Friday, 29 April 2016

Shopkins Love and A Giveaway!

You must have heard of Shopkins by now.  It won toy of the year last year, and I won sucker mama of the year along with it.  Ever since it debuted in 2014 we've been collecting the damn things.

They are now on Season 5.  
I should've known the evil geniuses behind them would milk a good thing while it lasts.

Fast forward.  We now have 100+ extra Shopkins and am giving the whole lot of them away!
But first, let me share with you the sneaky ways they sparked more learning in our home.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

What A Working Mom Misses Out On

I've been a stay-at-home mom for two months and counting.
I haven't quit my job -- *breathe out, folks* -- I've just been on bed rest.  

It was Divine providence in many ways.  My body's stress signs were screaming for attention : shingles and early labor contractions became medical orders for isolation and complete bed rest. 
A recipe to shut down.  And I did.  Except my guilt didn't when it hit me what I had been missing.

Friday, 12 February 2016

This is My Home Office Set-up. Seriously.

I thought I'd give you a laugh and show you where important business calls and global webex conferences happen when I work from home:

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Trouble with Arts and Crafts

I am so very jealous of all these crafty mamas of the Internet and Instagram showing off their children's art.  It makes me feel both inspired and inadequate!

I know they are meant well, but I end up expecting picture-perfect finished products from my daughter and feeling frustrated when things don't match the blog post.  After years of too many un-fun, high-effort sessions,  I've become desensitized to the eye-candy kid crafts on my feed. 

So here's an idea: how about we working mamas relax and let our kids take the lead?  

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Valentines Game on the Hundred Board

One of the biggest challenges in this daily working mom juggle is finding the time and energy to play after getting home from the office.  That's why I leave-behind play trays ready in her room so inspiration and energy takes a lot less effort.  

This idea is Montessori-inspired and easy to do, which frankly are two things that don't often go together, in this lazy mama's opinion.  So I'm sharing this little hack with you to tweak for your preschooler or early elementary lovey.  We did this last year for Valentines:

If you haven't heard of the hundred board yet, don't leave this post. 

Friday, 5 February 2016

More Twinkly Lights to Love

Now that Typo is in Manila, I am equal parts delighted and dismayed.  

It was easy to hold back on the decor coochies during trips to Singapore, but now hoo boy.  Everything is just too tempting for someone who is never done changing things up at home.

I went crazy for their battery-operated twinkle lights over the holiday season.  

a dreamy cascade of lights over our bed - these are the last lights I switch off at night

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A Montessori Birthday is Love and Genius

Before I start including Montessori Elementary stories in this blog, here's a last fond look at Montessori Preschool and the clever tradition they have to celebrate birthdays.

In the spirit of mixing it up so home "work" doesn't mirror school activities all the time, I'd like to share this with my fellow toddler/preschool moms who actually aren't into Montessori schools or do lessons strictly at home.  Do this at birthday party programs!  At the intimate family cake blowing!  You are definitely the best "teacher" for this, too. 

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Spare An Extra Table for Play

The internet world makes it look easy, but as a working mom I can't just whip out play ideas all the time.  I've had to test a lot of working mom hacks for the awesome play ideas thought of by moms who could supervise their kids themselves.  

Usually they are kept in self-contained individual play trays in her room.  But I've found that setting up a showcase table in the home can work wonders to spark more interest.  Go big or be ignored.

Here are ten of the big play invitations around our home in the last two years that formed my "spare table play theory".  Totally made that up but it works.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Why I'm Ignoring The Backlash For Discipline

My newsfeed is filled with viral articles shaking their fingers at parents for being too lenient with their children.  Too much praise!  Not enough chores!  Let them bleed! Too much indulgence!  And notice how the poor Millennials are taking the first beating from being raised as an entitled generation?  It will only get worse.

I suppose it's inevitable that with helicopter parenting comes the backlash on the case for discipline. 

Frankly, I'm ignoring all that.  I still read them and I take in the balancing wisdom, but largely I don't let it affect the parenting style I've chosen.  I think much of this backlash is old-school thinking.

My current corporate job + my forever-career as a mom has me nerding up on child development and reading the science behind child education.  I've realized that much of modern parenting and progressive education makes so much scientific sense.  (I'm putting Montessori as part of progressive education even though it started in the 1910s because Maria Montessori was a freaking genius whose methods are validated by brain theory today.)  

There is a reason why parenting is so different today than it was in the 1970s. 

This is my own experience with discipline:

I still carry my six-year old daughter.  Here's why.