Parenting »

8 Positive Things to SHOW to Our Children

20 November 2014 – 1:13 pm | 2 Comments

 
I don’t know about you, but as I go about my day to day busyness, sometimes I do need parenting reminders.
Because amidst everything that I need to do everyday, I can unconsciously forget even the …

Read the full story »
Parenting

From the ups and downs of parenthood, to practical tips on enjoying and managing life with children.

Inspirational

Where inspiring thoughts and treasured life lessons are learned and shared.

Places to Visit

From Hong Kong to Bali, from Universal Studios Singapore to farmstays and beaches in Perth, we share photos, info and tips with you!

Crafts & Activity Ideas for Kids

How many different things can we do with our little ones at home and outside? Too many.

Photography

Where precious daily moments are captured and seen through the lens. Sharing with you tips, iphone apps, and ideas too.

Giveaway : Cute Baby Things (of YOUR choice) from Ninemonthslater.com.sg

10 December 2010 | Posted in: Giveaways, Awards & Reviews | 64 Comments

Ah. I always LOVE it when I get to do giveaways for you all!

And this time round, it’s courtesy of ninemonthslater.com.sg!

Ninemonthslater.com.sg is one of those places where you’ll find adorable, high quality baby products. And because the products you see are carefully sourced by a mom (who also knows how important quality, functionality and design is), you know you’ll be getting really good stuff there!

[They're mostly imported from the USA and are not widely available in Singapore]


[Since we may choose to leave baby no.3's gender as a 'surprise', ie. finding it out only when we actually see it face to face in May next year, 'neutral-coloured' clothes and socks are the way to go for us right now, hehe. This is a Duck onesie and Duck Socks, both by Mud Pie]

 

Anyway.

Here’s how YOU can enter the giveaway contest:

1. Visit ninemonthslater.com.sg

2. CHOOSE the item(s) YOU’d like to win if you’re given a budget of S$30! (You can choose more than 1 item as long as the total doesn’t exceed S$30!)

3. Choose a different set of item(s) as your SECOND preference (ie. just in case you’re one of the lucky winners but your first choice is out of stock by the time the winners are announced next week)

4. Leave a comment on THIS POST and state the item(s) you’d like to win (ie. Your first, then second preference).

That’s it!

It’s THAT easy to win!

*smile*


[Gotta love this one : Gator Play Blanket by Mud Pie, that can be a toy, a blanket and a playmat!]

Closing date: Thursday, 16 December 2010.

We’ll then choose FIVE winners randomly and announce the names on Friday, 17 December!
(Note: Open to those with Singapore local address)

A great present just in time for Christmas and the New Year, if you ask me!

[AND, not just for 'babies' actually, because there are really nice handmade crayon holders too!]

Winning some great free stuff just before the year ends is SO easy!

All the best!

…………………………………………………………………………….

[Latest Update: 17 December 2010]

BIG CONGRATS TO THE FOLLOWING WINNERS OF THE GIVEAWAY:

1. Audrey Ng

2. Angeline Yeo
3. LP
4. Jo
5. Jaime chan

All five of you have won $30 voucher which you can use at the shop! Ninemonthslater.com.sg and I will get in touch with you directly with the details!

And, I’d like to really thank everyone for participating! If you haven’t won this time round, worry not … there’ll be MORE giveaways and offers next year! Do visit often and look out for it!

As for now, ninemonthslater.com.sg is giving you all 25% OFF everything at the shop (except for slings and California Baby products)

Click HERE to read the details!

Enjoy the promo, everyone!

m4s0n501

Preparing Siblings for the New Baby!

8 December 2010 | Posted in: Daily, Inspirational, Parenting, Pregnancy & Babyhood | 4 Comments

When our friends first found out that we’re having baby no. 3, some immediately asked if our two kids already knew about it too.

And I told them, ‘Yep. They’re in fact amongst the first five people we shared the big news with. We shared the news when the four of us had our family dinner together.’

Then afterwards, I usually get asked, ‘And how did you guys tell them?’

Well, you see, BEFORE we shared the ‘baby news’, I did subtly introduce to kids the topic of having baby no. 3 in the family (ie. when we ‘planned’ to have baby no.3).

I casually (and randomly) talked about the kids’ friends whose families have 3 kids.

We chatted about how in such families, kid no.1 and kid no. 2 play an important role in helping the family, esp. the mom. How the older siblings get to do ‘bigger’ kids’ activities around the house to help out. How if THAT happened to OUR FAMILY, Anya would then be the BIG BIG sister, and Vai would be the BIG BROTHER. How I would really APPRECIATE it whenever they support me and help around the house, etc.

So, when we actually broke THE baby news, it wasn’t a ‘total shock’ to the kids.

And I guess it’s because they have sort of been … gradually ‘prepared’ for it.

[And I noticed how such 'preparations' HELP a lot in creating a more positive reaction amongst the kids!]

I did similar ‘preparations’ when we planned for baby no. 2 (ie. when Anya was about 20 months old and I was pregnant with Vai).

We did, said and introduced certain things BEFORE and AFTER the ‘new baby’ was born.

Because, really, I believe that the relationship between siblings is one that needs to be continually nurtured. From the very, VERY start.

Anyway, here’re some of the things that we did BEFORE the birth of the ‘new’ baby in the family:

- Bring the kids to prenatal visits

- Let them actually see the  ’monitor’ (ie. the baby!) when the doctor does the scan

- Re-tell the stories of how THEY were born and how they were like when they were babies themselves

- Show videos / pictures (on DVDs, websites or pregnancy books) on how the baby is growing in the womb (note: We carefully avoid ‘gory’ and ‘inappropriate’ images)

- Read children books / watch children DVDs where there’s a new baby in the family

[When I was pregnant with Vai, Anya asked to watch Dora the Explorer DVD every day, the episode where Dora just had a little baby brother and sister!]

- Let the kids imagine how things will be when the new baby is home (eg. Anya told me how she’d want to carry the baby while sitting on the sofa or on our bed, and Vai told me how he’d want to help and get diapers for baby). Often, I’ll be the one who create the scenario and guide the conversation so it’ll remain positive.

- Introduce ideas / positive values / advantages of being the big sister / the big brother (eg. the one who’ll be able to protect and look out for the baby, etc)

- Let kids gently touch / kiss the tummy, talk and sing to baby, ask questions, etc.


And here’s one thing that we do NOT say to the older sibling(s) during pregnancy:

I can’t carry you anymore because of the baby in my tummy

Personally I believe that saying such things unconsciously introduces the older sibling to unnecessary bitterness / resentment. The older child may feel ‘displaced’ because of the new baby.

So instead, I’d say something like,
Daddy will carry you when you really are tired and need to be carried, and I’ll hug and cuddle up with you when we’re sitting down and when I’m in bed because I’m easily tired now.’

Or, ‘My tummy is much bigger now and if I carry you, my tummy hurts. Come, let’s walk and I’ll hold your hand, okay …

Or, ‘Oh, wow, you walked all by yourself just now! You’re such a helpful big brother!



As best as I can, I try to put the emphasis on ME (when I can’t do certain things because of my pregnancy), and NOT on the baby. I avoid saying things that will make the older sibling feel he/she is ‘disadvantaged’ (or losing out) BECAUSE OF the baby.

[With older siblings above 4yo, I feel it's somewhat easier to explain the facts that I can't do certain things with them because I am pregnant]

All the above of course does not mean the older siblings will immediately bond and fall in love with the baby, as such a relationship and bond is something that we parents need to continually nurture and encourage.

There will still be quarrels, disagreements and complaints between siblings.

BUT one thing I can say for sure is, when we do our best in preparing the older siblings for the baby, it DOES make a difference.

A positive difference.

Checking Out : Hong Kong Disneyland! (Part 1)

6 December 2010 | Posted in: Advertorial, Daily, Places to Visit | 16 Comments


[Whoopee! We're going to Hong Kong! A huge surprise coz Mommy and Daddy told us about where we're going only when we reached Changi airport at 4.30am!]


Finally.

Managed to sort our photos and blog about our recent Hong Kong Disneyland experience!

[I think I'll need to write more than one blog post on this! TOO many things to share in just one post!]

Okay. It all started with us waking up really early, and reaching the airport at about 4.30am! (The earlier I’ve ever been at any airport in my life!)

Anya and Vai were super excited about going to Hong Kong!

Thankfully they managed to sleep for another hour or so on the plane (it took us a little more than 3 hours to fly there from Singapore).

I mean, really, no one wants to bring along two cranky and sleep-deprived kids to Hong Kong Disneyland!

And this is us finally reaching Hong Kong International Airport! It’s HUGE!

It’s been 16 years since I last went to Hong Kong. And it’s Wilson’s and the kids’ first trip there. So we’re all practically new to Hong Kong and were all ready for a great adventure!

We decided to just take a taxi from the airport to our hotel (Disney’s Hollywood Hotel).

[Note: There are 3 different coloured taxis that operate at different areas in Hong Kong. The airport and HK Disneyland is on the same Lantau Island, so you can take the green coloured taxi there. Click HERE to read more about Hong Kong Taxis]

In no time, we reached Disney’s Hollywood Hotel!

We checked in and had our yummy lunch at Disneyland Hotel’s Crystal Lotus! Then off we went to HK Disneyland!!

YAY!!

(I’ll write about our dining experience in another post!)

Btw, here’s the free shuttle bus that comes every 10 minutes or so, and it basically goes to three places : Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, HK Disneyland and Disneyland Hotel.

Very convenient.

And, this is US at Disneyland’s main entrance!!

We really were SO blessed with great weather during our 4-days-3-nights stay in Hong Kong! I was told that it’s been raining for a few days before we arrived. And when we were there, the weather was fantastic!

Cool breeze, clear blue sky, sunny days!

[Tips: Grab these two information leaflets when you're in HK Disneyland! You definitely need them when you are there! Show times and Park attractions details are all there!]

Oh btw, I’d personally recommend exploring HK Disneyland over two days, because you won’t be able to cover all areas thoroughly in a day. I mean, since we’re already there, we’d want to enjoy everything, go on certain rides again and again, and casually walk around the Park, right?

Now, one of the first things that we all need to know about HK Disneyland is that it’s divided into FOUR main areas:

- Main Street, USA
- Adventureland
- Tomorrowland
- Fantasyland

 

 


[Main Street, USA, is the first area that you'll see when you entered HK Disneyland]

 


[And this is what you'll see when you enter 'Tomorrowland', THE place to meet Buzz Lightyear, etc!]

 


And oh, before I forget, when we were there (11-14 November), they’re still getting their Christmas decorations ready (like the Gingerbread House above!). But if you visit HK Disneyland NOW, they’re all there!

(Read more about their Christmas theme HERE)

 

Anyway, in this post, I’ll cover some of the rides / shows that I’d strongly recommend! (read: we did go for the others too, but we think you really should NOT miss these ones!)

 

I’ll start with the shows!

[Tips: Check the show times, be there about 30 minutes before the show starts!]

THE GOLDEN MICKEYS
A musical celebration of Disney’s Films and Characters!
(In Fantasyland)

This is where you’ll see MANY Disney characters you know!

Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, Mulan, Ariel from the Little Mermaid, Lilo and Stitch, Beauty and the Beast, and many more. And oh, of course the main Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie, Goofy and Donald Duck!

MICKEY’S PHILHARMAGIC
It’s where you’ll enjoy some nice 3-D experience!
(In Fantasyland)

Not quite just 3D, actually. Because you get to experience splashes, scents and all.  Okay, okay. I’ll say no more *smile* You just have to go for it yourself!

I tried to take a shot of the screen (placed my camera behind my 3D glasses), and it’s obviously not quite possible! Hehe.

FESTIVAL OF THE LION KING
Colourful pageant of music and dance
(In Adventureland)

I personally love this show the most! A visual treat. And I love the singing, costumes and all!

It’s REALLY, really good! A MUST SEE show!

As for the rides, there are (of course) lots of them there in HK Disneyland.

Here are some of the highlights:

BUZZ LIGHTYEAR ASTRO BLASTERS
(In Tomorrowland)

We really love this ride! I won’t be surprised if everyone who’s been to HK DIsneyland tells me that they check out Astro Blasters more than twice!

Basically, you sit on a ‘star cruiser’ that you can manually turn 360 degrees. And with a hand-held ‘laser cannon’, you fire towards different enemy targets and get points. Once is really not enough, I tell you! Hehe.

And while we’re there, we saw Buzz Lightyear!! So of course we lined up to take a photo with him! It’s simply impossible not to! Heh.

SPACE MOUNTAIN
(In Tomorrowland)

Okay, this one apparently is not for the faint-hearted *smile*

Pregnant mommies (like me!) obviously can’t get on this ride. So I waited on a bench nearby as I watched them zoom out and return back.

Anya and Vai went on this ride too, btw. Vai said he’s cool about it and he didn’t scream, while Anya thought it was SUPER scary throughout and she didn’t like it, haha.

JUNGLE RIVER CRUISE
(In Adventureland)

This is more of a relaxing ride for the adults and a visually fun one for the little ones because there are different things to see (and experience) throughout the cruise!

[Btw, we learned that you can engage Disneyland's Tour Services too. Click HERE to read more about it!]

When we’re there, unfortunately their Daily Parade was not ‘in operation’ because they’re preparing for their Christmas events. BUT, the Fireworks show was on, and the weather was great!

You MUST not miss the Fireworks show!

It all happened just above the Sleeping Beauty castle at 8pm! Go towards the Castle at least 30 minutes earlier, find a seat facing the Castle, have some snacks while you wait for the Fireworks to start, and enjoy the show!

FASTPASS

I was told about ‘FASTPASS’ before we left for Hong Kong. And at the time I had no idea what it was.

Now I can share with you what it is.

Basically, there are only three attractions where you can use FASTPASS:

- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Space Mountain

Because the queues for these attractions are generally longer, you can insert your admission ticket into Disney’s FASTPASS stations, get your FASTPASS ticket, go elsewhere, return to that particular attraction during your given time and join the much shorter FASTPASS queue!

Other Tips to Share:

- If you’re still thinking about ‘how long’ your Hong Kong stay should be in order to enjoy Disneyland and some other attractions in Hong Kong, I’d say staying there for 4 days and 3 nights would be great.

- Buy your HK Disneyland tickets online and in advance! If you plan to visit HK Disneyland during the school holidays, they usually have great offers that come with Park admission tickets and a hotel stay in Disneyland too. Do check the available offers!

- Check HK DIsneyland’s Daily Calendar before you visit the Park, just in case there are some updates and other info that you can find out in advance before your trip there

- The weather can be a little unpredictable, especially if you plan to visit HK Disneyland during Christmas. I’d personally recommend wearing your clothes in ‘layers’, so you can always wear your shirt when the day is sunny and the breeze is cool, and put on your jacket / sweater when it gets chilly at night!

- If you’re bringing along your own stroller, you may want to consider bringing along your raincoats as well and water bottles (since you don’t have to carry all these things yourself!). Because if it rains while you’re at the Park, having those raincoats with you will surely be handy!

- The Park accommodates guests with special needs. Click to read how you can rent wheelchairs, strollers, etc.

(My mom was on a wheelchair when she visited HK Disneyland with my Dad and sister, and she said that her trip around Disneyland was very convenient!)

Phew. Finally I managed to put it all together and share my HK Disneyland experience with you all!

*smile*

I shared more photos of our HK Trip on Facebook. Click HERE to view my Photo Album on Facebook!

Will write more posts soon!

If you have other tips to share about HK Disneyland, please do share with us all! I’m sure they’ll be really useful to those who’re planning their trip there!

Thanks everyone!

[added]

Click the link below to see my other post on Hong Kong Disneyland :

Checking Out : Hong Kong Disneyland (Part 2) - Hotel & Dining

Making : Sharp-toothed Creature

3 December 2010 | Posted in: Crafts & Activity Ideas for Kids | No Comment

Uh oh.

I just found an old post that I forgot to publish!

This activity was done some TWO years ago!

[Yes, Vai was just a little over 2yo, and Anya was 4.5yo!]

Ah well.

Since it’s the school holiday (ie. when kids spend MORE time with us at home and have MORE time for activities), I thought I should still share the photos and this activity idea with you anyway.

Here’s what we used:

- Egg cartons as the teeth and tail

- A rectangular box as the body (I used our cod liver oil box!)

- Crepe paper to cover the head and body

- Styrofoam for the eyes (I used the one we got when we bought some meat from the supermarket)

- Glue, markers and masking tape to put everything together

And of course you can always make different variations and create your very own creatures using recycled materials!

Have fun making stuff with the kids!

About Anya, Her Love for Words and God’s Grace

1 April 2010 | Posted in: Daily, Inspirational, Parenting | 4 Comments
anya_readsbook

Now that Anya is in K2 (read: Kindergarten 2, the year before she goes to Primary One here in Singapore), I get to see more of her love for writing and words.
Which to me is …

Relationships : Disallowing Disrespect

31 March 2013 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships, Parenting | 4 Comments
20130330-231136.jpg

 
One of the many things I appreciate about the father of my children is:
He does not allow his children to be disrespectful towards his wife.
I mean, if it ever happened while he’s around (eg. Daughter …

Parenting : The Journey has Its Downs Too

6 July 2012 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | No Comment
hiking journey

We always hear about how parenting is full of joy and happiness.
How children are a bundle of joy.
How life with children is beautiful.
(I mean, that’s what I’ve always hoped to share with readers too through …

Thoughts and Tips for All Husbands

15 August 2013 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships, Parenting | No Comment
wilson leonny_bw

 
My husband and I attended a 3-day parenting workshop last week, and it was such a blessing.
We learned and were reminded of so many things too.
Now, since I usually blog about motherhood and kids, this …

Missing my twosome moments

2 August 2006 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships | No Comment
wanaka-2001-nz

I was browsing my old photo collection and saw some of our old traveling ones. Aahh … it brought back sooo many sweet memories.
Frankly right now, with a toddler and a newborn coming very very …

Through thick and thin for the past eight years

7 July 2009 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships | 12 Comments
8anniversary

This is my Facebook status today :
… and so today marks the day when I’ve gone through thick and thin with the same man for EIGHT years … and they say, it’ll only get better!
[and …