Mizuno Ekiden 2016 – Great experience

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My kids asked me,”Why do you have to go for run events when you can run in the park by yourself?”

Even the hub could not comprehend why I have been waking up as early as 530am to attend run events on Sundays when I could have slept in or run on my own as the time suits.

I replied,”Kids, that’s because it is very fun to run with my friends. We motivate each other and it has become a healthy hobby for us.”

Approaching 40???

You know what? Maybe it is like a recent article that said it, as you approach 40, you begin to find new hobbies, exercise regimens, diet plans to keep minds and bodies in shape. And “as you reach your 40s, you settle down into your own skin and begin to feel comfortable in what you do, what you look like and what others think of you.” Haha! Maybe I am like this, as I tilt towards the wrong side of 35, I am beginning to feel comfortable in what I do, and being finally have some time to myself to do something I like and a new focus to stay fit and healthy.

So, together with 3 other mum blogger friends for a common love for our new found interest, we took part in Mizuno Ekiden. Mizuno Ekiden is a unique race of 4 friends completing either a half or full marathon in combined effort. We took part Continue reading

June wrap up – what goes on in our lives

June obviously flies by in a jiffy just like how we read out this mono-syllabus word. I even had problems writing this post on time and before I know it, it is almost halfway into the month of July!

I took several days off in June from work to be with the kids. One very tough mommy moment I experienced in June was separating from my girl for 1 week when she went for a cultural immersion trip. I was quite surprised by how much I missed her. Everyday seemed so quiet without her chatty voice. Each car trip seemed so empty without her by our side. I wonder if I am ready to face an empty nest when the time comes. Have you ever felt the same as me? When she was back by my side, I really hugged her tight. I can already foresee how it will go for my other 2 kids when they leave my side for school trips.

Pororo Park and Tayo Meet and Greet

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While the sister was not with us, one of the days, I took off to bring my 2 boys to Pororo Park and Tayo The Little Bus Meet and Greet! It was certainly the little one’s day. My elder boy was a tad bored after some time but still kept his brother company and took good care of him. We drank Starbucks Matcha Latte while we swayed to Tayo song. Continue reading

Train the kids to handle failure? Let them be raised by the Dad

A few weeks back, I attended a parenting talk by David Seah, Family Life Educator and Counsellor, engaged by my kids’ school for parents. The topic was on IQ, EQ and AQ. I really took away some very interesting points that made me think hard about our parenting style at home. He said,”If you want your kids to have adversity quotient (the ability to deal with failures), let them be raised by the father.”

Before you go all out to protest against this seemingly racist statement like how we mothers felt at the talk initially, you must give a chance for the humorous speaker to make his stand.

1) Mothers are protective by nature

Have you seen mothers throw up babies in the air for fun? Usually the image of fathers doing it will surface when you think of it. In fact, we mothers are good in churning out academics due to the fact that we are competitive by nature. Think of how we react to exam results vs the fathers. Once the child comes back with less than 100 marks, mothers’ first reaction is probably to furiously flip through the pages and scrutinize those questions with marks deductions and then do a fast calculation and conclude that without such CARELESS MISTAKES, the child could have gotten so and so marks. So well-observed and that’s ahem saying about me too…

When our child runs or cycles or moves at fast speed, or any actions that risk falling on the pavement, we are the ones who shouted instructions from behind like “Watch out for the pillar!”, “Beware of that little dog’s tail in front!” Fathers are rarely the ones who shouted warnings or maybe they do, under their breath. But you get it, the Fathers are usually the cool ones. They are less inclined to fret over small injuries. Similarly, kids’ cry harder when they see Mothers rushing to their aid than when they see Fathers strolling towards them.

2) Fathers are natural risk-takers

Get Dad to be involved more if you wish to instill some toughness and the ability to handle adversity in your child.

I guess this is hard for mothers like me to teach adversity toughness. When I saw how my son at the age of 1.5yo, my hubby allowed him to walk up and down the overhead bridge by himself with him being an arm’s length away, I almost freaked out but decided to cross my finger and watched in fear. I trust my hubby to be taking controlled and supervised risk but I definitely would not risk it myself. I am often been chastised for doing too much for the kids. Hence, I certainly agree that with the Dad around, Continue reading

Chek Jawa Guided Tour in Pulau Ubin – a living classroom

Chek Jawa Guided Tour is a tour that you must exercise kiasu-ism when you do booking. When I did my booking for June guided tour, I put a reminder on my calendar as early as January to remind myself to book on 1 March, the date when booking for June opens! It is very popular especially on dates that suited us in June holidays. Mind you, there are limited dates for these tours, so you really have to plan well. If you wish to check out booking and guided tour dates, click here.

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On the day of the tour, we met my BFF family at 7am at Changi Jetty. It was rare for our kids to wake up so early and we were rewarded with sighting this beautiful sunrise!

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We took the boat from Changi Jetty that sits maximum 12 pax, with each paying $3 for the ride to Pulau Ubin.

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The ride was about 10 minutes and when we had reached the Pulau Ubin Jetty, we took a van to Chek Jawa. We have to pre-book the van prior to our trip (Scroll to the end for all the details and cost for the tour). The van could accommodate all 15 of us, 8 adults and 7 kids. The van ride took about 10 minutes to Chek Jawa and we had to get down and walk a 100m stretch of road to the information kiosk, the meeting point where we met our tour guide from Nparks.

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There were a few more tour groups, each with its own tour guide. The tour guides are volunteers and I thought they are really doing a good thing to volunteer their time to educate us on the ecosystem of Chek Jawa. We were very lucky to have our tour guide who was very patient to answer the kids’ questions and very knowledgeable on Chek Jawa. His instructions and explanation were very clear and shared lots of analogies in simple terms to help us understand the flora and fauna.

Before we started the tour, our tour guide prep us with a few instructions:

  1. Go to toilet before we start as there will not be a washroom until we return to the information kiosk 2 hours later.
  2. Apply mosquito repellent before we start the tour
  3. Do not shout or scream when you see the little creatures like crabs, mudskippers, etc, as they are shy and might go into hiding, leaving the groups behind to see less of them.

Continue reading

Raising Girls – Determination does pay off

My Missy 11 is not afraid or shy to meet her kindy teachers anymore. For 5 long years, she had refused to return to visit her childcare teachers while her brother visited them yearly. When I coaxed her to visit her teachers the first year she left the childcare centre, she shook her head and kept saying no, never providing a reason. I gathered she might be feeling shy.

While this may seem nothing much, it actually brings me to pause for a moment to think about how this little girl has gradually changed so much over the turbulent years. You might ask me what turbulent years when we are talking about pre-teen stage. Oh, if you do ask this question, then chances are that you might belong to the category of having kids below 7yo.

Recently, I met a 13yo sister of my son’s classmate who followed her mum around the guests when her mum hosted a playdate in her house. I was pretty impressed that at a tender age of 13, she was learning the ropes of mingling with adult guests. She stood confidently beside her mum and showed interest in our conversation. When we spoke to her, she looked into our eyes. Such confidence and good social etiquette, I thought to myself. Most kids this age would have shut themselves up in their room and immersed in technology. Most kids would have avoided your eyes when they speak. Yet, this girl bothered to spend her weekend afternoon to talk to adults. I marvelled to her mum on my observation. If only my children would grow up to be like her with a good set of social skills. Her mum whispered back,”She wasn’t like this just a year ago,” and winked at me. Now it is beginning to make some sense.

For those who have daughters especially, may face similar growing up pains that I encounter with my Missy. As a girl, she is fast in all her development from baby to toddler to 7yo to 9yo to now. The fast development includes talking back at early years, lying, being rude, confused and struggling to find an identity like a teen, except she is not yet officially a teen now.

I must say after all these years of handling these disciplinary challenges Continue reading