Travelling with a Rented Car?

~ Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 7:35 AM ~

We went for a short family trip over the weekend recently and travelled up north in a rented car! Why renting a car when we have our own car?

Reason 1: We are bringing MIL along this time and with 3 adults (and me being 8 months preggy now) and 2 kiddos in a car, it is better to travel in a comfortable and spacious car this time. Of course, we can use our current Sedan car but it will be crampy and tiring (less leg space) and travelling 4-5 hours straight is no fun.

Reason 2: We are looking into buying a family car (MPV) sometime next year with our coming 3rd child so we thought this is the best time to rent an MPV to travel up north and try out the MPV we are planning to buy too!

So after googling around for days, I managed to find an affordable car rental company, Mesra Car Tour & Travels, one that specialises in MPV as well! Woohoo! Thank you God for pointing us to the right direction! I immediately wrote an email inquiring the rental price for an MPV for the dates we are travelling and promptly received a reply from their staff.

The rates offered are good and insurance are covered, I love it! I also like that the rental rates of the vehicle is on a 24 hour basis. Meaning if we collected the car at 9am today and returned it at 9am the next day, it is considered a full day rental rate. Other than this factor, I also like that the delivery charges (for the car to be send to our house and collected from our house) is very low compared to others.

With these plus points on hand, we went ahead and booked an MPV for our trip. The car was delivered right in front our house at 9am sharp on the day we are due to leave for our trip up north. Very punctual and the staff politely explained and guided us the interiors and functionality of the MPV.

Personally, I like this MPV as it is spacious and at first I sat with our 4.5 years old at the last row, leaving our 2 years old girl in her car seat at the middle row with my MIL while hubby enjoyed his solo front driving. I like that we can control the aircond setting for all 3 rows in the MPV and we can put in all our luggages, snacks and swimming stuff at the back boot. Nice!

A few hours into our journey, I received an SMS from the car rental company staff reminding us to adhere to the speed limit and even provided the exact GPS location of our car and the speed we were driving at! Whoaaaa... creepily awesome! I quickly informed hubby to slow down his driving and not to exceed any speed limit! Kudos to the car rental company for being professional and disciplined as well!

We were supposed to return the car by 9pm but we were caught up in a terrible traffic jam halfway (a 4 hours ride turned into a 6 hours ride!!) and I quickly SMSed the staff from the car rental company to ask him how much is it to extend the rental as we most likely will not make it home by 9pm to return the car. Surprisingly, the staff is sooo understanding and replied telling us no need to worry, to take our time.

At 10.30pm, we were still about half an hour journey to our home when the staff called me up and said he will come to collect the car from us tomorrow morning since it is late already. Thank God and I am so happy to say that we did not get charged for returning the car late. Kudos to Mesra Car Tour & Travels! Excellent service! Needless to say, we really do enjoyed our holiday and the journey with our rented car. Wonderful experience!

Book Review - Parenting for Education

~ Posted on Monday, September 09, 2013 at 8:27 AM ~

I received an email pitch to review this parenting book over 2 months ago, and finally able to read through everything! I have always been interested and keen to read books on parenting, teaching children and so on, hence I requested for a PDF copy (since I read books on my iPad most often nowadays and it is so convenient for me to bookmarks certain important points and tips in the book) Here goes my review...

Title: Parenting for Education
Author: Vivian W. Owens

Publisher: Eschar Publications, LLC (2013)
ISBN-13/-10:  978-1929221011 / 1929221010
Paperback:  233 pages

Description from the product page:
"Simple educational how-to, why-to, and what-to-do book. Practical guidelines assist parents with helping their children at home to build basic learning foundations. Motivational and inspiring.  Many topics will lead you to help your children raise academic performance in math or reading. Particularly useful to parents of children aged six months to fourteen years old."

I'm a full-time mummy

The book comes in 10 chapters touching on topics like guidelines to start off our young ones to learning, examining the root causes of learning and the solutions, how to raise academic performances and deal with underachievers, setting goals for future and using your home as a learning environment.

In Page 19, I agree with the statement of "Think not of grades and test scores as the school year begins. Instead, think of individuals. Your child is a unique human being with feelings and needs unlike another. He needs your love, guidance, and support in order to rise to his best potential. You are the over-seer of his education, and good things happen when you take that responsibility seriously." Each child is different and we progress in our own pace and it is because of this factor that I am looking after our kiddos at the moment.

While we are still on page 19, I also try to implement one of the tips which is "Children need to hear parents say, “I know you can do it!” ". Whenever I see our 4.5 years old boy struggling to do something, I quickly assure and calm him down before he erupts into a tantrum believeing he is a failure and everything is going against him. And when our boy is finally able to do a task, I also make sure and gently reminded him 'See, mummy knows you can do it!'

I also agree with the statement of "Celebrate your child’s unique personality. Compliment him for the strengths that enable him to be a productive human being, and you increase his sense of self worth." also on page 19. I mean, not just our child, even us adults would appreciate some words of compliments every now and then.

I find myself nodding with the tips on page 39 'Look for your child’s good actions. Catch him in the act of controlling his temper, doing homework without needing to be reminded, talking less while working, cleaning his room'. I try to make sure our kiddos know mummy is watching him and knows he is doing good things and behaving well, not just scrutinising and scolding / nagging when he's not behaving well.

On page 55, "Playtime is very important to young minds. It allows creative, intellectual expression as well as motor development. And, we, parents should not intrude on playtime with our suggestions and our ways of doing—most of the time. Playtime without intrusion is called “Free Play.”" I have recently registered both my kiddos to a playgroup sessions (twice a week, each session 2 hours and parent must be around to accompany their children, which is what I like) and the playgroup sessions incorporate freeplay time as well so I really appreciate and thank God we managed to find this playgroup sessions!

I learned a new thing from this book, on page 65, something about Underachievers, according to the book, "a category of underachievers who are generally highly creative and intellectually inclined. Students such as they quite often do poorly on tests because test masters expect you to choose one best answer, and these children have insight into several correct answers." Wow! I've never thought of this. So this statement is an eye opener for me!

However, I personally do not agree with the statement on the same page "Additionally, parents should assist their child by seeing to it that they prepare for quizzes, tests, and exams. Carefully review questions with them, showing them how to arrive at conventional answer" as I believe if we are trying to coerce child into conventional answers, it would stifle their creativity and confidence.

In page 80 "Help For Dyslexia", I also need to pay more attention and observe our boy as he had some signs of this, for example writing in mirror image and he occassionally has trouble with left-right coordination.

In summary, this is a helpful book that opens up my eyes towards understanding our child more, that each child matures at a different rate; and there are many other factors that affect that maturity and we should not gauge a child's development and progress based on their age as it does not confer readiness.

I'm a full-time mummy

You can get this book from Amazon and many more.

I'm a full-time mummy

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a PDF copy of the book by the author in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews" I'm a full-time mummy

Welcome to Terrific Two Phase, Alyson!

~ Posted on Monday, September 02, 2013 at 7:24 AM ~

Yeap, today is the day our precious ninja girl, Alyson turns 24 months old... aka, the TERRIFIC 2 stage! Like her brother Benjamin, I choose not to even think of the commonly used 'terrible twos' terms as I like to think positive and I believe we as parents should think the best and positive thoughts of/for our child!

We have been so blessed by our second kiddo, her cheekiness, the joy she brought to us, we are constantly amazed with her understanding and inquisitiveness, how she can self-feed herself at a young age, and that she enjoys her food so much that I don't have to worry much. I love that she loves her mummy's milk just like her big brother, and hope to tandem nurse when our 3rd child comes along in less than 2 months time.

I hope that she will love her new bay sister and continues to bring joy to all of us!

Happy 2nd birthday to you sweetie!

Mummy, daddy and Benjamim ko-ko loves you awfully so so so much!

Read: Psalm 112:1-2 (NIV), Psalm 127:3 (NIV), Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)