Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Looking Back 2006: December


I'm going to skip ahead to December coz' there is still some Christmas spirit hanging around. The kids woke up quite early and ran down to open their presents. Thank you to all our wonderful friends at church who gave our kids pressies.

The night before little D was not being very kind and we told him that if he didn't start behaving, Santa would come take his presents away. That was very worrying for him coz' the first question he asked when he opened his eyes was "Did Santa take my presents away?"

Later we headed over to church for a Christmas party. Good food and fun. DH prepared 3 dishes of chicken: Chicken stew, Chicken curry and Fried chicken. We were asked to only prepare chicken stew. Very ambitious when he is in the mood.

Overall, it was a calm Christmas for us.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Spirit

Growing up in a non-Christian home, Christmas is not a very exciting holiday for me compared to Chinese New Year. Even though we are Christians now, Christmas still doesn't bring much excitement. There are no family reunions or big "makan" to look forward to. Christmas decoration around the house is minimal. But I love my kids for they bring some Christmas spirit into our quite mundane life.

Thank you little D for singing "Jiggle Bells" while in the toilet doing your business. It made me smile.

AND A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Why I Choose to Co-sleep With My Kids

One of the many issues that parents with a newborn baby struggle with is whether to co-sleep with baby or have baby sleep in a separate bed/cot or even room.

Co-sleeping of course in much more convenient especially if you are breastfeeding. You don't have to get up to feed baby. You can just plug them into their milk source while lying down. But some worry that later on when they are older, it will be difficult to kick them out of the bed. Plus some are not in favor of having their bedspace invaded especially when Mom and Dad need some personal time together.

As for me, I've enjoyed co-sleeping with my babies. I love to cuddle them and I feel more peace knowing that I all I have to do is open my eyes and look over their way to see that they are safe next to me. Now that the kids are a little older, they have moved on to their own beds which is next to mine. So, in a way, we are all still sleeping together.

But I have to share with you what happened 2 nights ago. Little D started laughing in his sleep. I looked over and asked him what he was dreaming about. With his eyes closed he whispered "dragon." I continued on "what is the dragon doing?" Still whispering he said "flying".
"So, what's so funny?" He smiled and said "he fell down." Hahahahah. Even I couldn't help laughing. And the look on his face was just so satisfying for me to watch.
I asked him the next morning if he remembered what he had dreamed the night before and he couldn't.

This is one more thing to add to your list of advantages of sleeping with your child -- even in the middle of the night, you don't miss out on the heart warming, memory creating moments.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Looking Back 2006: March

Some of the fun educational stuff we did for this year. The trip to the science center at KLCC was full of fun for the children. Of course they don't comprehend the science lessons behind the gadgets and experiments. They are just excited to turn things, push buttons, step on things etc.... It's exciting because they are making things happen.
If you do decide to go, make sure you are ready to spend 3-4 hours there. Also, bring in your bottle of water and maybe a small packet of biscuits in your pocket. Don't think you can spend more hours there as the children will get hungry.

The tadpoles thing was fun only at the beginning - when they were catching it. After that it was more of Mommy's project. We had success in raising some of them into frogs. Thank goodness they didn't decide to become frogs all at the same time.

See also:
http://mamasbagoftricks.blogspot.com/2006/03/we-have-tadpoles.html
http://mamasbagoftricks.blogspot.com/2006/05/froggy-update.html

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Free Photography Tips

Discover the Simple Tricks For Taking Superb Digital Photos... Click here!

I just found this fantastic report with tricks and techniques for taking great pictures with your digital camera.

I didn't know this, but there are some really simple tricks you can learn to help you take stunning photos. The report is called "Top Photo Tips" by David Peterson.

And best of all, it's free.

Already I've learned a lot just by looking at the first few tips! So I wanted to share it with you ASAP.

I recommend you take a break from whatever it is you are doing if you can an take a look now...

TOP PHOTO TIPS

PS - The Author, David, says it will only be available for a few weeks at most so do not delay...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Looking Back 2006: January

I did the "Looking Back" series last year and thought I'd continue with this tradition. What I do is put the pictures I've snapped throughout the year (according to month) into scrapbook form. It takes a bit of work but when it's all done, there is a sense of satisfaction. My goal is to eventually print these mini-scraps out making them into a yearly photo journal. When the limbs go feeble with age, it would be fun to look back and see how the family has evolved. Okay, let's start with January 2006.

p.s. To see last year's "Looking Back" series, check out my archives:
January - May 05
June - December 05

Monday, December 11, 2006

File Folder Games

Once upon a time, I came across this idea of making File Folder Games for children. My DH had invested in buying a laminator and so I decided to make some simple, homemade games with both educational and entertaining values. I've written a bit on this on my other blog, along with pictures. Do check it out especially if you are looking on what else you can do to occupy your children's time:

http://blog.valuebookshop.com/?p=25

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Unfortunate Frog

Guess what daddy caught today? A FROG! Of course he was motivated by our little boy. D agreed with daddy's idea to put the frog in the cage so he could see it jump, jump, jump.... I agreed to go along with the idea coz' daddy said the frog would help reduce the number of flies that we've been having around the house due to his gardening (we've been throwing our kitchen waste into the garden to get it the ground more fertile, so that's been attracting flies). I've been conned. I don't think that frog will reduce the fly population here. I put him in the garden where the flies were buzzing but I don't think he could reach them. It was more like torture coz' he was staring at them, but could not get to them. Sigh! Let's see what happens to this frog.

And the question of the day is:
WHY DOES THE FROG HAVE SPOTS (BUMPS) ON HIS SKIN?

D asked that question and I just don't know the answer. Any takers?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What Would You Do For Ice Cream

D: Mommy, can we have ice cream?
Mommy: Show me how much you love me first (this is Mommy fishing for some hugs and kisses).
D: I will go outside and make noise so I don't disturb you (these kids are always jumping on the bed and talking with maximum volume when Mommy is trying to rest).
Mommy: Why must you make noise?
D: Because I don't know how to talk (Meaning he don' t know how to talk softly)
Mommy: How else can you show you love me?
D: If the T-Rex come, I will kill him for you.

K: Mommy, can we have ice cream?
Mommy: How much do you love me? (still thinking I will get some hugs and kisses)
K: I helped to shut down your computer just now.
Mommy: Yeah, but you were the one playing the computer so it's your responsibility anyway.
K: Just now when D was moody, I hug him so we don't fight.
Mommy: And what about your work?
K: I will do my math afterwards. I promise. If I don't, I won't have any junkfood. I PROMISE!
Mommy: Ok-lah, go and get your ice cream.

Still no hugs and kisses. But looks like I'm doing good in bringing up "loyar buruk" kids that know how to "bodek" to get what they want :)

* loyar buruk = smooth talking lawyers
* bodek = apple polishers

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What Rice Is That?

Some more funnies from my children:

K: What are you cooking mom?
Mom: Fried Rice
K: Fat Rice? The rice make you fat is it?
Mom: No, fried rice
K: Oooh, fright rice. You eat the rice then you will be frightened.
Mom: No no no. Frrrried Rice.
K: Fried rice? What is the meaning of fried?
Mom: Mean you put in the wok here and fry it lah. Sigh!

Lucky I didn't say it is "fly lice". Don't know what she will make of that!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Scared in Your Own House?

When we moved to our current double storey house, my children was ecstatic because it has "upstairs and downstairs." But no matter how ecstatic they are, they do not like to be left alone on either floor. If I go downstairs, the troop goes with me. If I go upstairs, the troop starts screaming "wait for me, wait for me." If I need one of them to get something for me upstairs, the other must be recruited to be a companion before the task can be accomplished.
The other day I was watching television and the two kids were just making too much noise. I asked that they go upstairs to their playroom and the reply was "who is going to take care of us?"

What an interesting question indeed. Here are two kids who pester me every evening to let them go out of the house to play. If I say yes, they zip out the door like a hurricane. If I do not insist they stay inside the gate, they will be running on the road and to goodness knows where else in search of adventure and play. They couldn't care less if I was around to take care of them.

So, I just don't get it? Is inside the house more scary than outside the house where there are cars, strangers and other dangers? I asked my daughter this question and it was interesting to see her reaction. It was like a revelation to her that "yeah, how come I'm scared to go upstairs alone but I do not hesitate to run out of the house where it's more dangerous?"

Well, let's hope the little "lightbulb" that went off that minute stays lit and their fear of being upstairs or downstairs alone has been relinquished. I've been repeating over and over again that this is THEIR HOUSE. There is nothing to be scared of in your own house. Is it just my children or anyone else have this problem too?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Miracle of a Band Aid

I am always humored in the way band aids work on children. They are also known as "plaster" in this part of the world. Although the purpose of a band aid is to prevent germs and what not from entering the wound, it's effect on children seem to be more psychological rather than physical. My children has demonstrated this phenomena countless of times, the latest being this afternoon. Little D somehow managed to cut his thumb and upon seeing blood oozing out, screamed his head off. Oh, what demonstration of pain and suffering. The minute the band aid is on, all pain and suffering mysteriously disappears. And I am left wondering how a cut in the thumb has effected his ability to walk as he insist that he now must be carried. Sigh! A band aid is a necessity even in times when there is no sign of blood. When children insist that whatever they have needs a band aid, you cannot argue. I am thankful to whoever invented the band aid. It is the best pacifier a mother could ask for. It is an instant tear stopper. So if you see my children plastered all over with band aids, don't be alarmed. Usually it's nothing serious. It's just their way of getting some tender, loving care from their mother. I guess it does make the heart feel good to have your Mom give you a few minutes of pampering. Oh, I must not forget to add that the "magic blow" is quite effective as well. Nothing special, just blow on the wound but say it's magic. When they are young, they believe most anything. Afterall, most of the time it treating psychological wounds rather than physical ones :)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Talent Show Update

First of all, I must thank Dr. John for selecting my previous post on Talent Show as his "Today's Link". And thank you to all that visited my site from his link and left me precious comments.

Just to update on what's been going on with this talent show thingy. I thought it would be nice for my girl to do a storytelling bit based on the book DK Share-a-Story: The Caterpillar That Roared." Afterall, it was one of her favorite books when she was younger. In the book are suggestions on extra activities that the child can do. So we chose a craft where we cut out circles, colored and pasted decorations on them and then connected the circles to form a caterpillar (sorry, forgot to take a pix). My girl was to hold that crafted caterpillar as she told her story. Even got her little brother to act out the accompanying characters.

Well, what can I say? It would have been great if... she had really been interested in performing. It was fun to play around at home. They laughed and did funny things as we tried to get the story together. But I guess, to remember scripts was far from FUN. We ended up with a very stressed out Mommy and 2 unhappy children. In the end Daddy stepped in with the golden question "Karina, do you really want to do this for the talent show?" The answer was a "NO". So, that was the end of my attempt at getting her to do storytelling. My little girl was assured that it was ok if she didn't want to do anything.

Anyway, they had a rehearsal on Saturday and I took my girl because she said they were going to do a group pom-pom dance. As we walked in the hall, her teacher takes her aside and tries to encourage and persuade her to do something. I know she meant well but I think her persuasion just made my little girl feel bad. In the end my girl just succumbed and said she would like to sing "Written in Your Heart", a song from Barbie As The Princess and the Pauper. So poor Mommy, just to make her DD happy, went tinkling on the piano to see if she could play up the tune.

And oh, by the way, she ended up NOT being involved in the pom-pom dance.
So, she was at that rehearsal doing nothing. I, on the other hand, took some time out to chit-chat with some of the other ladies upstairs (after tinkling on the piano). Two hours later, DD finally comes up with a tired face and says "I'm tired at looking at people." So we decided to go home.

Now, did she REALLY want to sing that song? I don't think so. How do I know? Because I got the lyrics for her and asked her to practice BUT it was done half heartedly. In the end, the golden question again, "Karina, do you want to do this for the talent show?" She was like yes, no, yes, no and in the end, NO! So it was back to telling her, "it is ok if you don't want to participate." And she was happy with that. I think she had agreed to sing that song so her teachers would be happy.

Sigh! The teachers of course still hope my DD will do something at the talent show. But we've decided we're not going. Not because we don't want to support them but because DD still remembers the "I'm-tired-at-looking-at-people" part. She is happy with the decision not to go. I just hope the teachers GET IT that she is ok with NOT participating. I know they don't want her to feel left out and want to encourage her. I just wish they would accept and understand that she is perfectly happy NOT performing.

The way I see it, she enjoys singing, telling stories and acting out dramas. But she does it for fun at home, in the form of play. Having to practice such things just takes the fun out of it. So the best thing to do is to let her have her fun. There will be other talent shows in the future and who is to say she won't decide to take part next time right?


Monday, October 23, 2006

Talent Show

My church is having a talent show on the 4th November for the kids in primary. There aren't many kids in our branch so every child will have to do something, including my girl.

Here is my headache: WHAT SHOULD MY GIRL DO?

It's not that she hasn't any talents. She has plenty! So, what shall we do?

  • Sing? But what song? I think singing nursery rhymes at 5 years old is not considered a talent anymore. Maybe for my 3 year old. Church hymns? She is already doing that for their primary presentation scheduled another day. I was thinking maybe a song from the show "Land Before Time" Really cute songs and they've been singing it somewhat. But have to find lyrics and the music accompaniment. Sigh!
  • Dance? Need a choreographer. Can't just put on a song and have her do wild and weird movements. This time, lack of talent is on the part of the mother. Hehehe.
  • Story telling? She can't decide what story to tell. This is probably the best thing for her to do. Mom just needs to put some effort to do the coaching.
You know what I hate most about these concert type talent shows? It doesn't really showcase a child's talent. It's quite limiting in the sense that children have to do something they can perform on stage. How do you display:
  • talent for sports
  • talent for entertaining your baby brother/sister
  • talent for playing computer games
  • talent for math, legos or puzzle games
  • talent for fixing things
  • talent for making others feel good when they are down
  • talent for writing
  • talent for debating
  • talent for cooking
  • talent for optimism
  • talent for diligence
  • talent for courage
  • talent for solving mysteries
  • talent for gardening
  • talent for initiative
  • talent for helping others
  • talent for languages
  • etc....
Everybody has a talent, so I don't think it's fair to limit a talent show to that which just involves entertainment. BUT I guess they can't find a better name for the event. So I guess entertain we must. I just wish they could would call the show something else because the REAL talent show is being displayed in the lives of the children everyday.

Happy Deepavali and Selamat Hari Raya

I know, I know, I'm a little late with my greetings. But everyone is still in the holiday mood, so I'm still not too late.

Wishing all the Hindus and Malays a great time with family and friends. Eat moderate and drive safe. If you have left over cookies and goodies, my home is more then willing to accept them. Hahahah.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Proper Phone Manners

My son has shown growing eagerness in answering phone calls. Unfortunately I hadn't "trained" him in proper phone manners yet. So yesterday, I took 2 used toilet paper rolls and recycled them into make believe phones. There we were, the two of us just lying on the bed playing telephone.

Mom: Ok, when the phone rings, the first thing you say is hello. Here we go, riiingg, riiiinng.
D: Hello. What you doing?
Mom: No, no. You say, who do you want to talk to?

Mom: Ring, ring
D: Hello. What you want to talk to?
Mom: Noooo. It's WHO do you want to talk to?
D: Who you want to talk to.
Mom: Who DO you want to talk to.
D: Who do you want to talk to.
Mom: Good. Let's try again.

Mom: Ring, ring
D: Hello. What you want to talk to?
Mom: Noooooo. Who do you want to talk to.
D: Who do you want to talk to?
Mom: Can I talk to your mommy please?
D: Yes......
Mom: Ok, now you say 'please hang on' and then pass the phone to me.
D: Please hang on. Nah mommy (passing the toilet roll to me).
Mom: Ok, let's practice again.

Mom: Ring, ring.
D: Hello. What you want to talk to?
Mom: Noooo. WHO. It's WHO do you want to talk to.
D: Oh, who do you want to talk to?
Mom: Can I please speak with your jie-jie?
D: No cannot.
Mom: Why cannot?
D: Because she is a monster.
Mom: (rolling eyes). Ok, can I speak with your mommy?
D: Yes, please hang on.

Sigh! I think we need a few more practices.

lian8.minti.com

http://minti.com is a place for parents. Tons of parenting advice by parents. Good place to make friends too. I’m a parent, so hey, it was a good place for me to be. So I signed up (it’s free!) and they give you your own family page where you can blog and make friends. Check me out at lian8.minti.com.
Some of the things you can do at http://minti.com:

  • If you are the sharing kind, you can write up your words of wisdom and have people view and vote for you. Heh, heh, heh… lets see if your advice is worth anything. Just kidding.
  • Find advice
  • Ask questions
  • Rate articles
  • Write comments. Let your voice be heard. Plus I hear this is one of the best ways to make friends.

There’s lots of other stuff going on there too. I’m a newbie so haven’t yet figured everything out. Anyway, just thought it’s something worth checking out.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Uneducated Mosquitoes

My son just had his bath but still had mosquitoes biting him. This is his logic:

DS: Mommy, you know why the mosquitoes are biting me?
Mommy: Why?
DS: Because they THINK I am dirty but I am clean.
Mommy: Yeah, dumb mosquitoes. Don't know how to tell the difference between clean and dirty.
DS: Yes, I must give them work to do. (Meaning they have to study). They have to circle which one is dirty and which one is clean. When they get it right, I will give them a sticker. (The work my son does usually involves circling the correct answer. He gets stickers when the work is completed).
Mommy: So you are going to be their teacher.
DS: Yes, they musn't play.

:)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Time for Playdoh


Almost forgot about this wonderful stuff called playdoh. Made some 2 days ago and the kids are still playing with it. Used to buy the stuff but now I just make my own. Saves me the heartache of seeing my money get thrown in the dustbin because you know how kids are... they don't keep in properly and it hardens up, little bits and pieces that need to be swept up which eventually diminishes the quantity of the playdoh, getting all the colors mixed up in one colorful ball etc.... Basically seeing your playdoh obey the law of disintegration. Make your own and you don't have to worry about their handling and abuse.
They are several recipes out there on homemade playdoh. This time round I tried this one:

1 cup cold water
1 cup salt
2 tsp vegetable oil
3 cups flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
food coloring

This is a non-cook playdoh recipe. I've never tried the ones that need cooking but I read that it's suppose to last longer and probably better texture. Anyway, my kids are not complaining. As long as they have something to squeeze, pinch, roll, cut, and mold, they are happy.

Did you know that playdoh helps your children have better handwriting? Yes, it builds the hand muscles and it is used in occupational therapies and special education programs. Also develops fine motor skills that help children with buttons and zippers.

I have a teacher friend who is currently teaching a boy with a learning disability. Part of his therapy is to squeeze a "stress ball". Its like a balloon filled with flour and you can make that yourself too. The point was to build up the strength in his hands. I thought it was funny that the parents were spending all this money to help their child and the remedy was to PLAY more. Maybe all this could have been avoided in the first place if he had been encouraged to play more and study less. So I guess this is further evidence that play has it's benefits. It's like little lion cubs rough tumbling with each other. Looks like fun but that is how they learn to hunt and pounce on their prey in the future. So it is with our children, playing with stuff like playdoh helps develop certain skills.
So don't you think it's an interesting concept? Children have to learn to play so they can play to learn !!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More Mind Boggling Questions

Today I was reading a children's rhyme called The House That Jack Built. You know how it goes:

This is the house that Jack built.
This is the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the rat that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the cat that chased the rat that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the dog that worried the cat, that chased the rat, that ate the malt, that lay in the house that Jack built.
etc... etc... etc....

Well, at the end of it all, my daughter looks up at me and asks "Who's Jack?"

Monday, October 09, 2006

Smarty Pants

Kids just have the knack of asking questions that you can't answer or making comments that very clearly says "Mom, I'm no fool ok?"

Here are two recent conversations to amuse you:

Grandma: Do you know what is the king of fruits?
K: No.
Grandma: It's the durian.
K: So, what's the queen of fruits?
Grandma: Errr... there's no queen of fruits.
K: I think it's grapes!
(Just because she is eating grapes at that moment and she truly loves grapes.)

Mom: Please stop kicking your shirt around. If you do that, your shirt will not like you anymore.
D: The shirt can't talk!
Mom: Yes, I know what it says.
D: Where is the face huh? The shirt don't have face!
Mom: Whether can talk or cannot talk you shouldn't treat your things like that.
(Sigh! It's tough when your lies don't work anymore and you have to think up of ways to save yourself).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

In The News: 300pc Rise In Children With Mental Problems

This was an article highlighted in the New Straits Times yesterday. The statistic refers to Malaysian children. What is your reaction to such a headline?
As for me, I feel pretty sad for all these kids having to deal with such problems at such a young age. Adults always think we have it tough, we forget that kids sometimes have it tougher. Yes, children do have stress in their lives too. It's not all just fun and play for them. According to the article, the main sources of stress for these problem children were:
  • Stress at school - pressure from parents to perform and pressure to live up to parent's expectations, also stress from teachers that bully.
  • Stress at home - parents fighting at home
I'm sure they are many other stressors that were not mentioned. It is scary to think that as parents, we may be the ones driving our children nuts. I know when I was a child myself, my priority was not to be a genius. I just wanted to have many friends, be well liked, engage in activities that was of interest and to do reasonably well in school. I'm sure many of you were like that too. And yet, as we step into parenthood, we desire our children to be tops in everything. We put on the pressure because we have good intentions but sadly our actions may lead to terrible consequences. This article serves as a good warning to me. It reminds me:
  • to be reasonable in my expectations
  • that a child's happiness is more important than a child's academic achievement
  • teach my children to love life and not just to endure it
  • the home should be a place of refuge and not a place of stress
  • to have a solid relationship with my children through open communication that they may have a place to confide their fears and concerns
  • that sometimes it is better to turn away from worldly trends
One thing good about the report is it shows that more and more parents recognize that their children have a problem and are seeking help instead of brushing it under the carpet. I just pray that for many of us, we don't reach that stage before taking action.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Playing Definitely Has Benefits

K was doing her maths work the other day and one of the exercises was to recognize patterns. For example:

I realized she had difficulty drawing squares on top of each other or drawing squares/circles into a pyramid. I was getting a little agitated trying to explain where to position the lines so the squares would not end up on top of another square but rather in between two squares. She just couldn't get it.
Controlling my frustration, I walked to her toy drawer where all the blocks were kept. I managed to find 10 square blocks and showed her how to build a pyramid. She asked to play with them a little longer and so, she practiced and practiced building the pyramid. Now, my kids have been playing with blocks for a long time. But I think this is the first time she saw how her playing is related to the things she is learning in books. Next thing I know, she comes to me with a drawing of a pyramid made out of squares. All my screaming and explaining could not teach her what she learned at play.
So here is proof that play does benefit learning. Tell that to your MIL :)

P.S. I really recommend that you get some building blocks for your children to play. Not only is it educational and helps to develop a child's imagination, but also provides time for QUIET play :)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Of Seeds and Noses


1 saga seed + 1 little boy's nose = A whole lot of trouble.

Never in a million years did I think my 3 year old boy would shove a sage seed up his nose. I thought I had taught my children not to do such things but looks like I've been mistaken. He had come to me with the saga seed he found in his play room, asking if we could throw it in the pond. We use to do in the park when I was living in the previous location. I told him we were too far away from that pond now. I then asked that he go look for the other saga seeds that we had collected then so we could do some counting. Next thing I know, he is crying and digging at his nose. I take a look and there it is!

Rule no.1: Don't scream when there is something up your child's nose.
Obviously that was not what I did. Seeing my panic he somehow got the seed lodged even deeper into his nose. From visible it went to partially visible but only with the use of a flash light.
I wanted to use tweezers to get it out but decided not to in case I pushed it in even deeper.

Rule no.2: Make sure your child knows how to blow his nose properly.
When D had a congested nose before, I tried to teach him how to blow his nose. But he didn't quite get it and always ended up sniffing in instead. So now, when we asked him to try to blow it out, all he did was suck it in even more.

Anyway, to cut the long story short, we took him to the nearest hospital (which was really small) and thank goodness the doctor managed to get it out with a modified paperclip. If that didn't work, we would have had to take him to a bigger hospital and I don't even dare think what they would need to do. And thank goodness D was very brave and didn't cry one bit but just laid very still for the doctor to do his stuff.

While waiting for the doctor, I was talking to my DH and mentioned how in all the lessons I've tried to teach them, I may have missed out the "don't put things up your nose and ears" lesson. Obviously my little boy was listening very attentively coz' when I asked him "why did you put it up your nose?", he replied "you didn't teach me!"
Rule no.3: Don't forget to tell your children DON'T PUT THINGS IN YOUR NOSE AND EARS!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Little Fun

Just to post some fun the kids have been having. I'm not a real crafty person so it is a wonder that I even thought of the butterfly thing. Went to the back and got 2 wooden clothes peg. Took some art block paper and got the kids to color the butterflies. Cut it out and paste it to the clothes peg. Happen to have some googly eyes and pipe cleaners to make antennaes. The kids played with their butterflies the whole day. Unlike the gentle creatures butterflies are, D's butterfly was a fighter. Hahaha. To put them away, just clip them unto the curtains or something. Make a few and you could even use them as house decorations.

Bubbles are another fun activity. Went to Carrefour and found a one litre bottle of bubbly fun for only RM4. That should last for quite a while. There is one blower thingy inside. Need more, just use straws. You think that bubbles are easy to blow right? Don't be surprise if it takes your little one some practice before they get it. You can always make your own bubble solution. But somehow the ones I make don't work as well as this commercial one. It's also non-toxic and non-stain.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Value Bookshop International

Just want to announce that I've added Value Bookshop International to cater to parents and children all over the world. Prices are USD of course. Click below to check it out:

VALUE BOOKSHOP INTERNATIONAL

Monday, September 18, 2006

Are You There?

You think that staying at home with the kids is enough for them. Not really. Being in the same house is not close enough. My kids have to be either in the same room or on the same floor. When my kids see my going down the stairs, they will pick up their toys with superhuman speed, declaring with urgency "Mommy is going down, mommy is going down." I am counted as evil if I do not wait for them.
Several times a day you will hear the the cry of anxiety "Mommy, where are you?" If I do not answer, they embark on a "search and rescue" mission and will not stop until I am found. Even my unannounced trips to the bathroom can be a cause of concern for them. When they do find me, you can see their joy and relief. Then they just go back to what they were doing before.

Usually, they seek me out not because they have something to ask me or need my assistance, they just want to know that I am close by. Although annoying at times, I have to remind myself to be grateful that I have children who think I am soooo important, that my mere presence brings such assurance to these little ones. Isn't it a wonder, that such a passive thing as "just being there" can outweigh all the monetary and materialistic things we can provide for our kids? Let's take the
sun as an example, it's just there in the sky. But look how it makes things grow. So, never underestimate the goodness you do by just-being-at-home.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Value Bookshop's Reading Notes

I'm happy to announce the birth of another blog of mine called Value Bookshop's Reading Notes.
The purpose of the blog is to help parents help their children learn. When it comes to our children's education, we have tons of questions. We constantly worry and try our best to do that which is right. But it can be so confusing.
Some of us still have very young children and therefore still have the opportunity to right our wrongs. Some of us have already weathered the storm. I would appreciate if you drop by and share your wisdom.
In this blog I will share my findings with you as I explore the many concerns and questions parents face when it comes to our children's education. I welcome any suggestions on topics you might want me to address.

Please visit my newbie blog -- http://blog.valuebookshop.com

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Run, Run, As Fast As You Can...

Yesterday, the kids insisted I stop by the mini playground after buying pisang goreng. So happen that place also has a netball court. Instead of just having them play the swings, slide and see-saw, I suggested the two have a race. My intention was to tire them out a little (evil mommy!). Crazy kids nowadays just have soooooo much energy. I had them run from one end of the netball court to the other end and back again. I thought I'd just have them race 2-3 times but these kids, I tell you, they kept on running and running and running. My little boy practically ran up and down 7 times without stopping. Then he would just run round and round. It's just so funny to see how much fun they had just running. Talk about simple pleasures. And here we are, as parents, sometimes wondering how to entertain them.

Well, we went out again today and did some running. The kids were looking forward to it. There's a court at the back of my house and we did different things. First they had a traditional race -- run to a certain point and back again. Then I had them do laps around the court. Played a little basketball and then finished up with a relay thingy. The two kids would stand on opposite ends. D would run and slap his sister's hand and then it would be her turn to run.

Anyway, kinda reminded me of when we use to do the same when we were younger. I'm sure almost everyone has played 'police and thieves' once in their life. Or sometimes we just called it 'catching'. The Americans call it 'cops and robbers.' We had the energy then too. Well, because I've lost the energy for running, I've forgotten how enjoyable it is for kids.

So if you can, don't coup your kids in the house. They have soooo much energy pent up inside. Let them be like the gingerbread man and go "Run, run, as fast as you can...."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Elephant In The House

I have been having some bad luck with the chairs at home the last few days. A few months back, my mom brought a decker like chair that belonged to my grandfather. So as you can see, it's been around for awhile and like many stuff made in the olden days, they are quite durable. All was well until a few days ago the canvas started to rip. Continue sitting and I would fall right through the chair. So relunctantly I had to give up that chair.
I migrated to the chair that my DH usually sits on. My brother gave that to me and its a bamboo one. Another sort of deck chair, the kind you would take to the beach and enjoy the breeze. It's a bit low for me and with my growing tummy and aching back, it's pretty difficult to get up sometimes. But hey, it's one of the better choices in the house. Well, yesterday I sat on it and it broke! This is the conversation that followed:

Son: Daddy, the chair broke.
DH: What happened to the chair? How come it broke?
Son: Because like elephant sit on the chair, it break.
Me: So, mommy is like elephant is it?
Son: Yes!

So, do I get depressed or do I laugh? It was kinda weird how I could laugh and feel depressed at the same time. Anyway, the chair was fixed. But not too well coz' when I sat on it again today, the repair work done yesterday came undone and I fell again. Well, this time "the elephant" fixed it again making sure the knots don't come undone. But of course, my DH couldn't help laughing when I told him what happened. I think I will just sit on the floor from now on. You think it's safe?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Book Review: It Could Have Been Worse

I love children books. I enjoy looking for books for my children to read, be it at a bookstore, book sale or library. And scouting for books have been even more interesting the day my children decided they wanted to choose their own books. This is where you see what sort of stuff they are interested in. For example, at one time K would look for books about going to the doctors. D still looks for dinosaur and dragon books. I usually go for whatever books with a good story line and captivating illustrations. Of course I also try to look out for books that have won awards or recommended by teachers.

Well, I've been wanting to blog on books that we've read and enjoyed. Now that blogger allows for labels, what better time to start. Keep track of our favorite books filed under the label "Children Books".



Let me start off with this book. It's called "IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE".
A little mouse is on his way home but he seems to have some bad luck falling off branches, dropping into a hole, sitting on some prickly stuff, falling into the water etc.... Sounds like a bad day right? Well, what the mouse doesn't know is that his bad luck was actually his good luck. You see, if he hadn't fallen off the branches, he would have been eaten by a cat. Or if he didn't fall into a hole, an eagle would have gotten him. So you see, it could have been worse.
This story isn't just for kids. It was a good one for me too. I had some bad luck that week with the car battery going dead several times and then having a punctured tyre. Well, as the book says, "it could have been worse".

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Best of Friends, Worst of Enemies

First of all, just wanna say that FINALLY I got the pictures up on my last post. Was trying for days and the pictures just wouldn't get posted. Well, they are there now. Yay! Now I get to show off my garden. Hahahaha.

Ok, just something short about the kids. They can be the best of friends and the worst of enemies. And it only takes a couple of seconds to go from one to the other. The fights have been quite frequent the last few days and I must say, it is driving me nuts. I've come to the conclusion that mothers are allowed to throw up their hands once in a while and say "I give up." Well... not totally give up. I've learned that trying to talk sense to them when they are mad doesn't help. Actually, it just makes you more frustrated. So now I allow them to let out whatever anger is in them, then after the storm has subsided, try to talk sense. Afterall, when I'm angry, I need to get it out too.
Only problem is to reduce the violence -- hitting and biting. Even after many lessons and lectures, little D still cannot hold back. Well, all a parent can do is to keep teaching.
Which brings me to a book I just borrowed from the library which I hope can help litte D with his biting. It's called "The Shark Who Bit Things He Shouldn't". Cute little story about a shark who is so proud of his sharp, white teeth. He would see something and say "I know I shouldn't bite this, but I will." Well, he eventually gets caught by a granny who used a toffee-apple as bait. It got stuck to the shark's teeth and hilariously, his teeth got pulled out. But granny, who also can take her teeth out, had pity for the shark and gave his teeth back BUT with advice that from then on he musn't bite anything he shouldn't.

Well, after saying all that, I just wanted to point out that even if you've read tons of parenting books and articles, there will be circumstances and situations when you don't know what to do or say. It's okay. Like they say, our children didn't come with an instruction manual. Just keep plodding along. Sometimes the answers take a while to reach us.


Monday, August 21, 2006

How Does Your Garden Grow?

It's been really fun to watch the vegetables in my garden grow. That's why the quote that says “One of the most delightful thing about a garden is the anticipation it provides” is just perfect to describe how I feel about my garden. Of course I do not take credit for the gardening. Actually, I'm quite hopeless and instead of green fingers, mine can be called black fingers – once that ends in the death of the plant :(
My FIL and DH has put in much work and now we get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. There was actually plenty to do as the ground was just horrible. We had to get rid of the weeds and big rocks. Then we had to purchase some good soil and my DH was diligent in watering the ground with water from the fish pond plus rice water. Constant weeding was necessary. My kids wondered why we were throwing rubbish in the garden as DH dug holes to make compost. Carrot skin, apple skin, vegetable ends and whatever would rot organically.

The kids have tried to help and though we don't make a lesson out of it, I'm sure they've learned something. What have we allowed them to do? Throw away the big stones, water the garden and weeding. It's been interesting coz' things we take for granted, you have to stop to explain to the kids. For example:

  • What is a weed?

  • Why don't we want weeds?

  • Which part of the plant do you water? The leaves or the roots?

  • What is a root? How does it look like? Why do you water the roots? (This is where weeds are good coz' you can pull them out and show what roots look like),

  • Why you must not pluck the flowers?

  • What are the names of the vegetables?

  • Why are we throwing rubbish in the garden?

By far the most funnest (is there such a word) activity for the kids is digging. They are lucky that my garden is grassless and therefore looks like one giant sandpit to them. Of course, they has to be a limit as to where, when and how much they dig. Plus very important to teach hygiene – hands and legs must be washed immediately.

One thing I read that has not worked for me is the idea that kids are more eager to eat what they have planted. Well, my kids still think the brinjal is yuck, even if it came from the garden. Hahahah.

Well, if you want to read more about gardening for children, here are two sites:

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Birthdays, Birthdays!

August is birthday month for us. Damus was born on the 9th while Karina was born on the 25th. However, we usually cheat and just have 1 big bash for them. This year we sort of piggy backed on Lia's party for her boys, Jamie and Josh (bless her kind heart) who also shares the same birthday as Damus. We figured that having a party in Puncak Alam was not going to be too popular cause no one knows where it is and if they did, they would be quite relunctant to travel this far out. Min (bless another kind heart) made two beautiful cakes, one for the boys and one for Karina. She recently blogged on this topic plus another entry about her cake baking journey. You gals are the best! My kids really enjoyed themselves. The loved the cake and they loved the company.

Anyway, here is a little tribute to them on the birthdays.

Damus, mummy is amazed at how much you've grown. No, not in size (you're my cili padi) but in your skills and intellectual development. I know my little boy has grown when I watch you:
  • succeed at wearing your own pants
  • going to the toilet yourself
  • eating independently and making minimal mess
  • helping me take in the clothes and folding the handkerchiefs
  • talking like an adult and making funny comments like "welcome everybody to my lips, muak"
  • trying to keep me warm when I am cold
  • kissing my cheek to take back the runny nose you gave me
  • pretending to read and getting 50% of the words right coz' you have already memorized the story
  • successfully bouncing the basketball many times and also being quite handy with a badminton racquet
  • put away your folded clothes by yourself
  • constantly singing your many nursery rhymes and other songs
Karina, mummy has placed very high expectations on you because of my ignorance and mistakes. Afterall, you are my firstborn and therefore, everything is trial and error with you. But you have raised to the challenge very well. I look at you and know you've grown when you:
  • bathe yourself and help me bathe your brother
  • read the scriptures and rattle off difficult words such as resurrection, nevertheless and commandment
  • willingly and independently bearing your testimony in front of the congregation every first Sunday at church
  • successfully memorizing all the words of the songs you needed to sing for the concert and singing so confidently
  • put away your own clothes after its been folded
  • try to learn how to write and give me envelopes with selfmade cards that say, thank you or I love you
  • play badminton so well. you actually return my shots
  • go to sleep with the lights off and I'm not in the room yet
  • make it a point to change the mosquito vape mats and turn it on every night
  • help pour your brother a drink when mummy is not free
Happy birthday kiddos. Remember, no matter how much I scream at you, I love you both beyond words.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

This and That

My poor blog, sorry I've been away. Desperate times call for desperate measures. And one of the measures that needs to be taken is being more wise in managing my time. Priority has to go to building content for DH's website:
http://physicalhealthguide.com

That which doth not help the home or bring in money has to take a back seat. Anyway, here is an update to keep the cobwebs away.

1. Kids have been pretty good in keeping themselves busy. Just give them excess to recycled paper and other stationary, then let their imagination do the rest. Karina is now at the stage where she scribbles nonsensical words and numbers. But that is ok. At least she knows how to enjoy the printed word. Definately much better than her previous kindergarten homework which was just copying the same thing over and over again, for pages and pages. That was a real joy killer. Damus' scribbling is also evolving. I see recognizable letters such as "D", "b", "h" and "i".















Busy fingers, busy minds.














Finished product. A present for Mommy wrapped in recycled paper.













Messages and drawings on my door. You like?

2. We've been more diligent with our homeschooling. Karina's reading is improving. We also make it a priority to read scriptures first thing in the morning. She may not understand all the words but it's a routine we want her to get use to. We don't really have a fixed syllabus. Mainly concentrating on English and maths and whatever else catches our interest like puzzles, mazes, online games. I'm more interested in driving the idea that learning is fun. Though I admit I need to work on my patience. Bad teacher! Evening is badminton time. She really has improved since we moved here. Things are more relaxed with Damus. We do nursery rhymes and singing. Instead of teaching the names alphabets, I concentrate more on teaching him the sounds of alphabets (will blog on this later on). We also read books and I must say, his concentration is fantastic when it comes to reading books. We can sit for half an hour or more just reading, and he'll take one book after another. His badminton and ball bouncing are not too bad too.

3. Recently our church held a concert to showcase the talents of the primary kids. Karina had 4 songs to sing (in a group) and she did wonderful. We practiced at home for 2 weeks and she really enjoyed it. I must admit, I had tears in my eyes. It just touched my heart deeply. The song is called "Children Holding Hands Around the World". With that I just want to say how grateful I am that my children have the opportunity to grow up in the gospel. I know it will be an asset to them to know that they are a child of God and that God loves them. When they go out into the cruel world, may they be equipped with the whole "armor of God" to fight their battles. I know that others may not feel the same way but I do. It is my testimony that children need to be spiritually fed and that it is our duty as parents to feed them. I am grateful for the proclamation on families published by the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. Through it I have learnt my duties as a wife and mother and will continue to use it as my guide.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (
Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Once again, please do not think I am imposing my beliefs on you. Just want to share what I belief in. Now, enjoy the song. Click on the following link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YluoIk-gAM4

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Vegetable Brain?

I managed to get Karina to sit down and do some studying without fuss or distractions yesterday and today. We sat down and did some English, some Maths and also learned how to tell time. All because of an out of the blue comment I made. As usual, Karina would be a little hesitant when I mention that it's "school" time. She would rather be playing.

Mommy: If you don't do your work, you will end up with a vegetable brain.
Karina: What is a vegetable brain?
Mommy: You know like a rotten vegetable? What do we do with rotten vegetables?
Karina: Throw away.
Mommy: Yup, that's right. If you don't exercise your brain, it will end up like a rotten vegetable.
Karina: Hahahaha. Mommy, that is so funny.

(While doing work)
Karina: See mom, I'm exercising my brain.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Things I Love When I Have Morning Sickness

There are many things to hate when one is down with morning sickness. But instead of dwelling on the negatives, I'd like to list some of the positives I've encountered.

THINGS I LOVE WHEN I HAVE MORNING SICKNESS:

1. A darling husband who is ever willing to cook me porridge coz' I can't eat anything else.
2. He also picks up where I fail like preparing meals for the kids and sometimes bathing them.
3. He doesn't demand or complain about the neglected housework.
4. He understands when I lie in bed almost the whole day coz' that is all I can do with the strength I have.
5. A fantastic FIL who cooks potato chips for me just because of a fleeting crave.
6. A cute son who hugs me when I feel cold and says "Mommy, I keep you warm."
7. A loving daughter who understands that Mommy feels sick so she bathes herself and also her brother. She also says "Mommy, I will try not to disturb you."
8. Listening to your children pray "Dear Heavenly Father, please help Mommy not feel sick."

I'm so glad my children get to see how wonderful their father is. He is not afraid to help with the housework or care for the children. To end, I would like to share a saying that goes like this:

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Brain Exercises for Preschoolers

Looking for new stuff to entertain your children? Well, here are some stuff I found that my kids like. Fortunately, they don't know it's educational too. Hahahah.

1. Mazes by Cartoon Critters
2. Mazes by Krazydad - There are 5 levels of difficulty to choose from.
3. Mazes by Print Activities - As they say, mazes are "excellent for developing kids small motor skills and spacial perception skills".
4. Brain Games - Especially like the one where you get to control the traffic lights. See if you can avoid causing a jam.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mimosa Pudica Fun


This morning sickness has not been good for my blogging. When the energy level is down, it's difficult to sit in front of the computer and think. But I think my poor blog is due for an update.

Well, just to share our newest discovery. While playing in a nearby park, I noticed the many Mimosa Pudica around the area. Of course growing up I called them "Touch-Me-Nots" or in Bahasa Malaysia, "Pokok Semalu". You know, those thorny little plants that close their leaves when you touch them? Anyway, I realized my children had not been introduced to this wonder and so I rallied them round and showed them the magic of this plant. Now our walks in the evening is not just about getting some fresh air, but also to spot and play with the many Mimosa Pudica along the roadside. I must say, it does keep them occupied for a while.

And while posting this blog, I learned that this plant even have medicinal values. So the next time you see a Mimosa Pudica, don't just think it's a pesky thorny plant. There is more than meets the eye.
1. Khasiat Pokok Semalu Untuk Wanita (sorry this is in Bahasa Malaysia).
2. Some medical data.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Love-ometer

How do you stop sibling rivalry? What do you do when your kids bicker at each other, breathe out threats, whine, complain, fight, pout, yell, tease, hit, scold etc...? Have you ever found yourself lost, confused and helpless at those moments when they turn to you to play judge? I know I have.
Of course, after reading plenty of parenting books and articles, you know that it is absolutely essential that you never play judge. Taking sides is a big NO-NO because usually the one you thought innocent, isn't completely innocent. There is always a side of the story that you never got to see or hear. Parents are advised to help the siblings solve their own problems. Yeah, but how? Especially when you are talking about siblings below the age of 5? Well, here are my two ways:
  • I put both of them on the bench (similar to time-out). They both have to sit facing each other. They get off when they have both decided to make up and be friends again.
    It's usually the older one that will start initiating the peace talks cuz' they want to get off.
  • Use the Love-ometer.
    What's that? Well, I got the idea when I came across something written by a Sunday School teacher on how she managed to get her young kids to be reverent in her class. She had some sort of chart that would show the reverence level in the class. She didn't have to yell or shout. If the class got to noisy and chaotic, the reverence chart would be adjusted accordingly.
    So I took that idea and taught my children that our home has a love-ometer (like a thermometer). When we do and say kind things, the love goes up. When we fight, quarrel, tease and say mean things, the love goes down. When there's plenty of love in the house, everyone is happy. But when the love goes down, the monsters all come out, especially Monster Mommy. And every kid will tell you that they really don't like it when Monster Mommy takes over their real Mommy.
    So when the contention gets to high in my home, the children are reminded about the love-ometer. If the love level gets to low, they have to start doing things that will help push the love back up again e.g. saying sorry, sharing etc....

I was planning to do a craft on the love-ometer. Unfortunately I'm not to crafty and have yet to get it done. But even then, my invisible love-ometer seems to be pretty effective.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Look Out For The Impromptu Lessons

My excitement of being pregnant has been washed away by the daily discomfort of nauseousness, tiredness and headaches. My poor kids have been the victims of neglect. But they have also been very understanding. I hope they don't start to dislike baby. My son told me one afternoon “throw baby away because baby make you sick.” Sweet but a bit worrying.

Anyway, I feel quite guilty coz' I haven't been diligent in teaching them. Yes, they are going to “Mummy's School” for the time being. However, this has made me more alert in catching those “impromptu” lessons. Here are 2 examples:

  • Decided to go for a walk one night to ease off the discomforts. The streetlights were on casting shadows on the road. My girl comments “Hey, my shadow is almost as tall as yours.” (Blink, blink, lights go off in my head). We had an enjoyable discovery session about “shadows”. Here were some of the questions we explored:
    1. What makes the shadows? Light. Where there were no light, there were no shadows.
    2. How do you make it grow so small that it's right under your feet? Stand directly underneath the lightbulb.
    3. When is the shadow on our left / right / front / back?
    4. Does your shadow look like you? And does it do what you do?
  • Pointing to an envelope while introducing the letter sound /e/ to my son. Although an ordinary object, I suddenly wondered if he really knew what an envelope was for. I then talked about writing letters, putting stamps, writing the name and address on the envelope, posting it at the post office, and our friend the postman who delivers the letters. The children seemed pretty intrigued and now our project is to test if the system works. So, they decided they want to write to Grandma and see if she will really get the “envelope.”

So I guess the point of this blog is to remember that lessons are not only found in books. Let us not confine our children's learning to a desk. Life itself is full of lessons. We just have to awaken our senses to things that have become “ordinary” to us because to them, it may not be that "ordinary" afterall.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Teeheehee... Could This Be No.3?

I have the symptoms... missed period, chilly, tired. And today, the food don't smell so good anymore. Did my own testing and that came out positive. The only thing I don't have is a doctor's confirmation. But I'm 99% sure.

Well, some people like to keep these things quiet. They don't like to tell people until they are like 4-5 months pregnant. Some fear that something unpleasant will happen if they tell people before 3 months is up. I'm not like that. Once I know, I feel like shouting out to the whole world. It's such wonderful and exciting news. Well, that's me.

So, ready or not, number 3 seems to be on it's way. Here I go again!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Froggy Update

Some people have been wondering what have become of my tadpoles. Well, half way through my moving house, two of the tadpoles decided to mature into frogs. It happened rather quickly after they developed 4 legs.

After I had moved into the current house, there was another tadpole on his way to becoming a froggy. He was getting pretty close but ended up dead one morning. Don't know what happened. I wonder if he drowned as I added a little bit of water to the tank the day before. Not too much but I guess it may have been too much for him. How sad!

It's interesting how when we caught the tadpoles, I thought they were all going to turn into frogs and the same time. But it looks like they take turns -- only one or two mature at a time. Now I have another two with legs and the rest... they look like they are happy being tadpoles.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Getting Kids to Like Spicy Food

The other day we decided not to cook but to get our dinner from the pasar malam. It was unfortunate that most of the food were spicy and my oldest girl wasn't very happy with what we brought home. This brings me to the question of "How do you get your kids to take spicy food?"

I myself grew up not taking too much spicy food. My only experience with chilli was the "nasi lemak" I bought during recess break at the school canteen. Even then I had to extinguish the fire with lots of cold water. I'm much better now when it comes to spicy food. That much I owe to my DH and FIL who are the "cannot-live-without-chilli" kind.

Anyway, on a trip to Hong Kong a few years ago, we shared an apartment with an Indian family. Their little girl who is the same age with my daughter happily helped herself to Curry Maggi Mee. If I'm not mistaken, most Malay and Indian families cook spicy food most of the time. How did they get their children to take spicy food? Did they adopt an "eat it or leave it" attitude?

As mentioned before, my daughter is not a big fan of spicy food. My son however, seems to have inherit his father's genes and is able to handle the taste. He wanted to try Asam Laksa and we let him. Surprisingly he came back for more. Sometimes during church occasions someone cooks some spicy noodle. He doesn't mind it. Today we had ladies fingers (okra) cooked in sambal. That was his favorite dish.

So I wonder, is eating spicy food something you learn to acquire or is it a "either you have it or don't have it" sort of thing? What do you guys do with your kids on this issue?

p.s.: By the way, I finally found my putu piring which I desperately looked for during the puasa month but failed to obtain.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Back Online

Finally, the moving house saga is over. It was a crazy week mixed along with a touch of bad luck. Not only had I to deal with lots of packing but also had to stress over hitting a motorbike. To add to the stress, I also managed to leave my house keys in my mom's car and she drove home to Seremban with it (that's about an hours drive away). I'm definitely glad to put it behind me. Looking forward to experiencing rainbows after the rain.

I know many people have lots of tips on moving house. This is mine (warning: this may apply to Malaysians only):

  • When looking to hire wiremen, aircond contractors, grill makers, plumbers and whatsoever, do not drive around looking for their shop. Instead, pay attention to tree trunks, lamp posts or whatever fixture you can find along the roads as that is where they stick their advertisements.
  • Also, the usually irritating little flyers and name cards they stick in your mailbox, do come in handy at this time.
  • When you make an appointment with telekom to install your telephone line, be ready for them NOT to turn up. Insists on getting the contractor's number so you can call him direct. In my case, the contractor didn't turn up for the appointment because he didn't get the order in the first place. It took me 4 days to get my phone line up and another 4 days for the broadband to work.
    Moral of the story: If you can't live without your internet, better have a Plan B e.g. make sure you know where the nearest internet cafe is located.

Well, the kids look like they have adjusted well. This area has many young families and so they are quite a lot of kids their age. However, this is a Malay community and my kids have yet to speak Bahasa Malaysia. But amazingly, language is no barrier when you want to have fun and have a desire to make friends. My daughter didn't understand what the girl next door was saying but they were running around and having a good time.

Anyway, it's great to be online again. Life resumes to it's normal mode.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bebereviews.com

Just want to quickly introduce everyone to a wonderful site for parents: http://bebereviews.com
More so for parents in the U.S. as I doubt we get such fantastic, creative children products here in Malaysia. But it's great education to what's available out there. Below is their introduction:
"A weekly e-magazine about the latest & greatest products for your child. Plus, read articles geared towards caring for your child, recipes, health tips, & more all right here!"

They now have a new column called Daily Scoop. It's a daily column where you will find celebrity mommy gossip, coupon codes, discounts, special sales and more!

Oh yes! One last thing. You can also add yourself to their Mommy Blogosphere. Just go to this link:
http://www.bebereviews.com/blog_directory.htm

Enjoy!