diy road play

Nat love cars. He's been zooming them around everywhere. He loves those playmats with the roads on top when we go to playdates at other kid's houses. But most of the time, they cost a bomb like a few hundred dollars, they're too humungous for our tiny house and some are of carpet material which make us sneeze all the time. So it was time to make our own DIY roads. I know nuts about roads because I don't drive so I had some traffic advice from WX.

We bought 6 white mounting boards from Art Friend and taped them together with black duct tape, so they can be folded up and tucked away when not in use. I taped them in threes so that we could change the configuration of the roads to make it more interesting. Using the same black duct tape, I made the roads, because it will be too cumbersome to print and cut out all the roads. Then I just used a silver marker to draw the road markings. Also I think my son will be a bit too restless and rough to play with unpasted cardboard roads. 

We laid the road on the floor and then he was so excited to set up his petrol station, overhead bridge, car parks and playground with his lego bricks.

The good thing about it being stuck in threes and foldable, is that we could lay on the table to play sometimes to avoid his baby sister bulldozing through his town when crawling about.

 

As you can see, I've a round-a-bout and curved roads too. For those I cut them with black paper but I just stuck them down with the duct tape too instead of the hassle of pasting with glue. If you would rather print and cut out the roads. You can check out the Picklebums where I got this inspiration from. Happy driving around with your kids!

Printable Roads

Printable Roads



a mother's life story: the hideout

If you're wondering what's this series, "A Mother's Life Story", is all about, its really just me making sure that my conversations with my mom are purposeful and meaningful (you can read more about the series in my first post here). And I hope that my mom's moods will be lifted up too as she tells these stories. Thankfully, she always seems relaxed and joyful when she shares. Storytelling about your life is actually one of the therapeutic tools that some counselors use.  Some call it life story interviews as well.

Interestingly however, today's sharing is one of a somber mood for both of us. I asked her about life during World War 2. My mom was borne in 1945, the last year of the occupation.

My mom was just an infant during occupation but she remembered my grandparents telling her some things about the war. During the war, life was very hard. The family travelled all the way from Race Course Road, where they lived, all the way to Hougang. And In Hougang, they had to hide in drains to avoid the soldiers. It was scary. It was very frightening times in their life.

Obviously the drain that I've painted is too small for everyone to hide in. My mom is the middle child in the family of 2 boys and 5 girls. Maybe it was one of those canals with those shelters inside for a family of 6 (3 of the other children were born after 1945). One of her sisters was also borne during the years of the occupation. It is hard to imagine how my grandmother could bear 2 children during the Japanese occupation. She was truly an amazing woman.

My mother doesn't remember anything else and she said she didn't really want to ask my grandma about the war as well, seeing that it was such a difficult time for her. I guess perhaps that is why you don't see the older folks caring much about politics. They will rather have peace than anything else. I got a little teary when I painted that little drain of mine.

headgear of the day: party boy again

We have been going to many parties: birthdays, weddings, alumni gatherings, cell group, etc. He loves them because of the cakes, chocolates and sweets that he gets to eat at these parties. And of course, wearing the party hat during meals at home help to relive those moments again and again and again.

baby sensory bottle

I've been hearing many people comment that they don't really know what to do with or how to play with their babies. I guess I was 'forced' to play with my baby everyday because Nat was always wanting my attention as an infant. So I had to desperately read up and research to keep him and myself meaningfully occupied. Now Noe is more of a self-exploratory baby and I tend to just leave her with playing her brother's toy cars, which I feel has been quite unfair to her. I am trying to be fair, even though it's more difficult now compared to when Nat was the only child.

I decided to make this Sensory Bottle for her when she was 6 months old as I had many empty mineral water bottles waiting to be recycled. And Nat was my little helper in pouring the water, the baby oil and putting in all the little scrap bits, glitter. In the end, he kept pestering me for one for himself even though he already has a similar timeout blue glitter bottle. Noe loves to see the glitter move, the little bits bounce and float but most of all, she just like to do her favourite thing with it - munch on the it as though there is no tomorrow.

Babies have a short attention span so probably just 5 to 10 minutes and they're done with it. But no worries, tomorrow will be another day for them to play with it :) Do check the pins below on how to make the bottle and other cool ideas. I've still have a huge bottle of baby oil left, so I will probably ask Nat to make one for himself or as a gift for another baby.


a mother's heart

Ever since the children came along, I got to learn a lot of new acronyms like SAHM, FTWM, PTWM, WAHM, and now some people like to add on - with a domestic helper, with no domestic helper, with help of in-laws, etc. During my mother's time, it was simple - housewife or not housewife. That's it. Now everyone likes to complicate matters, bring in theories, philosophies, debates, blah blah blah.

No doubt there are a lot of times I get caught up with these definitions too and I find it very unhealthy to label myself or anyone with these divisive acronyms. It distracts us from who we are essentially as a person, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend. We are all facing similar issues with our children too. The mom who is working full time and the mom who is staying at home, all have children who will wake up in the night looking for comfort. After reading an article from Ing, called "I am a Mom. That's Who I Am", I finally could let go of the nagging connotations of those acronyms that secretly haunt me.

We all know, our working status, doesn't define us as mothers. Don't judge ourselves nor others critically. Ultimately, purpose in your heart to honour God and everything will fall into place. Whatever decision you make as a mom, do it because you want to and what works best for your family. And then do it to the best effort, without any regrets. Not because of external pressures but because you love yourself and your family. And finally, work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Shalom :)