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Meimei’s Empty Bedroom

Before I started writing this post, I took a look at my previous post about Meimei’s sleep problems… and realized that gosh, she has been at it for more than a month!! HOW did I survive the past month!??

Anyway, I have given in completely. Now she is no longer napping and she goes to bed in my room every night…

After the initial refusal to nap, I decided that no, I must make her nap!! Because she’s only two years old! So I did…. she cried quite a bit but most of the time she did fall asleep… It wasn’t just CIO ok…. I didn’t leave her to cry in her room…. Because she could easily open her door now and kept opening the door and asking for this and that. I would refuse and she would cry….. 

Soon after, she refused to sleep at night too. Bedtime, kept opening her door just like nap time. I had to sit outside her door until she gave up and fell asleep… 

After two weeks of this, I decided I really don’t want her to cry so pitifully everyday anymore. I shall just give in to my princess. 

So, no need to nap in the afternoon anymore, because it takes too much of your tears to make you sleep. You can just hang around with us while I do some reading with your brothers. (You are already joining us for our morning reading anyway!) Mummy shall just cook fast fast then rush you off to bed fast fast after dinner! The dirty dishes can wait! 

You can sleep in our bedroom since that’s what you prefer. Mummy and Daddy will just shower in the other bathroom instead so that we won’t disturb your sleep. We will also just tiptoe around in the mornings so that you can sleep in longer hopefully. 

So far, Meimei has missed her nap for the past three days and did not even fall asleep in the car in the afternoon. That means she wasn’t tired, right? She has also gone to bed happily at bedtime. I don’t even have to stay with her… bring her in to my bed, kiss her goodnight and she quietly stays in bed till she KO. 

So, it’s now three of us in the master bedroom, the two brothers in one bedroom, and one nice empty room. 

The best part? Seeing my darling girl sound asleep so sweet when I go to bed too! : )

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Didi’s 4th Birthday Party

My kids get to have birthday parties only when they hit four years old, because they are too young to remember anyway before that, so why waste my efforts πŸ˜›

Before this, we celebrated Kor Kor’s 4th and 5th birthdays at home, with all the grandparents, aunts and uncles (3姑姑、3ε§‘δΈˆγ€θˆ…θˆ…γ€θˆ…ζ―γ€ι˜Ώε§¨). Very simple, just cooked some finger food and bought roast meat etc and had a family gathering. 

But a few months ago, we attended a birthday party held at Botanic Gardens and I was inspired! (Thanks, S!)

Didn’t plan to have a themed party at first…. Brought Didi to a party ware shop to choose some fancy paper plates and he chose Ironman and it sorta snowballed from there πŸ˜…

(By the way, the party packs at such shops are really a waste of money. Expensive and impractical. I excuse myself since it’s my first time, but in future I shall source for the goodie bag stuff myself!)

 

Internet is amazing. Can spot Didi’s face??

 
 

We went 2 hours in advance to ‘chope’ ‘this table! Sand playground right next to us : )


Brought some finger food, sandwiches and drinks. And a lot of sand toys for the cousins to share!

 

See the superheroes masks?? Ironman’s party will surely include his fellow Superheroes! Great buys from neighbourhood shop! And Super Kitty for Meimei and 2 other girls πŸ˜…


Birthday boy and brother running amok even before the guests arrive.

 

Our vast party space : )


I don’t like 3D inedible cakes… and Didi is happy enough with his cake!

 

Cutting cake at sunset

It was quite challenging to prepare food which could be transported around and to lug all the things there. And no guarantee we could get this table nearest the playground. And didn’t know whether the weather would be good especially as it had been raining in the afternoons recently. Luckily the weather was perfect! Even at 3pm it was not hot at all : )

But it also meant that we could easily change the venue to our house if it rained. Very near and no worries about wasted payment. The best part is when I saw all the cousins running around on the beautiful grass, chasing one another with the water guns and superhero weapons. I didn’t manage to capture it on camera, but the sunset in the background over the reservoir was gorgeous too. Hurray to outdoor time with loved ones! 

  

Most importantly, Happy Birthday, Baobei!

 

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Happiest Mothers’ Day!

I have been a mother for 5.5 years, which means this is my 5th Mothers’ Day, and it has never been so great! 

How did I spend the day? Well, basically doing nothing! It’s the first time I have got so much sleep in a day since I became a mother, other than when I was really sick. Hubby took over all the housework.. he gave them breakfast, bought lunch and dinner, washed all the dishes, mopped up any spills, wiped the dining table, settled their disputes, attended to their requests/demands, and changed Meimei’s diaper! (The girl pooped 3x today… Poor Daddy!)

This morning I only finally got out of bed at 10.30am. Then slowly washed up in the toilet. Hee hee. I sent Hubby this link two days ago, guess he got the hint! By the way, I think breakfast in bed for special occasions, when it involves young children, must be one of the worst ideas on earth. Maybe it’s a ploy by daddies to find a ‘nice’ way to wake the mummy up. No, thanks. 

Did some simple baking with the boys, cos I had promised them long ago but somehow we had been out of the house for the past few Sundays. Other than that, I just lounged about mostly on the sofa and dozed whenever I felt sleepy. Great life!!

Also got a treat at my favorite steamboat JPot and Ellenborough Market Cafe over the past two days.. durian pengat!! And KOI bubble tea and Scoopz durian ice cream which Hubby specially went to buy a few days ago. Last year he gave me a ang pau, none this year, but I guess can’t ask for too much la πŸ˜›

(By the way, Dear, belated is ok, I don’t mind at all.)

Why is it so different from the previous years? One thing is, I had a very small baby and was breastfeeding him/her for three of the previous Mothers’ Day. In addition, I tried to go about the day like an usual day, planning outings etc as per normal. 

But this year I was careful to protect my special day. After all, I can only expect such leisurely privileges on two days a year! (Looking forward to my birthday in Oct!) If we were to go out, I would not have the chance to rest and might have ended up as tired as usual. My hubby would not have the chance to demonstrate his childcare skills as much either πŸ˜›

An unexpected gain from today – I think my hubby has realized he is really able to cope with the 3 kids even if I were really not at home the whole day. Not that I will be going out without them la… But just in case.. Maybe when one of my good friends get married and ask me to be jie mei? At least I have no worries about saying yes!

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Back To Basics

For the longest time, I had been wondering how to get the boys to help out regularly with housework. Not that they were (too) unwilling to do…. but sometimes I forgot… sometimes we headed out very early (once they finished their milk). For instance, if the plan was to spend the whole day outdoors, I might feel that we might as well bring our breakfast out for a picnic or eat out, as the eating and cleaning up would take quite a while, especially for Meimei who was messy and un-threatenable.

It’s great to spend more time in the great outdoors. But eventually, the boys’ chorelessness got to me too much, and I decided that again, we had to make a choice – chores or outdoors? Chores won, cos we do not have to completely give up on outdoor time, just have to cut down (and say goodbye to our 1000 hours, boo hoo. Oh well, no pain no gain.)

‘Worse’, as I am trying to let the kids eat more homecooked food, and also because they are usually able to go to bed earlier if I come home and cook, we are further cutting down on outdoor time as we leave for home earlier. So…. go out later, come back earlier… oops..

Our current routine

730am Milk & breakfast

The boys have to finish by 830am, or else they don’t have to finish the food/milk and will lose a privilege for the day. Good thing is they usually do finish on time. (But how are they going to have one hour to eat when they start primary school?? Gloomy.)

After breakfast, it’s time for housework followed by wushu practice (just some simple exercises cos mummy is NOT a wushu exponent. Urmm, or wushu practitioner at all :P)

It’s a different chore everyday, something simple. The main purpose is to get the boys in the habit of doing housework, and to drill into them that they are supposed to do housework. (You are welcome, Future Daughters-in-Law.) I clean the house on my own too, so what the boys do are all extra. The house will not be any diritier if they don’t do their chores… this is so that I won’t get stressed about them doing the chore well (i.e. up to my standards) Previously, they helped when I was really cleaning the toilet. I would be rushing to finish the cleaning and feeling very stressed by time ticking by while the boys were either fooling around (not clean!) or very serious about their work (taking too long!)

One chore a day – dust the shelves & wipe the balcony, clean the playmat, mop the bedrooms (with Magiclean wipes), wash the toilet, wash the dishes for one meal, cook one dish each (with heaps of help from me).. Sunday is rest day!

They are done by 9am and run off to do their own thing. (read or Lego or random toys or just playing or run around the house) I continue with my chores if any (I vacuum the house daily at least. Monday is Housework Day and I wash the toilets and mop as well. It is also Child Neglect Day until lunchtime.)

I start lunch prep by 10.30am. So in-between I am free for about an hour to play with the kids or help them out if they need my help (crafts or Lego or they might request I read to them).

Depending on the dishes, we eat at 11am or latest 11.30am. After lunch and fruits and washing up, it’s around 12.15pm. I start dinner prep now especially if we are going out. Then, by right,12.30pm or thereabouts is Meimei’s naptime especially if we are going out for swim class or wushu class in the afternoon. When she goes for her nap, I spend 30 minutes one-to-one with each child. While I am with Didi, Kor Kor usually disappears into his bedroom (reading or doing Lego). Then Didi goes for his nap and I spend time with Kor Kor. After that, Kor Kor goes for one hour of quiet time (ya, no prize for guessing, he reads or plays with Lego). And it’s my rest time for about an hour! Well, I get to rest (i.e. check facebook!) once I finish up some (and there is always some!) miscellaneous tasks around the house.

BUT as the Princess Monster has not been sleeping well recently, I have to spend time coaxing her to sleep. (This traumatic event shall be documented once I survive it.) So one-to-one time with the boys is tentative for now.. depending on how long Meimei takes to KO.

Around 2-3pm (depending on which class we are heading to), the kids resurface and we go out. Reach home by 6pm after class, have dinner, shower and start bedtime routine.

If we do not have class that day, I prefer to bring them out in the morning, after breakfast, housework and wushu practice. Go out around 9am, lunch out, reach home 1pm+ for their naps and quiet time. I unpack from the morning outing and start dinner prep if necessary.

You might have noticed there is no reading time, no one-to-one time when we go out in the morning. I think it’s ok, because when we are outdoors, I am not so distracted by housework or cooking and can pay them more attention, which sorta make up for the one-to-one. As for reading.. back to basics, remember? And the fundamental is my sanity. Not gonna squeeze it in.. though we usually do end up reading unless I am really too tired or busy.

So now, our priorities are, ample sleep for the kids, mummy’s sanity, routine, chores, free play, outdoors, reading, other engagements, roughly in that order. We used to play board games together almost every afternoon, as the kids got to choose the activity for their time with mummy. (They often chose to do two-to-one as they wanted to play board games together.) But I realised that meant they wouldn’t get much readalouds for the day, only two bedtime stories at night. Frankly speaking, I admit that the daddy and I were not too keen to read loooong stories or explain things properly to them at that time of the day. So, prioritize readalouds over board games! The best part? The boys have been playing board games by themselves quite a lot! We have a board game night once a week, with Daddy too, when we play the more challenging ones which Didi can’t manage yet. Sometimes we play simple games too, just for fun and laughs! πŸ˜€

By 8.30pm, the boys are in bed. Meimei goes to bed earlier, timing depends on how fast I finish the dinner wash up.

“When you have the choice, choose outdoors.”

That is still our mantra – we choose outdoors over other outings (museums, indoor playgrounds, Science Centre, watching plays, etc). Beaches, parks, water playgrounds, cycling, hiking, yes!