Malacca in December 2016

27dec16
We squeezed in a short holiday to Malacca before the year ended. As KL couldn’t make it, me and my mum and the boys took a bus there. It was quite painful, 6 hours each way. T took an anti-motion sickness pill on the way there, so he didn’t puke. I lost his other pill on the way back, so made him sleep for most of the journey to prevent him from feeling sick. But he puked anyway!

Food in Malacca was yummy as usual. T especially likes chicken rice balls – he eats 5 in one go! Boys like to eat Mamee so they were happy to see the big Mamee on the last day we were strolling on Jonker Street.

Treehouse

1jan16
The Science Centre is our go-to place on weekends whenever we have a few hours to spare and nothing to do. We spent our New Year’s Eve afternoon there.

We pop by the ecogarden trail sometimes because the treehouse is quite lovely – to the boys, not to me. I have NEVER stepped foot into the treehouse ever since I ran into the snake there years ago.

Bits and Pieces of December 2016

dec16
Last post to round up the year!

Stuffed toys neat and snug under the blanket. When K sets the sleeping area (not so often), he makes an effort to line things up nicely. When T sets the sleeping area (most of the time), everything is randomly left on their tilams.

Used many plasters this month to cover up K’s abrasions. Those were from a disaster biking outing at Maidstone Road. The lil path there is nice for jogging but not well paved. K fell at the end of a slope because he trying to avoid a pond. T got himself and his bike stuck in an overgrown grass patch while I was tending to K. They hated the whole outing and don’t ever want to go back there again. Plasters are from a stash that my dad left behind. Using the plasters remind us of him.

Recycled five piles of unwanted books and papers this year. I packed one pile and boys packed four in exchange for screen time.

Erasers all over the place. Boys have a few country erasers and I gave them a whole stash for Christmas. K is drawing up a play area before starting the competition.

Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa

16Dec16.jpg
We stayed at Holiday Inn Resort Benoa for five days and boys loved it as usual. They have the same program every day: breakfast, Kid’s Club, lunch, Kid’s Club, swim, dinner, Kid’s Club (sometimes night swim). They play the things at the Kid’s Club and eat the same meals every day but they’re not bored at all.

17dec16We took them to a nearby mall once, but they very much prefer staying in the resort. So me and KL just ventured out a few hours a day without them, whenever they’re parked at the Kid’s Club.

Hideaway Villas Bali

14dec16
We were in Bali this month! Stayed three days in Hideaway Villas in Uluwatu. It was so “ulu” that our taxi driver could not find the place initially.

Each villa comes with a pool and because we ordered room service for all meals, we ended up staying in the villa all the time. Not that anyone minded. The boys totally did not want to step out of the villa. I was also happy to stay in and read/dip in the pool.

We travelled very light for this trip, one small backpack per family member for seven days!

Mangoes

10dec16
I just learnt that there are two mango trees downstairs. Their friends’ father spent more than an hour getting two mangoes – first with a football, then string/stone, then with a basketball. T made a bouquet of stems from the fallen leaves of the tree.

Bits and Pieces of November 2016

nov16
Boys have been getting home-cooked dinners 4-5 nights a week, now that my mum is frequently staying over in our place.

T has no front teeth now! One of them has been wobbly for a while and he plucked it out by himself.

K is still making a lot of things at home. He made a pair of mobile phones for himself and T. It comes with a fighting game.

T drew a picture with stick men dancing in the snow! Till today, the boys still speak fondly of their Prague + Austria holiday 2 years back, as that was one and only time they played with snow!

Learning Styles

We were reading a book about learning today, and decided to do a quiz on our individual learning styles. We have two visual learners and two tactile learners at home …

K KL T J
·         Auditory: 5%

·         Visual: 60%

·         Tactile: 35%

·         Auditory: 25%

·         Visual: 45%

·         Tactile: 30%

·         Auditory: 30%

·         Visual: 30%

·         Tactile: 40%

·         Auditory: 25%

·         Visual: 35%

·         Tactile: 40%

 

You are a Visual learner!

If you are a visual learner, you learn by reading or seeing pictures. You understand and remember things by sight. You can picture what you are learning in your head, and you learn best by using methods that are primarily visual. You like to see what you are learning.

As a visual learner, you are usually neat and clean. You often close your eyes to visualize or remember something, and you will find something to watch if you become bored. You may have difficulty with spoken directions and may be easily distracted by sounds. You are attracted to color and to spoken language (like stories) that is rich in imagery.

 

You are a Tactile learner!

If you are a tactile learner, you learn by touching and doing. You understand and remember things through physical movement. You are a “hands-on” learner who prefers to touch, move, build, or draw what you learn, and you tend to learn better when some type of physical activity is involved. You need to be active and take frequent breaks, you often speak with your hands and with gestures, and you may have difficulty sitting still.

As a tactile learner, you like to take things apart and put things together, and you tend to find reasons to tinker or move around when you become bored. You may be very well coordinated and have good athletic ability. You can easily remember things that were done but may have difficulty remembering what you saw or heard in the process. You often communicate by touching, and you appreciate physically expressed forms of encouragement, such as a pat on the back.

Here are some things that visual learners like you can do to learn better:

  • Sit near the front of the classroom. (It won’t mean you’re the teacher’s pet!)
  • Have your eyesight checked on a regular basis.
  • Use flashcards to learn new words.
  • Try to visualize things that you hear or things that are read to you.
  • Write down key words, ideas, or instructions.
  • Draw pictures to help explain new concepts and then explain the pictures.
  • Color code things.
  • Avoid distractions during study times.

Remember that you need to see things, not just hear things, to learn well.

Here are some things that tactile learners like you can do to learn better:

  • Participate in activities that involve touching, building, moving, or drawing.
  • Do lots of hands-on activities like completing art projects, taking walks, or acting out stories.
  • It’s OK to chew gum, walk around, or rock in a chair while reading or studying.
  • Use flashcards and arrange them in groups to show relationships between ideas.
  • Trace words with your finger to learn spelling (finger spelling).
  • Take frequent breaks during reading or studying periods (frequent, but not long).
  • It’s OK to tap a pencil, shake your foot, or hold on to something while learning.
  • Use a computer to reinforce learning through the sense of touch.

Remember that you learn best by doing, not just by reading, seeing, or hearing.

PS: K had a ear infection over the weekend. Because the entire right ear was infected, his auditory score must have dropped to a measly 2.5%!

Staycation at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa

15oct16
We’ve not gone on a staycation in the last 2 years. Decided to stay over in Sentosa last week when the boys had a break from school. Our second time staying in this hotel and boys especially liked the meals at the hotel (the children’s buffet corner won them over) and the xbox room.

16oct16We spent a lot of time at the beach because it was clean and nice. The pool was perpetually crowded, so we didn’t hang out too much there.

Labrador Park

17oct16
Our first visit to Labrador Park. Boys had their bikes and they were supposed to cycle but they were so distracted by the playground that they spent all their time there. Looks like we’ve gotta make another trip here again!

Two-Wheeler

13oct16
First day that T is riding a two-wheeler!

Earlier in the evening, he was playing with a 5-year-old neighbor and a 6-year-old neighbor. They asked him why he was still riding a tricycle. They also got him to try their two-wheeler and *surprise* he could ride it ably! I came up to remove his tricycle wheels within the next 10 minutes!

Chinese Tuition

30sep16
K started Chinese tuition early this year. He can’t catch up in class and because we make it a point not to help the boys with their school work at all, his Chinese grades have been slipping. He’s now cruising at Band 2 after spending half a year with the tutor, so it’ll be good if he keeps himself at that Band.

Unfortunately, T also had to start Chinese tuition. It’s very sad to have to go for tuition as a P1 student, but because he came home with an ugly Band 3 last term, he doesn’t really have a choice about it.

The boys walk to the tutor’s home on their own. If they’re too early or they have to stay there a while more to wait for me to pick them up, they’ll also hit the playground. I’m glad to see T climbing so well now. I’m still waiting for the day he can climb up and down a pole by himself.

Sembawang Park

17sep16b
We visited Sembawang Park a few weeks back. When I was growing up, I used to come here for BBQs with classmates and friends. So it was nostalgic to jog through the same path that I walked two decades ago. I also realized that the park is actually very small, but it certainly didn’t feel that way when I was a teenager.

Boys enjoyed playing with sand more than playing in the battleship playground. T felt that the playground was “scary” because it slanted and he didn’t know if he’ll fall off at certain parts.

Happy 7th Birthday!

24sep16b
T turned 7 this weekend! Birthday boy had the privilege of choosing our meals the whole weekend, so we ended up having an unbelievable amount of pasta over 48 hours ….

24sep16a
Birthday boy requested to stay home so he can play his new Lego set. It’s quite a cool set. He’s happy with all the presents he received this year! Good that I have children who are easily contented with the little material possessions that they have.

Gone too soon …

17sep16
My cousin Jennie passed away last Saturday after a four year plus battle with breast cancer. She would have turned 41 this October. She made her own plans for her own passing. It was a simple cremation, no funeral, ashes shattered into the sea, lots of beautiful flowers.

When I was growing up, she was someone whom I really looked up to. So it was tough seeing such a go-getter cousin succumb to a disease, especially in her final days.

She left behind a 12 year old son who, despite the trying circumstances, is holding up really well for his PSLE. She would have been so proud of her son!

Holiday Inn Resort Krabi Ao Nang Beach

8sep16
For the second half of our Krabi holiday, we stayed at Holiday Inn Resort on Ao Nang Beach. Boys liked the bunk beds in the Kids Suite and the activities at the Kids Club, as usual. We ate most of our meals at the resort because it rained every single day that we were there, and it was just too troublesome to head out with umbrellas.

9sep16
Every time there was a 1 – 2 hours respite from the rain, we made sure we headed to the pool. There are three pools at this resort, and we spent most of the time at the four slides in the children’s pool.

Ton Ma Yom

6sep16
Ton Ma Yom is a little restaurant in Ao Nang that serves awesome Thai food! Every dish on our table was so delish, including the non-spicy food that the boys ate.

And my favourite Thai dish at the moment is seafood curry in coconut, also known as “hor mok ma prao on” (not that I’ll be able to pronounce it).