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Camping at P.Ubin : )

We have done it! A 2D1N camping adventure at P.Ubin, with fellow homeschoolers. A total of seven families and 17 children, most of whom were below five years old. Amazed? I was! 😀

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Our campsite

Our itinerary was simple – met up at Changi Point Ferry Terminal in the morning, took a bumboat ride to P.Ubin, set up camp, had lunch at a local restaurant, cycled around the island exploring. Then it was back to camp in the late afternoon to cook dinner, followed by a night walk after washing up.

Dinner, prepared in mess tins over solid fuel

Dinner, prepared in mess tins over solid fuel

The older kids playing. (This is too funny. I try not to post any photo with other people in the photo, but in this case, it just happens that my photography skills plus my iPhone 4s camera blurred most of the faces!

The older kids playing. (This is too funny. I try not to post any photo with other people in the photo, but in this case, it just happens that my photography skills plus my iPhone 4s camera blurred most of the faces!

So how did we manage camping with three young kids? We were pretty minimalist – other than the usual things like clothes and diapers, the only ‘camping gear’ we brought were the tent (which we had from pre-kids days), mess tins (hubby’s army gear), solid fuel, and a few torches. Dinner was very simple, just instant noodles and luncheon meat. It was the first time our kids got to eat instant noodles, and I am sure just once wouldn’t cause any damage. (Well, it’s likely to be instant noodles again when we go camping again. So be it!)

All of us slept on the hard ground, with just the tent separating us from the grass. No mattresses for us. Frankly speaking, my idea of camping is for my boys to rough it out. The standard shall be same as what they gonna get when they go for National Service 😛

Kor Kor cycled on a bicycle we rented from one of the numerous bicycle shops on the island. Didi was in child seat on Hubby’s bicycle, while Meimei was on mine. Unfortunately I am not a very good cyclist and the group had to wait for me to catch up >.<

It was my first time cycling with a child seat. Before that, I never knew how unstable the bicycle would be even with the stand down, when the child was in the seat. The uncle at the bicycle shop did warn us not to leave the child alone on the bicycle, and we took his advice seriously. But alas, an accident still happened. I was not strong enough to hold on to the bicycle while getting on (i.e. with only one leg on the ground), and I caused Meimei to fall!

I include this photo here not to gross you out, but to show you how 'heavy' the fall was..

I include this photo here not to gross you out, but to show you how ‘heavy’ the fall was..

Luckily luckily LUCKILY Meimei was wearing her helmet and buckled in on the child seat, so she did not sustain any injuries at all. The brave girl didn’t even cry! But she did fall, and her head did come into contact with the ground, so I am really very thankful that I decided to bring her helmet along. In fact I had just bought her helmet a few days before the camping trip for this purpose. Previously I wasn’t sure whether a child riding in the bicycle’s child seat needed a helmet, though I would definitely ensure the cycling kids wear their helmets. Parents, please let your child wear a helmet as long as she is on a bicycle! Or a balance bike.. or skates.. or skate scooter.. any of those dangerous speed machines.. ok??

I did a recee trip with my sons the weekend before

I did a recee trip with my sons the weekend before

All in all, I enjoyed the camping trip a lot, and the boys said they had fun too. I am glad they finally got to try camping, and hopefully we will get to do it again soon! And we shall also go over to P.Ubin for more nature regularly!

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Gasp, Only One Year Left!

I used to think that I still had a lot of time with the children… After all, Kor Kor will only be starting school in Primary 1, i.e. when he is seven years old (actually, when he is six years and 10 months old). As a stay-at-home-mum, that means I have many, many days of 24/7 with him!

But to my horror, the past year had zoomed past. The years before that… I was either pregnant or taking care of a very small baby, so I forgive myself 😛 But at the beginning of 2014, Meimei was already sleep-trained. By June she was no longer breastfeeding, which freed up a lot of time. I had tried to be more purposeful in our homeschooling – still not going the academic path, but nevertheless I had hoped to be more structured and productive. But looking back on the year… Hmm, we did many interesting activities and visited many interesting places, sure. But they felt rather scattered and random.

And you know what, I did not manage to fulfil even one of my 2014’s New Year resolutions. This is very jia lat, cos quite a few of them are supposed to have direct impact on the kids’ well-being, such as learning to cook better (health and appetite), and learning sewing (to teach them a new skill). While a few resolutions have direct impact on my well-being, a happy and content mother would benefit the children too.

Over the past few days as I read others’ 2015 New Year resolutions, I had initially not wanted to make any for this year. What’s the point when I fail to achieve them, or even think much about them over the course of the year? But since I do want to be purposeful in how I spend the time with my kids… and I did feel a kick on the butt when I realised I had fulfiled none of the previous year’s(!!!), here goes…

First and foremost, I hope to be a better mother to my children. Gentle, patient, kind, soft-spoken, nice, understanding. 100% difficult. But I must try.

Remember structure and priorites when planning activites/outings. Main focus shall be Making, including woodwork, general tinkering, sewing, Lego, and hopefully robotics if I can figure it out (ha). But around mid-year I have to start on academic preparation for Kor Kor’s P1 journey. I have done daily planning for January. To do for every month.

Health is very important. The usual – eat better, exercise more! Sleep is also very important, but I know I cannot 😛

ONWARDS for the new year! All the best for your resolutions!

exactly one year to P1…..