Holiday extended

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Supposed to start work today. But I was infected with a very nasty gastric flu since Sunday morning right after we left KL, on the way back to Singapore. Don't think it's from the food since we were all eating the same thing, drinking the same drinks for the past few days. Only me (luckily!!!) was infected, my hub and our kids were spared.

It was so bad that I have to run to the toilet a few times every hour on Sunday, coupled with vomiting, plus high fever, headache and fainting spells :( Monday was slightly better, went to see a GP, she said she can see signs of dehydration! So I was given 2 days of mc to rest and to monitor my conditions. But eh, since I don't take any medicine, I hope I will recover by Tuesday, so that I don't have to revisit the doctor, I couldn't be telling her that I didn't touch the medicine, could I :) I am much better now, still run to the toilet but less frequent and fever was down to low grade fever.

The kids went to school so I could rest very well today. Hopefully get even better tomorrow so that I can run some errands before starting work on Wednesday, and hope to write a few posts about our CNY holidays.

Time to go to bed!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
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Why the move (house)?


Many have known, either through this blog or through FB that we have moved to a new place. Many have asked why we wanted to move.

Finally I have time to write a long post as because I am currently on business trip, so it's totally free at night, well, actually not very free as I want to do 1001 things these few nights - making a photobook, tidying/arranging photos for the past few months, writing blog posts, reading blog posts of my fellow bloggers, syncing my iPhone to iTune (figuring how to export and import contacts), exploring my new Galaxy Note, and of course not forgetting accessing FB. Glad that this time I didn't bring any book. Very busy, occupying every single minute and till late hour and wake up early morning, but it's different type of busy (with kids) which I get to "enjoy" once in a while, haha!

Righto. Here's why.....

First, after living at our previous place for 3 years, we decided that it's not a good place for our children to grow up with. It's a very convenient location, about 3 minutes’ walk to the MRT station (albeit it’s far away from the city center), we could have everything we need within a few minutes’ walk as there is a shopping mall (albeit a small one) just next to our block, where we can get food (restaurants, food courts, fast food), groceries (a NTUC Fairprice, two 7-11 shops), other stuff like hair salons, ATMs, wet market, and also many neighborhood shops. McDonalds is just downstairs and it’s a 24 hours shop (not that we eat McD). But, there is always but…… Because we were so near to all these actions, there are constant noises, loud ones, not so loud ones, annoying ones, not so annoying ones, all sort. It’s okay on normal days, but from time to time, there will be tent set up for all sort of celebrations, shows, performance, talks, etc. The worst we had was the coffee shop downstairs was having a free karaoke session. They tuned the volume to the loudest I bet, and so we suffered from the out of tune’s songs sang by old uncles and old aunties for a few hours, seriously, I almost went crazy. And when there was pasar malam, which was literally just downstairs, we had to pray the stall selling DVDs would not be near us, else it’s a few weeks of disruption.

So we reckoned we have had enough of it. We reckoned we can let go all these conveniences. We reckoned we should try something different. We were all for a quieter place.

At first, we just wanted to try out if we could sell our HDB with a good price. Obviously we could! There were only 2 viewings to our flat and both potential buyers offered quite a good amount of COV (cash over valuation, a very unique thing in Singapore public housing property market) right away. Our property agent advised us to close the deal if we were serious to move on quick. So we did. We closed the deal even before our valuation report was ready. It must be one of the easiest sales she has, only need to do 2 viewings and not much negotiation needed.

So we were off to look for a place. We decided that it’s more worthwhile to invest in a private property than a HDB. Because COV for HDB was still very high, though we got a high COV for our HDB, but if we were to buy another HDB, we also need to pay a high COV. We rather invested that money to a private property and because our main aim is to provide a better environment for the children. We couldn’t afford landed property, so we only left with condominiums. Even with condominiums, we couldn’t afford those near or nearer to the city or those at prime areas. We didn’t want to sacrifice space for location, with the budget we have. So, we targeted the areas with cheaper property prices, which were at the north / north-west, and upper bukit timah areas.

Another factor was that my company will be moving to the north, so for convenient sake (thinking ahead of a few years later when the kids start primary school, I might need to fetch them from school, work part time etc), we nailed down to looking for a property in the north, at Yishun in particular, as it suits our requirement – cheaper properties, and near to my future workplace.

Then, another main factor that making us chose the house we are living in is the primary school. We have been contemplating for the longest time if we should or should not move to a primary school of our choice. With a bit of research of the web (lots of info available, particularly from, to my delight, there is a primary school in Yishun which puts more emphasis on Chinese! It makes to the “leaderboard” of all sorts, never made to the top in any of the lists, but within top 10 in almost all the lists found from the web. All rounded approach, maybe. Which is just perfect for us – we want the children to have good Chinese, we don’t want the most famous/branded school, but reasonably good/reputable. So this is just perfect for us (as what we have read so far). Since we have decided to move, then why not move to a school of our choice, and to solve this primary 1 admission issue once and for all! 

Next thing was, viewed 2 units in the condominium of our choice and selected one, which is obviously the one we are living now – high floor, move in condition (meaning no major renovation needed), reasonably spacious, pool facing, etc. Made our offer and that’s it. The next thing we knew, we were at the lawyer office and HDB office signing off all documents already. And we have physically moved in to the new house already. All these happened within a short 2-3 months!  

So far it has been great! We are very glad that we made the decision to move. We have never regretted on the move. It’s definitely a much better environment. The kids get to enjoy the facilities, the space, the quietness, etc. We are getting used to not having all the conveniences just downstairs, but it’s easy to adjust to, just a matter of time to getting used to. The house is still not perfect yet (doubt it ever would with young kids around), we are still trying to make small adjustments/improvements here and there, main thing is to have the home feel!

That’s the “story”. Finally. Here you have the complete answers for those who have been asking J

(p/s: no house-warming party will be arranged. But you are all welcome to drop by to visit us, or to let the kids play in the pool! Anytime, just give me a ring or send me a message J)
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First post from my new Galaxy Note!

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Just got my new phone last night. Installed an apps for blogger and using it now to test out. Hopefully with this new Note, I will be able to blog more often (short posts on the go). Let's see......

So far happy with this phone. Quite easy to use (not too difficult to adapt to for an ex-iPhone user). Photos taken seem to be of great quality, with default photo editor. So hopefully able to share more photos.

First up.

Hao Re's second attempt on his new jigsaw puzzles - a 150 pieces Disney cartoons. A very special and beautiful set. I love it very much!

He managed to build the circular frame in just 5 minutes (not able to do so yesterday). Then he went off to play with something else, I took over and built about 50% of it (not easy), then he wanted to take over and finish it off.

The next time he plays with this puzzles set, he should be more confident to complete it.

Photos taken with Galaxy Note :-)

He has a break in between, even went for his bath time, then changed to pyjamas, and continued on.

Ta-laa! Finished product. Very colourful with popular Disney characters!

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All about their new childcare centre

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If you have been following my blog for 2 years or more, you may recall how ugly my relationship with the first childcare Hao Re attended became, all because of a blog post that I wrote. They didn't like what I wrote and didn't accept what I wrote, about them. Ended up very badly.

So for the last childcare, I was very careful. I didn't mention the name of the childcare at all in this blog. And I have been blogging very minimally about this childcare. Only to the touch-and-go stage, never described anything in details about this childcare. Because of the bad experience with the first one.

Now they moved on to their 3rd childcare (2nd for Xi Yu). I told the principle about me being a blogger mum, and asked her if I can write blog posts about what happens in the childcare. She said they adopt a very open policy, they welcome all comments, good and bad, in any forms, be it e-mail, facebook, face to face, blogging. They would take all comments seriously. That's good. But after some consideration, I think I still do not want to say openly which childcare they are going to. But I hope to write something about the kids in the childcare, afterall, they spend 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, here. Certainly lots of things to note down.

Go back to the 2 posts I wrote about childcare search - post 1 and post 2, which in total, I have visited 8 childcare centres. I didn't mention here which childcare we have chosen, though I mentioned in my personal Facebook. It's the last childcare, childcare centre #8 that the kids are attending now.

They started attending this new school on the 3rd January 2012, when the school reopened after the New Year break. I couldn't take any leave to accompany them as I took urgent leave the week before to care for my dad who was hospitalised. Both cried pretty badly when we dropped them off at the childcare. I left work earlier so they were happy to see me when they were playing at the outdoor space. Teachers commented Hao Re took longer to settle down than Xi Yu on the first day :-)

The second day I got some surprise, for good. On the first day, I realised they only used 1 piece of diaper. On the second day, they didn't use any diaper! Meaning Xi Yu is officially diaperless for day time!! I told her teacher she had been toilet trained long ago by her nanny, but for the past few months when she was at her previous childcare, they didn't try to let her go diaperless, and I mentioned they could try a few weeks later when she is more settled. But they are very hard working, they tried on the second day and no accident or whatsoever. Everything is history!

Very impressed. Give them a big plus point because of this.

Then things only got better. The thing that I feared the most about this childcare, as I wrote in my previous post was the lack of outdoor activities. But apparently they have scheduled a morning and an evening outdoor play! Really great for this. I reached the childcare when they were having their outdoor play, children look happy, teachers look alert enough with the kids but no shouting and not too overly controlled of what they are doing. All good.

Based on the interaction with the teachers, they all sound good! Caring and patient, and work well with kids. The school seems to be pretty organised. With proper health check in the morning, enough manpower in the early morning and late evening. Confirmed no TV in the evening time. Nothing that sores my eyes so far.

Xi Yu didn't cry anymore on the 4th day, she just walked into the school after giving me a big hug and a kiss, and didn't look back. Her teacher commented she is very independent, she settled in very well, participates in the classroom and is very vocal, talks a lot in the class.

Hao Re, on the other hand, takes longer time to settle down. Only today, he didn't cry anymore. That's because his teacher promised to give him a chocolate biscuit if he didn't cry in the morning and I promised an ice-cream for the same. It worked! Let's see how it goes tomorrow. Other than the crying in the morning, her teachers commented that he is very reserved, he didn't talk much, he pays full attention during class but doesn't participate much. They also commented he has very good attention span. Think he needs more time to adjust himself. No hurry, boy, whenever you are ready. He seems to like his teacher, which is a very good thing. But I think he misses his old classmates dearly as until today he still mentioned about them.

So, yup, it's all good. The thing is also because I didn't sit in to observe. The lesser I see or know, the better it is, hehe. I will just have to trust their teachers and talk to the kids often to understand how they feel about the school, teachers and friends.

Hope everything goes well and they would start enjoy their school time soon!

The little communication book. Hao Re is in Nursery 2 while Xi Yu Nursery 1.

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MIcro mini kick scooters

At the age of 3-4, Hao Re is well aware of what a birthday is meant for - celebration at his childcare with a cake and goodies bags, and to receive birthday presents.

For the celebration at this childcare, he has been telling us what kind of a cake that he wanted since he just turned 3. Yes, for the entire year last year, he mentioned numerous time to me that he wanted to have a Superman cake. But at the end, we bought him a 2kg Batman cake from Bengawan Solo, it's his own choice when we brought him to the shop. He chose Batman over Superman, don't know why. For his goodies bags, he only told me he wanted me to prepare goodies bags for his friends, but never asked what should be put inside the goodies bags. It's a very simple but pretty nice celebration for Hao Re at his school. It's also his last day at school. His best mates gave him a big big hug before he left the school. I remembered to capture some photos for his memory sake.

For the birthday presents. It has been months since we (me and Hao Re) talked about what kind of presents he would want for his 4th birthday, and we agreed on a kick scooter. I have been procrastinated in buying one for him till his actual day of birthday on the 4th January. We have seen some scooters in the shopping centres, but I don't like the plasticsy feel of it. Until I saw this Micro Mini Kick Scooter from this website (Disclaimer: I do not know the business owner and I did not receive any reward from them in posting this. It's my own genuine love towards this scooter). I was so lucky that they have a pick up location near to my workplace! So I got off work earlier went to buy them each a scooter. I was so glad that I can keep to my promise.

Hao Re already mastered the skill on riding on a kick scooter within one hour. He can already zoom here and there in a very fast speed, even knew how to use the brake already! He enjoys the scooter very much,  he brought it everywhere he goes (not sure how long this would last). Totally worth it (it's not cheap though.......) to see him enjoying his scooter. His is a version meant for older kids, a Maxi Micro, for age 6 and above, but since it didn't really differ so much except it's a little bit heavier, I picked this one for him as it can last till he is 10 years old as it can withstand up to 50kg, and also his favourite colour - black, is available for this version only.

While for Xi Yu, yes, it's not her birthday, obviously, but we could foresee the fighting. Plus it is a good gadget for outdoor play. Plus until now we still haven't bought Xi Yu a bicycle. She was so happy to see her pink scooter! I almost pick the same Maxi Micro version as she weighs almost the same as Hao Re now (serious, less than 1kg different!), but because she is really still a very young kid, only 2+ year old, so I went for the Micro Mini, which is meant for age 2-5, and can withstand up to 30kg.

Hope they would have lots of fun with their scooters! Will definitely bring them to the various parks with their scooters in the coming weeks/months!

Trying out their scooters, a pink Micro Mini, and a black Maxi Micro

Very happy to see them enjoying their scooters!!

Site note:
I was hoping Hao Re would be able to cross the 17kg mark when he turned 4 year old. But no, he is still below 17kg, heaviest measured at 16.8kg, still hovering around 16.5kg now. He hasn't been eating well for the past month due to the moving. I haven't been cooking since early December, then my mum cooked for a few days at our old place, then can only start cooking in early January when our gas has finally been turend on at our new place (ya, all thank to me who forgot to arrange for the gas turn on). Hopefully he would start to eat right again (he has been eating a lot of junk food last month) and the weight would catch up. Xi Yu is less than 1kg lighter than Hao Re, she is alread 15.8kg!!!

Nonetheless, he is a very healthy boy! Only sick (high fever, viral infection) for 1 day for the entire year that he couldn't attend childcare. He had caught some bugs throughout the year that caused him to cough, having runny nose, high temperature etc, but he managed to recover very fast without medication. The most recent incident was on the 28th December. His suddenly developed a fever in the evening, temperature shot up to 40.1C! He drank lots of water, asked to go to bed earlier, and the fever was gone the next morning. Yes, at 40.1C we still didn't give him any fever medicine. Though I hesitated for a while and asked if he wanted to take medicine. Hao Re loved to take medicine, but he said no this time, so I just let him be. Turned out he made the right choice :-) I monitored him very closely though, checking on him the entire night every half hour or so. His high fever only broke off at about 5am.

More outdooor with the scooter means a healthier boy in the making!
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Happy birthday, my dearest!

It's Hao Re's 4th birthday on the 4th January 2011.

Happy birthday to you, my dearest Hao Re!

Since it's his birthday, I gonna spend sometime writing something about Hao Re.......

As many of my fellow mummies commented, and if you have been following our blog for a while, you would have figured that Hao Re belongs to those good boy category. Bringing him up for the last 4 year has been a very easy sailing one, with nothing much for us to worry about. Since newborn till now, he sleeps well, eats well, drinks well, develops well in all aspects, and stays very healthy all year long. He rarely cried or whined, not even during teething period (we didn't even notice when his wisdom teeth erupted). He eats literally everything, most if not all types of vegetables, meats, fruits, other food. He started to like junk food when we became very relax about his food intake about a year ago. He likes all sorts of activities, indoor and outdoor, action or quiet, from drawing, painting, puzzles, arts and crafts to singing, dancing, story telling, to swimming, playground, sandplay, he never fused about anything. Since the first day Xi Yu was born, Hao Re has been the greatest big brother to her, entertaining her, playing with her, protecting her and sharing things with her. Surely they fight at times, but he loves his Meimei, no doubt about that. He called her "Hao Re Gorgor's princess"!

He is a bright and smart kid. Love to learn new things and learn things at a very fast and steady pace. He is sensible, he is caring, he is loving. He is such a perfect kid, in my eyes, I love him to bits!

Until recently. Recently mean starting in early December.

First he refused going to childcare. Cried murder every morning when we dropped him at childcare. Nothing worked to stop him from crying. He used to take on reasoning very well, as long as we can come up with an explanation that he would accept, he would obediently follow what we said. But not this time. Even though during the car ride, I have talked and talked and told him that we needed to work so they need to go to childcare, he seemed okay but once I was about to leave, he clinged on to my leg and cried till my heart's broken. That went on for the entire month, till his last day of school at the previous childcare (pray hard he would stop that with this new childcare).

Second, he likes to beat people. A little violent. This could be due to the fact that he reads lots of superhero books, magazines and comics. I know it's not age appropriate, but he just loves them! I try  my  best to control, at least he hasn't watched any on the screen.

Third, which is the worst to me, he doesn't take to reasoning anymore! When he says A, we must get him or do A. No tolerance for A- or A+ or a or B or whatever. If he doesn't get the A, he would behave very badly. We couldn't figure out why this sudden change of him. Testing our limit? He didn't give us much problems during the most scariest Terrible Twos period but only now. This totally beats me. As I do not know now how to communicate with him. He is generally still a very happy boy. But when he doesn't get what he wants, he becomes the grumpiest, the most difficult boy to handle.

It could be the many changes he has to take and adapt?
It could be part of his growing up process, that he wants to be in control?
It could be that he is really testing us out?
It could be me (as I was very bad temper in the past month, so I lost patient on them)?
Or it's the combination of all the above and more?

No matter what could be the reason, I only wish for one thing. I wish that I could be more patient, that I stop the screaming and shouting, and stop throwing my temper on them, stop giving them the black face, stop sighing in front of them, stop threatening them - in short, stop all the negative things which I shouldn't have started doing :-( Feel like such a big failure! Thankfully my hubby always cool and calm. He is definitely a better parent than me, even though he doesn't read much on parenting, shame on myself! Not easy to stop myself from doing all the above. But I have to try harder, I have to think of ways of cooling down when I start to boil. Hopefully I can constantly remind myself and my hubby is always here to support me.

Hope we will give Hao Re the full support to go through this challenging period. I am hopeful that Hao Re will be a good boy soon and enjoy his childhood as much as he used to (and I enjoy his company).

I couldn't take leave to celebrate his birthday with him like what I did on his 3rd birthday, as I had taken 1 whole week of urgent leave last week because of my dad. Luckily I have already pre-celebrated his birthday at his previous childcare on the 23rd December, which was also served as their goodbye party.

We love you, Hao Re, you know that, right? Please continue to grow happily and healthily, and be the person you want to be!
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New year new beginning!!!

I am back to this blog sphere, finally!

We have stepped into year 2012. A new beginning to The Kam Family as we moved in to our new house since 23rd December 2011, new place new environment to get used to, new routine to be established.

It's been a crazy December. In the first week of December, I had gone for a business trip. Then it's all the packing to do. Initially I thought we haven't accumulated too much stuff, but then I realised I was wrong. Even though we are the sort who doesn't buy more than what we need, we don't stock up things, we don't usually keep things that we do not need, still, over the past 3 years, lots have been piled up. We ended up packing our stuff into 20 small boxes (for books, magazine and files), and some 40-50 big boxes! We were so run out of time that we didn't finish packing when the mover came. So after the mover moved out all the furniture and boxed up stuff, we still have to return to our house for 3 times to clear up the remaining stuff.

Then it's the unpacking. Moving from a 5-room HDB (with very big living room and kitchen) to a smaller condominium is quite a challenge. We don't want to waste any items, so we moved literally everything from our old to new place, from the smallest to the biggest piece of furniture. It took us a week to put everything into places, and we are still doing up small improvements here and there continuous for the coming weeks. We are not up for designer deco, but it's more of making a comfortable living space.

Oh ya, talking about this, in addition to the packing before the move, all the weekends in December were spent in painting and doing whatever necessarily to this new house. When we bought, it's in a livable condition, with minimum renovation done by the previous owner. We do not want to spend money doing renovation. We (or rather hubby) did everything ourselves, including painting a new coat of paint, dissembling the unwanted build-in furniture, and the cleaning up. That really tired the hubby up, but he insisted to do it ourselves, to build a new home for the kids, he said :-) It's really great to have a hubby who is good in all sort of DIY work, nothing he couldn't do, so far.

As if the packing, moving and unpacking was not enough for us to busy with, there were more things happened during December -

- a minor car accident which I blogged in the previous post;
- Xi Yu's falling sick for almost a week, brought her to Dr Keoy as it's dragged for more than 4 days;
- have a wedding dinner to attend on weekday in JB;
- prepared for Hao Re's early celebration at childcare, first time preparing goodies bag and ordered a Batman cake for him;
- my dad was admitted to the hospital for 5 days (from Christmas day till 30th December), meaning I have to take urgent leave for 4 days, can't imagine to piled up work when I return to work tomorrow, and what made it worse was that this week the kids didn't go to childcare;
- Hao Re had high fever >40C! Lucky he is a very strong and healthy boy, he recovered overnight without any medicine intervention!

It's been crazy month for us to be overly busy with all these. It especially hit me, as I have so much things to remember and to do, my mind was always occupied with something, I have less time to spend with the kids, no enough time to use for everything. I was very bad temper, which left a bad effect on the kids, sigh, would have to let them slowly get over this and start afresh.

Good thing is we are positive thinker, we are Buddhists, so we try our best to live at the very moment (活在当下), to know and to realise the cause and effect of each happening(因缘). We survived, pretty okay :-) As I said in my FB, a problem is not a problem if it can be resolved :-)

So yup.

New year new beginning!!!
We are settling down well. We love the new place. Though it's not as convenient as our old place (where a shopping centres and food courts were just literally downstairs), but the great environment and the condo amenities made up for it! The kids love the waterplay area! Hao Re loves that he can go cycle anytime!

Best thing for us - we moved the kids to their own room. Effortlessly! When they wake up in the middle of the night, I still have to wake up and go to their room to attend to them, but at least they are willing to sleep in their own room (a bunk bed that we got from IKEA). It's been 4 years! We finally got back our bed! Sleep very well every night as can hug my hubby to sleep :-) I thought I would not able to let go, but nope, not a problem at all, happy to see them sleep in their own room. Guess it's good for all four of us, happy happy!

Hao Re has been watching TV and playing iPhone quite excessively. That's because when we were busy with the DIY and when we visited the grandpa at the hospital, we can only rely on TV / iPhone to entertain him. We are having problems with him, he displays very bad behaviour and attitude. I guess it's not only the TV/iPhone, but also because of the move, the lack of time he got from us, the new environment, etc. We are using 300% of our patience to deal with him, but still have to scream/scold at time. Have to give him more time to adjust and adapt and whatever. Meanwhile, really really have to hold my cool.

Their sleeping routine is heavily disrupted as well. There were a few nights they went to bed passed 11pm (which I won't tolerate if not because of the move). Haven't brushed their teeth for many nights. No story telling / book reading for many nights. All these would have to be established once again.

Tomorrow is the start of our new routine - new childcare for them, new route for me travelling to and fro work. I am sure we would be able to establish a new routine that everyone is happy with.

We certainly look forward to a better and happier and healthier 2012!

Happy New Year, everyone!!!

(p/s: hope I can blog more from now on. So much to say about the kids. Hao Re's 4th birthday is just 2 days away)
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