Monthly Archives: July 2010

Trip to Ikea

Our main intention of going to Ikea was to check out some shelves for the children’s play room. The minute we turned into the car park and she saw the familiar blue/yellow logo, Ally exclaimed ” We are at my favourite shop Mama!”

As usual the first thing that Ally likes to check out is the play area. She peeped in and asked if she was tall enough to go in and play with the other kids. The last three times we were at Ikea, she was still below the minimum height requirement. I checked with the lady and at the back of my mind I was thinking she wans’t going to cut it. Turns out, she had grown!

I quickly filled out the form and took a queue number. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if she was going to go in by herself. There were quite a few older children in there and I was worried she’ll feel intimidated. When our number was called, I explained to the lady that it was Ally’s first time and this kind lady took really good care of Ally. She stayed close to her and made sure she was alright. Matt and I hung around to see how she was getting on, once she stopped coming to the glass window to look at us, we walked away. But after 20 steps or so, I walked back again. I was obviously more nervous than she was, I really wanted it to be a pleasant experience for her since I know if it went well, it’ll be such a confidence booster.

I didn’t want her to see me so I hid behind a wall and just stole glances every now and then. I swear I heard an auntie that was sitting nearby let out a laugh in my direction. Watching her in the play area all on her own with the other children made me realise that she’s grown up. It made me a bit teary, I was so proud of her for going in by herself, yet at the same time a part of me felt this longing for her to remain my baby just that while longer.

We decided to grab a bite before the crowds came in, as usual the kids headed to the small play area in the restaurant.

It was actually cold enough that I had to dress the children in long pants and jackets

Max was very facinated by the displays in the ground

What’s a trip to Ikea without stopping by the toy section and kid’s furniture?

Max and Daddy playing peek a boo!

Ally found a friend to play cooking with

Max was trying to venture off on his own

My favourite picture of the day

We left Ikea with two happy but tired children, a bunch of small household items and no shelves. We decided to head home and ponder over the two that we’ve shortlisted which means we’ll be making another trip to Ikea pretty soon.

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The joy of having a sibling

We took the kids to T3 yesterday for Max to practice his newly acquired skill, Walking! The kids had a lot of fun playing together which gave me the inspiration for the video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Max makes a splash

Now that I’ve found the video function, I can’t seem to stop! Here is a short clip of Max at his swimming lesson

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Max makes a splash, posted with vodpod

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Ally at the gym

I’ve finally figured out how to post a video on the blog. Here’s a recent one of Ally at the gym learning a new skill

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Ally at the gym, posted with vodpod

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Just enjoying the simple things in life

After Ally’s gym class, we decided to take the kids to the botanical gardens. The weather was great, Ally cycled all the way to the swan lake to feed the fish. Max had fun tearing the bread into miniscule pieces and dropping them randomly on the floor. Think he was trying to reenact the story of Hansel & Gretel. Unfortunately I didn’t have the hands to whip out my camera and take pictures, was too busy trying to keep Ally from peddling her bicycle into the lake.

Since it was still early, we drove round to Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. I really love this section of the Botanical Gardens, it is a great place for kids to spend the afternoon. We started off at the water play area but Ally felt cold after a while. Max took a while to get use to the jets but once he did, he didn’t want to leave. The tree house was another favourite with the kids, Max enjoyed walking on the sand while Ally sat on her picnic blanket and had a snack. We left just before the park closed at 7pm.

I love watching the children play, they are so good for each other. Ally is the more cautious, careful child, Max is the daredevil. He edges her to try out new things that she wouldn’t normally do alone while she makes sure that he stays safe.

We marveled at the trees, the plants and the waterfall, just enjoying nature and the company of each other.

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How to make your child more adaptable?

If anyone has the answer to the question above, please let me know. You see, Ally has always been the sort of child that thrives on routine and familiarity.  I’m sure a lot of children are like that but she gets very upset and distressed when something changes.

Let me give you an example, recently there were some changes in the coaching team at her gym. Her old coaches were still there, but a new coach was added to the team. Unfortuntately, the new coach and her didn’t get off to a good start, first of all, I wasn’t there with her like usual. Matt took her, which is usually not a problem at all. She was happy and running around, then she tripped and fell, wasn’t hurt but the new coach ran over to her to see if she was alright and from then on, things went downhill. She burst into tears at the sight of an unfamiliar face. Since then, we’ve had 2 weeks of crying at the gym. Yesterday was slightly better than last week. We talked about the changes at the gym, the new coach and how we expected her to behave. She was good, till we stepped out of the car and she burst into tears. She managed to pull herself together and had a good time in the end.

I don’t know how much of it boils down to the child’s character. Ally has been this way for as long as we can remember and Max is Mr Go With The Flow. As she gets older, she’s getting slightly better, hopefully as she matures emotionally as well, she’ll be able to become more adaptable.

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I need more hands!

The kids and I were suffering from a case of cabin fever. We had been stuck at home for most of the day and everyone was picking up on each other’s bad mood. I decided to take the kids down to Paragon and let them burn off some energy at the playground on the 5th floor. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me so no pictures this time.

Since Matt was busy at work, I packed both kids into the Vibe and we took the MRT to town.  Like I said in my review, the Vibe is a huge stroller. Thankfully we boarded one of the newer train that had ample space for wheelchairs.

The kids were very well behaved throughout the long journey. Ally, as usual, asked a million questions a minute. We stopped at Ion to pick up some shoes. It was packed with people, Ally decided she wanted to walk and stretch her legs. Since she’s not one to run off without me, I agreed. We had to take the lift up and to get to the lift lobby, we had to go through these heavy doors. Usually I’ll open the door, usher Ally through and then push the stroller. As I was going in, this group of tourist with a double side by side pram were coming out. Instead of opening the door themselves, they decided to squeeze through the small gap that I had opened on my side. Come on, there are 7 of you in the group, can’t 1 person just hold open the door for everyone instead of squeezing with me? Our strollers got jammed in the narrow opening and I plainly refused to budge, she tried squeezing past but it was pointless, there just wasn’t any space. After they finally reversed their stroller, I asked Ally to walk through and told them that they should have opened the door on their side instead of squeezing with me or have the courtesy to wait for me to come through. In true Ally fashion, she asked ” why are you so angry mama?” and before I could answer her, she said ” oh that aunty was naughty”  So I explained to her the need to let others walk out of the lift first before rushing in.

By the time we reached the shop, Max was starting to fuss. I took him out of the stroller to have a wander around. While I was trying on my shoes, he decided that he wanted milk, Ally decided that she wanted to touch every single shoe in the shop. Thankfully the sales assistants were so patient and helpful. They entertained Ally while I fed Max and even brought the bill to me so that I didn’t have to disrupt Max’s feed.

We made our way to Paragon and by now the kids were starting to get hungry. Ally and I decided that we wanted Ramen so off we went. Feeding two children and trying to feed myself is no mean feat. I’m so grateful that Ally is able to feed herself so I can just concentrate on Max. Even then it was like a 3 ring circus, I had to cool the noodles down for Ally, get the waitress to cut up the noodles for Max, and quickly eat as much as I could in between. Max is now fairly competent in feeding himself, he loved the ramen, especially the char siew.  Whenever I’m alone with the kids, I always wish I had more hands during meal times.

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Baby Led weaning

I know I’m going to get a lot of flake for this post but I shall go ahead and write it anyway. I’ve written about my woes in trying to feed Max, you can read about it here and here. Since then I’ve taken to letting him decide how much he wants to eat at each meal. Trying to force him to eat what I thought was appropriate was upsetting him and stressing me out.

I first read about baby led weaning from here. It seemed to make sense to me and out of desperation I decided to try it out. After a few months I’m proud to say that meal times are a lot happier and ten times more messy. I give him a portion of whatever I’m cooking Ally for lunch, I just chop it into bite size pieces and let him feed himself. Once he starts throwing food on the floor, I know he’s full and I just take it away. His dexterity has improved tremendously and most importantly, I’m following his cues and not forcing him to eat when he’s full.

He has turned out to be a more adventurous eater than Ally.  I know lots of people will be concern that he’ll still be eating with his hands by the time he’s 10. Truth be told, we started to let Ally self feed around 8 months and before she turned 2, she was able to use cutlery to feed herself.

I shall let the pictures do the talking, the kids had spaghetti bolognese for lunch the other day. I cut up Max’s spaghetti into shorter strands and he had such fun with it.

He's actually enjoying his food

Ally wanted to eat with her chopsticks instead of a fork

Messy but effective

Baby led weaning is definitely not for everyone. If you’re worried about how much your child consumes at each meal, maybe its not for you. If you don’t like to clean up big messes, its definitely not for you. It works for Max and it works for our family cos it makes meal preparation a lot easier for me. I still spoon feed him certain meals especially if its porridge cos I really don’t fancy cleaning up a porridge covered living room.

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Trip to Fidgets

Max is starting to walk with a lot more confidence, he’s still rather unsteady on his feet and thinks running is a much better alternative to walking. Unfortunately he doesn’t realise that he has to walk before he can run and he has had lots of harmless falls over the last week. We decided to take the kids to Fidgets, Ally could run off her excess energy and Max could practice walking in a safe padded environment.

Fidgets can get rather rowdy, especially if there is a birthday party being held. Luckily for us, most of the kids were around Ally’s age or slightly older.  Ally likes us to accompany her on the play structures, Max on the other hand, is more independent. The minute you set him on the floor, he’s off on his own. He’s also rather fearless while Ally is more cautious.

All on her own

Max slides down tummy first, he loved the slide!

Up high in her rocket ship, as she calls it

Max loves to turn the gears

The older boy sat there watching him for quite a while

I tried to take a picture of both kids but it was impossible, someone was always moving!

After they had finished playing, all of us were tired and hungry, so what better way to stuff our faces than a seafood dinner at the restaurant nearby. Both kids were so tired they were asleep before 8pm.

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Just Mama & Ally

Today was a rare day that I had to spend with just Ally. We left Max with grandma while I took Ally to her play date. It was great just having time to ourselves, she was so sweet and affectionate, I could tell she enjoyed the undivided attention. Ally wanted to take a bus but we had to take a taxi part of the way due to the rain. I decided to take my camera out and she wanted me to take pictures of her beloved penguins.

Mr P & Mr P, also known as girl and boy haku ( don't ask)

Looking at this picture reminds me how quickly she has grown up

She was carrying her penguin on her shoulder to try and make him take a nap

Then it was Ally’s turn to use the camera, it wasn’t too bad considering it was her first try.

Her finger got in the way

Oops, finger still there

We had such fun together, I really need to make the effort to spend some time with each child individually. I feel so blessed to have my two little monkeys.

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