Happy 7th Birthday!

To my dearest Edison,

Baby

Seven years ago, I saw your face for the first time and I fell madly in love. I can’t begin to tell you how much joy you’ve brought to my life for past few years. Just being with you at every step of your growth is the happiest thing that has ever happened to me.

You’re a loving, understanding and good-natured boy. I’ve said that many times since you were born and that has not changed till now. In fact, you’ve grown into a sensible little boy with a heart of gold. You care so much for the people around you (especially me!), and have learnt at a very young age on how to speak the language of LOVE.

I honestly can’t believe that you’re already 7 years old. It didn’t seem like such a long time ago that you were sleeping soundly in my arms, with your blue romper and mittens on, and soft baby hair that smelled like sweet popcorn. Has it really been seven years?

This 7th year of your life has been a very beautiful one. You made your entrance into formal education, and that allows me to glimpse the beginning of a beautiful learning journey with you. From primary to secondary and tertiary, I want to be there to share all your challenges and celebrate all your success.

Trying

You’re intelligent. If something doesn’t come easy to you, don’t ever give up. Keep trying, again and again. It’s your efforts that matter, not the result. You did well in the first half of this year, and I’m so proud of you. But the second half of the year will be tougher – just a friendly reminder from your loving Mom. As always, I will always be there to help you.

Right now, at seven, you come to me with almost everything. When you face any difficulties in school, when you need help, when you feel loved, when you’re bored, you’ll come to me. I hope that you’ll continue to do so when you grow older. Please always remember that I’ll always be there to protect you and to guide you.

My goal has always been to be the best mother and the best teacher, you could have.  But I also learnt a lot from you than I could have possibly imagined.  You allow me to see the world from a different angle, and the positive feeling that with you, my life is good, purposeful and fulfilling!

Joy

I want you to be happy. So, seek joy. Every single day, do something that will make you happy. Be it big or small – watch your favourite show, play with a friend, eat your favourite snack, or simply try something new. I want you to spend a portion of each day smiling and laughing. Your happiness is my motivation!

Grateful

I love being your Mom. And I know you love ME being your mom too because you constantly show your love. You always run after me and give me kisses. You always hug me. And as always, I’m grateful for the special bond that you and I share. Thank you for loving me as much as I love you.

7th Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And have a smashing year ahead, my dear son. I love you, and will always do.

Love,

Mommy

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Family Time, Precious Time

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Spending family time together will build a sense of worth and instill positive family values

Before I start this post, let me ask you a question. What does family time mean to you? Just spend one minute to think about it now.

As a mom, I want to ensure that my family has moments to connect with each other. We’ve declared Sundays as our Family Day; we have fun and spend quality time together as a family. It builds a strong family foundation in our lives. That’s what family time means to me.

National Family Celebrations (formerly known as National Family Week) is an important annual national event to celebrate and reinforce the important of the family. First launched in 1985, this national event is championed by the Families for Life Council (FFL) with strong support from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

The Celebrations aims to remind Singaporean to put their families at top priority and spend time together to create shared family memories. This year, the event has been renamed as Families for Life Celebrations (FFLC’14) and will be held on 13 – 14 September 2014, with monthly picnics held from October 2014 to August 2015.

It will bring together activities and events organized by community and private organizations. Families can look forward to an array of exciting events and activities to spend quality time together. The theme for FFLC’14 is “Family Time, Precious Time”.

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Spending time with extended family is equally important too

Personally, I find that this is a very meaningful event. This generation of parents is well-educated and probably the richest in history, but some parents have grown to prioritize material gains and personal achievements over their families.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, every Sunday is our Family Day. There are lots of exciting activities that families can do in our sunny Singapore. And today, I’m going to share with you some of our favourite weekend activities.

Four Ideas to Spend Your Family Day

1. Head to the park and enjoy the sun

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There are many beautiful parks in Singapore that are meant to be enjoyed. Singapore Botanic Gardens, Gardens by the Bay, East Coast Park and Marina Barrage, just to name a few. Families can enjoy a picnic together, fly kites, enjoy the nature’s greeneries, ride a bike, etc. A leisurely day-out in the sun is really very enjoyable.

Far East Organization Children’s Garden, located at Gardens by the Bay, is a must-go if you have young children below the age of 12. There is a toddler play zone, rainforest tree houses and water play area that can guarantee endless fun for your kids.

2. Be a local tourist for one day

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Most of us prefer jetting off to another country for vacation. This coming Sept holiday, let’s do it differently. Explore what Singapore has to offer – I’m proud to say that we’ve got plenty!

If you’re a theme park lover, head to the Universal Studios Singapore or Adventure Cove Waterpark. If you’ve some budget, staycation is the perfect way to relax your body and soul, and reconnect with your family.

If you’re an animal lover, check out our River Safari. Or visit various animal farms around Lim Chu Kang and Pasir Ris Farmway. History buffs can visit our museums. Do you know that Singaporeans and PRs enjoy free admission to our National Museum?

3. Exercise together as a family

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For the physically active families, this one is suitable for you. Make exercise a family time! If you have school-aged children, try skating or cycling. If you have preschool-aged children, try to go for a brisk walk or leisurely stroll at the park.

There are some family sports that children and adults can have fun playing together, i.e. basketball, badminton, and golf. Golf is our favourite family sports; we enjoy practicing our golf swings at Punggol East Golf Driving Range ($6 for 90 balls).

Family that plays together, stay together. Remember! Playing together is an essential trait of happy, healthy families.

4. Splash in and get wild

Sunday

Kids love to get wet. Water play, sandcastle building, Frisbee or simply muck around on the sand – they are great family bonding activities! Siloso Beach and Port of Lost Wonder in Sentosa are some our favourite weekend hang-outs.

I’m sure this list isn’t exhaustive, there are much more activities that we can do with our families. Most importantly, we need to make time for our family.

Flower Divider

Now, I’ve good news for you! You can win great prizes from family tickets to local attractions such as Universal Studios Singapore, Adventure Cove Waterpark, iFly, to amazing packages such as Resorts World Sentosa staycation and more!

Sounds awesome? YES! All you have to do is to answer a simple question via SMS by this Sunday, 7 September 2014 to qualify for the lucky draw. It’s easy peasy, so don’t miss the chance. Find out more at http://bit.ly/1q6j3qx.

FFLC'14 EDM

Last but not least, I’d like to invite you to the Families for Life Celebrations at Singapore Sports Hub on 13 – 14 September 2014 from 3pm – 9:30pm. There will be an array of energetic and fun activities for families to spend precious time together. For details, please visit their Facebook Page.

So, let’s take a break from the wild race of life and enjoy some family time. Children grow up so fast before you realize it. Make your family time now!

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Starting Primary One: Term 3 Update

I can’t believe that Term 3 is coming to an end soon. “Time flies” is indeed an understatement in our times. Don’t you agree?

Much to my delight, Term 3 seems to be the shortest and easiest so far. Maybe we’ve accustomed to the primary school routine now. Sleep early, wake up early, learn, play and have fun. That’s how Term 3 turned out to be.

Prior to registering him in a boys’ school, I was most worried about school bullies. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Instead he talks about making new friends and sometimes losing them, the joys of recess, the funny things that his friends do or say, how his teachers make the boys stay back for recess if they misbehave, etc.

He talks when he’s in the mood to do so. Otherwise when I ask too much, he goes “Mama, I think there are enough of questions now.”

Even though there is no end-of-semester exam in Primary One, there are various assessments and tests starting from Term 2. Spelling test is a weekly affair. We struggled so badly with Chinese spelling test in Term 1, but I’m glad that he’s most improved in this area now.

Aug1

I pretty much leave it to him to practice on his own now. I will test him one day before the spelling test – just to make sure he didn’t miss it. I also pasted his test schedule on the wall so that I can check it regularly and do some revisions with him before any tests or assessments (if I know what are the topics to be tested).

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Semester 2 Test Schedule

Until now, his school didn’t release information about the highest or lowest grades in each subject, as well as each boy’s standing in his class. So, I’ve no idea how he’s faring in school. Judging from his scores which usually fall within the range of 70 to 80, I think he’s doing pretty okay.

Looking at his test questions, I really don’t expect him to get full marks. Some questions are really too challenging for his level. And it doesn’t matter to me whether he scores 90 or 60. The learning at this stage is still very basic. What’s more important to me is that he learns from his mistakes and gradually improves himself from there on.

As he grows up, he also needs to learn other important skills like managing his time efficiently during test, check his answers and make sure he doesn’t miss out any questions, etc. He will slowly pick-up these skills by himself after going through several tests at school.

Our major challenge, however, is still the Chinese Language. The fact that he’s studying in a SAP school, it’s even tougher as he’s learning the Higher Chinese. This term, he had his first Chinese Show & Tell. That was a HUGE challenge for a boy who rarely speaks in Chinese at home.

The script is 8 sentences long and the topic is about his school. I made him memorize one sentence each day, and he took 1.5 weeks to memorize the whole script. He came back with 29/36 for that Show & Tell, and I was completely amazed.

Since the beginning of the year, my decision has been made that I’m not going to send him for tuition classes after school. As much as possible, I want him to stay at home, rest, read at his own pace, more outdoor playtime, and have a carefree lower primary life.

But unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Thanks to all the distractions from TV and electronic games. We’re both at work, and my parents-in-law has been a little too lenient to him. So I finally succumbed to my tiger mom instincts and enrolled him for a Chinese tuition class after school on Wednesday.

I thought it’d be good to have a teacher to teach him Chinese after school, and expose him to more Mandarin-speaking environment. The class duration is 2 hours, and I ask my parents-in-law to send him there. I will pick-up him up when the lesson is over.

Aug3

He just started the Chinese tuition two weeks ago, and so far so good. He’s adapting well and no complaint. I’m glad to ‘outsource’ the Chinese Language to a qualified teacher as I’ve difficulty teaching him the language myself. At home, we play some Chinese word games and read Chinese story books to develop his interest in learning the language.

I encourage him to take up a sport and start learning it since young. I gave him a choice, and he chose golf. So, he started his golf lessons three months ago. One hour every Saturday, and he totally enjoys it.

Sunday

And Sunday will be all play day for him now.

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