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.