Life, ongsisters, Parenthood, School, Work

FREE 7-DAYS TRIAL OF GUA GUA LONG QIMENG 瓜瓜龙启蒙 (WORTH 200RMB)

Credits: @GuaGuaLongQimeng IG

So apparently as a working mum, it has always been a challenge for me to commit some of my time to teach linguistic subjects to the kids. Is either the kid becomes bored of me after sometimes and for younger kids, their focus ain’t really there.

Especially in the past 1 year ever since the pandemic. From home-based learning, after school hours and holidays… I have been trying to find something for Yahyah (No.4) to do. The 3 others can make their own plans and not much of an issue.

Another challenge close to my heart is that, majority of my friends are English-speaking with their Chinese being super duper “private limited”. The people at home whom the kids spoke Chinese to are my parents and my siblings at some intervals and my mum has been strict on our Mother Tongue since young. She went that extra mile to send us to 读经班 and our temple camps and I must thank her for the great foundation in Chinese.

However many parents tend to overlook the need for Mother Tongue and the lack of use for the language will also result in poor command of it.

I am thankful that I managed to get an exposure to Gua Gua Long Qimeng 瓜瓜龙启蒙 and joined the Singapore Team. A fun fact about Gua Gua Long — an AI-tech Chinese Education Product by Bytedance to help the children (Age 2 -9) increase their proficiency in Mandarin/ Chinese Language. Many asked me if the policies in China will affect the Product as a whole. The straight forward answer on a broken record is no, not much of an effect. We are in Singapore not other locations afterall.

Anyway to cut the chase, Yahyah has difficulties in focusing on learning through the virtual format. She will get distract easier and when I signed her up for the Gua Gua Long Annual Class (3200RMB), I was thinking that she will never want to continue after 1 or 2 lessons but to my pleasant surprise, she’s looking forward to it and she loves all the animation, classes and has learnt and memorized at least 10 new verbs with just 3 lessons.

She is 3 years old for god sake and 10 is quite an achievement for her. As a mother, I’m glad that my investment did not go to waste. 🙂

Yahyah attending the Gua Gua Long lessons before and after school.

Just a quick intro and insights to the Gua Gua Long Annual Class Package:

  • One-year subscription to teacher services
  • 240 days of online video courses with machine learning interaction included (Courses are unlocked daily and users can playback on demand anytime and forever. Excludes public holidays and weekends in China)*
  • Each daily class is split into five modules (some which include AI interaction)
  • Supporting learning materials

*Come on, we need to give the kids a break at times.

As Gua Gua Long is kind of new in Singapore, we have too, curated a Parents Community via Facebook Group to facilitate discussions and also aid parents on this journey to unveil our Chinese Language and Culture.

You can join the Parents Community via the link here: https://www.bit.ly/joinguagualong.

AND THE BEST IS YET TO COME…

THERE IS A 7-DAYS FREE TRIAL WHERE YOU CAN EXPERIENCE 7-DAYS WORTH OF THE ANNUAL CLASS PACKAGE! I am gearing up the Fake Twins (No 2&3) for their upcoming school holidays!

CLAIM THE 7-DAYS FREE TRIAL HERE: https://bit.ly/getggl

Whilst stocks last! Don’t say I BOJIO hor.

Parenthood, Reflections

Mental Wellness for Children

Disclaimer: I’m posting as a mother of 4 and these are my own opinions thus it does not represent any organizations or individuals except myself.

Recently, I saw many news that spoke about the mental wellness and mental health of the younger generations. True that, there are many attributes that contribute to the negative well being — environmental, culture, the rise of the social media generations and the support made available.

Especially these 2 years due to the pandemic, many are facing not just the pandemic fatigue but the students felt a significant number of stress as the curriculum seems to be disrupted and it was done “nor here nor there”. And our society, sadly still focus largely on the academic.

My daughters shared that it’s hard to concentrate during the e-classes and the peer support to study together is not there. They do not know where they fall short of, teachers have been trying hard to finish the curriculum and ensure the students understand as much in this current situation (please note that they are unable to WFH like some of us and they too, are parents to their own kids.) to the best they could however kids being kids, they have this uncertainty and are unsure where their level of understanding are placed within the curriculum spectrum, within themselves.
And worst case scenario, in our context and (asian) culture, many of us do not adopt an open communication channel to share out the issues within. To make things worst, there’s a social stigma around mental wellness.

All I want to bring across is – us as parents, despite majority are brought up by the (traditional) generations, we should try our best to encourage kids to speak up in person or through private text if they felt awkward to share f2f and to assure them that it’s ok to feel stressed, to say no and to seek some professional help when required.

As parents, I just want them to know that I will be there for them and a healthy child is important than academics.

Andrealynn Draws, ongsisters, Parenthood

Talent Showcase – @andrealynndraws

Just taking this chance to promote my second daughter’s instagram account – @andrealynndraws. Honestly I feel bad to take such a long time to create this account but I guessed the last straw was when she kept on misplacing her artpieces and also, people around will throw away her stuff on random materials (e.g. rough papers, tissue papers, etc — yes, she can draw almost anywhere) by accident.

Thus I decide to document her progression digitally and also perhaps this can help her to curate a proper portfolio when she’s older.

Honestly, No 2 has this flair and talent for drawings and arts that I do not have and being the quietest one amongst the 4, I guessed this is where her focus and attention are on.

Random Doodle on Random Paper.
July 2021 – A Guy Going On A Date

Please support her! 🙂

@andrealynndraws @andrealynndraws @andrealynndraws @andrealynndraws @andrealynndraws

ongsisters, Parenthood, Reflections

Parenting Goals: An Escape Plan; Plan X

Recently, Shar-B started to request to go out with her BFFs and being a paranoid mum, I was soooooo fearful that she met nasty people or perhaps a paedo preying on people. However as part of growing up, I knew

And there’s nothing foolproof, I taught her this “Plan X” thing which I feel it’s useful to share with the parents out here. I chanced upon this amongst a Facebook post in the past.

Plan X – To get out of an uncomfortable situation with no questions asked.

I told Shar-B if she needs to get out of an uncomfortable situation with no questions asked, all she needs was to message me a “X” and I will call her immediately. If she didn’t pick up, I will type her a series of standard answers.

Shar-B: X

Mummy: Hey Shar, where are you? I need you to come back to handle an emergency situation. Where are you now? I will come pick you in a few minutes.

And if anyone were to ask, Shar-B would have said, “I’m not sure why but my mum wants me back now.”

I guessed being a parent – the act of worrying will last me till the end of the lifetime. I will not give chance to anyone to abuse/ make use of my daughters. I do not raise them up as such.

Life, ongsisters, Parenthood, Rants, Reflections

Mental Health for Kids

Sidenote: Opinions are my own.

I chanced upon the two articles during the week and was discussing this prior to a quick Children’s’ Day celebration with the girls earlier.

The first article is about two 11-years old who had gone missing on 30 September 2019 and was found emotionally unharmed after a grueling 30-hours+ at where they are last seen.

The second article is about a mum who had complained to the Minister for Education on the purpose of setting tough PSLE questions.

And some, even went to the extent to commit suicide over bad grades and critics.

The conversation with the girls especially Sharanne set me thinking about the expectations from (1) Parents, (2) Childrens/ Peer Pressure and lastly (3) the Society.

From Kids’ perspective, they only see as Exams, Stress, Breakdown.

On a legit note, the girls always shared with me that the majority of their friends had super packed schedule for the week and near to 90% are focusing on academics, some took up the music schedules as parents assume that it was a form of de-stress and based on the instrument that the parents like instead of what the kids love. And the reason?

They are too young to make decision so as Parent we have the responsibility to plan out for them.

Precisely. And that’s also the point that they are young that they might not be capable enough to handle the stress and negative emotions.

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What we see from the external is different from what’s within.

So it set me thinking, what went wrong and what could we (as Parents) have done better?

I have friends who are on #TeamTuitionIsLife where Tuition plays a major big role in their lives and its everything they that do. The removal of tuition will make them “handicap” and unable to move on positively. Kids of #TeamTuitionIsLife normally have no much choices on their own and would need to obey the lesson plans crafted out by their parents, for their own good. Sounds familiar? Out of 10 friends, 8 of them fall into this category.

The remaining minority belongs to the #ChillMom where everything is possible and I belong to this category. Not even a single class of tuition/ enrichment and every weekend is just time spent with the kids.

I personally think that sometimes some kids will need enrichment to facilitate and motivate learning but don’t overdo it. Find a right balance. Keep the signs in check. Mentality is important for parents. Don’t yell and threaten on bad grades. It ain’t everything.

Kids felt more stress when parents compare as the (2) Peer Pressure is real. And just to be honest that kids are more sheltered as per compare to the kids 20-30 years ago. The latte developed grit to deal with things while kids of today need some parental grips, making them more vulnerable to critics.

I guess I focus on the different aspects – Soft Skills where I call it the EQ instead of IQ (Academics). The girls had been taught, social media skills, entrepreneurship, customer relations, product different and etc… Importantly I feel that parents need to teach kids how to manage failure or in nicer words, I call it, managing the not ideal situation. That’s why I curated Little Towkay Entrepreneurs Bootcamp for the kids, in order to give them a more holistic experience.

Acceptance is important. I do not have the greatest mind and will never do well in Maths in this lifetime. What I can do is to accept this weakness and hunt for my strengths. I can’t possibly force myself to be a Mathematician. Grades are not everything.

That’s why if I believed my kids can do well in Arts. The focus and the shift will be towards the SOTA direction. Afterall, who’s gonna teach the future generations the arty farty stuff if EVERYONE focus on the academics? Who’s going to teach ballet when everyone graduated as a lawyer or doctor? 😉

There’s always a Master in every profession, tio bo?

Afterall, I would rather spend the time and money spent on something that they love, so that Iwould get a positive ROI. Otherwise I’ll be waste my time and money on something that they do not even like/ love a teeny tiny bit and worst, do not learn from or make no change to one’s life.

Having 4 kiddos and to balance on that economy of scale is hard. Need to maximize the assets so I would emphasize on:

  1. Getting them to learn something that they love.

  2. Tell them Academics is not everything. Attitude is.

  3. Accepting failures (and not scoring more than 85/ 100 is ok)

  4. Enjoy their childhood. 🙂

Personally, this is what I would do and remind myself to do better than to surrender and join the #TeamTuitionIsLife.

No doubts, Society play a part too. We need more parents like this to overturn the mentality that focus strongly on grades and adapt more towards character development.

To parents out there, don’t let anything or anyone guilt trip you. The most important thing that you can provide to the kids is your time and love. 😊

Parents gonna walk the talk before a change is well-noted within the education system and system takes time.

Hey mama! 🙂

Hit me up if you are keen in the Children Bootcamp.

Life, Parenthood, Recipe, VFood

Beat the Haze with Chrysanthemum Wolfberries Jellies

Had a bad week battling the haze and inflammation thus I decide to make some desserts for the family.

Recipe: Chrysanthemum Wolfberries Jellies

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Konnyaku Jelly Powder, Wolfberries, Honeycomb Sugar, Chrysanthemum & Birdnest

 

Ingredients:

  • Konnyaku Jelly Powder 120gm
  • Chrysanthemum Flowers
  • Honeycomb Sugar
  • Wolfberries 10gm
  • Ready-to-drink Birdnest x 2 Bottles

Instructions:

  1. Boil a pot of water (~1litre) and when the water started to boil, put in the Chrysanthemum Flowers and the Honeycomb Sugar. [I would remove the Honeycomb Sugar if I’m pouring in Birdnest as I prefer it to be less/ not too sweet.]
  2. Let it boil for 15 minutes under low fire.
  3. Off the fire and remove the Chrysanthemum Flowers.
  4. Put in the Wolfberries, let it simmer down for 15 minutes.
  5. Pour in the Konnyaku Powder, stir and mix the powder under low fire for 10 minutes.
  6. Pour the Birdnest in. [You may skip this step if you are not a fan of birdnest.]
  7. Off the fire and prepare the molds.
  8. Pour the mixture into the molds and put it in the fridge.
  9. Let it sit for 6 hours. [I actually put this into the freezer for 1 hour and then shift it to the fridge to cut short the time.]
  10. Serve while it’s chilled. 🙂

The girls had helped me with the above and it seems fund as a bonding activity over the weekends. 🙂

Benefits of the Chrysanthemum Wolfberries Jellies:

Chrysanthemum is cooling and is used to treat respiratory issues, high blood pressure, and hyperthyroidism and was said to reduce inflammation and calm ones’ nerves. Wolfberry is high in antioxidants and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is good for tired eyes. Bird’s Nest boost better immunity, more energy, better sleep, good complexion, and good virility. Also, regular consumption of Bird’s Nest helps prevent colds and flus.

Life, Parenthood, Rants

Inner Thoughts about STEM

STEM is in trend but not all embraced the “orthodox” method of learning.

Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) classes have been widely introduced in U.S and the Western Countries where kids as young as 5 years old learned about the basic concept of STEM. However I feel that Asian parents still placed a stronger focus on the traditional academics and neglected the need for STEM despite the rising trends for Technologies and the worldwide storage for STEM talents especially in the areas of tech.

I chanced upon the article that in Singapore, the Government is adopting a proactive approach to introduce basic coding classes for the Upper Primary from Year 2020 as part of the education curriculum. It used to be optional but now compulsory. I guessed, the need to train the future industry talents to curb the manpower and talent shortage is indeed a pressing issue.

And I’m definitely a fan of anything that’s NOT academic. Learning should be fun especially when one is younger. One can afford to make more (and perhaps more expensive) mistakes and instead of being heavily pressured to chase the papers.

I kind of reminisced the days where I would figure how to “crash” my mum’s kitchen by cooking real food and having fun with my friends spending real time together instead of now, my kids favoured over Youtube “Toys Reviews”, check out what the rest are up to via Youtube or social media. Kids being kids, we should all learn by doing not just by seeing and etc.

Hopefully as the generations evolved, Governments will take a stronger approach in granting a more holistic education and it’s a good start now as I see more and more talents in the “cold” industry such as Arts, Music and Theatre Plays.

Thus I ponder, will parents be keen to explore workshops with kids at their early fundamentals years? Leave me a comment so that’s I’ll know.

Life, Parenthood, Rants, Recipe

Recipe: Melt in Your Mouth Pineapple Tarts

I am always intrigued by the creative flair that all my makers and bakers possessed. As a fan of handmade and artisanal crafts, I will try to make it a point to practise what I pitch and create items from scratch. LOL, this is actually a throwback post where an archive was saved in the folder to ensure that I remember this recipe as this is the best that I’ve replicate thus far.

After googling through many versions of pineapple tarts, I settled down on Sonia’s recipe, the #meltinthemouth version!

The long process is hard earned and I had raves about it after a whole day of scalding myself, because I made the filling all by myself and the hardwork paid off~ Will be baking the next batch soon and I had wrote down the whole recipe.  It’s super simple and nice based on the first attempt at it! 🙂

And sharing is caring. Along the way, I will share some insights as I bake.

pineapple tarts

PINEAPPLE TARTS (MELT-IN-THE-MOUTH-VERSION) 凤梨酥

Homemade Pineapple Fillings:

Ingredients:
2 x Near-to-Ripe Pineapple
250gm of Sugar (300gm if you like it sweeter)

See *** Notes below for other options.

I bought my pineapple from NTUC and this is the first time in my life that I had to hand pick a pineapple on own and being a noob, I googled on spot at NTUC on how to pick a good pineapple and finally got a near to ripe pineapple via this link. LMAO. Because NTUC don’t have Morris Pineapple for sale, I bought the whatever is available. If you have Morris Pineapple as an option. Just grab it! The taste will turn out sweeter and smoother.

20150131_134006[1]

Normal Pineapples from NTUC
Methods:

  1. Cut away the leaves. Skinned and sliced the pineapple. Retain the middle fibre because this is the essence of the whole paste.
  2. Put the pineapple into the food processor/ blender. DO NOT ADD IN WATER.
  3. Blend the sliced pineapple. Please do not blend until it become pineapple juice. But of a texture that it retains its pulp.
  4. Heat up a frying pan/ wok. Pour the pineapple together with the juices in. Cooked over medium fire until majority of the juices got evaporated and dried out. Stir every now and then to avoid it getting burnt.
  5. Add in sugar and cook over low heat until it becomes a thick paste whereby when you scoop/stir the paste, it should drop like a more solidify state instate of a watery type.
  6. Scoop and put it aside to cool.
    ***Notes: You may add on to its fragrance by putting in 1 cinnamon stick and 3 clovers before you add in the sugar. But I just like to retain the pineapple fragrance thus would strongly abide by sticking to 2 of the ingredients.

It took me near to 1 hour and half to complete the paste and throughout as I need to take care of the 3 girls, I did a “lazy-way” out, that’s to simmer the pineapple pulp over big fire and once it starts to boil, lower it down to low heat”. But I will check the thing out every 2 minutes, to stir and ensure that it does not get burnt.

Patience is the key to good food.

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The pineapple pulp and juices over big fire.
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When the juices started to evaporate off and to add in sugar.
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Stir and cook until you get this texture.

Now for the tarts~~~

Ingredients:
2 egg yolks
510gm of plain flour/ all purpose flour.
350gm of butter
100gm of condensed milk

Ingredients for the Egg Wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of milk (I use fresh milk)

Methods:

  1. Preheated your oven at 200 degrees for 10 mins.
  2. Put in the butter and condensed milk. Beat and mix it well.
  3. Add in the egg yolk one at a time. Ensure it mix well. Beat until it combines.
  4. Add in the flour. Mix it well until you gets a soft but not a sticky dough.
  5. Roll the pineapple fillings into a ball shape (a size of the old 50 cents) coin.
  6. Roll the dough into a ball shape, slightly smaller of the pineapple fillings. (Normally, people will roll the dough bigger than the filling but my family preferred to have tarts that’s full of fillings so I switch the “dimensions”.)
  7. Flatten the dough and place the filling in the middle. Bring the edges together and press lightly to seal. Roll it in between the palm to shape it nicely into a ball.
  8. Use a butter knife to cut some lines on the top of the pineapple balls to make the pineapple pattern.
  9. Apply egg wash on the surface of the pineapple ball.
  10. Place the parchment paper on the baking tray. Apply the parchment paper with eggwash.
  11. Place the pineapple balls on the parchment paper and bake it in the preheated oven at 170 degrees for 23 mins or until it turned golden brown.
  12. Cool completely before storage.

tarts yummy.jpg
SUCCESS!

Ok, apparently, I will try Morris Pineapple for the next round. 🙂 And all the items I got for the above baking session is NTUC. 🙂

 

Life, ongsisters, Parenthood

Parenting 101: Lugging the 4 Girls to Swim, Alone.

Sometimes I think my guts are way bigger than what my mind, body and soul can contain but I guess, at extreme times, it will be a desperate call for everything else when things get… situational.

Over the weekends, the girls went for a stay over at D’Resort to celebrate joy and (my SIL) Joyce’s birthday (no pun intended). So as every kids would asked – Is there bathtub? Is there swimming pool? Is there…

And sometimes how I wished my answer is a flat, NO. But Google being the evil babysitter answered to all of the girls’ questions.

Well done, Google. Well done, Technology.

So the next question is – Can YOU bring me to swim? Can YOU bring me to… Horrifying indeed. Sometimes these Q&As turn me off to an extend where I wanted to just stuff everyone back to my womb. I kid you not.

And it happened when, no one is free to bring them and the only person available is ME. And swimming tends to be a hazardous activity down my list of “DO NOT”(s) especially the kids are the adventurous ones. And girls being girls, I always had this constant fear that bad stuff will happened to them (Read up those molest cases and etc…)… So the first tactic that I always pulled off?

  1. Clear Flat Rejections – Sorry, menses is here. LOL. (But having said that, the girls went to the extreme (and extra mile) to check me out and realised I lied. Damn.)
  2. So when Tactic #1 failed and if the request is still within one’s ability, just go for it lor.

And to ensure that the guilt trip trap will be a success. The girls emphasized on their “last” swimming experience and the lack of childhood physically exhaustive activities (because I was always the safe-mama who won’t appreciate rides…)

And ta-da here we go! A mother of 4 lugging 3 toddlers plus a baby. However I was thinking if in worst case scenario of drowning, who should I save first. HAHAHA. So in order to prevent that (other than NOT bringing them to swim), I set rules.

  1. Do not get out of my side/ sight.
  2. Only go for the baby pools if not, one shall forfeit the chance to go swimming ever again and embrace Rule #1
  3. If someone is close and made you un-comfy, come back to my side and tell me straight to the face (and point to that someone who made you un-comfy. Human nature to disengage from bad stuff if one can recognise…)
  4. 3 of them must stay together within close range and keep a look out for one another otherwise, there won’t be a next time, ever again. This rule facilitate bonding, keeping a lookout for one another and self awareness of the surroundings.
  5. And I need to place the barang barang within my sight because I bought cash and phone…

And ta-da, it works until the shower part.

The girls refused to leave and Sayge was all time as she’s feeling the drain and dozed off in the pool. So I did a dare and left the girls at the pool while I went to change Sayge out and changed out of my wet attire.

The issue is how, how to shower and change with a cranky baby in the arm and the 3 girls in the pool without adult supervision.

So this is what I did.

For Sayge and Myself:

  1. We showered together despite her cranky screams.
  2. Dried her up, wrapped her in the towel while I took off every single piece of clothing of mine (so that it won’t get her wet).
  3. Change her into warm clothes with me, being so bare.
  4. Use my master hand to carry her and the other to pull up the undies, then shorts.
  5. Did a full squat, put Sayge in between my thighs and put a world’s fastest challenge of bra wearing within milliseconds.
  6. Repeat the same world’s fastest challenge to pull over my top.
  7. Dump the wet clothes into a plastic bag.
  8. Ta-da, the deed is done (with a back ache) within 5-8 mins. LOL

And from this I learnt 4 things:

  1. Bring a dark color, one piece loose dress in near future.
  2. Ensure the bag is a waterproof bag.
  3. Take on Yoga during free time.
  4. ASK SOMEONE ALONG NEXT TIME.

And where are the girls? Went to play the slides on loop basis and the Lifeguard is such a nice guy to help me oversee-ing them. The showering part for the girls is easier. I just prepare the towels, their bathing necessities and clothes, they will just do whatever it is. And the best plan is the girls can cooperate to shower with Sayge’s timing altogether, because Sharanne can help to carry Sayge but well… Independence is always better than to rely on others. ^^

And during the session, I saw a few of the mothers who just changed right outside the room because they have toddlers who need to be within their sight. And this is why, kudos to mothers. 🙂

After all, it’s all worthwhile to put smiles on the kids’ face. ^^

Gonna end this post with a picture taken by Sharanne, the self-proclaimed photographer/ future Youtuber. :X

Me + Sayge = Happiness 😛

做妈的,果然需要3头6臂。

Appreciate mothers and those who are in service line. 🙂

Debt, Life, Parenthood, Pregnancy, Quotes, Rants

2019 Plans

2 Months Down and seems like I’ve not achieve anything. I guess I need a Marie Kondo weekly to declutter my thoughts, decide to plan down what I need to do by end of this year:

  • Launch Piggyback
  • Followup on Scentimental
  • Clear off my bad debts. I will speak about this soon.
  • Aim to sell $100,000 worth of items via E-Commerce
  • Create a passive income wallet through positive and stressfree channels.
  • Create a Parenting Blog. 😛

Seems like I should be looking out at these 6, firmly and with focus and I calculated that if I need 1 million to retire by age 40. I would need to save approx $10k per month.

This amount is doable based on calculations. 🙂