Murphy’s birthday party

January 15, 2017 in Kids

Murphy’s birthday party. I had the “something not quite right” feeling the whole of yesterday.

Turns out I did forget to include beverage for the catering from Saybons. But after settling that, something STILL didn’t feel right. Kept getting the husb to ask me questions to check if I had missed out on anything but everything seemed in order. Or so, I thought.


This morning, balloons from KidzPartyStore were wrongly delivered to my place instead of party venue. Managed to get them to ask the driver to come back and pick up the balloons to drop off at the party venue.

Next, the venue – Splash @ KidzAmaze didn’t get their party facilitator to come over despite us confirming over email. I provided them with the age group so that they can plan the games and they even gave me a rundown of events in the email. The lack of responsibility was appalling.


The caterer and Chef were late! They were supposed to be there at 930 for setup since the party starts at 10, but was late cos they couldn’t find the way. For a caterer whose job is to cater food at different locations in Singapore, this is not an acceptable reason. It would have helped if their food was fantabulous, but the spread was imho, average. The coordinator did offer to ask the chef to stay behind another 10minutes or so if necessary, but I thought it was a feeble attempt at service recovery. Even if they want to stay behind, the venue provider wouldn’t agree!

ANYWAY! After settling the catering, I realised the cake was still not here! This was unusual because Celebrate-with-Cake ALWAYS sends their cake over on time or earlier. (Have been getting cakes from them for most of the kids’ parties since 2012!) Was overwhelmed by the something-not-right feeling at this point while calling to check on the cake. Turns out they didn’t prepare the cake!!!

AN.ABSOLUTE.NIGHTMARE.

No time to kick up a fuss or mope as we worked on solutions to salvage the situation. Got my brother to call Swensens to check if they have Jake & the Neverland Pirates cake at Waterway Point (nearest outlet) and their staff said yes. But when my brother went over to get the cake, they said they made a mistake and there was no cakes of this theme at their branch or branches in the vicinity! My baker managed to do some service recovery with cupcakes arriving in about an hour’s time so we survived the birthday song segment.

I know the cub doesn’t like cupcakes for his birthday, so I asked him how he felt about the cupcakes when we got home after the party. He had participated in the discussion of design for his cake and was somewhat sad that it didn’t materialise. But he bounced back quickly and told us, “it’s ok, Mommy! I’m still happy and the cupcakes are so yummy!” ❤️ my 6yo.

On a positive note, I’m glad my biggest nightmare of all did not happen – I was very worried that his classmates wouldn’t be able to come even though I have gotten their RSVP. Except for one who couldn’t change her class and another who fell sick, I was so relieved that all the others could come as the cub had been looking forward to this celebration with his friends and teachers for the longest time.

4 days into 2017

January 5, 2017 in Musings

Day 4 of 2017, and I’m all frazzled.

I had to give our schedules in 2017 a major overhaul as the cub and the lil’ dragonlady asked to go for more enrichment classes. (It really wasn’t me!) With the addition of classes, I had to request for transfer to other days for some of their existing classes, change my part-time arrangement at work, and ask for more help from home with the drop-off/pick-up for one of their classes. Took me about 2 months of coordinating with all parties and providers involved, so imagine how relieved I was when I finally got everything settled on a pretty sustainable schedule by the time December arrived.

Alas! Due to unforeseen circumstances arising during the last week of December, I had to do another round of class reshuffling. This time, I had to pull the cub out of one of his enrichment classes and change one of his existing class to another day. THEN! I realized there was some confusion over the change of the days for another of the kids’ enrichment class. The schools were all closed for the holidays so I could only email them and wait for them to get back to me when they open for the new school term. Thankfully, each school could get back to me in time before we went for our first lessons in 2017!

This month, our firstborn is turning 6! We decided to give our January baby a bigger party since he is celebrating with his pre-school friends and teachers for the last time this year. That translates to more party stuff to prepare for!

Doesn’t help that Chinese New Year is barely a month away from Christmas. Still have loads to clean up and clear out, despite our decluttering efforts since November 2016! Thankfully, the kids do help out in their little ways.

Besides the role of a PTWM, I try my best to play the role of a supportive partner to my husb well too. He takes care of the macro household issues while I do the micro ones. The administrative bit (read: nitty-gritty) usually falls under my care. 它们很繁琐,可又不得不整理!

While everyone was looking forward to 2017, I was dreading how stressful the new year is going to be for me because in the midst of all this madness, I need to make sure I can set aside some time to clock my hours for Parent-Volunteering and be more vigilant at work with my buddy/backup-at-work away for a few months.

Crossing my fingers, hoping we can settle nicely into our new schedules soon!

Goodbye 2016

December 31, 2016 in Kids / Marriage / Musings

I’m so not ready for 2017 but can’t wait for 2016 to be over.

It’s been a pretty rough year for many including myself. I try my best to count my blessings and not give unnecessary attention to the negative issues. In the past year or so..

I learned how strong I can be, because motherhood changes many things. Not so much the physical strength, but the mental strength!

I learned that marriage is constant hard work. In this day and age, I guess we ought to be thankful both of us are willing to work at it.

I learned to love myself more, which translates to happier mom / wife = happier children / husband! Milestone achieved in 2016 – I went on my first holiday with girlfriends to catch our idol, 张学友 in action at his concert!

I learned to be less hung up or 执着 over many things when I see how fragile life can be, especially in our chaotic world now.

I learned who are my dear friends who will give me unconditional support, whenever I need some.

I learned not to be bothered by people who don’t matter. This liberation comes with age, I suppose. 😉

I don’t believe in New Year resolutions anymore because I’ve come to realise that any time is a good time to change for the better. But I do have hopes for the New Year!

I hope to have more time for my new hobbies –

painting

and lettering.

I hope to have more meaningful time with people who matter to me. Basically, I think I’m just hoping for more than 24 hours in a day in 2017.

I hope for a merciful 2017. What goes around comes around –  let’s share more kindness and love around.

May good health, peace and joy be with us all. Have a blessed 2017 ahead!

TLE’s Dino Discovery Camp

December 11, 2016 in Kids / Media

The cub went for a Dino Discovery Camp at The Little Executive’s during this school holidays! Every morning of the camp, he would prepare himself enthusiastically for the day ahead at TLE. Every night, he would regale us with what he did in camp and what he learned about the dinosaurs upon our return from work. The excitement was unmistakable! In fact, he felt sad as we got to the end of the week cos it meant that the camp was ending soon.

As mentioned in my previous post on TLE, they focus on 3 core areas in their approach – Executive Functioning Skills, good Learning Habits and Growth Mindset. While the camps are based on themes that interest kids, the focus remains the same. And I must add, TLE really goes to great lengths to create heaps of fun for the kids with the themed-activities.

Hands-on craft

Games

Even snacks for break-time are dino-themed!

TLE also incorporates 21st century competencies such as Collaborative Problem Solving, Analytical Thinking, Interpersonal Skills & Teamwork, Communication and Innovation/Inventive Thinking into the activities. The cub has been working on these skills in his regular classes, and got to put them to practice as he tried to solve problems and tackle quests with his friends from camp.

Each child participating in the Dino Discovery Camp has a folder of field notes. (The cub LOVES his folder of dinosaur information, and brings it around when he takes his dinosaurs out to play at home!) Inside these field notes, parents can tell some of the things the children learned in the camp, and what are the skills acquired or to be practised during the activities.

For example: based on what the cub learned about dinosaurs in the first two days, he was able to apply skills such as paying attention to details, comparing and contrasting, and drawing conclusions.

On the last day of camp, parents were invited for a presentation to see for themselves what their kids had been up to! :p

I was beaming with pride to see the cub take initiative in taking turns with his friends, and sharing what he had learned confidently during the camp in front of everyone when he was asked.

Thrilled to show us the dinosaur egg he made himself and how to hatch it.

Let me highlight one activity I managed to catch some glimpses of on presentation day – Grid Work.

TLE does a lot of Grid Work with the kids. The teachers will explain the concepts and start with simple worksheets before moving on to the 3D grid work carried out in teams. Just what is the benefit of doing Grid Work?

For one, Grid work trains visual tracking. This is important when we want to know which word we stopped at and can continue from there on. Many things are presented in this way – timetables, menus, etc.

Grid system is a typical way a fossil site is organized

Secondly, strategizing. Grid work is like a chess game and helps to develop skills such as planning or thinking ahead, being creative while working with constraints, spatial orientation, perspective taking, and faster processing mental abilities.

Pretty cool that all these knowledge and skills are being imparted to the kids while they play and have fun! I wish we had such fun and educational programmes back in my school days. The cub had such a wonderful time during the camp, he asked if he can go for another one. That was my cue to use this as a reward, so I promised to send him for fun holiday camps if he continues to show positive learning attitude in school and enrichment classes! 😉

The Boys’ Brigade Share-a-Gift 2016

December 6, 2016 in Kids / Lifestyle / Media

The season of giving is upon us! Have been meaning to bring the kids along to do charity work now that they are finally at the stage where they are more of help than hindrance, hence  I was most excited to participate in The Boys’ Brigade Share-a-Gift (BBSG) project this year.

The BBSG project is a national community service project organised annually by The Boys’ Brigade, with support from the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

Since 1988, The Boys’ Brigade has been seeking to bring cheer to the less fortunate by collecting food items and fulfilling Christmas wishes of the beneficiaries through The BBSG project.

This is a unique project as donors are encouraged to go beyond purely financial giving and are instead, challenged to actively join in this community project to bring cheer to the less privileged in our society.

BBSG fulfills two types of wishes: General Wishes & Specific Wishes.

General Wishes

  • General Wishes beneficiaries are provided aid in the form of essential household items and consumables. 

  • General Wishes will take care of beneficiaries who fall under two categories:
    • Government-funded ComCare programmes 

    • Voluntary Welfare Organisations 

  • BBSG will prepare signature food hampers that will consist of 25 items, put together from donations gathered from the public. Each hamper is estimated to last beneficiaries for four months or more.
  • Do check out the items required by beneficiaries on the site –  or at the various collection locations.

Specific Wishes

  • Specific Wishes are defined as specific items beneficiaries wish for. These range from adult diapers, a school bag, to an oven. 

  • BBSG aims to find help to fulfill these wishes, and bring cheer and festive joy to the underprivileged. Members of the public will play a very crucial role in this, as they can personally select the specific wish they want to help fulfill. 


Ways we can help: 

DONATION & COLLECTION OF GIFTS

From 25 November till 19 December 2016, gifts donated will be collected through the Gift Boxes (for General Wishes) and Wish Trees (for Specific Wishes) at various FairPrice outlets island-wide from 11am to 9pm daily. The public would be able to deposit their general food and household items in the Gift Boxes, and fulfill specific wishes of the beneficiaries that are placed on tags on the Wish Trees. Please see below for the list of collection locations.

Donors can also contribute by purchasing general food and household hampers valued at $20, $30, and $50 via NTUC FairPrice’s online portal (www.fairprice.com.sg) or donate cash at any AXS station.

DELIVERY OF FOOD HAMPERS

Besides contributing a gift to beneficiaries, members of the public will be able to take part in the project by delivering the gifts to beneficiaries from 5 to 31 December 2016 (excluding eve of and on Public Holidays). They can register at www.bbshare.sg from 10 November and come down to The Boys’ Brigade Headquarters to help out in daily food hamper deliveries.

The uniqueness about the BBSG deliveries is such that the food hampers will be delivered right to the doorsteps of beneficiaries, which means we get to meet the beneficiaries. It was heartening to watch the kids helping out enthusiastically, and getting excited to pass the hampers to those beneficiaries who were at home. My usually-more-reserved dragonlady was uncharacteristically chirpy and smiley to the beneficiaries, and even helped to knock and call out to the residents to check if he/she is inside.

We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to give back to the society by helping the less fortunate, while the kids got to learn more about compassion and kindness to others, and to be thankful for what they have.

Do chip in to help if you are available! Every bit counts.

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