Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sports Day 2009

Sports Day - A day that's full of fun. That's how I remember it when I was in school. I was always active in sports. My main event was the high jump. But besides competing and winning medals, I loved the thrill of cheering for my teammates and friends.

Unfortunately, my idea of sports day has changed. Now, it's a time to be roasted in the sun. This year was the second time of attending the sports day at my daughter's school. But this year, KokoD was also involved as the preschoolers also get to join in.

The preschoolers are wearing orange T-shirts. See my poor little boy roasting in the hot sun, waiting for their turn. This 'kan-cheong' mommy standing close on stand-by with big bottle of Isotonic drink and hat.

See, his hair already turning brown colour. Hahaha. Actually, his hair is naturally brown. I don't know why. But I'm sure the sun just made it more light brown.

Their sports day is stretched over 2 days - Sat and Sun. Saturday is more for the younger primary children (Special Ed. class, Preschool, Std 1-3). They have the 50m or 80m dash and also "sukaneka" (fun team games) such as balancing a ball on a spoon, throwing bean bags, filling up bottles with water etc.... Sunday is when they have the relay races.

Well, this year K is again running the 80m individual race. I told her to tell her teacher we are not available on Sunday, so no relay races for her. Definitely learned my lesson after what happened last year. Last year, her event was the last on the agenda. We waited for HOURS. In the end, there was a mix-up during the race: Her partner had taken someone elses baton. So, when K got to the pass-off point, she couldn't find who to pass the baton to. She stood there, holding the baton, looking around very confused. In the end, she just passed it to someone from another team. So all the waiting, waiting, waiting ended up in a lousy ending. I wanted K to experience the fun and thrill of Sports Day like I remember it. Unfortunately, it wasn't very thrilling for her.

Well, this year is another "fantastic" experience. The kids have been practicing for their sports day in the hot sun the entire week. Friday night, K develops a fever in the middle of the night. Saturday morning I gave her some fever medicine and told her if she don't feel any better, tell the teacher that she can't run. I kept checking on her before her event to see how she was and she said she's fine. Well, guess what happened as she was running the race? SHE FELL! The poor girl. I asked her why she fell? She said she was trying to run faster. Well, this is my little analysis: her body is already weak, so when she try to run faster her body cannot keep up. Hence, the dust eating episode. Poor girl had sand in her mouth when she crossed the finish line. Thank goodness she didn't hurt herself. So again, another lousy sports day ending for K. Well... maybe not entirely. Her team took first place in the "sukaneka" event.

"Wah, so many gold medals for me????"

KokoD on the other hand had a better outing. He ran the 50m dash and took 3rd place. Even the "sukaneka" events, there is no loser. Everybody wins a medal, even if your team was last.

Who can spot what's wrong with this picture? Look at the colour of the medals closely. KokoD is standing in 3rd place but his medal is silver. Aiyoh, lucky this is not Olympics man!

In the end, what is the result of Sports Day 2009? SICK CHILDREN!!!! The heat these days is so terrible and the kids had to roast themselves the whole week. K had fever, followed by KokoD and BabyD. Now, DH also not feeling well. What to do? Just keep giving medicine and chase them to keep drinking water. So, where's the excitement of Sports Day??? Sigh! Sadly, it is no more.

BUT, I did learn one thing.....
You can turn a chair upside down and turn it into a garbage bin! And I literally had to go back to school to learn that. Hahahaha.

Mamas Parenting Tips for Sports Day:

  • Always arm yourself with 1-2 big bottles of water, hand fan, umbrella, hat and some food when you attend Sports Day. Oh, of course don't forget your camera.
  • Expect to wait, wait and wait. Very rarely do these things start on time.
  • Don't take toddlers or babies along. If you can, leave them home. Not only is it too hot for them, they will not have fun there.
  • You don't have to confine yourself to the spectators tent. Well... not in my case. I was like a mother hen making sure my children didn't "pengsan" (faint) or something.
  • Bring a book/magazine to read or something to do because you're going to be waiting, waiting, waiting. I think I cannot mention the "waiting" part enough.
  • When you go home, have a goooood rest in an air-conditioned room. Aaaaaaaahhhh.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Supermummy Amazing Blogger Award

Malaysian Supermummy is hosting the first Supermummy Amazing Blogger Award and I'm one of the nominees. What does that mean?

(Just click on the banner below. You'll be taken to the Malaysian Supermummy website. Nothing to fill out. Once click, your vote is already recorded. Contest ends 30th April 2009)

Well, am I really a supermummy? I think we all are in our own ways.

How about an Amazing Blogger? Well, not as amazing as some other mommies but I'm trying my best. I share my experiences and hope it enriches someone. Of course I am also trying to make some pocket money online. But until I get a 4 figure check in my mailbox every month, I'm still short of Amazing!

Anyway, let me just list a few things about me (related to supermummy) so you know who you are voting for:

  • Have 3 children and all delivered without anesthetics. Ouch!
  • Breastfed all 3 (for 1-2+ years) coz' didn't want to spend extra money on formula milk. Oh, and of course breastmilk is best! Hahahah.
  • Still moping wee-wee off the floor.
  • I'm very thankful if I only have 1 basket of laundry to do a day.
  • I'm an advocate of child labor - what I mean is I make my children do house chores.
  • A strong believer that we should constantly read books to our children.
  • Gave up my good golfing track record to raise this family BUT I don't regret it. I'm waiting to join the senior tour. Hahahah.
  • I can breastfeed a baby, stop WWIII (it feels like that when siblings start to squabble) and blog at the same time. I'm sure you can do this too. Its just something every mother is equipped with. After that we need to give ourselves a break so we don't succumb to mental breakdown.
  • I hide from my kids when I eat ice-cream, sweets and other junk foods. We're not suppose to let them eat too much of these unhealthy foods right?

Ok, so that's a little about me. And because I know you're going to vote for me (heheheh), I'm giving you a heartfelt "thank you" gift. It's a free e-book called "HEALTHY SNACK AND MEAL IDEAS FOR YOUR WHOLE FAMILY". Just click on the title to open the file up or right click and select "save target as" to put it straight into your hard drive.

This free-ebook is only available until the 30th April, which is also the date the voting ends.




Wednesday, April 15, 2009

4th Month of Pregnancy

Morning sickness is over. YIPPEE! I'm eating better and have a little more energy now. Last check up at the clinic, I put on about 3kg. I'm now 67.4kg. This little baby likes spicy food. I've been enjoying Tom Yam noodles and anything with sambal. It's funny I never ate spicy food growing up. Now, I love it! So, what do you think? Spicy baby means boy or girl? Hahahaha.

I'm still eating apples like crazy. And must have my mint sweet after meals too. I find that I can't eat much even though I now can eat. I'm get bloated easily and feel like I'm having indigestion. I guess baby is getting big and that means less stomach room. Which is sad coz' the other day we celebrated the Relief Society Birthday at church and the food was super yummylicious -- the lamb was tender, the sauce tasted great, the mash potatoes with gravy was heavenly and the teriyaki chicken was to die for. I wanted to eat more but was not capable anymore. Sigh!
(By the way, the Relief Society is the women's organization in my church and it's now 167 year old. It's one of the oldest and largest women's organizations in the world.)

When I was at the clinic for the checkup, the nurse used a doppler device to hear the baby's heartbeat. Unfortunately, she couldn't detect it. Then she asked if I've felt the baby move. I answered "no". This all got me a bit worried. I mean, no heartbeat, no movement... WAH, is baby ok? BUT the nurse didn't seem worried and just said, "maybe too early." Checkup was last week and I was around 16 weeks preggy. Did a little research on the internet and read that you can pick up a baby's heartbeat from 10 weeks onward. But some could only detect about 15-18 weeks. So the next checkup, I should definitely be able to hear it.

About feeling baby move, I think I felt something a few days after the checkup. It was like little bubbles popping. I quickly called kokoD to put his hand on my belly and he said he felt it too. But I haven't felt anything since. Belly is getting bigger and my bump will start to show through my clothes soon I'm sure. So, that's a good sign that baby is growing.

Summary of my 4th month of pregnancy:
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased energy levels
  • Bloating and indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Bump beginning to swell
  • Already have stretch marks from previous pregnancies.
  • No matter how hard my kids are trying to hear baby's heartbeat by putting their head on my belly, they can't hear it that way. Sorry kids!
  • Maybe felt baby's movement for the first time.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Getting Better At Bahasa Malaysia

swearing in cartoonImage via Wikipedia

Since going to kindergarten and mixing with all the Malay students there, KokoD's Bahasa Malaysia has improved. How do I know his Bahasa is getting better?
  1. He uses the word "bodoh"* to scold his sister. (Of course with much disapproval from me!)
  2. He will often answer me in Bahasa e.g. "tak mau"*, "faham mak"*
  3. He diligently memorized the national anthem "Negaraku" and today he was singing "padan muka, padan muka, padan muka"* to the tune of Negaraku. (Errr... no intentional insult to the national anthem, just kids being crazy. Also reprimanded by me already okay. Don't send the police to my house ya.)
  4. He comes home telling me about his friends in school which shows there is communication going on. I asked him if they are speaking Malay, and he said yes. I asked if he understands what they are saying, he says yes. I ask if he talks to them, initially he said no. But these days, he says yes.
Note to parents:
  • Kids pick up a lot of bad language in school. Even though I'm happy KokoD is picking up the language quickly, not everything he is learning is good.
Translation for non-Bahasa speakers:
*bodoh = stupid
*tak mau = don't want
*faham mak = I understand mom. Teachers usually repeat this phrase in school "faham tak?" (do you understand?) and the children will chime together "faham cikgu" (understand teacher).
*padan muka = serves you right
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Friday, April 10, 2009

How Do You Encourage Creativity In A Child?

I find that KokoD has quite a creative mind. He is able to fill his time with legos, blocks, workbooks, drawing, sometimes reading, computer games, cycling and other stuff without bothering me much. I like how he occupies his time independently.

A friend of mine graciously gave us a set of big blocks and I thought the kids would be bored with it after a while. But they still take it out to play occasionally and haven't abandoned it. KokoD really does a better job than me at creating things. He makes robots from his legos. He made a helicopter and airplane with the big blocks. I caught him making this a few weeks ago:

So, how do you encourage creativity in a child?
  • I'm no expert but I believe having time for free play is important.
  • Also giving them toys and tools that encourage them to create like legos and blocks. Not forgetting making readily available lots of recycled paper, stationary and art materials. I really don't fancy toys that require battery and make a lot of noise.
  • In the beginning you may have to spend some time teaching them how to play with the stuff. But you don't need to include a whole lot of instruction. Just show them how to work it / use it / assemble it, give some examples to showcase the many possibilities of what can be created, then let them have fun with it. There is no right or wrong. For example, if they color an apple purple, don't tell them it's wrong.
  • Praise, praise, praise.
  • Show your appreciate their creation. I still keep most of my girl's "cards" and mini books that she made for me. These cards and mini books are really small pieces of paper that she took time to write and decorate. After a while, this bunch of tiny papers will look like junk. But she knows I keep them and that is my way of saying "your work is appreciated." Even taking pictures of what they have done is motivation for them. Sometimes they will make something and run to me shouting "mommy, take a picture of this!" Another thing you can do is hang their creation on the wall or stick it up on the refrigerator. Showcase it.
  • Allow them to observe what you do. Don't chase them away and say they are "disturbing". Yes, they may be disturbing but they are learning too. One way to make them "less disturbing" is to involve them somehow. So, if you are cooking, maybe let them name the ingredients you are using. If you are folding clothes, give them a hankerchief and let them figure out how to fold it. The trick is to keep them occupied with something related to what you are doing but that will also keep them out of your way.
  • Read more books and less television.
Children can be creative if you give them time to be creative. Hope your children are not too busy doing homework or trying to score A's that they have no time to create.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Marketing to Digital Moms: How To Reach Out To Today's Tech-Savvy Moms

Free Health PLR

Gone are the days when the word "Mom" conjures images of a female who cannot operate the video recorder or navigate her way through the latest video game, and only switches on the computer to send an email to Grandma.

According to a study published in 2009 by Razorfish and Cafemom, up to 27 million (84%) of Moms online are tech savvy. They use Web 2.0 platforms and shop online. In fact, they use communication technology and social media to connect with others, find advice and information, express themselves, do research on products they're interested in, and simplify their multi-tasking lives.

"Digital Moms" have become so dominant on the Internet that the researchers concluded they are not a niche, but are rather the mainstream.

If you aren't reaching out to digital Moms online yet, you might just be missing out on a significant market. Consider these numbers from the United States Census Bureau:

  • Women control 80% of household spending. Even if they earn only a part or none of the total household income, women determine how much of the household income will be spent.
  • Women do 60% of online shopping. Women do a lot of research online before making a purchase and actually make up more than half of online shoppers.
  • Women buy 81% of all products and services. Women shop not only for themselves, but also for the home, family members, gifts for friends, teachers and associates.

The problem is, many online businesses just don’t seem to know what to do when it comes to marketing to digital Moms. They make the mistake of treating all Moms online as if they all had the same needs and reasons for using the Internet. Not true, according to the Razorfish/Cafemom report. For example, younger Moms tend to be more comfortable with social networking and mobile surfing. On the other hand, Moms 45 years old and above gravitate more towards online news, product reviews and podcasting.

What is the best way to reach out to today's digital Moms?
Here are three tips:
  1. Provide relevant content. Some of the online Mom's interests depend on what life stage she is in. For instance, digital Moms with young children naturally look online for information about parenting and child health. But there are topics that most digital Moms are interested in, no matter how old their children are. These include fashion and cooking.

    Mom PLR Ebooks provides regular private label rights content just for Moms. For a monthly supply of PLR recipes and product reviews, check out the "All Mom Content" package of All Private Label Content.

  2. Be present in the channels digital Moms are using. Again according to the Razorfish/Cafemom study, more than half of digital Moms use email, search engines, social networks, gaming and online news. Emerging channels used by about one-third of digital Moms include online videos, consumer reviews and blogs.

    Aside from PLR Ebooks, your monthly subscription to includes a 5-day Ecourse and 26 newsletter topic ideas - perfect for digital Moms who use Email everyday. If you're interested in providing consumer reviews, All Private Label Content includes 10 product profiles reviews every month.

  3. Know the particular needs, interests and online habits of your Mom audience. Digital Moms have varying needs and surfing behaviors, depending on their age and their children's ages. The best way to accurately understand your particular Mom audience is to listen to them. Ask your list subscribers what their concerns are. Conduct your own surveys. Hang out in Mommy forums. Pay attention.>/li>

The majority of mothers online are digital Moms. They are tech savvy, smart consumers who make informed decisions when shopping online. They're also online for social networking and even gaming. But they have varying needs depending on their life stage and their children's ages. To market effectively to digital Moms, you need to give them what they're looking for online, be where they are, and pay attention to their needs. Take care of digital Moms and you'll have a profitable online business.

Easter Ideas For Your Family

2 weeks ago we did our Easter party for the children. Almost every year they do egg coloring. This year, the Primary president wanted to do something different and asked me for some ideas. I suggested we put chocolate eggs into a decorated container along with an Easter message and pass it out to friends. So she got some small plastic containers and the children stuck stickers onto it. We put in some colored crepe paper that had been shredded to make it look like a nest. Then added the chocolate eggs on top.
Another craft we did was a lollipop flower. Here is what it looks like:

You can write your messages on the petals making it a more personal gift.

Click here for more instructions on how to make a lollipop flower. You can make this for lots of occasions, not just Easter. I made these for Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and even Teacher's Day. If you are more adventurous, you could try making Candy Bouquets.

Need more ideas for Easter Sunday? Grab these free quick 'n' easy Easter ideas!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

9 Simple Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Veggies

Fresh vegetables are common in a healthy diet.Image via Wikipedia

More Help Can Be Found At Dine Without Whine

It seems like a never-ending battle with the kids. Although you and I know veggies are delicious and they’re also good for you, they act like vegetables are a plague they want to avoid at all costs.

If you need creative ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables, here are 9 ideas to incorporate into your daily meals right away:

1. Make healthy choices readily available and put the sugary and greasy snacks away. This doesn’t mean totally depriving yourselves of these delightful treats, but making healthy eating a normal part of your day goes a long way to helping kids develop better eating habits.

2. Add veggies like carrots or even asparagus to smoothies. Kids love fruit smoothies and they’ll never know you put in a little of those dreaded vegetables in.

3. Sneak vegetables into other foods. For example: Add grated carrots into spaghetti sauce or make a zucchini chocolate cake.

4. Try dip. You know kids love to dip everything. Just make sure they know they have to eat the dip stick and not just lick it!

5. Take your kids shopping with you. Let your child pick out a new vegetable in the grocery store that they’ve never tried. Then prepare the vegetable together.

6. Be patient and consistent. Avoid having a tantrum yourself when your child has a tantrum about vegetables on their plate. Sometimes it will take several times of serving the same food before your child is even willing to try it.

7. Make it artistic and fun. Place veggies into a smiley face on your child’s plate or decorate a pizza with them.

8. Let them choose: raw or cooked. Some children may have a definite preference as to whether their veggies are cooked or raw.

9. Plan your meals. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the veggies when you don’t have a plan…allowing your kids to get into the habit of veggie-free meals. Plan your meals and grocery lists in advance, so you won’t come up short on the greenery.

To make your meal planning a whole lot easier, sign up for you 1 ¢ no-risk trial at Dine Without Whine. They put together your weekly dinner plan and even make a quick and easy printable grocery list for you.
Click here to get started

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