Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Marriage with kids

10 years ago, the man and I made a dream wedding became a reality. On the 3rd year into our marriage we had our first born, on the 5th year our second born and this 10th year, our third born. In contrast to many long run marriages out there, we are shy of the many years mark ahead. But we celebrate and are thankful for milestones.

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We are thankful how these 10 years of being married have made big differences to our lives and the innate part of us. All for bringing out the better and worse in us. The hard truth about being married with kids is that we don't revert to the same life as, just the two of us. Travels and dates are never easy and convenient the moment you start buying diapers.

Being in a marriage with kids is one ultimate test of a marriage. There is a dynamic change from being lovers to parents, and there are various decisions we make as parents to agree and disagree on the kids' growing journey. The newly added and re-distribution of roles, the constant fatigue, the stretch in finances and the many challenges the kids sprinkle into a marriage. Never ending surprises.

You would have realised too, what was argued in the past is negligent among the arguments of today. You get wiser in sifting out what to rake and what to slide. You know that less arguments means more time for bonding. Some days, the connection becomes just like instructions instead of meaningful communication.

Like many say, a good marriage is the best gift to the kids. Stay cautious not to cultivate a burn out marriage. After all, marriage is a longer journey than parenting the kids. If need to, take a break from the kids to get the flame burning!

  • Don't stop taking pictures as a couple
  • Don't stop taking pictures of each other
  • Don't stop the little acts we do before kids came along
  • Don't keep whatsapp and messages to just kids' conversations
  • Groom a reliable babysitter
  • Meet those eyes when communicating
  • Greet each other when home 
  • Say "Sorry"

Moving from couplehood to parenthood isn't all too daunting. It has however showed me more clearly whom I've really married 10 years ago. I can never be more grateful to God for sending him to me. I remember very vividly, the thoughts that ran through my mind just a day before our wedding. I analysed if this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Not just as a couple, but also as the Dad of my future kids. He wasn't wealthy, romantic, a sweet talker or someone with special talents. And nope, we don't marry someone in hope that he will change for the better, because then, we will disappoint hard if he doesn't change.

I only knew he was reliable, responsible and extremely hardworking. Can't go too wrong from there, and so I said, "I do." You won't believe he keeps spreadsheets of our expenses like diaper and petrol!

There's no sure bet, but I scored it.

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With no regrets I married this man and with no regrets we have 3 lovely kids.

I often tell Jazz, love is beyond being superficial. It isn't like how Anna met Prince Hans in Frozen, and decide to get married that soon. No. And I tell Jare, God sends you a wife to love and respect. Dad is a fine example, but you'll probably need to be more romantic than him. Always pray earnestly and keep God in the center of your decisions.

To my bro who's tying the knot end of this month, love and cherish each other. Wedding is just a day, but marriage is a lifetime. That's the focus. Don't take too long to enjoy couplehood because my kids will love to have cousins!

To my man, Happy 10th anniversary. We've aged, but I think we are looking graceful and glorious with the achievements this far. Thankful for you!

Everyone else, keep calm and keep producing! Kids are joyful.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Children Furniture by Liliewoods

Js love to craft. Anything with Arts, they love it. It's been my longest thought ever to organise their craft materials for more accessibility, within their good reach. Not that the materials have been caved up, just that the paint, palette and brushes are more out of reach. Can be quite disastrous to leave them around, you know. Everything else is however, at their convenient call.

I do believe in sparking creativity by leaving pencils, colour pencils, crayons, papers etc. within their reach. Just so when the mood or feel swings in, they can doodle and create anything they like. Moreover, they are way beyond the age of doodling on forbidden objects.

While searching for ideas to sort out their craft materials, we came across Liliewoods. You do need to check them out if you've not seen or heard of them. It's always nice to support local businesses. Yes, home grown. Liliewoods furniture are designed in Singapore and built in an Indonesian factory.

They are designed for children and parents, with much thoughts and love.

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We set our eyes on the beautiful Mikelle Self-Help Trolley. A petite trolley that is of perfect height and size for toddlers. Everything they need to organise and reach for can get on there. What's best is that, it comes with movable wheels that can be locked and unlocked. Just so they can smoothly migrate their craft trolley to other parts of the house. Picasso gets inspirations from place to place too.

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The trolley comes in 3 colours, Tiffiny Blue, Coral and White. We knew white would suit the already much colourful kids' room. It is a perfect fit in there. Made with very fine wood, it uses responsibly sourced solid hardwood and eco-friendly low VOC finishing. It is very well-built with an excellent sturdiness.

You can arrange anything you want on this utility trolley, even dishing breakfast on it to the kids' room. Children's day is coming!

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Since we could fit more, we housed some books on it too. Or if you are looking for a sleek looking bookshelf, do check out their bookshelves that comes with adjustable height and a reversible writing board. They are really beautiful!

It is highly beneficial to keep books within the kids' reaching height. Placing a variety of books within their convenient reach does help get the habit of reading into them.

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Owning certain child-sized furniture is quite an essential. By giving the kids a designated space for organising, they will get more spurred up to tidy and clean up after each craft or play session. If your home furniture is of their built, you would have realized the ease of cultivating responsibility and independence. They know where to keep and retrieve their belongings. All on their own.

We realised some of the layout in their room were overly high, even with a stepping stool. The kids would often come bugging for help to reach a particular toy or piece of clothing. I know it gets better as they grow, but only goes to show our initial thought of buying furniture is its mileage. It is however, more important to think of their overall growth and development. Independence begins young, in a secured environment. And that is the way we set up home for good learning habits.

Are you having thoughts about re-arranging the kids room? Well, I am.

And yay! So Thankful that Liliewoods is offering an exclusive discount deal of 25% (Best deal this far) off all their products online! Yes, for all our readers here. Simply quote mumscalling upon checking out from their online store.

Happy shopping!

You may follow Liliewoods on Facebook and Instagram for updates and deals! 

Disclaimer: We were given a nice friendship price to purchase this trolley. All opinions and photos are soley ours.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Charlotte's Web by SRT [GIVEAWAY]

If your kids are fans of E.B White's books, author of Charlotte's Web, you will have to keep your heads up for this upcoming play by SRT, coming 28 October. Get entangled in the enchanting story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte.

It is a classic of children's literature that is about Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte's Web, high up in Zuckerman's barn. Charlotte's spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend.

To avoid Wilbur being sent to the butcher, Charlotte proves to be a true friend by coming to his rescue. Charlotte uses her web-spinning skills to weave messages that praise Wilbur, making him a celebrated pig treasured by the farmer and his family. This is a is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.

We own a series of E.B White books and we love it! We know this is definitely a timeless story to be enjoyed with the entire family!

Recommended for 4 year-olds and above. Book your tickets at sistic.

Charlotte's Web
28 Oct (Fri) to 11 Dec (Sun) 2016
Weekends and Public Holiday : 11am and 2pm
Weekdays: 10am
28 Oct 2016 (Fri) : 3pm

KC Arts Centre Home of Singapore Repertory Theatre
20 Merbau Road
Robertson Quay
Singapore 239035

Ticket Pricing
(Excludes Booking Fee)
Weekdays: S$28, S$25
Family Package of 4: S$95 for Cat 1 tickets
Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2): S$107 for Cat 1 tickets
Weekend and Public Holiday: S$48, S$38, S$35
Family Package of 4:
Cat 1 (with photo taking)*: $163
Cat 2 (no photo taking): $129
Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2):
Cat 1 (with photo taking)*: $175
Cat 2 (no photo taking): $141

*Ticket includes a photo taking session with the cast in costume.
(Applicable for Weekend show only.)

Here's a wonderful piece of friendship. We have got a family set of 4 tickets to giveaway to the 12 November (Sat), 11am show. To join this giveaway, simply:

1. Like Mum's calling on Facebook
2. Like SRT on Facebook
3. Tag 3 friends on this Facebook post, whom you think will be keen on this giveaway.

Giveaway ends on 10 October 2016, 2359hrs. Best of luck!

This giveaway has ended. Congrats Stelia L.! 

Terms and Conditions:
  • Winners will be picked by random.org
  • Winners will be announced on Facebook and this blog post
  • Winners will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn
  • Date and Time of show is firm
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified. 
  • All entries will be verified before the winners are 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

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Our Pokemon Quiz

What has the local scene been like in the recent weeks? People on the streets are with their noses in their phones. Playing Pokemon Go is ubiquitous. We are in too. Augmented reality game is likely the going forward of many games. Though Pokemon Go was never intended for very young children, we know how it attracts when the parents play.

I welcomed my kids on board to play WITH us, with parental guidance. Good playing habits start early. We warned of safety being the utmost concern, followed by playing with a sensible mind. In our sense, we don't do in-app purchases. Sorry, Niantic.

So yeap, we've been Pokemon-ing (not addictive-ly) and sharing our adventures with like minders. Over food and drinks one day, we came up with Pokemon riddles! Mostly kids invented, so it gotta be really easy. No bounty for getting all correct, but maybe some fun moments with kids.

Try it, without scrolling to answers.

1. Which Pokemon always wins?
2. Which Pokemon needs nebulizer? 
3. Which Pokemon is always scared?
4. Which Pokemon likes to eat onions?
5. Which Pokemon is a brave knight?
6. Which Pokemon likes to eat ikan billies?
7. Which Pokemon likes to do the dishes?
8. Which Pokemon can break free?
9. Which Pokemon sneezes alot?
10. Which Pokemon attracts?  

1. Machamp
2. Koffing
3. Fearow
4. Onix
5. Dragonite
6. Ekan
7. Oddish
8. Butterfree
9. Pikachu
10. Magnemite

How did you fare?
10/10 - Get back to work
7/10 - Moderate player
5/10 - Try hanging out at MBS
1/10 - Where have you been?

All in the good name of Fun. Happy mid-week, everyone! 

Ps: Special Thanks to Uncle Snorlax and kids for contributions.  

Monday, 26 September 2016

Roald Dahl books your child will love!

It would have have been Roald Dahl's 100th birthday this month. A familiar story writer if you grew up reading his books. 

In the eyes of many, Roald Dahl is one great storyteller since history. His stories have been fancifully imagined and ever captivating to the little readers out there. If your kids are between the ages of 6 to 12, his books are likely to work through the heart of theirs. It's a shame that not all his books made it into my childhood reading list. I am however, very much glad that Jazz is taking pleasure in reading almost of all his books.

Jazz may be an avid reader, but she is also one picky reader who selects her books with an interesting synopsis. Once she gets hold of a good read, she is likely to dive into it repeatedly. I find it amusing at how she can read and re-read a book more than once. I guess, good things are meant to be savoured over and over again.

In midst of her huge Roald Dahl collection, I asked her for 4 best titles that will delight any child in devouring from one page to another. Here's what she recommended:

We know right! This has got to top the list. 

Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. Mr Wonka devises a plan to hide 5 golden tickets beneath the wrappers of his famous chocolate bars. Charlie Bucket can't believe his luck when he finds the very last of Mr Willy Wonka's Golden Tickets inside his chocolate bar. He wins a magical tour around Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory and sees the most amazing creations. One by one, the other four children on the tour cause some major trouble and are carried  away. Charlie is the only child who doesn't cause trouble, and Willy Wonka tells him he won! What did he win? The whole chocolate factory. Mr Wonka wants someone to take over for him when he gets old. 

It's a very sweet and heart-warming book to devour.

After reading this book, you may want to hunt down its movie. There are two adaptions of it, we caught the 2005 released, directed by Tim Burton. A nice and heart-warming watch. So good, that we caught it more than once.

2. Matilda

Matilda Wormwood is only five years old, but she is an exceptional genius. Unfortunately her parents failed to notice that. During her toddlerhood, Matilda asks her Dad for a book and is pressured to watch television instead. She discovers the library and reads the classics, not simple children's books. She is however, chastised by her parents for her intelligence. Worse, her horrible headmistress Miss Trunchbull is a bully who makes life difficult for Matilda's teacher, Miss Honey, and her friends. But what Miss Trunchbull doesn't know is that Matilda has a trick or two up her sleeve, she has supernatural powers that can manipulate objects. Matilda uses this to her full advantage both with her parents and Miss Trunchbull. Just as her parents are caught in a cheating business scheme, and about to move, Matilda moves in with Miss Honey, where the two live happily and smartly together.

You will be very amazed at the wits Matilda possesses, as you read along. Matilda won the Children's Book Award shortly after it was published in 1988, and it has continued to delight audiences ever since.

Again, do hunt down its movie after reading. A lovely watch that our family enjoyed tremendously. Released in 1996 and driected by Danny DeVito. There's a musical on it too! We haven't got an opportunity to catch it.  

The Big Friendly Giant is unlike other giants. For a start, he doesn't like to eat people and it's not long before he becomes orphan Sophie's very best friend. He is one giant who captured dreams and kept them in bottles for children to enjoy while they were asleep. The dream-hunting giant takes orphan Sophie back to his cave in Giant Country, where he lives surrounded by nine other fearsome giants who spend every night guzzling down humans. Sophie learns that the giant is called the Big Friendly Giant (The BFG) because he does not eat humans. Sophie isn't able to go back to the orphanage because the BFG is afraid she'll tell others about the existence of giants and he'll be forced to live in a zoo. 

The two devise a plan to mix up a nightmare for the Queen of England so that they can stop the giants from ever eating another human being Or, as the giants call them, human beans. The BFG speaks in quite a turned-around way, but we always understand him. He tells Sophie, "Words...is oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life. So you must simply try to be patient and stop squibbling. As I am telling you before, I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiff-squiddled around."

The name, Sophie was inspired by Roald Dahl's granddaughter, Sophie Dahl. And as you can read, speaking in proper language is not BFG's forte. So if you are one fussy parent about reading perfect English, this may be a book you want to delay or avoid. Just in case, he begins speaking and writing like one. But it really is one great story

And yes, the movie adaption is in the cinemas! Oh wait, is it still showing?

The witches is an award-winning story by Roald Dahl about a boy, his grandmother and a hotel full of witches. It's not a fairy tale, but about real witches. 

This is a book about 'real witches', the ones that absolutely loathe children and are always plotting to get rid of them. The Grand High Witch of all the World has gathered together the witches of Inkland for an annual conference at the Hotel Magnificent in Bournemouth. Their agenda is the elimination of all the children in the country and the prospects for their young victims look bleak. But the Grand High Witch and her cronies have reckoned without the spark and ingenuity of a young guest at the hotel and his rather brilliant grandmother.

It does sound a tad creepy, but if my not so brave girl can handle, I'm sure it would delight any child. At least we know, Roald Dahl's stories are always with a beautiful end. "Read how the witches schemed to turn the children into mice, but failed" said Jazz.

Once your child gets onto these books, read on to these other titles by Roald Dahl. Highly recommended by Jazz too

Are any of these your child's favourite too

A good storybook helps encompass reading as part of a lifestyle, and a good book is any book your child likes. Reading is probably the best tutor for any child. 

If your child has not started on chapter books, read a chapter a day to your child nightly. It will send your child sweet into dreams. And of course, use that animated voice when reading the BFG. It will be fun!

Books are gifts that you can open again and again. Here's the dessert - We love that children read, we love that children visit the library and we want to advocate the love for reading. We don't have the riches of the World, but we would like to bless 2 little readers with the titles "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" and "The BFG" with our pocket money. Not from Jazz's collection, as she really treasures them.

To join the giveaway, we will be happy and appreciative that you:
1. Like Mum's calling on Facebook
2. Leave a comment on this Facebook post to tell us which title your child will like, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory OR The BFG

That's it! And of course, we wouldn't mind that you share this post with your friends, because reading is for everyone, and sharing is caring!

Giveaway ends on 10 October, 2359hrs. 

This giveaway has ended, Congrats Chong Swee S. and Jessie L!