Monthly Archives

May 2014

Family life as we know it Milestones and growing up Nat Kao The darndest kid quotes and antics The Kao Kids What to Expect... As a Mother

Sound bytes of our lives (V), ft. Nat Kao

May 31, 2014

If you don’t already know, there’s someone in my life right now that makes me cry and laugh at the same time. He exasperates me to the point I think I am going insane yet possesses the ability to turn my heart to mush with that face of his.

Yea, it’s this someone.

Nat_Girly

This someone has done the darndest things from stuffing toilet paper and scooping guppies from the fish tank and leaving them to wriggle in soap water to eating dirt and flipping out his diaper filled with poo. Recently, I caught him hiding behind the sofa bed stuffing cashew nuts in his face from a jar that’s he’s snitched from the larder. And just a few weeks ago, he was also caught in the kitchen doing this:

Nat_drinking Ribena 1

Nat_drinking Ribena 2

Yep, that’s the two-year-old alright, poking multiple straws into multiple Ribena packs and having a drink of his life. I bet if he could figure out how to open the jars of chicken essence, he would have tried some.

Nat is now 26 months old and beginning to say the darndest things too, which makes me roll my eyes and hyperventilate while amusing me with laughter at the same time.

Nat_handsome smile

Recently, he’s starting to learn how to snub me right in my face, and I am now resigned to the fact that I’ve got not one, not two, BUT THREE little tikes in the house who would always have a ready word for Mom to leave her speechless.

***

You can see if you…

In the car one day, passing by a bus stop with a ‘Frozen’ poster ad

Nat: Look, Mama! I saw Frozen!

Me: Nat, I can’t look. I’m driving.

… … … … … …

On the bus on another day, passing by same bus stop with a ‘Frozen’ poster ad

Nat: Look, Mama! Frozen!

Me: Where? Can’t see lah, passed it.

Nat: (yanking my sunglasses) Take off sunglasses then you can see!

Me: -_-

***

Explain to you also no use

Me: Please don’t run. It’s slippery and you’ll fall.

Nat: Why?

Me: There’s water so if you run you may slip on the puddle of water.

Nat: Why?

Me: Aiyah, how to explain to you. Just don’t run! Listen to me, k?

Nat: Yes, Mama. (RUNS OFF)

Me: -_-

***

Why? Because!

Me: Why do I have to force you to come brush your teeth every night? Why, Nat, tell me why?

Nat: Because because!

Me: -_-

***

Liar, liar, pants on fire

Nat: Mama, can I eat pistachios?

Fatherkao: No more, Nat. I said enough.

Me: Dada has already given you a lot to eat, right? No more.

Nat: Can I eat, Mama, please?

Me: Please go check with Dada.

Nat: Dada, can I eat this?

Fatherkao: Enough for now, k.

Nat: Awww, ok. (walks back to me…)

Nat: Dada said ‘CAN!’, Mama. Nat can eat.

Us: -_-

… … … … … …

Nat: Mama, I like this snake.

Me: That’s Korkor‘s rubber snake. Did you ask before you take?

Nat: Yes. Can bring out?

Me: Please go ask your brother for permission.

Nat: Ok. Korkor! Nat can bring snake out?

Ben: (from a distance) NO!!! IT’S MINE! NO BRINGING IT OUT!

Nat: Mama, Korkor say can.

***

Nat_Cheeky

All this blog's PR Stuff Going Out! Nat Kao Reviews The Kao Kids

Review: I Theatre’s Puss in Boots

May 30, 2014

Last Saturday, we were at the Drama Centre at the National Library for I Theatre‘s Puss in Boots to learn a thing or two from a cat about being smart but not to the extent of outsmarting oneself.

As part of I Theatre’s ACE Festival 2014, the family-friendly drama production featured a talented cast who sang and danced in an entertaining story set against a rustic French village about a cat who uses trickery and deceit to gain power and wealth to win the hand of a princess in marriage for her master – but ultimately learning the important lesson about being morally upright and using her wit to save the day.

There were many funny moments throughout the musical, like cat puns, the audience being invited to participate in pronouncing ‘The Marquis of Carabas’, the Ogre Queen’s hilarious French accented bragging and singing, as well as exaggerated dance moves by cat and royalty alike that made all of us roar with laughter. The older kids were entertained and engaged, as usual. It was also my first time bringing two-year-old Nat, and although he was initially frightened by the darkness, the ogres and the cat’s purring, he soon relaxed when he heard laughter and singing.

After the show, at the Meet and Greet, Nat proclaimed loudly that he likes the cat very much. “Nat Nat likes this show,” the littlest declared. So unlike his brother and sister who were quite frightened to take a picture with the cast at their very first theatre experience (it was Hey Little Mousedeer! last year), the boy was all ready to come close to the talented people in costume who performed for him.

I Theatre Puss in Boots

I’m glad theatre has enriched the children’s lives a little with wholesome and entertaining storytelling and sound moral values of integrity, kindness and fairness. Thank you, I Theatre, for always extending kind invitations to us so we can always have a wonderful time appreciating local theatre productions and learn valuable life lessons!

More details:

Puss in Boots is part of I Theatre’s ACE Festival 2014 and will be on till 31 May 2014. ACE Festival is in its 5th year running and stands for Arts, Creativity for Everyone. It is a festival of enriching experiences, promoting family togetherness and celebrating a creative melting pot of positive and total arts experiences, featuring local and international theatre performances, workshops and fringe events. Details here at www.acefestival.org.

Read about our reviews of I Theatre’s past productions:

All this blog's PR Stuff Ben Kao Learning fun! Milestones and growing up Reading fun

Rainbow Bear’s Dinosaur Discovery by Julia Gabriel [Book Review + Giveaway]

May 29, 2014

Ben is now 5 and can read small chunks of text to entertain and educate himself. This makes me a happy mother because I can pass him a book and he’s pretty much engaged, which frees me to handle the other two who frequently need my attention.

If you pass him a book that interests him, that is.

A while ago, Julia Gabriel Education sent us this:

JGE_Dinosaur Discovery Book and CD Set

Rainbow Bear’s Dinosaur Discovery Book and CD set retails at SGD29.95

No surprise there who jumped for joy.

I very much left Ben on his own with the book while playing the audio. The book and CD set did three wonderful things for Ben. First, it reinforced whatever he’s learned for phonics at kindergarten; second it allowed him to read along with the CD and figure out challenging dinosaur names on his own without my help; and third, the beautifully illustrated book let him do a picture search for things relating to the various blends and digraphs on each page, which is something he enjoys very much.

JGE_Dinosaur Discovery_Ben reading 1

Listening attentively…

A peek inside...

A peek inside…

And while the younger ones could only be engaged for only a few minutes with their shorter attention span, this boy sat in the living room for quite a while enjoying the story.

He loves picture hunts and this is keeping him really focused

He loves picture hunts and this is keeping him really focused

The book got him excited about dinosaurs again. It even has fun facts about the 24 prehistoric animals mentioned in the pages (and I actually thought the names were all made up but I was so wrong!) – which is really good fuel for his imagination and value-adds to his reading. The audio is also great for reinforcing the correct pronunciation with the dinosaurs teaching him the most common sound of each digraph and blend.

If your kids love dinosaurs and are learning how to read, this book and CD set is a good resource to have as they journey towards fluent reading. Plus, the songs and tongue twisters are funny too!

And I have THREE sets of this to give away!

Julia Gabriel Education is giving away THREE sets of Rainbow Bear’s Dinosaur Discovery book + CD set to three of Motherkao’s readers, so you and your child can meet ’em all too!

To qualify for the random draw, simply do the following:

1) Leave me a comment here telling me who you’d like to win this for and what’s his/her favourite dinosaur 

2) LIKE Motherkao’s FB page if you haven’t done so

Remember to leave your name and email address! Giveaway closes on 5 June 2014.

And… WE HAVE OUR WINNERS!

Congrats to Joey, Ooy Yoan and Evan! We’ll be in touch, and I think some little ones would be really excited to meet the friendly dinosaurs in the book!

Dinosaur Discovery Winners

Disclosure: We were given the Dinosaur Discovery Book and CD Set from Julia Gabriel Education. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions here are our own.

All this blog's PR Stuff Milestones and growing up Motherkao loves... Nat Kao Product Reviews

One advice from the PD I won’t be following (yet)

May 28, 2014

During my last visit to the PD two weeks ago, she asked if I’m taking off Nat’s diapers already and getting him used to not wearing any at home.

She gave me the same advice for the older two kids when it was time to begin their toilet training: take off their diapers in the day when they are at home, get them used to their private parts not being covered up by a diaper, and lead them to the toilet every two to three hours to help them do a wee.

As it appears, it’s now time to begin toilet training the littlest. How time flies. With three kids so close in age, I lose track of the timing for all these milestone developments, especially for the last child. In fact, I was there at her clinic for his MMR vaccincation which was due 8 months ago.

Nat is now 26 months old, and I’m really thinking hard about how I could start toilet-training him. He’s active and up to mischief ALL THE TIME, and running around in his diaper pants since wearing it at 11 months that it’s become an extended part of him.

Little Nat in his new Drypers Drypantz which is like an extended part of him

Little Nat in his new Drypers Drypantz which is like an extended part of him

That plus his mother is way too lazy to be doing this toilet-training thing for the third time. Haven’t I already told the world that I’m so happy to have finally found a good brand of diapers that fits the untrained ones snugly in the butt, hold pee (and poo) in well, which gives me such a peace of mind?

And even more so now with the new improved Drypers keeping him so comfortable throughout the day, I’m not just about to take his Drypers Drypantz off and fret about having to clean up puddles of pee when I can let him roam and run with this extended piece of him.

No, no, I’m so NOT about to do that. Haven’t you heard my recent complaint about this boy?

[Sung to the tune of ‘Three Blind Mice’]

One active Nat, one active Nat, see how he runs, see how he runs;

He’s gonna run after Ben and Becks, climb monkey bars and have fun to the max;

He’s not ready to pee at the urinal yet;

This is one active Nat. 

This is Nat, who take every opportunity to climb, run and get in trouble

This is Nat, who takes every opportunity to climb, run and get in trouble

I’m telling you, once a mother finds a diaper that fits her child snugly, provides many hours of dryness, and gives him the skin comfort he needs, she’s not about to follow anybody’s advice when it comes to taking off his diaper and leading him to the trainer urinal to do a wee, like what, 10 times a day?

We’ve gone for a couple of hours straight recently when we were maid-less and I was out with all three kids and found the new Drypantz more amazing than it used to be. The garter waistband was firm enough to hold so much of Nat’s pee and didn’t drop at all, although the boy soon realized that it became difficult to run around (hurhurhur – so cute, that diaper butt!).

Plus, the material the diaper-pants is made of is soooooo soft (smooth and cloth-like cover on the outside, as well as absorbent within, with aloe vera, chamomile, olive extracts and Vitamin E), I hardly need to worry about diaper rash or the diaper giving him a scratchy wedgie.

So, no, Dr PD. When I smiled at you sheepishly, it was really because I was extremely reluctant to do as you suggested.

Toilet-training can wait a while more, I suppose. This active kid’s happy to be in his new improved Drypers Drypantz anyway.

Nat and his Drypantz packs

Happy Nat and his new improved Drypers Drypantz

This post is brought to you by Drypers. We’ve been regular users of Drypers Drypantz and Wee Wee Dry since 2012. We’re recommending this because we really like what we’re using and have not been disappointed once by the premium quality we’ve experienced. While Drypers Drypantz can deliver many hours of lasting comfort which my incidental experiment of being out with the kids and not having the time to change Nat’s diaper has proven, I do not recommend that you keep diapers on a kid for that long! Experts say a child’s diapers need to be changed 2 to 3 hours regularly.

~~~

Make the change to ultimate comfort with the newly improved Drypers Wee Wee Dry Newborn, Drypers Wee Wee Dry and Drypers Drypantz! Drypers is a partner in every parent’s parenting journey, helping you magnify little moments of magic, for life.

For the month of June 2014, with every purchase of 2 packs of Drypers Wee Wee Dry or Drypers Drypantz, Motherkao’s readers can receive a $10 FairPrice voucher when they send in a scanned or snapped photo of the receipt (as proof of purchase), along with personal particulars (name, address, contact no., child’s name and DOB) to sg.contest@sca.com with subject title [Motherkao].

Promotion not applicable to Drypers Drypantz M-4pcs, L-3pcs, XL-3pcs, XXL-3pcs. The promotion of the $10 voucher is valid from 1 June – 30 June 2014.

Disclosure: This post is part of a series of sponsored conversations on behalf of Drypers. All opinions here are my own.

(Self) Examination Milestones and growing up Mommy guilt The Kao Kids Thunderstorm days

Three changes to make starting today

May 26, 2014

There are three things I’d like to change in this house to keep tempers from flaring, fights from starting and resentment from building.

So I’ve told the kids that starting from today we are going to…

#1 Look at each other’s eyes when we speak

#2 Hug A LOT, like ten times a day

#3 Change our understanding of what a time-out means in this house

I realised that amongst the kids they don’t look at each other much when they talk. And between me and the kids, we don’t make much eye contact anymore. I bark a lot of orders from a distance, and even when I say goodnight, I’m practically just spacing out with my back turned against them, facing the littlest whom I’m almost always nursing at bedtime. Their father, on the other hand, constantly reminds them to look at him when he is talking to them, and from what I am observing, the dynamics between them and their father is one of greater respect and better communication.

It took me a while before it finally dawned on me that I have allowed familiarity to set in to breed a good deal of contempt, that we’re taking each other’s presence for granted, and that I have forgotten that one of the many ways to show love to children is to give them lots and lots of eye contact.

Yep, no excuse here. So you can ahead and smack me on the head.

Also, recently I came across this on FB which made me re-evaluate the ‘when’ in giving my hugs.

4 Hugs a Day Quote

I hug the kids when I send them off to school. So that’s about only once a day for Ben and Becks and twice a week for Nat. They go for enrichment lessons twice a week, and so that’s another two more hugs. Within a day, I hardly hug them. Ben is so tall now and sometimes when he pounces on me as if to give me a hug, I get annoyed. Nat makes me carry him all the time when we are out and I “hug” him almost reluctantly. Becks hug me from behind on occasions like this – like now when I’m sitting at a desk with my laptop typing this post – and she takes every chance to play hairdresser and I get irritated when she yanks too much hair out while combing.

So these poor children don’t get enough hugs for survival and are even deprived of opportunities to show love.

What a terrible Mommy they have – is what you must say. Go ahead, you can smack me on the head again.

So I’m going to fulfil their hugs quota everyday from today onwards. I don’t care if I need to do this religiously like a Mommy rule to follow – I will have to do it. And I told the kids to give one another as many hugs as they can too. Instead of fighting and pushing and getting angry with one another – which occurs often – let’s try hugging.

I gave them permission to shout ‘group hug’ whenever they need it and we’ll all try to  drop whatever we’re doing and come from where we are to give it.

We need to hug at least four times and ideally ten times a day.

Lastly, I’ve going to elevate the status of time-outs at home. No, it WILL NO LONGER be a form of punishment. It will not be about isolating you from the rest of the family because you’re misbehaving. I’m not going to use the cane at a time-out too. I told the kids that whenever I see them losing control, they go for a time-out. And no, it’s not a punishment. It’s not something bad. It’s not even because you’ve done wrong although you might have been wrong. It’s just because you lost control and you need to breathe and calm down. That’s all.

And when they see Mama lose control, they can also ask Mama to go for a time-out because she needs to breathe and calm down and stop hyperventilating, yelling and flailing her arms.

Yea, we’ll be as open as we can that way from now on.

Let’s hope these little changes would improve some things at home, fill their love tanks up and make our home a lovelier one than it already is.

All this blog's PR Stuff Happy days

It’s time to Rise & Shine! [+Carnival tickets giveaway]

May 25, 2014

Do you remember me inviting you for breakfast last year?

This year, I’m gonna be inviting you again. Wanna do breakfast with me and my kids?

To celebrate the International Year of the Family, Rise & Shine is once again organising the largest picnic event in Singapore at their Rise & Shine Breakfast Carnival. Except that this year, instead of setting the record for the largest ever breakfast picnic, we’ll be trying for the largest number of families making sandwiches together.

There will also be an exciting line-up of activities that families with children can look forward to, which includes sport trials, bike circuit races, bouncy castles, obstacle courses and fun activity booths for craft, face painting and cupcake decorating. I hear there would even be a foam party by Port of Lost Wonder!

Here are the details of the Carnival:

Rise & Shine Carnival Banner

You can get tickets NOW at an early bird rate at SGD13 per adult* which includes a SGD20 worth of Nutella Breakfast Kit. The first 1,000 sign ups will also receive a Rise & Shine limited edition goodie bag worth SGD50.

Tickets can be purchased at www.carnival.riseandshine-expo.com. The early bird registration closes 13 June 2014, 12pm. Thereafter, you may purchase your tickets on-site at SGD16.

*Child below 12 years old goes FREE!

Rise & Shine Carnival Poster

And just for Motherkao readers, I’ve got THREE PAIRS OF TICKETS to give to 3 readers!

To participate in this giveaway, leave me a comment here with your name and email address telling me WHAT KIND OF SANDWICH you would be bringing for breakfast! Giveaway closes 2 June 2014.

(It’s all part of my *evil* plan to go hunt you down and join you for the picnic. Hurhurhur.)

If you’re going to be there, please come say hi after you’ve laid your mats. We’ll be more than happy to share our sandwich (and have some of yours too)!

Disclosure: Motherkao is a partner blogger of Rise & Shine. We’ve been invited to the carnival for some family bonding time. No monetary compensation was received for this post. All sandwiches we’ll have on that morning are our own.

And the winners for the tickets to the Carnival are: Serena, Andrew Wong and Yvonne! Gonna have to go look for a family that’s got sandwiches of the tuna avocado, egg mayo, ham and  cheese and peanut butter & jelly kind!

Rise & Shine Carnival Tickets Winners

(Self) Examination Parenting 101 Thunderstorm days

Confessions of a faithful mother

May 23, 2014

“My children shall be taught of the Lord and great shall be their peace.”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

” Christ in me is the hope of glory.”

Devotional poster_God's promises

P/S: It has been amazing journey blogging and sharing my motherhood with you. After my last post was published (the one about the kids thinking I’m not great), I was overwhelmed to receive your messages, emails and love (you know who you all are). Many of you shared with me how you went through the same thing, how you coped, how you survived. And so many of you wrote me verses to encourage me and remind me that God is faithful and will be with us despite this journey being challenging and arduous. I’m so glad we can learn and lean on one another this way, and even more grateful to be at the receiving end of many kind words.

I’ve compiled something to remind myself to speak aloud everyday as my confession of faith, inspired by all the people who sent verses my way!

All this blog's PR Stuff Motherkao loves... Product Reviews Reviews The Kao Kids Uncategorized

Pretty, sticky and lasting [Stickerkid review]

May 22, 2014

The kids’ personalised stickers which I got from those push cart stalls in the mall have been failing me. These days, we can’t even recognise what’s being printed on the labels. Thankfully, they are at the age where they are indicating their preferences more strongly than ever, so we know what belongs to who by colour and design preferences, like their water bottles. The confusion begins when things are identical, like school bags, uniforms and colour pencils.

The label that failed me, which also means a waste of money

The label that failed me, which also means a waste of money

And it’s as if Stickerkid picked up my distress signal, and offered to send some personalised labels my way for the Kao kids.

Stickerkid is an online store that designs and produces high quality Swiss-made personalised labels from stickers for belongings and identification bracelets to photo name labels. The company was founded in 2004 and has printed millions of premium quality labels for thousands of parents and their children all over the world. We were really blessed to be given a fully sponsored code to customise a one-line personalised label for our belongings, as well as iron-ons for all the three kids.

It didn’t take us long to go online and choose the colours and fonts that we wanted, and the kids each had a say of their labels’ font colour and background colour.

The kids took turns to sit in front of my lap top to personalise their sticker labels

The kids took turns to sit in front of my lap top to personalise their sticker labels

And when they arrived in the mail two weeks ago, they were thrilled! Immediately, they started labelling their favourite things…

60 small stickers for each Kao kid from Stickerkid!

60 small stickers for each Kao kid from Stickerkid!

"Hands off, these are mine!": I am echoing the sentiments of these kids here

“Hands off, these are mine!”: I am echoing the sentiments of these kids here

And I took it upon myself to label their identical looking pencils to prevent more fights from breaking out…

Identical things like these MUST be labelled in this house so that a war doesn't break out

Identical things like these MUST be labelled in this house so that a war doesn’t break out

As well as rid their water bottles of their previous useless labels and putting on new ones.

The kids chose their favourite colours for their labels which incidentally are the same colours of their water bottles!

The kids chose their favourite colours for their labels which incidentally are the same colours as their water bottles!

Clearly, the biggest difference between those roadside-pushcart-pseudo-Disney name labels and those from Stickerkid is the fact that the quality of the stickers really IS better. I hear these stickers survive the microwave, the dishwasher, water, sun and sand. I’ve waited two weeks to write this review to see if the labels would fade and drop off from the kids’ water bottles that go through a good deal of scrubbing once a day, and I am pleased to say that they haven’t! I also stuck them on fabric (the kids’ school bags) and the labels have stayed there since the day I pasted them on.

I stuck the labels on the kids' school bag made of tough fabric and the adhesive in each label is amazingly strong

I stuck the labels on the kids’ school bag made of tough fabric and the adhesive in each label is amazingly strong

And although their iron-on labels for clothes may not be the prettiest, they apparently are made to last for a really long time – as long as at least 45 washings in 60ºC. With these labels ironed on, I no longer have to spend time squinting at faded size tags at the back of their PE t-shirts (Becks is S and Ben is M) when I get them ready for school. Any time saved is good time saved, I say.

What a relief to have these !

What a relief to have these !

I’m really happy to have Stickerkids help personalise the kids’ stuff. Their labels are extremely affordable and value for money, and saves me time and prevents fights. These little stickers are really something.

Thank you, Stickerkid, for sending these goodies our way and making the Kao kids really happy with these pretty things!

***

If you’d like to check out Stickerkid and see for yourself how good their labels are, you can get a 10% discount by quoting the discount code MotherKao2014 when you check out! This promotion for Motherkao readers is valid till 30 June 2014.

Disclosure: Motherkao received no monetary compensation for this review. The labels (3 sets of small stickers and 3 sets of iron-ons) were sponsored, courtesy of Stickerkids. All opinions here are my own. 


				
					
				
		
				
												
	
All this blog's PR Stuff Motherkao loves... Reviews

Getting a splashlight at the new Salon Vim

May 21, 2014

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’d know that we’ve had a challenging three weeks being without live-in help and I’ve gone almost crazy handling the chores, the kids and myself.

So when the helper came and I saw that she was settling ok, I applied for leave from my boss to go get me some me-time. Of course, my lovely boss said yes, and took over my duties for an evening while I headed to the new Salon Vim at 313 Somerset. For a while now, my stylist has been asking me to come check out the latest L’oreal Spring/Summer 2014 Collection, and I have been seeing pretty pictures of gorgeous hair on Salon Vim’s FB page that I can only wish I have – because seriously, which stay-home mom has got time to colour + perm + treat her hair? It takes at least four hours for one of those, and the only time I get four hours to myself on a typical day is after 10pm after the kids go to bed.

Someone should totally start a 24-hour salon; they might get business from stay-home moms like me.

Anyway.

I happily scooted off to 313 Somerset with a rare opportunity of having four hours to myself and found the new Salon Vim at the same level they used to be at (Level 4). And my, their new place is HUGE. It boasts of double the capacity as compared to their previous place and a VIP room (which I was ushered into!) which is cosy, quiet and super comfortable. My stylist, Ymond, took a look at the condition of my hair and declared I needed a trim, a new colour and a hair and scalp treatment – and immediately got to work.

Salon Vim at their new home (Picture credit: Salon Vim)

Salon Vim at their new home (Picture credit: Salon Vim)

He also asked if I would like to go bold and try out the new look called splashlight, which involved selecting a portion of hair to be coloured with a loud, contrasting colour against a base colour. Something like this:

Making a statement with splashlights (Picture credit: Salon Vim)

Making a statement with splashlights (Picture credit: Salon Vim)

Oooh, that would add some excitement to my life, certainly.

He selected magenta red to be “splashed” under a tuft of hair on my left side, and mocha brown as the base colour. While he was mixing and prepping, I was praying I wouldn’t end up looking like Ronald McDonald or Marilyn Manson on a bad hair day. I mean, have you seen how red the dye is?

Magenta red in the making

Magenta red in the making

Clearly, my worries were unfounded, because this, ladies and gentlemen, this was the gorgeous result:

From aunty to chic

From aunty to chic

I like that it’s not-in-your-face loud. I’ve got nothing I want to prove anyway. I like it that, on me, it turns me from aunty-looking to sophisticated chic with a statement that’s classy not angsty.

I like. I like how this splashing of highlights turned out.

Photo time with the hair

Photo time with the hair

I also had a hair and scalp keratin treatment, courtesy of Salon Vim, after the colouring was done, and it was nice to be *finally* flipping through fashion and women magazines after so long. The last time I did so was when I went to Salon Vim for my sombre highlights and soft perm in January. It’s been a while.

Some pampering of the tresses is long overdue, I say

Some pampering of the tresses is long overdue, I say

All in all, it was a happy me-time I had with myself. I’m happy with time alone, happy with the change, happy to get some red carpet treatment and happy to have a bolder new look. Salon Vim is really the place to go to if you want experienced hands who’s skilled in stylish colouring techniques, and a place to check out for the latest trends and styles.

Thank you, Salon Vim, for once again inviting me, and for pampering a tired mother silly!

With Ymond Chin, the stylist that made it all happen!

With Ymond Chin, the stylist that made it all happen!

More details:

Starting from 26 May 2014 for 2 weeks, Salon Vim is offering a 50% discount off their hair and scalp treatment! For $125 (U.P $250), get fussed and pampered while your hair and scalp get royal treatment.

And just for Motherkao readers, Salon Vim is taking 15% off your bill* when you pay them a visit for any hair services! Quote [Motherkao blog] or [Elizabeth from Motherkao] when you make an appointment at 68847757 | 68847767 or email them at vimsalon@yahoo.com.sg. Connect with them via their Facebook page to check out the latest hair creations and get inspired.

Salon Vim by Chez Vous is at 313 @ Somerset Orchard Road #04-25/28, Singapore 238895

*The 15% discount is limited to first time Salon Vim customers only.

Disclosure: I was invited to Salon Vim to try out their services for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received for this post and opinions here are my own.

(Self) Examination Family life as we know it Milestones and growing up The Kao Kids Thunderstorm days

My kids don’t think I’m great anymore

May 20, 2014

A few days ago, I hit an all-time low in my SAHM-hood. I was inconsolable (and still am now) and had to mope around for a couple of days before bracing myself to write this post.

It all started with this book:

I love my Mummy

I’ve read this book to the kids like what, more than 10 times at least, since we had it and the children enjoy the pictures and the heartwarming story in this book by Giles Andreae about all the reasons why the little boy loves his mummy.

The book ends with this, and usually, we’d end our reading of this story with a big group hug and the kids telling me how much they love me:

I love my Mummy_ending

Until a few nights ago when the kids told me, after the story ended, (and I quote Ben and Becks) that their mummy “is not that great” because “she canes us and shouts at us” and that their mummy is more “lousy” than the mummy in the book who is “so fun” to play with.

When I asked them to explain further and asked if their mommy caned and scolded them for no reason (I spoke as the third person), they said, “Our mummy cane us because we are naughty. But why must she do that? Just tell us nicely lah!”

And even after explaining that it’s a mummy’s role to discipline her children – and even the Bible says that sometimes we need to use the rod to chase foolishness away from a child – they still believed that kind of mummy is “not a good mummy”, not like the one in the book we read so often.

After being exasperated for a while, instead of breaking down as I should with tears already welling up in my eyes, I threw a big adult tantrum, told them to go to bed and to find another mummy. I hinted that I may go back to full-time work afterall, because it seemed like my being around them was not appreciated.

Both of them looked at me, with their eyes wide open, and asked me where they can buy a new mummy. Becks also asked if I could go back to work and hire more aunties to take care of them instead.

***

Quite a blow for the stay-home mum ego, isn’t it? Needless to say, I was horribly shaken by what the kids talked about, and what they could conceive in their minds – that they actually wanted to buy a new mum or even entertained the thought of getting others to replace their mum. At that moment I felt that my two years of sacrifice of staying home has all been for nought. Clearly, they are taking the mum presence for granted; they are seeing me around too much to be actually feeling some tinges of contempt that come with familiarity. I mean, if I were working full time, we’d probably treasure those few hours of seeing one another after a day’s work a lot more. I’ll probably scold them less, let them get away with a lot more things, and make the helper clean up after them more often than not.

Because of the fact that I’ve stayed home, and the recent episode of being maid-less for almost three weeks, they’re witnessing before their eyes how their own mother handles stress and adjusts to the unpredictable situations that life throws our way (which isn’t the best, of course); plus the fact that they are at the age where child-training has to take place so that they learn to be independent, I also tend to do more nagging and scolding than praising and encouraging (which is entirely the way I’ve been wired).

And have you seen the way the kids just complete ignore me whenever I give instructions like “Pack up your toys”, “Don’t litter Lego blocks on the floor”, “Please wear your shoes and get ready to go” and I get at least a whole ten minutes of lag time? Which is TOTALLY ANNOYING. I don’t know what else to do but to raise my voice and holler so that I can get things going.

So the kids think this is totally uncool and that Mama is lousy compared to the storybook mum who probably never yells at her kiddo and always smothers him with cuddles.

***

So, as I was saying, I moped around for some time before finally sitting down to write this. I did a lot of thinking after hearing what the kids said to me. It’s true, motherhood really sometimes brings out the worst in me. I scare myself on those days when I lose it; and I probably would never know this awful side of me if I hadn’t stayed home. It makes me wonder if this is all worth it. I could take the easy way out, spoil them silly and just leave the care-giving to full-day daycare. I mean, that is SO doable. I tell you, working (where I previously came from) is definitely much easier than being home with three young children. Why am I doing this, having to show my worst to the kids on crazy days where there’s chores to be done, disobedient children screaming the house down, tantrums to handle, crayons littering the floor, urine stains on the toilet bowl and toilet paper stuffed in every visible corner in the house?

What’s the point?

Of course, it is also silly to take the things that a five-year-old and four-year-old say too seriously. Why, they are children, and they’d say the darndest anyway. The adult at the receiving end should be bigger, in every sense of the word, and be the bigger, better person in handling the “feedback” and be tough enough to soldier on. Afterall, these are the things a mother has to bear.

***

The kids have assured me that they still love me, and Ben has, through tears, told me that he wants me to stay home still. He seems to fear that I might chuck him in childcare and never caring for him ever again; and I am mindful not to say things that would scar him. Becks still wants me to go back to work, because that to her will solve the “Mama has no money” problem, and so she says, which means I can buy her lots of things to eat and stuffed toys to play with, something which her present thrifty stay-home mother does not indulge her in.

I guess it’s still onward with this stay-home journey, albeit with a little discouragement. I’m choosing to believe that I can try to be a nicer person when stress gets in my way and that the kids were probably stressed out too the past three weeks of us being without live-help such that they don’t like the mother that has become the horrible-always-barking-Mom-maid that they are seeing.

It must have been also tough for them to have to put up with me the past weeks.

At least, I am still loved. Even though I am horrible.

Stay home mom motivator