set for her. I wish I could play more games, work on more Science experiments with her… oh well.

 

The letter Hh sound

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This boy showed an increase in vocabulary and length of sentence in his speech. I think this period is the most adorable by how and what he speaks. Must treasure.

 

Some activities related to the Ii sound.

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And Jj

Some days could get a bit depressing to me. Chores are never-ending and whines too. These days, Dan wanted his way and it could get tiring having to discipline him. Towards the end of the month, I was just plain exhausted. I haven’t had time to rest. ME time in February was used to do spring cleaning and run errands and I turned bitter. The Lord knows me well enough and provided friends to come alongside me, to cheer me up with their presence.

 

CG fellowship day

 

Playdate with a fellow dayre mom and her kids. Please remind me to plan more outdoor play for the kids.

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On the last day of February, things turned out quite magically well for my soul. I turned up for a social responsibility campaign by iroo to support the Rare Disorders Society of Singapore. I won’t elaborate much in this post (will do another one dedicated to this) but the encounter with the families in that event greatly humbled me. My bitterness and complaining spirit was replaced by gratitude. How could I be so self-centred and blind to the needs around me?

That evening, I received an IG message from a reader who shared with me how she has overcome a trying period wrt her daughter’s health condition during her early years. I felt God touching my heart and reminding me how blessed I am.

That night, I was changed.

I view things from a different perspective now.

Thank you, February, for teaching me life lessons.

I’m looking forward to you, March.

 

 

 

Chinese and Japanese Garden

This June holiday, I hope to bring Faith out to enjoy as many outdoor activities as possible. I would love to get her to explore the environment that she is in so that she could stay inquisitive and learn along the way; I just hope I have the patience to share with her! Building sweet memories, that’s part of the plan too. Initially, the family had wanted to go on a trip to Taiwan but that did not materialise in the end. No worries, we will tour our city-state instead!

This morning, we decided to visit the Chinese and Japanese Garden located at Jurong East. I had been there when I was a kid myself and another time when I was participating in a run while the hubs has not visited these gardens. It would be a good change from the usual gardens that we have visited.

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We reached the Chinese Garden at around 8am as we knew that it would be really killing to stroll in the heat if we had arrived later. We are also early risers so this timing is actually good for us. We had wanted to get Faith to skate-scoot in the garden but were told that that is not allowed. ;(

20150601_082309I’m rather impressed by the interior. It is well-kept and scenic and Faith was really engaged by the things that she saw along the way.

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My only complaint? The heat. But there is nothing we can do about it but to bear with it. Thankfully, the little girl didn’t complain at all.

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Bringing the little one to be in the outdoor as much as possible is something that I would do intentionally. Personally, I’m not one who loves to stay indoors because I believe she could learn more and be stimulated about the environment when she is in the outdoors. Getting her to appreciate nature is something I’m very mindful of and we could talk about God’s creations as we explore. Also, I don’t like her to be sheltered in air-conditioned areas for too long. It’s just not healthy.

20150601_083841The dragon girl with her Papa

20150601_083633And she willingly posed for us.
“Ouch! i’m bitten by the snake!”

IMG-20150601-WA0025We reached the Japanese Garden as we crossed the connecting bridge. There was this area where we saw a girl feed the fish and at that moment, I regretted not bringing some stale bread! Faith was really interested in feeding them but well, we didn’t have any food for them!

20150601_085132Beautifully sculpted plants. So zen…

20150601_085433She spotted squirrels and stayed in this spot for quite a while.
“Squirrels, where are you? Come down…NOW!”

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After walking for an hour, the little one was visibly tired and as she descended from a flight of stairs, she lost her balance and fell down, sustaining bruises and scratches on her right hand and face. Oh, poor girl. My heart ached for her but I have been trained to remain calm because if I had responded in panic, she would too. It must have hurt and she cried out. But thankfully, she was all calm after a minute. I really do think she has a high threshold of pain after all those episodes of falling. 😉

20150601_090740All is well again. No big deal right?

20150601_090817Manja queen.

We departed from the gardens in 2 hours’ time. It was a nice walk, really but I wish that the weather can be cooler. Of course, one shouldn’t compare these gardens with the actual ones in China and Japan. It’s a far cry to be honest but still, these gardens are a refreshing change as compared to the ones in our neighbourhood.

It would be good to pack some snacks along the way and definitely refreshing drinks are essential!

Chinese and Japanese Garden
Main Garden : 6am – 11pm (daily)
Bonsai Garden & Garden of Abundance: 9am – 6pm (daily)
Admission: Admission to main garden free.
Location: 1 Chinese Garden Singapore 619795