Sunday, 5 June 2016

An Honest Review about Monsters Under the Bed

Posters of Monsters Under the Bed holiday creative writing workshops, Singapore.
In the past couple of years, since Isaac was in Primary 1, we've been very fortunate to have attended no less than nine creative writing workshops conducted by Monsters Under the Bed (MUTB) during the school holidays. And I say "we" and not just Isaac, because the MUTB folks are the kind of folks that doesn't mind the parents of their attendees hanging around, observing them carry out their programme. Hence the writer in me jumped at the chance to sit in on every session as I wanted to see what and how they teach, and whether a considerably seasoned writer such as I - could learn anything from them. Thus, I think I am pretty qualified to give a comprehensive review of these Monsters Under the Bed (is that a cool name or what?!) people, and the workshops that they have been organizing. And I guarantee you, by the soles of my kampong slippers, that this will be an honest review.
INKtotheVoid 2015! Scifi adventure theme inspired by Star Wars! The kids get a space blaster each! Spray-painted to space-perfection these water guns look like the genuine space blaster indeed! The hubbs and I couldn't resist playing with the guns before they were sold! Love how innovative these MUTB guys are!
WHAT I LIKE

Parents Are Allowed to Sit In the Entire Session
I'm sure all the other enrichment centres have a myriad of reasons why they don't allow parents to observe their going-ons when in session. But I find it telling that MUTB would allow parents to sit in on the sessions - it's like they have nothing to hide, you know what I mean? It's like they know that they have a solid programme that can stand up to scrutiny if the parents so wish to hang around to see what they're teaching their kids, and how it's being done.

Now, by and large, not many parents even choose to hang around. Most just drop their kid/s at the workshop and skip off for work or brunch or something. And for those of us who do hang around, we know we're supposed to sit at the back and not cause any disturbance, of course. But still, you can be there if you wish. And that's saying something.

One trick MUTB applies to keep all the kids in check is to have House Rules. But of course, they sing it in tune to the theme of the workshop! SurviveINK, MUTB 2015.
The Themes of the Workshops
Every workshop is centered around a theme. These themes can be vastly different. And before you can ask me why every workshop has the word INK in it... It's actually an acronym. INK stands for Imagination 'N Knowledge.

Here's a mini brief of the themes of the workshops we have attended 
  • EnchantINK - Fairy Tale themed. But not in the Disney sense. MUTB delves into the history of where fairy tales came from, comparing the original Grimm tales to the modern day happy-ending Disneyfied stories we know today. Kids get to write their own fractured fairy tale to their gruesome end.  Read my full review of this workshop.
  • MonsterHuntINK - Monster themed. Kids get to create their own versions of everything! Their own monsters, their monster's lair, their own hero, deck the hero (or heroine!) out in weapons of their own invention (don't forget the Secret Weapon!)  and finally, write out the story of how their hero went on the monster hunt. Read my full review!!
  • InvestigateINK - Investigator themed. The kids are Reporters of a publication and are thick in the action of a mysterious drama of murder as espionage! Kids write out a report of what actually happened, to have it printed in their publication. Read my full review! 
  • HauntINK - Ghost themed! Very spookily (well) done, the kids are exposed to how good ghost stories are written. How they can up the spook factor of their horror stories. Read this full review by Ch - one of the participants of HauntINK!
  • EpicQuestINK - Percy Jackson inspired theme of a Hero and his journey while on his quest. We are made to realized that actually many stories that we read (kids' genre, that is) consists of a hero on a quest, and the story is all about his journey. Again, the kids invent their own hero and bring him on a journey to fulfill his quest. Read Owl's Well's full review!
  • SurviveINK - Zombie themed!!! Trainers and kids role play as modern day people caught in a major worldwide incident where people are being turned into zombies. The last bastion of refuge in Singapore was there at The Arts House (where the workshop was held). Read Owl's Well's full review!
  • SpellCraftINK - Harry Potter inspired theme of witchcraft and wizardry. Participants are enrolled into the Mundane School of Monsters & Magic and would learn to design their own spells and artefacts, hunt and identify magical beasts, as well as learn how to insert "secrets" into their story to make it interesting and exciting! Each group is a "House" and the kids even get their own wands! I so wanted my own wand too, but there were no extras! sob sob sob!!! Read this full review by Unlikely Lady of Leisure.
In SpellCraftINK 2015, the kids had to participate actively in discussions and brainstorming sessions, to earn tokens to spend on buying themselves a wand! Look at all the lovely wands handmade by the MUTB team! Everyone's pleased with their wands for even though they think they have chosen the wand - it is actually the wand who chose them! :p
  • HowlINK - Werewolves themed. Another murder mystery! One that's set in a lonely village surrounded by woods this time. Participants learn to create tension and suspense in their stories and hone their ability to observe, interview and investigate! Full review by SaysHappyMums.
  • INKtotheVoid - Star Wars inspired Sci-Fi adventure themed! Participants learn how to design their own fun fictional technology (weapons, spaceships, whatever you can think of!), build entire planets & civilisations and of course, create the larger-than-life characters that form the main protagonists in their stories! Full review by Owl's Well!
One of the things I really like about MUTB is how they motivate the kids to participate actively in discussions and whatnot as well as do their work - writing. The more the kids participate and write, the more tokens/credits they earn for redeeming for stuff. Be it weapons, or protection amulets, or safety bracelets - the kids get to spend their tokens the way they want! INKtotheVoid, MUTB 2015
Just see how cool their themes are!!! Every time we marvel at MUTB's themes, Debs of Owls Well and I just look at each other and lament "How come we didn't have such interesting themed creative writing workshops when WE were young!?" After every awesomely done MUTB camp, I wonder to myself what other interesting themes would MUTB be able to come up with for the next camp? But they don't seem to have any trouble coming up with gems! By the way, the workshops usually run for three half days from 10am to 1pm on weekdays. I'm not sure why we call holiday workshops "camps" even though the participants don't stay overnight or do anything remotely like camping - but that's what people call holiday workshops nowadays. Sometimes.

Excellent Execution
Anyone can come up with interesting themes - but not everyone can excute it well. I have attended events/workshops conducted by other parties before that sounded very interesting, but was so dismally executed that we feel very cheated of out time and feelings *sob*. But here is where MUTB shines. The team of trainers have obviously done loads of research and preparation prior to the workshop, and this shows in their execution.
Most workshops have a number of pre-recorded video segments which tie in to the theme of the camp. Very stylishly done. And for the e-generation, definitely a good hook. InvestigateINK, MUTB 2015. 
Firstly, the theme (yes, again). MUTB takes their themes very seriously. The trainers are usually dressed for the theme throughout the workshop, and they really get into it. For most workshops, the trainers usually take on a alter-ego name in line with the theme and ask the kids to call them by that name during the workshop. They then role-play that role that they are playing throughout the whole three half day workshops. There are often videos of them in character, filmed prior to the start of the workshops. Frequently, there would be live drama acted out by the trainers there and then at the session itself. For workshops with a mystery - who was the traitor? killer? spy? infected?! the answer is often revealed as a finale in a short drama acted out by the trainers on the last day. Truly a visual and sensory feast to be savoured and look forward to every camp.
In EpicQuestINK 2015, the participants got to make their own card game and board game in addition to writing their own story. In fact, the card game they made for themselves was a kind of story-generator to help them outline a story by just using the cards! Love it that the kids get to write and create varied stuff like that! 
In line with the theme, the kids often have very apt and cool take home souvenirs. In InvestigateINK, each participant had their own Reporter Staff Pass (was actually their name tag for the camp). In SpellCraftINK - the Harry Potter inspired camp, the kids each had their own wand!!! In INKtotheVoid - the Star Wars inspired camp, the kids got their own laser blasters (water guns spray-painted to perfection!) and got to put together their own half-length light-saber - one that truly lights up! In order to "buy" these items, participants had to earn points or credits by answering questions, or coming up with points/ideas during their writing/brainstorming sessions with their group's tutors. The kids take to this gamification very well and enthusiastically participate to earn more credits for their expenditure. This enthusiasm in a few inevitably spreads to the rest of the kids and that's how you end up with a class full of engaged and participative kids. Bravo.
There may be lots of fun and drama at MUTB camps, but there's lots of serious writing going on too. The one thing that is MISSING is the groaning and moaning of kids not want to write! The kids all delve into writing with gusto!!!  MonsterHuntINK, MUTB 2014.

Using their theme, MUTB selects the type of writing skills they wish to explore, teach and hone in the kids. For example, for InvestigateINK - the kids are taught to write in a third person reportive style. For EpicQuestINK - the kids are taught to outline their story of their hero's journey to make sure it has all the elements of an adventure of a protagonist sort of story. Very clever, and yet very apt for the theme they have chosen.

In their three half days (10am to 1pm for three days), there are segments of "lecture" at the start of each day's session, where the lead trainer teaches. So there are powerpoint slides, some videos etc. The content of the slides is written in simple English, clear and succinct such that even the 7 year olds in the room can understand. Yet, the points they teach are relevant and "deep" - that even I found myself taking notes at times. I like it that they don't "dumb down" the content to cater to the lower primary kids - they just use simple English to explain it. And the kids understand, yes they do.
Lecture powerpoint slides by MUTB - no dumbing down of content! Just written in simple English! InvestigateINK, MUTB 2015.
Passionate Teachers
The best teachers are most often the passionate ones. Oh and how passionate the MUTB trainers are! MUTB lore states that all their trainers are "published authors" (publications/books etc). From what I observe from their mini-lectures and how the trainers tutor the kids in their groups, it certainly does appear that the tutors are qualified and passionate about writing. And they also appear to be quite good with handling kids, being able to lead the kids in discussions and brainstorming. They are also patient yet firm with the kids. I have yet to witness any yelling-at-kids from any of the trainers in all these past camps, and yet, we don't see any madhouse unruliness that you might expect of 30 - 50 kids in a gathering.

These people above are not professional theatre actors - they're just some of the ultra passionate trainers at Monsters Under the Bed! With lots of drama thrown into the creative writing workshops, the air is often rent with infectious laughter! This picture collage hails from EnchantINK,  MUTB 2014.
The passion of the trainers exudes through their brilliant dramatic role-playing of their characters. They all look completely at ease in whatever costume or get-up they have on with not a shred of shyness or paiseh-ness at all. And because they behave so, the kids find themselves having getting into the theme and mood of it all as well. After a few camps, I realised that the trainers take turns to be lead trainers, and it seems that often, theme is usually a passion of the lead trainer. For example, the one in charge of SurviveINK (zombie) was a fan of zombie themed role-playing games. The lead trainer for INKtotheVoid was a Star Wars fan. And the one for SpellCraftINK was a Harry Potter fan. It makes sense, really. For the true fan is often the one with extensive knowledge of the topic, and they are the ones with the appropriate ideas for living the theme out. Very well done. I find myself wondering if I could take on a job with them - for how fun it must be to do this for a job!!!

Look at some of the sporting participants who dressed up for the last day of HauntINK 2014! The best, in my opinion, is the "chinese ghost" Ch of SimplyLambchops! Go read her review of HauntINK!
The Dress Up
It's been a MUTB workshop tradition that on the third and final day of the camp, the kids should all come dressed up in a theme-appropriate way. You may think that the kids of today would balk at that. But no. Thanks to the sporting trainers who have been dressing up since Day 1, the kids usually jump right into it, dressing up with gusto, complete with props and headgear where appropriate!

Pre-Workshop Materials
Before every workshop, the MUTB team would send out an email to the parents of the participants with reminders of the workshop's essential details, along with some reading material for the participants to prep the kids for the upcoming workshop. I thought it was a nice touch to get the kids hyped up about the workshop, and to get them thinking about it even before it starts. Isaac looks forward to these and would ask me before each workshop for the reading materials he's come to expect.

Pre-Workshop Preparation Materials for InvestigateINK, MUTB 2015. In InvestigateINK, the participants are members of the Press - Reporters who need to do a bit of investigation to dig up newsworthy information. As such, they need to have goo interview skills...
How They Cater to Different Ages
Parents who have never witnessed an MUTB creative writing workshop often wonder how MUTB can manage to conduct a workshop that caters from 7 year old to 12 year olds. What they do is that they split the participants into smaller groups - often 3 or 4 groups in total. The kids are split according to writing ability - so don't be surprised if the team requests a writing sample by your child, from you. It's not a test, it is just so they can gauge the level of writing proficiency of your child and place him together with his peers. This way, each group consists of participants with a similar writing proficiency - and this makes it efficient for the trainer in the group to lead. Also, because MUTB does not dumb down the content, the workshop conducts itself at a level which is engaging and informative even for upper primary kids. Heck, I think they should run it for secondary school  kids as well!


My niece Izzy (the one in purple) attended EpicQuestINK 2015. She was 10 and a good writer and was hence grouped into the most advanced writers group of the upper primary kids. And despite being a bit skeptical about attending this course to begin with (she thought it might be childish), she really enjoyed herself very much and thanked me for bringing her.
They Listen to Feedback and Constantly Improve Themselves
Being the kaypoh and opinionated me, I often give feedback to the team. And what I like is, they listen, and take action!

The first two camps we went to, we quickly realised there was no food provided (see point one under What I Don't Like). So I told them that they needed to prep the parents to explicitly tell them to pack snacks for the kids for the workshop. The next pre-workshop email had this advisory in it.

Some of the camps can be realistic to the point of ... scary - for the camps with scary themes. So when I sense some of the kids getting overly spooked or worked up over something, I go give the team a heads-up. (See other point below in What I Don't Like) More often than not, they tell me they're aware of the situation, and they would follow through by making sure to clarify with all the kids and explicitly tell them at the end of the workshop, that everything that happened was fiction.
SurviveINK 2015 - zombies may have infiltrated the safehouse! The participants need to don masks to protect themselves from the virus and be brave enough to search the lab and search for clues! The whole world is counting on them! 
Another time, I reflected to one of the lead trainers that when their camps are fully subscribed, the groups tend to get quite big. So I kinda hinted that more trainers per group would be good so that each kid gets more individual attention and guidance from the trainers. He looked at me shrewdly and said "We realise that too! So we're going to have more trainers per group from now on." I thought he was just paying me lip service until the next camp came around and they DID have more trainers employed and assigned to each group! Well done!

In fact they keep improving and outdoing themselves that I often wonder how they're going to top their current best performance! After every camp, I'd ask Isaac which camp has been his favourite so far, and he'd inevitably name the recent one as one of his top three. And the thing is, I'd totally understand why!

The highlight of INKtotheVoid 2015 was the astounding fact that each participant got to put together their own half-length light saber. No extra cost - all included. *jaw*drop* right?! 
WHAT I DON'T LIKE

Food, what food?
Okay, I guess it's so typical Singaporean of me to complain about food. But look, a workshop that runs through lunch time (10am to 1pm) and doesn't provide a shred of food?! During my first couple of camps I was like "What?! They should!!!" But then, as we went for more MUTB camps, I decided it was a good decision for them not to provide food.

Firstly, there is no time. There is barely sufficient time for the team to deliver the curriculum as it is, because they actually do teach a fair bit, and the kids need time to have their group discussions and time to write out their stories. So if food was provided, a good half an hour, at least, will be gone.

Secondly, if they provided food, the fees of the workshop was bound to increase. And any kind of price increase is not good, eh. Besides, what kinda food are they going to provide? Would be tough to supply non-junk food that all kids liked - that rules out hotdogs and fried snacks of any kind.

So how do we handle this situation? I try to feed the boy a larger breakfast in the morning, and pack a dry snack (bun or cookies) for him in his bag. Oh and please remember the water bottle too!

In SurviveINK 2015, the participants have to think about their situation - they are hiding out in The Arts House from hordes of rabid zombies outside. They have to think about how they can survive this difficult time. Food? Defence against the zombies? How useful can a common household item like a metal ice bucket be?
The Ultra-Realism of Certain Scary Themes
I'm feeling moronic. Oxymoronic, that is. The thing is, I love it that the MUTB team of trainers are so passionate and enthusiastic about bringing the theme alive, that for many a time, the acting and dramatisation done by this bunch of very talented people tends to be too realistic. I love it. Me, the adult, that is. I know for sure it's just acting and it's not real; it's fake. But for a number of workshops, I do witness kids who were scared by the realism of it all. The acting was so real, that the kids wondered if it was real.

In SurviveINK the zombie themed workshop, the trainers came decked out in combat army wear, carrying fake-yet-realistic looking rifles, and the the sound of a zombie-alert alarm blaring really made it feel as though there was a real threat of zombies just outside the building interesting in eating your brains. Just watch this video below. I heard of a participant (young 7 yr old girl) who refused to attend the workshop after watching this trailer. Another friend brought her daughter (another 7 yr old girl) who was so shell shocked by the alarms blaring and the tension brought about by the realism - that she didn't want to stay for the workshop either. On the other hand, my then 8 year old Isaac, saw the video, looked at me with wide eyes and said "COOL!!!"


In InvestigateINK - a theft-cum-murder mystery, the kids got to interview suspects and act as reporter cum investigators. By and large, it wasn't very scary (see video below), but at the scene where Tai Po - one of the characters were "killed", the trainers carried the man who "died" out of the room and hid him in a dark room. For the rest of the workshop, the kids never saw that character again. This made some of the younger kids wonder if the man really died! When I overheard the kids discussing this in worried tones, I quickly told them it wasn't real, just acting. They looked at me doubtfully, saying "But Tai Po has disappeared. Why did he not come again, if he is alive?" I quickly went over to inform the trainers that it would be good to clarify by the end of the workshop that Tai Po was just acting and still alive and well, and they did - much to the relief of the kids.

The "Murder of Tai Po" !!! There wasn't even any fake blood or a real weapon, but the acting was realistic enough to scare some of the youngest kids. It's fairly obvious to the older kids and adults that it was a faked death though. Some kids scare easily, I guess. InvestigateINK MUTB 2015

Another scary workshop was HauntINK whose focus was on writing scary/spooky stories. The workshop's setting is slightly off-balanced Auntie X inviting everyone to stay in her huge (The Arts House) mansion for a few days in order to attend a dinner party. The MUTB team gathered items to create a spread on a couple of tables at the back of the room that just kept the kids coming back to gawk at. The spook factor was done so well that even I got the creeps just looking at the stuff. Throughout the workshop, there were little dramatisations here and there, and the suspense and thrill factor were kept high and running - that I overheard a few kids declare that they did not want to be in the room alone! The finale drama was quite something to remember as well. Turns out that Auntie X was haunted by the memory of her sister. There was a short duration where her sister possessed someone and spoke through her, you see. So, once again, at the end of this workshop, the trainers had to explicitly tell the kids that it was all fiction and made up, that it was all not true. The team had to consciously shed their persona and speak normally to the kids. I could feel the relief emanating off the kids in droves!!!


So you see, as an adult, I really appreciate how passionate the trainers are, and the amount of work the trainers had to put in to pull off such realistic works of art that is the MUTB workshops. They were truly amazing and seriously awesome - both the workshops AND the trainers, I mean! However, what it means is that: If your child is the squeamish kind, then you should take note of what the theme of the current workshop is on about, before deciding whether it is appropriate for your child. Certainly, if your child is a 7 or 8 year old girl - then this warning should be heeded for I noticed that those young girls tend to be the ones most affected. The older girls, ages 9 and above, seem to be able to hold their own to be spooked yet not scared, but thrilled, by the going-ons. Boys, well, you know boys. They seem to love love love this stuff - regardless of their age. Well perhaps, except for some 7 year old boys. But by and large, the boys lap it.
Hope I haven't scared YOU too much! The MUTB workshops really strike a pretty good balance - just that some kids scare easily. This collage pretty much sums up what Isaac thinks of HauntINK - he's spooked but gleeful about it! I certainly did not have any problems with him being bothered by anything he saw at HauntINK, MUTB 2014. 
CONCLUSION
So what's the conclusion? Do I recommend these Monsters Under the Bed, or not? Double confirm, chop, stamped, APPROVED! I wholly, truly, definitely, highly recommend the Monsters Under the Bed Imagination 'N Knowledge "INK" holiday writing workshops. And yes, even if you private message me to ask me what I really think about MUTB, I'd refer you to this blog post.

So when's the next camp? There are two coming up this June 2016! KapowINK - Superhero and KapowINK - SuperVillian! Just look at the awesome posters below for the essential details. Click through to the MUTB INK website for more information and to sign up. Your kid/s will thank you for signing them up for this workshop, I assure you!!! And further, we have a discount code for you to use to get 10% off! Just type the promo code "ink01"  in the Additional Comment field when signing up to enjoy the discount! What are you waiting for?! Go sign up now!



Friday, 1 April 2016

Camping, again!

We went camping again, during the March holidays this year. We have lost count of the number of times we have gone camping. This is probably our 6th or 7th time, thereabouts. I find that, the more we go camping, the easier it gets for us to pack for it, and we also seem less tired out by the experience. Every time we go camping, our companions may vary as well, as different groups of friends express interest to join us. Or, we have friends who invite their own friends along. It's always fun to make more friends. 

This time round, I tried to post more on social media, since I wasn't sure if I'd get around to writing this post. But now, since I am writing the post, shall insert all my instagram and fb postings here too :)
Paragliding @ Pasir Ris Park!
When we got to our regular campsite, we saw people attempting to get in the air on their paraglides - or whatever you call them. We never actually saw them take off. But it was interesting that they were even there as we have never seen any before on all our previous camping trips. 

Also, one remarkable thing about this camping trip was that it was windy, VERY windy, throughout the entire time we were there. I wondered if the paragliders had known ahead of time that it would be so windy. Was there a windy prediction of sorts available? 

Our kampong on Day 1
We went about pitching our tents. The ground was dry and hard, making it tough for us to knock the pegs into. We managed by using rocks we found at the beach as hammers. The three families that were there on Day 1 all had similar looking tents as it was the same Winning brand tent. It can be easily bought at any hypermarket, or at the Beach Road Army Market where we had gotten ours. It's cheap - less than a S$100 - and hence a great tent to buy if you're not sure if you would be getting into this camping gig for multiple times. We have more or less fully amortised our tent since we have camped more than 5 times for sure. The tent frame has started to show wear and tear, and we're ready to get new tents after this camping trip since we know that we'd be camping many more times to come. 
Even the bear wants a sea view!
We discovered something in recent camping trips... It's better to camp on weekdays! Weekends see the parks becoming much more crowded than on weekdays. This translates to having more people around, and more significantly - dirty toilets. It's not that the toilets are not being cleaned, no. The cleaning Aunties and Uncles we see there do a magnificent job of keeping the toilets clean. But more people on weekends simply mean dirty toilets due to high usage, and sand and mud being tracked into the toilets faster than any cleaner - mechanical or human - can clean up. As such, we highly recommend camping on weekdays, if possible.

Airbeds for the win!
Here's the inside of our 8-men tent. Plenty of space for the 5 of us. On our first camping trip, we brought along yoga mats to sleep on. "It's just for one night." we thought. Yes, it was just for one night. But in that one night, hubbs and I realised that we were no longer 17 year old teenagers on camping trips. Our bones and body ached badly just after one night! So we bought a queen sized inflatable air mattress the next camping trip, thinking hubbs and I could sleep on that since the kids didn't seem to mind sleeping on the yoga mats. Well, one CAN be optimistic, right?

Of course, the kids happily took over the queen sized airbed and hubbs and I were left to the yoga mats again. Subsequently, we bought another two single beds - one each for hubbs and I. Separate single beds for two reasons. Firstly, air beds are such that if one person moves on one side, the other side is affected and would move as well. So for undisturbed sleep, two singles is better than one large one for two adults. Secondly, having two separate small mattresses gives us more flexibility in positioning it in the tent/s. 

Except of course, we didn't count on Shawna claiming one of the singles as her own. Staked her claim by placing her pillow and bear (which she packed and brought herself) on the single bed. Grabbed the one right by the tent flap too - so it'd be more breezy. So hubbs ended up on the queen bed together with the boys. Well, at least it was more comfortable than the yoga mats!

Camp shower!
This is a 40 litre solar powered camp shower. You fill it up with water and hang it up somewhere in the sun (signages work great). The black colour pvc absorbs all the heat of the sun and warms up the water within. When needed, just turn the red knob and you have a warm shower! We wouldn't want to go naked in public but it's handy as a tap to wash your hands or for washing off the kids after they go to the beach. You could let the water heat up all day, then take it into the public toilet's bathroom at night and have a hot shower. But, truthfully, we didn't do that. Too much of a hassle. Besides, after an entire day outdoors, a cold shower was a welcome. The kids and I have all gotten used to having cold showers when we go camping. Thus, this hot shower device remains to be just a novelty. It'd be great for people who simply can't stand cold showers, though. Purchased at the army market at Beach Road too. 

With regards to toilets and bathing - yes, we use the public toilets. At all designated camp sites - the toilets would come with shower cubicles as well. As mentioned above, they can get very sandy and muddy on weekends due to high usage. But in our experience, even when it is muddy and sandy, it is still very acceptable for use. We also do our part to make sure WE don't track mud and sand in and add to the mess. Be sure to bring some large s-hooks along so that you have some place to hang your towel or bag of clothes on. 

Bubble fun for the kids!
"So what do you do when you go camping?" people often ask. For the adults, we'd be busy with setting up the tents, pumping air beds, cooking meals (outdoor cooking woohoo!), chit chatting with other adults, taking turns to go kayaking - if you or your friends brought one of those inflatable kayaks, or you could rent them as well. On the day we break camp, adults would be busy with taking down the tent, packing and keeping stuff... Yes, sounds like a lot of work - which is why we now camp 3 days 2 nights, so the pace is more relaxed. If you camp for 2 days 1 night - you pitch tent on day, and break camp the next day - very tiring, and doesn't seem worth the trouble. 

The kids on the other hand, other than helping the adults wherever possible (helping to pitch the tent, getting water from the toilets, pumping the air mattresses and the kayak), get to play, play and play some more! In previous camps, they would have spent at least half a day on the beach playing with sand. They didn't do that this camp, but were similarly busy anyway. They played with bubbles a lot, played a bit of frisbee, a bit of football, played at the huge Pasir Ris playground a lot, went kayaking, and played board games in the tent when the sun got too hot and high in the sky. Oh and Isaac self taught himself to skateboard on a friend's penny board. Excellent fun for the kids, whole day long!

BBQ dinner!
In Singapore, one is never far from food. So technically speaking, you could always go buy whatever you wanted for meals. However, outdoor cooking is part of the fun of camping! So we almost always tend to cook instead of tapowing food. Camping with kids, we find it useful to cook for the kids first. It is important to grab them to eat their meals when you know they SHOULD be hungry, instead of waiting till they come asking for food - coz that means that they're famished by then and would not have the patience to wait for their food. Thus, we often cook a big lot of pasta or noodles, and quickly settle the kids first. After the children have eaten their fill and run off for more fun, we can proceed to cook the adults' meals. This time round, we tried having a barbeque! We've not done it before so we thought we'd give it a try. Usually, hubbs buys shabu shabu meat from the supermarket and we have an impromtu steamboat using the saucepan. 

The darkness provides the kids with its own entertainment - playing with torchlights! The children enjoy going about with torchlights. The camp site is only lit with our own torches and light spilling over from the park's lights along the running and walking paths. 

Be sure to zip up the mesh later of your tents so that mozzies and other insects do not enter into the tents and feast on you while you sleep. But other than that, there are hardly any mosquitoes around. Be prepared and come with insect repellant though - we find that people who tend to get bitten by mosquitoes, will still get bitten despite the place being seemingly moz-free! 

Inflatable kayak
Hubbs' and EJ carrying the inflatable kayak to the sea. No, we don't drag it as it can cause damage to the kayak. It's not very heavy at all - 8 year old EJ can manage carrying it just fine. We understand that there's a kayak rental just further up the beach. Perhaps next time, when the kids are older, we can rent them and all go out to see at the same time! Expedition to Ubin! hahahaha...

The last camp, this kayak was the novelty. This camp, it was a hammock that someone brought that was the novelty. the children promptly lined up for their turn in the hammock, all camp long!

Great company for a camping trip - priceless!
At the crux of it all, what makes a camping trip good is the company. Fantastic activity for families and friends. Kids have fun, adults have fun. None of the kids asked for any electronic gadget at all, and this mummy blogger here got "scolded" for fiddling with her phone too often - I was posting pictures!!!

If you're not sure if camping is the thing for you, do the following, in order - top down...
  1. Go visit a friend who is camping - or simply walk up to some friendly looking people who are camping - that's what happens to us, people just come by and look-see, talk to us.
  2. Recce your intended campsite at the same time, check out the toilets and nearby amenities.
  3. Buy/borrow/rent a tent and camp for 2 days 1 night.
And then, if you think you might continue camping, then proceed to buy more stuff. Oh and before you start asking a million other questions, read the links below - more blog posts on camping, written by yours truly.

Read the FAQ!!! :) 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Of course the kids fight!

People ask me if my kids fight - probably because most of the time, I choose to post pictures of them while they are smiling, or helping one another. My typical response is "Yes, of course they do. But it's okay, it's normal for siblings to fight." And it is. I do not know of any siblings who did not fight when they were kids. My sis and I certainly fought a lot when we were young. As did everyone else I knew.

I think what is important for the kids, is to make sure that there is a resolution after each fight. We will make each party see where the other party is coming from, by explaining to them why their siblings reacted in a certain way. Teach them to place themselves in the other person's shoes. Make them recognise that in an argument, usually ALL parties are in the wrong, in one way or another. And make them hug and make up - and reiterate that it is okay to have different opinions. That having an alternative viewpoint doesn't mean that you do not love each other. So lastly, yes, emphasizing that even though they just quarreled, they still loved each other.
Of course siblings fight! Just make sure they make up :)
In getting the kids to empathise with each other, we will sometimes also ask the kids "Why is your brother/sister behaving this way?" This way, they would learn to put themselves in another person's shoes and think for themselves why another person will behave the way they did.

Increasingly though, we find that the kids often have good insight into each others thoughts and line of reasoning. Case in point, yesterday night, the twins were playing with Lego. Now, when my children play with Lego, they are more likely playing with the Lego mini-figures (creating their own dialogue between characters, their own unique storylines, role-playing etc), rather than use the Lego pieces to build a new structure. This is especially so for Asher. He excels at this sort of pretend-play. Thanks to him, my collection of action figures see quite a fair bit of play time as well.

Despite the peace-loving nature of Asher, he loves to play fighting games! That's his way of achieving balance, perhaps!

So, last night. Asher and Shawna were playing with the Lego figures, and suddenly Asher burst out crying...

Mummy me:"What's happening guys?"
Asher:"It's Shawna! She say her person cannot die! How can that be?! Everybody has a weakness, but she says her person doesn't have any weaknesses at all."

Shawna just looked at me and shrugged nonchalently, clutching her Lego person.

Asher:"She says she doesn't want to play dying. But how can someone not die?! Everyone dies one day!"
Me:"Asher... if Shawna doesn't want to play "dying" then why don't you guys play without the characters dying? Just play, but, don't die lah."
Asher:"No, cannot... must die!"
Me:"If Shawna doesn't like to play dying, she has a choice not to. You also have the choice of not playing with her, if she doesn't like to play the way you want to. But what is better is if you two compromise and agree on what you want to play, so that you can continue playing together, isn't it?"

Asher just continued sobbing, anguishedly.  Just as I was thinking, since when did Asher get to be so morbid and fixated on death... Isaac looked up from reading his book, and said in a low voice to me, explaining...

Isaac:"Mummy, Asher is not playing "dying". He is playing "fighting". So if Shawna's character cannot be hurt and never dies - it is invincible, and so she will never lose, and Asher can never win."
Asher:"EXACTLY!!!"

Shawna smirked.

SIGH. Moment of revelation. So that's the crux of it. Asher was upset that he could never win if Shawna chose to make her own character invincible. I was very impressed with Isaac's assessment of the whole argument though. Well done.

In the end, it was laughter that came to the rescue. I turned to Shawna, started tickling her and saying "Wah you invincible ah?! Invincible to tickling or not, huh, huh, huh?!" Then everyone laughed as I randomly picked up a Lego man and said "I'm Mr Black Pants! I'm invincible too! My pants will NEVER EVER GET DIRTY!" and then everyone started inventing invincible people.  And Asher was smiling and having fun again.

I know we are greatly blessed, when I look at my family :)

Friday, 9 October 2015

#twinslove

Being twins, Asher and Shawna have always been close since young. It also helps that they have different characters and temperaments. Asher is usually the one giving in to Shawna during arguments, but Shawna is usually the one who does things for Asher, like taking stuff for him, or buttoning his shirt and wearing his shoes for him.
Twins at about 18 months. Talking, reading together, hugging!
Just this morning...

Asher:"Shawna, I was carrying that bag, and all my things are inside. I just put down for the moment only, to have my lunch..."
Shawna:"But I want to use it!"
Mummy me:"Shawna, Asher has been carrying that bag the whole morning, he obviously wants to use it. Why don't you take another bag?"
Shawna:"Huh... but I want this bag..."

I turned around, when to the bag cupboard to search for a bag for Asher. And when I turned back to the kids...

Me:"What happened here?! Who dumped Asher's things that were in the bag on the ground?"
Shawna looked up at me in admission...
Me:"Shawna, I don't like this behaviour. Don't throw your brother's things on the floor like that!"
Asher:"Mummy, mummy, it's okay. I let her do that. Because I am letting her use the bag."
Me:"Really? Wow, that's really nice and kind of you to let her have the bag to use. But still, Shawna, you should not put his things on the floor like that, at least place them on the table."
Asher:"It's okay lah Mummy, as long as she is happy, can already."
Me:"You're spoiling her rotten, you!!!"
Asher & Shawna at approximately 18 months, playing together.
I have always emphasized to Isaac, Asher & Shawna that they are important to each other, and that they being brothers and sister, should always love and cherish each other, forever. I'm glad my efforts have seemed to pay off, but I am aware that it's still and always will be a work in progress. Just praying that the bonds they create now, will last a lifetime.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

His dream came true!

Remember our friend Shin Ming, whose dream was to meet Vettel? His dream came true! Below is a screen capture of what Shin Ming just posted on Facebook. 

I posted the first blog post about Shin Ming's story and his dream of meeting Vettel about three weeks ago, on 31st August 2015. Within minutes, I had friends messaging me in private, saying that they have forwarded to friends they knew who had connections to the Singapore Grand Prix (SGP) and all the vendors working on the event. When I woke up in the morning, more messages greeted me on Facebook Messenger, on whatsapp, on sms. It was very heartwarming. Everyone wanted to help. Anyone and everyone who could help was helping. Soon, I started hearing the same message from many different people: "I sent to my friend, but she says senior management is already aware of this and is trying to do something about it." We even had people who had no contact with any of the companies associated with the annual F1 night race in Singapore trying to help by writing in to the press and to Singapore Grand Prix themselves.
Screen capture of Shin Ming's Facebook post
Some of those who were trying to beef up the case for Shin Ming in their appeal to the appropriate senior management, asked me "Why does Shin Ming want to meet Vettel? Why does he like him so much?" So I asked Shin Ming, and this is what he said, in his own words:

"I like him as we are both born in 1987. 

At the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, Vettel became the youngest driver in history to win a Formula One Grand Prix. He was then only aged 21 years and 74 days. I am impressed that someone my age can achieve so much. This gives me the courage and motivation to achieve more. 

Do you know he won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from pole again, to take the Drivers' Championship lead for the first time in his career and became the youngest world champion in the sport's history? This really made me believe that age isn't a limiting factor in achieving great things.

The podium finishing Japan Grand Prix secured his second successive title with four races remaining, making him the youngest ever double world champion and also the youngest back-to-back champion. At this point in time, when he won his second successive title, I particularly looked up to him. I can honestly say that I idolize him. 

2012 was Vettel's third consecutive championship, and at age 25 he became the youngest ever triple world champion. Again, I was totally impressed by this. Vettel sealed his fourth world title at the 2013 Indian Grand Prix on 27 October.

I was by then convinced that everyone can achieve great things in their own ways or areas. In fact, he has set many records for being the youngest driver to achieve many things.

Young, doesn't mean you can't achieve."

He had me at "We were both born in 1987." They were the same age! Shin Ming admitted to me before, that that was one of the first things that particularly drew his attention to Sebastian Vettel - they were of the same age; both were 28 years old this year. It spoke volumes to me that Shin Ming would be so enamoured with Vettel. It is almost as it Shin Ming were living a life of achievement and excitement vicariously, through Vettel. It struck me how positive Shin Ming was. He chose to be happy for his idol, that his idol could be successful in his field even though he was the same age as him. Shin Ming did not choose to be bitter at not being able to even drive a normal car, much less a racing car. He did not allow the bitterness to eat away at him inside. Instead, he allowed the wonder and the success of a fine young man like Sebastian Vettel, to inspire him and light up his life.
Shin Ming has his dream of meeting Sebastian Vettel come true!
Many of the organisations having dealings to do with the race, all wanted to help. From the external security vendor Horus-i to Singapore Grand Prix themselves and many other parties who modestly declined to be named - all wanted to help in whatever way they could. The request was escalated to their respective senior management who helped it along in however they could but almost all requests came to the same juncture - it all rested on the decision of Vettel and/or Ferrari. Being unsure of the outcome of the request (since the decision lay with Vettel/Ferrari and no one else), all these parties tried their best, within their ability to offer whatever they could to Shin Ming. One company offered to buy Shin Ming and his parents tickets to the best hospitality suite there was. Another company offered to give Shin Ming a tour down on the tracks itself, where he would be able to come up close to see the race cars themselves. Another managed to get Shin Ming an cap autographed by Vettel himself. Truly, it is heartwarming to know of how everyone who knew Shin Ming's story tried to help.

In the end, it was a contact from Shell who is the fuel sponsor of Ferrari Scuderia - Sebastian Vettel's team, that managed to engineer a private meeting between Shin Ming and Vettel. Being the humble, and highly private man that he is, Vettel did not want to have any media involved in the meeting. Shin Ming told me that his dream was about to come true, but swore me to secrecy, allowing me to only inform those who were actively still working on the request. He said to thank everyone who tried to help him, that he really appreciates it. Then, he told me he was trying to learn to speak a bit of German right now, in preparation for his meeting with Vettel. It was obvious how excited he was to have his dream come true.  
Shin Ming, Sebastian Vettel and the card Shin Ming made for Vettel.
On Thursday, 17th September 2015, just days before the Singapore Grand Prix, Shin Ming got to meet his idol.

"I finally got to meet Sebastian Vettel. I asked him if I could try speaking German to him and hope he can understand me. I said "Willkommen in Singapur, schön dich zu treffen, ich bin Shin Ming”. I asked him if he knew what I just said. He nodded and said that I just I welcomed him to Singapore, said nice to meet him and told him my name. He said my greeting in German was not bad, and asked where I learnt it. I said I learned it from Google. I asked him why he agreed to meet me? He replied that it is a pleasure in doing so, since I am here (in Singapore). I asked him what time he woke up, he said I woke not too long (my guess is 2-3pm, time was around 5pm). He told me he was trying to adjust from Europe time to Singapore time.

I told I had something for him. He said "Oh you shouldn’t have!" and proceeded to pick up my thank you card. I asked "Do you like it?" He said "Yeah!" He read my message where I mentioned that we were the same age, born in the same year. He asked he when my birthday was. I told him mine and he replied "Oh I am older!" even though we were just born months apart. Then the photo taking started. I prepared an extra copy for him to autograph so that I could keep it as a memento. I used my instant camera so the photos can be pasted on his card.

We chatted about other things too.  I told him we had Sunday tickets for the race. He asked where we were sitting at - the Empress Place but I was not sure which turn it was. He thought awhile and said it was probably Turn 10, I will need to take a look later to memorize the circuit. I said "Yeah, 23 corners 61 laps. I asked him how you do you memorise the circuit, cycle?" He said "I would walk." He looked at my wheelchair and asked how fast I drive? I said only 6kmh, not like you going at 300kmh. I even joked with him "With the time I take to do a lap, you would have done 30 laps!" 

We then spoke about the heat in Singapore, and I told him that I hope the haze would not be so bad on Sunday. I asked him if was aware about the changes to Turns 11 to 13, to which he replied "Yeah, I know about it, it is changing to other side of the road on Anderson Bridge, but I'm not sure why they change it." I jokingly said "It was to make life difficult for you guys." I told him "I will be watching this Sunday, and I hope you would be on the podium No. 1! He smilingly said "No pressure." 

Throughout the meeting I find Sebastian to be very friendly and I can interact with him comfortably like a friend does. It didn't feel like two strangers meeting for the first time. It's like we were friends.

Sometimes if you belief in your dreams, it may really happen. I thought it was a crazy and desperate thing for me to post on Facebook about my dream. I never expected that there would be people like you and all these other people, who would actually want to help me.

So I think, if you have a dream, you should try to chase it. Never try never know."

Victorious Vettel - Winner of the Singapore Grand Prix 2015
picture from http://www.singaporegp.sg/on-track/gallery/2015/photos
On the 20th September 2015, Sebastian Vettel emerged victorious on the Marina Bay Street Circuit of the Singapore Grand Prix, leading the race from start to finish, at a total time of 2 hours 1 minute and 22.118 seconds. This is his 4th win in Singapore, having previously won the night race in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Personally, I am not an F1 fan. So even though Sebastian Vettel won the Singapore Grand Prix three times in a row from 2011 to 2013, I have never heard of the name "Sebastian Vettel", until Shin Ming said that he wanted to meet him. However, now, I will remember the name Sebastian Vettel for life. I will remember the man who was kind enough to agree to meet a young man he doesn't know. The man who is so humble and unassuming that he did not want to have the media around when he met Shin Ming. To me, he was a winner even before the race started. For he has won the hearts of Shin Ming and all the rest of us, people who have been praying for Shin Ming to have his dream come  true. From the bottom of all our hearts, thank you, Sebastian Vettel.

Oh, and by the way, congrats on being the winner of Singapore Grand Prix 2015!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Birth Story of the Twins - Asher & Shawna

Hubbs and I have always loved kids. We knew we weren't going to stop at two. In fact, I remember, when hubbs was courting me, we were sitting in the garden of the Science Centre (I know, so geeky, right, we?) in the evening after dinner when he asked me how many kids I wanted to have. I replied "At least three." He grinned toothily at me in the dim light. "So how many do you want?" I asked. "Four." he said firmly. "You said 'at least three' - so I have hope for four!" Hahaha no, no, this is not a post to declare that I am pregnant. Unfortunately, we are not. We are quite open to having a fourth, but inertia is great. What I was trying to say was... it went without a doubt that we would want to get pregnant again after we had Isaac. And thankfully we did! Or we wouldn't have Asher and Shawna! :) I'd written a pretty extensive birth story for Asher & Shawna back in 2010. Go read! :)
Tan Family Kidzes: Asher, Isaac, Shawna!
One of the most common questions we get asked is:"Do you have family history of having twins?" The answer is yes. My aunt, that is, my mother's sister, has a pair of twins - Mark & Richard - who are thus, my cousins. After we realised we were pregnant with twins, I read up about it online and found out that everyone has a chance of conceiving identical twins - as a fertilised egg splitting into two - is completely chance, and can happen to anyone. However, the chances of having non-identical twins is increased only if the mother has history of having twins on her side of the family. 

So we had completely no idea that we were having twins, as we didn't really have any reason to expect it. We went for our first gynae visit at Week 7 as we knew it wasn't much point of going earlier. Dr Ang found one zygote, we listened to it beating, and saw the tiny thing on the screen. "Congratulations Pamela & Matthew, you're pregnant!" and we went home, happy that we were pregnant again. For four weeks, we discussed plans for logistics of having a baby plus a toddler (Isaac!) after I delivered, logistics for after I went back to work. 
Isaac & Natalie - practically twins! Cousins born just 3 months apart.
Then in Week 11, we went back to the gynae for our monthly check-up and suddenly, we were told we were having twins! The twins were large enough to be clearly seen on the screen now. Read this post here - has ultrascan pix which I can't find now. We were quite shocked, but elated! We loved babies and it truly felt as though we've won the lottery! Seriously, it was the best deal I've ever had - buy 2 get 1 free! hehehe... 

If you read the link of the post I indicated in the paragraph above - it ends off by saying that we were having twin girls. What?! Asher was a girl? Nope! The gynae made a mistake! haha! She thought she only saw one placenta, and so assumed that they were identical twins. Asher closed his legs during the gender examination and so seeing only Shawna, doctor assumed both were girls. It was only during the 20th Week detailed scan did we find out we were having non-identical twins, of differing gender. It was what I prayed for when I knew we were having twins, and even though we were told we'd be having two girls at one point in time, I kept thinking to myself "With God, anything is possible." And I was right, I got my dragon phoenix twins - a boy and a girl! :)
Pam & Hweech @ Cel's wedding!
This is me and my buddy Hweech, in December 2009, less than 2 weeks before the twins were born. I was huge! I couldn't find any clothes that would fit over the huge tummy, so I was very thankful for that black tummy band I had. It helped support the weight of my belly, as well as maintain my modesty on a daily basis. 

This pregnancy, understandably, felt vastly different from the pregnancy with Isaac. Simply put, this round, I was asleep for most of the First Trimester. So, so tired. Second Trimester this time round felt like Third Trimester of Isaac's pregnancy. And Third Trimester this time, was just HEAVY. So heavy. Towards the 30+ weeks, I had a plastic stool placed in the toilet, so I could sit while I showered. As well as in my wardrobe area so that I could put on my clothes sitting down. My heart palpitated with the strain of supporting three life systems. The short walk from my master bedroom to the living room left me breathless. Yet, I was still determined to have one last steak at the nearby mall, before I delivered the twins. As I walked into the shopping mall, people beside me gasped and leapt out of my way exclaiming "Siam ah! Siam ah! Duah dou lai lo!" which meant "Scram! Scram! Pregnant lady coming!" in Teochew, a Chinese dialect.
Pregnant with twins - 52 inch waist at end of Week 37. Unable to carry Isaac while standing up, we could only cuddle while sitting, or lying down. For much of my pregnancy, he would be draped on me (and the twins!) in the position shown on the upper right hand corner of this collage.
We managed to hold out till we completed 37 weeks of gestation. For twins, 37 weeks was considered full term, like 40 weeks is to a singleton pregnancy. Asher was head down, and Shawna was in a breech position. Hence Dr Ang recommended that we conduct a c-section to deliver the babies. She said that if both babies had been head down, we could have tried for a normal birth. But seeing as Shawna was breech and this was a multiple birth - she advised we go for c-section, lower risk, she said. Aye okay, c-section it was. I didn't really mind. Maybe that's because my mother gave birth to my sister normally, and then gave birth to me via c-section because I was in a breech position too. Besides, I just wanted the kids out safe and sound, so "less risk" sounded good to me.

The birth itself was quite anti-climatic. Hubbs, expecting to have a rousing good time cheering me on like he did the last time, was disappointed when he was told to sit down against the wall, to one side of the operating theatre while I was being sliced open like a chempedak. He was able to be in there in the first place, because we opted for local anaesthesia (epidural). I wanted to be awake and conscious when I delivered the babies. However, I was to be sorely disappointed. The last thing I remembered was looking at the operating theatre lights above (so like the movies!), then lying on my side, trying hard not to move, and feeling the needle going into my spine injecting the epidural into my system. They must have administered a larger dose than necessary for me, because it kinda knocked me senseless. I wasn't unconscious, but I was extremely drowsy and wasn't really aware of what was going on at all. 
Babies are out! This was how they looked when they were just delivered. Different as day and night, huh. Their characters are quite different as well. Asher came out with tonnes of vernix on him - we suspect he cleared the stuff all out when he came out first, leaving Shawna a spotless exit. Then again, could be because I didn't eat enough coconuts in my final weeks :p
Unbeknownst to me, Matthew said that the way the twins were delivered was like squeezing toothpaste out of the tube. Here, the tube was mummy me, and the twins were the toothpaste. I was only barely aware of the nurses placing a bundle of white towels on my chest saying "Mrs Tan, here is Twin 1." and just when I was starting to be aware that there was a baby amongst the white bundle, she whisked Asher away, and placed another bundle of white towels on me proclaiming "Mrs Tan, this is Twin 2." I was just barely conscious enough to bark instructions to hubbs "Remember to take pictures, dear!" before I closed my eyes to rest, feeling at peace knowing that the babies were safe.

For much of the next 24 hours, I was vomiting, vomiting, vomiting. This time round, the side effects of the epidural hit me particularly badly. I could not eat nor drink. Anything that went down, came straight up. Even if there was nothing in my tummy, I still managed to vomit. However, my stitches did not hurt at all. Plus I stopped vomiting after about 24 hours. So, again, not complaining.  Babies were safe, that was the most important thing of all.
Papa and the Tan Family Kidzes! The bathtubs they gave for each child we delivered could have been in a nicer colour, but other than that, we simply loved Mt Alvernia, the hospital we delivered all three kids in. Great service, cosy environment - the perfect place to welcome our kids into the world.
Love this picture above. Isaac was just two and a half years old when the twins were born. Sometimes, we mummies talk amongst ourselves and we say "These first borns have a different character.". But really, they're shaped by circumstances, isn't it. Isaac's been a big brother since he was two and a half years old. Big brother to two younglings too. He's had to grow up quicker just coz he has twins for younger siblings. For one, for the safety of the twins, I had to stop carrying Isaac when he was less than two years old. But for the twins, they've already five years old, going on six in a few months time, and yet I still carry them occasionally! 

Isaac rose to the occasion marvelously. He was and is a great big brother to the twins.
Children are blessings from God!
This post is part of the ‘Birth Stories’ Blog Train hosted by Owls Well. To read other exciting birth stories please click on this link. If you would like to travel to the previous stops on this Blog Train and read more interesting birth stories, you can start with this one here by daddy Adrian of In The Wee Hours. Mummy Delphine is the one who is usually blogging In The Wee Hours of the night. She can’t quite believe that she is a mother of three kids. She has no artistic talent and does not know how to cook, so she spends her free time reading, blogging, and collecting matryoshka. Occasionally, she successfully coerces Adrian into blogging, like in this post. Go read!!!
In the Wee Hours

At next week's stop we will be visiting Justina and her lovely family. Jus is blessed with three little boys and blogs about her family and homeschooling adventures at Mum in the Making. She has itchy fingers and loves to craft, and survives on chocolate and coffee.

Oh and of course, remember to read The Birth Story of Isaac the First, if you haven't already done so!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Add this utility