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 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 she grows older and wiser, things do get complicated. There is 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!"


Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Fostering to adoption: Mum with a big heart

Some time ago, my cousin invited us to do a Biblical, Parenting For Life course with The City Church. During part of the course, I met Joy and her family. Like her name spells, she's full of smiles and life! Her husband Daniel, is the pastor of The City Church.

I recalled first meeting them at a BBQ session with their church mates, and while I was engaged in a conversation, they approached from behind and I overheard them telling my husband they have 6 children. 4 biological and 2 adopted. I disengaged my conversation to curiously make a head turn. And Wow, they are one great and young looking couple! 

I'm usually passive when it comes to meeting new people, but there's this burning big question in me, "Adopt, why? How do they manage?" I found out only after we parted and texted Joy if she was alright to share her story on my blog. She agreed, Yay!

I posed her 10 questions for this interview, which are really worth a read. She really is an inspiration!


1. How many children do you have? What are their ages?
I have 6 children (15, 14, 13, 8, 6 and 2 years old)


2. You have 4 of your own children and you fostered another 4, of which 2 were never reunited with their biological parents. You adopted them. Was this one your family prepared for?
When we first embarked on this fostering journey, our hearts were really for children who were displaced to experience the warmth and security of a loving home and family. Adoption was not on our mind since we already have 4 children of our own. However, when the opportunity came for us to adopt our first foster child out of the foster care system, it was an easy yes. We count it a privilege to be able to give my foster child a forever home.


3. Why the decision to foster and adopt? 
I was pondering one day about my children. They were well fed and loved. They had more toys they could ever play with. They are confident, happy and secure because they are in a loving family. “Wouldn't it be great if we could share some love and warmth of our family with another child who needs it”, I thought to myself. And that kick-started our fostering journey.

I always had a desire to open an orphanage since I was a teenager. However, after I have my own children, I strongly believe that children grow up best with families. We truly believe that every child, good or bad, deserves to be in a loving home. If God is the Father of the fatherless, then to me, an orphanage will be an oxymoron as there should be no orphan in His kingdom. Ps 68:6 says He set the lonely in families the thus it was never His design for children to be in institutional homes.


4.  What did the older children think of this decision?

Our children were still young when we started fostering. I just said to them, “We are bringing a baby home to stay with us as the baby currently has no home to return to”. There was no protest, no crying. They received with the baby with open arms and I am very thankful for that.

Today, my children are champions and advocates of fostering and adoption. They are the voice in their schools to promote this cause. Many of their friends visited our home to see what is it like to be a foster family. They are always supportive whenever I bring a child home. They know that this is our family mission. To be the loving family for the child who needs us.



5.  What is/are the greatest challenge/s of having a big family of 6 children?
Our greatest challenge now is space. Even though we have a very spacious 5 bedroom HDB flat, accommodating 6 children, 2 parents and 2 domestic helpers makes the house small.

Domestic fights could happen over the usage of the common bathroom especially during the mornings of school days. Who gets to use the bathroom first and what do you do when one exceeds the allocated usage time?

Eating out as a family is reckoned to preparation for battle unless we go to a restaurant. It is difficult to secure seats for our entire family thus we seldom eat out. The truth is our children enjoy eating at home more than eating out as our helpers cook really tasty meals.



6. Has financial consideration ever impeded any of your family decision?
Financial consideration has never been a major consideration as we entered this journey knowing full well that we are to give into the lives of children. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Luke 6:38 NKJV 
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."

We cannot out-give God. It is not just financially. When we give our love, time, attention and etc, He multiplies them back to us in immeasurable ways 


7. What is the biggest sacrifice you have this far?
All my sacrifices are negligible compared to the pain and agony of these children who are displaced from their homes. My biggest sacrifice is having to deal with the fact that I cannot take all the children who need a family back into my home. 


8. Understand that MSF gives a monthly allowance for every fostered child. Does this subsidy terminate upon adoption?
The allowance for every fostered child stops upon the completion of adoption order.


9. How is fostering and adopting procedures like in Singapore? What are the costs involved?
The best way to find out about fostering and adoption is to log on to MSF website and contact one of the officers for more information.


 


10.  What advice do you have for families with a big heart and ability like yours?
For families who are keen to explore fostering, I would suggest for them to talk to current foster parents and hear their stories. Learn as much as possible. Here are some of the lessons I have learnt in our fostering journey. 

A.You are not the Savior of the World!
As much as we love to think that we are the best family for our foster child, we cannot downplay their desire to return to their biological family. The best family for our foster children is their own family even though they may seem to be a lesser good as compared to ours. The end goal of fostering is always to reunify the foster child to his/her biological family.

Know that we don't control the outcome of fostering but He does. Our role is to walk in obedience and love the child.

B. You will get hurt
Get ready to be hurt. Our love for the foster child will be rejected. Our best intentions misunderstood. The ideal of love being reciprocated may not exist in the context of fostering. We must learn to love beyond this hurt and pain. Our love for our foster children must be strong and fierce. Strong enough to take them through the trauma they have experienced. Fierce enough to let them know we still love them even in their worst behavior. 

C. There will always be fear and uncertainties
I have often been asked the question, “How will I know if I’m ready to become a foster parent?” The truth is, no amount of preparation and information you gather can prepare you for this life-changing journey. You are made ready in the journey.

The key is to open our hearts and be willing to face our fears. Do not let fear stop us but let it give us courage and strength to launch out to do what we truly believe – that every child deserves to be in a loving home and love can change even the hardest of hearts.


Source: MSF


Fostering may not be an easy decision. Just like the story of the boy and many starfishes on shore, he may not be able to send all starfishes back to sea, but sending one back makes a difference in that one life. Fostering crossed my mind, it may not be now, but something I'm keeping in view of. Perhaps, when we are out of the chaotic parenting zone. 

After some read on fostering, I love my children doubly much and gazed at them unusually long today. They are blessed, so are we!

Have a great Easter weekend ahead!