Thursday, December 27, 2007

Influence Of TV On Children

Son: Mommy, what if I can climb the walls like Spiderman? What happen if I can climb up to the ceiling?

Daughter: Good. Then you can help mommy clean the fan and the ceiling.

Hahahahah. Fantastic answer. Couldn't have come up with a better answer myself.

My son has evolved from Maisy Mouse and Hi5 to Power Rangers, Ultraman, Spiderman and all kinds of superhero cartoons and movies. TV is a big influence in the lives of our children. Just take a look at the picture, there is my son trying to scale the walls of my home. He, of course, told me not to show "the aunties" when he saw me clicking on the camera. Aiyoh, how not to tell. So farnee!

Anyway, I recognize how these kind of movies can foster aggression in young children. Yes, unfortunately my son has become a little fighter cock. I do try to limit his watching and even put the CDs in timeout when his behavior is less then desirable. I've tried to rid my home of such violence but its difficult to extinguish such passion. Even he himself said "Mommy, I won't watch fighting shows anymore." But, eventually, he gives in to his love for superhero action. I've asked him before "why do you want to watch fighting shows?" His answer....... "Because I'm a boy!" Hmm... maybe it is a boy thing. Sigh!

So, what is the next best thing to do? Try to turn something bad into something good.
1. Superheroes are helpful. They like to help other people.
2. Superheroes don't just fight, they also have to use their brains to outsmart their enemy. That's why it is important to learn and study. Exercise your brain everyday so you can be smart too.
3. Superheroes eat their vegetables.
4. Superheroes eat their "power pills" every morning. That's how they get their power. Its a secret they don't tell anyone. You also must eat your "power pill" (vitamin lah).
5. Call them superhero anytime you need them to help you do something.

Mamas Bag of Tricks
1. Tell them it's NOT REAL. In their little minds, characters on TV are real. For example, they really think people can fly and there are monsters to fight. Tell them the people are just acting and the special effects are done by computers. Yes, they are just "bluffing."
2. There is good and bad to everything. So why not capitalize on their passion by focusing on the good coz' it is going to be difficult to snuff out the bad.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Diapers: Pampers Stages Review

I got a jumbo pack of Pampers Cruisers flown all the way from US of A. Fuyoh!
Along with a pack of wipes. Such pride to have baby wearing diapers that are not available in Malaysia (yet). So, what's the deal? Did I pay for them. No! Are they paying me to write this review? No! It's just a simple exchange - free diapers for an honest review. So, honest I will be.

First, the things that I liked about Pampers Cruisers:
  1. I like the stretchy tab. Unlike the older pampers (orange packaging I think), the tab is quite strong. I pulled it quite roughly expecting it to break but it didn't. Yeah, that happened with the older one. I pulled to secure the tab and the whole thing tore off.
  2. The velcro tab is great. Prefer velcro compared to the sticky ones. With velcro you can do-undo-do-undo and it'll still work good.

  3. The diaper doesn't cut into baby's flesh. I really hate diapers that leave red streaks on baby's groin. Another area of concern is the top of the diaper cutting into baby's tummy. This is one reason why I chose to use cloth diapers. Pampers Cruisers seemed gentle enough not to cause any hurt.
  4. I also like the diaper's lining. It did a good job keeping baby's butt dry even after many hours.
  5. It's lightweight. Fits quite well and not bulky.

The diaper could be better if:

  1. The back of the diaper fit better. As you can see from the picture below, there's a gap. Although I didn't experience any leakage in wee or poo, I would prefer if the back of the diaper hugged his waist. I'm sure many mothers understand how baby can "jet propel" their poo up the back.
  2. The cotton inside didn't bunch up when wet.

The wipes they gave which corresponds with the Cruisers stage (called Swipers Wipes) has a really nice feel. It is thicker than normal wipes and does a good job cleaning the mess. But I must say I didn't use it much as I usually take baby to the bathroom and wash off the mess. Personally, I think wipes are only important during the first 6 months or so. After which it is better to just use water and soap to wash their butts. It would prove useful when out and about though. So maybe a travel size pack is better. Oh, and even though it smells nice, many mothers prefer non-scented products.

Price is always an important factor. So what is it retailing for? Approximately $10.50 for one jumbo pack. There are 4 stages in the new Pampers Stages:

  1. Pampers Swaddlers (0-5 months)
  2. Pampers Cruisers (6-17 months)
  3. Pampers Easy-Ups (18-23 months)
  4. Pampers Feel ‘N Learn (24+ months)

So, overall how do I feel about these diapers? Well, I've quite enjoyed using them. No problems. They are certainly better than the older Pampers. I'm down to only a few left. Unfortunately they are not available in Malaysia. Bottom line, would I recommend it? Yes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Why Mothers Are Important

Just want to start this week with something I read in the December's issue of the Liahona magazine.
"E.T. Sullivan once wrote these interesting words: "When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn't stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother's heart, and she puts it into the baby's mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies."
And those babies, I should like to add, will become forces for good or ill, depending in large measure on how they are reared."

President Gordon B. Hinckley (President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Mamas Bag of Tricks

  • Your children are not just children. They are "the greatest forces in the world." Yes, you DO hold the power to change this world to a better place. Don't underestimate the power of your influence.
  • Are you rearing your children to become "forces for good or ill?"
  • Who is the greatest influence in your children's lives? You or someone else?
  • YES, it is worth it to invest your time in your children.

Another story in the magazine that touched my heart:

"The story is told that in ancient Rome a group of women were, with vanity, showing their jewels one to another. Among them was Cornelia, the mother of two boys. One of the women said to her, "And where are your jewels?" To which Cornelia responded, pointing to her sons, "These are my jewels." Under her tutelage and walking after the virtues of her life, they grew to become Gaius and Tiberius Gracchus - the Gracchi, as they were called -- two of the most persuasive and effective reformers in Roman history. For as long as they are remembered and spoken of, the mother who reared them after the manner of her own life will be remembered and spoken of with praise also."


Friday, December 14, 2007

Homemade Christmas Cards

Wanna know what has been keepin' me and my girl busy since last night? Homemade Christmas cards. And the final product... tadah!

The cotton ball snowman idea came from this
familyeducation website.
And the origami christmas tree you can learn from

Mamas Bag of Tricks:
1. Always handy to keep some colored paper, stars and sticky thingies, and googly eyes around the house.
2. To decorate the Christmas tree, I just used a hole puncher and punched out some colored paper.
3. Try NOT to be too critical of your children's work. I assigned my daughter to do the tree decoration and the snowman. I had to bite my tongue many times. Try NOT to over-dictate their work and try NOT to do the work for them (unless they are getting tired or have lost interest). Giving them the freedom to work means giving them the freedom to be creative. It also helps them learn from their own experience (I'm sure you agree that sometimes that's the best kind of teaching). Plus, it builds their confidence.
4. Teach them to always do their best. My daughter once gave me a card that she had made herself. But I could see it was done very in a sloppy manner - scribbled handwriting, mistakes she just cancelled instead of erasing it off, words were written half on one line the other half on another line etc.... Usually I would praise her by saying how wonderful the card was BUT I realized it has become a habit for her to produce sloppy work. So I outright told her the card was terrible. Cruel huh? However, I did explain to her why I was not happy. I gave her an analogy of making a birthday cake. Imagine if it was your birthday, would you prefer a beautifully decorated cake or a half baked cake, or a cake that was crushed and crumbled? I told her that when you give a gift to someone, it has to be your best work - meaning done with effort e.g. best handwriting, best drawing etc.... Sometimes, you just have to let your children know what you expect out of them. Especially when you know they can do better. BUT also check yourself to see that your expectations are not overboard lah.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Christmas has never been as exciting as Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is a time we have family reunions, but not Christmas. I didn't grow up a Christian. Not all my family members were Christians either. But eventually, we all converted. However, we all go to different churches.

I do want to make Christmas an important celebration. Being a first generation Christian, it is up to me to put the spirit into Christmas. I want my children to feel excited about Christmas. The only way this is going to happen is to instill family Christmas traditions. Here are some traditions to consider:

  • Special Christmas Eve Program
    What do you do after a scrumptious Christmas eve dinner? How about a session of singing Christmas carols and reading the Christmas story from the scriptures. If you have enough people for casting, why not reenact the Christmas story. Since we're so close to the end of the year, how about reviewing the year with each child and setting goals for the next year too.
  • Homemade Christmas cards
    Children love doing art and craft. So here's a way to kill two birds with one stone: make your own Christmas cards. You could make a pop-up card or stick an origami Christmas tree to a card. For really young children, it could be as simple as sticking cut up pictures from Christmas wrapping paper.
  • Rules on Gifts
    Children usually can't wait to open their presents. So I always allow them to open one on the eve and the rest on Christmas morning.
    If budget is tight, put a limit on the cost of the gifts. For example, gifts should not exceed RM20. Want to reduce the materialistic nature of gifts? How about a rule that there each person must give at least one gift that wasn't bought with money. It could be a "wash your car" coupon for dad, or a homemade photo frame for mom.
  • Christmas stockings
    Apart from presents under the Christmas tree, I also like to fill up my children's Christmas stockings. If you don't like the idea of candy and sweets, look for small items such as notebooks, pen, pencils, erasers, hair clips, stickers etc....
  • A new set of pyjamas
    I've heard of families who buy a new set of pyjamas for their kids during Christmas. I think this is a wonderful idea. We usually buy new shirts and dresses for special occasions. Pyjamas makes things a little different and unique.
  • Special Christmas table cloth
    A Christmas themed table cloth gives the home a festive feel. Just run to the cloth shop, look for a Chrismassy cloth, hem the sides and there you have it, a special Christmas table cloth.
  • Cookie Giveaway
    ake cookies together with your children. Pack them into little bags and tie them up with a ribbon. Distribute them to friends and neighbours. This is a great way to spread the Christmas cheer.

What are some of your Christmas traditions (if any)?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

38 Questions Tag

You know how at the end of the year, people try to clear debts, tie up loose ends, finish unfinished business so they can start clean the new year? Well, here I am trying to clear my "tag debt". First one is this 38 questions tag I received from Perridot&Sapphire.

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
Rob Schneider in the movie The Animal (shown on TV last night)

2. What were you doing at 0800?
Still sleeping

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Putting baby to sleep.

4. What happened to you in 2006?
Pregnant with Danic

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
"Ya, that sentence is wrong". DH was asking for my opinion on an article he was reading.

6. How many beverages did you have today?
3- Water, Pink Guave juice, Vico

7. What color is your hairbrush?

8.What was the last thing you paid for?
Vege and titbits at the pasar malam last night.

9. Where were you last night?
At home.

10. What color is your front door?
Light brown

11. Where do you keep your change?
In my wallet

12. What’s the weather like today?
Rain, rain, rain.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?

14. What excites you?
Going out to makan with friends. Socializing is a rare treat nowadays. How sad. Hahahah.

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Already so short. If cut some more, will end up botak.

16. Are you over the age of 25? Yes

17. Do you talk a lot? No

18. Do you watch the O.C.? No

19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Yes

20. Do you make up your own words? No

21. Are you a jealous person? Depends

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Angela

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Karen

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? Miow Lin

25. What does the last text message you received say? Friend telling what time he'll be home so we can go over to collect road tax documents.

26. Do you chew on your straw? No

27. Do you have curly hair?
Yeah, hair tends to curl the wrong way at certain places. How infuriating.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? To bed

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
Rani Rajagopal. A fellow lady golfer.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Rice with bok choy and tau yew bak.

31. Will you get married in the future?
Not if I stay married.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
Pulling a marathon watching the 2nd season of 4400. Does that count as a movie?

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
My baby coz' he is soooooo cute.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
After dinner just now.

35. Are you currently depressed? No

36. Did you cry today? No

37. Why did you answer and post this? Because I feel that tags are people's way of saying "I thought of you" and so I appreciate such gestures by actually doing the tag (if not already done).

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey.
Shannon Chong
Magical Milestone
Mama Hasif
Cindy on Tour

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmas Freebie For You

Head on over to Value Bookshop's Blog to get your FREE Christmas Coloring Book.
There are 75 Christmas pictures for your kids to colour, colour, colour.... You could do a countdown and have them colour one a day until Christmas!

Easy Craft for Christmas