Thursday, 24 May 2018

Third child guilt

Having 3 kids in the family never seemed like an equal distribution of time for each child. Some days, Mum guilt strikes when we get too busy with one or two, and totally neglects the less needy. In our family dynamics, having the youngest turned two last month, I've gradually realised the older kids consume most of my time coaching them in school work, driving them to and fro school, back and forth music and sports classes. Which naturally, I gravitated a guilt towards the third born, Juboy. Realistically, it is tough to treat the third born the same way we handled number one and two. 

Still in the stage of being constantly torn between the demands of a toddler and 2 older kids, where we have schoolwork to juggle among the milk making and stories telling. I try very much to make our morning time as meaningful and quality together while the older 2 are in school. But I've to be honest that I am taking it slow and some days procrastinate my schedule. That tender age of two years old gives me many easy excuses.

On playdate

While the older two had an early taste of preschool at this age, I am reluctant to start Juboy on any. I see it as my privilege to keep his cuddles close, and probably the only way to justify my stay as a home Mum.

The guilt is sometimes disturbing. I felt like I wasn't giving enough. I run my errands with him, I find easy excuse when he seeks for attention. Picking his siblings from school is an exciting excursion to him. I made it sound exciting that he can play his favourite songs in the car. His familiar grounds are places where his siblings do their music enrichment classes. And often my idle companion while waiting for them to end classes.

He runs the schedule I run.

While waiting for big sister's class to start

Some days, watching him nap in the car from the rear mirror sends my heart aching a little. Wouldn't it be better to sleep in the comfort of his bed? Where upon destination, I won't have to carry him up. For that, I am very thankful on days that I can get him to nap before school pick ups, just so it's easier for my Mum to take over.


On the go with Mama

I do not track his milestones diligently, because honestly, when it comes to the third child, we possess that 'take your time' attitude. There is no hurry to know more words, speak in full, know that ABCs or 123s. We learnt that paces are different. Or maybe he will get to know the violin sooner than anyone one of us!


Youngest violinist

Looking at his weight, I get even more guilt stricken. He is not a good eater when it comes to meals. Some meals don't give me the luxury of time to conjure him with patience. If he eats, he eats. If he doesn't, time is up and we have to move on to the next schedule. You can imagine my joy of victory for every mouthful of food he chews in. He loves chicken wings, but we can't have that everyday. We tried a variety of options, but he really is determined to challenge us with food.

I only hope we can do better on meals.

These, the guilt of having a third born. No doubt, Mum guilt is seasonal. Some period, it is towards the eldest or second born. The guilt never ends, and anything can turn into a reason to feel guilty.

Soothing out that guilt, being the third born is no less on love. It multiplies the love in our family, love does not divide. We get extra laughter, hugs and kisses! I am very hearten that Juboy gets lots of love from his siblings.

Having more than one child is a always a good thought. And when I'm in the state of bliss, I would entertain the thought of having a fourth. Just so we can tidy up the number from 5 to 6. Okay, not so much of that, just that I really love kids. Only that, raising one is lots of tough work.

In desperate times, gadget help me a little. Judge me not.

Nothing, but Elmo

Three is good, and I am thankful. Parenting is a short journey, guilt should not dominate our days. Instead, work out of it. I'm getting more diligent with Juboy during our weekday mornings. We make trips to the parks, get on play dates and do breakfast together. It gets that Mummy guilt off the chest a little. But some other days, he will just have to sit and play around while I get tasks sorted out. That is if he will be self satisfied playing alone. Mornings are short, but most times we get to accomplish some fun within.

Come to think about it, having Mum guilt is a spur of wanting to do better. It means we care and want it better for our kids. Just be careful not to let guilt consume and eat us alive!

Mum's guilt, what is yours?

Monday, 7 May 2018

Water Sport Events by AD Swim Clinic

AD Swim Clinic is a group of qualified instructors that coaches swimming from beginners to intermediate. It is also where older Js did their swimming, with coach Andy. We stopped not long after attaining certificates for swimming lessons to be exempted from school. It was a simple goal for us, to build water confidence and swim proficiently.

This upcoming holiday, AD Swim Clinic will be organising 2 watersport events. Perfectly suited to build family bond in conjunction with Mother's and Father's day.

1. Open Water Swimming
This event is one that helps train greater swim confidence in the open water. So yes, this is for proficient swimmers. It will be conducted safely by their team of coaches and apart from just swim, there will also be family team bonding moments through fun games.

Dads, we think this is great idea to surprise Mum with swim and games at the beach!

Date: 29 May (Tuesday)
Time: 8:30am to 12pm
Venue: Sentosa Tanjong Beach
Participation Fee: $40 per pax
Registration before 15th May (Amended)


Programme Outline: 




2. Dragonboating
What are the chances of being able to get onto a dragonboat to paddle with an oar? This is one water sport that does not largely depend on an individual effort, but the accumulated effort from each and every boater. It is definitely a great opportunity for kids and parents to build and discover team work through coordination. Non-swimmers are welcome too.

Dragonboating is suitable for children above the height of 1 meter. Parents are encouraged to join too!

Date: 15 June (Friday)
Time: 9am to 12pm
Venue: Singapore Dragon Boat Association
10 Stadium Lane
Singapore 397774
Participation Fee: $55 per pax
Registration before 25th May




Programme Outline:


Registration
To query or register for any of the above event, kindly message or whastapp Andy at: 
9270 0326

Discount Code
Mention 'Mum's calling' upon registration for a 5% off total fee.





Friday, 27 April 2018

Basic Massage Chair [Foot Massager GIVEAWAY]

Stiff muscles, backaches, injuries and stress can sometimes be worn away with a good massage. Getting frequent backaches is not uncommon for me. Aging together with an active toddler may have contributed much. Not forgetting some nights, we share the king size bed with our kids. Good sleep? A thing of the past. As much as I would like to advocate self love, I do not have the luxury to include massage in schedule. More likely only when I get on vacation.

Fate has changed a little with the basic massage chair, MC1000 from Take A seat. The man and I can now have the comfort of relaxing our overworked muscles at home! 15 minutes on it everyday rejuvenates us much. Some days, I can even do my massage and at the same time read Juboy a book on my lap.



First off, let's acknowledge the three main benefits of using a massage chair:

1. Pain relief
Massage triggers the release of endorphins, which diminishes the perception of pain. It can increase blood flow to sore, stiff joints and muscles, which are warmed by the extra circulation.

2. Improved circulation
Circulation from the massage movements help carry oxygen to our organs, improving vitality and energy. Regardless of your activity level, massage stimulates blood flow.

3. Relieves stress
A massage chair along with technology has closely emulated the effect of human touch to help relieve tension and improve mood. 

Don't you think they are some good enough reasons to help combat the daily hassle and bustle of daily stress?! Here's introducing the features of this Basic Massage Chair.



Features - MC1000 Basic Massage Chair
Compact
It is small and compact, suitable for homes or areas with space constraint. It has dimension of: 110cm (Depth) x 65cm (Width) x 100cm (Height). We had it parked in our bedroom for it being compact.

Long Massage track
A long massage track with a set of rollers that targets the neck to slightly below the butt cheeks. The headrest may be removed for a better feel at the neck area.

Massage techniques
Its massage techniques are kneading, tapping and air compression. While the programs are relax, vitality, kneading and tapping. Kneading and relax mode are less intense, while the tapping and vitality modes move intensely quicker. Similar to that of fast and soft punches by a hand.

The techniques are closely similar to Shiatsu Massage style. Like that of localised elbow pressure in a rhythmic sequence.

Inbuilt control panel 
All functions, as well as the neck height adjustment can be controlled with a single inbuilt control panel. Not having movable or portable controllers mean no risk or hassle of losing and searching misplaced controller.





Partial and Point Functions
These functions allow the rollers to be adjusted to a specific and stationary massage point which you would like to focus on. Along with the techniques knead and tap, these points can target an area simply by adjusting the rollers up or down. Point is targeted a small area, while partial works in a slightly wider range than point.

Air compression and heat therapy
Air compression is used for both thighs, at the side. When turned on, the air bag at the side will inflate and deflate for gentle massage. Activating the heat therapy isn't overly warm, but it did make me perspire a little without the air conditioner on. Heat massage works well for those with arthritis.

Adjustment
No one size chair fits all. The neck massage point can be manually adjusted up or down to suit users of different height. There are 5 levels for adjust.

Bluetooth speakers
What is relaxation without music?! The chair comes with a set of inbuilt speakers that allows you to link your favourite songs via bluetooth, to play over the speakers. The connection is seamless. Just be cautious to adjust the volume on your device to a low before connecting. The music can be rather loud when played over the speakers. Music therapy checked.

For the experience of aromatherapy, simply burn some essential oil to pair with.




Foldable foot rest
I am honestly glad that the massage chair didn't end with resting my legs 90 degrees down. The extendable footrest was much well thought for a complete massage experience. And of course, if you had like legs massage included, you may consider the other model, MC3000.

Movable wheels
When it's decided that the massage chair's stay has expired at a certain location. It can be easily relocated by moving on its 2 hind wheels. No fret or fear about floor scarring.

Price and Warranty
Most massage chairs in the market are overly priced. This basic massage chair which serves primarily the needs of back massage is decently priced at $599. It is highly affordable and a budget buy. Being a stay home Mum with little or no income, I find this a thoughtful gift for Mums! Another point to consider, overly expensive massage chairs may have a bulk of profit portioned into marketing and endorsement fees. Which is likely factored into pricing.

You would probably start thinking how far of a mileage would this basic chair go. We are at least assured that it is covered with 6 months warranty on its mechanism. Touching all woods, even if it breaks down after 6 months, the investment laid out can be evenly comforted that you have spent $100 per month on massage rental. 

And the more family members you share the chair with, the more mileage you get out of it! Here, the daughter enjoying her moment of massage after a tired day in school. 



Usage of MC1000
The usage is simple with only a control panel of functions on the right of the chair. A user guide, printed in English comes with the chair too.

Upon ON, your songs will be connected via Bluetooth (you only need to connect once and subsequent sessions will be automatically connected). Allow the rollers to move upwards to your neck area and adjust neck height upon the 'beep' sounds. After which you may select your massage mode.

Each massage session is 15 minutes before it comes to a slow and gradual stop. There is no option to set a longer massage program. Probably not intended for heavy usage. As mentioned in the user guide, do allow the machine to rest at least 30 minutes before next use.

The main ON/OFF switch of the chair is at the bottom of the chair. Though a little inconvenient to be reaching for it up and down, it isn't much out of the way if you space it with some good distance from the wall or whatever object behind the chair. I did try leaving the main switch on, but the power light on the control panel wouldn't stop flashing. I turned the main off for a piece of mind. It is recommended, but not necessary.

Here's a video I've put together on the massage chair:



This sleek looking massage chair is covered with synthetic leather and chemical fiber fabric. Available only in black. Easy match to any furniture in the intended space. It is available for trying in their showroom at the following timings:

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday: 9am to 1pm, 2pm to 5:30pm
Saturday: 9am to 1pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

Showroom: 
27 Mandai Estate,
Innovation Place Tower 2
#06-07 S(729931)


PROMOTION
Mother's Day is approaching, what more best to give our heroines other than a massage chair. This Mother's Day, Take A seat is giving away a FREE Foot Massager with every purchase of massage chair! Available in purple or gold, this is a great deal not to be missed. Foot Massager delivery will only take place after 06 May 18.




GIVEAWAY
Heap Thanks to Take A Seat, we have a FOOT MASSAGER (Choice of gold OR purple) for giveaway to ONE lucky winner. Tired feet need some good massage too! All you had need to do is:

1. Like Take A Seat on Facebook
2. Like Mum's calling on Facebook
3. Tag 3 friends whom you know will love this Foot Massager, in the comment section of this Facebook post.

All the best! Giveaway ends on 06 May, 2359hrs.


Terms and Conditions:

  • Winner will be picked by random.org
  • Winner will be announced on Facebook and this blog post
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified. 
  • All entries will be verified before the winner is announced 
  • To be fair to our sponsors, social media accounts set up purely to take part in contests will be deemed ineligible to win.
  • Giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed, administered or associated with Facebook or Instagram. 
  • Foot Massager has a 7 days warranty period. Should there be a problem with the product, winner will have to exchange at Take A seat's office.

Disclaimer: We received the Basic massage chair, MC1000 for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was given. All opinions and photos are solely ours. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Sesame Street Character Breakfast - Littlest turns TWO!

The littlest turns TWO! We brought him out for some celebration fun at USS, because he loves anything Sesame Street! He had a blast of his time with Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover and Oscar. We honestly were not expecting much fun for the older kids since it was for Juboy that we were trying to 'dream' again. 

Sesame Street Character breakfast is on every Saturday at USS. That made our celebration idea easy. Tickets can be bought on site at $50 per adult and $35 per child (4 to 12 years old). USS annual pass holders get a slight discount, adult at $45 and child at $32. Ticket is only for breakfast. Entrance to the park is not inclusive. 

If you have some special arrangement like wanting Elmo to present a birthday present (one that you have prepared) to your child, then yes, you may have to pre-arrange with the staff. If not, a simple celebration doesn't require any prior booking or arrangement. Upon arriving, just inform them that you have a child celebrating birthday.

We arrived at 8.45am, when the park was still closed. We had some great photo opportunity with no photobomb-mers. Breakfast venue is at the Loui's NY pizza parlour, next to the Spaghetti chase ride. Upon arriving the restaurant's entrance, Juboy was squealing with excitement. Sesame street character standees were placed outside to welcome guests. With that baby-ness in him, he waved 'hi' to them.

Before the park opens!

Character standees!

'Birthday cake' table!

Breakfast spread wasn't a big feast, but a fairly decent spread of western and Asian mix. It's buffet style. I guess because there were not many guests to prepare for. The buffet table was very beautifully embellished to sesame street theme. There were character cupcakes and toast to delight the kids! 

 
The treats!

Hotdogs, tomatoes, toasts etc.

Cute cuppies!

At about 45 minutes into our breakfast, Elmo and Cookie monster made their appearance! They moved from table to table for individual photo opportunities, after which they lingered around for more photo taking fun! That morning, there were only 4 families. We had ample time! The next pair who appeared about 15 minutes later were Grover and Oscar. 


Just the kids

Love how they got to his eye level

Anyone needs hug!

Love that stinky shoe Oscar has

Together with Elmo and Cookie monster, we sang Juboy a birthday song. Though he didn't seem to know what went on, he enjoyed our singing very much. A small rainbow cake was presented to our birthday boy. The staff were kind to give Jazz and Jare a slice each too. They really are in the line of making every child happy.

We spent much time taking pictures, and the staff were more than happy to take over your camera for these moments. 

After all the meet and greet, there was a mini game segment for the kids! A simple quiz session on Sesame Street. It was intended to be easy so all kids get to win a cute little Elmo plate. Even Juboy had one too! 

Quiz time!

Elmo plate as quiz prize!

The whole session ended at about 10.30am, which by that time, the park got very crowded! The older kids scooted off for the shortest rides they can find and Juboy caught the Elmo TV show with me. Breakfast with Sesame Street characters is one you have to do, only if your kids are fans of Sesame Street.  

So yeap, we had much fun over breakfast that morning. Most importantly, the birthday boy had really enjoyed his morning. Being a Mum of three, I hold this constant guilt towards the youngest. It felt like he has been short changed in many ways. While that will be another story to tell, I'm glad such moment alleviated that guilt a little. 

Happy 2nd Birthday our third born! 

 
Information accurate as at 24 Apr 2018.
Disclaimer: All posts tabbed under 'Good things must share' are not endorsed or sponsored. We went undercover to tell our tale because we enjoyed it!


Thursday, 5 April 2018

The daughter is Nine!

The daughter turned nine last weekend. We had a little celebration with her favourite friends at USS. This girl has a crazy thrill over roller coasters. We are so thankful for friends who made it happened with us!

Jazz is my constant reminder of Motherhood as well as this blog's anniversary, which was birthed with her. Days before her birthday, she wrote cards of gratitude to her family and friends. I was heartened. Instead of anticipating receive, she gave. A thankful heart is always the key to contentment.


Thanks Ang for the pic!

Thanks for the pic again, Ang!

The busy parenting days keep us all so occupied that days and years seem so close by. To be honest, I even made a blunder to think that she was turning ten. How could I?!

It is Nine! The final single digit before hopping onto double digits. In no time, she is going to talk like a tween. The pre-trouble age before I gave my parents most heartaches. I confess, there's so much fear in me. The fear of handling a tween, the fear of using wrong communication and discipline styles as her mindset evolve. I hear grouses of Mums who aren't able to communicate with their daughters as they grow older. There is a drift and tension that surfaced unexpectedly.

I told the daughter, it will not be easy ahead of us. I may agree and you disagree, you agree and I disagree. I often sum up my debate with the advantage of being a grown up and being a Mum who knows that my choices are always for the best of my children. That puts her mostly on the silent end for now.

The day after her birthday, we had a lengthy conversation next to her bed. I felt like I was summarizing my life story within that half hour. Oh well, Mums have a unique ability to impart wisdom in a way that no one else can. I had to seize the moment.

I took opportunity to remind the daughter that:

1. Academics is not stagnant and learning curve gets steeper. Brushing and hoping to get done with a fearful topic is avoidance. It will make a come back. Slay that fear gloriously by pouring in double portion of hardwork.

2. Free time does get lesser. Years of lullaby and milk drinking are long over. School load gets heavier, more activities get filled in and spare time to bum around gets significantly lesser. I can't emphasize this much further that we should always stay disciplined and manage time well. 

3. Knowledge is king. The only way to gain new and meaningful knowledge is through the many years of studies. We should not compromise that. A wise man and a fool, who is more convincing? 

4. While knowledge is IQ in progress, we should balance up with EQ. People revolves around us. Identify our feelings and others. Speak with respect, accept differences and consider options. 

5. There will always be a mixed of people around. Deal with the various types of character strategically. You don't have to make everyone happy.

 

6. I promise you, for every season of hardwork, there will be season of enjoyment. Grit on, because tough and busy days are not perpetual. Balance it well.  

7. There are no perfect friendships. Compatibility is already a great deal. Friends known since young are treasures to keep. 

8. As you grow older and wiser, things do get complicated. There is however no fear as we constantly mature to make sense with our thoughts.

9. Being the eldest is God appointed. It is a privilege to share knowledge and have little siblings model after the good of you.

10. Don't stop reading. The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you think.


Some day, I do hope my words will come to her rescue in troubling situations. After all, I am just trying to do Motherhood the right way with these invaluable points. Nine is a wonderful age to celebrate, still the little girl we love to cuddle daily. I pray that she will be richly blessed in the many birthdays to come.

"Happy 9th birthday, darling! Always your cheerleader!"