Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Freak Accident? Checked!

Remember when you were schooling and there is always this one or two classmates (usually boys) who are extremely naughty and showing disrespectful attitude towards the teachers, causing disturbance in class, always up to some kind of mischief?  I have a few of these classmates during my time and never in my dream that my own child will be just like them.

He walks around the classroom during lesson to chit chat with classmates regardless of whether he finished the work given to him or not.  He climbed up the window grill just coz "its's fun", during classroom discussion he challenges the teachers with questions; sometimes intelligent other times just rubbish, slams door, slams window, pushed the chair with more than needed force and the list goes on.

Yesterday afternoon I received a call from the school, the very stressed and vexed Chinese teacher told me that DinoBoy "had cut his finger and its bleeding non-stop... I told him not to slam the window too hard but he did not listen, and the window pane broke.  He used his hand to grabbed the broken window pane.  I think he was afraid that it slides down (from 3rd floor) to the 1st floor.  I managed to removed the window pane... but his finger is still bleeding, deep cut and can see a flap of skin... you better come and bring him home to see doc, I'm afraid that the wound may need stitches..."

After that few minutes of listening to her, my first question to her "Was anyone else hurt or injured?" and next I said "I will go to the school now." in a calm voice.  Some of you may think how in the world I can keep my cool instead of firing questions at the teacher about DinoBoy, how can not even ask if my son is ok or not.  Well, frankly I foresee such freak accident will happen sooner or later so in a way I was waiting for THIS phone call.  Plus, besides the broken window pane and a very flustered teacher, every one and every thing else are safe.

I took urgent time off from my boss; who as usual granted my request without much quesions and about 30mins later, I reached the school's General Office.  I saw him sitting in the waiting room and the first words that I said to him is "Serves you right!". Yes, I am THAT kind of Mum.  I had nagged and scolded him about things that he should not do but it all fell to deaf ears, this is the kind of thing he deserves which will definitely made him learn his lesson and never to do it again.  I have no sympathy for foolish acts, not even to my own flesh and blood.  

As if facing the music from his Chinese teacher and myself is not enough, the school's Principal came out of his office to check what was the commotion about (we weren't exactly soft when we were talking some sense into DinoBoy).  I made him tell the Principal the whole incident.  I have to say, his Principal is cool and calm just like his appearance, he spoke in a soft tone telling him the right way to deal with the faulty window latch etc etc.  With his intervention, he cut short the torment DinoBoy has to face from the 2 of us and we left the General Office.

You would have thought we will be hastening our steps to the nearby clinic, NO~WAY~ we took a turn and headed off to the Student Care Centre because he did not report to the centre and no one knows his whereabouts.  Again, I made him tell his student care form teacher the whole incident and he received an earful from her.

An hour plus later, we were sitting with the doctor and this is the first time I am seeing the wound.  It IS a deep clean cut, no flapping skin and the blood started to flow almost immediately when the bandage was removed.  For some one who did not flinch or cry (according to his Chinese teacher) when the teachers were dressing his wound earlier, DinoBoy was squealing "Ouch! Ouch!" and wriggling in the seat when the doctor was trying to stop the bleeding and clean the wound.  He covered his eyes because he didn't want to look at his bleeding finger.  After a well deserved 10mins of agony the wound was glued up with skin glue. I would have wanted him to go through the stitching process, ah well.... 

All through the couple of hours, he did not utter a word of complain nor given me any excuse for his action.  He only apologized for it, he said a remorseful "Sorry" to his Principal and Chinese teacher.  He accepted the stern reasoning and advise by his student care teacher and he apologise many times to me for causing so much trouble for me.  I made him apologise to himself for causing harm to his body with his mindless action.

This morning, after the initial swelling subsided, the wound looks raw and gross but according to DinoBoy its not as painful as yesterday.  Thanks to the lavender Young Living essential oil which I applied around the wound that aids in bringing down the swell.  With the glue on the wound, it should heal well in a week or so.  In the mean time he will be going around with his right middle finger straighten most of the time coz he can't move them as freely as the other fingers till the wound is less painful.

So, has he learnt his lesson? Well, in is own words "Yes! I don't want my fingers to all get cut like this!"  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Farewell Mr Lee Kuan Yew

It has been a sad 7 days for most of us in Singapore as we mourn the death of our great leader Mr Lee Kuan Yew.  I cried many times while reading and watching tributes to him on the web and tv.

Love him or hate him, we cannot deny that Mr Lee had brought our country to where we are now.  Of course he also have a group of very capable people to helped him with this; seriously which leaders do not have a good support team, but without his great leadership and determination things would probably turned out less favourable to us.  Sure, some of the things he did was not right; politically or humanely but I admire his courage to admit these mistakes and take responsibility for it.  And with the tributes being aired, we should also know that there are still some "sensitive" political issues that was not shown.

Throughout the week, tongues were held for as long as possible, even if there were disgruntled comments or views it was kept private and only discussed among friends. Then things starting to change, with the major part of the initial pain of loss slowly subsiding, people started to think of ways to honour Mr Lee.  Such things caused unhappiness and unrest among us, caused us to take sides (even if you choose not to join you are seen as taking side, the ignorant or boh chap side).  Feeling irritated; partly coz I was unable to write any blog post as we joined the rest in the 7 days National Mourning period, I wrote this on my Notes in facebook.

On Tuesday 24th March 2015, I managed to write my condolences card at Istana.  It was not because Istana was along the way to my office, it was not because there were no snaking queue and only less than 10 people writing on the long white table, it was because I just have to do it.  I took a glance at the condolence cards displayed, the flowers and cards/poem others left there, I didn't dare to linger because I know my tears will flow uncontrollably.

Later that week I decided to join the many Singaporeans who queued up at the Padang to pay their last respect to Mr Lee.  I didn't want to bring DinoBoy along because he has school performance rehearsal and I don't want him to go through the long hours of waiting as he had school performance the next day.  I must thanks Mabel for accompanying me, we initially wanted to go on Friday night coz there will be no scorching Sun but when we read online that it is an easy 8 - 10hours of queue in the line before we can set foot into the Parliament House.  We made a last minute change of plan; thanks to my wonderful bosses who approved my last minute extra half day leave application via SMS, and we were at City Hall at around 9am, took a long winding walk towards Padang and was in the queue around 9.20am.  

What makes me feel the need to pay my last respect to this great man?  Well, first of all I have the opportunity to see and experienced the changes he made to our lives.  It may not be as great impact as it was for the earlier generations but they were significant changes, one of the World Top Airport & World Cleanest City, World Busiest Port, World Greenery City etc.

Secondly, I remembered during earlier days' General Elections, I will be sitting in front of the tv with my father, listening to the speeches and rallies going on.  I've also stayed up late till wee hours to wait for the announcement of the wining party.  Young as I may have been at that time and probably did not understand half the thing he said back then but I was captivated by Mr Lee's speeches.  They were delivered in such a strong and forceful tone, assuring me that I CAN believe in him to make Singapore a better place.  His eyes bored into me from the tv screen, that makes me WANT TO believe him that he WILL make Singapore a better country.  He speaks genuinely from his heart and he delivered what he had promised.  Try to find some videos on his speeches and listen to it yourself and you probably will understand what I meant.

So after 4 hours of sitting, standing, strolling in the queue, I made it to Parliament House.  It was exceptionally quiet after we cleared the security check point.  I guess every one was caught up with the emotions which they have left behind hours before and it came back to them when they realized that in minutes we will be in the presence of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.  Our gratitude, sadness, sense of lost all came tumbling back to us and we have to gather our thoughts to handle these emotions.

The area was silent except for the soothing voice of this lady singing a sad "Home" (sorry I do not know who is she because I was not paying attention to her).  Shuffling of feet, soft sobbing & sniffling, occasion words from the guards to ask us to move along the line quickly.  Within minutes we were out of the Parliament House, I was glad that I was able to give a full bow in front of him and said a quick silent prayer for him too.  

On Sunday 29 March 2015, he left the Parliament House for the last time and his cortège made it's 15.4km route, passing pass significant landmarks, such as Old Parliament House, City Hall, the Padang, NTUC Centre and Singapore Conference Hall; as well as heartland areas, to the University Cultural Centre (UCC), National University of Singapore for the State Funeral.

The day was solemn and dark clouds loomed over our heads.  When the ceremony started and the Coffin Bearers moved Mr Lee's coffin from Parliament House to the Ceremonial Gun Carriage, it rained and it poured.  Black or White?  I did not see any, I only see Red, White, Crescent and Five Stars.  Farewell Mr Lee, Sir, you have taught us well and yes, you have always showed us that we should put aside our different views and opinions to fight for a common goal.  We thank you for that!

Photo Credit - Channel NewsAsia Singapore

This morning a friend posted a status on her facebook, it has nothing to do with our country's loss but I thought part of her words were befitting for us;
"Sometimes change is very, very painful. But in order to come out of the cocoon and spread your wings into a beautiful butterfly you must go through the pain."
Let's all dry our tears and brace ourselves to face the new challenges that we will have down the roads.  I know we, Singaporeans can do it!

PS : To learn more about our founding father of modern Singapore Mr Lee Kuan Yew's legacy, you can visit Remembering Lee Kuan Yew or google about him.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Appreciating & Embracing Motherhood

This post is part of a blog train which was initiated months before, you are reading a scheduled post prepared a few days ago.  We have joined the nation in mourning from Mar 23 to Mar 29 2015 for the lost of our beloved founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew.  During this period we will not be sharing any post on our social media platforms.

Before the school closed for the March school break, I received letters from school informing me about;

1. the new supplementary classes time schedule for all subjects
2. the dates for CA2, SA1 and SA2
3. the topics that will be tested during CAs, SA1 and SA2

That just about sums up what its going to happen fm now till end of school year, which is for the next 8-9 months.  So what did I do?  *heaves a big sigh* Well... a Mum gotta do what a Mum gotta do.  I threw the letters on the table and said to myself "These can wait!  Tomorrow is the start of the school holiday, we are going to have some fun!"  Woohoo!

You probably said "Ah!  This crazy Mama! How can she just ignore all these important stuffs and concentrate on play play play!??!!" *Ahem* There are more to chasing these academic trails and trying to catch grasp its tail(s) so that we are not left behind.

I was not this relax and care less when the Mum Crown was thrown unto me some 9 years ago.  I read extensively on raising babies, about baby food, milestones, and the whole 9 yards.  I started to worry when he fell short against the milestone chart; imagine not speaking even single proper words at the age of 17 months, or even his teeth are not sprouting when friends with babies of almost the same age as my son have teeth coming out like flowers blooming during spring time!  You get what I am trying to say?  So, yes I am throwing aside things that are not really important at that moment and concentrate on spending quality time with my boy NOW.

Aye!  Those were the daze days, stressful days I tell you.  Looking back, it got me thinking...  How was MY Motherhood Journey?  How did I Embrace it?  *cue crow flying across my head... and the goldfish memory kicks in*  Yupe I almost do not have an answer to that... Frankly, DinoPapa remembers MORE on the things I did with DinoBoy because he has a memory of an elephant (HAHA!), but one thing is for sure, Motherhood journey is never an easy one, it has it's Ups and Downs but it was never boring.  Sure, there were times where things got tough and difficult for me to get through, those episodes brought me down to my knees but it will never break me, I ranted, I cried then I brushed the dust off myself, got up and continue my journey.

After scouring this blog for clues and going through the million photographs in my laptop, I managed to refresh my memory.  OKAY OKAY, Just kidding!!!  Seriously now, Motherhood means more than nurturing, educating and providing (both food and clothes) necessities to my son.  It means being there with and for him, creating lasting memories with the things we do together.  It means appreciating him as he is while trying to mould him and instill some values into him so that he can be a better person in future.

And now, I let you peep at the 8 things (there are more, I will probably have to do 2 blog post on this topic if I were to list all down) I did with DinoBoy these pass years.

Sleepless Nights - NOT!
They say taking care of a newborn is tough, you get interrupted sleep or not enough sleep as you have to wake up every few hours to feed the baby.  Well, I am blessed, in a way, I can't breastfeed the boy so I have to put him on formula milk, therefore no waking up every few hours to a hungry baby, he slept till the morning.  He got his full 12hours or more sleep and I had my 8 hours of beauty sleep.   How is that possible you asked?  The Baby Whisperer method helps plus I secretly think that my son loves to sleep and needs ample sleep to function well the next day.

"Non Stop Commercial Free!"
No, this is not a tagline of Starhub Cable TV ads, this is about a certain 9 year old boy.  This only child in the family wants your attention 24/7, shoot you questions every 30secs about every thing and anything under the Stars the Moon and the Sun, oh plus every thing that is in the outer space and beyond.  And I was worried sick when he wasn't talking much at 18 months, could I have that quieter boy back please?

Let's not forget about the "Why?", the "How?" the "Do you know" the Mum, can I ask you a question" moments... Eh, I'm not a walking encyclopedia nor a dictionary or Google!  There were moments after he asked me a question he will say "Oh!  Sorry Mum, I forgot you did not study Science, I'll go and ask Dad."  Wait. wait wait!! I KNOW the answer to THAT question!  Ggrrrr!!! Too late, he has already ran off to find Dad.  Maybe he should have a Nanny A.I. to save this Mama such "embarrassing" moments.

Mummy!  You are so FUNNY!
Yupe, acting funny and silly or even make up funny songs on the spot to amuse the boy.  After that both of us will laugh out real loud and those near us will be staring at us wondering what's wrong with this pair of mother & son.  I have also added in some funny dance moves to the songs too but these are only reserve for the family to see or when I am 100% sure no one will be watching me while I dance because I'm not that comfortable with people staring at me with my gawky, crazy, funny dance moves.

And we love to take funny face selfies too
Games - Indoor, Outdoors & Ad-hoc
We play a lot too, in a post I shared on the blog on September 2014; Play with me Mum and Dad!, I was an outdoor person, but never some one who exercise or do things that strain my muscles and tires myself out.  I did it because I wanted the boy to experience the joy of being out door instead of being cooped up at home facing the wall, the tv, the electronic screens.  

Monster Mum
In the public, with million of eyes staring at us, at me, while I was scolding the then 2-3 years old crying/sobbing DinoBoy and punished him to stand against the wall or at a corner as he had misbehaved.  I am sure I got stabbed million of times by those dagger stares but I stood my ground.  9 years on, I emerged the winner because I have a boy who knows I expects his best behaviour at certain occasions without being told and he knows when he is allowed to run free like a wild horse (with me watching him like a hawk of course).

I never knew the real meaning of  being driven up the wall till I have this little boy who many a times did things that makes me not only want to explode but also scream out loud at the top of my lungs in frustrations.  Imagine Aslan, the lion in The Chornicles of Narnia, roaring loudly at the enemy, well that's exactly how I felt during those times.

Voices can do wonders!
Initially I started like any parent would do, shouted at DinoBoy to "Don't touch!" "Come back here right NAO!!" "Don't run!" till I got so tired of hearing myself shouting & raising my voice.  Then I found out the trick, no yelling no shouting no raising of voice, all I need is warning + low deep tone in my voice that usually means "No nonsense from you" to DinoBoy, plus I don't even need to say much, just a simple "No" "Stop" "Cannot".  And Liza once told me that my No Nonsense voice scared the hell out of her too hahaha~

We love to go shopping and always wonders away from each other, looking at our own stuffs.  How to find each other when I have a phone and he does not?  It's too expensive to buy a set of walkie-takie that will only be used occasionally.  Do a mad dash up and down the aisles to try to find each other?  Nah~ that's too tiring!  So we came up with a solution, we will always keep our ears "open" the minute we stepped into the shop, be alert and ready to hear our secret code.  After that I will stay put while DinoBoy will try to follow my voice to my location .  Works wonder!  No more cat & mouse chase in the shop, no more shouting "Mum! Mum! Where are you!" and making a dozen mums turn their head around in respond.

Kiddish accessorized
When DinoBoy was younger I got away with carrying diaper bags in loud & vibrant colors that you will never see in my bags collection.  We've had backpacks & water bottles of cartoon characters such as Spiderman, Batman, Thomas the Train, Elmo, Angry Birds etc, you name it, we probably had them before.  Now for a short trip to the nearby mall I'll just grab DinoBoy's weekend backpack with the Donatello Lego key chain & the cute Tweety crochet owl that I made, throw in my wallet and off I go.  I carry it like its a very expensive LV bag but truth is I probably look comical with a backpack that looks a tad too small for me on my back, but who cares!

"The Harshest Punishments, The Best Rewards"
Since he was a toddler, we expect the best out of him, we make sure he knows basic values such as Respect, Politeness, Responsibility, Obedience, Good Manners, Friendliness, Selflessness, Sharing, Honesty (I may have missed out a few), we demand him to be at his best on occasions.  This means that I have to discipline him; or my sis said "micro managing", every other minute.  We were harsh on him at times, we don't like it but we know we have to do it.  Very Old School thinking and teaching I know, perhaps there are other ways or method to do it but with this Mama does not have Patience as a virtue when it comes to dealing with the boy who is intelligent, quick witted, strong headed, bad tempered.

The boy once wrote in his school Journal and told a friend that "My mum gives me the harshest punishment when I misbehaved but he best rewards when I am good."  He did not said it in a resentment tone but rather in a as-a-matter-of-fact tone.  It's like he knows this is the way it is and will be, nothing unfair about it or enough for him to complain about it.  I may be judged again on this but its ok, I know I have raised my son well using this method.

He may still lack in some areas but at the minimum he shows respect, gratitude, appreciation & righteousness.  He's ever so ready to tell the food court ah gong ah ma "Thank You!" when they clear bowls and plates after we are done eating, this made them very happy, some even commented "so guai (good boy)".  Just the other day, we were collecting tickets at the Golden Village ticketing counter, this auntie behind the counter was wearing a surgical mask and speak with a hoarse voice, apparently nursing a bad throat infection, before we leave he told her loudly "Hope you get well real soon!" I am sure he made that auntie feel great for the rest of the day.

I know you are dying to know what harsh punishments we dished out to him.  Besides  blowing my top at him, ignoring him for the rest of the day, the ultimate one is... No screen time lor!  That's his "death sentence" arh! This is because he only gets to play with ipad, smartpones, laptop and watch tv on weekends; technically on Sunday since we are out most of the time on Saturdays, so he treasures the time when he can lay his hands on these gadgets.

And the best rewards?  Well, anything he fancy and most of the time its a book he wanted or a trip to his favourite restaurant.

9 years on and I am still learning, tough job I tell you.  Now that he is in Primary 3, I can relax a little bit and in a few years time I will have to learn how to tackle him when he enters into tween or teen stage.  Given the stubborn genes in him, I foresee that we will be at loggerheads most of the time, I will TRY to change my attitude so that I won't lose him in the midst of all those disagreements, afterall he is my one and only precious gem, my Priceless Son.

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This is part of a blog train hosted by Dominique from Dominique's Desk. Join us as we share our thoughts on Embracing Motherhood.

Next up on the blog train is Danessa from Prayerfull Mum.  Danessa was a school teacher for more than 6 years. When her husband received a scholarship to study his Masters in Georgia Institute of Technology, she started to embrace the new season in her life as a Stay-at-Home Mum when they moved to the United States of America in 2012.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Singapore's MM Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923 - 2015) - a great man, a Legacy

On 23 March 2015 morning, while most of us were still sleeping, our founding father of morder Singapore Mr Lee Kuan Yew bids us a quiet final farewell.  For all the great things he had done, for all the lime lights he has been to, he has chosen to leave in a calm and peaceful way.

Ask me not what I know about Mr Lee Kuan Yew, because I don't know where to start.

Ask me not of any famous quotes or words of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, because they are not important to me.

Ask me not if I agree to what Mr Lee Kuan Yew has done for us, because it's like judging your own father.

Look around Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew is every where.  Experience the life in Singapore and you will understand our love & respect for this great man.

Many had been posting comments in social media when the news of him being warded into the hospital early February 2015, some well wishing, some spiteful remarks.  No one deserves to be cursed to death, not even during the last moments of his life.

To err is human, there may have been some mistakes or wrong decisions Mr Lee had made during the years he was our Prime Minister but who are we to judge him and say that he SHOULD NOT have made those mistakes when we made some bad decision(s) in our life too?

He said "I have a few million people's life to account for, and Singapore WILL survive."  We not only survived, we surpassed every one's expectation and became a Little Red Dot that beeps and blinks, causing the whole world pay attention to us constantly.  He lets the world know that you better don't play play (mess around) with this Little Red Dot because our roar is much bigger and louder than our size.

The success of his leadership was not felt by the younger generations but the rest of us know how much he had fought to make Singapore come so far.  I truly hope that these younger generations will one day be able to see his contributions, feel blessed that we have him as a leader.  We will introduce Mr Lee Kuan Yew to DinoBoy, I know he will be inspired by him.

To know more about Mr Lee Kuan Yew, head off to Remembering Lee Kuan Yew.

Note : We join the nation in mourning from Mar 23 to Mar 29 2015 for the lost of our beloved founding father of modern Singapore Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

During this period all blog posts (sponsored and reviews inlcuded) will be rescheduled till next week. We will also not be sharing any posts in our social media platform.

Monday, March 16, 2015

March Monster Mash @ Gardens by the Bay

We started the March 2015 school holiday early this year with something we have never done before, we were out till late in the night relaxing, snacking, while watching a movie under the stars.  

Wait what? Under the stars?  

Yupe!  Under the stars!  With the beautiful Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay's Supertree as a back drop.  How cool is that!

Yupe, we went for a "Drive-in' Movie Screening - Where the Wild Things Are, which is part of the March Monster Mash event by Gardens by the Bay.

Where the Wild Things Are is an adaptation of the classic children’s story from Maurice Sendak, which tells the story about a boy’s encounter with the “wild”, after he was sent to bed without supper.

And you think it's just going there with our picnic mat and wait for the movie to start, you are wrong.  The clever people from Gardens by the Bay made it more exciting for the family, especially the kids by providing every family with a bring yellow "car".  The kids had fun putting the car together and decorating it with the markers.  DinoBoy thinks bright yellow is just fine with him thus no further decorations are needed.  However he feels that he should "drive" a bigger car to the movie, look at him grinning with excitement in his Awesome Monster Truck!

And while the boy is busy with his truck, this Mama does the next best thing, Selfie lah!  Look at the big ass screen behind me!  And yes I am not very good with this thing call selfie, my face looks slanted...  never mind, practice will make it perfect!

And take photos with fellow mummy friends who were at the event too.  

Photo courtesy from Florinda
From left to right : Veraday, Delphine, Florinda, me & Summer

It is a MUST to take a welfie with the Sista who most of the time are unwilling (mouth say only hahaha!) but what the heck, as if I care hahaha!

And then help the Sis to take photos of her and her kiddo.

Finally back to our spot to disturb the son who is sitting so comfortably inside his truck munching on Mamee Monster snack so I squeezed my way into his truck much to his delight.  And of course posed for photos!  Its so cozy inside the "truck" but too small for this Mama "Monster" with long legs so I have to climb out of it before I break it into half by accident.

Look at those people behind me!  Relaxing sia!  I also want to lie down on the grass but can't coz there were not enough space on the mat for me.

As dusk approaches, every one tries to make the little ones and themselves as comfortable as possible to start to enjoy the evening.  We were first entertained by the Garden Rhapsody, a dazzling myriad of light displays bursting across the sky as the Supertree comes alive~  Every one was mesmerized by the beautiful dancing lights that synchronize with the music.  

It was such a beautiful night display of lights, you really have to be there to feel that magical tingling sensation while taking every sight and sound in.  I discovered a new feature on my Samsung Galaxy 5; the Panorama shooting mode, and I used it to take this one and only photo of the Supertree Grove.  It's not a great photo but it got me excited (Ya I'm kinda tech-blur hahaha~) because now I have another option to use instead of simply pointing and shooting my photos.

I thought the DinoBoy will be bored half way through the movie because frankly the "truck" is not the most comfortable seat to sit for an hour plus but he sat there, not moving much, munching on MORE Mamee Monster, pizza (he finished the whole medium Casa Verde seafood pizza) and titbits while eyes glued to the big screen.

Did we enjoyed the night?  Well, frankly I was not paying 100% attention to the movie because I was attracted by the beautiful night sky, the vast darkness with the lights from the Marina Bay Sands & Supertree.  I could hear the rustling of leaves in the background while the sound from the movie was being blasted on the huge speakers.  It was such a strange feeling, like as if I am there and yet so detached from all that was happening around me.

However, as DinoBoy's said "It is way pass my bed time but I am enjoying myself and feeling great!" So yes, we definitely enjoyed ourselves to the max and looking forward to the next movie under the stars! We will be more prepared, with larger picnic basket and mat to make ourselves really comfortable, most importantly I WILL stretch out on the picnic mat and look at the night sky!

*** *** ***

If you missed the Drive-in Movie Screening, don't be sad as there are many other activities where your kids could enjoy till 22nd March 2015.  There's face painting, balloon sculpturing, bouncy castle, puppet shows, storybook telling, a monster parade and lots more!  Come in your best monstrous self and be part of this festival!  Check out the Calender of Events for activities details.


Give the whole family a monstrous make-over in this costume-making workshop! Join us for a wild rumpus around the Supertree Grove for some inspiration then learn how to turn simple household objects and recyclables into awesome monster costumes for the whole family! March with us in our monster parade at the end of the day, where the best-dressed families stand to win exciting prizes.
Note: Look out for the Saturday session, which will be co-hosted by a mystery celebrity mom!

Date: Saturday, 21 March & Sunday, 22 March
Time: 3pm – 4.30pm
Location: Cannonball Room
• $25 per costume (inclusive of GST). Friends of the Gardens enjoy 20% off.
• Register online at www.gardensbythebay.com.sg. Please register early to avoid disappointment.

For local families visiting the conservatories, it’s free admission for every child with every full paying adult! Offer lasts from Friday, 13 March till Sunday, 22 March. Terms and conditions apply.

Terms & Conditions:
• Promotion applies to Local Resident (Adult) admission tickets to One Conservatory or Two Conservatories.
• Not applicable for online ticketing.
• Not valid with any other offers, promotions or discounts.
• Not valid for Friends of the Gardens Annual Pass.
• Proof of residency is required when purchasing tickets and when entering the conservatories.

Disclaimer : We were invited by Gardens by the Bay for the March Monster Mash - "Drive-In" Movie Screening of "Where the Wild Things Are" for the purpose of this post.  Unless otherwise stated and credited, all photos in this post are taken by DinoMama's Samsung Galaxy 5 mobile phone and copyright to the DinoFamily.  You may not use the photos without our written permission.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March 2015 School Holiday Fun Activities

March 2015 Holiday Program @ heART Studio
Date: 16 to 20 March 2015
Time: 10am - 7pm
Venue: heART Studio

Check out all the fantastic art lessons lined up specially for March from Angry Bird series , Paddington bear, 3 little Pigs , Monster High and many more .

Give a call to heART Studio at 65547563 or email them at info@heartstudiosg.com to book you slot now!

Golden Village exclusive Barbie in Princess Power Dress Up Party
Date: Monday, 16 March 2015
Movie Screening Time: 4.15pm & 6pm
Party Time: 2.30pm & 4.15pm
Venue: GV Grand, Great World City (Level 3)
Ticket Price: $22 (Members) | $26 (Public)
Includes one movie ticket, a BARBIE premium, a kiddie popcorn combo (32oz Popcorn and 350ml Minute Maid® Pulpy™ ) and admission to the dress up party

Activities include:
· A “Barbie Princess” makeover & hairstyling booth
· Instant photo booth
· Tiara making craft station
· A chance to win attractive prizes at our beauty pageant

Tickets on sale now. For more information, kindly log on to: http://www.gv.com.sg/GVMovieDetails#/movie/0001

My Little Pony Party Surprise ‘Live’ On Stage @ City Square Mall
Date: 14 March – 22 March
Time: 2pm & 7pm (Mon – Fri); 1pm, 4pm & 7pm (Sat & Sun)
Venue: Level 1 Atrium

Participate in a series of song and dance with the characters from My Little Pony ‘live’ on stage at City Square Mall! Join Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle on their fun-filled pony adventures as they organise a magical birthday celebration for Princess Celestial. With a minimum spending of $50*, shoppers can redeem an exclusive pass for the Meet & Greet session one hour prior to each show at the Level 2 Customer Service Counter, while stocks last.

*A maximum of three same-day combined receipts. 50 passes will be given out one hour prior to each show, strictly on a first-come first-served basis. Receipts used to redeem this Meet & Greet pass cannot be used for any other promotions, except for Free Weekday Parking. Other Terms & Conditions apply.

Interaction with Live Ponies (Pony Rides / Pony Feeding Sessions / Photo Taking Opportunities)
Date: 14 March – 22 March, 28-29 March, 4-5 April, 11-12 April
Time: 1pm – 8pm
Venue: Level 1 City Green
Get up close and personal with the ponies brought in from Gallop Stable! For a package price of $15, you’ll be able to go on a pony ride, hand feed the ponies and even take a photo with them to capture the moment. Be sure not to miss this opportunity!

Take A Magical Shot (My Little Pony Photo Spot)
Date: 13 March – 12 April
Venue: Level 1 City Green, Gardens by the Bay
Get your cameras ready and come strike a pose at Pinkie Pie’s SugarCube Sweet Shoppe from Ponyville with your favourite My Little Pony characters.

March Monster mash - "Drive-In" Movie Screening @ Gardens by the Bay
Date: Friday, 13 March
Time: 8pm – 9.45pm: Movie screening
Venue: Supertree Grove lawn

“Where the Wild Things Are” is an adaptation of the classic children’s story from Maurice Sendak, which tells the story about a boy’s encounter with the “wild”, after he was sent to bed without supper.

This movie screening kicks off the March school holiday celebrations at the Gardens by the Bay. From 13 March to 22 March, March Monster Mash promises to delight the young and young-at-heart with puppet shows, craft activities, monster-themed workshops, a monster parade, and lots more. Come by in your best monstrous self and be part of this festival!

March Monster Mash Promotion
For local families visiting the conservatories, it’s free admission for every child with every full paying adult! Offer lasts from Friday, 13 March till Sunday, 22 March. Terms and conditions apply.

Terms & Conditions:
+ Promotion applies to Local Resident (Adult) admission tickets to One Conservatory or Two Conservatories.
+ Not applicable for online ticketing.
+ Not valid with any other offers, promotions or discounts.
+ Not valid for Friends of the Gardens Annual Pass.
+ Proof of residency is required when purchasing tickets and when entering the conservatories.

* Please note that the Children’s Garden will be closed on 16 March.
** Admission charge to Flower Dome applies.

Toonfest Singapore @ United Square
Date: 14 & 15 March 2015
Time: 12pm to 8pm
Venue: Atrium, Basement 1

Usher in the holidays with Cartoon Network’s Toonfest at United Square, where kids can shake it up with their favourite Cartoon Network stars from Adventure Time, Regular Show, Amazing World of Gumball, Ben 10: Omniverse, Steven Universe and many more. 

Experience a different kind of buzz with some exciting games and fun activity booths. Plus, Toonfesters will also get a chance to take home awesome prizes too!

Peppa Pig’s First ‘LIVE’ Meet & Greet @ United Square
Date & Time:
17 – 22 March: 1pm, 3pm & 7pm
23 – 25 March: 7pm
Venue: Atrium, Basement 1

The fun continues with Peppa and George, the two lead characters from Peppa Pig. Get close
up with Peppa, a loveable, cheeky little piggy, and her little brother George at their first
appearance in Singapore.

Be the first 100 families per session to Meet and Greet Peppa Pig and George. Spend $30 *in a single same-day receipt to qualify. Limited passes will be issued 1 hour before each show. Bring along your camera to capture these precious moments!

Naturally New Zealand @ Changi Airport
Date: 14 March (Saturday) to 5 April 2015 (Sunday)
Time: 12pm to 11pm (Last redemption at 10.30pm)
Venue: Terminal 3 Level 2 Departure Check-In Hall Row 11 (Public Area)

Kia Ora! Begin your epic journey to Middle Earth at Changi Airport. Be awed by majestic landscapes and discover the nation’s sporting spirit. Plus, indulge in the local food and beverage, and hop aboard our 5D Adventure Ride. To complete your New Zealand experience, redeem exclusive souvenirs and enjoy exciting travel offers! 

Kids Fiesta 2015
Date: 13 to 15 March 2015
Time: 11am to 9pm
Venue: Suntec Convention Halls 401 and 402
Admission: FREE
FUNTASY Passport: $20 (UP $25) Early bird sale ends 27 February 2015.

Kids Fiesta 2015: FUNTASY Adventure is pumped up with adrenaline! Grab a FUNTASY Passport for your little one to enjoy all the fun while making discoveriesoutside the classrooms! Boost his motor skills and coordination as he explores the Orbitor and Island Maze Island! Your child would not want to miss the meet-andgreet sessions with Pikachu, Dora the Explorer and Batman too. Passports are limited. Grab yours now! Read about our blog post on Kids Fiesta over here or visit Kids Fiesta website.

Bukit Brown Watch Day
Date: 14 March 2015
Time: 8am to 12.30pm
Meeting Point and Registration: Open air-area, approximately 200 meters as you enter the main gates of Bukit Brown at Lorong Halwa, on your right just pass the green hoardings, there will be directional signs at various vantage points.
Ticket Price: $6 per pax

Watch Day marks the listing of Bukit Brown Cemetery by the World Monuments Fund in October 2013, putting the site on the watch list with 66 other sites globally for 2014 to 2016, in a bid to raise global awareness of sites under threat and encouraging community engagement to take ownership.

On the Bukit Brown Watch Day, we celebrate community at the site with a choice of guided walks from nature trails to unravelling the ties of kin and clan, deciphering the stories of the exquisitely carved stones, storytelling for children, a sketch walk and stations to play some traditional games or try your hand at painting your own tiles inspired by the “Peranakan” tiles of the graves.

Visit Bukit Brown website for more details and purchase of tickets.

What you should Know
Disclaimer: By agreeing to take part in the activities of Watch Day at Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so. To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward)

There are minimal toilet facilities and these are located near the entrance just for Watch Day.
In case of heavy rain and lightning, we will be taking shelter at a site office at the entrance of Bukit Brown. Activities will however continue if there is a light drizzle so please come prepared with umbrellas and/or ponchos.

What to Wear
Please wear comfortable clothes, covered shoes (suitable for light trekking) sunscreen and mosquito repellent.

What to Bring
Water and a packet of traditional sweets will be provided but feel free to bring your own snacks to munch along the way if you tend to get peckish. For Story Telling please bring mats and for Sketching bring your own pen/pencils and sketch pads. Umbrellas and/or ponchos

The Right Choice Family Fest
Date: 18 March 2015
Time: 12- 9 pm
Venue: Westgate (area outside Samsung)
Admission: Free

The Right Choice is a public health campaign that promotes healthy eating habits among primary school children. Through the use of fun and innovative approaches, The Right Choice hopes to empower children to be bright, choose right and emphasise to parents that good choices start from home.

Have a blast at The Right Choice Family Fest, where exciting games and activities awaits. Themed around the topic of healthy eating, it will be a test of the children’s skills, senses and smarts, as they strive to emerge victorious at the games. Pick up tips on food and nutrition along the way, and learn more about the different food groups as you and your family navigate the maze of activities. At the end of the day, make The Right Choice when it comes to you and your family’s food.

Visit The Right Choice website for more information.

Concert Series in the Park @ Bishan-ang Mo Kio Park
Date: 14 March 2015
Time: 4pm onwards
Venue: Grand Lawns I & II
Admission: Free

Be entertained by free public concerts that will be held in various parks and gardens from March until the end of the year, featuring home-grown talents and community performing groups. Catering to both young and old, these concerts will bring nostalgic melodies to the parks with a wide repertoire of jazz, classical, evergreen classics and local favourites.

The first concert in celebration of Singapore’s 50th birthday! will be at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park on 14 March, free concert debuts with performances by 陳潔儀 Kit Chan, Olivia Ong, Suhaimi Yusof Official, and Broadway Beng, as well as other exciting fringe activities.

For updates, SMS to 77275 or visit www.nparks.gov.sg/SG50.

**MEET & GREET: Stand a chance to meet Olivia Ong too! Simply SMS and to 77275 to qualify.

Disclaimer : This is not a sponsored post, we are not affiliated to the staffs and management of the various parties mentioned in this post. All event posters and photos are provided by and copyright to the individual parties mentioned in the post. The DinoFamily only gather the various events that are happening now or will be happening during the March school holiday to share with our readers so that they can plan their holiday beforehand.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Overloaded Homework + Stress = a major Meltdown

Before DinoBoy started his Primary 3 journey this year we already anticipated that there will be loads more of homework and things to do; with the additional Science subject and the other subjects being more challenging than in Primary 1 and 2, plus there will be more classmates then before; 40+ as compared to 30+.  An additioal of 10+ students may not seem too many for some but not in DinoBoy's case.

We have talked and discussed about how to handle too much routine work, too many noisy classmates, too much things going in the classroom at the same time, having lesser time to slack or relax then before etc.  We thought we were all prepared to tackle Primary 3 challenges but the day my 8+ year old went berserk, yes BERSERK! because he felt so overwhelmed and stressed up with home work, we know we must do something to ensure this primary school journey flies by as breezy as possible for him.  

To start off, we weren't joking when we say there's going to be busy schedule in Primary 3, besides ending school later @ 2.30pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, he has the following;

- Supplementary classes on Mondays @ 2.30pm to 3.30pm and Tuesday @ 2.30pm to 4.30pm in Term 1.
- Wushu training on Wednesdays for school team training and Thursdays for CCA activities @ 2pm to 4pm.

So far there were homework but the load is still ok and he managed to finish them during the time he's in student care centre, that leaves me to go through both English and Chinese weekly spelling list within the hour when we are at home, I made it a point to ensure that every thing are finished before 9.30pm.  Some nights we were even able to do a few pages of assessment books, other nights we simply just laze around the house before hitting the sack at 1030pm.

The first day, first week then first month of school went on peacefully. Then came February, which is a short month but shorter because the lunar new year holiday which starts on 19 February 2015, this means there no school from Wednesday 18 February 2015 till Friday 20 February 2015. I guess the teachers were all trying to make up for the lost time on these days because a week prior to that there was a significant increase of school work!

Doing homework on eChinese website

On that particular unfortunate day, DinoBoy had 7 home work to finish, these includes copying of a Chinese compo passage, corrections for Chinese spelling, Maths & English, 2 - 3 pages of English and Chinese worksheets.  On top of that there is also the English spelling practice paper given by Ms R, his student care centre's form teacher.  I am sure DinoBoy has been handling his homework load quite well, but on that day it appears that everything seems to be too much for him to handle.  Plus that day being a Friday, the "last day of the week", it sort of added some pressure to the urgency to finish the work by the given time frame; which is by 6pm that day.

At that moment, he broke down....  He started to scream and shout in the classroom, scaring the hell out of every one, tore up the English spelling practice paper not once but TWICE in his fit of anger.  When Ms R tried to calm him down he was kicking, fighting her with all his might and screaming out loud "I have so many work to do!  I have no time to finish them today!  Later at home I have to finish the assessment books my Mum gives me!!  Tomorrow I don't have time to do it because I have class at Teacher Elizabeth's and swimming!! I will not have time to do it!!!!"

My poor little boy totally lost it... he lost all his sense of logic and rationale thinking and exploded...

No one has told him that he has to finish all the home work by TODAY, the class was told to try to finish it before the day ends, if can't then finish it at home so that they can enjoy their weekend and the upcoming Chinese New Year.  Neither did I tell him that morning or even the day before that we MUST revise his work by doing some practices in the assessment book(s).  Even though I drew up our home revision timetable last year, we never actually follow it strictly.  It has always been ad-hoc decision at that moment whether to let him do assessment books or not as this will depend on the time left after doing his school work & spelling.

That night we sat down and had a talk.  I told him that I know he felt bogged down by the amount of homework but this is how the school work will be from this year onward.  He wasn't happy about it at all, I guess I will too if I am in his shoes.

We talked about Stress, what is it and how it comes about and how it affects a person.  When some one feels threaten or is in a state of panic the body's defense system kicks in by making you go into "Fight, Flight or Freeze" reaction.  I explained to him that what he did in class earlier was his body's way of dealing with the overwhelmed feeling he is experiencing.  And since this is the first time, his body reacted naturally, releasing the pressure by screaming and shouting - which is the Fight reaction.

Now that he experienced that dreadful thing call Stress, we have to work on keeping it at bay and preventing this episode from happening again.  We also have to deal with this Homework issue so that he can work on them in a calmer and rationale way.

Here's what I suggest he try to do the next time homework load is a lot again;
Step 1 Take a deep breathe (more if need to) to calm mind and body
Step 2 Take a minute or so to study the homework list
Step 3 Label the work with 1, 2 & 3; 
#1 - the easiest and takes shorter time to finish; such as spelling corrections and #3 - requires longer time to finish; such as compositions or Maths worksheet.
Step 4 Start doing the homework according to the numbering, taking a short breather in between.

I hope he can remember these simple steps and tackle his school work in a more balanced state of mind and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that such episodes will not happen again.  I am also hoping that there will not be any after school supplementary lessons for the rest of the year but I think that's highly unlikely.  I have no intention of withdrawing him out from Wushu because he's passionate about it and is happy to be back into the school team again this year after the coach took him out of the team mid last year due to his undesired behaviour and attitude.

In the mean time, I will try not to pressure him unnecessarily, revision at home will still have to continue but may have to move one session to Sunday.  I know he may not be happy (I know I am not in favour of it myself) because Sunday is really our ONLY rest day, but really, time is not enough to use!  On the other hand, more outdoor play time for him, both as a form of exercise and also a chance for him to set free his mind and body after being cooped up in school for most of the week.  Time to dust off the cobwebs from our badminton rackets!  

At the end of the day, we know we have to constantly adjust ourselves and our schedule to accommodate the ever changing activities in school.  I know we can do it and survive the school days!

Photo Credit