Growing Up in a World of Technology

Back when Isaac was younger, he showed no interest in what videos can be played on the ipad and his attention span on things was short. Hence, it was easy to keep the tablets/phones out of his reach. We’d also remind our parents not to show him videos on their phones because we were afraid that he’d become addicted to gadgets when he got older. However, in this age of technology, we finally gave in to exposing our child to the use of the ipad. Why? The main reason has got to be because everyone around him is using it. We, as adults are constantly on the phone / ipad / laptop most of the time. Be it work related or not, our kid sees us using some form of technology when he is with us. As he starts to get more curious at his age, how is it fair for us to tell him ‘no’ if he wants to see what we are doing. I remember it actually started with FaceTime. He realised he could still see his gramps or aunt even though they are not at the same place. It was only later on that he got more curious by what his cousins and friends were watching on the screens all the time. Am i guilty about starting him on the use of ipad? No. Here’s why:

  1. I believe kids learn faster when they are having fun. We are careful about what he watches on the screen. I must say I am a huge fan of the YT Kids app. I can personalize my settings on the app like turning off the ‘Search’ function so it restricts the experience to a limited set of videos. The content that my kid is allowed to watch are suitable for toddlers of pre-school age. Best part of all, I can even set the timer to how long he is allowed to be watching the videos. In fact, he has learnt the words like ‘excavator’,’fire truck’ and ‘garbage truck’ from the videos. We are cool with him watching the videos as long as we are around (next to him) when he is watching them. Ooh yes, how can i even forget to mention how much he loves the Sesame Street?
  2. Many people think that by giving kids the tablets, it will eventually replace the bond between the parent and child because more time is spent on the device. To which, I think it is not entirely true. That bond is only replaced if parents neglect their kids by letting them watch videos all day long. I’d take the time to sit next to my little one when he is watching and ask him questions like “what is that in the fire truck?” and he’d tell me what he thinks. From that, I actually learn what he is thinking, or his imagination of what is in the fire truck. After that, he’d tell me he aspires to be a fireman or a police when he grows up. Communicating with him is key. Bond is not broken by the gadgets. It is broken by what people fail to do. Quite honestly, I think watching the videos with him is actually bonding time for us.
  3. I get to steal abit of ME time when he is kept occupied (of cause not all the time we’d occupy him with the ipad). I get to take a slightly longer shower, we get to eat in peace, we get to complete watching a movie. Sometimes parents just need a break.

That being said, we limit the time he is on the videos and try to balance it with other activities. When he asks for the ipad, we’d encourage him to play with his toys or read books with us. He usually co-operates knowing there are other fun stuff to do other than staying home to watch videos. Going outdoors usually does the trick.

At the end of the day, technology is here to stay. I am just going to take a step back from all our parenting book of rules and embrace it. 🙂

screen time

 

 

 

 

Isaac is 2!

In just a blink of an eye, my baby has turned 2. I find it hard to believe that he was once so tiny and could be carried with just an arm. Nowadays, when i carry him for more than an hour, i will start to feel like my arms/shoulders are breaking. When he was just a baby, we were afraid we will roll over and squash him at night (we co-sleep). Now, he does not fail to remind us every night that he is there by giving us “back massages” with his mad kickings. Regardless, I cannot express how much joy he has brought to our lives and I am thankful everyday for him. Here are some memorable moments between his 1st-2nd year.

He enjoys performances by buskers and once, he attempted to dance even before he could walk by himself.
Enjoying performances by buskers and attempting to dance even before he could walk by himself.
Had his first haircut & didn't shed a tear
Had his first haircut & didn’t even shed a tear
Finally decided to try walking at close to 15 months
Finally decided to try walking at close to 15 months
I missed his facetime call for the first time during a work trip and he was not too pleased. LOL!
I missed his FaceTime call for the first time during a work trip and he was not too pleased. LOL!
Someone was quite a climber
Someone was quite a climber!
He has this crazy love for books
He has this crazy love for books
Extremely pampered by his papa! Even up till today, there are still many unopened toys in his room.
Extremely pampered by his papa! Even up till today, there are still many unopened toys in his room.
We brought him to marina barrage and introduced him to bubbles. He could not contain his excitement!
We brought him to marina barrage and introduced him to bubbles. He could not contain his excitement!
Brought him cycling for the first time thinking he'd be excited. Who would have known he decided it was too boring and insisted I carried him to sleep. I ended up carrying him in my arms and cycling at the same time. Thank God the rental was only for 2 hours!
Brought him cycling for the first time thinking he’d be excited. Who would have known he decided it was too boring and insisted I carried him to sleep. I ended up carrying him in my arms and cycling at the same time. Thank God the rental was only for 2 hours!
He had his taste of beer. IM KIDDING! we didn't let him drink it even  though he was insistent.
He had his taste of beer… IM KIDDING! we didn’t let him drink it even though he was insistent.
visited the pasar malam for the first time and he was really proud that he won for himself a beach ball
Visited the pasarmalam for the first time and he was really proud that he won himself a beach ball
First staycation at M Social and all he wanted to do was go up and down the staircase.
First staycation at M Social and all he wanted to do was go up and down the staircase.
The helpful little one who loves helping out with laundry
The helpful little one who loves helping out with laundry
'Shimming' is his favourite sport
‘Shimming’ is his favourite sport
At USS, where he found his new loves - Sesame Street
At USS, where he found his new loves – Sesame Street. We ended up getting the annual pass and going to visit USS as frequently as we can just to watch the stage performance by  sesame street.
Got him a drum set and the neighbours never had any peace ever since.
Got him a drum set and the neighbours never had any peace ever since.
We let him put up the first ornament on the christmas tree last year and he gave the christmas tree a name - Oh Kimmy
We let him put up the first ornament on the christmas tree last year and he gave the christmas tree a name – Oh Kimmy
Soon we had so many presents that people told us we can put Oh Kimmy on top of the presents instead of the presents under the tree. The biggest presents belonged to isaac.
Soon we had so many presents that people told us we can put Oh Kimmy on top of the presents instead of the presents under the tree. The biggest presents belonged to Isaac.
CNY 2017 - First day of CNY and he was down with high fever. Even so, it did not dampen his mood to get out there to meet everyone.
CNY 2017 – First day of CNY and he was down with high fever. Even so, it did not dampen his mood to get out there to meet everyone.

It has been so much fun watching this little one grow up and I would never trade that for anything else in the world. If there is one thing he should know, is that he is deeply loved by many. No matter what the future brings, mummy and daddy will always have his back. Grow up well my little one.

Mini celebration at home after our return from cruise with his sesame street gang
Blessed 2nd Birthday my baby!

Easy-Breezy Online Shopping with Toddle.sg

Online shopping is one of the things I do during my free time. Especially after Isaac has learnt to walk, he no longer likes to be in the baby carrier / stroller all the time. I actually find myself looking out for him more than for the items on my shopping list. To me, the best part of it all is probably the avoidance of crowds or getting a parking lot. What’s more, I can shop at any time of the day.

As a frequent browser of many online kids’ shops, toddle.sg is one of the online stores I like. These are the reasons why:
Clean Aesthetics
Never underestimate the power of having clean aesthetics. I have seen sites that just have items all over the place and it just makes me want to navigate away immediately because I don’t even know what to look at. Toddle.sg is able to keep their site relatively simple without compromising the interest of the audience. One of the things which drew my attention, is the use of nicely taken photographs of their products as well the the slideshow on the homepage.
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Easy Navigation
Despite having a ton of products they carry, browsing the products on the site is relatively simple. They are categorised according to the type of product, the brand and age/size that you are interested in. If you are working within a budget, you can also shop based on the price range. This is probably good for people like me as I have the tendency to “Add to Cart” for things that I think I “need”.
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browsing by categories/brands
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browsing by price range
Quick Registration
It took me less than 2 minutes to sign up for an account. All that is required of me is my name, birthday and a password. Not too much information. It is as easy as that.
Variety
I am spoilt for choices with Toddle.sg! They carry a wide range of products like strollers, baby carriers, educational toys, nursing & feeding products and fashion apparels. At toddle.sg, you will find popular brands like Skip Hop, BabyZen, Ergobaby, Jujube, Melissa & Doug, GAIA and more! It is extremely convenient and saves me a lot of time to get everything from just 1 site.
Easy Payment Process
This is as easy as the registration portion. After adding my selected items to cart, all I had to do was key in any discount code at the bottom of the page, fill in the delivery address and select payment method. Was redirected to Paypal for checkout and at the click of the button….we are done!
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Prompt Customer Support
With the use of zendesk, we can chat directly with the staff at toddle.sg should we require any assistance. Otherwise, an email will be sent to them with my enquiry. To me, it certainly beats having to make calls hands down. This is probably even more important for customers who do not reside in Singapore.
Delivery 
What is my favourite part of shopping online? Receiving my happy mail of cause! My package arrived the very next day after i placed my order! Having spent over $70, delivery was free. Oh yes, toddle.sg
now ships internationally too. Customers can be assured of the best international shipping rate as they share a part of the shipping cost with their customers. How cool is that? 😉
Previously, I purchased my Tegu magnetic blocks from toddle.sg and I love the quality of the product (you can read about it here). I contemplated on getting more blocks but decided to get something different instead. I have to admit though, I spent a lot of time deciding what I should get because the toys they carry are just so tempting. At long last, this was what I got…

Hape My Handy Workshop – yet another fantastic product I got from toddle.sg!

hapeIt is something we have been looking for after we realised Isaac seems to have a liking to play pretend. He also likes knocking things with whatever he is holding. What could be a better idea than his very own handy workshop? I believe this tool set will also help to develop his hand eye coordination and his motor skills.
Hape 1
Knocking away early in the morning
Apart from this, I also got the Magna-tiles which I have yet to open.
If there is something that you are keen on getting from toddle.sg, here’s a piece of good news for you! For spendings above SGD 100, you are entitled to 15% off if you apply the discount code – punggolbabies15. Do note that discount is not applicable for merchandises on sale, and products from BabyZen, Spectra and Boba. Discount code is valid for 2 weeks from now. Have fun toddling!

[[Disclaimer]] This is a sponsored post by toddle.sg. However, views and opinions that I have shared are solely my own.

Our Toddler’s First Day at School

19th December 2016 marks Isaac’s first day in toddler class. I spent the night worrying about how he’d react if he realise we were not there with him. So I prayed really hard the night before that he will be okay and by God’s grace, it turns out that my worries were in vain.

The night before, his daddy took out the backpack and told me to pack Isaac’s school stuff. It was then that I realised I had no clue what I was suppose to pack. All I knew was diapers. But actually, the basic necessities are stated in the parents’ booklet upon enrolment. Here’s what I ended up packing :

  • 1 milk bottle
  • 3 servings of milk powder 
  • 1 water bottle
  • 5 diapers
  • 2 sets of clean clothes
  • 1 bath towel
  • 1 comb / brush
  • 1 set of fitted sheet (for nap time)
  • 1 comfort pillow / blanket

Although the school recommends brining 1 serving of his milk powder, I decided to pack more instead because I was not sure if he would get used to the food at school. No harm bringing extra anyways.

the day

G (Isaac’s daddy) took 3 days off work so he can keep Isaac company in school while he adapts to the new environment. Prior to school, Isaac was taken care of by his grandparents and he has gotten used to the routine. I was so afraid there would be a lot of tears and meltdowns since I was told to prepare myself for it. This is also one of the reasons why G felt that he would do a better job at dealing with the separation.

Initially when we entered the school, Isaac refused to let one of the staffs check his mouth (daily routine to check if the kids have hfmd). He sat there sulking while we signed in on the register list. But the moment some kids entered through the door, his eyes lit up. When I was about to leave him with his daddy at school, he did not cry at all! He bade me goodbye very naturally.

Though I was at work, I spent the day asking G for photos of Isaac and his progress. I was informed that he was coping so well that the teacher encouraged G to leave the room 1 hour into the class. Although Isaac was left in class without either of us, he was too busy playing to look around for his dad. When he noticed his daddy was standing by the window outside the room, he even pretended he did not see his dad. LOL!

& then came the tears…

at bath time! he was probably uncomfortable with an unfamiliar person showering him that he started to cry. I guess that just need getting used to and he will be fine. In fact, he also threw a little tantrum when it was time to sleep. Pretty common for him when we are home and he wants to play even though he is extremely tired. So that, we are not extremely concerned about.

G went home (we live just above the school) after he saw the teachers trying to get the kids to sleep and only went to pick Isaac up at 5pm. The whole day went by just like that and it seems that Isaac adapted pretty well for a first timer. I am extremely grateful that there was not as much tears as expected and there was no separation anxiety for Isaac. Now that he is aware of how it is like to be in school, we will need to see how he behaves tomorrow when we bring him back to school in the morning. Our fingers are crossed for another good day. 🙂

Today is our little boy's first day at toddler class. His daddy took time off work to spend his first few days with him in class so he could adapt to the environment comfortably. It turns out that he was able to familiarise himself so quickly that the teacher told his dad to leave the class after an hour of companion. Being the worry wart mom that I am, I kept telling G to update me almost every half hour on how Isaac was coping. The funniest of all was when isaac spotted his daddy by the window and he pretended not to recognise him.. must have been thinking "why is my old man embarrassing me?" ? Jokes aside, we are extremely relieved that there was minimal tears (apart from bath & nap time) and the transition from gramps place to toddler class seems to be smooth up to now. Seems like my worries were in vain. Isaac is our brave boy! ? #proudparentsmoment

A photo posted by Priscilla.? (@ninjapris) on

For the love of… Tegu Magnetic Blocks!

We left our car at the workshop to be serviced this weekend. Not the best time because I had intended to get started with the Christmas shopping and it would be more convenient if we had the car. With Christmas just round the corner, the trains are packed and after experiencing it yesterday, we decided to stay home today.

One of the activities that we did at home today is playing with Tegu blocks. We purchased it at a fair earlier this year when Isaac had just turned 1 and he did not know what to make of those blocks. All he did was put 2 or 3 blocks together and then take them apart again. Now that he is older (19 months), he tries to make his version of cars or buildings with some help from us.

Here are some of the things he put together this afternoon.

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“Car car” says Isaac
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image1-3

I must say, we really love these blocks. Not only do they look good, they are just so easy to put together! In my opinion, it is more appropriate for my toddler at this age as compared to Lego (which I am a huge fan of). If you are getting a gift for a toddler below 3, I highly recommend this.

Being the curious cat that I am, I was intrigued to know more about the makers of Tegu. If you haven’t heard of them or seen their website, you really should. It is fantastic! You can check them out here. Ending this post with my favourite line from the good people at Tegu –

We believe that every child possess the unhindered ability to build, create, and imagine. And they aren’t only creating towering block structures and backyard tree forts, they are building their futures.

Inside each Tegu block we pack the
power to dream about that future.


** Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Isaac is going to Play Group!

Just last month, we walked past the school that I have registered Isaac in when he turned 1. He was extremely excited to see the kids playing and stopped in his tracks to watch them and tried to get their attention from the window. Although we always say that there is no need to rush things and send him to playgroup at such a young age, I decided to just call the school to check on our queue number just to see how far are we from enrolment. Much to my dismay, I was advised that they are not allowed to disclose the queue number due to personal data protection. To be honest, i cannot understand what kind of data are they protecting when all i wanted to know was our queue number. Anyway, I was even more shocked when the lady over the phone said to me “To ensure that you have a spot or a centre to go to, we suggest that you register you child in 10 locations so you have higher chance of securing a slot.” 10 schools! I even confirmed with her that I had heard what I heard.

I mean seriously, I have heard from my friends and relatives that I should sign him up for school as soon as I can because the waiting list is crazy.. but this is unbelievable! I refuse to get sucked into this rat race because I know that there are many more parents out there who need to put their children in playgroups because they have no one to look after their kids. Since Isaac has his grandparents to look after him, my thought is if there is a slot, then we will put him in the playgroup so he can learn to socialise with other kids. If not, then so be it. I will leave the situation as is. Not gonna be registering in 10 schools.

Last week, I received a call from the school telling me that there is a slot for Isaac in Dec. I was pretty surprised because with the number of young families in Punggol, I was expecting to wait at least another 6 months.

So now that this is happening real soon, I have started asking around what I need to prepare myself for (besides emotionally) when he goes to school! So far, I have thought of a couple of things like loading the kiddo up on vitamins since there will be a higher possibility of him catching bugs from the other kids. Name stickers for his belongings. Perhaps a bigger water bottle because he drinks alot of water in a day.

What else do I need?

By the way, ever since I heard the news that he will be going to playgroup, this has been my image of how he would look like:

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Bad Boy Look

OK… Maybe not so bad boy… more like:

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As the date draws nearer, I have brought him a few times to look at the school from outside and asked him “Do you want to go to school?” He’d always reply “K”. Mentally preparing him for it although I secretly feel that I am preparing myself for it too. I hope he is able to adapt well to playgroup when the time comes. Otherwise, like what the hubs and I always say to him – Slowly but surely.

Our Favourite Paediatrician – Dr Ang Ai Tin

The one thing I cannot stand about parenting – watching my kid ill. 
Isaac turned 18 months over the weekend. Last Thursday, the hubs and I were talking about bringing him to USS again since we did not complete the visit the week before. On the same day, I received a call from my MIL informing me that Isaac had diarrhoea a few times that day and told us to monitor him. 

When we got home, he pooed once more and we thought if he continued to drink his milk and stayed hydrated, he should be alright. However, at 2am in the morning, he crawled over to me in bed and tried to grab me. I was surprised because he usually sleeps through the night. Then it happened – he puked on me, in bed. I immediately called his daddy into the room. When he turned on the lights, isaac’s face was pale and he was still gagging. After a few vomit sessions, he fell asleep at 5.30am. By 7.30am, he was up and did look a little better but the vomit saga went on. We decided to pack a few sets of his clothes (in case he puked on himself) and bring him to the paediatric clinic immediately. 

We used to go to the a&e at KKH. But after we were recommended this paediatrician, Dr Ang Ai Tin at Thomson Medical, we knew instantly that she was going to be our first choice whenever Isaac is ill. This is why we like her very much: 

1. Waiting time at her clinic is much shorter than that of KKH’s a&e

2. We prefer to have a fixed paediatrician

3. She is very professional when dealing with children who are unwell and is extremely clear when telling us what to expect over the next few days or so

4. She assures us on Isaac’s recovery with whatever form of treatment or medication she prescribes

while waiting for the consultation

This time that we went to her, Isaac was diagnosed with gastritis and was advised to be admitted so he can be put on drip. The last time Isaac was put on drip when we were at KKH, it was a nightmare. The procedure to set the plug was not done by an experienced doctor. I waited outside the room for slightly over an hour just listening to Isaac screaming and wailing non stop. Non stop throughout the WHOLE procedure. When he came out from the room, he was exhausted from crying and was fell asleep almost immediately when I carried him. I checked his hand and realised that he was pricked in both hands and feet. When I asked why, I was told “oh the doctor couldn’t find his vein”. I get that it can be difficult to set the plug for kids who are struggling, but couldn’t find his vein and they pricked anyway??? Unbelievable. 

This time with Dr Ang, the plug was set in no more than 20mins, just ONE prick. This is a very big consolation to me. 

Now that Isaac is more mobile than when he was less than a year old, he could not take it when he was not able to move around freely. He tried to yank the tube away from his hand or flailed his hand and kept telling me “take out take out” which broke my heart. 
As there was no single bedded ward available, we settled for a double bedded ward on the first day. A little uncomfortable because we didn’t want to be of any disturbance to our neighbour especially when Isaac is unwell and of cause a lot more cranky. Since we are sharing the ward, it also means that only one of us could stay over the night. So Isaac’s papa volunteered. This was how they slept throughout the night even though there was a cot for Isaac to sleep in. 

Papa said that Isaac will sleep better on his chest.

Went over early in the morning and we were told that we can transfer to the single bedded ward today. WHOOHOO! at least then we don’t have to keep shushing Isaac whenever he made noise. When we got into the single ward, Isaac went ‘WAH’ like as though it was a staycation. Maybe it was, at the hospital. Lol! He immediately pointed to the tv and told us to turn it on for him. 

like a boss

We told our parents not to come visit him because he’s end up crying buckets whenever they left. So we FaceTimed them instead.

facetime with gong gong

 By night we made an exception by letting him watch the Sesame Street on the ipad because there was nothing on tv he was interested to watch. So actually, really like party time for him since we made some exceptions for him. 

off the drip because his hand started to swell

Doc popped by to say that he is recovering well and should be ok to go back tomorrow if he doesn’t throw up again. It was that day’s best news ever! 

Next morning, Isaac was happy to hear that he could go home. When the doctor said “Isaac you can go home already today!” He responded with a “Kay! Bye bye!” When the doctor left the room, he proceeded to roll on the bed happily. LOL!

rolling in delight

Heartfelt thanks to the Thomson Medical’s team of angels (nurses) for putting up with cranky Isaac when he refused to take his medication. I really think it takes a lot to be a healthcare staff when they have to deal with sick and potentially very upset people all day long. Isaac’s recovery would not have been as speedy without their patience and care. Of cause, the same goes for Dr Ang Ai Tin.  

Most importantly, Isaac’s daddy for keeping Isaac in control when I am not able to. Not forgetting grandma and grandpa Lim for disinfecting our house while we accompanied Isaac at the hospital. There is really nothing more to ask for in life when there’s so much love showered upon us. Be healthy Isaac!