Start of 2016 is a busy period for me.

There are many firsts and important milestones this year.

Missy 11 enters P5, a challenging year that teaches most of the PSLE syllabus.

This year, I will not leave it to chance. I want her to know that I am here to help her understand her school work if she needs help. We bought an assessment book for each subject. This is my way of checking her understanding of subject basics and reinforcing what she has learnt.

However, I am not going to be a tiger mum and finishing the assessment books is certainly not our goal.

I draft out a timetable each for the elder kids and realize that this year, both kids come home on separate timings and on most days, they would be too tired to do anything more than their homework from school. Hence, academic wise, I will stick to my regime of being there everyday for help in school homework, and spending 2 hours on going through assessment books or picking a topic they have learnt for that week to check their understanding.

Master 9 enters P3, the first of the two academic jumps in primary school.

I remember when Missy 11 was in P3, I hardly looked at her academic work. Although, I am now more involved, I will still give more freedom to Master 9 to enjoy a less stressful year as much as possible. I know very soon, he will be as busy as his sister and it is a matter of time whereby learning comes with stress.

So, enjoy while you can, my big baby 🙂 Master 9 also received the Edusave award this month for good academic results in the past year. That is a great encouragement for him.

Master 4 enters a preschool for the first time.

This is a big milestone for him but he seems to take it much better than I do.

On his first day of school, he was cool enough to walk inside the classroom and all the way to a seat that he had chosen for himself. Next, he started to daze a little, while taking in what all the other kids were doing on their first day. Kel and I were happy that he looked so cool and started waving to catch his attention, which was a mistake really. When he caught our smiles at the window, it seemed to have dawned on him that this was what school was about, with parents outside and him kept inside, then he started to cry. It was not easy for him for the first few days. And I fought back tears. Being a 3 time mum doesn’t make me a seasoned parent on first day of school even if this is the 3rd time. Subsequently, he forbade me to bring him to school which I gathered was his way of managing his upset emotions. What a matured way of handling his feelings. But now, he allows me to walk him to school. I can see he is accepting school and he wears his uniform without protest.

This year is the first year where all 3 kids go to morning school.

Master 9 takes a slightly longer time to get ready than his sister. So, it usually ends up with the dad and sister waiting for him at the door.

We decided to stop taking the school bus and Kel had to wake up early to send the elder kids to school. The helper will bring them home at different timings. Soon, Missy 11 will be able to go back by herself. Things at home is less busy and I am happy that my Father-in-law who had been a great help all these years, will have more time for himself. The kids love his presence when they reach home and we are happy to have him around in our house. We are so lucky to have him come over every weekday and I can work in peace knowing the kids are in good care.

Non-academic wise, the elder kids have started attending NAFA Junior art classes which they are enjoying very much. So, we have one more class to go apart from Yamaha Music Course and Master 9’s GO class. This leaves the weekend a very precious time to spend together. I really cannot imagine how do families with children, who have many tuition classes to attend on top of non-academic classes, enjoy time together? I find we have very limited time to plan for an outing with these 3 weekend classes to go, there is no more room for tuition classes. I hope they will put off tuition for as long as they can.

For me, since the start of the year, I have been telling myself not to work late.

I make it a point to return for dinner together with the kids. From this year onwards, no TV during dinner time so that we can sit at the same table to eat and chat. I treasure dinner time very much. The kids will wait for me to eat together and this is the top motivator to make myself exit my office on time. Nothing is more important at work than eating with my family.

As the kids need to wake up early in the morning and return late due to different schedules, they have been going to bed by 930pm, which leaves the night super short and extremely precious to us. Also I realize that whenever I return late and reach home after 8pm, I am extremely short fused and end up guilty for losing my temper at any small stuff. Not the best role model to my children. Mummy has lots to improve, please bear with me!

I have been doing some decluttering at home using Chinese New Year spring cleaning as an excuse. Throwing things is not easy for me as everything to me has a sentimental value. However, after being inspired by this facebook post, I am seriously trying to achieve a good result of clearing things I really do not need in the house. What’s more I feel so good after clearing many bags of clothes that I no longer could wear or out of fashion, toys that the kids had outgrown, and things that I thought I would need them one day and that day has never arrived. This will be a good project for me to work on decluttering my house.

Blogging has taken a back seat starting from 2016. I am trying to clear my committed posts and after that, be extra selective on accepting sponsorship. I want to cut down social media and even thought of closing down my instagram. Earlier on, we had a mum blogger who shut down her blog and that kind of knocked me a bit. Once in a while we, as parent bloggers, will start to worry about overexposure of kids on social media platforms now that they are older and need some privacy and respect. That triggers me again to think about my blogging direction. I am not sure where blogging will take me. Meanwhile, I just want to blog my thoughts and enjoy the wonderful therapy with words. I may be quieter on the blog from now on, blogging only when my inspiration comes or some random thoughts, or good stuff to share with my readers.

With January wrapping up the busyness of the start of school term, coupled with virus spreading around in the house and all of us took turn to catch the fever, I hope to plan for more family outings and activities in February and March. February will be an extremely short month with Chinese New Year in less than 1 week’s time and celebration of 4 birthdays in this month. I hope it will be another contented month. We will count our blessings day by day, month by month 🙂

first day

This will be my first post to do a monthly flashback on our lives. A review on what we have done good or done wrong. Through this reflection, it will be a good way to see my mistakes and how I can improve as a mum and family together 🙂