Reflect: May 2017

Our family spend the whole of May falling sick and trying to get back into health. What a tiring May 2017.

HFMD
The illness all started in late April, where the Littlest caught HFMD. And we didn’t realize it was a HFMD case as he didn’t complain much except for the low-grade fever and poor appetite. There was no spots on his hands or mouth. So we thought he just caught some virus. Only when the school announced HFMD cases then we realize he might have caught the HFMD. Unfortunately, by the time we realize, it was a little too late. He has spread the virus to both the Girl and their cousin.

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One of the best stay home activities for the kids were painting. This is the Littlest’s artwork. He says he is drawing “Purple Lion Dance, Leaves, Caterpillar and Rubbish”. Very abstract indeed.

Virus Attack
The Girl recovered from HFMD but developed a cough. It wasn’t really serious, but we could hear she has some phlegm. The Helper also came down with a bad throat and cough during the period. Soon the virus went to the Littlest and the Boy, and finally to Chubby and a little to myself. The Littlest was the worst hit as his fever shot as high as 40C. We eventually took him to the hospital for a check in case he has a chest or lung infection. Luckily all came out well. He is no longer having any fever, but the on-and-off cough is still there. Same for the Girl, while the Boy is back to drippy nose.

Weekend Play
With the kids being sick, we hardly have any chance to bring them out on weekends. The boy had to skip a birthday party as we are afraid we will be bringing the HFMD virus with us. On one of the weekends we manage to bring the elder two for a swim. It was drizzling when we were on our way to our usual pool, so Chubby decides to head further to see if we can escape the rain. So the kids visited the pool at Safra Jurong and we are delighted to have the whole children section to ourselves. Seems like no one visit the pool at that time. Or maybe no parent is crazy enough to bring their kids out for a swim when it looks like it might rain. LOL.

Cycling
The Girl has been asking for a bicycle for sometime already. However, we were pretty reluctant to get one with stabiliser as we know that does not aid in learning to ride. And we have like 2 balance bike at home. Sometime last month, I noticed the Boy could balance pretty well on his balance bike, so we decide the time has finally come for the Boy to own a “normal” bike. And in getting for the Boy, we had to get for the Girl too. Fairness, they called it. LOL.

We decide to pay Decathlon a visit since they opened a new branch in the west. And we got the Girl’s bicycle there with easy to remove stabilisers. However, there was no male design for the Boy’s height, so we decide the both of them is to share the bicycle, and its a waste of money to buy two bicycles of the same height when they will outgrow it pretty soon.

The next day after we got the bicycle, Chubby brought the elder two to cycle. And the Boy manage to ride the bicycle by himself after like 1 try. It’s not the perfect kind of cycling, but he is able to maneuver around. He just had difficulties “starting” the cycle. I must say the balance bike investment was well spent. LOL. Now is to get the Girl to ride on the balance bike more.

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The boy on the “girly” bicycle from Decathlon. We got their helmets and guards there too. Things were reasonably priced. And nope, we are not paid to advertise for them. Just sharing good deals. LOL.

Dino Robot Factory @ Science Centre
It’s the June holidays (though technically we are still in May), so we brought the kids to Science Centre. We decide to pay the Dino Robot Factory a visit since the boy love Dinosaurs. I must say this exhibition is a great improvement from the “Monsters of the Sea” exhibition which we visited last year. There was more interactive play this time round. However, I still find the ticket pricing expensive for such a small exhibition.

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One of the exhibit at the Dino Robot Factory. The kids have to “fix” some of the parts for the robot Dino.

Report Book @ P1
It’s the end of Semester 1, which means the Boy got his report book for the first time. When I first saw his results, I was kind of disappointed. He didn’t do badly, most of his scores were above his cohort mean, however, his English and Math were below his cohort median. I was disappointed he couldn’t make it pass the 50 percentile. However, Chubby reminded me not to compare him with other kids, which I have to agree. We are all unique in our way.

Parent-Teacher-Meet
We also got to meet the Teachers for all three kids last week. This is the first PTM for the Boy, so we were eager to hear what the teacher has to say about him (especially when we don’t see the teacher often unlike in Childcare). The teacher commented that he is generally ok, just that he was caught dozing off in class sometimes. I hope by pulling him out of the student care, we can help to reduce this from happening. His form teacher also commented about his work getting untidy and also some academic area for improvements.

The Girl and the Littlest PTM were more casual as we know the teachers well. The teachers commented that the Girl has made improvement in her ability to recognise words and just need to work harder on her show-and-tell. As well as increasing her interest in reading Chinese books. The Littlest needs more reading to, especially in area which teaches correct behaviors. This make me realize that I have been neglecting on books like these as the elder two are way pass that. I need to get more books suitable for the Littlest’s age.

School Holiday
School holiday has started but I told the Boy it doesn’t mean all play and no work. I have set aside homework for him to complete everyday by himself. He has done it for 2 days already, we hope he can continue to do so in the weeks to come. He needs to revise on what he has learned and also improve on areas which the teachers mentioned.

Tasks for Next Month
Here is what I aim to achieve in June:

  • Get the family back to health
    No chilled drinks, less processed food, supplements and more outdoor time. And exercise for Chubby and me!
  • Revision with the kids
    Homework has taken a back seat since the kids were ill in May. Time to get back in action and make sure the kids have solid foundation.
  • Reading
    For the kids to read more genre and “new” books. For myself, to read at least a few pages a day.

This is our very tiring May. How was yours?

Reflect: April 2017

Our April doesn’t seems to be as busy as our March and yet I couldn’t find time to blog! Where has all the time gone? 时间都去哪儿了?

Primary School Life
The boy had his “holistic assessment” this month, before we even realize that it is happening. This is how not “on the ball” we are. Fortunately, he did fine in both his English and Math. He could do better without the careless mistakes. But well, kids are kids right? We all made careless mistakes when we were young.

His spelling and 听写 has some improvements after I made him write on exercise books instead of just reciting. This is because many times he know how to spell but would write his letters flipped. I realise its the way he write. He writes both “b” and “d” the straight line down first and decides which way to flip the “c”. So when he is anxious or not concentrating, his letters get flipped.

We have also decide to withdraw the boy from his student care, as we realise it is not very effective. Maybe because P1s don’t have much homework in the first place. So he spend a lot of his time at student care playing or watching TV. So instead of paying money for him to do that, we decide to keep him home. As the withdrawal requires notice period and they do not do half-monthly thing, his last day at the student care will be the end of the semester. So we have not start on the new schedule yet, but we shall see how. I intend to get him to do his homework and revise one subject every day. Wish me luck on our “remote learning”. LOL.

The boy also started learning Tae Kwan Do this month. I encouraged him to take out a sport or some enrichment that is outside of school work. The reason being when he gets very stress out academically, there is an outlet for stress relieve. He has enjoyed his class thus far. Lets wait and see how long he can last.

Preparing for P1
Not sure if it is due to the withdrawal of one of their classmate (due to difference in academic expectations), the teachers started loading the kids with more homework. There were reading every week and worksheets for weekend. Compare to many other childcare and kindergarten, I would say its not as much and definitely a good training for the girl to understand what does homework means. LOL.

So far she gets tired from writing and her words are still flying everywhere. I had tried to breakdown her work into smaller sizes and gave her more time to play in between. But this would means going back to the study table multiple times a day. For the boy, I usually tried the “one shot finish everything” stunt, as it is difficult to get him to come back to the table! Fortunately, the girl is able to do it and sometimes she will just walk back to the table herself and asked me to work with her on the rest of her homework. And she is always motivated to finish her work when she knows we are going out to have some fun later. Hope she stays this way.

Toddler Life
We finally got a small table for the Littlest, as he always like to come near us when GorGor and JieJie are studying at night. He had joined us on a few nights, sitting at his table doodling or playing with his rhymes props.

He is reading more books now. My trusty helper has been reading our Maisy collection to him when I’m working with the elder two. And surprisingly he is able to sit down and listen to them. And most of our Maisy books are the longer version and not the short board books which I read to the boy when he was this age. I’m really happy and thankful for that. Oh and he recently fell in love with “The hungry caterpillar” and made me re-read to him many times a night. Maybe he enjoys finishing the sentences when I read to him.

He also had his first Easter Egg hunt experience, thanks to the boy’s friend’s Mummy who organises it every year. He enjoyed himself so much that when he saw the photos on my phone, he was able to tell us what happened.

Decluttering

  • Health
    • I have been consistent at brining my own lunch to work for most days in April. And I usually include a serving of fruits in my lunch. So yay!
    • We were consistent in our Tabata until I fell ill on the 2nd last week of April and couldn’t work out. We need to get back to our routine again!
    • Junk food and ice drinks are still frequently seen in my diet. With the hot weather its really hard to cut down on the ice drinks. As for junk food, they are mainly consumed in office when its near to knock-off time as I would be hungry. I need to buy more healthy snacks for office and really switch myself to hot drinks at Starbucks.
  • Kids
    • Decluttering their weekend and holidays are a tough one. This is because the girl prefers to be out. She would asked us where we are going every weekend. While the boy prefers to stay home on some days to rest. So we got to balance between the two.
    • Miraculously, the boy read 2 very simple chapter books by himself. According to him, its a P2 chapter book that he saw in school and requested me to get it for him. We read with him for the 1st book and he read the 2nd book all by himself. He is now waiting for his 3rd book in the series to arrive. So now I have to get the girl interested in chapter books and start both on Chinese chapter books.
    • 1-to-1 date happened in a different way. As the girl has ballet classes every Thursday, we always bring the boy along. I usually go through his spelling with him at a cafe while waiting for MeiMei class to end and he will share with me his day or other things when we are done with work. For the girl, she always join us for breakfast on weekends. Some days the brother is too tired to join us, so it will become our 2-to-1 date. But 1-to-1 date for the littlest is still nil and difficult to manage. Maybe when he is older, we can try it.
  • Couple
    • Date nights has been consistent for us. Every Friday while both the kids attend their Chinese enrichment classes, we will go for our date night. Sometime its just dinner, other times it can be movies.
  • Self
    • I finally finish reading the first book of 2017! So slow, but I finally did it. Now its time to move on to the next book. But currently, I’m a little distracted with some drama series. LOL. When I’m done with that, its back to reading again. The TV kid in me, never left.
    • Decluttering my stuff never happened this month. I was busy shopping again! More like “decluttering” my wallet. LOL. Need to curb and really clean out the things I do not need anymore.

Our April just zoomed pass again. We are looking forward to May, which is the end of Semester 1!

Reflect: March 2017

We survived 1st Term of School in March and we are now in the 2nd Term of formal school! This calls for a celebration in March plus its the Boy’s birthday. So generally, March is a happy month for us!

The Boy’s Birthday
The last time we held a birthday party for the Boy was when he was 2. Since then, he celebrated his birthday in school with his friends. This year I didn’t plan to have a party. But one of his best friend’s (from childcare) Mum asked if we are interested to hold a party together, since their birthday is 1 day apart. And I know the boy misses his friends so we agreed. It was a no frill affair as we merely ordered food from a restaurant where the kids ate before they rush off for some indoor playground time.

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The boy and his childhood friends during the “party”.

The boy enjoyed himself and told us it’s one of the best day in life for him (so exaggerating). But we are glad he manage to spend time with his best friends and hope it bring some relief to his primary school life.

Fun, Fun, Fun!
The kids had their first taste of “Chalet” fun as I booked a villa to mark the end of Term 1 (and yay! more sleep for me for a week). The kids enjoyed themselves and were not willing to leave when time is up. LOL. We also manage to catch “Disney on Ice”. As I bought the tickets real early, we manage to get discounts and very good seats for our price category. The kids especially the girl were very happy to see their favourite “Elsa”. We also manage to pay Art Zoo a visit and the Littlest had a very good time bouncing around, though we were so afraid for him. LOL.

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Quite surprise the Littlest actually enjoyed it so much. Though I think its kind of dangerous for him as there were so many big kids and adults who can fall on him any moment.

Primary School Life
We established the “Spelling” and “听写” learning routine last month. I think its working out well though there was some resistance the week after school holidays and the boy fell ill. But I think breaking the list into half each day makes the boy feel its more manageable and more willing to learn. So we will continue with this practice. As for revision, we didn’t really manage to do much due to his amount of unfinished homework and also the need to practice his show and tell. So coming April, we will need to buck up on that. I have decide to let him use online resources for his revision, as it is really difficult to make him do “assessment” book now. Maybe I will try to slip in a few pages of assessment books on weekends to let him get use to the idea. LOL.

Preparing for P1
Last Friday when I went to pick the kids from their Chinese Enrichment, the Girl’s teacher approach me. To speak the truth, I was a little worried about what the teacher is going to share. But I was pleasantly surprise that the teacher told me that the Girl is performing well in class and is able to read all the flashcards from last term. I was also surprised too. But I think the Girl has really put in effort and I think we should continue on our sight-reading in English and Chinese. Now our daily revision is sight-reading in both languages and about 4 pages of “assessment” books every night from Monday to Wednesday. And reading on Thursday night. 4 pages doesn’t seems to be a lot for a kid preparing for P1, but I don’t feel like overworking her before she even start formal school.

Reading with 2 y.o.
Over the last few months, the Littlest is finally able to sit for a longer period to enjoy reading. I have also “caught” him reading to himself a few times. He opened up his 大卫 book, flipped through the pages and started telling himself about the pages. I will like to continue reading with him and have just took out a set of books I bought for the Boy when he was young but we never got to read it. Hopefully, the Littlest will like that set of books. I have also bought him a small table (which we are still awaiting for it to arrive from China) and some sticker books, so he can work on them beside his GorGor and JieJie when they do their work as he likes to come to their table and “disturb” when they are working.

Decluttering

  • Health
    • I have been bringing my own lunch for the last 2 weeks! So glad I found some easy cook recipes to help me with this. They are definitely more healthy than what is served at my office canteen.

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      A lunch I made one of the days. I need to add in more greens to my mix.
    • I didn’t swim or run once a week in March. But I did manage to start a routine of Tabata every day for about 10 minutes one week ago. I hope I can continue with this by doing everyday and for longer periods.
    • Did I mention “Ice Shaken Hibiscus Tea with Pomegranate Pearls” are my favourite drinks from Starbuck these days? And oh, there is like 1-for-1 every weekday. How am I going to declutter chilled drinks and tea out of my life with these?
  • Kids
    • The kids weekends for the whole of March were filled with activities. Mostly birthday parties including the Boy’s. And there are 2 more parties coming in April. It looks like a busy month for them again. Well, decluttering their weekend schedule seems like an uphill task.
    • As for reading, we are still reading some new books, but progress for Chapter Books is still slow. When will we finish our Matilda? I have resort to bringing their books out to read while waiting for food to be served. But only manage to do it once, let see if we have more chance to try this out in April.
    • 1-to-1 date is nil for me again. But I’m glad Chubby manage to bring the Boy out on the last day of his school holidays, Just the two of them. I need to really set a date for a 1-to1 date with all of them.
  • Couple
    • Date nights are still ongoing once every week. I hope this can continue, although at the expense of having a 1-to-1 time with the Littlest.
    • Oh, did I mention that we did our Tabata together? We encourage each other on and remind each other to do it every evening after work.
  • Self
    • Manage to read a little bit more this month. Though I slipped again in the last week of March, as I grew tired and fell asleep the moment I hit the bed. LOL.
    • Cut down my shopping from last month, but still made some purchases this month. I need to stop looking at shopping sites. I started tracking my expenses in March. I hope this will make me more conscious of where I spend my money.

That was our very busy March. How was yours? Are you ready for April?

Reflect: February 2017

February was quite a good month. We seem to have settled a few issues that were bugging us in January.

Primary School Life
We have established a certain routine for the boy. On weekday nights, he will revise his spelling and 听写 before the “test” date. And once its over, he will start learning next week’s spelling list. And he had to learn half of the list each day. I think he find this more manageable and is able to do it for the last 2 weeks. I have also set out to revise with him one subject each night, and weekends are reserved for learning his 听写 and doing his homework from Berries. He still complains a little on weekend, but there is less “shouting” on my part, and at the end of the day we achieve what we want to do. We are into our 2nd week of this routine, so we shall to see how it goes.

Waking up in the morning is still a struggle for the boy. We now adopt the no iPad or TV on Sunday to Thursday night rule, so that his brain is not over active and he can sleep earlier. It helps a little but this boy is generally more active at night. So we are still trying to find a way to make our morning happier. LOL.

Preparing for P1
We attended the girl’s curriculum briefing about a week ago and realize that many of her classmates parents are anxious about their kids academic development. This sets me thinking as I know the girl, for now, is not academically as strong as her brother. But she is definitely more hardworking than him. I’m not sure how she will adapt to school next year. But I told myself I have to work on her sight-reading in both English and Chinese, as reading is the basis of learning. She generally has no issues with Math, but I’m still working with her on that too, just so she has one less subject to worry about when she enters P1.

All Grown Up
Last month we were still talking about the littlest reluctance to go to school. And suddenly, after the CNY break, the littlest grew up. He can say “Bye Bye” happily to Daddy after he drops him, collects and eats his breakfast by himself. His teacher also shares with us that he is initiating play with his friends. So happy with his growth, but it suddenly occurs to me that he is shedding his baby-ness already. Oh~ I need to hide in a corner and tear.

Decluttering

  • Health
    • I aim to declutter the bad habits in my health like reducing chilled drinks and tea. However, I am not able to do it this month! Too many 1-for-1 promotion from Starbucks and I’m like drinking one every other day.
    • I need to reduce Starbucks and do exercises (haven’t done any exercise in February!). But I did manage to bring my own lunch for 3 weeks. Hope to continue in Mar!
  • Kids
    • Decluttering their weekend is what we did in February. However, it looks hard in March, as there are so many interesting activities going on in March. Now we adopt the, ask the kids first before going strategy. Let’s see how it works out.

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      Instead of cramping our weekends with activities, some days we just go for a simple outdoor playground time at the neighborhood.
    • Oh and I forgot to add, I couldn’t resist and bought the kids some toys and books in Feb. There goes the decluttering of their cupboards.
    • One-to-One dates are still zero, but we have pockets of one-to-one time like before school, while going for ballet classes and after GorGor and JieJie finishes their work. But I really need to find one-to-one date time for all 3.
  • Couple
    • I’m still trying to be more independent when it comes to handling the kids. And we manage to have date nights catching movie, play and concert! Hope this continues.

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      We manage to go for a culinary class to celebrate Valentine Day and caught a play at Huayi Festival and Jacky Cheung’s concert in Feb!
  • Self
    • Didn’t manage to declutter but did a round of online shopping in Feb! Argh..
    • Reading is progressing but not consistent as most nights I’m so tired that I fell asleep almost immediately after hitting the bed.
    • As for decluttering bad thoughts, I am making a conscious effort and I think I’m more positive now. I need to remind myself and hope that this can continue. 🙂

How was your February?

Reflect: January 2017

For the last two years, I have been doing quarterly review of my resolutions. Starting this year, I hope to do a monthly sum up of what we did for the month and how far I am away from my resolution. The idea came from Christy from Kids ‘R’ Simple, who started doing her monthly review last year. It is a good recording of key events and also more importantly for me reflect and do minor tweaks to my resolutions.

Primary School Life
We spend a large amount of time adjusting to Primary School life in January. I have to wake up early with the boy to help prep him and most days he reaches home later than his childcare days as he attends student care. And upon reaching home, he still have homework to finish or spelling to learn. It was quite a huge change for him that in the first weekend after school starts, he slept till late morning and told us he wishes to stay home to chillax. I really pity him, but its something we all have to learn and go through. I hope by doing all these, it will make him understand that he has to step up to his responsibilities and learn to be more resilient.

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The boy’s seat in class. Surrounded by 2 girls. Hmmm… LOL

I hope by this week, with all the festivities finishing soon, we can fix on an after school schedule for him. He has yet to do any revision for the work he learned in school. I will hope to cultivate that habit in him but this will take time. But, yet, I do not want to overload him with unnecessary work that it kills his interest in learning and room for creative growth. This is such a difficult process. I’m still trying to look for more fun way to reinforce what he learns in school. Anybody with good resources on this, do let me know.

Learning Ballet
After changing her mind a few times, the girl finally decides to formally learn dancing. We brought her for a trial class the week before CNY. She enjoyed herself and requested to be enrolled. So this will formally start my girl’s journey in ballet. I hope she will enjoy dancing as much (if not more) as I do. And at the same time, I have to remind myself to check on her feet development so that they will not be deformed due to dancing. Can’t wait for her to share more of what she learn in class. And I hope she can stay motivated and continue dancing till she grow old. LOL.

Adapting to Childcare
For the littlest, it was a month of adapting to “school”. Although he started in December last year, it appears that the boy is slowly starting to “dislike” school. He cries when Chubby leave him in the morning and his teachers feedback that he appeared moody throughout the day. And he fell sick a few times this month, taking in all the germs in school.

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This expression pretty much sum up the littlest January. Grouchy. LOL.

Chubby and I conclude that his moodiness may be due to our lack of time for him. Very often he will come to the dining table and climb onto my lap when I’m eating dinner at night. Or when I’m trying to teach the elder two, he will run before his GorGor and “chop” his seat. Chubby and I agree that we need to spend more time with him. Probably I will involve him when I teaches the elder two, or go on date with him when the elder two goes for enrichment classes.

Driving License
On my personal front, I finally got my driving license! After a few failed attempts and thoughts of giving up. I’m glad I manage to do it. But I still have issues driving on the road and particularly parking. LOL. But nonetheless, with one thing down, means I have more time for myself and the family. And also the convenience and independence it brings.

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The first time I drove out alone and parked my car without help. It was after many attempts going in and out and causing inconvenience to other drivers. But I did it in the end!

Decluttering

  • Health
    I manage to reduce my chilled drinks intake. I refrain from drinking bubble tea and ordered hot tea while at Starbucks. So I think that is the one small step I did for my health decluttering. I hope to Swim or Run once a week starting this month.
  • Kids
    I manage to declutter the kids toys and clothes before the new year. And also I didn’t buy anything for them this month, well except for new year clothes. This is something I haven’t done for a long while. On top of what I achieve this month, I hope I will have time for 1-to-1 dates for all three of them. Particularly the littlest who is a little left out now.
  • Couple
    Hopefully with my driving license, it means I can depend less on Chubby to chauffeur us around and causing inconvenience to him. But unfortunately, we didn’t have much chance to go on a date last month. However, for this month we have already planned two date night out. I hope there is more to come!
  • Self
    I think I have somewhat achieve a lot for myself this month. I reduced my time spend on social media, reduces the game I play, cut down on the topics on my blog, declutter my wardrobe and didn’t shop online. The one thing I want to focus this month is reading one page or a small section each night.

This is our very busy January. How was yours?

Thoughts: Reflecting 2016

I can’t believe 2016 is coming to a close so soon!

  • Eat Healthily and Exercise More
    In the last review, I talked about my no-carbs diet and snacking. That totally went out of the window. When my “old” helper went back, Chubby took over the preparation of my lunch for a few weeks. After a while, he was overwhelmed with work and studies that it was stopped. In the last week of November, I took on the role myself and prepared my own “no carb” lunch. All went well until the littlest started trial and we sent our “new” helper back. This means I have more housework to do and hence I have not prepared any lunch since.

    Exercising was also out of the window, as like I mentioned no time. I hope to restart them when the new year come. But the daily 5 mins Pilates will be a challenge as next year onwards I will need to wake up even earlier to prep the boy for school. #woesofprimaryschool

    Overall this year, at least I went for runs and swim for a few times. Not enough to stay healthy but I think it was an improvement from 2015.

  • More Communication and Patience
    I totally forgot about the “Feel-Think-Act” sequence. But nonetheless, things were pretty ok for this quarter or maybe chubby will think otherwise. Nonetheless, I think I did make an improvement overall from 2016. More patience and letting things go especially with the children.
  • Spend more time with the littlest
    The littlest is at such a cute stage now. He plays with you, mimic your actions and all. I have tried reading to him many times, but he still can’t sit through a book. Nonetheless, I continued reading hoping something will go in. He just entered school, hopefully, that will make him learn to sit and enjoy stories.

    Overall for 2016, I think I still need to work a lot more on this area. I don’t feel I have improved much in the quality time spent with him.

  • More One-to-One time with the elder two
    Well, we brought the eldest to USS alone and I brought the girl out a couple of time for snacks or ice-cream treat. Not enough but there are improvements. It was definitely much better than 2015.
  • More consistent teaching
    Yes. The kids now know that every night they will have “home” work to do. We have been doing this on every weekday except on Tuesday where they have enrichment and on Friday. Weekends are break time.

So overall, I will think that for this 5 main goals that I set out to do, I improved from 2015, though some were better some just by a little.

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So what else happened in 2016?

  • Parenting
    Chubby was still doing his Masters this year. This means there were many times that I need to handle the kids by myself. And the worst was when our trusty “old” helper went back and we got a replacement. But nontheless, I manage to bring the elder two out by myself on public transport! The kids are much older now so its actually managable to bring them out. There was once I brought all three out with the “new” helper on public transport too. I think I’m getting better at this. Besides, Chubby has just submitted his final papers. So he will be graduating soon! That means a better 2017 for us!
  • Marriage
    With our help at home, Chubby and I manage to sneak out to Taiwan Taipei for a very short trip without the kids. It was definitely good for us to spend time without them. There were also date nights throughout when our “old” helper was around. We hope to continue this in 2017.
  • Work
    I left my job of 10 years in the middle of the year. Something I didn’t quite plan, but things just came along and I made the jump. I’m quite happy with my new work for now. Learning new things, less stressful and nearer to home. This means more time for the family!
  • Reading
    I manage to read 3 books this year! Not a lot compare to the past when I had no kids. But a great improvement from 2015. I hope I am able to continue and read more books next year.
  • Crafting
    I set out to do a quiet book for the littlest a few months back and find myself enjoying it. It gives me a sense of accomplishment when I see the completed pages. The sewing also calms me down. So its like a win-win situation for me and the littlest. Now its just waiting for us to get use to the new routine before I continue.
  • Cooking
    I must say I was never a cook. My mum and Chubby cooks well, there was no need for me to cook until I started preparing my own lunch last month. I actually manage to prepare a whole week of edible lunch. I’m so impress with myself. LOL. I will like to continue doing this next year! And add baking into the list.

How about you? How was your 2016?

Thoughts: Reflecting 2nd Quarter 2016

This quarter, there was a big change in our life. I quit from my job of 10 years and embarked on another journey. With a nearer office, earlier and shorter working hours, I manage to spend more time with my family. I miss my ex-colleagues but is still happy that I made that jump, though where this new work will lead me to is still an unknown.

Now its time to pause and take stock again on the goals I setup to achieve:

  • Eat Healthily and Exercise More
    Well, with the change of job, eating healthily is more achievable. There are no Starbucks or Koi temptation here. Plus, I got Chubby to help me prepare lunch for 3 times a week, as food option here is limited. Hence, I think I’m slowly moving towards the healthy eating path.
    As for exercise more, there is no progression. There were a few weekend nights where Chubby and I went for a jog, but they were not regular enough. I hope we can do this every weekend. This shall be the goal for the 3rd quarter.

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    Look at how new my shoes are. They need to be worn out!
  • More Communication and Patience
    With more time on hand, I think I am progressing well on this. Though sometimes the dilly-dalliness of the kids still get into me and I lost it and scream at them to act faster. Sigh.
  • Spend More Time With the Littlest
    There were 2 nights this month that the littlest woke up crying for “A-ti”. It breaks my heart. It shows how little love he have felt from me.
    With my new job, I am able to spend more time with the littlest now. However, apparently it is still not enough. Aim for 3rd quarter is to have at least 1/2 hour with him every weeknight, but not at the expense of me getting inpatient with the elder two on their homework. I hope I can do it.
  • More One-to-One Time with the Elder Two
    I went on a one-to-one date twice and a few one-to-one grocery shopping trip with the girl in this quarter. However, I haven’t got a chance to do that with the boy. In the 3rd quarter, I hope I can do one-to-one dates once a month with them individually.

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    One of the rare occasion where I brought the girl out alone. But on theory this doesn’t count as one-to-one date as I was meeting a friend that day.
  • More Consistent Teaching
    “Night classes” with Mummy are more consistent these days. But because June is a holiday month, I also took some Fridays off and gave the kids a break from the night classes. LOL.

On other aspects, I’m still on the 2nd book of the year. In between I tried reading a book “Appreciating your child” but didn’t manage to finish it as it was from the library and I had to return it on the due date. So now I’m still on the official 2nd book. Hope I can progress slowly and steadily on this.

I remember at the beginning of the year I told myself that this blog is going to be a lower priority. A month back, I don’t know what got into me, I went to set up the FB page for thelittlemom.com. And I went into an obsession of trying to update it regularly with articles I read, posts that I blogged, etc. It is in complete contrast of what I had set out to do. Because of this obsession, I spent more time on the social media then I should.

“Luckily” an incident “knocked” me out of it. In wanting to promote my blog and FB page, I shared info in a FB group which links the community back to my blog. But it backfired and I got kicked out of the group without any warning as it is stated that members are not allowed to advertise about their blog. And this is my 2nd offense. The first time was a year ago, and I forgot the exact rules and thought I didn’t flout it. But the fact was I did. I was really upset by the incident but it was a good wake up call.

In my pursue to bring this blog and its page to another level, I got my priorities wrong and forgot why I started this blog. I think it’s a good time to pause and remind myself that I set to FOCUS in 2016.

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Second half of 2016 is approaching. Not too late to refocus and have a new beginning.

So how was your Q2 for 2016?

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