February 26, 2009

Playmates

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It is always a welcome change to have company especially for an only child.

K and Seth had a great time at Fidgets this morning. Although they did not really spend alot of time playing together (since the both of them are still in the parallel play stage), I could tell from K's responses and behaviour that he really enjoyed Seth's company.

I think it is wonderful that K has found a playmate of the same age and interests (they are both extremely fond of the garbage truck). And Seth just lives a few floors below our apartment.

As for K's other interests, he is getting quite good with his plastic golf clubs. Dh can't wait to buy him a set of real clubs, and start K's initiation into the 'I hope I can play golf like Tiger Woods' club.


The Driving Range from Rachel T on Vimeo.

February 24, 2009

Musings: Choices

andyyamashirodigitalcartoon

'Choose' by Andy Yamashiro

I met a group of good friends last night for dinner and the key discussion topics were about marriage and children. Among them, I am the only one does not have a full time job. The majority have only one child (except for one who just got married end last year and taking her time), and don't plan to have any in the near future. It was nice to be with like-minded friends who don't bombard me with questions like, 'Why not have another one, since you are a SAHM mom with help somemore...".

Well I suppose it is just my problem. But I feel that motherhood is one of the most exhausting role that I have undertaken, although I have help on the domestic front. As a mother, I feel the pressure to put my child as a main priority, ahead of everything else, and there is a danger of only focusing on this role of being a mom and nothing else. My life does evolve largely around K (dh can strongly attest to that), although I am aware that I need to strike a balance. Be it other things to focus on or other priorities that I can invest time and emotions in.

For a fact, I do know that time with dh have been sacrificed with the arrival of K. That's one of the key reasons why having another child is such a difficult decision for me. People always say, 'Have a kid, complete your married life,' however, no one mentioned the 'but-s'. I do know a couple of friends whose relationship with their spouse have suffered with the onset of kids.

So then I ask myself, am I one of those moms that lead a life that only evolve only around my child? I recently completed this tag on Facebook "25 random things about me", and I am proud to say only 3 points were related to my role as a mom. The rest of the 22 points were all about me, myself and I (never felt so relieved upon realising that I am rather self-centred...)

To have made the decision to quit my fairly well paid, full time job and be around for K about 8 months ago, was one of the toughest choices I have made in my life. But would I have done it any differently? Probably not.

Apart from being a full time mom and wife, I have discovered many passions since I have stopped working full time. I am an amateur photographer, a writer, an avid reader, an internet addict and recently, a small business owner (especially for those days that I need some encouragement).

"Instead of looking at life as a narrowing funnel, we can see it ever widening to choose the things we want to do, to take the wisdom we've learned and create something." ~ Liz Carpenter

February 22, 2009

Memories

I have been tagged by Angeline for this photo meme.

The rules are :
1. Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
2. Go to the 6th Folder and then pick the 6th Picture.
3. Post it on your blog and tell the story that goes with the picture.
4. Tag 5 other glorious peoples to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blogs telling them about this meme.

So here it is :


photomeme

Bath houses on a beach in Victoria, Australia

It was December 19, 2005, about 1 year 3 months before K is born. I was with my mom, brother and friend Kris visiting Melbourne for my sister's graduation. We took an hour drive to Yarra Valley to visit the wineries and came across a beach with colourful bathhouses.

I tag these moms for this photo meme :
Kole
Rachel
Kristie
Pauline
Karen

February 21, 2009

Toddler science and cooking

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K had his first foray into a toddler's science experiment; melting ice.

I made plastic bags of ice and ice cubes and place them in his water table. K exclaimed, "Ice heavy...cold...hard!" while he moved the big block of ice around the table.

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"Oh melting ice!"

He was intrigued when I pointed out that the ice was melting, shrinking in size and turning into water. He seemed to have understood when all the ice melted into water, and remarked, "No more ice, ice melt".

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And as always, he will end up drinking some water from the water table. Did not helped that I said "Don't drink!" countless times. Then I recalled reading that parents should say things that they want the toddler to do, instead of not do, as they have a tendency to miss out of the "don't" part of the instruction. So I tried, "Water dirty, can play with water only," And that was much more effective. Note to self : don't use don't

Of late, K has become quite helpful. He often offers, "Me help," when he sees me cleaning or taking things. And he has to be given the chance to help, or he will get upset.

Got him to help to make his own lunch yesterday; pizza. As this is his first time helping me make his own food, I was so happy to see him focused in doing his task well and not make a mess at all.

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1. Putting the tomato sauce


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2. Adding the barbeque chicken


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3. Topping it up with onions, then cheese

He then watched the helper put it in the oven, wanted to "see" the pizza baking every few minutes. And I could see the look of satisfaction when he readily chomped down every piece of pizza that he was given during lunch.

Something I have learnt from this; what he helps to prepare, he eats. So guess I will have an additional cook at home from now on.

February 15, 2009

"Eat More"

When K refuses to eat his food,
I say "You must eat more, so that you will grow tall and can reach the pedal of the bicycle / buy new golf clubs / eat ice cream."

Now when he sees a bicycle riding past, he nods his head, gives me the 'I got to have this bike very badly look'. And then says "Eat more".

When he tries to press the lift's button and cannot reach it, he looks at me and says "Eat More"

When he sees another kid eating ice cream, he nods his head, gives me the 'I really want to eat the ice cream' look. And then adds "Nex Time," followed by the words "Eat more".

He sure knows he needs to eat more during his mealtime. Well at least his spirit seems to be willing, but somehow the flesh is weak.

February 14, 2009

Adjectives and Play

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He thinks that this is a "cute pig", then goes to kiss the piggy bank right on its pink nose.

He also lets me know if he likes the book. Usually it comes with a nod of approval and he will say "nice book".

K has discovered the usefulness of adjectives...and sure isn't shy to express how he feels about things.

As for his symbolic play experiences. At certain times, he seems to be able to use objects that are different in form and function from the object represented in play. I have found it quite amusing to watch him indulge in pretend play. Some examples;

- Playing make believe car, running around the house, with both hands on an imaginative steering wheel and making 'zoom' 'zoom' sounds. And he will 'drive' to destinations like the zoo, birdpark and Nana's house.
- Using his rubber mat as a 'swimming pool', jumping into the water and tossing his beach ball around. Then using his wooden stick as the shower head and puts it over his head, accompanied by the 'Swish swish' sound. Then he proceeds to use the remote control as the hair dryer.
- Holding the bell, shaking it vigorously and says aloud "Sell food". Then pulls out his kitchen set and starts dishing out 'food'. When I ask him how much, he tells me '6'. When I say it is too expensive, he answers '2'.
- Choosing a book from his home library, bringing it to the piano, makes a 'beep' sound and then says, 'Auntie, how much.'

Most of the time he does not like to play by himself, he will always says 'Mama do...', and I will have to assume a role in his dramatic play. K can get pretty demanding; I have to jump in the 'pool' with him to 'swim' together, follow him in his 'car', buy 'food' from him and be the cashier 'Auntie'.

He has been spending alot of time in functional play as well. Some of the activities that he enjoys :

1. His one man band. He loves the sound of the drum and will always say 'Boom, tac tac tac' after the word 'Drum'

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2. He is still extremely found of his trucks and has started creating scenarios with his trucks

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3. He likes to clean up. This 'jeep' was a hand me down from Uncle Nick (probably has been around for more than 15 years) and been left in his room to collect dust. When I pointed out the dust in the jeep, he was curious and wanted to clean it up. I passed him a cotton bud and he got very engrossed the next 10 mins cleaning out the dirt in the jeep.

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4. He loves spending time at his water table. I think it is probably one of the best 'toy' that I have got for K. There are endless ideas to how this table can be used for water play. In this instance, I threw in some bottle caps and handle K a wire mesh ladle. And he told me that he wanted to 'catch fish'.

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5. The 'fishing activity' managed to keep him busy for almost 45 minutes. Then it is back to typical toddler behaviour; splashing in the water and getting himself all soaked from head to toe

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Despite getting all wet, he was only too pleased to show me how happy he was with the morning's water play

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Needless to say, every water play activity always ends up with K helping to clean up.

February 13, 2009

Checklist for homeschool

For the past 1 week, I have been really tied up with home business and have not been spending much time with K. Now that I have started to re-organise my schedule to include managing the home business, there needs to be more thought placed behind the organisation of activities for K's home school.

K has been spending most of his time doing unstructured play. Since I am a mom who thinks that a child learns best through play, I do not take pride in rote learning. Thus I am not worried that K who will be turning 2 in mid March, cannot recite the alphabets from A-Z or numbers from 1-10.

Just finished reading this book "Child of our time - Early learning". I am further convinced that it is even more essential in this day and age, that a child learns to be resourceful, creative and flexible. And home life needs to be the key catalyst to nurture the child in those areas, and help develop his love for learning.

According to this book, there are a list of important things that parents can do to help their children ease into pre-school and help them do well in primary school and beyond. It is not rocket science but definitely a practical checklist for developing K's home learning environment.

Bah...Valentine's day!

I am boycotting Valentine's Day, or rather the consumerism of it.

I refuse to celebrate it or buy anything for dh (hope he is not planning anything).

I wonder among the lovebirds rushing for dinner reservations and floral arrangements, does anyone know why St Valentine is celebrated with teddy bears and heart-shaped greeting card?

This day Feb 14 was set by the Catholic church to commemorate the life and sacrifice of St. Valentine, a bishop likely in third-century Rome, who was publicly beheaded for refusing to denounce the name of Christ. It was not until the 14th century, where Geoffrey Chaucer incorporated St. Valentine's Day into a love poem, that was when it become linked to romantic love.

It is still an opportunity to express your affection to those you love, but not be beguiled into spending more money on that bunch of roses or another gift.

Dh can surprise me with flowers any other day. Getting flowers on Valentine's just so bah...

February 11, 2009

February 10, 2009

Almost everything

longing

Looking longing at the waterplay area in Kidzworld on Sunday afternoon.

All I said to him was, "We did not bring your swimming costume, cannot swim today." K answered wistfully, "Nex time"...and did not move an inch from where he was standing.

While playing with the phone in Nana's house this evening, he dialled 999.
We only discovered that he dialled the number when they returned the call to check...Nana ended up apologising profusely for her grandson's innocent mistake.

Nana raised her voice at him, "K, you cannot play with the phone anymore, you called the police just now."

He pouted his lips and tears form in his eyes, he signed "Sorry..."

K may be a toddler with little words, but he almost understands all that we say to him.

February 7, 2009

Hold his own

K is quite funny to watch. Lately, he is into carrying things. Whenever we leave for Nana's house, he has to carry something in his hand. On wednesday, just when we were stepping out of the house. He turned to look at me, glanced at the bag I was carrying and said 'Mama, take bag.' He walked back into the house and emerged with this in his hand...

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We walked all the way to the carpark with him holding onto his medical kit.

For the last 2 days, he has been taking this...

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He pulls it like a luggage bag with trolleys and walks the whole 250 metres from our block to the carpark.

This morning while waiting for Nana's car, K spotted one of his favorite things;

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...and he dragged his plastic golf along with him while running after the cat.

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His victim was really quite tramatised by the aggressive toddler and the noisy thing that the tot was dragging along with him.

Well, looks like K have understood the concept of keeping a tight grip on his personal belongings.

February 6, 2009

Introducing...

My other new blog; The Closet Soiree Blogshop


The blogshop with designer one-off and uncommon labels for women, at more than 70% off retail prices.

This is the blogshop to visit if you want to be the only woman in Singapore/Malaysia to own that unique piece, bought at a fabulous price. We will only have clothing of quality fabrics and fabulous cuts, nothing less. Every piece is unique to the blogshop, I am certain that you will not be able to find the same designs in another blogshop.

I will be updating a new collection next week, which will be more mummy-friendly.

However, if any of the designs catch your eye from this first collection, do quote this Acacia5 in the order form and I will give you an additional 5% off the list price.