The 5 Love Languages for Children

5LL

Three kids. So alike in many ways. And so different in many ways as well. And if there’s anything that parenthood teaches you, it’s that you can expect the unexpected with them!

If you’ve picked up a copy of Dr. Gary Chapman’s book series on The 5 Love Languages, there’s one in particular for children, and it is definitely helpful in knowing how to love them. After all, it’s one thing to love your kids, it’s another for them to KNOW that you love them, and so knowing the primary and secondary love languages of your children makes it easier for you to cater to them.

I thought most children love to receive toys and presents, and I found that to be the case with my oldest 7-year-old, Jayvon. His primary love language is gift-giving, and so he writes little cards for us, love to surprise his younger siblings with a “Guess what we’re having as a treat today?” and similarly also experiences love when we get him little surprises and toys. When we were back in Singapore and both my husband and I were working full-time, it was easier to go on frequent little shopping trips to pick up the occasional lollies and small toys for him, but now that we’re in Sydney and watching our budgets like a hawk, such “treats” are fewer and rarer in between, so we have to make do, and just surprise him in other ways!

But yet, gifts didn’t rank high on my younger boy, Xavier, and while Jayvon would go wild when we went to the Toy Store, trying to get Xavier to pick out a toy for himself was like trying to extract a tooth without anaesthesia! It was painful to watch, as he would flit from one aisle to the next, fiddling with this and that, and just moving on. Jayvon, who’d chosen his present out already, would even bring “toy recommendations” to Xavier, but things seldom caught my little boy’s fancy! He simply wasn’t interested in getting any toys at all! Oh the horror! Nothing just seemed to catch his attention enough to warrant a purchase. It would seem like he was an “easier” child to please, but to really show him love, we had to know what made him happy and contented, and physical affection was the key for Xavier. He enjoyed his nightly bed-time “rub rub scratch scratch” (or back massages), he loved cuddling up on us on the couch, and he would show his affection for Zoie by taking her by the hand at the childcare centre. She was new to the centre, and refused to let go of his hands in the beginning, and he would sweetly oblige – even when he needed to use the toilet! He got trained in the art of “holding in his pee” because of his love for his younger sister! Haha! We told him he could tell Zoie to let him use the toilet, but he would shrug and say, “But she doesn’t want to let me go!”

And now when it comes to Zoie, being only 2, it wasn’t easy to figure out what her primary love language was, until she began to speak, and seeing how she beamed when she was praised, it became apparent, and her primary love language is words of affirmation. Giving her the thumbs up, praising her for a job well done or for keeping her toys, this made her break out into a wide smile!

What are the other 2 love languages? Quality Time and Acts of Service. And it doesn’t means that we only focus on that one primary love language and ignore the other love languages. All are ways to show affection and love and care to our children. But being able to identify your child’s primary love language will mean that a little more effort in that area will reap a bigger payback!

Want to know what is your love language profile? Or that of your child’s? There’s a simple online analysis to help you. Click here to check it out!

Winter Fashion Essentials for Baby Girls (Plus a $100 Gift Card Giveaway)

I’ve lived in hot, humid, beads-of-perspiration-rolling-down-your-face, balmy Singapore my whole life. It’s hot. It’s humid. And we live for air-conditioning. So my wardrobe has always consisted of cotton-y basics, and if you wear leather boots out, people give you a sideways glance and mutter “weirdo” under their breath, as they walk past you with their flip-flops and short shorts.

So making our home in Sydney, Australia has been challenging.

I had no idea how to clothe the kids. What is winter in Sydney like? Would goose down feather jackets be too much? (The answer: Yes. A sure-fire way to know who are the Aussie newbies). Layering? What? What layers? It made matters worse when we were first coming over in June 2013 – right at the start of winter, barely giving the kids time to get slowly acclimatised to the cold. Well, we survived, just, and despite my best efforts to get enough clothes before coming over, I have to admit, we had to buy a LOT more when we reached. Singlets, long-sleeved tees, trackies, jumpers… all these became the staple wardrobe pieces for the boys.

Two years down, as winter has crept up on us, I find myself much more prepared. I know what I need to get. I know how much of each item I have to get (to allow for sufficient laundry time in between). And I get loads of plain basics, and make sure I try to jazz up the kids’ winter wardrobes with a few key kick-ass items.

Let’s start with Zoie. She’s two, and is as Aussie as they come, having lived here since she was 5 weeks old.

1

Basic Winter Wardrobe includes:

  • Singlets or onesies
  • Plain long-sleeved tees (I bought about 5 of these)
  • Trackies (At her age/height, I haven’t found one that fits well though)
  • Jumpers
  • Leggings

But I love fashion. And I love to dress my kids up well. And by well, I really mean well. There are a few buys that I won’t stinge on, and one of it is a good jacket. A nice, thick, warm jacket to drive these wintery chills away!

So Zoie’s Enhanced, Add-On Winter Wardrobe would include:

  • A good winter jacket
  • Thick tights
  • Boots
  • A well-fitting beanie

And these are items I would spend a little more on, as I find the usual stores might not sell quality pieces.

I was stoked when Catimini Australia offered Zoie a little Winter package, and even more delighted when I saw that one of the pieces was this awesome faux leather jacket. I could not keep my hands off it! It was soft, felt luxurious and my little girl loves it. The embroidery detail was lovely – and it matched the dress and stockings that were sent over as well.

2 3

The entire outfit was comfortable enough to allow movement – and the entire hour we were at Bradfield Park, she was running up and down and back up again.

The red long-sleeve dress with attached bubble skirt was a hit. It fit well, and the waistband sat comfortably and the skirt did not ride up as she was trudging along (as some of her other dresses have). The matching tights with the cute details at the foot is adorable, and a versatile colour.

5

All in all, I loved dressing Zoie up in gorgeous togs, and look at her – she loves it too!

Now, the best news for my readers: Catimini Australia is offering one of my readers a $100 Catimini Australia gift card. Shop online, or in their Mosman NSW store – and if you hop over now, they are having their Winter Sale now on, with discounts of up to 50%! I’ve been to the store, and it’s gorgeous, and I could hardly stop smiling as I ran my fingers through the racks of beautiful clothes. They stock from 6 months up to 16 years old, for both boys and girls, so I am sure you can find something for that special kid in your life.

To win, simply head on to Catimini Australia, and tell me which is your favourite item from the store! I will pick the best answer, and this giveaway will be closed next Sunday, 20 June, 12 midnight. Use the Rafflecopter below to submit your entries, and don’t forget to leave your email so that we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Catimini Australia has kindly sponsored a set of clothes for the purposes of this review, but no monetary payments were received. All opinions are 100% my own.

So My Daughter Sleeps Much More In Childcare Than At Home… and other tales

zoie

I have a nocturnal daughter. Like, seriously.

She takes a catnap at around 6 p.m., after we pick Xavier and her from childcare, when her brothers are busy devouring their dinners, she prefers to take a small nip of the food, drinks milk and collapses, for 45 to 60 minutes.

And then she is awake. Bright-eyed and bushy tailed. And stays awake till past midnight. Every night.

Which I am fine.

Until I read the childcare report of her sleeping patterns for the week. I usually take a glance, and usually it’s a normal 2-hour nap in the day. But not THAT day. That day, she slept from 11.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.

FOUR HOURS.

I pay a freakish amount for her to go to a pretty good childcare, with great teachers, and a very well-rounded program.

And she naps for HALF THE TIME.

The next day, she napped for 3.5 hours. The day after, also about there.

She should be up and about and traumatizing the teachers! Erm, I mean, learning stuff, and you know, playing. Haha! Anything but sleeping!

So which begs the question… maybe we should get her out of childcare? We’d save money. And if she sleeps this much in the house, I can still get some work done!

It’s something to think of, for sure, but not a decision we can make easily. It is easy to stop her childcare or even reduce the number of days, but the fact is, with the high demand for childcare spaces in the suburb I am in, there is not a very high chance I can get a placement back in the same childcare!

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

(Oh, and my little Miss 2 has just learnt to wink! Haha! I am glad I caught it on my handphone camera – in the montage above, fuzzy though it may be).

8 Aussie Slang Words Every Visitor Should Know

image1
Coming to Australia? Well, here are 8 Aussie slangs you should know first! I consulted a few people who’ve lived in Australia for a while, coming from Singapore and these are the few head-scratchers the very first time we heard them!

ARVO
Or “afternoon”. As in: “I’ll talk to you this arvo.”

SHOUT
Nope, not talking loudly. It means to treat, or in Singlish, it means to “belanjah”. As in: “Have a drink, my shout.”

TA
This stumped me the first time I heard it. Ta? Short for ta-ta (as in goodbye)? Then I realised it’s short form for thanks. Oh, and until I heard Zoie’s childcare teacher, when Zoie was picking up some toy, the teacher went “Taaaa, Zoie, Mark was playing with that toy first” Which made me think it’s some code for “no”. Or so you won’t be saying “Oiii!” or “Stop it!”

HOON
There’s bee hoon, tang hoon… and then, in Australia, there’s the bad kind of hoon. The kind who goes around creating trouble, especially when driving a car or a boat. While colloquial Singlish seldom (if ever!) makes it to the news stations, I just heard the news caster using this term.

BARBIE
Not the doll. Oh the travesty. The barbeque.

In fact, Aussies love to “cute-ify” so many words. Why call it a tracksuit when you can say trackie? Running shoes are a waste of breath, so you should just say runners. Even Ian Thorpe is nicknamed “Thorpey” (and when he was on television doing some coverage of some sports events last year, I got distracted by other newscasters calling him that.” I mean we call Fandi Ahmad… Fandi. Ang Peng Siong is…. Ang Peng Siong. McDonald’s in Australia has resigned to being called Macca’s (and psst, you won’t find Burger King here, but Hungry Jack’s looks an awful lot like the BK we know and love).

SERVO
Driving a car? Then you’ll need to check where’s the nearest servo to get petrol.

AS
Normally, we’d say, “Oh you’re as lazy as a pig.” The Aussies have got it cut down to just… “Lazy as.” Yup, so you have “easy as”, “sweet as”, “slow as” and whatever adjective you can think of (but can’t remember the exact idiom to). Easy as.

WHINGE
Which means whine. And as a noun, you can be a “whinger” or you can be “whinging”.

 

So so much more – but this will do for now! How about you? Any Aussie slang words to add to the list?

Dry Nights are the Best Nights

Advertorial

Any parent would agree – this is the best sight, especially after a long day!

P1010021

I think my kids are really pretty cool. But they look especially angelic – when they are sleeping. This photo of Zoie? She’s not really sleeping (pffft!) but she responded to my call to ask for a sleeping pic so well, I couldn’t resist getting a shot in.

My nocturnally-inclined baby girl can think of a million and one reasons to NOT go to bed. From wanting to drink chocolate milk for the fourth time, to wanting another cracker, or a grape, or an apple, or a yogurt (you get the idea), it can sometimes be pretty tiring and sometimes pretty tiresome getting her to bed.

So you can imagine. Once I finally manage to get her to sleep, the LAST thing I absolutely want is for her to wake up. Especially from a leaky diaper! This has happened a few times, and it is so not fun!

Having had three kids, one financial lesson I have learnt is that there are things that are unnecessary expenses, and there are things that are well worth spending on. And nappies fall into the second category. There are just too many cons in a bad diaper, and so many pros to getting a good one – it’s an easy decision for me. There are two main considerations for me when choosing a diaper, namely: Comfort & Durability. Especially for the precious night’s sleep – this is even more important, as the last thing you would want is to crawl out of bed to change a leaky diaper, and stained pyjamas and bedsheets!

Introducing the all-new Drypers Drynights, which assures us sleep-deprived parents up to 12 hours of dry comfort for our little ones!

2

We were given 2 packs of the Drypers Drynights (9-14kg), which fits Zoie perfectly. Now, when I first received this product, I must admit that the first thought that ran through my mind was: “Is it REALLY necessary to have a separate diaper JUST for bedtime?” I was pretty happy with her current diaper brand, which we use all the time – in the day, at childcare, and yes, even at night.

But there is more than meets the eye. The reason why Drypers Drynights can offer up to 12 hours of dryness for the baby is because it has the Longest Absorption Core (compared to its competitors) – which simply means baby stays dryer for longer. It prevent any “backflow” that might happen when the baby pees too much, and the diaper can hold more, both of which is important. During the day, we probably have a diaper change once every three to four hours. But the very last diaper before bed often has to last a good eight to twelve hours, and the Drypers Drynights caters to this, ensuring baby sleeps with a dry, comfortable diaper.

2011-01-01 01.00.00-26

And after a month of using this product, with zero accidents, I am a convert for using separate day and night diapers! A good day diaper offers comfort and durability – for the hours when your child is active and moving and toddling around. A good night diaper offers dryness and comfort for a prolonged period, so your child can have a good and restful night’s sleep (and us parents too!)

4

My little “model” showing off her chops – while I was trying to do a nappy change for her.

Thanks to Drypers Singapore for sending me this product to review, and you can pop over to their Facebook Page to keep up to date with the latest news and promotions. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.