Category Archives: Family Bonding

A Child’s First Puzzle: Circle Tangram

Sharing another great buy that i bought for KD long ago! I think it’s still available at the Popular Bookstore now. I bought it at SGD9.90 before my Popular Card Member discount. 🙂

On the surface, this Circle Tangram looks like a book, however it’s actually a puzzle set!

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It comes with 7 blocks in different colors and shape and with them, the player can put together to create endless possibilities of things that he can imagine – a cat, a tortoise, a fish and many more!

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There are more than 30 ready templates with the outer outlines, for a child to fill in the shapes to form the pictures. Theses templates are also rated with their difficulties level so in the beginning, you can start off with easy puzzles until you get the hang of it. Of cos there is also an “answer sheet” which you can refer to if you couldn’t manage to fill in puzzle in.

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So it’s always the case, when i purchased this, KD just turned two years old and he wasn’t interested as well as couldn’t grasp the concept of the puzzle yet. I was also a FTWM and with little time i have in evenings or weekends, I some times used it to teach him about the different colors and shapes, as well as showed him how we can put them together to form different images. He wasn’t keen, so it’s was always a very fast activity basically of me “demonstrating”, or him taking it out just to play with the wooden blocks.

During the past 4 months of me being an At Home Mom, i did try to do this activity with him but I couldn’t last more than 5 minutes each time.. KD is a boy that i need to do everything very fast and multiple activities in one session just to engage him and make him seat down for that 15 to 20 mins a day!

Last week, he took it out on his own again, but this time round, i am amazed because i didn’t need to ask him to do anything! I was just sitting opposite him and observing him (including busy snapping pictures lah!). He opened up the puzzle, took out all the blocks and placed them aside, flipped to a page he likes and started talking to himself like “What’s this? Let’s see… This one goes to here, this one goes here” etc etc.. AND he actually completed 3 puzzles on his own! I took a peep, the puzzles he selected were with difficulty level 1, 3 and 5!! WOAH!

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I realised that it’s always easier to teach and play with a child when he is interested. Usually he has such short attention span so i always thought i am struggling with engaging him. >.< I always wondered if being a SAHM is suitable for me or he will do better off in childcare because maybe the teachers can engaged him better? The above random display of my son once again made me feel that my past four months of being a SAHM, all those frustrations when it comes to having a schedule with him and engaging him in activities with me… PAID OFF. 🙂 🙂 🙂

I strongly believe now that depending on your child’s character, some children like mine, will always appear to be uninterested, not keen and inpatient.. What’s important is for parents NOT TO GIVE UP and continue to have patience. I think this is something only the child’s real parents can give whole-heartedly. Not the grandparents or teachers whom are paid to do the job.. If you can’t have patience for your own child, who else will have? I feel so happy i can dance on my toes (opps i can’t! Too heavy with my almost 9 months tummy now..)

Lastly, of cos a smile broke on my face when he also kept the puzzles back properly after he is done with it. 🙂 My Good Boy!

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Do it myself book

Sharing a cloth book that I LOVE!!!

I had purchased it for KD when he was barely One Year Old, because I simply couldn’t resist it that time! I can’t remember the actual price and place that i purchased from, however it wasn’t too expensive!

I been taking it out on and off to read to KD when he was younger (from 1.5 years to 2.5 years), and activities i did with him with this book were picture story telling using him as the character and what he is doing every morning, followed by me demonstrating how to do each tasks.. But i had kept it and forgotten about it until recently KD took it out again on his own..

To my astonishment, he was picture story telling to me about the book and demonstrating how to perform the tasks on his own! Who says children whom do not pay attention doesn’t pick up anything? He was learning all along just that he did not display it!
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Buttoning up – takes a lot off finger skills!

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Putting on a belt

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Connecting and pulling up the zipper

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Tying Shoe Lace – To be honest, this is not something KD can do yet. But he has an idea that the lace go thru holes.. 🙂

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Another type of Button

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Buckle up!

On being a SAHM

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Joining the SAHM Net Worth Blog Train, I will also like to share a bit more on being a SAHM, albeit being only a SAHM for not too long as I only started being a full time SAHM on 1 Nov 2012 when my elder child turned exactly 36 months old and I was 3 months preggie with my second child.

In the beginning, a little less than a month into my SAHM days, i already very quickly felt super insecure and wrote about Doubting My SAHM Decision.. After all, the 4 months maternity leave that I am forgo-ing is already worth thousands in the tens.. And I no longer can afford luxuries like travels, shopping, eating out or even changing my car etc. I didn’t quit to become a Tai Tai, my husband’s salary is not high. I quit to be a wife to help my hubby whom found a job he likes but yet needs to travel rather frequently, and to be a mom to look after our children and to nurture them myself.

I guess most of my ex-colleagues will never believe that I will turned a SAHM because I was known to be a outspoken, confident, focused and conscientious sales person doing solution selling in the IT field. My appraisals are always promising with scores belonging in the top 10% contributors of the whole company, not just based on the sales figures I brought in but also because of the contributions I made. My increments year on year also belonged to the higher percentage unlike other colleagues. I was promised career advancements which was shelved when I was pregnant with my elder child at the peak of my career.. Then I did pondered WHY? Cos though I was pregnant, my performance didn’t dropped but in fact I over achieved! I never slowed down and that resulted in me being hospitalized for premature labour pains when KD was 32 weeks in my womb. That was the first wake up call for me. A slap in my face.

The second wake up call was after the maternity leave and when I went back to work. I had a rude shock from fellow colleagues as well as from the superiors. Somehow all the things people said or do, hinted to me that since I have become a mom at age 27, I am no longer competitive, no longer valued. New and inexperienced colleagues were actually challenging me (considered experienced and with proven track record lah) openly!! i absolutely HATE that feeling and times! I remembered when the sex for bribery cases emerged, I was joking with hubby that who knows, if I continues in the same industry and is 40+, married with children and with a lot liabilities unpaid, I may be forced to do the same too cos of the demanding requirements set up typical IT companies??? Not that i agree with what was happening, but i empathise with the women..

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Gists is… The working society on the whole does discriminate against working moms. I have heard and seen many jobs for example air stewardess, sales lines or even teachers facing the same problems! Teachers as civil servants in the government sectors helping Singapore to groom future leaders for goodness sake! That really surprised and shocked me! I heard from my married female teachers friends that they faced similar kind of penalisation in terms of work grading, promotions, increment on top of superiors’ and colleagues changed attitudes, after they have given birth and returned to work. Not forgetting, when a mom takes urgent child care leaves, the questions asked are “Why is your child so weak?”, “There is something wrong with your child you know? He shouldn’t be falling sick so often?” and etc.. The very people whom asked me theses questions were my superiors and parents themselves.. secretly i do cursed them!!

The working society also cannot tolerate breastfeeding moms too! Though the MOH and worldwide healthcare strongly recommended exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, our government didn’t encourage companies to set up a breastfeeding room. Very few government offices have breastfeeding rooms too. Why?? Because our country is so focused on GDP and profits.. Going to pump milk in between office hours is intolerable BUT smoking and crapping during office hours is ok… What logic is that?!?

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The government talks repeatedly about attracting moms back to work. I wonder if they ever ponder over why we left work in the first place?

I remembered when KD was in the infant care and the school fees was SGD1500 before subsidy, then the government announced that they raised the subsidy to SGD600, the infant care also raised their school fees to SGD1650!! All because the landlord immediately raised the rental too!

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The government encourages us to have more babies as well as encourages moms to continue working. Did they try to work out the sums? Housing and other expenses aside, for example now i have two and i placed them in childcares when I returned to work, my elder school fees will be SGD680 and youngest in infantcare will be SGD980 after subsidies, that is the price for a mid range childcare near rural work places… If i have three and assuming the two elder ones in childcare and youngest in infantcare, it will then be SGD680 + SGD680 + SGD980 a month!! What about if i want to have 4 kids?! Why can’t the same amount of subsidy be open towards letting us to give to a caregiver such as the children’s grandparents or nanny instead? Why can it only be claimed by the childcare centres themselves?

I remembered watching “Conversations with the Prime Minister” and questions were raised about the costs of childcare as well as difficulties in finding caregivers. Mr Lee asked why can’t the mothers consider taking a few years off work to look after and nurture the children herself? He mentioned that one can’t be chasing the best of both worlds – $$ and children and there is a limitation on how far a government can help. Well, it did stuck a chord in me and that’s exactly what we are doing now. Make do with lesser $ and bond with our children, because it’s our responsibilities to raise up our children well, not the government.

On what type of help that I as a SAHM would wish to see, I hope that for the creation and availability of more home based jobs like example during my mother’s time, she is able to work at home to earn a little income to supplement while looking after us! I remembered she did clothes packaging, sewing or some simple products packaging at home.. but alas, theses industry are no long available in Singapore and many women now have lost the ability to know how to sew, tailor or even cook! Now, it’s really not easy for me to find any jobs to work at home cos i do not know accounting, i can’t design too.. It will be good if the Government can spot some opportunities and provide trainings to us SAHMs that we can work freelance, part time or from home to supplement the family’s income as well as to help the countries’ economy… They can consider SAHMs instead of foreign workers.. maybe SAHMs can be trained to teach in the preschools in Singapore for 2 to 4 hours a day instead of employing foreigners? Many of the SAHM have high qualifications, the government should know.

I also hope to see the Preschool Education in Singapore becomes free for citizens just like primary and secondary schools, so all schools will become standardised and costs balanced. With that, it’s easier to train the manpower as well as set up new school to meet the shortage.

Lastly, every child born to a working mom can have a cash subsidy of SGD600 every month pay out to the family directly instead of to the childcare centre. The mom can decide and choose to either use it to help supplement a domestic helper, or give to the grandparents or nanny, to help look after her child. I think this way, a mom will be happy to continue working and giving birth to as many as 4 children and the grandma will be happy to quit her job to help look after 4 grandchildren with SGD2400 and sending the elder ones to preschool and fetching them for us! Why will we made our parents quit their current job if they can earn more $$ than what we can afford to give to them to look after our children?

Hubby and I are one of the families hoping to have four children. But we aren’t sure how to achieve it with both of us working (how are we going to pay the childcare costs), or with only one of us working because the costs of living is simply too high. Imagine, how a mom brings 4 children out on the public transport system? The fares are high too. And how to buy a bigger car now? Will the government consider giving out free child seats to every new borns too? Since it’s mandatory for children below the height of 1.35m to be subjected to the seatbelts rules even in a friend’s or relative’s car?

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Enough on the ramblings… a little reflection on my SAHM days for the past few months.

My son KD, now will probably not remember my power suits dressings on every week days when I dropped him off at the infantcare and subsequently in the childcare centres.

To him, I am not a sales person entertaining him, I am not a staff to his bidding. He sees me as his very important mom, friend, imitates after me and depended a lot on me.. Breastfeeding him for 18 months also made him very close to me. To him, i am beautiful with or without make up, fat or thin, tall or short, dark or fair.. rich or poor…

I wrote a blog on What My Child Needs.. what i did not write about was what were the negative reactions i got when i told people including strangers or acquaintances I am a SAHM now.. What turns me off most was the reaction of some family members like, as if i had turned into a fat worm that lazed around all day and leeched my hubby dry.. Please! i was the one supporting my hubby mentally, emotionally and physically, when he took a one year break to venture into the property market! What’s a family about if spouses do not support each other? In fact it was my hubby whom encouraged me to quit my job too!

I was also start to be told to run errands which i am like huh?! I didn’t become a Still-Staying-with-My-In-laws’-Home-Mother to become another domestic helper. Other than caring for the basic needs for my son, i do countless learning activities and bring him out for meaningful excursions with him daily which family members criticise too! End of the day, i told myself.. I am doing it for my hubby and my children. I set my own priorities and my own happiness. It’s obvious, my son and hubby had become happier and less stressed too.

I strongly believe that when the mom is present and very involved during the children’s growing years, the child will grow up to be a fine teenager and decent smart adult.

Till now, though it’s not an easy and is a very tiring role.. i still want to remain a SAHM.

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p/s: All images in this blog post are sourced from the world wide web to emphasis the points across more vividly. If you are the owner of the images, please kindly inform me if it infringed your copyrights and i will remove them immediately.

Our Hong Kong Vacation from 26 to 30 Jan 2013

It’s a very belated post as we have been back from Hong Kong for almost a month now, busy with CNY Preparations and CNY visitings during this two weeks. I have done a quick summary on our huge family vacation below. Be warn that it’s gonna be a pictures heavy post! 🙂

It’s all about eating and shopping!

Travel period: 26 Jan to 30 Jan 2013 (5 days 4 nights)

People present: Me, Hubby, KD, my Father, my Mother, my Father-in-law and my Mother-in-law! I was 27 weeks plus pregnant when I departed Singapore and 28 weeks plus when I came back. We have a super active 3+ year old boy (KD) and our parents are in late 50’s to early 60’s! So basically the only fittest person in this group is my Hubby! Haha!

Travel by: Tiger Airways, on NTUC Union Promotion at only SGD205 nett per pax, all in (with big & heavy luggage option for everyone!). *grins*

Accomodation: Cityview Hotel at Yau Ma Tei, 1 minute away from the Yau Ma Tei MTR and less than 5 minutes walk to Ladies Market
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I no want salary, I want honey jar!

A conversation with Kyle (KD) at 40 months old, that’s worth jotting down for reminiscent when i am old.

I made a cup of milo for Kyle and he finished it very quickly.

Kyle:  Mommy,  later i buy you a cup of milo ah…

Me: You got money to buy? You know you have to work like Daddy so that you will earn a salary?

Kyle: I DON’T WANT A SALARY!!!

Me: Oh? You don’t want to earn a salary then you want to be a boss? If you are a boss, you will have many businesses!

Kyle: I DON’T WANT TO HAVE BUSINESS!!!

Me: (giving up… ) Then what do you want?

Kyle: I…..  want…..  a….. Honey Jar!!  Give me! Give me my honey jar!!

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An Unofficial Maternity Photo Shoot

On 23 Dec 2012, instead of the usual three of us (me, hubby and KD), we went for a big family photo shoot with Lumiere Photography, with my parents and sister. I was only 22 weeks pregnant then and never expected the photographer to include some really nice maternity shots in between the whole photo shoot duration! And ya, the tummy was already showing then and probably it’s because it’s 2nd pregnancy that it was bigger than i was 22 weeks pregnant with KD..

So, initially i still wanted to go for a proper and nice maternity photo shoot when i am in my 30+ weeks (which is like now already…)… because the tummy will be huge and beautiful.. but i doubt the rest of me looks beautiful cos i am very bloated every where with limited clothes to wear now… do you think i should still spend that kinda money when i have theses very beautiful pictures already? Sigh.. in dilema over whether should i go for a maternity photo shoot now…

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On the first day of Chinese New Year

大年初一拜个好年!Happy Chinese New Year!

祝大家新的一年里心想事成,万事如意!Here’s wishing everyone in the new snake year all wishes come true and things go according to your heart’s desire.

As Hubby is the eldest grandson whom his dad is the eldest brother, we have to station ourselves at his grandmother place every first day of every new year. Before we made our way there, here’s some images of what we did in the morning!

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Guess what's cooking?

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Shephard's Chicken Pie!

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Yummy cakes for breakfast

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Enjoying life ya? KD having breakfast

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Thanks to my BFF for sponsoring me this dress! Who say heavily preggie cant look hot?

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Lil prince in tummy as of week 29

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Fully make up once in a blue moon now

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KD wants to bring his backpack out!