Monthly Archives: January 2018

Jojo Potato turns 4!

Jordan turned 4 on 30 Jan 2018.

He is at this really cute age where he is completely clueless about dates so he has been asking me when his birthday is for the past few months! He was really happy when we finally told him it was January his birthday month!

For his birthday celebrations in school, I made necklaces for the girls and catapult kits for the boys in advance. (Did the same for Ryan’s birthday as we would be celebrating a week later)

The night before his birthday, I baked a cake and frosted it. I initially wanted to make a simple pandan chiffon cake but no, both Ryan and Jo said they wanted me to make them big fancy cakes like their friends. Argh, they were less demanding when they were younger.

My first attempt making an icecream drip cake – I am a bit rusty coz I haven’t been baking at all but the lemon cake turned out alright. It was the icecream drip part that stressed me out – the cone started getting soggy and started to unravel after a night in the fridge and the sprinkles melted into the buttercream leaving a gooey mess. Very stressful. Fixed it as best as I could in the morning and kept my fingers crossed that the cake would hold up till we got to school.We blew up some balloons and woke the birthday boy up for school. He was super grumpy that morning. That’s what happens when you stay up late trying to bake your child a decent birthday cake – your child’s sleep gets messed up!

It was our first time in Jo’s new N2 class. His teachers are warm and lovely – he has the same form teacher as last year (she used to teach Ryan in N1 too) and his other teacher used to teach Sean in N2!

The children gathered to sing the birthday song and Jo blew out his candles. Later, he handed out the goodie bags to his little friends. Happy to know the children liked the cake! Kids were so cute and the teachers made them sing a song for us and wave us goodbye.

Jo still can’t really tell me his friend’s names or tell me what happens in school so it was really nice seeing him in class with his little friends.We saved a big slice of cake so we could sing the birthday song with Sean when he got back from school.

Jo was most excited about his one and only gift from us. We got him a Tegu set – the boys were playing and fighting over it all day so I think it’s a good toy!

Happy 4th birthday, my little sweetheart! We love you!

Edusave Good Progress award for Sean

It is said that parents have a close bond with their firstborns – I think it’s because every experience they go through is so new to us as well.

We received a nice surprise in December – Sean was awarded an Edusave Certificate of Academic Achievement for coming in the top 25% in his cohort and an Edusave Good Progress Award for being the 10% in his cohort for improvement in academic achievement and good behavior.

He worked hard last year – I pushed him a fair bit, especially for his final year exams – so I thought it was a well-deserved award. I didn’t think he did THAT well (in fact there were many others in his class who did much better) but still, it is a very nice feather to add to Sean’s cap! 🙂The award presentation ceremony was held at our neighbourhood CC last weekend. There were about 120 schoolchildren from many primary and secondary schools (Sean was the only one from his school) and a noticeable feeling of pride in the air.

When Sean’s turn came, we accompanied him up to stage to shake hands with MP Mr Chong Kee Hiong (whose four sons are coincidentally from the same school as Sean) and  quickly snapped a family photo. I was quite impressed by how quickly all the awards were handed out – all done in 1 hour!

Ryan and Jo were super excited to see Sean receive the award. Now they are all motivated to work hard in school 😉 The prize was a generous $100 cheque in Sean’s name. The boys were exhilarated – we brought them to Popular the next day where Sean bought comics for himself and yoyos for his brothers and decided to save the rest.

Well done, Sean. May you continue to persevere and work hard to achieve great things in life!

Back to school

It’s 2018! Happy new year!

Both Sean and Jo headed back to school on 02 Jan 2018 (Ryan has 3 extra days of holiday). I had to chase them to bed early the last few days of holidays so they could adjust to waking up in semi-darkness again.

No pics of Sean because it is always a mad rush to get him to finish his breakfast and get out of the door in the morning. He will be starting P3 this year with new teachers and classmates – I am both nervous and excited for him!

This year, I hope to groom him to be more independent and diligent in keeping up with school work. Few changes in store for him this year: 1) He will be sitting for Grade 3 Piano (both Practical and Theory) which means lots of piano practice everyday; 2) He will continue with his badminton CCA but will stop soccer training on weekdays and 3) He has stopped Berries but will be going to Tien Hsia twice a week. The syllabus is more aligned with what he is doing in school and one of the two days will be dedicated to composition writing and oral (which I have no idea how to help him prepare for at home).

Jo starts N2 this year which shouldn’t be a big change for him as his form teacher and classmates are pretty much the same as last year. Ryan happily tagged along with me and accompanied Jo on his first day.

Jo wasn’t really too happy but the early wake-up call and the fact that Ryan had no school. As the morning went by, Jo grew more and more weary of the crying children around him (mostly from N1). He started to cry on and off and refused to let Ryan or me out of his sight. Aiya why are first days of school so distressing?!He fared a bit better during snack time and when the teachers led the children in songs with a parachute. But the waterworks restarted when it was time to go home so my obliging sacrificial lamb Ryan had to accompany him on the bus ride home.

Jo was very teary and stressed for the rest of the day. His many questions included: Why must I go to school? Why can’t you be there with me tomorrow? Why doesn’t Ryan have to go to school? Why can’t adults go into the classrooms? What if I am scared and you are not there? Poor baby.

He cried and refused to put on his uniform the next morning. I decided that my presence only made things worse so I kissed him goodbye (still howling) and left for work. Ryan reported that he cried and screamed all the way to the bus with my helper. Eeps.

Later that day, I received a video (from the class Whatsapp chat group – there was none for Sean or Ryan in their four years of kindergarten!). There were a small handful of children still crying in class and I saw Jo sniffling and feeling sorry for himself (so cute and sad) but the lovely teachers kept dishing out hugs and looking out for them. He has wonderful teachers this year – he got the same form teacher as last year and his other teacher was Sean’s Chinese teacher in N2. Jo was MUCH better at home that day and even said he is ok to go to school the next day.

No more drama from Day 3 onwards. HURRAY!

I hope Jo will have a good year of learning ahead. Carrying on from N1, Jo is in a ‘special’ Chinese class where everything is conducted in Chinese. The parents fought really hard to keep the class (there were talks of scrapping the morning session at first – which stressed me out so much).  He still refuses to speak Chinese but will surprise me occasionally with big Chinese phrases or a complete Chinese song!

Day 4 – Finally, it’s Ryan’s turn to go to school. Look how happy they are together!

Ryan is in K2 this year so it’s their last year in kindergarten together. He is a smart and confident boy who clearly enjoys school. One thing I hope to do this year is spend more one-on-one time with him (sorry, my neglected second child) and encourage him to do more reading for both English and Chinese (I think Sean was actually more adept than him at this age) as well as do more Math work in preparation for P1.

Have a good school year ahead, boys!

December holiday art class with Global Art

How was your December school holidays?

My boys had a very relaxing break at home (before we left for Taiwan, that is). They are turning out to be such homebodies (just like their Mama). I think that’s what holidays should be like – sleeping in, no schedules, no assessment books, just playing and reading at home. All day long. Too bad I had to work as usual 😉

Every holiday, I try to let the boys try out new-to-them activities and develop new skills.

This December holiday, I signed the boys up for Visual Arts holiday classes at Global Art in our neighbourhood.  Somehow I realise I always sign them up for art-related holiday classes – Mama loves art, that’s why!

The boys sometimes tell me in frustration they don’t know how to draw things so I thought it would be good for them to go for proper art lessons. I have also been wanting to let them try out different art mediums. They have been painting with acrylics for most of their past holiday classes so this time they would be working entirely with oil pastels.

My boys enjoyed the 1.5 hour daily lessons at Global Art very much, so much so that they asked me to extend it from 8 to 12 lessons!

I appreciated that the class was small (actually just the two of them in the mornings) and pitched at their level. The lessons were very structured and the teachers patiently taught them fundamental skills such as how to take care of their materials, colouring in gradients and basic sketching techniques.

I was amazed by the beautiful artwork that the boys produced over the month of December. Wow the colours really do pop with oil pastels!

Ryan, in particular, really took to the classes. I think they appealed to his OCD nature – he took great pride in taking care of his oil pastels and keeping bag in a neat order. He liked that there was a certain technique to colouring and sketching neatly. I may consider signing him up for regular classes to develop his love for art.

Some samples of Ryan’s artwork (he told me the teacher put up one of his artwork on the walls so it is not pictured here):

Sean is a bit more of a free spirit. He doesn’t have much patience for colouring or drawing neatly but he is more fearless which means he is not afraid of making mistakes and he will draw whatever his heart desires. He did a great job and I really liked his freehand sketches, messy lines and all.

Still begs the question, who will be the better artist among the two of them? 😉

I sure hope the boys learnt a thing or two about colouring and sketching. Since we already paid for all the materials (which admittedly cost a pretty penny) and the boys had fun, I think we may go back again during the holidays.

PS. This is not a sponsored post. Just sharing our experience.