“Doctor?” Nah..

Today, Kate did not seem to be her usual cheery self.  She was a little more whiney and wanted to be carried. I felt her forehead and it was a bit warm. I checked all over her body and found little red spots on her legs, about 10 on each leg. I took her temperature, it was 39.0. This was the first time in her 9 months that she fell sick.

Little red spots on her legs

My helper (who has only been with us for 6 months) was very worried and asked me to take her to see the doctor. I explained to her that I do not take my kids to the doctor unless absolutely necessary. Usually if it’s just a common cold, or a fever, I will keep them hydrated, make them as cool and comfortable as possible and ride it out. She refused water from her water bottle so I gave her sips of it from her milk bottle cap, which she accepted. I googled her symptoms and found out that it was most probably a virus and that treatment is symptom control and time. I continued to observe her and as she didn’t look too listless or lethargic and was still moving around, I decided that a visit to the doctor was not necessary.

Sick but still very alert


I try not to give my children any medication because I believe that the body is then able to build up its own defences and its immunity will be strengthen. #3 has never taken any medication in her life and her immunity is the strongest. From what I can remember, hardly anyone of them has missed school in the past few years due to illness. Besides, there are so many viruses out there nowadays with H1N1, HFMD, etc, it’ll be worse if she caught something contagious at the clinic. I will then have a bigger problem on my hands!

The 5 of them were so sad to see her sick and took turns looking after her so that I could have a break. (you wouldn’t believe the coincidence but the contractor came today to fix some leaks and my helper was busy cleaning up the whole mess).

Getting worse…

She had her nap and when she woke up she was feeling really unhappy 🙁

Poor baby


We had a quick and quiet dinner, then the kids prepared for school tomorrow and settled themselves to bed. I finally have some quiet time. I’m really tired and ready to crash. Hope she’ll be better tomorrow!

Sane tip: Don’t panic, sometimes it looks worse than it really is. Stay calm and trust your instincts. After a few visits to the doctor, you will slowly be able to tell when it’s serious and when you just need to monitor and ride it out. Some parents feel that they would rather give medication to make it more comfortable for the baby. However, I would rather suffer for a few days (both the baby and myself) for a much stronger immunity in the long run. Some of my kids have not fallen sick at all in many years.

Save tip: Save consultation, save medication, save transportation.

~ www. mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

6 easy peasy ways to make baby smarter

We all want baby to be smarter but we’re too busy and we don’t want too much hassle (so demanding, aren’t we). Forget about plonking baby in front of an iPhone. Yes, it will help you to babysit junior but even the educational apps will not make her smarter. 

There are 2 windows of opportunity where the brain undergoes rapid development. The first brain spurt happens during pregnancy, starting from the eighth week after conception to the fourteenth week. The second spurt starts around 10 weeks after baby’s birth and continues its rapid profusion for around 2 years. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to maximise your baby’s potential so that she will have a good headstart. Isn’t it exciting?

Here are 6 cheap (mostly) and simple ways which will make baby smarter.

1) Create a stimulating environment at home

It is the number of interconnections between the brain cells which determines your child’s intelligence. To increase the number of interconnections, we have to provide different intellectual and sensory opportunities for baby. Make your home rich in colour, textures and aromas. Don’t forget to also make it rich in laughter, conversation and love.

When your older kids bring home their art pieces, instead of relegating them to the far corner of your cupboard, why don’t you pin them up on the walls instead? It will add colour for baby, and your older ones will feel so proud of their work. Dig out your sweaters, scarves and hats to let baby touch and feel different textures. Let baby smell the lovely sweet aroma of a ripe mango and talk to baby about the fruit. 

2) Enjoy nature

Take your baby outdoors as often as you can. Mother Nature can teach baby countless lessons. From the rustling of the leaves to the movement of the clouds, baby’s imagination and creativity can be stimulated. Besides, instilling a love of nature and the great outdoors can go a long way in letting him stay active and healthy.

3) Keep moving

Physical exercise helps the brain develop new synapses which makes baby smarter. Take your baby to the playground every day if possible. Reduce the time spent carrying your baby around or putting your baby in activity centres or support chairs. Yes, I do agree that it’s the most convenient way of leaving baby by herself while you are busy, but they do need ample opportunity to move around. Either childproof your whole house and let your baby move around freely, convert an unused room to a playroom and pad it, or get a playpen. Since I don’t have any spare rooms (obviously, with so many kids) I borrowed a playpen to let Kate play in, and rotated the toys offered to her.

4) Learn more languages

Babies are born with the ability to learn an infinite number of languages. The earlier we expose them to a second or third language, the better their ability to master the language. Research has shown that learning more languages does make children smarter. Perhaps mum and dad can speak to baby in English while grandma and grandpa does so in Mandarin. The other set of grandparents can converse in their dialect while the Indonesian helper speaks to baby in Malay. There you have it, she will pick up 4 languages without much effort!

5) Music, music, music

Let your baby listen to all genres of music. Besides the usual children’s songs, you can let baby listen to classical, jazz, pop, mandarin, k-pop, R&B, etc. The broader the baby’s auditory landscape, the better her neural functioning. Go a step further and allow baby to bang on pots and pans to create her own percussion band.

Singing along to her own music

6) Eat good oils

We need omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) for the brain to function properly. Children who have sufficient EFAs are able to learn faster and focus better. Just add a teaspoon in baby’s purees just before serving. Rotate between flax oil, hemp oil, coconut oil or olive oil (cold pressed). It is safe to feed baby 1-2 teaspoons a day from 9 months.

Family Command Centre

Obviously with 6 kids, there are a lot of logistics to handle on a daily basis. I have to be organized or it gets really stressful when things are left to the last minute. There were countless times when a child did not have the materials ready for the next day’s show and tell, they forget they had an excursion and we didn’t have the right ‘healthy’ snack for the lunchbox, or worse, they forgot they had a Math exam and forgot to tell me that their calculator had run out of batteries. Even when I had only 3 kids and had no proper system, I was going crazy. Now I’ve got the whole process down to a pat.

My Command Centre

I rely on these to keep things running smoothly:

Family Wall calendar
Weekly meal planner
Daily To-do list
Yearly pocket calendar
Some notebooks

I love kikki.k over at ion. They have lots of organisational tools to help us busy moms stay on top of things. Colour really brightens my day and all these pretty stationery helps to keep me motivated to get the boring paperwork and administrative work for the family under control.

#3 drew the cute lil’ minion

I needed a huge magnet board so I recycled #2’s old board by turning it around and using the back. We got this magnetic board from Ikea many years ago. There were 2 holes at the back which were meant for hanging the board up. I tied some rope across the top so that I could peg photos of the kids and keep them rotated. It always cheers me up to see them smiling. I got the magnets from Daiso and added some stickers to personalise them.

This family calendar is just perfect for me – it has 6 columns. I got it from Tango Mango at Tanglin Mall, and you can also order it directly from Organised Mums which ships to Singapore. Whenever the kids come back with notices from school, I immediately pen it down on the calendar before tagging it on the board. This way, I will never forget to pick up any kid after ad hoc activities and we’re always prepared for events like wearing traditional costumes for Racial harmony day etc.

Menu planner from kikki.K
Having a weekly meal planner is really a life saver. Before I had it, I would just mentally plan some meals in my head. There were many a time when I was busy and before I knew it, lunch (or dinner) was upon us and I had nothing prepared for the starving kids. We usually ended up eating out (expensive), getting take-away (waste of time and not nutritious especially if it was fast food), or cooking instant noodles (definitely not nutritious). Once you get the discipline of setting aside a fixed time to decide what you’re going to cook and going to the supermarket, it will become a family routine.

On Sundays, I look at the week ahead and mark off on the family calendar which kid is back for lunch on which days so that I can see at one glance how many kids will be eating and which ones. If all or most are eating, I will prepare those meals that they are all ok with. If 1 or 2 are back on a particular day, I can then cook that child’s favourite food.

To-do list from kikki.K
I really like this To-do list as it’s got ‘Top 3’ things to do. When I used to have those normal To-do lists which just runs down, I will get really frustrated if half of the list is undone. Now, if I get my 3 most important tasks accomplished and a couple of the others, I’m a happy mom. Talk about a shift in perception! There’s even some cute icons to let us track how many cups of water we drink a day. Anything that helps to keep us healthy gets my two thumbs up 🙂

Lovely notebooks from Prints at ion

Whenever I saw something interesting in the newspapers or on the internet that I would like to take the kids to some day, I used to tear out the bits of newspaper or scribble the info down on post-its. However when the school holidays or long weekends came about I couldn’t locate the info I wanted. So I got some lovely bounded notebooks from Prints at ion (they have a shelf with past season items at 50% off) and started a resource book where I categorized the stuff I did with the kids and jotted down the info as they came, straight into the right pages. That way, I would just open up the book and scan the options and we’ll decide where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do that day.

Mail stand from Typo
I use these giant paper clips to sort my mail. I got them from smiggle (they have many outlets). I will handle the urgent ones, and when I have free time I will file the rest away properly.

The little yearly calendar is to keep track of things like when I paid their enrichment fees, when I paid my helper, or any other info where I can easily flip back to track. We have a Chinese tutor who comes over to tutor my primary 5 girl and to read to the 5 of them (Kate included). With the calendar I would know how many sessions she has already done and when to pay her. I also get the tutor to sign on the calendar so that there’s never any dispute.

Handmade birthday calendar

#2 made this lovely birthday calendar for mother’s day a couple of years ago. It is really handy as I can look ahead in that month and note down which birthdays are coming up. I will then shop for the necessary presents all at one go. This saves time and money as nowadays a trip to the mall is really not cheap if you include petrol, ERP and the exorbitant parking charges!

Gift cupboard

I also keep a cupboard stocked with presents suitable for a range of ages so that whenever the kids get invited to a birthday party I don’t have to make a trip to the shops just to get a present. I usually stock up my gift cupboard during the bi-annual private sales at Isetan or Robinsons as they have good discounts then. For the younger girls I get craft, playdoh or dress up/jewellery type gifts, for the older girls stuff like board games or DIY activity sets. For the younger boys, construction toys and for the older boys, science experiment sets.

Sane tip: With 6 kids, being organised is not an option, it’s mandatory!

Save tip: I realised that being organised helps to save a fair bit of money over the long run.


To know how we manage 6 kids, click here.

~ www.mummyweeblog – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~


Don’t babies naturally fall asleep when they are tired?

When my eldest was 3 days old, the midwife came over for a home visit to check her weight and height and to see if I needed any help with breastfeeding. My baby yawned a few times, which I thought was completely normal. I mean, how many times have we seen cute pictures of babies yawning, right? The midwife said ‘poor baby, she is so tired’ and she looked very concerned. My hubby and I exchanged looks and we were thinking ‘What’s the problem? When she’s tired she will just sleep. She is sleeping most of the time anyway!’ We didn’t know about bedtimes, routines or sleepy signs. Some days she would cry incessantly and we had to put her in the car seat and drive around. She would promptly fall asleep. However when we carried her out of the car she would wake up and cry again! When she was 1+, she would sit and do jigsaw puzzles till 10 or 11pm while I did my assignments and she would just take her bear, get into bed and fall asleep almost immediately.

Her first pair of sandals

When she started to walk, I went to the mall to get her some shoes. I couldn’t believe it when the saleslady told me that the cheapest pair of sandals cost $50! Made of leather. Leather? Why in the world would kids need leather shoes? Mummy needs a new leather handbag… In the end, she convinced me how important it was for toddlers to wear the proper footwear with good support.

What a great fashion sense… red socks with sandals!

During winter, I just pulled on a pair of socks with the sandals as I was definitely going to let her wear that pair of sandals till she outgrew it! I honestly didn’t notice that the other toddlers were togged out in closed-toe shoes and some even in boots. Her toes must have been freezing most of the time. Oh and our pram was a $40 one which my mum got from OG and brought over to us, and I used to wonder how come the other babies looked so snug in their ultra bulky and comfortable strollers which were covered on all 4 sides, while my baby looked so exposed in her flimsy pram.

Her favourite toy

She used to play with our phones, the remote controls (don’t ask me what it is with babies and the most important gadgets in the house) and even my spectacles. Of course we told her not to touch those things but we were not consistent or firm enough and many gadgets were spoilt by her. As she grew up, I thought she would just know how to behave and how to be a good girl. Ok, I must have been the most naïve parent in the world. But of course she didn’t, and the other kids just followed suit, both the bad and the good.

Her next favourite toy

I have since come a long, long way. I now know how important sleep is for children (and mummies too!) and I know for certain that babies or children will not just go to sleep when they are tired. In fact, when they are over-tired, they become hyperactive (as some hormones are released) and will find it even harder to sleep. Kate goes to bed at 7pm, and the 3 other kids in primary school go to bed by 8.30pm. I also know for certain that we definitely, positively, without a doubt, have to discipline children. And it should be done as early as possible. With Kate, from the time she was 6 months, when she wanted to take our phones to play, we will say no and take it away from her. Consistently. It saves us a lot of money on replacement specs, phones and whatever else that she may decide to destroy. I will share with you my journey on all the different aspects of parenting in my million mistakes as we trail Kate’s development.


~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

“You have 6 kids?”

I get that all the time. Yes, I do have 6 children.
Our brood
And I’m thankful for each and every one of them.

All of them are different. They have different personalities, different interests, different temperaments, different learning styles, different intelligences, different gifts. It has been an interesting journey, to say the least.

I had my first 5 kids in succession (all 2 years apart). They were all natural births sans epidural (ok, maybe I was a little bit crazy).

Subsequently there was a break of 6 years and Baby Kate entered our lives. Now that the 2 eldest are in their teens, I have the benefit of hindsight on what worked and what didn’t. I am better able to parent Kate with the little things that I learnt along the way, many through trial and error.

We didn’t have any experience with kids. None of our siblings had kids yet and we were the first among our friends to have kids. We must have made a million mistakes along the way as we didn’t know any better.

Nowadays, there are so many viewpoints on every aspect of child rearing. From the type of milk to feed our toddlers (fresh or formula), styles of discipline, what sort of pre-school is best for our kids (the options are mind-boggling), to enrichment classes to enrol junior in (the options are even more mind-boggling).

The way I parent Kate is a culmination of all the experiences, both my own and through friends, and knowledge that I have amassed from the past 15 years of parenting the kids, which I will share in my million mistakes.

The early days were a challenge, to say the least. I had my 2 oldest girls overseas, while the hubs and I were studying full time for a degree. We had no help whatsoever (only the occasional break when my mum or mum-in-law visited us for a couple of weeks when I had to go away for fieldwork). We took care of them ourselves, did the housework and cooked every meal. I managed to obtain my degree (with distinctions!) and bring up the toddler while being pregnant with #2.

There were times when I had to take her along to my lectures (I’m not kidding, and she wasn’t the only toddler in the evening classes). She sat quietly with her sticker books and crayons, and I was always armed with snacks. I must say that she was an easy toddler. It wouldn’t have been possible with my son!

She watched while I studied

Good time management became a necessity and I stopped procrastinating. I started on my assignments early and paced myself so that I wouldn’t have to burn the midnight oil (even that was a luxury!). I stopped wasting time on things like window shopping, surfing the net, or partying. It helped that she was happy to play by herself for stretches of time. The rental apartment was small so we were always in her sight. Those days are a far cry from our present situation, where Kate is really lucky to have so many older siblings to play with, and to have her grandparents visit weekly.

Kate is now 9 months old and this is where our blog commences. I have learnt that for a baby, the important areas in the first year concerns establishing good sleeping patterns, giving her a healthy head-start with nutrition, taking good care of her teeth and gums, and that it’s never too early to start reading to her. You can find all that and more in under 12 months.

It might sound unbelievable, but we had absolutely no clue how to discipline the kids when we first had them. I have a high threshold of tolerance towards mischief and would let most things slide. Of course, with no boundaries, the kids pushed the limits until there was a stage where I was constantly yelling at them. The hubs’ method of discipline, on the other hand, was swift and harsh. Misbehaviour was dealt with depending on his mood, usually by a quick smack, with no explanations whatsoever. Well, 16 years later, his punishments are still inconsistent, while I still don’t have all the answers. However, I hope to share some of what I have learnt, in discipline tips.

The 3 older girls have crossed the dreaded PSLE and all of them managed to score a minimum of A for every one of their subjects. I know it doesn’t sound impressive to those mummies who expect a lot more from their kids. But the fact that my kids hardly have any tuition except in the P6 year (save money), don’t do any extra assessment books at home (save some more money), are not coached by either of us parents (so that we don’t go mad), and they play at the playground everyday (so that they don’t go mad), I think they fared pretty decently. More about that in PSLE & more.


Every school holiday, I make it a point to expose our kids to some form of charitable work. In this age of entitlement, they have forgotten to be grateful for what they have. By making voluntarism a part of their lives from young, I hope to instil in them compassion and empathy for others. Here are some simple ways by which we try to give back to society in kids & charity.

As parents, we should leave a legacy of family traditions for our kids to pass on to their kids. This would help them to have a sense of belonging, and it would be so wonderful in years to come when the next generation of cousins enjoy the same traditions that all came from grandma! (that’s me). I also try to keep some of the traditions which my mom passed down to us. Family traditions also form the basis of fond memories of their childhood which they will look back on and reminisce. We would love to hear about your family traditions too!

And what about mummy? Mummy takes care of the entire family but who takes care of mummy? We’re in for the long haul. We have to keep ourselves healthy and happy so that we can hold the family together. We also have to constantly upgrade ourselves, to be open to new ideas and new perspectives and to never stop learning.

I had always relied on my kids or the hubs when it comes to technology. In fact, this blog was created by #1 (never mind that it doesn’t look professional) and I’m so proud of her. Yes, I can start to feel the ‘generation gap’. The internet, social media and technology are so much a part of her life.

However, while creating this blog, I learnt a lot from my daughter and was even able to figure out some of the functions while she was at school. I gave myself a pat on the back. I always tell the kids that learning is for life. I’m glad that I’m able to practice what I preach, especially in an area I have always shunned – technology.

I will include some tips at the bottom of the posts to save you from going mad or broke (hopefully). If we challenge stereotypes, go au natural, and get creative, raising kids in Singapore can be a blast! (most of the time, anyway) Happy parenting! 🙂


~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~