Thankful for… sister-in-law #1

Having been married into the family for more than 15 years, I’m really thankful for my 3 sisters-in-law. They have treated me, the kids, and my parents as their own. Now that we live very close to SIL #1, we are really fortunate to be spoiled by her excellent cooking and baking. She loves baking and we get to savour her freshly baked breads and cakes all the time.

Strawberry cheescake

It’s so lovely to get warm, freshly baked tea surprises on our dining table.

Homemade fruit and nut bread

We also get to have treats from her like atas donuts, atas popcorn, and a whole array of goodies from overseas. She’s always pottering around her kitchen and will invite my mum over for fancy drinks like avocado shakes and beetroot juice, and she knows my dad likes certain imported beer so during Chinese new year, she even goes to the trouble to get him a few cartons.

A sinful tin-ful of sugar!

Her daughter has lots of toys and even this cool toy-house and Kate is welcomed at their place anytime. My SIL also takes the older kids along to interesting places, nice restaurants, and even hotel staycations. When #1 was around 8, she really wanted to go to Disneyland. I was in no way ready for a big family vacation as taking 5 kids under the age of 8 was sure to be more a horror-day than a holiday. In the end, #1 followed my 2 SILs and my MIL to Japan and they took her to Disneyland. A year or so ago, #1 was into K-pop and my brother-in-law even got her VIP tickets and they both accompanied her and her bestie to KL for the concert. What a wonderful aunt! The kids are indeed lucky.

“Gor gor, do I look like Spiderman?
Thankful Tuesdays:

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has” – Epictetus

Thankful… for the hub’s cooking
Thankful… for #5’s cooking and caring of Kate
Thankful… for #3 in so many ways
Thankful… for sister-in-law #1

Thankful… for our helper
Thankful… for my family
Thankful… for my mum-in-law
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~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Brewerkz @ Riverside point

I used to think that Brewerkz was only for the guys to hang out and have their fill of beer, but having had a meal there, I discovered that it is a very family-friendly place. Good food, great chillax ambience, and there’s something to please everyone. They dish up good, hearty, western food, and their menu is comprehensive enough to cater to even the fussiest eaters.
Pork Knuckle $34, Truffle fries $11

You can choose from a variety of sides to go with your main meal. The kids loved the truffle fries which meant I had the sweet potato fries mostly to myself. Yum!

Rib-eye with Sweet potato fries $44

The kids don’t normally eat burgers, but they saw some other diners relishing their burgers and they felt like being very ‘western’ so they ordered a Cowboy burger. Utterly satisfying.

Cowboy burger with Onion rings $24
Meat lovers pizza $23

#5 is the only one still keen on eating ‘Kids’ meals’ so he ordered a Fish & chips. The kid’s meals come with a drink and a scoop of ice-cream. 

Kids Fish & Chips $15

They provide an activity sheet and crayons to keep the kids busy before the food arrives.

Kate had a swell time as she seldom gets to accompany us out for dinner. Brewerkz opens from noon till late, so we were able to have an earlier dinner which suits us perfectly.
Can’t smile yet.. mouth full
It was really lovely and breezy dining by the riverside. Somehow it felt like we were elsewhere on a family vacation.
Alfresco dining

After the kids had their fill, they had ample space to stretch their legs while the adults carried on enjoying the leisurely meal.

Riverside fun
Boat watching

The daddies are definitely spoilt for choice with a wide range of beers here at Singapore’s oldest microbrewery. Their top 3 best-selling beers are Golden Ale, Pilsner and IPA.

Mind-boggling array of beer

Beer prices depend on the hour

Their riverside point outlet is a massive 500 seater restaurant which easily accommodates parties and private functions.

Indoor or outdoor seating available

Sane tip: We had a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience, courtesy of Brewerkz. Will definitely be back!

Save tip: Beer prices are tiered, with the cheapest between the hours of 12-3pm. Next tier is between 3-6pm. Also watch out for happy hour, beer of the week goes at a cool price of $5.

Disclaimer: Brewerkz sponsored our meal. All opinions are my own.

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Kate’s antics: Dinner rocks!

Now that Kate is slightly older and her bedtime has been adjusted to 7.30, she had a chance to have dinner out with all of us.

“Mmmm mama mia!”

As you can see, she enjoyed herself tremendously!

“You gotta try this one, no kidding.”
“This dinner rocks”

Stay tuned for a full review of this family-friendly restaurant.

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

10 things Kate has gained from Gymnademics

We have come to the 10th session of our pre-fellow class sponsored by Gymnademics. Here’s 10 things Kate has taken away with her after a term.

1. She is able to follow the actions of the songs.

When she first started out, she had no clue how it works and she would just sit there and absorb everything. Now, she knows how to sing all the words to the reply and do the actions.

“Kate, Kate, are you here?”

She can sing the words and pat her tummy at the same time.

“Yes, yes, I am here”

She is responsive and can understand what is expected of her. I think that is very impressive at 16 months (if I can say so myself). Don’t remember the other 5 being able to do that. But then again, she is the 6th child after all!

Ringing the bell at the end of the greeting song

2. She can walk the balance beam with just 1 finger assistance.

At her first lesson, she wasn’t even able to put one foot in front of the other. Teacher Aly had to assist her in placing her feet one after another on the beam and she was very unsteady. 

Just keep looking straight, baby

Midway through the 10 lessons, she slowly improved and could place her feet one in front of the other with us holding both her arms for support. Now, she only needs to hang on to one of our fingers to steady herself.

Steady does it

She can even turn her head and be a ‘kay-po’ to see what her friend is doing.

“Something more interesting going on?”

3. She allows the teachers to handle her to do the gym exercises.

Previously, she refused and would just watch the other kids. The teachers encouraged us to practice the ‘wheelbarrow’ with them at home as it helps to strengthen their arms, hands and finger muscles which is important for many skills, including writing.


4. She discovered music (And I discovered that she loves music!)

She’s always wandering off to the corner to play with the bells and tinkle on the piano. We have a piano at home but it had never occurred to me before to let her play on it. I just started to introduce it to her at home and she loves it.

Watching what is happening yet can’t resist the bells

5. I have learnt a lot from the teachers as they are very knowledgable and willing to explain. 

The teachers shared with us that this is the wrong way of sitting as this posture puts unnecessary stress on the lower spine. Now that I am aware, I am able to correct her.

Kate tends to sit in this posture

6. She has made a friend.

Let’s make music together

One straight ‘A’s student and one trying to distract her

7. She loves the teachers.

Tactile awareness

Most of the teachers have either a degree or diploma in Early childhood education, psychology or are trained as child play specialists.

“And we reach up high!”

Every lesson, they get to swing on the trapeze as it improves their grip and expands their lungs. She tried the trapeze during her first lesson but refused to do it anymore after that.

Watches from afar
Inches towards the action

Teacher Aly wanted to gradually get her to lose her fear of the trapeze by just giving it a hi-5. But Kate’s not having any of it!

Runs away when it’s her turn!
8. Kate finally overcame her fear of the trapeze

Well to be precise, the pictures for this post were taken on the 9th lesson. (I didn’t want to wait till the very last lesson just in case something unforeseen cropped up and I am unable to fulfil my review obligations). On the 10th and final lesson, lo and behold, Kate suddenly overcame her fears and happily swung on the trapeze! Just like that. This reminded me that we should never give up on them in any aspect as they will surprise us one fine day.

They do 5 swings each time

Well, the only thing is that she’s still a wanderer… (while the others are engrossed in what the teachers are showing them).

Anyone come to catch me back yet?

9. But it’s without a doubt that she had lots of fun.


10. And.. she’s really proud of herself.

I think i’ve done well 🙂

These 10 lessons have also reinforced for me that to have quality output, you first need to have quality input. At Gymnademics, they focus on all the developmental areas including visual competence, auditory competence, tactile competence, mobility, language, and manual competence.

For Kate’s mid-term post and their fee structure, click here.

Safra Toa Payoh
293 Toa Payoh Lorong 6
Singapore 319387
Tel: 62590307

Disclaimer: Gymnademics has sponsored Kate a term of lessons. They have also sponsored the giveaway. All opinions are my own.

~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore~

Kate’s antics: Her week in pics

This was Kate’s week in pictures… She was trying to look real endearing so the kids would take her along to their activities.

“Please… pretty please.”

She followed us to #1’s school fun fair and all the teenagers who walked past kept exclaiming, “Ooh, she’s sooo cute!”

“Do I look like I’m on display?”

She was literally gawked at for half an hour and must have felt like a circus clown.

“Ok, if I can’t see them, maybe they can’t see me”

The rest of the time at home, she was invading their rooms and checking out their stuff.

Trying on their earpiece

One of the girls entered the room, and demanded in a pretend angry tone, “What-are-you-doing-in-my-room?”

Caught red-handed

She left and went in search of other interesting things to explore.

#5’s latest robot invention

She inadvertently pulled it apart and #5 gave her a scolding for destroying what he had just made.

Crocodile tears

She escaped to another room and found one of her jie jie’s shorts.

“Denim looks good on me, no?”

The girls came in and found her wearing the ridiculously over-sized shorts and burst out laughing.

“Hee hee.. Am I the butt of your joke?”

One day when all her siblings were out and the house was really quiet, she walked to the door and asked to be taken out too. I took her to visit her grandaunts as she never fails to cheer them up.

Waiting for the tickle

Her grandaunt loves to play with her and listen to her chuckle.

“I’m going to poke you!”

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Their March holidays

We’ve come to the end of their March holidays and I must say that I had a rather pleasant week. #1 and #3 had a lot of individual plans so I decided to shelf those grand plans I had for them to do together and go with the flow instead. We started with a nice family meal at the beginning of the holidays and ended with another lovely Sunday lunch. In between I was busy ferrying them around, spending time with them separately, and taking them out in twos or threes.

Our usual dim sum

#1 is participating in her band’s concert at the Esplanade in May so training was very intensive during this one week break. Her ‘A’ Math teacher also scheduled some extra classes to get them on track for the ‘O’ level exams, so her week was fully packed.

#5 asked his grandparents for robotics lessons which I agreed to since this holiday was a ‘free and easy’ one. He went for daily lessons which lasted for 2 hours each time and he loved the classes. I figured it was better for the grandparents to pay for some proper classes instead of buying him more and more toys. Halfway through the week, his friends decided to join him after hearing how fun it was. Normally, I would have to think twice before allowing 1 child to go for daily lessons as it meant that a chuck of time was blocked out for family activities.

Robotics lessons

Apart from the classes, he spent his time playing at playgrounds…

Taking care of his best pal’s little sister

Going for meals…

Old friends are the best friends!

Or doing dinosaur craft by himself at home.

3D crafty fun

#3 had a busy week which included a staycation at RWS with her friends, her birthday celebrations, movie outings, and supplementary classes in school to prepare for her PSLE Oral.

Hard Rock pool at RWS

#2 and #4 didn’t have much on so #2 invited her friend over for a sleepover and the girls entertained themselves with card games, baking, cooking and movies.

Playing card games

And Kate? As she does not have her own friends and her own plans, she tried to tag along with whoever allowed her to.

“Hey wait up!”

And me? When the kids were all occupied, I escaped and had tea with a friend. A good cuppa and a great tiramisu mid-week are enough to make me a happy momma!

Carpenter and Cook

Sane tip: I do a lot of tag team with the other mums. For example, we take turns doing chauffeur duty for their daily robotics classes, or I would take the kids out for a day and another mum would do another day.

Save tip: When the kids are older, there are a lot of productive things which they can occupy themselves with at home without sending them for holiday enrichment classes, such as cooking, baking, craft work, sewing, etc.

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

#3 turns 12!

#3 celebrated her 12th birthday not with a big party, but with her 2 closest friends. They have been friends since Primary 1 and remained close even though they are in different classes. They came over the day before her birthday and the 3 of them spent the day shopping for matching phone covers, eating, taking photos, watching a movie and playing with Kate. I could hear them laughing and giggling the entire day. I took them out for dinner and also invited both the girls’ mums. Although the 3 of us mums come from different walks of life, we have stayed connected because of the strong friendship of our daughters as we watched them grow up through the years. We have guided them through their quarrels, friendship and ‘un-friendship’, saw them shed tears, apologise and make-up with one another, and helped them navigate the challenges which will lay the foundation for a true and lasting friendship.

Her 2 best friends

Her friends stayed over and the next day, we had a little celebration with the cousins on the hub’s side of the family. Her aunt baked her a cheesecake, and according to the kids, their aunt bakes the best cakes!

With her little cousins

In the evening, we had dinner with my side of the family, and we also celebrated my dad’s 74th birthday.

With the grandparents

She is indeed fortunate to be surrounded by so many people who love her dearly. I remember when she was just 4, my mum commented, “We have to teach her well, if not I can see her eloping with a biker boyfriend at 18.” She was a precocious child with a very strong character. Quite a lethal combination. Friends used to caution me that she was very rebellious, stubborn and headstrong. I’m so glad that she has turned out to be thoughtful and sensible.

With her grandaunt

My wish for her is that in the next 12 years, she will grow in love and compassion and that she will continue to forge close and lasting friendships that will see her through the turbulence of the teenage years. And that she will always be a light to her family, friends and those around her.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my dear child 🙂

To read how this ‘naughty’ child became an amazing child, click here.

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Lesson #7: Teach our children compassion by little actions

Many friends who have been to Taiwan tell me how impressed they are by the kindness of the Taiwanese people. They relate stories of how at the train station, once they approach a flight of stairs, many pairs of hands will miraculously appear to help them carry their stroller down. When they have kids in tow or are pregnant, it is common for passer-bys to help them hail a taxi or give them a hand with their luggage.

I finally had a chance to speak to a Taiwanese lady whom I met at the playground. I was really curious as to how this culture of kindness and compassion was imbued in their people. She explained to me that from the time they are young, they see such kind acts modelled all around them, and they are also explicitly taught by their parents and teachers in schools until it becomes second nature to them. She gave me an example of a rule they had in school. If you were sitting in a public bus and managed to get a seat, you had to help hold the school bags of fellow schoolmates who were standing. This was because the bags were heavy and the buses were usually very crowded and jerky.

She said that in the village where she grew up in, if a stranger was cycling to get to another place and ended up near someone’s house when it got dark, the occupants will offer him a meal and allow him to stay in their house until the next morning. Wow, wonderful kampung spirit. I’m sure it was like that here during our grandparents’ time. My mum told me that when she was little, one neighbour held the keys to the entire floor’s apartments. All the other adults were out working and that ‘auntie’ would be in charge of opening the doors to delivery people, repairmen, or to check in on the school-going children.

However, in present day Singapore the majority of people are self-sufficient, so hardly anyone needs to rely on strangers for help. Children thus grow up without much firsthand experiences of charitable acts towards strangers.
Kate’s cousin sharing her fruit with her

So what can we do? For me, I try to extend simple gestures of kindness to people I come into contact with on a daily basis. For example, we were at our neighbourhood provision shop and I was having a conversation with the owner’s 8-year-old son. Somehow we started talking about cooking and he said he wished he could learn to cook but his mum did not have time to teach him. I told him #5 was able to follow the kids cookbook, but he said he didn’t have any. Simple. I lent him our Geronimo Stilton cookbook, but his mum was apprehensive that the recipes might call for expensive ingredients. I told her that after he had decided on what he wanted to cook and if he needed stuff like a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, I could bring it over.

Just last week, I was at #1’s school fun-fair with the kids. As we were leaving, I saw a group of youths hanging around under the void deck. I don’t exactly know what had transpired, but suddenly I realised that one boy had been punched in the eye and was bleeding. He did look like the typical punk, with shaven head, tattoos, and low slung jeans. There was a clinic right where we were and they went in. Apparently, the doctor instructed them to go to the hospital. I saw them trying to hail a cab, but when I had made a u-turn to go home, they still hadn’t managed to get a cab. I drove over and sent them to the hospital. As a mother, my heart went out to him and all I could do was to pray for him. I asked if any of their parents had been called and they said no. Kate was crying the whole journey because she was probably distressed by the bunch of them suddenly entering the car. I started to sing a nursery rhyme to calm her down and they joined in! Needless to say, they were immensely thankful for the ride.

The hubs and I never set out to show kindness to those around us for the sake of teaching our kids compassion. But I have come to realise that because they are around us and observing what we do, they are slowly catching it. How wonderful if the children of today were constantly surrounded with acts of kindness and compassion.

I was heartened to hear #1 share with me her little kind act while on her way to school one morning. She saw an elderly lady pushing a heavy trolley and she helped her to carry it up the stairs and to her destination before walking back to school. (I’m not sure if I would have been so forthcoming with my energy at 6.30am in the morning!) #1 was beaming and I could see how proud of herself she was.

She also related another little incident which made me laugh. One morning upon reaching the bus stop, she realised that she had left her wallet at home. I knew she wouldn’t have had time to go home so I asked her what did she do? She said in a very matter-of-fact manner that she simply approached an elderly lady to ask for $1 (because they are usually very kind), which she gave. After that, she was on the lookout for that old lady every morning, and finally she saw her again and returned the dollar. What struck me was that she must have considered kindness and compassion as a normal part of life to have approached a stranger for money. Her siblings asked her in disbelief, “You seriously did that?” And her reply: “Ya, why not?” Ah, the kampung spirit is alive and well.

The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. ~ William Wordsworth

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~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~