My new shoes...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I have a new achievement this week. I can finally walk outdoor with my shoes. Hooray! These are my first 2 pairs of shoes... Waiting for a storage space in the shoe rack of our house...


3-Days Excursion with 3 Kids

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It was a super busy weekend for me. My mother, my brother, his wife and their 2 children, Jaynie and Jaerone, were in Singapore. We were out on the town for the past 3 days, with the 3 kids – Jaynie (2.5 y/o), Edison (1 y/o) and Jaerone (10 months old). The kids were having lots of fun. For Edison and his cousin Jaerone, it was also their first meet-up!

-Merry-Go-Round Jaynie, Edison and Jaerone



For the first time, Edison rode on a coin-operated kiddie ride. He was extremely excited and happy with the ride. Much to my surprise, he refused to get down after the game! When I carried him down, he yelled and threw his tantrums in the public. I was horrified & embarrassed. Luckily, I managed to calm him by tricking him on another game.

Edison's dad has been against the coin-operated kiddie ride. He doesn’t want Edison to get addicted to the rides and cause embarrassment in the public when he refuses to get down. In my point of view, playing with kiddie rides is part of their growing up. All of us played with them when we were young. As a parent, we need to discipline them during the ride and tell them when to play and when to stop. Eventually, they will listen to us.

This is a very special week for Edison as he has a lot of first times in his life.
1. First time walking outdoor (at shopping centers, garden, park) with his new pair of shoes.
2. First time drinking ice lemon tea with a straw. He has learnt the sucking and blowing reflexes.
3. First time throwing tantrums in the public!
4. First time riding a coin-operated kiddie ride machine
5. First time swimming in an adult pool

Going out with 3 kids is really no joke. It’s not always that they are so synchronized; sleepy, hungry and awake at the same time. If you encounter the worst case scenario, i.e. when first one is sleepy, second one is hungry and third one needs diaper-change, you will be totally lost.

In addition, we took almost 2 hours to get the 3 kids ready before we can leave the house. Every time when I get home, I heave a sigh of relief. It was so tiring, but enjoyable. -Edison will meet up with Jaerone and Jaynie again in November this year during my sister's wedding. -

My Typical Weekday Schedule

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

6:30am: Edison wakes up, bright-eyed and with a bright smile. He will stand up and make a little noise to wake me up. He will take his first milk feed. Most of the time, he can finished 180ml within 5mins!

6:45am: I go for a shower, while Edison takes a short nap after his milk. Usually, he wakes up from his short nap at around 7:30am.

7:30am: My helper will clean up Edison and change his clothes, while I prepare to go to work.

8:00am: Leave home for work.

8:45am: Reach my office, download my more-than-a hundred e-mails while I’m taking my breakfast. Check out my friends’ blogs. Hey, I love reading blogs – peek into someone else’s life and follow-up on their children's growing up.

9:15am: Time to REALLY start working!

12:15pm: Lunch time. Catch up with fellow colleagues for lunch, chit-chat and a good laugh.

1:15pm: Back at work. Freshen up with a cup of coffee. Settle the remaining works for the day.

6:00pm: Happiest hour of the day! Pack my stuff. Go home and smell my boy.

6:30pm: It takes me half an hour (or less) from my office to my parent-in law’s house. After a long day at work, I miss my boy terribly. His smile will instantly energize me. I feel so important again - being a mother to Edison.

7:00pm: Have dinner with my parents-in-law. Spend some quality time with them before we return to our home-sweet-home.

8:30pm: Reach home. Play a little games or flash cards with Edison.

9:00pm: Edison goes to sleep. He is an early sleeper.

9:00pm – 10:30pm: This is my so-called “Prime Time”. I finally have some personal time for myself. Gosh! What I normally do within this 1.5 hours: read the newspaper, go online, read a chapter of my book and sometimes make some flash cards. I don't really watch TV.

10:30pm: Crash into bed. I consider myself blessed as I still have 8 hours of beauty sleep everyday.

Nonetheless, something important is still lacking from my schedule. I have to admit it, I just can’t hide. Lack of exercise, you are right! Extra pounds are piling up now, and I better do something about it. These days, I realized that I’m becoming ‘rounder’ and ‘rounder’!

For a FTWM, juggling between work and family life is so challenging and tiring. On top of this, we still need to find time for our personal upkeep and maintenance. From a woman’s point of view, looking good is just so important. We wouldn’t want to end up like a ‘yellow-face wife’ (huang lian po). I always envy mothers who can manage their family and work so well, and yet still look great and youthful.

I realized that my life has changed dramatically this year. I have many roles to play in my daily life – as a mother, a wife, a daughter, an employee (to my company) and an employer (to my helper). It’s challenging, but rewarding ultimately!

Five Minutes Method of Suggestion

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My little boy seems to have some concentration problem during his Shichida class. He simply refuse to sit properly on his chair and pay attention to the teacher. He would crawl up the desk or down to the floor, playing with diaper bags, drinking bottle etc. Even a small piece of paper on the floor would catch his attention. He will crawl down and pick up it up immediately!
Our teacher, Eunice has recommended the Five Minutes Method of Suggestion to me, hopefully we can improve Edison's attention span in the class. At this point of time, I guess this is the only solution to it.
What is Five Minute Method of Suggestion?
I first heard about this method during the Parent Education Course (PEC). Besides the Eight Second Hugging, this is another method for parents to convey their love to their children. This method can be used to cure troublesome habits (i.e. thumb-sucking) and undesirable personality traits (i.e. selfishness) in children.
Why only five minutes?
During the first 5 minutes after a child has fallen asleep, the conscious mind goes to sleep, but the subconscious mind is still awake and functioning. We need to make use of this 5 minutes to work on the subconscious mind.
How to do it?
During this 5 minutes, we can express our wishes by softly whispering into our children's ears, when they have just fallen asleep. We can also tape our words using a recorder and then set it beside our children's pillow. Play it with volume set softly for about 15 mins after they have gone asleep. Do it every night. I would say, at least, a week or so, until we see the results.
How effective it is?
A mother (not me!) has cured her children's thumb sucking habit within 7 days! You have to try it yourself to 'see' the effectiveness.
The way I see it, I'm going to give it a try. I have recorded my speech using my mobile phone last night and will be making its first debut tonight. I hope it really works, and I'll update the results 2 weeks later.
This is my pre-recorded speech:
"My dear Edison. You are sleeping now. You can hear my voice. Daddy & Mummy love you a lot. Our hearts and your heart are always together.
Edison is a big boy now. You need to attend your Shichida class every Saturday. You're a genius. Your concentration power is good. You will sit on your chair and focus on what sensei is teaching. You will see flash cards. You will learn counting and ABC. You will sing songs. You will participate in the games that sensei introduces in the class. You will not make any noise. You will not crawl around the class.
Its a really good feeling. You will enjoy yourself with the activities in the Shichida class. You are a smart boy and you can understand everything that Mummy has just said. Everybody says they love Edison because he is such a good and obedient boy. Daddy and Mummy love Edison a lot too."
Resources: Parent Education Course (PEC) manual from Shichida Method.

Smart Little Edison

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I have this impression that Edison is a pretty smart boy. He can do a lot of things that I don’t think me and my hubby can do when we were one year old. He seems to understand a lot from our conversation too. Should I conclude that the newer generation babies are all smarter?

Improved living standard and better food quality make them smarter and healthier. I recalled myself popping fish oil supplement with DHA for fetus brain development as early as 4th month of pregnancy. It cost me $1 per daily for the supplement. From 4th to 9th month, I’ve spent $180 on fish oil alone (6 months x 30 days x $1 = $180). Not to mention others like multi-vitamins, folic acids etc.
These are the TEN amazing stuff that Edison has learnt so far:

1. When we ask him where the moon is, he will look up to the sky, trying to locate it. Sometimes, he can even point to the direction of the moon.

2. He can say the word ‘star’. Occasionally, he will point up to the sky and say ‘star’.

3. When we ask him how to turn on his Jumperoo, he knows where the ON button is and he can turn it on by himself.

4. When we ask him where the tiger is, he will walk over to his Jumperoo and pull out the tiger!
5. Besides tiger, he knows a few other animals too, i.e. dog, cat, pig, mouse and bird! He can even imitate a dog barking!

6. He can understand the words ‘milk’ and ‘water’ and distinguish them by the colour of the milk bottle.

7. When we show him his tooth brush and comb, and we ask him which one to use for combing his hair, he will pick up the comb. When we ask him which one to use for brushing teeth, he will pick up the tooth brush! He seldom get it wrong.

8. When he hears his favourite song, Counting By Tens, he will clap his hands.

9. When he hears the words “Which one”, he knows that he has to make a selection. He will point to the item that he wants.

10. When he hears the words “Want to eat?”, he knows that there is food for him to eat and he will immediately make his way to you.
Besides all these, he is a very active boy at home. I always wonder why he is so busy walking around the house and where he gets so much energy! Besides the 2 hours nap time in the afternoon, the rest of the times he will be all over the house.

~~ Caught in the act! ~~

He loves to stand on the foot of our IKEA lamp and shakes the lamp post. And he likes to bite every pillow in the house! He shows no mercy and leaves all the 4 corners of the pillow with his tooth marks!

I can walk!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

This week, I have mastered the skill of walking... I walk around the house everyday, from the living hall to the kitchen and bedrooms... Climb up the stairs has become my daily exercise routine now, and I'm such an expert! I can climb up to 3rd storey few times a day! I'm blessed with a pair of strong legs....
To my grandparents & Auntie Stevie in Ipoh, I want to show you these videos of me walking at home today...


A Brand New Look

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tadaa! I’m launching a brand new look for my blog today! I like this new template so much. It gives me a totally refreshing feeling with the soft blue and white background. I hope you will like it too.

This is the third time I changed my blog template. I started off with a default blogger template. From there, I migrated to Disney’s movie Ratatoullie, followed by Birdie’s Secret Garden and now News from the Sky. I downloaded this new blogger template (News from the Sky) from Gisele Jaquenod & Birdie. All her designs are so pretty and cute. You can even download these awesome templates for free! Check this out!

Blogger Buster has also featured some truly awesome blogger templates which are also available for free download. You may want to take a look here:

Every time when I change my blogger template, I learnt something new in the process. Uploading a new template isn’t difficult. The most tedious part is probably copying the widgets over to the new template. When I try to upload a new customized template to blogger, I will get a message asking if I want to delete most of my existing widgets. I always wonder "how can I copy my widgets over to a new template?" After reading this tutorial, I can do it so quickly and painlessly. These are some of my useful references:

How to upload blogger XML templates

How to copy widgets from one template to another

HTML color codes and names

In addition to the change of template, I have also added a wonderfully simple search widget in my blog to allow readers to search through my posts. I hope it works, pls help me to test it. Thanks.

Blogging is FUN! Looking forward to add more new features in my blog soon.

Stay-At-Home Sunday

Monday, September 15, 2008

14 Sept 08 – It was a stay-at-home Sunday for me. I continued my efforts to make flash cards for little Edison. With the help from my helper, we have completed our Action Cards – two sets with 18 cards per set.

The action flash cards are pretty interesting. I downloaded them from ESL Flashcards. From this website, you can download the flash cards in three different sizes. For A5 size blank flash cards, you should download the medium size flash cards from this website.

These are our Action Cards.

In addition, I’ve started another attempt to make a musical slideshows with PowerPoint. I've selected a new song “Opposite Land” that we learnt in the Shichida class last week. All the slides have been prepared, and I’m in the midst of ‘tuning’ and ‘timing’ the slides. I like this song a lot though Edison doesn’t seem to like it so much. It teaches the opposite words that the child can learn easily from the song.

Preview of my “Opposite Land” Slideshow:

If you are wondering where I get the songs for my slideshows, let me share with you. The songs are taken from the Sing Together! You + Me = Fun Music CD, available at the Tensai Showroom at Shichida Method. Except for the foreign language songs, you can find most of the English songs taught in the Shichida class in this CD.

Edison is now a ONE year old toddler

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My little Edison is now a ONE year old toddler. I realized how quickly time flies. In a blink of eyes, one year has passed and my boy has blossomed into a cheerful and active little toddler. Looking at these pictures, I remembered how tiny and vulnerable he seems to be when he was born. But now, when I look at him, I can see his smile, his activeness, his inner strength and his love to everyone in the family.

11 Sep 07 – Just Born

11 Sep 08 - One year old

We are absolutely amazed by the rate of his development. Just two days before his first birthday, he proved to us that he can walk independently! This is his biggest accomplishment to-date and we were so delighted with his newfound ability.

He is always so alert and curious about little things that happened around him. His funny expressions never failed to make us laugh. He makes our life so complete and full of surprises. He will always be the NUMBER ONE in my heart.

‘To my Prince Edison, Mummy hopes that you will always be HAPPY and HEALTHY. It’s been a tough, awesome and remarkable year for both of us. Thank you for being such a lovely darling and Mummy knows that you have been a very good boy.’

Before my memory fails, I would like to do a recap of what happened in this eventful year.

Sept 07:
Gave birth to our first baby boy Edison via emergency C-section. An amazing experience to me. Being a first time mother was so nerve-wrecking. My eyes were full of tears when I carried my little baby for the first time. He looked so beautiful than I have imagined.

Oct 07:
First month celebration with family and friends. Everyone was happy with the new addition to our family. I was glad that confinement was over. I felt guilty as I almost broke all the confinement rules!

Nov 07:
Life has never been the same again. Waking up in the wee hours at night to feed isn’t easy at all. We were stressed out and clueless whenever he cried. Found my good friend, Mr. Pacifier! Simply can’t survive without it.

Dec 07:
Returned to workforce. I suffered from severe separation anxiety. Missed my boy every minute and every second when I was at work. Everytime when I sent him to infant care, I blamed myself for not being able to take care of him. It was so heart-wrenching.

Jan 08:
He appeared in a local magazine, modeling Chinese New Year fashion for them. We rushed to the newsstand to get a copy of it the first day it was published. My boy looks so great!

Feb 08:
He knew how to throw his tantrums. He was full of emotions. He turned away from strangers. He can flip in both directions when he was on his stomach.

Mar 08:
This month was tough. He suffered from teething pain and disrupted sleep. Dentinox teething gel was our savior. His first two pearlies finally appeared by end of the month. It was a relief!

Apr 08:
It was a tough decision. We have finally withdrawn him from infant care. Enough of stupid excuses from the infant care! We hired an Indon maid to take care of Edison.

May 08:
His activeness started. He crawled everywhere. He can stand on his own. He babbled a lot. Always cheerful and full of funny expressions.

June 08:
Beauty sleep was back. Edison has totally stopped night feeding. Great feeling! Even without any sleep training, he can sleep on his own without any rocking or patting.

July 08:
He started schooling at Shichida Method. Brand new experience again. Both of us learned and enjoyed a lot from the school. Make new friends as well.

Aug 08:
Getting a bit out of control. He is just too active, and we have a hard time chasing after him. Hide and seek is his favourite game. He will laugh joyfully.

Five important lessons that I’ve learnt this year:
1. Pacifier is a ‘must-have’. I salute to mothers who can make it without it.
2. A good electric breast pump is absolutely necessary.
3. Being a good mother is not just about being able to breastfeed.
4. C-section is not scary and painful after all.
5. No time to go shopping? Online shopping is as good and enjoyable.

I would like to thank all my family members for their continuous support and help during this critical year. A BIG THANK YOU for all of you.

A Young Fan of Thomas & Friends

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

We bought Edison a set of Thomas & Friends toy as his first birthday present. Last weekend, we finally had the time to open and set it up. Wow, I must admit that it is not an easy task setting up the railways and track. It could be as easy as ABC for a young 5 y/o kid, but not for a 30 y/o mother!
After setting up the tracks, we slowly discovered that the train is actually battery-operated and can move along the tracks on its own! Hehehe... Blame me for being so 'sua ku', cos I really know nuts about this Thomas thing!
Besides the train, there is also a little helicopter that will fly and rotate after being triggered by the train. Edison is totally amazed and he will point his finger at the helicopter everytime it moves.
Here's Edison with his first Thomas & Friends toy set:

Oh boy, don't crawl over the track!

Obsessed with Rootote Bags!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I received my first Rootote Bag which I bought from a spree in SMH forum yesterday… Oh, I love it so much! I got myself a Medium Luxe Capital Bag. I like their simple design, casual and yet perfect as an everywhere bag. I’m amazed by how much stuff that I can throw into the bag! It is very sturdy too, and I’m planning to get one as Edison’s diaper bag! My current LeSportSac bag looks kinda old now, and its time to get it changed.

I’m just too obsessed with the bags. I ordered another 3 bags from the spree – Medium Luxe Pink Dot, Medium Felt Swan and a Medium Luxe Floral.

(From top left: Capital, Pink Dot, Swan and Floral)

The spree price is only $26! It's simply too irresistable. The bags are direct from Japan. More designs available here:
You can also get them from Rootote Australian website too. But the price is higher. It costs AUD$39, excluding shipping.

The spree in the SMH forum is definitely a better choice! :)

Employing a foreign maid in Singapore

Friday, September 05, 2008

For a full-time working mother like me, employing a foreign maid to manage the household chores and baby-sit is inevitable. Having a good & reliable maid provides us with a true peace of mind.

On average, full-time Filipino maids who can cook, do general household chores and babysit earn about $350-$450 a month. Indonesian and Sri Lankan maids are paid an average $300-$400 a month. The difference is mainly due to the better English capability that a Filipino maid generally possesses. Differences in wages are depends on the maid’s experience – locally or overseas.

Besides their monthly wages, we need to pay the maid levy on a monthly basis to the government. The rates are $170 (concession) and $265 (normal). We are also required to pay for their insurance, which is about $200 for a 2-year contract.

The easiest way to obtain a foreign maid is to go to any of the maid agencies available in Singapore. From there, you can browse the maid’s biodata and handpick the one that fits your requirement. The process generally takes 4-6 weeks, depends on whether the maid has a valid passport in her home country. Agency fee varies from $88 to $688.

In my point of view, a good agency DOES NOT guarantee you a good maid. It’s all about your LUCK in picking a good maid. After which, it depends on how you treat them and discipline them.

If you need detailed information about the process of hiring a foreign maid in Singapore, you can read up this blog. Blogger Tamarind shares her experience with us. I find this blog very very useful when I was looking for a maid 6 months ago.

I went to several maid agencies before I make my selection. Among all the agencies, I have chosen Sun Employment which is located at Bishan. We are satisfied with the service provided by Sun Employment and our maid arrived within 4 weeks after we make our payment.

This blog has reviews on various maid agencies, written by customers who have used them before. It is indeed a good read.

I will NOT take a transfer maid. In my opinion, if the maid is good, their employer will not transfer them. So, I better don’t take the risk. Although it could be due to the employer herself, I would rather hire a new maid rather than guessing why the ex-employer wants to change the transfer maid.

This blog has a list of transfer maids that have been blacklisted. Pls avoid them AT ALL COST!

She has been working for me for the past 4+ months. So far, I’m quite satisfied with her work. She keeps my house clean, manage all the household chores independently and take good care of my son.

I can also see that she is happy staying with our family. She gained a whooping 7kg in just 4 months! It’s amazing to learn that she is even ‘heavier’ and ‘chubbier’ than me now. Haha!

This is Edison and his 'Kakak'...

Thanks Niti for being such a good helper! :)

Linking Music to Flashcard Slideshow

Thursday, September 04, 2008

This is something that I learned from the Shichida class: Linking music to flash cards or slideshows. In this way, you will make learning FUN for the kids.

I made a flash card slideshow using Edison’s favourite song COUNTING BY TENS. He will shake his butts and clap his hands whenever he hears the song. Amazing! Hehehe...

I use the Microsoft PowerPoint to make the slideshows. First of all, I design the slides based on the lyrics of the song. Example, for lyrics “I love to count by tens’, I insert a picture of two children counting using an abacus and the numbers from 1 to 10. I put the lyrics at the bottom of the slide. I put some animation on it too, i.e. the wordings will ‘fly’ out when the music is started.

After all the slides are created, I insert the music (sound file) into the slideshow. You can set the music to be played Automatically when you go to the first slide or When Clicked.

The most tedious part is to custom the music and set the timing. I set the music to continue playing from the first till the last slide. I adjust the slide transition based on the music. You have to time every lines of the song and adjust the slide transition based on the timing. It takes a great deal of time to complete this part.

Once this part is completed, I do a final demonstration to confirm that the slideshow is working well.

Edison likes it a lot. Needless to say, I’m delighted as my hard works finally paid off! Looking forward to make another musical slideshow for Edison this weekend.

DIY Flash Cards - It is so easy!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

DIY flash cards? Well, it is not as tedious as I thought. I made my first set of flash card last night. With the help from my hubby and helper, we completed 90+ pcs in about 2 hours! We have five titles altogether - Food, Things at Home, Counting by Tens, Animals and Numbers 1-20 (in Red Dots).

I bought the blank flash cards from Hiap Moh, a paper supplier in Singapore. The cost of the blank cards is:
1800pcs of A5 size (350gm) = $53.00
900pcs of A4 size (350gm) = $53.00

It costs you as little as 3 cents for one A5 flash card (if you make your own!). Besides the cost savings, you can design your own cards and select your own titles.

These are some of the useful websites that you can use as reference. I downloaded mine from BrillBaby.
These are my end products.... :)

ONE is Fun!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My baby boy is now a ONE year old toddler. We had a little birthday party at home to celebrate his FIRST BIRTHDAY last weekend. Lots of food & fun!

We ordered a Baby Bugs birthday cake from Bengawan Solo. Chocolate sponge cake with blueberry fillings & fresh cream. Edison loves it to bits.

To our dearest Edison,

You are a little miracle in our lives. You bring us so much joy and laughters. No matter how bad is our day, your smile will instantly brightens us up.

Now you are ONE. You've blossomed into a smart, active and cheerful little boy. We are amazed by the rate of your development. You love learning and you are always curious.

When someone meets you for the first time, the first thing they comment on is your eyes. You have a pair of big bright eyes, framed with long lashes, that sparkle in the light.

We love you Edison. Happy FIRST Birthday!

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