Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Fantastic Children’s Playground

Last year Min blogged about her visit to this playground at Taman Tasik Perdana. Her children called it the Dinosaur Park and so the name has also stuck with us. Well, finally we found an excuse to go. All I can say is “WOW!” My children thinks so too. Can you see their thumbs up?

First there is “Dinosaur Park” section. There is a play structure that looks like a dinosaur and dinosaur shaped plants (T-Rex, Triceratops).

Then there is the “Fantasy Land” section. The play structures are based on fairy tales like The Gingerbread Man, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Elves and the Shoemaker, Dragon In the Castle etc…. They have the stories there for you to read too. The castle like structure is really nice with a high bridge for the children to walk across. Then there is the yellow cage like structure which took me a while to figure out. Only when I viewed it from the proper angle did I realize it was a shoe. If your children likes slides, they will go wild at this place.

Another area are for the swings, see-saws and tunnel-climbing thingy. There is one swing in particular that has two seats and goes around and around (like a merry-go-round). I thought it was pretty special as I’ve not seen this kind of swing at other parks before.
BabyD definitely enjoyed that.

It was a nice break from fis rock drumming sessions.

Overall, it was a nice treat for the children as it was more then your usual children’s park. For parents, there are lots of benches on the side and there are trees to give some shade. If you can tear the children away from the playground, you can venture to the deer park, spice garden, butterfly garden too. However, I think you may have to check their opening times. When we got to the deer park, it was closed. We saw a tram full of children. Unfortunately for us, we couldn’t get on as it was full.

Where is this park? It’s the road right opposite the Tugu Kebangsaan, heading towards Lake Club. Just drive past the Lake Club entrance and you will come to a parking lot. It’s there. You won’t miss it.

Mamas Bag of Tricks:
Even though you frequent your neighbourhood playground, it's nice to visit a bigger, nicer playground once in a while.

So, which children parks have you visited that you consider A1?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Keep Your Baby Busy With Mirror Play

If you haven't figured it out yet, kids LOVE playing with mirrors. For some reason, they just love to look at themselves. So, if you are cracking your head thinking how to occupy their time, give them some mirror time. Of course make sure you are there to supervise so they don't break the mirror. Or else secure the mirror so it doesn't fall. ALSO, give a firm and absolute order that they are NOT to touch the mirror. Look can, touch no. Still worried? You can try looking for a non-breakable mirror.

Besides making funny faces into the mirror, you could also artistically draw funny faces on the mirror. While looking at the mirror, use a dry-erase pen to add whiskers, dots, horns or whatever. Of course this would be more for kindergarten aged kids and above.

For babies, just let them have fun trying to figure out who the "other" baby is.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Can You Live Without a Washing Machine?

Did I tell you about the day my washing machine broke down? Well, call me weird but I usually don't do any washing on Sundays. God says the Sabbath Day is a day of rest and so, I figured my washing machine could use a break too.

Anyway, one Sunday I looked over at my mountainous pile of dirty laundry and decided to toss some into the machine. BUT I just had this feeling deep inside that I shouldn't. Stubborn me decided that I was just being silly. And so I made that poor machine of mine skip it's day of rest. What do you know? It decides to break down on me a few days later.

WAAAAH! You can imagine how I berated myself for NOT LISTENING to that still, small voice. My silly superstition don't seem so silly now.

Anyway, I quickly scrambled to look for washing machine reviews
to find a good replacement. Yes, I had to replace it coz' to repair it would have cost as much as a new one. And though I wish I could do an immediate replacement, you can't be hasty when buying such expensive equipment. So poor me had to go back to the old method of hand washing the clothes. My children were considerably nice that few days without a washing machine. They tried very hard not to change clothes too many times. I constantly complain that those little bodies of theirs should not be producing THAT MUCH laundry. Seriously, the majority of clothes hanging on the line belongs to them. And it's amazing how much EXTRA a little baby can contribute to the laundry.

Anyway, the day we went shopping for a washing machine, it was raining cats and dogs. But I didn't care. By hook or by crook, I was going to get a washing machine! We went to several outlets and finally decided to head to Seng Heng. Must say we got a pretty good deal there. I thought of buying the Samsung. But DH said the Toshiba was better. As soon as they delivered the 7.5kg, fully automatic, top loading washing machine, it was put to work immediately.

I mean look at this pile of laundry, how to live without a washing machine?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Baby Milestone: 9 months

So, what's baby up to at 9 months?

  • He is constantly exploring every corner and everything in the house and using his mouth to do so. Sigh! After three kids, I've given up trying to sterialize everything. I'm just banging on him developing a super strong immune system.
  • He has already taken his first few steps. He would walk about 2-3 tiny steps than crash down on his butt.

  • He does a lot of cruising. Watch this video when his cousin came to visit. The two of them couldn't sit on the horse together. So, baby decided himself that he would rather push from behind. Seriously, it was his idea. We all were very tickled by the whole thing because, of the two, he is the younger (but bigger). Hahahah.

  • Another thing Danic can do now – clap hands (or is he signing for ‘more’). Also when we sing “If you’re happy and you know it”, he will do the clap hand and hooray (lift both hands up).
  • He is also saying “pa pa pa”, “ka ka ka” and “ke ke ke”. It seems like he calls his siblings “ka ka”. Occasionally he will yell "mamamama" when he desperately wants me. But he won’t say it if you ask him to.
  • He now has 4 teeth. Two upper and two lower. Watch out for him coz’ he is a biter. Ouch!
  • Besides chewing on books, he has now advanced to trying to open the books, turn the pages and lift the flaps. Way to go boy!
  • He has decided he doesn't like the pacifier. He would pull it out of his mouth, throw it away and scold you at the same time. So, guess I'm one of the lucky ones who don't have to crack my head on how to wean her baby off a pacifier.

What do you get when you put two babies together in a cot?
One bites everything and the other throws everything out. Sigh!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Developing Some Ball Sense

What do you see in the picture above? A plastic bottle and a ball?
You know what my kids see in the picture above? A bat and a ball. An opportunity to PLAY!
That's what KokoD has been occupying himself (and me) with the last few days. He would ask me to throw the ball and he would bat it with the bottle.

I believe children have an affinity for balls. That's why my house has several types and sizes of balls - football, basketball, rubber ball, golf ball, small ball, big ball, exercise ball etc.... Balls are great for children's physical development.

You could start playing ball with your kids as early as 8 months old. Well, that's what I did with Baby D. I would sit opposite him and roll the ball, bounce the ball, throw the ball etc.... And the whole time naming the actions so he would pick up on the vocabulary (by the way, I learned this at Kindermusik). Eventually, he learned to throw the ball too. Watch the short video below. Sorry it's so dark. Obviously my video making skills have need of improvement :)

After learning to throw the ball, he learned to throw other things too. Hehehe. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all. But anyway, that little ball could occupy him for quite a while. He would throw it and then chase after it. Then put it in his mouth. Then drop it and chase after it again.

Other kinds of ball play as the kids grow:
1. Football or soccer. Kids just love kicking a ball around.
2. Just simple throw and catch. Might be mundane to you after a while but the kids love it coz' they are learning a new skill.
3. Teach them to bounce the ball, as they do in basketball.
4. Play "monkey". If there are no other siblings, you'll need 2 parents for this.
5. Throw the ball into a basket or box (target throwing).
6. Bowling. Recycle all those plastic bottles. Line them up and have your kid roll the ball to knock them over.
7. If you don't have time to play with them, teach them to throw the ball against a wall and then catch it. Or just toss it into the air and then catch.
8. Besides using the plastic bottle as a bat, my kids also use the bottle like a golf club or hockey stick to whack the ball.

Mamas Bag of Tricks:
Fill your house with all sorts of balls. Not only is it fun to play but helps build physical skills and coordination. Don't just limit yourself to building up their intelligence. Build up their ball sense too.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Time to Think of Gifts

It is time to wish all our Muslim friends SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI!
The holiday seasons are just starting to roll out. If you follow western trends, then you would have just celebrated Halloween. Thanksgiving is next. Here in Malaysia, Deepavali will come before Thanksgiving. And then after that, it will be CHRISTMAS!
I don't believe how fast this year has gone. It feels just like yesterday I gave birth to baby D in January. Now I have to start thinking of Christmas presents. You must be thinking I'm mad thinking of Christmas presents in October. But you know what, it's not so mad because have to start saving and scouting for good deals. Actually, the last Malaysian Mega Sale was the best time to stock up on presents.
Anyway, thinking of a gift for DH does take some time. I never know what to give him. If I ask him, he'll say get him some computer gadgety stuff. How unromantic. Typical of guys to think of practical gifts. His idea of gifts for me are household gadgets. Like I said, how unromantic. I think we girls would rather jewelry as gifts such as bracelets and pendants. It doesn't have to be expensive, just nice. (Maybe I should email him a Heavenly Treasures coupon as a hint). Household appliances such as cleaning and kitchen stuff to me cannot be considered as gifts. They are necessary TOOLs, not GIFTS. What about you? What sort of gifts would you like to receive from your spouse?
Thinking of what to give DH is one thing, the other thing is the money. I mean, being a SAHM, I don't really have my own money to spend. It feels kinda weird buying his present with his money, you know what I mean? If you are in the same boat, kindly share your experience.
Gifts for kids are easier. Books are my favorite choice (click here for some Scholastic Store coupons). Lego would be on my list too coz' the children are always fighting over what is left of our existing lego.
Photo books seem to be gaining popularity. I'm contemplating on doing one for the family, sort of an annual record so we can see how the family evolves. I think investing in this is a good idea.
p.s. If you are looking to save some money on gifts, its a good idea to scout around for online coupons that you can use.

Play With Baby: Hide and Seek

Baby D is now 9 months old. If you have a baby that is similar in age (or even older) and you're wondering "what can I do to entertain baby?", well why not play Hide and Seek. In the video below, the two older kids are hiding inside their pillow fortress. Guess who comes calling?

It's really funny how baby just can't resist seeking us out. Sometimes, baby would wonder off somewhere and no amount of calling and coaxing will bring him back. The best way to get him to come back is for me to hide behind a pillow or whatever and he will come crawling back to seek me out. So now you know this lazy mother will try all sorts of things to NOT get off her butt. I really hate chasing my kids around. AND you know what? This worked with my eldest girl too when she was a baby.

Babies this age has acquired the understanding of object permanence. That means if you take something away, they know it still exists and will usually continue to seek it out. Unlike in the earlier months, when you take something away, they think it's gone and will move their attention to something else.

Another hide-and-seek game to play is by hiding objects (instead of people). I like to use something noisy like a rattle or keys. What I do is shake or jiggle the object in front of them and then suddenly hide it behind my back, under my leg, inside my shirt etc.... If baby is having a hard time locating the object, just give it a few shakes so baby can try to listen where the sound is coming from. It proves to be a good listening activity as well. And usually when I shake the object, I will make up a song or rhyme too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tag: Autograph Book

I've been tagged by Jo-N, my new found blogger friend. Figured I better do this and not let it sit around for months like my other tags.

#1 What is your favourite movie?
50 First Dates (And most of Adam Sandler's movies)

#2 Who is your favourite singer?
Jon Schmidt - he is not a singer but a pianist. I listen more of acoustic piano than anything else. Tune in to my radio station at soundclick: lian's station

#3 Which song gets you grooving in the morning?
All Of Me by Jon Schmidt

#4 What is your favourite fruit?

#5 Who is your best friend (excluding your family)?
Cheah Poh Lin, Susan and Siew Yin (and many more church friends)

#6 Name one activity you would like to indulge in, in your free time.
Watching movies

#7 When was the last time you laughed so hard till your sides hurt?
Watching Mr. Bean's Holiday a few months ago

#8 Do you recall your last dream?

#9 What is your all-time favourite hobby?
Digital Scrapbooking

#10 When was your last holiday without the children?
My last holiday was a company trip to Phuket (somewhere in the late 90's). After that it was all golf trips for tournaments. Never been on a holidays since married. Still waiting.

Now passing this tag on to:
Mamatang and The Lazy Stay-At-Home Mommy

Friday, October 05, 2007

Things Children Are Not Suppose To Learn

Children have a knack for learning things they are NOT suppose to learn or not required to learn. As you know I'm homeschooling the kids at the moment. K is starting school next year and I'm trying to give her a quick course in Bahasa Malaysia as she is enrolled in a Kebangsaan school. While she struggles to remember bahasa vocabulary, she certainly shows no problem remembering this:

Think you can handle that tongue twister. In case you didn't catch it, it goes like this:
"Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force GO!"

Of course, then the younger one also influenced. He started with "Super Robot Monkey Team Hor Hor Go!" But after proper coaching from jie-jie, we now have this:

Mamas Bag of Tips:
1. Don't let them watch too much TV.
2. Familiarize yourselves with the cartoons they are watching
3. Read to them books so they will learn to love reading more than they love TV.
3. Try to learn their go-go songs, then go-go with them too. Sorry, mommy's go-go video has been censored. Plus, getting old so takes me longer to learn these go-go chants. Hahahah.

Tag: Number Tag

I got this tag from Peridot&Sapphire.

Two names you go by:
1. Lian
2. MOOOOOMMMMMMMMYYYYY (Usually in a screaming, pleading or whiny tone)

Two things you are wearing right now:
1. Bracelet
2. T-shirt

Two things you would want (or have) in a relationship:
1. Synergy
2. Honesty
(Just so there is no misunderstanding, I have these things)

Two things you like to do:
1. Eat desserts
2. Digital Scrapbooking

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1. House with good interior design and comfortable furniture
2. My baby to stop biting me with his new teeth!

Two things you did last night:
1. Iron my husband's shirt
2. Figuring out how to widgetize my http://blog.valuebookshop.com

Two things you ate today:
1. Chicken ham sandwich with eggs, onion and cucumber.
2. Cup of Milo

Two people you last talked to:
1. My daughter
2. My son

Two things you’re doing now:
1. Homeschooling my daughter
2. Computer stuff

Favorite Day of the week:
1. Sunday (get to go to church for worship and meet friends)
2. Monday (all my TV shows lined up on Monday night)

Two Favorite Holidays:
1. Christmas
2. Chinese New Year

Two favorite beverages:
1. Herbal teas
2. Fruit juices

Two things about me! Things you may have known:
1. I was a national golfer
2. I have an online bookshop selling children's books

Two jobs I have had in my life:
1. Worked at Nike
2. Played golf full time

Two movies i would watch over and over: (and do)
1. Lord of the Rings
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark

Two place i have lived:
1. Malaysia
2. US

Two of my favorite foods:
1. Jelly
2. Char Kuew Teow

Two places I’d rather be right now:
1. Watching sunsets at a beach resort
2. Spa having a good massage

My two favorite people to tag:
1. Cindy
2. Mom to Ashley

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Band of Brothers

They were so cute together playing on that plastic horse. Baby's feet couldn't touch the ground and so Koko-D held him tight and pushed them back and forth. I can just imagine them many years from now cruising down the road together on a bike with wind blowing through their botak heads. Hahahah. Oops, sorry! Forgot they have to be wearing helmets leh.

B - Best of friends
R - Respect for each other
O - One heart and one mind
T - Together through tough times
H - Helping one another
E - Everlasting love
R - Realize that there is strength in unity
S - Seek out to do only the best for the other

Toys and Collectibles: Trains, Vehicles and Raceways

When I was young, I loved train rides. I didn't have much opportunity to sit on trains then. It's not like now with commuter trains and light rail transport (LRT). People who live in places where riding the subway is a way of life probably thinks I'm crazy to desire to sit on a train. But living in Malaysia before the 90s, if you sat on a train, it was to go on a long trip north/south. For me, that usually meant rare holiday trips.

However much I liked to sit on trains, I never did play with train sets. My kids haven't asked for them either. I know my son is more into dinosaur and dragons then into trains and cars. But I do know of many other kids (friend's children) who are obssessed with trains as my son is with his dinosaurs.
Usually when you talk about train with kids, Thomas the Tank Engine is mentioned. Well, if you are a train collector, or is raising one, Shopping.com has a good collection of trains for you. They have 962 different kinds of trains cars and train sets for you to choose from. Caboose, stock cars, steam engines, diesel engines, tanks, box car, food service car... you name it, they got it. You also have 27 different brands to choose from. Thomas and Friends,
Learning Curve Toys, Seth Thomas, are more suitable for young children.

Not into trains but into fast cars and heavy duty machines? Just check out their "vehicles and raceway" category. Not only cars and excavators, but also available are planes/helicopters and spaceships.

For each item, they have price comparisons from various shops. You can also read shop reviews to check out customer service and customer satisfaction. This way you can decide if you can trust the seller or not.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Malaysians Can Now Withdraw Money from Paypal

If you haven't heard the news yet, Malaysians Can Now Withdraw Money from Paypal!

Woohoo. This is indeed good news to all you many bloggers who have been blogging for money and have accumulated your mountain of wealth at paypal. Also good news to people like me who are doing some business on the internet and use paypal as a payment option.

Withdrawal is through a credit card or debit card that is Visa or Mastercard. Minimum withdrawal is US10 (they have a table of minimum withdrawals for different currencies). They charge USD5 for each withdrawal.

So, what you waiting for? Go get your money and then "belanja" me!