Terrible Tohs

Because 4 is better than 1

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 7)

Sleep Training 

A week later, we have seen a bit of progress regarding getting the kids to sleep in their own rooms.

At times it does seem like a throwback to newborn days, where we had to scurry and attend to every cry, even the faintest one.

But I guess (hope) it will be all for the better.

Stop encroaching on our space

Via this training though, it was quite amazing to see how kids learn to adapt.

First they come up with all sorts of creative ideas, like how they need to pee/drink water/attempt to poo every 2 hours and then request that you accompany them back to sleep.

Praying that Daddy & Mummy sleep with us tonight

Next they will resort to crying and whining to make sure you go to their room.

To eventually the stage which we have currently evolved into, where Summer resigns to her fate and instead plays the damsel in distress role by saying ‘It’s ok daddy, byebye and I love you’.

Awww

How do you respond to something like that?

Well, you say ‘I love you too princess’ and go back to your room to sleep of course. 

Anyway like all tough things, I’m sure this period will come to an end and maybe for the first time in years Mama Toh and myself can have a night of undisturbed sleep alone in our own room.

For now, we can only wait for that day to come.

Assuming these 2 jokers comply

A New Beginning 

I’ve got a new excuse to explain the lack of activity here, which is the fact that after months of waiting and renovation, we have finally settled into our new place!

Whilst it is always exciting to move to a new place, the one we sold is full of nostalgia for us.

The place we bought when we got married, and subsequently had 2 kids.

So many happy memories

On the night before our move, Summer actually sobbed a little in bed. Quite perturbed, I asked her why.

‘Daddy you know actually I wanted to stay in this house forever?’

Oh man. That one sentence made it quite a sleepless night. Until I heard Mama Toh snoring and decided to follow her exemplary leadership.

Goodbye old house!

Due to the fact that the carpentry varnish still had some lingering smell and sometimes stung the eyes, we bunked in with my parents for a week.

Much to the kids delight… and Yeye NaiNai’s dismay…

One person in this photo is not enjoying herself

Only one person in this photo is enjoying herself

The kids had a ball of time staying with my parents, as it meant that there wasn’t a hard rule on what time they should sleep.

Most nights, they were contented to be able to stay up and watch whatever Yeye was watching.

Even if it meant watching the news

And finally, after 1 long week of squeezing 4 pax into 2 super single beds, we moved into our new home for good.

The most pressing thing which Mama Toh and I agreed to when we’re shifting, was the immediately get the kids to sleep in their own room, breaking their lifelong (no exaggeration here) habit of bunking in our room.

We made sure that they both slept in the same room for companionship, and that they had comfortable beds with high quality mattresses (thanks to Yeye).

Looks like they love it

The first one or two days were CRAZY. Waking up 3 to 4 times to screams and cries and subsequently requests to lie down and hug both of them.

Thankfully this has decreased to once or twice after a week, which Mama Toh now usually attends to.

It can only get better I’m sure!

Let’s make many more beautiful memories in our new place!

A Month of Absence 

What a month it has been for me.

In probably the longest hiatus I have gone since this blog was started, I am now back after having one too many queries on when the next blog entry is going up.

And we are back!

The past 4 weeks have really flown by in a flurry, starting from the time I was bogged down with clearing work before I went on my 2 weeks reservist. And straight back to work with a 3D2N business trip.

And that, unfortunately, meant that I had to spend 3 days each week away from the family due to my army outfield exercise and subsequent business trip.

What a macho father

The 3 days in the army didn’t feel that bad actually, given that I actually consoled myself that around 300 other guys were also going through the same predicament as I was.

But the subsequent business trip was quite painful, especially when I was alone in the hotel at night and in the early morning. 

Ok it didn’t look like they missed me much apart from Zavier

Call me crazy but I did miss the daily drama and noise at home.

Now that I’m home I kinda regretted yearning for the drama…

Like how the kids competed to let me smell their feet

More regular posts coming up, I promise!

Post CNY

Finding it quite tough these days to blog given that work is getting busier these days. And the kids require so much oversight and attention at home. Plus recent weekends are now filled with family gatherings, admin and errands for the new house, and packing up our current house in preparation of our move.

And in those rare pockets of free time that we have, all I want to do is slouch on my sofa and drink a beer. Or two.

What we have to deal with on a nightly basis

We struck gold last weekend, when my sister-in-law and (very hopefully) future brother-in-law volunteered to bring BOTH kids out to the zoo on Saturday morning.

I suppose this is similar to the kind of euphoria felt by the $12 million TOTO winners last week.

4 faces full of joy

I think for a moment she forgot about us

Who needs parents when you have your latest BFF?

This should be a weekly activity.

Meanwhile, we had a brief moment of peace enjoying brunch.

So much beauty… in the beers behind Mama Toh

For once, brunch didn’t involve asking the kids to remain in their seats, or wiping the kids hands/mouths multiple times.

For a good 3 hours, my ears thanked me for silence.

In other news, we seem to have discovered Zavier boy’s very impressive hidden talent!

Drumroll please… he can… balance… building blocks… damn well!

Next time can be contractor

Pretty surprised given that we always thought he had no patience for many things! 

MY SON IS A GENIUS.

Don’t call me that la… paiseh

I promise to blog more regularly!

Our Lunar New Year

Back after quite a long hiatus, and Happy Chinese New Year to everyone!

Vain pots

We’ve been quite busy with our visiting, and at times where we were not, we were busy enjoying some quality family time at home.

Selfie taken by Zavier who has now learned how to operate a selfie stick

I really enjoyed the past few days of break, spending time with the people who matter most. Well that’s like both our immediate families.

Mine

Mama Toh’s

And best of all…

Both combined

Like I have always preached, family is more important than anything else in this world and just by looking at these photos I am once again terribly impressed by my wisdom of this mantra.

The Lunar New Year also coincides with Zavier’s lunar birthday, reminding us of the fact that we celebrated our Chinese New Year 2 years ago at Mt. Alvernia with his impeccable choice of timing to be borne.

And the subsequent pain we all had to go through by leaving Summer all alone with our respective families for visiting.

Ah, the memories. 

Glad the best buds are together now! With their new best friend uncle chee yao

As we basked in his birthday, Zavier decided to gift me with 3 scratches on my face as he was throwing a tantrum one of the nights.

Received a weird look from my boss today but I think he was too nice to ask what happened. Let’s hope he thinks I slipped and fell due to stress and overwork. 

Another highlight of the past week was going to the kids’ school to participate in their Chinese New Year celebration! 

We always make it a point to take leave and join in whatever celebration the school invites us to, just because we know how much it means to the kids.

And it was totally worth it

As usual, there were quite a few kids whose parents didn’t turn up, and they had to be assigned to a separate table all the way to the back, which was a bit sad.

Of course the respective parents must have their own reasons for not being able to attend, but as much as possible, I think that parents should try to make it for such activities.

How else will you witness scenes like this?

The CNY mood is still in full swing this weekend with a few planned gatherings.

Can’t wait!

Parental Help

As you might have read, we are currently in the process of selling our house and purchasing a bigger one.

What you might not have read, is the fact that our new house (a HDB) cost us more than some of the private condominiums out there, albeit a much bigger one.

I guess he heard about the purchase price

Many friends and colleagues have queried my sanity and asked me why we spent so much on a 30 year old HDB instead of opting for a private apartment complete with facilities like a gym and swimming pools, which no doubt would make the kids very happy.

But sometimes in life, we have to look at our priorities and access practicality.

For us, what are important to us now are location and space.

Our current house is almost bursting at its seams, thanks to the enormous amount of toys the kids have, and also the sheer volume of clothes Mama Toh buys for herself and the kids. 

Apart from my Nerf guns, I remain quite a minimalist.

They are not solely for me though

That being said, while it is still manageable for us now at our current place of 84 sqm, we forsee that as the kids grow up and need more space for themselves, it isn’t going to be adequate. 

And so we went and got a 145 sqm place.

However, a 145 sqm place comes at probably 40% discount from the price we bought at in other areas, which brings us to the point of location.

I am very much entrenched in Bishan, having stayed there for 30 years and counting. There’s not much to dislike about this area apart from the house prices, but the draw for us is that it is very conveniently located. A MRT ride to Orchard takes us approximately 15 minutes.

Also with lots of cheap and good hawker food around

But most important of all, is the fact that my parents stay there and will never leave. For probably the rest of their lives.

I depend greatly in my parents for help with my kids – from the time they end school to the time we reach home, that part of the day is left entirely with my Mum (who also has to take care of baby Chloe full time).

[Note: I am also very appreciative to my in-laws who pick my kids up daily. In case Mama Toh gets into one of her jealous fits. Also to my sisters-in-law who once in a while tag along for the fun of it.]

Parental help should always be appreciated and not taken for granted!

My parents and their fools

Promises

2nd week of the year and I am proud to announce that the kids are still crying whenever we drop them at school in the morning.

Where did we go wrong? Thinking positive for my own sake, I must have made home time so enjoyable to the point that time spent anywhere else without us is devastating to my kids.

Yes, I have succeeded as a parent.

Now you know why they are monkeys

Now I was very close to failing my kids over the past weekend, and I feel extremely bad in doing so.

Summer, as with 99% of kids her age, loves water parks. We’ve brought her to some of those twice or three times in the past, and she has been requesting to visit again for months.

As it rained almost every weekend in December, we procrastinate and delayed her request until this new year.

All prepped for the water park on Saturday morning, our contractor suddenly requested us to meet in the morning to discuss the renovation plans. 

Which of course meant that water park could not happen in the morning or afternoon because following that my Mum had her 60th birthday celebration which ended up as a 3 hour feast.

My Mum’s princesses and prince

At least they had fun during lunch

And suddenly became wannabe singers

Happy birthday to Nai Nai!

So like any good Father would, I explained to the kids that the water park plan unfortunately needs to be scrapped.

Of course their faces sank and I knew I had to make it up somehow.

And so at the expense of my in-laws, I promised them that they could blow up the inflatable pool we have there and play around in the afternoon.

Phew. Crisis averted. 

And just like that, they ended up happy and thanked me for allowing them so play in the pool.

As adults, we sometimes break promises made to our kids and don’t feel bad about it because we deem them trivial.

Sometimes we forget how our kids look forward to us delivering our little promises. 

A visit to the water park might be inconsequential to you and can be postponed easily, but spare a thought for the kids – a simple activity like that might be something that they have been looking forward to in months.

Don’t break your promises, guys.

Easily contented with hash browns on a Saturday morning

Here We go 2017!

So a brand new year beckons!

Happy New Year!

It does look like a very exciting year ahead for us, as our biggest milestone ahead is shifting house at the end of Q1. Quite sad to bid our humble abode goodbye after close to 7 years, but thanks to the kiddos we definitely need a bigger place.

A view to change car is also on the books, but if can only happen with your kind donation via PayPal. 

Just kidding. We take cash only.

After a pretty fantastic December where we had tonnes of quality family time, we faced the dreaded blues of going back to work and to school.

Act happy

On a scale of 1 to 10, Mama Toh and my level of dread is probably 5 or so, but it seems like to Summer and Zavier, it is about 11.

Yes, back to school blues hit them hard this time, and both are back to crying whenever we say bye to them at school. 4 days and counting. 

Yawn.

Haven’t yet thought of 2017 resolutions for the family on the whole, but let’s hope everyone progresses in health and knowledge! Mama Toh will add in wealth I’m sure.

And not regress like these 2 big baby wannabes

A lot to look forward to as a family! 

Everyone’s 2017 resolutions should involve spending more quality time with their families – it is never enough.

For those with children, don’t forget your parents as well! It’s quite easy to forget that they love you as much as you love your own kids – complacency does set in over time.

The biggest question of 2017 – how many fights will occur between these 4?

Winding Down the Year

Back from quite a long hiatus, much due to Mama Toh’s nagging that I haven’t been blogging for some time now. 

When I offered to give her the access to this blog so that she can blog instead, she went quiet. Oh well.

Mama Toh so chio

Anyway both of us took some leave last week and spent quite a bit of quality family time, which was mainly why I didn’t really sit down to blog. You see, human interaction time is always more important than posting how loving our family is, on social media and our blog.

Mama Toh and myself managed to squeeze in some time alone on some of the days when the kids were in school, but being the needy parents that we are, we usually pepper our conversations with:

‘I wonder how the kids are doing in school’

‘Let’s fetch the kids earlier today leh’

‘The kids so cute in the morning hor’

And that’s usually how our couple time ends prematurely. Despite Mama Toh being a vehement advocates of couple time, she is usually the one who mentions the kids continuously. Ironic woman.

A couple of highlights from the past week, the main one was of course the kids’ school concert, attended by a strong army of 11 pax from our end. Yes you read that right, 11 people supporting 2 kids (none of whom were graduating), when almost all other kids had a maximum of 2 (parents) attending.

Our kids should be proud.

Oh yes they were

Whilst we had no concerns about Summer, who made sure we witnessed her daily dance practice at home, we were very interested to see Zavier’s performance because being so new to the school, he hasn’t practiced much, and hasn’t shown much interest in practicing at home as well.

We still held our hopes high and looked forward to be surprised.

And boy were we surprised.

I’m guessing Zav was surprised as well

Not sensing his disdain for the limelight, his teacher, quite unwisely, decided to plonk him all the way in front. 

When the lights went on, his lips started to quiver, and he cried for the entirety of the song. Nice. 

Funny, yet heartbreaking at the same time.

No surprises from this vain pot though

Summer as usual did well, and seems to show a genuine knack for performing. Too bad she chose to give up on her ballet.

All in all, still mightily proud of these 2 fellas! Surely they didn’t disappoint the massive crowd of 11 pax!

Zavier boy heaving a sigh of relief at the end

Next up was a very fantastic Christmas weekend! 

Our Christmas celebrations mainly revolve around our families – boring to some, but that’s just how we like it.

On reflection I am really lucky to have married someone as boring as Mama Toh (even though she won’t admit this), who wouldn’t divorce me for always wanting to stay at home.

On hindsight though, Mama Toh is ridiculously lucky to have me as well, someone who puts up with her yearly request to watch Love Actually on Christmas Eve after the kids sleep. All the way to 1.30 a.m. Mega yawn.

Too cool and too busy to look at the camera

The kids received loads of presents over Christmas, and I received a headache from brainstorming where to chuck them all. Thanks guys.

Another weekend of family gatherings to welcome 2017 coming up! Stay tuned!

These 2 can’t be happier

Anticipating Change

Alas, some good things will be coming to an end soon.

Near Christmas period, no less

We’ve always been happy with the kindergarten which the kids go to, as it predominantly fulfils out few core criteria of being:

1. Reasonably priced
2. Non-air conditioned
3. Near enough to walk to without breaking a sweat

Through the years, it has come as a bonus to us that the teachers and staff are friendly, amicable and most importantly display an innate passion for kids.

It was kinda like a small kampung where everyone enjoyed themselves, and everyone knew each others’ parents/grandparents/helpers.

Unfortunately, as in real life, kampungs inevitably have to make way for globalisation and urbanisation.

Huh gong simi?

We were kinda notified that in a few weeks time, one teacher and the cooking auntie (err… chef?) will be leaving the school, and not by choice.

From the grapevine, the cooking auntie was asked to leave because now all meals are catered by an external vendor and no cooking is required anymore.

The teacher was asked to leave because she doesn’t hold a valid certificate, presumably in early childhood.

Heart breaking

Coming from banking, where such retrenchment exercises happen every other month, I am more or less numb to such news. But for it to happen in a small centre, where everyone was happy, is still quite a sad and disappointing event. 

From an efficiency standpoint, it is understandable that the cooking auntie is not required anymore. However, surely she can be retrained to do some basic cleaning or nappy changing for the younger kids?

Certificates are also important as credentials, but surely a certificate should not be a prerequisite to teach the youngest group of kids where games/fun is the core focus? Surely a passion for kids triumphs a piece of paper?

It is also to be noted that school fees for 2 kids should more or less be equivalent to the pay of the cooking auntie, and that of 3 kids to the teacher. Not that much of a cost savings is it?

Unfortunately the case seems to have been finalised and we can only wish the both of them good luck.

These 2 will always be grateful

Older posts

© 2020 Terrible Tohs

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑