Topics of discussion


Since the kids were babies, we made a parenting decision to not babytalk them and now that they’re older, it seems to have really paid off. In execution terms, it means we don’t dumb down our language and we try to expose them to different words even though they may not fully understand what some of these words mean. While we’re at it, we also teach them some singlish, some cantonese, some hokkien and a few made up words (they know these to be talking words, not writing words, close enough).

That thing they say about kids’ brains being like sponges? It’s entirely true. They’re remarkably fast at picking up new words and I’m often surprised by their powers of inference. Sometimes we forget that we’ve ever used a word/phrase and it pops up from one of the kids (used to perfection) several weeks later and we’re like HOW IS IT THAT KNOW THIS? Kirsten’s favourite comeback to that question is “BECAUSE I HAVE A BRAIN!!”

Most importantly, it makes them great conversationalists, which is beneficial for me since I’m stuck talking to them all day.

Here’s a collection of fun stuff I heard from the kids lately.


Kirsten: Kor kor!! Did you draw this angry bird?

Truett: Ya.

Kirsten: SIAL LAH!!! Very nice, man.


Tru: *whispers* Psst, mom, look over there, it’s Santa Claus.

Me: What?? Where??? It’s January and this is the wet market.

Tru: There… the one with the long beard. That’s a super awesome beard, right? You need to take a photo and put on your facebook.

Me: Hahahahahahahahahaha nice one. But I can’t just anyhowly take photos of people, if he catches me, he might yell at me ok.

Tru: You just be all boh chup then when he’s not looking, you quickly take a photo. Just send it to daddy and say I met Santa Claus.

*Photo or it didn’t happen…so here you go.


Tru: This boy from my class was crying during recess today, I think he got separation anxiety.

Me: Oh no, did you try to cheer him up?

Tru: Ya. I asked him if he wanted my packet milo but he just kept crying so I walked away.

Me: You just left him there and walked away??

Tru: It was very awkward so I went to eat my chicken rice. If not, later I don’t have enough time to eat my food.

Me: Maybe you can buy your food and sit with him tomorrow. I think if you be his friend, he might stop crying.

Tru: Yeah, ok, let me think about it.


Me: Hey Finn, would you like to help momma make coffee?


Me: Fair enough, this is my third cup but you don’t have to sound so judgey. This one’s decaf.

Finn: Ohhh, decaf.

Me: Do you even know what that means?

Finn: Mmmmm…NOPE!

Me: Then you ohh for what?

Finn: What’s decaf, momma?

Me: Decaf means there’s very little caffeine, almost none. Mommy’s still breastfeeding so I can’t overdo the caffeine. It’s like a placebo.


Me: How is that funn…ah nevermind, decaf means Finn can drink it.

Finn: *happy dance* YAY YAY YAYYY I CAN HAVE COFFEEEE!!!

PS. This is the only kid who enjoys drinking coffee. He’ll share a lotus cookie and a (decaf) latte with me in the afternoon and it’s turning out to my my new favourite time of the day.


Discover Wonder with 3M

One of my favourite things about having a baby (that’s why I have so many!) is being able to experience the world through their eyes all over again. As grown ups, for better or worse, we’ve learnt to see things the way they should be. But kids, they’re just discovering the world for the first time, a world where everything is new and wonderful.

Before babies learn about how things work, they are able to discover wonder in the world. That’s magic. With all my kids, I’ve let them run free to explore the world right from the moment they started getting more mobile. Go, be off on grand adventures! There’s so much fun to be had in the world.

planning their next adventure

These two little ones are already planning their next adventure

But the thing with babies is that along with the freedom to roam and discover wonder comes the very real possibility of discovering danger. They have zero awareness of danger so any number of bad things could happen in that split second that we take our eyes off them. They might accidentally get their fingers pinched by the door (that’s happened), or bang their precious little head onto a table corner (yes, that too!), chomp on an wire (um…yeah), or poke a thumb into the electrical socket (ok thankfully, no). I love watching my babies grow but the crawler phase? That’s intense, because I have to watch them like a hawk every second of every day.

That’s where babyproofing comes in. With the right safeguards, the kids’ exploration around the house doesn’t need to be filled with knocks and bruises.

Baby Theo’s getting more mobile in the next few months so I’m looking into re-babyproofing my house to make sure everything is safe once he starts crawling everywhere.

danger alert

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

Over the years, I’ve tried so many child safety products and I’m here to tell you that you should save your time and money and just go straight for the ones from 3M. Nobody does better child safety products than 3M. These are thoughtfully designed with moms in mind, to provide a safe environment for babies in the home. It’s so convenient and easy to use.

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Rotating finger pinch guard

All the other finger pinch guards in the market are pretty basic – you wedge it on side of the door to prevent it from slamming on your baby’s little fingers. The problem is that when you don’t need it, you pull it off and put it somewhere you’ll forget. Then when you need it again, you’ll be hunting around the house looking for it.

3M’s rotating finger pinch guard is genius. You stick it on the door and it stays there all the time. When you need the pinch guard to work, you simply swivel it out and when you’re done, you just swivel it right back. Voila! No more hunting around for a pinch guard when you need it and more importantly, no more injured baby fingers when this little guy is playing peekaboo behind the door.


And how cute are the designs? I’m happy to have this on my door all the time.

swivel out

swivel out

swivel back

swivel back

Table corner and edge guard

Those pesky table corners are the worst, amirite? Truett and Kirsten were masters at avoiding the corners (very cautious babies) but Finn, my little adventurer, has banged his head into the table corner so many times it’s starting to get embarrassing. For me, mostly. It actually hurts me every time he does it but this boy does not seem to register that having his head come into contact with a sharp table corner with great force is a bad thing. I seriously considered making him wear a helmet at all times but he wouldn’t hear of it.

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That’s silly, momma, helmets are for outdoor adventures only!

With 3M’s soft corner edge guard, it cushions the blow when Finn walks right into the table edge yet again. Not ideal, but at least it reduces the damage drastically and I can have some peace of mind knowing that my baby is safe. Once in a while, the 2 bigger kids will accidentally jab their sides into the table edge while running around playing their crazy games at home so this helps to keep them safe as well.

Frivolous, but these come in a gorgeous rich, brown colour that complements my furniture. :)

corner guard

3M’s corner guards keep all my babies safe…and they’re pretty too

In addition to the thoughtful design, 3M child safety products come with reliable 3M adhesive, making them stronger and longer-lasting. You don’t have to worry about replacing the adhesive after a few weeks.

Most importantly, all 3M products are tested and internationally certified by SGS, an international inspection and certification company, which means that the range of products is non-toxic, BPA-free and free from 19 heavy metals. With 3M’s range of child safety products, you can give your little one the freedom to explore the world and discover wonder while having the peace of mind that they’re safe.

Make your’ child’s world safer with 3M.

*Stand a chance to win a grand prize of a photoshoot for your child worth $300 or one (out of 50) of 3M’s innovative Rotating Finger Pinch Guard! Head on over here to take part.

getting ready for school

Progress report: week 1

A whole week in and Primary 1 has been good so far. Truett is adjusting to the hours and making new friends and learning all kinds of new stuff. It’s like he’s made the jump to being a smarty pants primary schooler in a week, in a good way. He knows how things work now.

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Me, I’m still adjusting. I still get flashbacks of my time in the system, like the other day when I followed a trail of parents to cut across the school carpark after picking Truett up. From nowhere, the principal appeared behind me and started booming, “PARENTS, PLEASE SET A GOOD EXAMPLE AND WALK ON THE PAVEMENT!”

We were like barely 3 feet from the pavement that was packed with parents and the carpark was completely clear but “YES, MA’AM, RIGHT AWAY!!” In front of me, all the other parents scurried off hastily, each one quickly making sure both feet found a spot up on the crowded pavement. It would have been funny if I wasn’t also scurrying. In a different scenario, I might have told her to loosen up a little but 20 something years on, there’s still something about having the principal bark orders at me. I’m like the elephant who had his leg tied to a stake as a baby, y’know. What I’d like to know is whether all primary school principals are this terrifying. Like when you want to apply for the job of school principal, there’s an audition for the role. “Stand over there, put on your fierce face and bark orders…GO! Ok, too docile, next!”

Anyway, everyday when I pick Truett up from school, I’ll give him a monster hug and ask him the same question, “How was school today?”

“Good,” he’ll say, like 7-year-olds do in their noncommital way.

“Well, elaborate!!”

“What’s laborate?”

“E-laborate. It means tell me more. I need details!” Apart from my inquisitive mom instincts kicking in, I really do like hearing him talk about his day in school.

“I had chicken rice again and I ordered it myself, my buddy didn’t have to help me.” (that’s 6 days of chicken rice in a row, I’ll have to try this legendary chicken rice sometime.) “My friends like my book, they think it’s funny.” (it is. Press Here is his new favourite book and it’s a great one.) “I drew a leaf today,” he said, pulling out a crumpled piece of green paper from his bag. (at least it’s not torn, yay! that’s improvement.)

Earlier in the week, he also said “I think my chinese is not so good, all my friends can speak chinese but I don’t understand what the teacher is saying in class.” He looked troubled as he said it, and I felt really bad for him.

My thoughts about how we teach Mandarin in schools have been well documented and I won’t talk about it again, but looking at him worry about his ability to cope with this blasted subject on his first week in school was heartbreaking. Maybe it’s time to cave and re-enrol him in Mandarin classes or hire a private tutor. We’re still weighing our options but step 1 of the intervention plan has begun – I’ve been going through his 华文课本 with him after school.

Today, when I asked him about how school was, he said “When teacher said chinese things, I understood what she was saying. I don’t know how I know but I just know, it’s a miracle.”

Ok, baby steps, we’ll get there.

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