October 30, 2009

Another day @ the park





Hot day, lots of laughter and happy boys, despite some bickering along the way.

I took the 'risk' and did not get K to put on his diaper. And from this morning, K is now officially diaper free in the day, just after 3 days of toilet-training 'boot camp'! Life is bliss.

October 28, 2009

Oh bother!

That's probably what K has been thinking, since we started the process of toilet-training yesterday.

He's been finding ways to get out of it. First tries to convince me with, "I am still baby," when I told him that only baby wears diapers the whole day. Then attempts to sway me over with his reasoning when I ask him why does he still want to wear diapers, "Because, I am happy when I wear diapers." Then uses the other method of 'If all else fails, use a little white lie.' He tells me that he needs to pass motion and has to wear his diapers to do it. Then once he is back in his diapers, he scampers around the house for the next 15 minutes playing with his toys.

When I ask him he if he needs to go the toilet, he tells me "No need," and then proceeds to pee in his underpants 1 minute after.

And he is unusually impatient and irritable, which makes our home-learning these 2 days rather challenging for the teacher.

Jeez, he sure isn't the only one that thinks that this whole routine is a real bother.

October 24, 2009

Fabulous learning fun

We officially re-started our letter activities this morning and F is our first letter to explore for the week.


The file folder activities in the lapbook were interesting enough to keep K's little hands and mind busy for almost 20 minutes. He even requested to do the worksheets from Get Ready for the Code A...I was so surprised that he could complete 9 pages in one sitting!

He went on to pretend to be a firefighter for the next 20 minutes. Used his yellow+red retro car as the firetruck, bicycle helmet as the firefighter's helmet and his yellow umbrella as the hose. He attentively listened to instructions from 'station control'-me, to find out where the fire was, then rode his truck fleetly from room to room to put out the 'fire'.



We continued with a food feast consisting of fishballs, fish and crabs for his mickey family,


And ended off a with a short 'freeze' game. (If video cannot be seen here, u need to install Flash 10 and click on the 1st video on the Vimeo widget located at the right sidebar)

Freeze! from Rachel T on Vimeo.

It was a fabulous saturday morning for me as I am extremely heartened that these activities worked out really well with K. I am so glad to see his positive response and enthusiasm for these activities and I am now truly motivated to make it his learning @ home even more meaningful in days to come.

Nature is the best doctor

I could still hear him cough late at night. It was already 4 weeks since he came down with the cough since we got back from our vacation in end August. We visited the pediatrician twice in that 4 weeks and the p.d. told me that if K's cough did not recover, he will be placed on a course of antibiotics. I was not keen at all to even let K start on antibiotics.

Towards the beginning of October, K seemed to have recovered from his cough and phelgm. But somehow, he still coughed intermittently in his sleep. I was getting quite perplexed with his cough that did not seem to go away. We avoided cold drinks and his favorite dessert, ice cream...the last time Kyle had ice cream was in August. I even tried chinese herbs; nán xīn, běi xīn and chuān bèi boiled with corn/apple soup. However K's taste buds are too discerning.

Until that fateful evening and following morning, K had his first taste of M & M's chocolate and went to the Barrage for some waterplay. He ended up with a running nose and dry cough thereafter.

I decided to call it quits with prescribed medicine and use western herbal remedies which has worked very well for me. Previously at the advice of one of dh's business associates, vitamin C, garlic pills, Echinacea pills worked wonders for his health. He was apparently down with pneunomia very often in his childhood years and he started being in perfect health ever since he started with this 'concoction' of natural remedies in his adult years. He is now in his early 60s and he told us he has never been sick with flu or viral infections for the past 30 years.

After hearing all of that, I went ahead to stock up on Echinacea, garlic pills and Vitamin C. And started taking a dosage of these pills and drinks lots of water whenever I feel under the weather. Within 2 days or so, I will be perfectly well and will show no signs of the flu.

There was this other remedy which I spend quite a while to researching; Nat Mur. Nat Mur is a natural tissue salt that is very effective in treatment of Coughs, colds and Influenza: Thin watery runny nose and dry hacking cough. Which were the exact symptoms that K had 2 days ago.

Previously I got this, consisting Nat Mur + other natural ingredients and tried this together with only vitamin c. Within 2 days, I did not show any more symptoms of flu. And it also work wonders for my helper, who has this tendency to get the flu quite often.

So I thought it will be safe to try it with K (since it is all natural ingredients) and went to get these products formulated for kids. Kiddieboost with echinacea to boost his immune system, Comficoff for his cough, Sniffly Sprinkles (which he loves the texture and taste of it) containing Nat Mur and a chest rub for easy breathing during sleep. All these can be used together with Vitamin C, added ginger in our soups, as well as lots of drinking water. And the wonderful thing is that since this morning, K has no more running nose and cough!

Lately, I been rather influenced by this book written by Roberts Mendelsohn , a late renowned US pediatrician. This book is a loan from Lay Keng (Seth's mom, she has raise 3 other kids apart from Seth) and it has a rather unconventional view of 'avoid your doctor whenever you can'. Excerpt from the book about coughs and running noses:

'If the nasal secretions are clear, gray or white, your child is probably the victim of a viral infection such as the common cold or influenza...Common colds and influenza do not require medical treatment and the medications often used to trat them, will merely relieve symptoms. The effects of doing this may be counterproductive, because they interfere with the body's efforts to cure itself.

Short of obviously severe respiratory difficulties, parents should avoid taking their child to the doctor or giving him over the counter medictaions for the treatment of symptpms. The drugs commonly used...include decongestons, expectorants, antihistamines, cough supressants, pain relievers and antibiotics. They have several things in common: they are unnecessary; they sometimes have undesirable or dangerous side effects; they may interfere with the body's own efforts to defeat the disease and they are a waste of money.'

Indeed...we should stop drugging our children and instead should look at the alternatives from nature that we can used to hasten their recovery. The same also applies for us adults.

October 22, 2009

K's talk : Worse and Irresponsible

We were leaving the house to walk to our neighbourhood's mall. I unlocked the door and stood at the door to wait for K.
K : Wait for me
Me : Yes, I will wait for you. Put on your shoes.
K : Worse, people will catch u (I could hear that "You better be careful" tone in his voice)
Me : So you will protect me?
K : Yes (nodded his head with a sure and knowing look in his eyes)

In the lift on the way downstairs
K : (Pointed at the litter in the lift) Tsk, tsk...irresponsible...

Makes me wonder if he is really truly a 2 year old :)

October 21, 2009

A splashing good time


After reading so much about the Marina Barrage's waterplay area from numerous mommies' blogs, I brought K to the barrage this morning to experience some water fun. He has been deprived of water play since we got back from our vacation in end August, as he has been having the cough for the past 4-5 weeks.

As K is an avid fan of water fountains, I am certain he will agree with me that Marina Barrage has one of the best waterplay areas in Singapore.


He had the wonderful company of friends (Seth and his older sister Faith)


Seth and K played goofy games like 'bumping our tummies',


flashed our cheeky grins,


and gazed at the big ships docked near the barrage.


When I asked if he enjoyed himself this morning, K said, "Fun, want to go swimming in barrage again."
The only downside of this excursion is that K caught a cold and he has started to have a runny nose and cough again! :( I have decided that we will give doctor's medicine a miss this time, as it only surpresses the symptoms and not provide a cure. Instead, I will be using some natural remedies such as Echinacea, garlic and vitamin C for a start. Hopefully, these will provide the boost for his antibodies to fight the flu naturally.

October 20, 2009

Chalk n clean


According to K, scribbling with dark sugar chalk on our house's corridor was not that riveting. It only captured his attention for about 15 minutes, them we spent the next half an hour blowing bubbles.


The best part of this morning's activities had to be the cleaning up. Just part of my indoctrination to make sure that I have a son that will willingly help me with household chores in the future.


October 19, 2009

Planting roots, growing wings

I think the turning point was when he turned 2 and a half. K started being able to articulate his wants very clearly, surprising me with new words and long sentences everyday. He knows almost 95% of the alphabets, numbers 1-10, colours, shapes and can count up to 5 items. All of that he learnt during play, from the books that we read and things that we see in our everyday life at home.

The only effort on my part was through the books that I bought for him, not limiting the words that I use when I speak to him (baby language is a no-no for me) and being a little more observant about the world around us. He shows alot of curiosity about nature, about how things work, and will ask me alot of questions about what he sees around us.

John Holt was right, when he wrote about how children are learning all the time.

"We can best help children learn...by making the world as far as we can, accessible to them, paying serious attention to what they do, answering their questions...and helping them explore the things that they are most interested in." Extract from John Holt's Learning all the time.


My role as K's first teacher is to help him make sense of the world around him. We will be taking little 'baby-steps' towards starting short homeschool sessions for the next 1 year before he starts nursery, and will explore various areas of literacy, math, science, arts and bible & social studies. Also not neglecting lots of play and outdoor exercise at all other times.


I initially planned for him to attend some parent-accompanied playgroup programme, but after reviewing my objectives. I figured that gets enough socialisation weekly at Sunday school and during his one-to-one playdates with Seth. Besides dh is right in saying that he has at least 20 years of formal schooling, so why is there a big hurry to send him to school?


'Planting roots, Growing wings' will be my new blog to document our sessions at homeschool. This blog will be the best way to review my 'on-the-job' training as his first teacher, and to continually challenge myself to grow and change. Afterall, I believe that being a mother and helping my child to realise his potential is the best way to realise my own.

October 18, 2009

Tea for you?


October 16, 2009

Why do bats hang upside down?

K has been asking me this question; why do bats hang upside down?

Unlike birds, bats have trouble flying when they start on the ground! Because their wings are not quite as strong as those of birds and because they cannot run fast enough to build up into flight, bats have an easier time flying when they start already up in the air!By hanging upside down, bats are able to build up enough speed that when they let go of their perch, they can turn that speed into flight! This is something special that bats are able to do, which is why other animals like monkeys who might also hang from perches can't fly away when they let go. For bats, hanging upside down also gives them more choice on where they can stop and rest, since it's unlikely any other bird or animal will already be sleeping in the same spot. Thanks to their special toenails, bats have a very easy time hanging around upside down!!
(from Whyy)

Being a parent does make you more knowleagable...

October 12, 2009



The best way to keep him occupied at the hairdresser's is to keep his eyes, ears and hands busy the whole time.


Miniature Mondays


The Rasa Sentosa's poolside

Tilt shift effect is harder to achieve when the photograph is taken at this angle.

October 11, 2009

A Sunday Wedding

"Whose wedding?" K was asking me this question when I reminded him this morning that we had a wedding to attend this afternoon.

"Why get married?" was his next question. After giving him a lengthy explanation why a man and woman marry, he asked me, "Why mommy no wedding?" I told him that mommy and daddy already married, so no need to have a wedding. Thank goodness he did not go on to ask why he did not attend our wedding, why he wasn't born yet, etc. It will probably be quite a challenge to explain the 'birds and the bees' to a 2 year old! I will rather reserve that for when he turns 4 or 5.

He was rather satified with my answers to his question and then went on to fuss for another 20 minutes. He did not want to wear a pink shirt and he was adamant that "Pink for girls only." After convincing him that boys can wear pink and that he looked very handsome in his shirt, I changed him into his outfit for the afternoon and we scrambled out of the house.

He was thrilled when we met Grand-dad, Nana, Yiyi and Uncle Nick at my cousin's Melissa's wedding at Rasa Sentosa hotel. With all the attention he was getting from them, he did not mind the heat as much. He just wasn't too keen too pose for pictures, as I only got to capture him with his pouty expressions.


With Yiyi who is pretty in pink


Looking at the crowd with uncle Nick


Getting some respite from the heat with Grand-dad, enjoying the sea breeze


Taking in the view of a waterfall, one of his favorite past-time when we are outdoors



Looking all flushed-cheek after taking countless number of walks outside the ballroom

October 6, 2009

Picnic @ Hort

We woke up this morning to a light drizzle, so I told K that we will go for a picnic tomorrow. He let out a huge sigh and looked really disappointed, as he has been looking forward to a picnic since late last week.

So we decided to say a little prayer for good weather, and went ahead with our little excursion to Hort Park.

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Hort park; a gardening hub with neatly manicured landscapes, quaint water features and plenty of beautiful tropical plants and flowers. Probably the kind of urban garden I will want to have, if I had the patience to maintain it in my hypothetical landed property.

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The urban garden looks aesthetically pleasing at eye level, however the juxtaposition of backdrop of office buildings along Alexander Road felt a little jarring against the lush greenery of the park.

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I suppose it's just the idealist in me speaking. My concern sure didn't bug the insects anyhow, since we spotted plenty of butterflies, centipedes, dragonflies, beetles, which were thriving in the urban garden.

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The little guy 'caught' the photography bug from me, and was trigger happy clicking away with my old canon ixus.

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Every once in a while, he striked a dramatic pose for my camera

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We spotted a shady canopy with wooden chairs and decided that we will have the picnic there

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My little photographer spotted a centipede

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While walking back, we went into the Bamboo Labyrinth. The Bamboo Labyrinth is made up of a series of circular paths enclosed within a grove of bamboos. When he asked me what was that place for, I told him that people could do exercise and chi-gong there. He then striked a few kung fu poses, raised his arms for his chi-gong stance.

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We walked towards Alexander Arch and wanted to venture further to Henderson Waves, but turned back when the drizzle got heavier. K ended up feeding the fishes at the pond near the entrance of the Park.

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There was a periodic light drizzle the whole morning, but it sure didn't dampen our fun. In fact, we enjoyed the light cool breeze that accompanied the drizzle. It will otherwise be too humid and hot on a typical late morning.

October 5, 2009

My first miniature


of the view outside my kitchen window.
This really adds to the fun of photography... quite tickled looking at these pictures in Flickr.

October 3, 2009

See how we have grown!

and I don't know what to do with it now...Let it continue growing or trash it?