April – what goes on in our lives

While I dreaded my examinations in my school days and celebrated the end of it after going through 16 years of being a student, and more than a hundred of examinations, big or small, I have never thought I would be going through it again. Many of you should know by now that I used to be a laid back mum, learnt my lesson, and become a not-so-laid-back-mum. So, naturally, I am doing what many other parents are doing: mugging for examinations along with my children. Ok, maybe mugging is a strong word, let’s just say, reinforcing the basics but at a more intensive pace.

So, April is about preparing the kids for the examinations. Primary school students are too young to know how to prep for exams, aren’t they? I remembered I did not really study for my examinations prior to PSLE. With my wealth of experience, I decided to go through the process of this preparation with the kids, hoping to slowly let go, and let them learn how to revise on their own gradually. As much as I hate it, in this aspect, I belong to the helicopter parent for now. You will be surprised at how at Primary 5, the English examination paper is really quite tough. I need to check the dictionary or sometimes google up the word when the dictionary hasn’t got the word! And we are talking about the Oxford dictionary! And yes, we are talking about primary school standard!

Because of the exams prep, I have been neglecting my toddler as my short hours after work are totally consumed by teaching the 2 elder kids. I know it affects him because he has not been looking at me when I leave the house for work and when I come back home in the evening. All these gestures make my heart ache. I feel so guilty and really hope to make up for it after exams. Bear with Mama ok, baby?

So, while exams are important especially for my gal who is doing PSLE syllabus, I still try to strike a balance on revision and play. I don’t believe in mugging for the examinations for every waking moment. So, we brought the kids out for our usual weekend routine.

Safra Punggol – Little Explorers

Perhaps I am one of the rare parents who give the kids an exam break. On the weekend before the exams, we brought the kids to Safra Punggol for a day of fun.

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January – what goes on in our lives

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.
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What Christmas means to me…

December is my favourite month in the whole year. First of all, it is one of the coolest month in the year and the wintry snowy image always comes to mind. Secondly, it is the last month of the year, and it means that a new year and new beginning is approaching. Thirdly, I receive my bonus in this month and usually I indulge myself and my family a little more by spending that little more. Lastly, December has Dongzhi Festival or Winter Solstice Festival (冬至) and Christmas Day, which are 2 great occasions for my family to get together.

We are not a Christian nor Catholic family, but we love to celebrate Christmas in our own happy ways. I always respect how Christmas is celebrated in churches, and how my Christian and Catholic friends celebrated in their traditional ways.

It probably started with the childhood TVC jingle “Metro Christmas Magic…” which I can still hum out the song at a snap of the fingers. And it also gets associated with my childhood memories of a rare Christmas period visit to a Metro store full of white Teddies. My parents hardly bought us any presents as we were from humble background. But on that particular day during Christmas to the Metro store, they bought us a set of UNO cards to play.

Childhood memories last forever, especially if they are beautiful ones. My parents gave me a memorable childhood in simple ways. I was brought up in a strong foundation of love and this guided me on how I would want to give my own children their memorable childhood and a contented one.

Our first Christmas tree was set up in our house when Missy was only 1 yo. From then on, this Christmas tree has stayed with us year after year till today. It still looks as good.

Christmas tree at home

This was bought for the kids and they decorated by putting in pompoms, stars and glitter.

This was bought for the kids and they decorated by putting in pompoms, stars and glitter.

For the kids, setting up the Christmas tree has become a tradition and something to look forward to as a family bonding activity. Continue reading

Our family 5D4N HongKong-Macau Recommended Places To Go

We had an enjoyable time in HongKong and Macau in June this year. We always try to bring our parents to a holiday trip out of Singapore every year ever since we have kids. For as long as we can afford and our parents can walk the trip with us, we will strive to bring them to at least one country for holiday. This time round, we went on a 5D4N trip with 2 nights in HK and 2 nights in Macau. And there are some absolutely places that we think are worth staying, going and dining! Also, check out where I got cheap tickets to these attractions 🙂

HongKong Itinerary – Recommended places to stay, places to go and places to eat

Where to Stay – Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong

Address: 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

This hotel is in Wanchai and near the Harbour. We can go to Hong Kong island by ferry which takes around 5 minutes, faster than MRT.

Boat trip from Kowloon to Hongkong

We had an adjoining room with 2 grandparents and the room was big enough to accomodate the 5 of us. On one evening, we saw a platter of fruits plus macaroons in our room and that pleased my girl so much that she rated this hotel as the best that she had ever stayed. Just because of the macaroons. Kids are so easy to please 🙂 The hotel rooftop pool was also our kids’ favourite.

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Rennaisance pool

One plus point about this hotel is that it is pretty near to many tourist spots. It is not so far from The Peak too.

Where to go – 1) The Peak and Madam Tussauds 

Address: Victoria Peak, click on this link to see how you can get here
Phone: (852) 2522 0922
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Before the trip, we bought the tickets to Madam Tussauds online which had a 40% discount!! That is pretty steep discount. So, please buy the tickets before you travel to HK. Continue reading

September School Holiday Activities 2014

The September school holiday is round the corner! Although it is only one week, the kids still have to be entertained or rather, I want to spend precious bonding time with them. It will be a short week but there are so many things going on everywhere, we are spoilt for choice! Here is a list of those that I find will interest me and my kids, and like-minded parents out there 🙂 Continue reading