Saturday, December 3, 2011

Qianhu Fish Farm

It's a lazy Saturday morning and we wanted something "easy" for an outing. So, off we went to the Qianhu Fish Farm. It's very accessible by public transport and weather proof. They offer a shuttle bus every half hourly to the farm. The bus schedule can be found here.

They even have their own lane at the berth.
The boys trying hard to balance on the railing.
Getting on the shuttle bus.
They were very happy with this bus as the door opens differently from the other buses they rode.
There were a few fish gallery where you can see all sorts of beautiful ornamental fish but today they were only interested in the Koi pond.
Because they love feeding the fishes.
Some old kiddy rides near the pond brighten their day too.
There's another pond where you can do some Long Kang fishing. K was very interested to "scoop water" but I didn't allow him. I need to think it over myself if this is right and how I can explain to him we shouldn't be doing it.   
There's a tortise pond there too but there's lots of mosquitos there! Y&K had some nasty bites.  
Y at the Fish Spa pond.
Rest your feet, grab a drink or snack while waiting for the shuttle bus.
All these photos were taken by Instagram. I'm so so hooked.   

Friday, December 2, 2011

Glittery Bottles

20111123_Glitter Bottles (6 of 7)
Y was in the middle of a meltdown when I carried him to my study room and while he was struggling, he hit the mouse and this page appeared on my screen.
glitter bottles
It was god sent.

Me: hey, look at this, let’s make a glitter bottle!
Y: Glitter bottle?

starts to wipe his tears and slowly calming down.

Y: Mummy… what’s a glitter bottle?
Me: Oh! Hrm… It’s a bottle… with glitter! Let’s get some glitter!

As I rummage through my craft shelf, ops…. no glitter. I think we have used it all up during our last messy painting session

Me: Oh… we have run out of glitter.
Y: I want glitter bottle.
Me: There’s no more glitter, let’s do other activities…
Y (starting to cry again): I WANT GLITTER BOTTLE!!!!


Me: Oh I know! It’s not going to be a glitter bottle, it’s a glittery bottle!
Y: I want a glittery bottle.

Great.. So I went round the house to look for something for our glittery bottle and thankfully he waited patiently. Here’s what I found. 

20111123_Glitter Bottles (1 of 7)

What You Need:
Glittery paper/ribbons cut into small pieces
Empty bottles (I used mineral water bottle)
Masking Tape/Duct Tape (to tape the bottle cap)

Just pour everything in and add water and oil. The water and oil ratio can vary. I find that 1/3 water and 2/3 oil is great. So you get the lava lamp effect. Don’t let your kids mix too much paint. The boys wanted so many colors and we just got ugly brown bottles. 
20111123_Glitter Bottles (3 of 7)
Luckily I remember I have some shimmering ribbons for the bottle. This add a nice effect to the bottle.
20111123_Glitter Bottles (4 of 7)
They can practice their pouring for fine motor skills too.
20111123_Glitter Bottles (5 of 7)
Y, exploring his glitter bottle. He wanted to make more but we don't have any more empty plastic bottle.

Friday, November 25, 2011

First Trip to the Post Office

We received a surprise present via mail from their friend one day. The boys were very excited to receive the present and the boys wanted to send a mail back. I got a coloring book and a stationery set for them to post. I thought it's a great opportunity to let them learn about Mails and Postman.
20111115_first trip to the post office (1 of 16)
Y drawing "something" for his friend.
20111115_first trip to the post office (2 of 16)
K said he drew a Singapore Flyer.
20111115_first trip to the post office (4 of 16)
K putting his gift and card into the envelope.
20111115_first trip to the post office (5 of 16)
Y too.
20111115_first trip to the post office (7 of 16)
Y jumped into his bed and told me he is ready for his nap after I said I will only bring him to the post office if he takes his nap. He had been skipping naps. 
20111115_first trip to the post office (9 of 16)
Boys with their $2 note and their parcels.
20111115_first trip to the post office (10 of 16)
In the queue to buy stamps.
20111115_first trip to the post office (11 of 16)
I just can't help laughing when I see the serious look on K's face.
20111115_first trip to the post office (14 of 16)
Y said to the lady at the counter very clearly, "I want to buy stamp!"
20111115_first trip to the post office (15 of 16)
K was hilarious. He was so nervous, he threw the parcel and the money on the table.
20111115_first trip to the post office (16 of 16) 
Boys with their parcels, getting ready to drop into the mailbox.
It was a happy day after posting the parcels to their friend. They had a better understanding of how to mail a letter or parcel.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Brotherhood, a Love Hate Relationship

While reading to K this evening without Y (he slept early as he skipped his nap) a book about families, K suddenly said "I don't like Y." I looked at him but he changed the topic quickly about his fears for Elmo. I didn't pursue further.

After our stories time and our goodnight hug and kiss, I told him,

"We are family. Y is your brother. Sometimes we fight....."

 Before I could even finish my sentence, he said,

"Sometimes you don't snatch the roller brush away when I'm playing with it."

I was very stunned with his response. I wasn't expecting this from a barely 3 years old. I realized he was still angry with his brother over the brush fighting incident earlier in the afternoon. I continued,

Me: "are you angry with Y for snatching your roller brush this afternoon?"
K: "Yes"
Me: "Will you forgive him"

He looked away.

Me: "Y was wrong to snatch your brush. He should have asked for your permission first. We all make mistakes, will you forgive him?"

He finally nodded his head and I tucked him in for bed.

I'm happy K was able to express his feelings to me but I feel I'm a bad mediator. I wonder how I'm going to handle such expressions of strong feelings in future. One second hatred and bites, the next moment love and hugs, a lot more to come.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Siblings fight all the time but my boys’ fights had been a worrying problem since 6 months old. When I confide in people about their fights, that I can’t take my eyes off them to prevent the bad fights, the response I get is always, “oh.. boys.. they fight all the time…”. Hmm... How about fights that are really aggressive and fights that draw blood?

I decided to take a picture of one of the many bite injuries, with the intention to show them when they grow up, to let them know this is how bad their fights were, since baby time. And if you think this bite is bad, it’s far from the worst bites in our family history. This photo was taken a day after the bite and as I tried to take it without him knowing, it was too dark to even show how the real thing looks like. There were many times when I almost feel faint and wonder if I should bring the kid to the doctor when I see the bite mark.
20111101_bite (1)
I‘ve tried many methods that the parenting book suggest, time outs, ignore the offender, very stern scolding, separating them, etc and they are still biting. As they grow older, the bites get more serious and I’m trying to find a way to stop it, effectively and immediately. I can’t let my other child be bitten again and again as a learning progress for his sibling.

I took a step back and tried to understand why Y bite. I began to suspect the recent biting episodes are due to Y’s jealousy of K’s potty training advancement. So, I tried, my very best to show more attention to Y, to see him in a better light, bring out the best in him and bringing him out for our individual time. The past 5 days had been bite free. I’m hoping it stays this way. I’m still trying to find an effective response to stop this biting. Caning is my last resort. I bought a cane one afternoon in a fit of anger after Y bite K again but I withheld the cane. My husband feels strongly about no caning. He was often caned when he was a child. We also feel that we should not use violence to counter a violent act. If we tell them we should not bite, neither should we hit. But I haven’t found the miracle response that will stop the biting if any of them bite again.

Anyone out there who had the same experience as us and found an effective way to stop this? Any advice is appreciated! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pegs Match Game

Completed these in 5 mins to get my twins up the high chair for lunch, all with available materials on my dining table. I just gave myself away. Now you can imagine the kind of junk and clutter I have on my dining table!

Things You Need:
  • Index Cards or any card stock
  • Wooden Clothes Pegs
  • 2 sets of stickers
Just paste 1 set of stickers on the card and the other set on the pegs. Tata!

Kept them occupied for a while and we had a cooperative meal.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Countering Bathtime Battle

Bathtime Battle is still a common problem in our household. I've exhaused my list of tactics to lure them into the bathroom. But I pride myself for being quick thinking Mom. My colorful newly bought washing sponge did the trick on this day.
"choose your battles wisely" is the best advice I've got from parenting books. This is one battle that's pointless to fight. I have a toilet wall that was left sparkling clean with 2 helpful toddlers scrubbing very hard. 2 clean and sweet smelling babies. And a happy Mummy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Painting with Homemade Paint

After the last messy painting session, a friend gave me a splendid idea of making my own paint. I have never thought of making my own paint. It sounds like a crazy idea for a twin mom. My hands and legs (literally) are kept busy countering their fights and meltdowns, “Where got time?” (in Singlish) But since I’m not willing to part with more money paint for another painting session, I kept that in mind but I didn’t expect to do it so soon.

Y crept up to my computer sneakily on this day and saw the pictures of the messy painting after I finished blogging. K was rummaging the shopping bag and dug out the squeeze bottles that I bought. They were a steal at S$0.40 each at Japan Home and I swept the whole shelf. Then they started harassing me to let them paint.

Of course I’m not willing to take out my brand new bottles of Crayola paint so I told them we are going to make our own. It’s so easy that I managed to whip something out when I have no idea at all how to start. I simply put some corn flour and water in a pot and put to boil on the stove. While waiting for the starch to cool, I got out my box of water color tubes and let them choose their own colors to put into the squeeze bottles. After that, pour the starch in and shake. Tata!
20111102_painting with corn starch (6)
Ok, I know this sounds like crap tutorial but since it was so impromptu, I didn’t know how much flour and water I used and with sticky hands, it was not possible to take pictures while doing it and making sure that my 2 toddlers won’t fight themselves to death or run round the house with the corn starch. I will do this again and next time, I’m gonna share with you a better tutorial.
Here’s Paint in Progress.
20111102_painting with corn starch (1)

20111102_painting with corn starch (7)

20111102_painting with corn starch (9)
Y was making tracks with the paint.
20111102_painting with corn starch (10)
K kept shouting "My car is stuck in the mud!!" while painting.

Endless Pretend Play

Toddlers are a joy to watch when they enter their pretend wonderland. On this morning, my dear Y picked out a pair of scissors from his play medical kit (thank god it's not any other scissors) and started pretending to be a hairdresser. They enjoy their monthly haircut and even have their favorite stylist. It's almost a treat when I announced we are going for a hair cut. I almost burst out laughing when I saw him holding a surgical knife toy as a comb. I must say he really looked quite professional with his cutting style!
He found a happy and willing victim customer
and he started working on the Vidal Sassoon inspired haircut
but his customer eventually got bored. Since he was not offered any magazines during his haircut, he probably didn't know he really should provide some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Magazine for his client.
Nevertheless, we still have a satisfied customer and they played on the whole morning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Open Ended Painting - The Messy Version

My boys love painting and I love to let them paint, with anything and everything. I prefer doing open ended art with them than craft work as I like how different the artwork turns out from them. And there’s no right and wrong or very obvious comparison as to who did a better job. I’m extremely sensitive since they are of the same age and jealousy issue can be a big problem. They are constantly subjected to comparison in school, from strangers, relatives and friends. Who is smarter? Who is more independent? Who eats more?

Anyway, back to the activity, on this day, I was adventurous enough to take out all my paint, possible tools that they can use to paint such as sponge, squeeze bottles, pipe cleaners, pom poms, etc and let them do whatever they want with it. I was feeling the pinch with the amount of paint (esp when it’s Crayola) they used at the end but I guess the freedom of expression that they get to experience should be worth it.

The boys enjoyed themselves but I had a major double meltdown towards the end as the paper gave way.

I still like the whole experience but I will only attempt this again until they (and I) forget how upset they were at the end. Until I find a thicker paper that can withstand their artistic strokes and also cheaper paint.
The boys totally engrossed in their play.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Paper + Glue + Beans = 45 mins of peace

We are not quite done with the terrible twos x2 phase though the boys are turning 3 years old in about 3 months time. I made a very brave decision to transit them to a big bed as they are outgrowing their baby cots and with the allergy cough that I suspect the bed to the culprit, we purchased 2 car beds for them. It had been a nightmare . It’s been 1 month and I’m happy to say that they are slowly adjusting to their new beds though they still ask for their old beds every now and then.

It’s mostly child led activities in the house these days since they have their old favorites like Marble Painting and Car Painting. It’s not an uncommon sight to see them with their cars and paint at 7am in the morning still in their PJs.

Back to the activity, on this day, Y suddenly ask for glue. “Glue?! What do you want to glue?” I asked. And all that came after that was whining “I want Glue! I want Glue!”. Ok, they want Glue and I’ve got to find them something to glue. In the kitchen I go and out came some beans and so here are my boys totally focused. I just love the serious work on their faces when they play. I like to observe how they different they play. Y make patterns with his glue before pasting the beans creating a masterpiece while K puts a dot for every bean, very systematic.

glue beans
glue beans2
glue beans3

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Are you happy with your life?

Recently, I have been thinking. Am I happy? My days are affected by the roller coaster emotions of 2 2 years old toddlers and I find myself unable to be affected by them, being the adult. I don't do any work that challenge my mind unless you regard tackling a pile of laundry and dirty toilets mind challenging.

I like being a mom, a stay at home mom who get to spend quality time with my children, knowing exactly their likes and dislikes, their temperament, shares their ups and downs and most importantly, grow with them. However, I'm someone who can't stay home. I have never spent so much time at home. I like being out. I like to meet people. I like to be financially independent. And that's the part that makes me unhappy. With my 2 highly sensitive boys, it's very hard to find someone who I can leave them with. My mom has offered great support, unfortunately, my 2 toddlers reject their grandmother badly. They are very demanding, they want someone who can respond to them, who can talk to them, read to them, sing to them but my mom just like to cook for them. And with a doting grandparent, they create havoc with no discipline. My mom probably counts up to hundreds with her 1.2.3 with nothing happening by the count of 3. My boys happily count with her while doing things that are totally unacceptable. So, I'm pretty stuck with them with no space of my own, especially on some days when I desperately need it. That makes me unhappy.

I'm trying hard to find that balance but I think that might take another year. I believe the time will come when my toddlers start to gain some sense, with better self control. For now, I'm taking baby steps to make me happier, to be a better mom. I'm trying to make arrangements that allows me to go for meditation class once a month and I'm hoping to sign up for a piano class at a nearby music school. All these are only possible with a supportive husband and mother. Now, all I need is supportive children.
Related Posts with Thumbnails