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Archive for the ‘Ellery’ Category

Bolster

This is what happens when your brother thinks you are cute and cuddly.

Ellery: "Mummy! Why is my bolster moving?"

Ellery: “Mummy! Why is my bolster moving?”

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After visiting the LKCNHM, we went to JCube for lunch and ice skating! The boys had been asking to go ice skating over the weekend for some reason, so it was a good opportunity to scratch that itch and bring them for a skating session.

They had so much fun! And it made me happy to see them enjoying themselves so much.

Ellery with a penguin

Ellery with a penguin

Trying to balance on the ice

Trying to balance on the ice

We changed the penguin to a seal so that they could take turns riding on it. It was also more stable for Ellery when using it as a support.

We changed the penguin to a seal so that they could take turns riding on it. It was also more stable for Ellery when using it as a support.

Taking turns

Taking turns

Asher managed to skate on his own :)

Asher managed to skate on his own :)

Skating is fun!

Skating is fun!

And to top of a day filled with fun and activity, the boys got to stay over at my parents place. They love going there for sleepovers. So it was a perfect ending to a fun-filled day :)

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Ellery has learned to ride a 2 wheeler! Yay!

He has been using the Strider for a long time now and is good at balancing. Transitioning him to a pedal bike took quite a bit of coaxing though. Ellery didn’t want to ride on two wheels using the old rusty bicycle that was given to Asher when he was smaller. Ellery kept thinking he couldn’t balance even though he clearly should be able to.

I decided that we needed to get him a new bike. The other bike was too small for Ellery anyway. We went to the bike shop together and got him a bike that, as a bonus, had a basket!  It is a feature he has asked for on many occasions. He also got to choose the colour. We brought it home, and the next day went to the nearby garden to try it.

Success!

He could do it! He was so pleased with himself. From saying he couldn’t ride a two wheeler, he started to say how fun cycling was. I hope he continues to discover the joy of achieving what he thought he couldn’t achieve at first.

Off he goes!

Off he goes!

Playing

Enjoying the playground with his little sister

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Study Buddy

So one morning I walked into the boys room to find Ellery helping Asher with his spelling practice! Ellery was telling Jon how important his job was, and that he couldn’t go and do whatever it was Jon was asking him to do because he needed to help Asher.

Brothers that study together, stay together?

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Ellery dictating, Asher writing out the words

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Ellery started school on 2 Jan at a new kindergarten. Previously both boys were at a childcare centre, so moving to a kindergaten was a big change for us. First, the hours are much shorter, so it’s much more challenging for me now. The class size is also bigger. There’s actually a uniform where previously the kids wore anything they wanted to school.

We ended up at this school largely because there were no spaces in any other preschool. It suited us because it was in the afternoon (when Asher would also be in school), it was much much more affordable than a childcare, not too far, and apparently had a good curriculum. It’s supposedly a sought after school, so I was surprised there was a vacancy on the day I enquired.

We’ve been prepping Ellery for the change for the last few months and he was quite excited to start school. The first day went well, though I found it strange that when he entered class my usually chatty Ellery suddenly became muted. I managed to coax a smile out of him for this photo, but he stopped smiling after I took the picture.

When we first arrived

When we first arrived

From the second day onwards I noticed that he continued to become very muted when he reached class. It’s very unusual and I still don’t know why that happens. It got worse as he started pulling me away when we reached, hiding behind a pillar outside the school building, flopping on the floor inside, and refusing to join the rest of the class. Maybe it’s him adjusting to the new environment. But it worried (and still worries) me a lot, because I’ve never seen him behave this way before. Ellery has been to two schools prior to this and at both schools I didn’t see such behaviour.

Then last week I got a shock when the Mandarin teacher claimed that the teachers there do not communicate regularly with parents, and she expressed surprise that at their previous school the teachers communicated often with us. This arose because I had simply asked how Ellery was that day given his reluctance to join the class in the morning. Jon and I agreed to talk to the teachers in the hope that we can work together to help Ellery settle. So I was really not expecting this type of response. We got so worried at this that we immediately started looking for alternative schools.

I managed to talk to the main teacher this week though and she assured me a little bit. She said that she was open to communicating with parents, and that I could raise any concerns I had with her. It was a good thing she didn’t try to defend what the other teacher said, but instead said she’d be worried if she was told something similar.

So now I have one teacher saying one thing, and the other teacher saying another thing. The main teacher said to give it 3 weeks to see how Ellery settles as it could be an adjustment thing. We’ll see.

On his part, Ellery leaves school happy. He likes the playground there and we always hang around for a bit before leaving the school premises. As a church kindergarten he also has worship time and he tells me about how they all worshipped God. It’s nice to see him talking about God and singing a new worship song he learnt in school.

I’m torn. Not sure what to do.
I suppose for now observe what happens in school while I continue looking around for better alternatives, if any.

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It almost went by without us singing him a birthday song!

There were grand plans. Ellery had been asking to go to the zoo for a long time, but for various reasons we didn’t get to go. There was Legoland, which we were supposed to bring the boys to as a combined treat, but that did not materialise after our move as we got so tied up with house things (rectifications and all that).

In the end, everything was kept simple.

On Christmas day itself we had a special breakfast of pancakes cooked at the table, just like at Slappy Cakes. The boys had loved it when we ate there and my aunt had so generously bought us a crepe maker last Christmas so that we could do that same thing at home. In the end we only used it for pancakes one year later! We had became addicted to crepes and often had those for breakfast instead :)

Home style slappy cakes!

Home style slappy cakes!

Christmas pancakes!

Christmas pancakes!

After breakfast we made logcakes for our neighbours as a way to say hello. The boys had fun delivering them, and we discovered a couple of neighbours celebrate Christmas in a big way. Some others we discovered were vegetarian and couldn’t accept our cake because we used eggs. Need to look for eggless cake recipes!

Sprinkling on the snow

Sprinkling on the snow

As always we were double booked for Christmas lunch, so we did house-hopping and lots of eating! Usually people at these two homes would greet Ellery a happy birthday, and at the first home we’d sing a birthday song. But somehow this year all that didn’t happen. Thankfully Ellery was patient and didn’t demand or expect anything.

Being cheeky in the car and not wanting to stay still for a picture :)

Being cheeky in the car and not wanting to stay still for a picture :)

Lounging in our friend's house

Lounging in our friend’s house

We left the second house in the late evening and went to Toys R Us so that the boys could choose their own presents. But Ellery fell asleep in the car! We thought he’d wake up in the noise of Toys R Us but he didn’t. We headed for dinner and tried to wake him but he was just too tired. We were joking about how we were celebrating a birthday without the birthday boy! But just as we were finishing our meal he woke up! Just in time to eat something and enjoy some dessert :)

Birthday boy sound asleep

Birthday boy sound asleep

Finally up!

Finally up and being squished

It was back to Toys R Us again, and Ellery chose a bow and arrow set because he had played with a set in one of the houses earlier in the day and loved it!

Home, bathed, bedtime story, in bed. Then Ellery said he wanted to have a birthday song and cake cutting. Throughout the day I had wanted to do it, but there just wasn’t the opportunity. So although it was already 10pm, we pulled out a logcake that we had saved for Ellery, decorated it and sang him a song.

He loved it! Especially when we found that one of the candles was a trick candle that kept lighting up again. The boys had such a good time trying to blow it out :) I think in the end the cake was quite covered in saliva…hmm…

I was really happy to see Ellery beaming :) A simple birthday song and cake at home can be so special :)

An over decorated cake haha!

An over decorated cake haha!

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday!!

Blowing out the candles

Blowing out the candles

Finally blew out the trick candle!

Finally blew out the trick candle!

Cut cut cut

Cut cut cut

Brothers :)

Playful brothers

Loving brothers :)

Loving brothers

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My dear Ellery, you have certainly grown. You have leaned out and are starting to lose your baby fat. Many people say you look thinner.

You still say the funniest things, and I have a long list of quotes from you that are just hilarious :) I laugh out loud everytime I re-read them! I must save them for you so that you can read what you said as a little boy.

You continue to be independent minded and like doing things in your own way, which is a good thing, but that same quality also makes you rather stubborn and difficult to discipline. Oh, what fights we have had this year. I have had a tough time reminding myself to model kindness and gentleness for you this year. But you can also be extremely charming and loving. You spout sweet nothings at random moments, and that always warms my heart. Whenever you say, “Mummy, I love you soooo much!” I can’t help but squeeze you tight, kiss your head, and all irritations of the day are dissolved.

It’s been a tough year for you too. On the one hand, you’ve become a very sweet and loving older brother to Alyssa. You were so happy when Alyssa was born you ran through school yelling, “I’m a Kor Kor now!!!” You play with her, hug and kiss her (even with dirty hands and oily mouth). On the other hand, I think you unconsciously feel the reduction in attention given to you and have been very whiny since your sister arrived. I have heard that middle children either become very independent, or very whiny. I think you’ve gone the whiny route. I’m hoping it’s a phase, and I’m hoping it ends soon. I try to pull out special moments with you, but it’s tough. I hope you know Mummy is trying her very best.

A new challenge has appeared this year too. One that I was anxious would come, and it did. You were an early reader and many people said to you or within hearing how “clever” they thought you were, and they praised you a lot. Too much. At that time I was thinking to myself that they really should hold back on excessive praise because it might negatively affect Asher, and more so, it might negatively affect you. Now it appears that you are only keen to try things that are easy. Anything that you think you’ll not be good at you immediately say, before even trying, that you can’t do it. I really pray that this is also a phase that will pass quickly. I pray that we’ll be able to build up your confidence to try things that at first seem difficult, and that you’ll realise you actually can do many things if you put your mind to it. Also, that we don’t expect you to be super at everything, but that you at least give things your best effort.

Mummy hasn’t had much time and attention for you this year, unfortunately. Mummy has been very stretched, but I hope you know how much I love you, how special you are to me! You are so unique, and I love you deeply!

 

 

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The house still has boxes, though we’ve piled them up in three locations. But the rest of it still isn’t the way it’s meant to be yet. Part of the reason is the boxes are where some pieces of furniture are meant to be placed at, part of the reason is we brought over all our furniture even though we hadn’t planned on doing that. We decided that since we hadn’t bought any new furniture to match our new home yet, we’d just use what we have and see how it goes. It’s more cost effective this way too.

Despite the boxes, we managed to clear a space for the Christmas tree that my Mum passed to us :) We’ve set up a Christmas tree since Asher was one year old. At that time we used materials we found around the house to fashion a tree. What a change! Not that a real tree is better or anything, it’s just different. The boys had a fun time setting it up with me, and singing “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” as we went round and round when stringing the lights.

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Glowing tree

Asher also asked to string some lights at the balcony since we had an extra strand. He wrapped the lights on the railing and was so pleased with the result. Early the next morning he woke up early just to stare at the tree :)

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Christmas lights and ships in the background

It’s also my sweetheart Ellery’s birthday today! We’ve been so busy with the move we hadn’t given any thought to his birthday. And as his school said they preferred if he didn’t celebrate his birthday during the school Christmas party like he did last year, he didn’t even have a school celebration. I’m just thankful that he’s so cheerful. He’s been so happy this past couple of weeks, saying things like, “The whole world is celebrating my birthday!”

Of course we then remind him that it’s really Jesus’ birthday they are celebrating. Then he’d say the whole world is celebrating two boy’s birthdays :)

The tricky thing about his birthday being on Christmas is not so much that his birthday gets overlooked, it’s that Jesus gets overlooked. Intellectually he knows what Christmas is really about. But he’s most excited about his birthday. And I can see why, given then all the other kids are really excited about their birthdays too.

Anyway, here’s hoping the day will go well tomorrow. That Christmas will be meaningful and will touch something inside our souls, and that Ellery will have a fun-filled birthday too.

Here’s wishing you a blessed Christmas too!

Leaving school yesterday with the Christmas hat he made

Leaving school yesterday with the Christmas hat he made

And totally unrelated to Ellery, this picture is just too cute (in my opinion) to not share!

And totally unrelated to Ellery, this picture is just too cute (in my opinion) to not share!

 

 

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