Why I Subscribed To KiwiCo

Keane is interesting in building and learning about how things work. As a dutiful mommy, I’m always on the lookout for something that’ll interest Keane. Coincidentally, Hubby came across KiwiCo in a FaceBook Ad – Yes all these ad targetting do work to a certain degree.

Picking KiwiCo

Finally, we decided to just buy it,  knowing full well that we might end up being the ones who build it while the boys just look on. It’s supposed to encourage them to follow instructions and work on it step by step. Not too sure how it would work with Keane because while he’s interested, he’s also impatient to follow instructions.

Some key reasons why we chose KiwiCo

  • Lesser TV time

Anything that gets the kids off the TV is good stuff. The theme in previous crates would be hits with the kids so we hoped future crates would continue to pique their interest.

  • Teaching Points & Activities

Lots of suggested teaching points and additional spinoff activities from the crate. I’ve gotten some science kits from the malls but there isn’t any teaching points or follow up activities we could do. So basically I spent about SGD$20 to occupy the kids for less than hour.

What I intend to do with these crates is that I plan to make it my learning theme for that month. For example since my first crate is about my body, I’ll teach Math, English, Science and even Mandarin all based on the human body. This way, it also solved my problem to find suitable themes.

  • Affordably priced and low delivery fee.

Reasonably priced at about SGD30. I was a little confused at the payment page, because I just didn’t understand their promotions very well. Another friend had the same issue as well. In the end I just picked the monthly subscription. It may cost more in the end, but I’d rather have the flexibility to stop the subscription I want.

  • Wide range of projects that’s designed to suit each age group.

Kiwico grouped their series for each group according to lines.

While they designed themes for different age groups, we could also choose the line we wanted which was great. Because Keane wouldn’t like the line, and would much prefer the which is mean for slightly older kids. Also, loved the flexibility to swap lines so that way we can try different projects.

  • Great customer support.

Big shout out to KiwiCo’s customer service team for dealing with my lost crates.

While I’m absolutely ecstatic that such an awesome product could ship to Singapore and at such a great price of USD$6.95, I soon realised that it’s due to the fact they are using USPS and locally in Singapore – SingPost. Both didn’t have great reputations. When I was still doing my online business, I’ve had countless lost parcels to US.

I made the first order on 11 Sep 2018. They estimated 7-14 business days transit time on international shipments with additional delays possible due to customs. But shortly after the crate left US, it was lost in transit in Japan. On 2 Oct, KiwiCo took the initiative to send a replacement crate together next with month’s edition since it’s been more than 14 business days after the first crate was sent out. I appreciate this action because not many companies react this fast to lost parcels. They even offered the flexibility to pause the subscription till I get my first crate.

 

 

 

 

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Stick To Your Parenting Style

My husband and I are very thankful that people think our boys are well-behaved. But they do not know the hard work that goes behind developing our parenting style and the doubts we have on ourselves too. On a day where we usually scream and discipline the kids, we will always talk it out late at night after the boys sleep if we had been too tough. What could we have done better? What should we do next time? Are the boys displaying any odd behaviour?

So when we get these compliments, again we wonder if our parenting style is really on the right track. We did not read any books. If we do read, it’s usually some viral parenting articles on FaceBook. Our parenting style is purely based on values that my hub and I believe in. We are not trying to raise goody-two shoes, or yes man. I would never want my boys to feel repressed. I’ve seen far too many friends with controlling parents and ended up making the stupidest decisions after they gain freedom in adulthood.

Then I start to question myself. Do they behave well in public because I’m an assertive mom who believes in schedules and discipline. Are they feeling stressed? Are the boys happy? Would they think back to their childhood days and remember happy memories or sad ones.

So, I think back to what I want my boys to be and also what I want to achieve. This formed the basis of my parenting style. Definitely, I want the boys to be happy and enjoy their childhood. After all this is probably their most carefree days.

In order for them (and myself) to be happy, I need a system. This system is not a rigid, step-by-step guide to raising children. Instead, my parenting style is something I designed with my husband to train my boys to expect what they should do and what would happen if they did not do it.

Everyone has a different way of raising children, and this just so happens to work best for my family at the moment. I’ve no help from the boys’ grandparents and no helper. I’m usually handling the kids alone since my husband is overseas for a few days every two weeks. The boys attend a 3 hour pre-school everyday and I’ve to fetch them back and forth daily. When I’m alone with them, all kind of things can happen. Hence, it’s very important that my kids listen to me well and focus on their tasks.

I’ll pre-empt the boys what we are going to do when we leave the house or just about anything that we are going to do. For example, I’ll tell them. “Ok, we will take a small train to the school” ” When the train door opens, I need you to take a big step across to the platform.” I don’t sugar coat my words. No baby talk. I talk to them like young adults.

If the boys start to misbehave, we put them in the corner, squat down to their eye level and talk to them – at home, outside and even when at parties with friends. When the boys are naughty in front of their grandparents, I’ll scold them. Even if the grandparents try to interfere, I continue to discipline. To the grandparents, I’m harsh and fierce to the kids. But they feel proud when other relatives compliment on how well-behaved the kids are. Honestly, I don’t get them. They want well-behaved kids but without setting rules and boundaries.

I do fear that the way I bring up my children will cause me to become a Tiger Mom. It’s such a fine line. I’m constantly asking my husband to tell me if I am.

While we seek discipline, I also want play for my boys. The boys have no enrichment classes in the weekends. It’s just pure family bonding time. Whenever we are at a park, we always tell the kids to run as much as they can, swing as long as they want, and climb as high as they can. Weekly, I bring them to my parents’ place where they do sandplay. (Yes I bought sand from Mothercare. Awesome stuff). Whatever toys or books that the kids want and we find value in it, we usually get it for them either immediately or at a later date.

I think at the end of the day, there’s no perfect parenting style. You got to look at your kids’ character. Travis is the cheeky one and he needs someone to kick his tiny butt to get him to listen. Whereas emotional and sensitive Keane needs lots of explanation and you got to win him over when he starts a challenge. And how we behave as a parent changes as our kids grow up too, so again no one style fits all kids!

 

{Lessons} B-I-N-G-O

Bought this a while back when I was shopping at Daiso because I was planning to use them to teach Keane numbers. He’s a smart boy but he tends to forget when he plays too much. So school holidays and holidays are a nightmare for me sometimes.

These Bingo cards are a great way to teach numbers to children. There are 60 cards in each pack, so you can play as many times as you want and the cards don’t repeat. It’s all serialised.

The numbers are actually perforated. You can tear them out. But I wanted the boy to practice holding and writing with his pencil so I made all the players use a pencil. After the game, I kept all the used Bingo cards and I’m planning to reuse them for another game. It’s such a waste to throw away such perfectly clean and new number cards, isn’t it! Wait for my update. I’ve a new game teach numbers to children with these used cards in mind.

How To Play Bingo? 

  • The aim of the game is to make a line by crossing out the numbers called.
  • You just need more than one player to take turns.
  • So Player A calls out a number and if Player B has it, he can cross it out on his card. If he doesn’t, he’ll just have to pass. Essentially he loses one chance to cancel out a number to make a line when he doesn’t have the number.
  • Once Player A has his turn, the next Player goes. And so forth.
  • Whoever makes a line by connecting five numbers wins the game!

I’m probably going Daiso to grab more packets of this. It’s the size of my palm which makes it small to pack into my bag and absolutely a joy to play when we’re travelling. Teaching numbers to children could be this easy 🙂

This is also a great bonding family activity for everyone including grandparents to little toddlers.

My Day

Helloyin.com Boys getting ready for their afternoon nap

How do I spend my day?

What do I do each day?

I get a lot of these questions from many people.

Sometimes I ask myself this question too. What did I do that makes me so tired by the end of each day??

There’s a schedule each day that we don’t exactly stick to. Things just fall into a pattern. But one thing I insist is that the kids must have their afternoon naps.

A typical school day

8am or earlier – Wake up to make milk. While they finish up their milk, complete some work if there’s any to be done.

Hubby is sweet. If he’s at home, he would help to make the milk, cook rice and lastly make coffee. Getting the coffee machine is the biggest joy in his life so he really enjoys making coffee. He loves it so I’m not complaining if someone makes it!

815am – Start cooking for lunch. Make bread for hubby and myself.

820am – Kids should have finished their milk. Start entertaining their breakfast demands that come fast and furious every 5 minutes. “I want vitamins/ jam bread/ crackers/ cereal/ corn flakes/ cheese) Seriously kids, I wish there’s some automated hygienic food dispenser where you can just press whatever snacks you want. And it won’t attract pests to the house.

Hubby is floor obsessed. At this point, he would be vacuuming the floor. I could write another long post about his obsession with clean floor. At one point in time, I had three vacuums. A wired plug in dyson for weekly cleaning, a handheld vacuum for daily cleaning and a robot vacuum to clean mop the place when we are out. When he got introduced for the rainbow vacuum (yes, the insanely expensive $3000 one), I told him he has to get rid of one vacuum before we can even consider it. Excuse me, I live in a 4 room flat. I don’t think I need four kinds of vacuum right? Besides, its $3,000!!! By the way, we got rid of the robot one if you’re curious and got the rainbow

845am– Kids breakfast game going on strong. Finish cooking lunch.

9- 915am– Change tv channel from mommy daddy channel to whatever the kids want to watch. Hubby leaves home for work. And I do all the chores I can possibly squeeze in – laundry, wiping surface, packing

10am – Brunch or lunch time part 1. The kids eat a small bowl of rice before they go sch cos sch’s at a really odd timing

1030am – change to uniform

1045am-leave home. The kids really take their time to stroll to the train station when it’s just a quick 5 min walk for an adult.

11am – reach LRT station

1110am – reach school

1120am– send both kids in. FREEDOM

Then I do whatever I want. I go shopping, gym whatever.

2pm – pick up Travis. Give him some snacks before Keane comes out later

215pm– Keane comes out and we walk to our ride

225pm – ride arrives

235pm– reach my blk and my mom arrives

245pm– reach home. The kids go to bathe and I’ll start heating up the food for lunch part 2

3pm– Dry and dress the kids. Give them food and I’ll go bathe. Keane eats on his own but my mom would feed Travis

320pm– finish showering and start to heat up Keane’s fresh milk. Kids should be finishing their meal now. After meal, they play

4pm – nap time for all. I’ll start on my work

530pm – kids wake up and I’ll be trying to pacify them. Super whiny when they wake up especially Travis. Turn on tv for them

615pm – start to make dinner

645pm – finish cooking

7pm– hubby comes home. Serves dinner for all.

730pm– finish dinner and play / TV time till they sleep

745pm – wash dishes

830pm – wash up. Drink milk and get ready for bed

9pm – lights off. If hubby’s home, he puts them to bed while I can continue on with my work.

1030pm – Hubby comes out from their room and we finish up the chores. We eat snacks (supper) and just have our super short couple time.

12pm – good night.

The Nebuliser


Travis caught the bug from Keane. It’s inevitable because Keane would often go up to Travis and cough real hard and loud in front of the little one. 

So on the day that Keane was almost 100% recovered, Travis fell ill. 

We didn’t send him to the doc immediately. We wanted to self medicate. It seemed straightforward enough. But the cough was persistant and he looked kinda breathless each time he starts coughing

Off to the doc we went and came back with the wonderful Nebuliser. Never thought I’ll ever need it. And it made me panic if I had done anything wrong since he fell sick. 

The Birth

“Wake up. I think my waterbag burst”

It was about 7.15am on 21 Sep. I woke up thinking when would I deliver – my edd was 23 Sep. Would it be today or tomorrow. My luck couldn’t get any better, because in the next minute, my water burst. The feeling of water uncontrollably gushing down between my legs is terribly odd.  Woke up the hubby and i went to make arrangements for Keane to be sent over to my mom’s place.

Took me a long while to get to triage and then into the delivery suite. The place was packed. I’ve never seen the reception area filled!

Thankfully, I got checked and wheeled into my delivery suite in about 90 minutes after I arrived. It was almost noon. The auntie who helped me into the room wasn’t very excited her job obviously. She told me to get changed right there and then. In the middle of the delivery suite and in front of her and my hubby. O.M.G I couldn’t be bothered to argue with her because I wanted to get breakfast. I’ve only one and half slice of McD hashbrowns in the morning while waiting at Triage. I had grand plans to enjoy a good breakfast in the suite (like when I delivered Keane). But sadly, my dreams were dashed when the nurse told me that my doc gave a no food allowed order since i’ve already dilated 2.5cm.

Because I didn’t feel any contractions and I was fast approaching 4cm, I asked for the epidural. It’s my best friend! 😀

Nearing 4.30pm, the docs came to check and I was about 5cm dilated. They told me I might deliver at about 9pm. I was devastated because I didn’t want to go through another long birth and I wanted food asap.

They checked me again at about 530 after I told them about a pressure I felt on my cervix. Miraculously, I’m already 10 cm and ready to deliver! But soon after, I started shivering and panicking. I have no idea why so but I just felt very overwhelmed by the thought that I’m going to deliver my second baby, and my life is going to change again. New milestone in life. Mother of 2 at 30yo.

My doc came in and was all ready. I did my best to stay calm as I got into the position. Knowing the fact that I’m delivering a huge baby wasn’t helping to calm my frazzled nerves. I trust my doc, if not I wouldn’t be seeing her the second time around. When doc said “push”, I really did and with three strong push.. and with that my baby is born.

The wait continues

it’s about 5 days more till EDD. 

Travis is about 3.4kg at 38 weeks and is already a bigger baby as compared to Keane. I’ve always wanted to have a baby who is heavier than 3kg cos my side of the family always had babies this size. Keane barely hit 3kg when he was born. 

But now that I got my wish, I’ve another worry and that is how am I going to push the little fella out! Dr Tan was sweet enough to not mock my worry and send me for another fetal scan for a more accurate weight measurement. Once we get the result, we’ll probably decide again how we want to deliver Travis. Should we continue to go for natural delivery (which we feel is better for my post partum recovery and Travis’ health) or just go straight for C-section. The latter would be a big financial burden considering our current situation now. 

In all, I just pray that things will work out fine! 

Every pregnancy is different

According to the WTE app in my iPhone, I am currently Week 37 Day 6, and three days ago, I’ve already dilated 1cm. O.M.G.

With my first pregnancy, Keane didn’t even want to budge until I induced him a day before the EDD. But with No 2, things are so different. Apart from the fact that there’s a higher chance he might say “hello!” earlier, the physical changes in my body is much more significant. I waddle (instead of walk) cos of my huge tummy. People have expressed varying degrees of shock when I tell them I’m just expecting one baby or that I’ve a month before I’m due. The skin on my tummy is so taut and showed a disgusting web of broken blood vessels. My belly button has popped out months ago and recently turned black cos of the blood vessels. I have to applaud Hubby for not showing me his disgust actually. My ankles are swollen slightly. Most of all, I’ve hit the 70kg mark. I know I’m pregnant. But i seriously feel fat.

Also, I’ve taken on a new freelance writing job and signed the contract before my doc visit. Thankfully, the company’s understanding to give me a flexible deadline for this month.

Dear boy, please stay inside for another 2 weeks okay.

Keane’s fall

when s**t happens, you realise how weak you are and how strong you can be.

Keane fell off the bed on last Sunday and then he fell sick with fever and flu a few days back. So crappy things happen, they really do happen all at once.

We’re still not sure how Keane fell, but he landed with a huge thud that I could hear all the way at my kitchen. I felt so guilty, my tears just couldn’t stop. I was the only one at home after I put Keane down for his usual morning nap on my bed. He loved rolling around our bed cos it was big and he could be in his little gymnast mode. Hubby went out for a while then and after making sure that Keane was in deep sleep, I went to my study to send some emails and check on some work. Hubby came back in 10 minutes and when he opened the door to check on Keane, he saw baby land on the floor wailing. I think I almost fainted when he told me what had happened. I never expected Keane to fall off the bed. I was at a complete loss. Everyone usually depended on me to tell them what to do, how to do it when it comes to caring for baby. But this time around, I felt like everything was tearing apart.

Thankfully, hubby decided to take charge and quickly calmed Keane down. He stopped crying after 3 minutes. We quickly got on our way to KKH for a check cos I was so paranoid. Even after my mommy friends told me it’s ok and we could monitor him at home, I felt so horrid and wanted to just speed away to the doc. I needed a medical professional to tell me “it’s okay, he’ll be okay”.

Fast forward 72 hours after the fall, Keane had gone through his observation period smoothly. No bumps were seen or felt in this period, no vomiting, no lethargy, healthy appetite, but my heart certainly went into overwork. By the way, Keane’s poop was green! FIL probably said it’s the shock he suffered during the fall that caused it to turn this revolting colour. Interesting

Then soon after that, he had fever and flu. The poor boy was wheezing and tossing around his bed. And as we all know, if baby doesn’t sleep well, parents don’t sleep at all. I took out all the ointments, turned up the dehumidifier and ioniser, and took out the scent vaporiser. I believed it work slightly but I guess he still couldn’t run from another visit to the doctor.

I’m sorry, baby. I promise to be with you 24/7 as much as I can. And, sorry that you’re feeling so awful despite your super bright smiles.

keane's fall

goodies for babies ( I LOVE SAMPLES!)

When keane was still in my tummy, I was (unofficially) the one who decided what to buy in terms of his bottles, his diapers. basically all his necessities. His dad, on the other hand, was the one who picked out his bed sheets, his cot, his diaper table and most of all, his clothes. It’s role reversal which I can’t say if I enjoyed it or not, but was great to see hubby being so involved. (he was quite bochup during wedding preparations and home reno)

Since I’m getting all the necessities for keane, I wanted to make sure they would really be useful and I really don’t want to clutter my tiny, little shoebox in Punggol. So, I’ve discovered something that can only be described as godsend.. and it’s samples!! A BIG THANK YOU to all the awesome mommies who had been sharing al these goodies with me. I heart these samples more than my own beauty samples. I’ve heard so many stories of how babies reject formula milk (FM), wear nappies that cause rash or major pee leak. O.M.G.

According to the theory of good things must share… here’s my list!

Milk powder

Nestle

S-26

Dumex

Friso

Abott

Karihome

Diapers

Merries

Goo.N

Drypers

Huggies

I go for talks and usually, they will have goodie bags too. Although I have to pay for the talks but I get knowledge and a goodie bag too, so I don’t really mind. There used to be Mothercare Nursery Advisor Tour which I wrote about last year. It was really helpful, but I think they stopped it. It’s a pity cos the lady Amy knew so much about almost everything that’s to do with babies. Best of all, she helped me to decide on my breast pump brand. I picked UniMOM over Medela!