Growing pains

The other day, I was walking behind the boys as they trotted hand in hand down the corridor to the lift, and it dawned on me that they have grown quite a fair bit this year. To be sure, they are both still on the (very) small side, but I distinctly remember those too-long school shorts reaching below David’s knees on that first day of Primary 1 that now seems like such a distant memory. Those same shorts are a clear 2 cm above his knee now. And I marvel at Daryl’s newfound swagger and style of walking that he only picked up sometime this year too. How my heart ached in that moment of realisation that my boys are growing up right before my eyes…

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Icky Gooey Bubbly FUN!

When David told me some months ago that he wanted a science-themed party for his seventh birthday, I think my first thought was “Oh no.” Not because I didn’t like the idea – I’m thrilled the boy is curious about a million and one things – but because I had NO CLUE how to plan a science program! I did google for some experiments that we could do, but just couldn’t envision how that would work out with a group of at least 10 kids. Crowd control is my weakest link.

Then I discovered Mad Science, the team which makes science come alive in fun and engaging ways for children with their collection of interesting gear and interactive programs. David and I watched some of their experiments online, and he was hooked! When the Mad Science Singapore team offered to sponsor us with a Mad Science program for his birthday party, he was over the moon – and so was I 🙂

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West Side Story: A tale of forbidden love

It’s the age-old story of boy meets girl – only this is no happily-ever-after fairytale but an intense love affair that ends in tragedy.

WEST SIDE STORY tells the tale of a love between two young people ,whose happiness is destroyed by the hate of two enemy camps in New York City’s urban jungle. It is summer time in New York, and the boys from the Upper West Side neighbourhood are on the prowl, raring for action. They belong to two enemy street gangs ruling the immigrant quarter – the Jets and the Sharks – and a clash is imminent. The Jets, sons of previous immigrants to America, are fighting the new arrivals from Puerto Rico, the Sharks, for domination of the streets in the area. Among them, Tony, a Jet, and Maria, sister to the leader of the Sharks, fall instantly, desperately, in love…

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A visit to Ergoworks!

David has been so excited about getting his new workspace from Ergoworks, ever since I posted this some weeks back. And during the September holidays, we finally managed to make the trip down as a family to check out their extensive range of ergonomic products! Of course, somebody had to bring along his current Geronimo Stilton book to test out his new table 😉

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Keep your cool with Ambi Climate

Ever had those days where you spend all day sweating under the hot sun, and come home to an equally hot and humid home, and immediately head to the toilet for a cold shower? Uh huh, I know I have. Or do your kids regularly wake up in the middle of the night, run over to daddy and mummy’s room, and jump into bed with you, leaving their own bedroom door ajar and wasting hours of precious AC (aircon) and electricity? Yep, that would be us too.

When we first heard about Ambi Climate, a device that allows you to personalise your AC system to fit your family’s unique usage patterns and needs, we were intrigued. Say hello to a smarter AC with Ambi Climate, which harnesses the technology of artificial intelligence, promising to deliver maximum comfort with minimum energy wastage. Created by Hong Kong-based IoT startup Ambi Labs, it successfully concluded its Kickstarter campaign in June this year, exceeding its initial funding goal by a whopping 310%!

We’ve tested it out for ourselves, these past two months, so here’s sharing our honest review with you…

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It begins now

During a recent conversation with a mummy friend, we were sharing our thoughts on how the world today is a pretty scary place to bring up our kids in. Stories of kidnapping, child abuse, pedophilia and school bullying abound, not to mention the very real threat of terrorism that is always closer to home than we think. And on a more personal level, the fact that our kids are now at the age when they spend close to half of their waking hours in school, and that is a huge chunk of time when we parents have no control whatsoever over who they will meet, what they will talk about, what they will see and how they will choose.

“It feels like he isn’t just growing up – he’s growing away,” I said to my friend. And it’s true – he makes so many little decisions on his own now – what to eat at recess, for example, and whether to play ball with A or watch fishes with B – and sometimes, just sometimes, he pulls his hand out of mine when we are reaching the school gate.

“I can walk by myself, mummy,” he says. Cue mummy heart break.

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Three things you need to know when shopping for an ergonomic workspace

The word “ergonomic” has become part of our regular vocabulary today. We see it sprinkled generously in newspaper ads and furniture showrooms, promoting bags and shoes, desks and chairs, computer keyboards and even pillows! The problem is that, while many brands and manufacturers may claim to be ergonomic, their prices can vary quite a lot. How’s a parent to make a discerning choice when it comes to picking out the best option?

Thanks to the world wide web, the answer is not so hard to find, if we would be willing to take the time to look. 🙂 My motivation? I wanted to find a workspace solution that works for my older boy, who spends a significant amount of time at his table these days – be it on school work, Berries homework or his own art. Due to his small size, he has this (bad) habit of kneeling on his chair in order to get a good view of his work. Or sometimes he slouches on the table and writes with his head leaning on the table, because he is tired of kneeling. We know that such a posture is bad for his still-developing body and certainly poses a strain on his eyes, and we want to stave off the possibility of wearing spectacles for as long as possible.

Of course we’re tried nagging at him to “sit properly”, but it hasn’t worked very well thus far. We’d also been feeling that maybe a better chair with a back rest might be more comfortable for him than his previous and current backless stools.

So I decided to read up on some possible workspace solutions for his posture, and along the way discovered some misconceptions that many (including us) may have about how ergonomic products work. Here are three things you should know:

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Just do your best, David!

On our living room, we have this piece framed up, to remind us that hard work matters. There’s a verse in the Bible that goes “… suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5: 3-4)

Hard work doesn’t always translate into success and achievement, but hard work has value in and of its own, and that’s one of the values we try to intentionally inculcate in the boys. And when school is the topic, there’s definitely lots of room for talking about what hard work looks like and why it matters.

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Daryl’s Paw-some Party!

The littlest turned F I V E earlier this month, and we celebrated his birthday on a Saturday morning with family and friends. Big big thanks to my grandma for letting us set 16 kids loose in her garden, and to my aunts, their helpers and my parents for settling most of the food. This was truly a family-event, put together with much love, and the birthday pup had an awesome – or should we say PAW-some – morning to remember!

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