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He Likes Rockclimbing Now!

And so, Kor Kor has completed the eight sessions of the Pebbles programme at The Rock School. I am very happy to report that he no longer has any mental obstacles and is able to scale the walls without much difficulties. YAY! There is still a lot of room for improvement with regard to his skills, but I believe that is a small issue. Mind over body, all he needs is technical lessons and more practice.

I knew he could : )

I knew he could : )

Given the drama we had at the beginning, how did he manage to go from CANNOT to CAN in five lessons? I shall be very blunt and honest – yes, I bribed him, in addition to lots more scolding. There’s a Chinese idiom called , which literally translates into ‘drenched in dog’s blood’, meaning berate harshly. Yep, that’s what I did for the first three lessons – scold scold scold after each lesson, all throughout dinner and the way home.

Very luckily, some toys which I had ordered online arrived then and I decided to use them as bribes. I told Kor Kor that he would be allowed to choose one toy if he managed to climb to the top of the wall. After he succeeded, I told him that at the next lesson he would have to climb the wall twice during the class to get another toy.

By the sixth lesson, there was no need for any more bribes or scolding. Kor Kor looked forward to the lessons and would skip and dance on the way to class. He often said that he liked rockclimbing during the interval between the weekly lesson.

I guess the thing is, I KNEW he could do it, but he did not know it. He thought he could not, and the lack of confidence contributed to his fear and reluctance to try. Thus, once there was some external motivation spurring him on, he was more willing to put in effort and could do it without much difficulties. And once he knew he could, the problem was solved.

Hmmm.. perhaps bribery in itself is not such a good idea. Personally, I would not be willing to provide constant bribes. Huh, I would be mighty pissed off if Kor Kor had expected rewards for doing what he should be doing anyway at every lesson! I am glad Kor Kor did not even ask for any reward himself when I stopped offering him bribes. I think a bribe or two as a push is ok, much like the reward system for daily chores – once the boys got used to it, there is no longer a need for stars and they do what they are supposed to do as a habit.

I hope Kor Kor has learnt a life lesson here – that he has to TRY before he knows whether he can, or whether he likes it. Well, if he hasn’t learnt this lesson by now, at least I can remind him of his rockclimbing experience!

[I am also really happy that Kor Kor was very well-behaved throughout the course! (other than whining and crying and refusing to try la) He was able to understand instructions and obeyed the teachers, never getting too rowdy with the other students, always queued up and waited patiently for his turn. Allow me to show off and feel proud of him!]

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Our First Visit to Labrador Park

We visited Labrador Park, or more accurately, Labrador Nature Reserve recently, and as it was my first visit too, I was pleasantly surprised by the tranquility of the park. I was having a flu and headache on the way there, but miraculously recovered when I saw the beautiful view of the sea and heard the soothing sounds of the waves. I happened to come across another blog which described Labrador Park very aptly, exactly what I felt and wanted to write, so I shall share it with you here –> Singapore Playground.

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we did nothing much.. sat on the bench to admire the scenery..

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.. took a stroll along the coast..

... danced as we walked!

… danced as we walked!

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Playground seems quite new. Clean and well-maintained. And look at the lush greenness right behind!

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Three slides in all, and they are all excitingly steep! Weeee..!

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Climb climb climb : )

The sand at the playground is really soft and clean. I am definitely going to bring the kids’ sand toys along next time!

Didn’t manage to see any of the war relics today though. I didn’t plan properly and had no idea where they were. I think Labrador Nature Reserve has two main sides – the sea and the hill. Shall visit the hill side soon and update in a new post.

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Big head shot!

 

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Why I Am Stopping At Three

So that I won’t have to change the name of my blog!

Kidding, of course, just kidding.

Why am I even thinking of having one more baby?

  1. Want a sister for Meimei. A sister is surely the best friend that one can have, especially when they are close in age.
  2. Meimei is such a sweet girl that I think she would be perfect as an elder sister.
  3. I am too free.
  4. I must be crazy!

I was actually really quite tempted to try to persuade Hubby to have one more child. With already three kids, I think one more or ten more (haha) won’t make much a difference to whether I can cope. Especially given my parenting style – sleep train the kids, teach them to eat by themselves, let them walk by themselves (instead of carrying them), etc. It’s give and take of course, more siblings to play with but less individual time with parents.

[Sidenote: Some people might say, already so little individual time now, cannot reduce! I say, since already so little individual time, doesn’t make much of a difference to cut a bit more 😛 And don’t think that I get a lot of individual time with my kids since I am a sahm. Argh. NO. But that’s another story for another post.]

Finally, the thing that makes me come to a firm decision to stop at three…

Other than the obvious problem of it might NOT be a sister after all, I really can’t bear to make Meimei give up her current throne of being the youngest and the only princess, to become a middle child >.<

Not that I happily made Kor Kor give up his Only Child Throne, or Didi his Youngest Throne… it’s different as we PLANNED to have three kids. Or if the fourth were an accident.. But since we planned to have three, there would have to be a greater and very powerful motivation to go beyond. And in this case, the motivation is simply not enough to overcome the deterrent.

 

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Just Like That.. I Am Mummy Cow No More…

Three nights ago, at the grand old age of 14 months and 16 days old, Meimei officially graduated from The School Of Breastfed Babies. *emo*

I have been wanting to wean her for a few months, but didn’t know how to go about it as she refused to take the bottle or drink any other milk. Wasn’t keen on imposing any ‘strong-armed’ method since there was actually no urgent reason for me to wean, other than vanity and convenience.

Thought that I might be breastfeeding Meimei till she’s three years old…? Maybe I would finally have the heart to refuse her then… But recently she has been drinking a lot of non-mummy milk, often pointing to the milk and nodding her head at me. ‘mum mum mum mum mum’ – babyspeak for eating. OK, no more worries about nutrient consumption then. (By now, I don’t think breast milk is significantly better than formula / fresh milk.)

But what about her sleep routine? Though she has been going to bed awake after nursing for many months, perhaps she is used to nursing as a cue for sleep? Hmm, I tried cutting out the feed before naptime, and it was a non-issue – she has a bottle in her high chair, then I carry her and tell her it’s time to sleep, give her some water, and she KO within five minutes after I put her in her cot.

Then finally, I decided to try going without nursing at night too. Was expecting some sort of drama… but… zilch. Nothing.

So, this is it. I am officially no longer a breastfeeding mother. Well done, mummy, for the total of 34.5 months of breastfeeding three children. A journey which started with a lot of tears and pain, and ends now in pride and satisfaction.

Gotta reward myself, of course. I give myself a deadline of ten days to buy new non-nursing bras (of which I have none now, other than sports bras). YAY!

still a bit emo. but i shall not ponder on it
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Our First Books From NoQ! (With Discount Code)

Urmm, you know I buy a lot of books hor? I used to buy from Kinokuniya, but since it became more difficult for me to go shopping with the kids in tow, I have been relying on online bookstores. My default is Book Depository, as it provides free delivery so I don’t have to worry about the shipping cost and can buy BIG and HEAVY books, ho ho ho. Yes, the books might be cheaper at Amazon but there is a minimum of $125 to qualify for free international shipping (which is good cos it’s one more excuse reason for me to buy more stuff, but it’s not so good for matrimonial harmony :P).

Had also heard of many other online bookstores but I was always worried that the selection of books would be limited, especially since I often buy books which are not the usual popular ones. And there was the inertia to to just stick to what I was familiar with. So, when NoQ kindly offered me a book voucher to shop at their online bookstore, I immediately searched for the books on my to-buy list.. Voila!

I don’t usually compare prices, but out of curiosity since it’s the first time I am buying from NoQ, I did a check.

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Book Depository $27.20, NoQ $22.65

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Book Depository $24.36 NoQ $26.87

This means that I saved a nett amount of $2.04 even though one of the books was cheaper from Book Depository. Shipping is free for purchases above $25 (much easier to hit than Amazon!), and usually takes 7-14 business days to be delivered. I received my books in 12 business days.

Would I buy books from NoQ again? Definitely! Especially with the 15% discount which NoQ is offering to all my readers! (I am my own reader too, haha.)

Simply type in the code SAHMOT at checkout.

The code is valid till 31 August 2014. (The code is the abbreviation for Stay At Home Mom Of Three, by the way, for easy remembering.)

Happy Shopping!

Disclaimer: I topped up the balance after using the voucher from NoQ in order to purchase the two books abovementioned.

 

 

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Honey, I Brainwashed The Kids

Kor Kor loves to watch televsion, to play on the iPhone, to watch other people playing games, etc. But I don’t like the kids to spend time on such gadgets, especially since it’s bad for their eyes too.

A few months ago, we started letting the boys play on the iPhone for a while at night as part of our reward chart system. Now, the chores/habits we wanted to train are pretty much ingrained in the boys, but the iPhone has also become part and parcel of our nightly bedtime routine. I don’t begrudge them the 5-10 minutes lah, but I still want to let them know how I feel about it. So…

Me: “Can don’t play iPhone tonight?”

Boy: “Why? I want to play!”

Me: *disappointed look* OK… Just that I don’t want you to become stupid… Playing too much on the phone makes you stupid…”

In the beginning, the boys just went ahead and played anyway. But recently, usually just as I am finishing up their evening shower, they would tell me (separately) “Mummy, today I don’t want to play iPhone! Because I don’t want to become stupid!”

So nowadays, the norm is No More iPhone at night! Yay! An extra Hooray here because it means we cut 15 minutes off the bedtime routine, which means we have more time to read more books, or if it’s already late (after an outing), we can send the boys to bed earlier!

Of course I am ecstatic that the boys are giving up their iPhone allowance on their own accord. Just want to clarify for the record that I have nothing against iPhone games per se – it’s an individual choice, and ‘iPhone makes you stupid’ is just a very simplified way of explaining my preferences to the kids.

The thing here is, our words really have a lot of influence on our children. Even though I didn’t impose my preferences on them, didn’t make it sound like it’s a horrible thing, just expressed my opinion in a mild manner, they still took my advice in the end. And this is a big deal, cos iPhone time is a big deal to Kor Kor.. gosh, how many other ‘small-deal’ things in life are we influencing the children???

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SAHM Happiness Tips

Because SAHM is not just about surviving! But on a more serious life-and-death note, have you read the SAHM Survival Tips on The Gingerbread Mum’s blog train? Without survival, there can be no happiness :p

When I first started out on this SAHM journey right after Kor Kor was born, I often entertained thoughts of returning to work. I was on no-pay leave after maternity leave, so it would be easy-peasy to cancel the no-pay leave and rejoin the workforce. And guess what, nobody asked me to stop working, and there was no need for me to look after my baby myself – my mother-in-law was very willing to help and I had no worries about leaving my child with her. I became a stay-at-home-mum for only one reason – I wanted to. Despite this, I still felt trapped and unhappy at times….

Fortunately, now I am much more content and happy, even with triple the workload! (Actually it’s more than triple.. cos I had a part-time helper who came weekly to do the major cleaning chores back then.. We stopped engaging help when Meimei was one month old. I am crazy, I know.) Of course, part of the reason is that I am a more experienced mother now and more familiar with household chores. In addition, I believe in making myself happy, and to actively take steps to make myself happy. Cos happiness isn’t served on a platter, you know?

Happiness Tip 1: Change What You Can

One of the toughest problems I am facing now is the heat. No aircon except in the bedrooms, and it is difficult to ‘imprison’ the kids in one bedroom, especially since their playroom is in the living room and the art corner is in the kitchen. Not very possible to install aircon in the living room, cos it’s one huge open area including the dining room and our open-concept kitchen. (Lucky me, Hubby has agreed to get me aircon! But need to get approval from HDB to install an additional condenser.. so the chances of success are low.)

Ya we have fans, but how to sit in front of the fan when I have to serve the kids?? After feeling very unhappy about the situation for some time, I decided I MUST do something about it. Thought hard and came up with a very do-able solution – to wear sleeveless dri-fit tops and beach/sports shorts!  I felt sticky and auntie when I wore a regular t-shirt and shorts and perspired like crazy.. but I never felt auntie when I was drenched in perspiration after jogging or playing volleyball under the scorching sun what!

Current situation – still no aircon (haven’t got around to submitting the necessary documents to HDB. Low motivation cos I doubt they will approve), June temperature is forecast to go up up up, but I am happier!

 

Happiness Tip 2: Don’t Live With What You Can’t Change

Everything can be changed. Even if the thing itself can’t be changed, our mindset toward it can be changed. But the change in mindset only works if you really believe in the new mindset. It’s not going to work if you are just saying it… If you can’t even convince yourself, it’s no use! Keep thinking, keep trying, change something. It can be the environment, or the people around you, perhaps even doing the same thing but at a different time… Remember, there are many dimensions to everything.

Happiness Tip 3: Know What You Want, And Ask For It

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Hubby is always willing to help when I ask for his help. The problem is I don’t like having to bear the main responsibility 24/7, I would much prefer him to be more proactive and hands-on, but I guess men are just wired differently.

(This is not to say he never offers to help on his own intiative. He does sometimes, but when he doesn’t, I would feel unhappy why he isn’t offering. Ya I know, I am hard to please :P)

So, I implemented a new ‘rule’. On weekdays I do all the kids’ baths at night, even when he reaches home early from work. On weekends he bathes the boys, even when I am not busy. On non-working weekdays, we bathe one boy each.

It might sound like a lot more work for me, but it’s not that difficult since I am doing everything on my own when he’s back late from work anyway, and I have been coping well. And since he’s the sole breadwinner and is also working hard at his job, I don’t really mind doing the majority of the housework and childrearing duties.

The new arrangement allows me to totally let go on weekends. I just need to bathe Meimei and that’s it. I won’t have to ask the boys 1000 times to go for their baths. I don’t care if Hubby takes a long time to finally bathe the boys. I am happy, and Hubby is happy when I am happy : )

 

Err, OK that’s it! Gosh I am feeling quite bo liao for writing so much and it’s actually just three simple points! The thing is, these are common advice for being happy in general, and just because a stay-at-home-mum is a non-monetary, ‘noble’ ‘job’, it doesn’t mean we should be ‘noble’ and put up with being unhappy. Anyway, making ourselves happy doesn’t make us any less noble ok.

Image source: Meetville.com

Image source: Meetville.com