March 27, 2009

Walking the dog


Diet : Noodles only

K told me yesterday at lunch time that he, "Like noodles, don't want rice." And then decides that he had quite enough of the food on his plate after 2 mouthfuls.

After numerous battles at the dining table with a toddler, I have learnt to choose my battles wisely.

Since K has no qualms to share his preferences about his meals, and giving him a wide variety does not seem to keep him interested in food...

So it will just be Marcaroni, Hong Kong noodles, Spaghetti, Fish noodles, hokkien noodles, prawn noodles moving forward.

Any other tasty noodle recipes to share with me?

March 20, 2009

A book a day chases the boredom away

I love to read. And I hope K learns to love books as much as I do.

I was overjoyed when I realised that K loves being read to. Every day, he will ask to 'read book' and it has become a routine for him before bedtime. Each time, he gets to pick a book that he likes from his bookshelves and always will ask for 'one more time' and scrambles down his bed and will quickly pick up another book from his bookshelves.

I prefer to shop online for K's books.

Borrowing from the library just does not cut it at this point, as K always want to read the same books for a certain period of time. And I always end purchasing the same book from Amazon.

Getting 30+10% off books, once in a while, as Border's preferred member, does not convince me either to visit the local Border's bookshop regularly. One gripe that I have with Borders is that it is extremely difficult to find the books I want. There is a huge selection of children's books at Borders, but somehow with their inefficient cataloging system, it is almost impossible to get hold of the titles that I prefer.

Recently discovered these really cool online sites that come in handy when I don't want to spend time browsing in the library or Singapore's local bookshops. Lookybook is this really great site that lets you look at children's picture books from cover to cover, all at you own pace. This site lets you pick a book listed in their bookshelves, browse the words and pictures on every single page of the the book that you select. No more making the wrong assumptions on the right book to buy online! A site started by 30-something Australian mums to help people choose books for the children. The site gives factual reviews and personal recommendations of numerous children picture books.

Reading the reviews from these sites, I recently got these books for K that have resulted in zero post-purchase dissonance;

Alphabeeps by Deborah Person
An alphabet book that brings together K's interest in vehicles and my interest; to get him interested in the alphabets. He loves the book and has learnt to recognise a number of alphabets from this book.

One Boy by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
A clever die-cut book exploring counting and words, blending together art and imagination. Yiyi previously got this for K from the same author Black! White! Day! Night! - A book of opposites and he enjoyed it thoroughly. So when I saw it on lookybook, I knew K will like this book. He especially likes the part about '10 ants' - '10 ants in my pants' since he has recently acquired a love for catching ants.

Toilet tales by Andrea Wayne Konigslow
A humorous tale on why animals should never use the toilet, when toilets are meant for kids.
I am subtly trying to get the message across to K that he should start considering using the potty soon. I have to use books to help as I have a strong-willed toddler does not takes it well when he is forced into doing anything. The last thing I want to do is to turn him off toilet training altogether.

How to heal a broken wing by Bob Graham
A book that teaches empathy and compassion. This book has few words but plenty of illustrations which allow for further discussions and intepretation. K gets completely intrigued by the storyline and the pictures.

In the meantime, K does not show any signs of getting sick of these 2 classic books (which I bought a couple months back) anytime soon. He requests for this Richard Scarry's book to be read to him at least once a day.


Hurray! Looks like I may be on my way to raising another reader in the family.

March 18, 2009



I think the Singapore Flyer is such an overrated experience, but K thought otherwise, at least for that few minutes before he got into the flyer.

He was totally thrilled when I told him that he will be going on the flyer for his bday treat. He was full of anticipation and gave me that 'I want to go onto the flyer very badly look' and nodded his head, pointed to the flyer and said ,"Go flyer now".


When we got into one of the flyer's capsules, K asked, 'Move?' and he asked the same question a few more times. Dh and I had to answer, 'It is moving, but very slowly.' It seems the flyer was moving too slowly and that turned out to be some sort of an anti-climax for him.

The magnificant night view of Singapore view was surely not an attraction for a toddler, who was more in it for the thrill of the ride. The tot was probably expecting for the flyer to rotate similar to the speed of a merry-go-round and he got really bored after 10 mins into the ride.

Conclusion : $60.00 for the ride for 2 adults and 1 tot under 3 is not worth it. K would have probably enjoyed the bumboat ride along the Singapore river or the bus/boat from Duck tours.


"The flyer is so not exciting..."

Well, at least he got some thrills out of blowing out the candles from his little mickey mouse bday cake that evening.


This is what he did when we told him to make a wish. Although I am not too sure if he was indeed making a wish when he closed his eyes.


This the video of K in action while we sang his birthday song. The words that he said before the video ended was "One more time". We then sang the birthday song again and K got to blow the candles out for another 2 more times, before he was content to cut the cake.

Kyle is 2! from Rachel T on Vimeo.

This is just part 1 of K's birthday celebrations. He will have another party this Saturday with his grandparents, Uncle Nick, Yiyi and Uncle Ed. I will expect his future birthdays not to be simple affairs since everyone in the family are so enthusiastic to celebrate his birthday for him.

A random note to show how impressionable a toddler is. K recently surprised dh and I with this yoga-like stance, complete with "ta-dah!" while doing it. I suppose he learnt that from an interstitial from Disney Playhouse channel, which featured Jojo and Goliath from Jojo circus doing some mat exercises.

Ta-dah from Rachel T on Vimeo.

March 17, 2009

Kyle is 2!


K turns 2 today.
I cannot believe how fast time flies.
It felt like yesterday when I held a precious infant in my arms.

From his first gurgle, his first step to his first word.
Our journey together has been amazing thus far.


I have learnt so much about life from my toddler;

That new experiences can be embraced. Sometimes it might just be worthwhile to dive right in...and think about the consequences later. That's how little lessons from life are learnt.

That life is not always a bed of roses, and more often than not you don't always get what you want. But with enthusiasm, a love for life, imagination, determination, anything can be overcome. Just make sure that u always get your hands dirty and have alot of fun while doing it.

That patience and self control are two virtues that most are still learning to master. Good things come to those who wait and you can learn to close your eyes to the things you don't want to see.

That battles should be chosen wisely. There will be less pain, anger and power struggles. Afterall, most will eventually learn from natural consequences.

That life brings so much beauty and there is so much notice from nature. Keep our eyes open for the butterfly, the birds in the air, the rain drops. Smell the rain, feel the wind, touch the petals of the flower, remember the sound that crickets make.

I am most certain K will likely to agree with this,

"Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live."

March 15, 2009

"Mr. Cane"

Mr. Cane had a special mention this evening, after a tiring week of dealing with an extremely stubborn toddler. When we were in the car making our way to Nana's house, I started this conversation to see K's response :

Mum : I think we need to get a Mr.Cane to be used at home.
K listens to the conversation and then shakes his head
Mum : Do you think I can get one from b.p. (shopping mall near our home)
Bel (my helper) : I think can find at b.k. road (market near our home)
Mum : Probably can ask Nana to buy one for us

I turned around and looked at K. He kept very quiet and tears welled up in his eyes. He looked out of the window and kept silent throughout the 10 minute car ride to my mother's house. For the rest of the evening, he is on his best behaviour.

My mom have taken out the cane a couple of times when K gets really wilful (on days that I am not with him). All she did was to whack the table and K will stop his misbehaviour.

I don't believe in using the cane. And I know it is quite cruel to use this scare tactic on him . But it's rather interesting to see how that the mere mention of the cane has that effect.

March 9, 2009

Taking on a tot

It has been getting increasingly difficult to convince K to be a willing participant for his daily routines; especially when he needs a change of clothing, take his bath, brush his teeth or clean up before bedtime.

There will be a struggle every single time.

I found some solutions to reduce the struggles :

For bath-time, I am awaiting my order of some colour tints to make coloured baths (K is quite over the wonders of bubble bathes) and a new bath toy from Amazon.

To reduce battling with a stubborn tot to get him to change his clothes -
I have walked out of the house a couple of times, and he gets really upset when I leave without him. Hopefully he will soon realise the negative consequence of his actions.

To get a willing tot who brushes his teeth -
K now brushes his teeth, while standing on a chair and in front of a mirror. I suppose letting him see his own reflection, while his teeth is being brushed, helps him stay focused on the task.

Still haven't found the solution to get a willing tot to clean up before bedtime. K runs around the house, expects to to chased, and I literally have to pinned him to the ground, for his shirt to be taken off. one ever told me that being a mom will have countless days filled to the brim with inane problems such as these.

March 6, 2009

"Play sand, play water"


When I asked K yesterday what he can do at the park, he replied, 'Play sand, play water.'

That surprised me, as he is still able to recall what we did the last time we went to Jacob Ballas Children's garden (which is almost 2-3 months ago).

He seems to be storing all that information in his little brain for that past few months and is finally able to utter the words with his recent vocabulary explosion in his speech. He surprises me everyday with new words, using them at opportune moments.

He requested for 'One more time', when I told him that it was time to leave the water fountain. Told me last week that 'Me upset,' coupled with a sad face when I refused him something. He wanted to 'Rinse hair' of the shampoo when he took his bath. Always tells us 'No talk' when Nana and I have a conversation when he is playing. When I ask him if he did something, his reply will be 'didn't'. And he tells me that he wants to 'Go school'.

We have many conversations together, he answers my questions and tells me short stories. His favorite is, 'Granddad catch lizard...Kyle.' (translation : the one where Granddad catches the monitor lizard by the tail and calls him to look at it).

Richard Scarry's 'Best Word Book' has been really useful to help increase his vocabulary. We have started reading some chinese books and he loves saying, 'Heavy, zhong4' and 'Light, qing1' when he holds things in his hands.

And to digress, after his frequent requests and demonstrations from me how to blow saliva bubbles, he has somehow learnt how to blow his own saliva bubbles. And whenever he does it, he has this mischievous glint in his eyes.


With his friend, Seth