Tuesday, April 18, 2006


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:


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Update On My Tadpoles

My tadpoles are still alive. I've been waiting for their legs to emerge and it seems like it never will. Finally today, I saw some hind legs on one tadpole. Yes, only one has legs. It is very faint but it is there. Woohoo!

Related post:
We Have Tadpoles

Moving House Blues

No thanks to the mini landslide that is happening beside my house, my family has decided to relocate. There use to be squatter houses next to us but that has given way to the construction of low cost flats. They dug away the earth without putting retention walls and now with the constant rain, the earth has eroded resulting in the small road beside my front neighbour's house and my house to give way. Of course now they are working on it. But damage has been done already.

The photos above where taken from my front gate. As you can see, they have put up barriers at the end of the road. It really is a hassle getting the car out of my house now. I have to back into my front neighbour's gate to get out.

Well, anyhow, we have found a place to stay at Puncak Alam. It is new territory to me. Feels a bit scary to venture to a non-familiar place, learning where to get things and probably getting lost as I try to find my way around. But in a small way, there is also a bit of excitement and sense of adventure. Of course I will miss my beloved Petaling Jaya. The area in Puncak Alam is not yet as developed. Just have to be patient and wait for everything to mushroom around the area.

Unfortunately after the decision to move comes the headache of actually packing, moving, cleaning, transferring .... I know many out there have vast experience. I do appreciate whatever feedback you can offer. No we will not be hiring professional movers. Cutting cost is a family priority now. Anyone in PJ area that can donate boxes to me?

Moving checklists that may be of interest:
1. http://www.packnmove.co.uk/moving_house_checklist.html
2. http://www.ourfamilyplace.com/homebuyer/moving.html

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Fruit Salad Bowl of Lessons

"One final thing. I'll just cut up the fruits for the salad and then I'll sit down and spend time with the kids." This was what I was thinking after spending the whole morning doing household chores. My poor kids were entertaining themselves in front of the T.V. waiting for Mommy. And then an idea struck me -- why not let them come sit with me while I cut up the fruits. We'll make things up as we go along.

So the kids happily gathered round Mommy and the lessons began:
  1. How many mangoes are there? How many apples are there? How many altogether?
  2. Ok, Mommy is taking one apple away to cut. How many left?
    Now I'm taking another one. 4 apples take away 1 is ...?
  3. See, you put the cut apples in salt water so the apples don't turn brown. If you leave the cut apples exposed to air, they turn brown.
  4. What is the name of this fruit? Winter Melon. And what about that one? Yes, strawberries.
  5. How many boxes of strawberries? What do they taste like? Sweet, sour or salty? What color are they?
  6. Look at the mangoes. What color are they on the outside? What color are they on the inside?
  7. Ok, I will let you help me cut. But must be careful with the knife ok. Cut it into cubes like this. This is called what? CUBES. Well done.
  8. What about this fruit? What is this? KIWI. Do you know where kiwis come from? They can't grow in Malaysia. They come all the way from New Zealand. What do they taste like?
  9. All done now. Do you remember what fruits we used? How many fruits altogether?
  10. Which one did we cut first? Second? Third? etc....

It was really a delightful time. The kids enjoyed the "bonding" time and of course we got to treat ourselves to yummy nutritious fruits. Not forgetting Mommy managed to squeeze in some math, science and geography lessons. It made me think how many times I may have missed out on opportunities like this. More often than not we get bogged down with our work, that we become shortsighted to the real life lessons awaiting our children if only we include them in the work.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Read Aloud With Gusto!

I'm going to assume that most of you reading this blog know about Donald Trump's reality show "The Apprentice." If you don't, it's ok. I just want to mention that in one episode as he was giving some business tips, he ended with this statement "Do it with Gusto."

I like that statement and I would like to take it and apply it to reading aloud to children. Yes, read aloud to children with GUSTO! What does that mean? It means do more than just read. Captivate them with your use of voice variations, facial expressions, and gestures. Engage them with repetitive phrases and questions. Make the story come alive for them.

I must admit that one has to be "in the mood" to be able to pull this off. So do try to put away your worries for 15 minutes and let go of your inhibitions. Don't be afraid of being silly in front of your kids. It's the silliness they crave for. It's your exaggeration and enthusiasm that will foster their love for reading.

I found it very humorous the other day when during my reading session with the kids, my 2 1/2 year old toddler declared that he would read to me instead that night. He flipped open the book, referred to the familiar pictures, pointed to the words and pretended to read. Of course he couldn't read the words. He used his own words instead but made it seem like that was what was written. And what was hilarious was that he was using different voices to portray the different characters. Oh, kids are such good copycats. Which goes to show that reading aloud with GUSTO is how they would like us to read.

You don't need special training. You just need to enjoy the story and awake the sleeping actor/actress within you. Remember, to read with GUSTO, just let loose, be silly, get into character and dive into the story with enthusiasm.