Friday, November 15, 2013

School year 2013

So the school year for 2013 has come to a close. Joseph completes his second year in a Chinese primary school.
How did he do?
He has gone from a totally blur 'English' boy to one who is proud to be chinese and in a chinese school. Academically, there is plenty of room for improvement. He's intelligent, but handicapped by the language. Still, his command of the Chinese language has improved tremendously and considering the fact that he does not go for tuition, I'd say he did pretty well. His exam marks averages in the 80s except for English which is a near perfect score.
This year, he came home with 2 trophies. One for a consolation prize in a coloring competition (in thought he hated colouring!) and the other for second place in English sentence construction competition.
Socially, he's got a Chinese chess 'gang' with whom he plays the game after school. Hence he likes it that his father fetches him from school a little late and his father is glad to do so because traffic flow is less congested.
Joseph is a more outdoor kind of boy preferring to cycle, swim and hike.
He doesn't like languages and he doesn't like being on stage. So we didn't force him to join the Children's Church Christmas production this year.

For Joy, this is the end of her first year in kindy and it has certainly been a very good one for her. She is an excellent student. Perhaps too excellent to the point of being a perfectionist. Her handwriting is very neat. She will erase and rewrite if a certain stroke is too short or too long. Even by a mere millimetre!!
She tells me that she has not done a single correction for spelling, ejaan and 听写 all year because she got every one of it correct. About 3 weeks ago, she came home with a present and said it was for getting all correct in every paper in the year-end assessment adding that she wad the only student in her class to do so.
Today was party and awards day and she was awarded Student of The Year!
I'm certainly impressed. But while I praise her for a good job done, I remind her that all she achieves is by the grace of God and she must remain humble.
I must add that she is also quite a busy body. She knows the name of every classmate, how many siblings they have, which vehicle they come in, and who their parents are. She can also eavesdrop on the next class so she knows what goes on in the 4-year old class, while paying full attention to her own teacher. In her words, "one ear listen to this teacher, one ear listen to that teacher la!"

On the down side, she's quite a Puteri Lilin and a fussy and very slow eater. She still eats mainly oats but is taller than even kids 2 years older than her.

I realize that both my school-going children are so different.
Joseph's handwriting is like 'cakar ayam' while Joy's is like it's printed.
Joseph's books are full of dog ears by February while Joy's is still like brand new after a whole year.
Joseph completes his homework very quickly but Joy takes a long time.

I remind myself to not compare but praise and encourage every effort and achievement.
Thank you God for beautiful, intelligent children!

November birthdays

November started with celebrating Daalin's birthday on 1st November. We got him his favourite white chocolate macadamia cake from Secret Recipe.
Thirty-seven is like the start of the 'late 30s'. But I think he looks all of only 17, don't you think? Some days my Associate Professor husband goes to work in jeans, t-shirt and a back pack and still can get mistaken for a student. (shh...he actually likes it when people mistake him for a student.)

A few days later we celebrated Isabel's second birthday on 5th November. I love birthdays.....they are wonderful excuses for cake. This is the Fat 'Lil Monkey from FatBoyBakes. 
I always feel that the first 6 months of life seem to crawl by. It's most difficult when all they do is cry, poo, puke and pee. But thereafter, time seems to fly and in the blink of an eye, they have grown so much, so fast!
Blessed Birthday Daalin and Isabel! Next month we celebrate Jesus' birthday and then January will see Joy's and mama's birthdays! Yeah!!! 
I'm two years old!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Number 4 is here!

He's here...number 4 has arrived!
Meet Isaac.... our promised child.

Isaac arrived at 9.49am on 23 October 2013, (39 weeks gestation) weighing 3.17kg after a very relatively easy labour. 

I woke up at 5am that morning with mildly-painful contractions. The blood-tinged mucus plug confirmed that this was D-Day! I took a shower, washed my hair while waiting for my mum to come over. The contractions were not very painful so I took my own sweet time since the children were still sleeping. 

By 8am, I felt the contractions were getting more frequent even though the pain was still pretty mild. At 5 minutes apart, I did not want to risk giving birth in the house or car and so we made our way to the hospital, arriving at 8.20am. 

Strolling into the labour ward, I looked pretty comfortable so the nurses were cool as well until they asked if this was my first baby and I shook my head and told her this was my fourth. Then they started to move faster. 

The midwife checked me and found me already 5cm dilated. At 9am, my gynae came and said I was already 7.5cm dilated. I was surprised that things were progressing so fast. The pain was still very bearable. 

At 9.35am, I suddenly had a very painful contraction and felt a very strong urge to push. Daaling called for the midwife who said I was already fully dilated. My gynae appeared soon after and baby Isaac arrived at 9.49am.  
I thank God for a relatively easy labour, which I attribute to my taking Herbalife throughout my pregnancy. I strongly believe it kept my body in tiptop shape. Exercise and keeping active also helped. I still ran on my treadmill until I was 6 months pregnant. Thereafter I did light exercises and the kids kept me active. 

Because I had no episiotomy, recovery was very fast. I was very mobile from the next day. On the 6th day, I drove myself and Isaac to the paediatrician to check on his jaundice. Life and house chores go on as normal. Laundry, cleaning, washing. I did abstain from washing my hair for one whole week. In the second week, I washed my hair twice - with the herbal water. 

The past 3 weeks have been extremely tiring and sleep-deprived. While Joseph and Joy-Anne have been very helpful and loving towards their new baby brother, Isabel is taking a little longer to warm up to him.

I finally feel our family is complete. There is no more baby-urge. Maternity clothes are already packed up and ready to be shipped out.
Things are tough now but I know that this is temporary and easier times will soon dawn.