Day out at Eat Play Love cafe

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Cafes are the current in thing in Singapore. If you can find a nook, you will probably find a cafe. Not all of them serve nice coffee and food but their ambiance does give our little tiny dot of a country an up on our chic factor. Recently, the hubs and I were particularly excited to explore one of the cafes that had rave reviews, accompanied with brilliant and bright photos. Unfortunately we left with a semi hole in our pockets (prices were exorbitant for a cafe!) and hungry unfulfilled tummies. The saving grace was a corner seat and some space for the children to sit, eat and explore alittle. It really left us wondering how do the many youngsters in the cafe afford to pay such crazy prices for food and drinks. Errm, wasn’t Macs considered kinda expensive when we were younger?

Maybe we are old foggies. Actually, scratch that. We are NOT old foggies, we are young and hip. Some cafes are just not very friendly to our pockets, tummies and children.

On the very same day we visited Eat Play Love cafe. While their Thai-Western cuisine menu wasn’t all that impressive, their prices are pretty reasonable. We were unable to order savoury items as the kitchen was preparing for dinner, but the local dessert we decided on was refreshing for a warm humid afternoon (it’s also alittle hard to go wrong with grass jelly and nata de coco).

Their weekends are normally crowded so it’s wise to call ahead to book or check if there are seats available. Better still, go on a weekday afternoon where children are either sleeping or in school. You just risk having a grumpy pants doing craft.

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Eat Play Love cafe boasts of a unique experience where adults get to eat and children get crafty and dirty the place with glue, macaroni, feathers and the likes. Every child gets a piece of activity sheet free of charge. For $5, you get an activity pack (the one that S is crafting with above) with some paper, foam stickers, feathers and glitter. Markers and other craft essentials are free for use everywhere in the craft corner.

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If the basic pack may seem alittle kiddy for older children, you can pay extra to purchase other craft activities. The prices for these crafts are not exactly cheap and i’m pretty sure i’ll find the same item with much a lower price elsewhere.

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The current craze in the cafe is shrinky dink plastic where you purchase a piece of shrinky dink plastic for $5, draw on it and pop it into the oven where it will shrink and harden up. We thought $5 was too much to pay for a piece of plastic so we played with some scraps that were left on the tables and wowed at how the plastic really shrank and well, hardened up. Hehe. It is waaaay more fun and entertaining than how i described it.

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Will i return back to the cafe again? Well, probably, if I’m in the vicinity with time to spare or if my girlfriends organise a play date there. But I don’t think i will make a deliberate trip down unless the cafe offers a greater variety of crafts and materials. Personally, $5 isn’t a reasonable sum to pay for some paper, stickers and glitter when such materials are easily found in greater quantity and lower prices in the stationary stores. Similarly, i don’t agree with paying high prices for the alternative activities that they provide for older children.

Given that it is a craft cafe, i guess i would like to see a greater variety of crafts available for children of all ages. I wouldn’t mind paying alittle more for better craft ideas, more materials and maybe even a member of the staff there to guide the children into creating their little wonders.

Would i recommend the cafe? Well, yes, especially if you are not into cleaning up the mess at home. And if the little ones are driving you up the wall with their insane amount of energy.. this would be a good place for the adults to chill and the children to have some fun. Even Noah enjoyed himself watching the older ones and taking in the mad explosion of colours in this happy place!

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Home Learning: Freebies

 

printable file folder game
Source: Mr Printables

Look at these, can you believe that they are made of paper? More importantly, can you believe it’s free? I had to triple check to make sure there were no strings attached. And then i fought the urge to whatsapp everyone i know about this site.

I love planning for home learning and other projects. There are a million things i want to do and non of it has to do with a magic clean mop.. or a stove.  Pinterest gets me started and then the ideas keep coming in. Unfortunately, that’s where it often stops. To be honest, i find it pretty hard juggling chores, spending time with the children, making time for the hubs and my family and then finding more time to do me stuff or fiddle with the computer (in that unfortunate priority). And I’ll go a week or two psycho-ing myself (getting pretty good at this, now i know why i majored in that!) that it’s ok before my next im-so-pathetic outburst. Please tell me i’m not alone.

Anyway, sob story aside, i have been thinking of a few ways to find more time to get my projects ongoing. And one of them is to finally admit that I don’t have the time to design everything myself. The web is a myriad of information and i’m often surprised by the goodies that are available for free! Here’s some of my favourite for starters.


Source: No Time For Flashcards


Source: The Artful Parent


Source: Education.com

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Festive Greetings!

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Merry Christmas everyone! The little ones are going alittle crazy opening presents and enjoying themselves… and we are really glad that they are finally learning how to enjoy the season. We are taking time to teach them that the season really is about Jesus and not all about presents 🙂 Have fun ya all, and may the rest of 2013 be a blast!

December’s Necklace

December December… where did October & November go? Well at least I figured out that I have not figured out how to sleep normal human hours and still have the time to do everything on my list. Now I just have to figure how to do it.

Noah’s now 4.5 months and counting. This time with much less anxiety (learning to trust and let go finally!), I’m really enjoying the snuggles and growing up process more. We are literally watching him grow before our eyes. And having Shanah to snuggle and play tickles together? That’s a bonus beyond bonus. Two sweethearts, wow, my heart just exploded.

I think we have now figured a schedule of sorts and with that, we managed some home activities here and there to feed my craft addiction. This love for crafts started when my mummy used to buy me craft books and materials when I was a child, and the interest kinda stuck on me all these years. I’m really glad that Shanah has also taken an interest in crafts and it’s my wish that she takes it further and creates amazing things to bless those around her.

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Necklace with bubble tea straw (because we all love bubble tea, closetlover or not)

Adapted from No Time for Flashcards 

I really love this activity because it’s so simple and fuss free, yet it works on two motor skills at the same time! Especially for pre-writers, this really builds on their finger dexterity to help in future writing skills.

Materials needed:

3 Bubble tea straws (softer ones so it’s easier to cut)
1m of ribbon/string
Scissors
Tape

I started by getting Shanah all excited about doing ‘something’ special. She’s kinda girly, so making necklaces is totally up her alley. Plus the fact that i took out her special kiddy scissors – that got her really excited.

I demonstrated how to cut the straw with the scissors. Then i held her hands to do it together with her. When she has gotten the hang of it, i allowed her to do the cutting herself. Two things to note, firstly, cut a suitable length that allows for easy threading. Secondly, the straws can get rather sharp after you cut them, so watch out of those! The ability to use the scissors requires hand-eye coordination and some strength – both of which requires much practice. So if it’s your first time, guide your child through the whole cutting process.

After cutting the straws, it’s time to string the parts! One end of the ribbon was taped to the floor while the other end was folded and taped to make it easier for little hands to thread the straws in.

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It took Shanah a few tries to get the threading right. She was initially alittle frustrated to put the ribbon through the straw only to have it drop out again. But once she figured how to thread the ribbon through and pull it out the other side, she’s was really pleased with herself. In fact, halfway through the activity Noah woke up from his nap, and I was able to attend to him as she finished up her necklace!

When the threading’s all done, just tie a knot, cut up the excess ribbon and you have a bubble tea necklace!

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Proudly wearing her necklace, declaring that she wanted to show her daddy her handicraft!

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My Baby Addiction

So Mummy A just gave birth! I’m still reeling from the shock of it all because we were just happily lunching and pretending to be tai-tais that very afternoon. Little did we know that cheeky little Z was on his way out in a mere few hours. Babies, they have a mind of their own right from the very start.

The thing about having their own minds is really starting to drive me nuts. Here you have this little thing who looks so innocent, and you wonder how much harm can he do? Next thing you know, he shoots some poo and pees on you (not me fortunately, he leaves such surprises for the hubs). And that’s just the beginning. My Noah loves loves loves to be carried all the time, and he only behaves like this when we are home, not when we are out with ample help. I’m on my way to considering a third hand transplant so that I can carry him and get on with our daily business.

Having a new baby is tough. Everything was blissful and perfect at the hospital until reality hits you with a big nasty surprise the moment you bring the baby home. This quiet and peaceful baby doesn’t seem so quiet anymore. He constantly needs feeding, diaper changing and attention. It may come as a rude shock for some, but having a baby does change your life completely. Your world now revolves around this little one and matters that had no significance to you previously suddenly become super important  (like the colour of poo). You find yourself googling everything about babies and freaking out at the scary stuff you read online. Thankfully things do get better in the later months.

Noah Cries

Though my days are currently mad, I’m thankful for the little things that get me going. Like little Noah’s chubby cheeks and cheeky one-sided grin – they send me in crazy baby-smelling mother mode. There’s just something about babies (just mine, don’t worry) and my little girl that I can’t stop smelling, sniffing, taking a huge breathe of… and then do it all over again. It’s almost like an addiction now.

They say that childhood is short. Babyhood is even shorter. They are only going to be this needy, chubby and helpless for a short period of time. When the going gets tough, when the little boy is screaming at the top of his lungs (good stamina, this one), when he pooped and stained his clothes for the 5th time consecutively, I pause and remind myself that this little boy will only need and want me for awhile. It won’t be too long before he flaps his wings and discover the world on his own. Then I sneak into the kitchen for a butter cookie before getting onto the daily grind.

Presenting to you my top 5 baby addiction:

1) That baby smell

They just smell sooo sweet and only for awhile! Not long before they run and crawl or smell like drool. Heh.

2) Little tracker eyes

I love it when Noah tracks me with his eyes as I walk across the hall. It’s almost like he’s saying, ‘I’m waiting for you to play with me mama’.

3) 10 little kissable toes & fingers

I remember the 20th week detailed scan where the sonographer was counting the number of fingers and toes. I think our hearts stopped till she counted to 10 each time. Scary moment. Thank God every finger and toe is present! Today, I love holding the little chubby hand and tracing the dimples on each finger. Sometimes I run my fingers through his sole and toes and marvel at how smooth and tiny they are!

4) The chubby flapper hands

The first time Noah was placed into my arms, he wailed and smacked me on the face. He’s still doing it now when he gets upset and each time he does it, it never fails to remind me of the first moments we met. Such fond memories that I keep close to my heart.

5) Munchkin nose

When my babies are all asleep, I love to go close to their faces and smell their babyness. I like how the hubs put it – that the nooks and crannies of our faces fit just right into each other’s.

Noah Bear

If you are a new mama, or a mother with a new baby, hang in there, it will get better. When things get tough, take a deep breath and then hug the baby. If you feel yourself going mad, it’s ok to hide in another room for a moment or sneak a chocolate bar or two. Then go back to the baby with more cuddles! Whatever it is, you deserve a huge pat on your back, a carton of Ben & Jerries, a huge strawberry short cake and the best cup of coffee in the world.

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I’ll try harder always

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I used to read about mothers who spent their days screaming at their kids and I wonder, seriously? These women must be really hot tempered.

When I say ‘I used to’, I mean a couple of months ago. In just a space of months, my little girl has grown into a toddler who constantly tests her limits, takes joy in going against my wishes and goes into tantrum mode, well, maybe a few times a day. To say that it’s tiring would be an understatement. Recently I find myself talking exceptionally loudly to her more often than i would like. I really used to smile more. Little S has been going, ‘Mummy, not angry anymore?’ too often.

It has been tough, juggling between two kids who need my attention equally much. I wish I had more time to do some/more home learning with the little girl. She loves going through cards, reading together and most of all, to share a cuddle and a laugh. I wish I had more time to coo and play peek a boo with the small boy. I’m sure I spent more time with his sister at his age.

*mom guilt overload*

I like to give myself plenty of space and reason so I’ve been telling myself that everything needs time to adjust blah blah blah. I decided today that I had enough of the reasons and it’s time to pull up my socks and make use of every conceivable moment to thoroughly enjoy my time spent with them. Be it learning with little S or attempting to give more cuddles to the small boy who has taken a recent obsession for being held all day.

This means more smiles and less frowns. More cuddles and less hand smacking. And more importantly, more love and patience. More prayers too for all of the above.

It’s a learning curve for me too, and I promise my dear ones, that I’ll try harder always.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil 4:8

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Why we do what we do

Today was a toughie. A majority of the day was spent battling milk, noodles, toys, baby and toddler. It’s one of those days I get dizzy just wandering around my very small flat, trying to get things into order. I think I had to seriously talk myself out of just giving it all up and plopping down infront of the telly with a very cold green tea in my hands – which i did, at 8pm – twice.

Still, I know I have come rather far in this motherhood journey – much more to learn though! Just a couple of years ago, with a baby girl in my arms, I could barely fix myself a decent lunch. With her permanently latched on, I would searched google like a madwoman, trying to read up on everything concerning breastfeeding and babies. Then, i would look to my husband as my hero when he returned from work and my mortal enemy when he left for work the next morning. Today, I can manage breakfast, lunch and most things a toddler needs to thrive. I usually look like a mad crazy woman when my husband returns from work. You know how some articles say that wives need to doll up for their husbands? Pffffft. That’s lala land.

That being said, I very much love my day cum night cum 24/7 job. I love how there’s no boundaries between my job and my personal life and that I get to see my munchkins all the time. I wouldn’t have come this far without God and my faithful momsy friends who are there for me each time I think the going gets too tough. Seriously, if I save a dollar each time I whine, it would prolly be enough for a trip or something. It really must be some Godly intervention to arrange for like minded friends to walk through this journey with me – I’m looking at you A & J!

The first mumsy blog I read was one ranting about her difficulties in breastfeeding. That brought me so much comfort, to know that there are other mothers out there who are having a hard time with this breastfeeding and parenting gig. For many days after, I would religiously go through similar blogs, often laughing and finding much comfort in this one sided relationship (ha!).

With this blog, I hope to firstly document my journey with the children – to have something to read and look back on in fondness when the house grows quiet and the teenage angst and empty nest set in. In reading this, I hope that they will know how fun (fingers crossed) their childhood was and above all, how very much they are loved. All other reasons are secondary. Hahah. No really, in sharing our lives, I also hope to bring some form of comfort to mothers who need it, just like how it did for me.

So here goes! Meanwhile, I’m ending with some pictures of food because I’m really hungry now. And its 2.30am, so randomness is allowed.

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