Sunday, 31 July 2011

Little dancer

We had our dinner at McDonald this evening. Together with our burgers, fries and coke, we enjoyed our meal with great music played in the restaurant. Then came an upbeat song and Jazz went dancing off her feet.


My little dancer

She got shy and ended her dance. After I stopped videoing her, she whispered to me, "uncle looking at me." I turned and realised she invited stares, if not, I think she would have continued dancing. We have a common trait, both love dancing! Hmm, I mean I used to.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Jareth's vaccination

I'm kind of a sicko, I video-ed Jare's vaccination. Instead of trying to anticipate and comfort his pain, I took a video of his jab. I did it for Jazz, and now for Jare. I find it so adorable to see them startle and cry when the needle approaches. Haha.


He seemed to know it was needle time, constantly pulling my sleeve before being poked on his juicy thigh

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Farms!

Where did we go today? We visited farms! Fish farm and farm mart. Both in the wild wild west at Lim Chu Kang. The weather just perfect for our outdoor plans. Our first stop was the Qian Hu fish farm, followed by the farm mart. There really are many many different types of fishes in the fish farm. Some fishes are really 'valuable', they can be sold for up to thousands of bucks! What an expensive hobby to be in love with fishes.

Fish being tattooed

They're all fishes
Another type of stingray
After viewing, we went catching "longkang (drain)" fish. The fishes were so difficult to catch, and the net was so small. When I tried, I knew it was a challenge for Jazz. The fishes swam really fast and swift, they disappeared when the net or human comes near. The man and myself contributed to the catches. Jazz caught one fish... but a dead one. I saw the enlightenment on her face, but I've to tell her it's a dead fish. She really was excited over her successful catch until we told her, it wasn't a count. Come to think of it, I should have just kept quiet and allowed her to put it into the tank. Praises are so essential for the little ones.

We ended our catch with about ten fishes, and brought them home. The catch was $5 for half hour, includes a tank to bring the fishes home.

The challenge

Her tank of fish

Quenching my thirst, not Jare's
Next stop was the farm mart, there were animals like parrots, rabbits, goats, bullfrogs and tortoises. My usual brave little girl didn't dare to feed the tame goats, but she had fun feeding the rabbits. She put her fingers so near the rabbits' mouth that I fear for her. I was bitten by a rabbit before, so they didn't leave me good impression.

Beautiful blue parrot

Braved herself for only one feed

She loves feeding the rabbits
Each packet of animal food is at $1. We spent $1 on goats and $2 on rabbits because she asked for more! Visiting farms are budget spending with ultimate fun!

Our final stop was answering the call of our tummies.

3 dishes, 1 soup
Jazz enjoyed herself and Jare was really well behaved in the carrier throughout the day. He was a no fuss baby when we walked through the farms, I guess he was enjoying the trip as much as we did.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

When you have 2

When you have a small and a big baby, it means more money spent on diapers! Early this afternoon, the man went down to Carrefour to stock up diapers. This is what sale did to him.

Each box at $24.45

Count it right? There are 8 boxes (Exclude my 2 boxes of avocado)! All for the Js. I wonder how long these are gonna last.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Endless buys

Even though Jare is my second child, I've still some stuff to buy which I didn't get when I birthed Jazz. I got these items upon his arrival:

Pupsik pouch
I got this from mothercare at some discount. As he grows by days, he didn't like being couched to sleep in this manner. It served me well up to his third month. Although it still can be used for him to sit upright, I didn't really further it's usage. This pupsik pouch comes in 3 different sizes, purchased according to one's weight. It can't be shared around if we're of different sizes, so I couldn't share with my mum.

Baby Bjorn carrier
I got this from Kiddy palace at some discount too. It's still serving me well. I use this for short trips like groceries shopping. He can doze off anytime in here. And he likes being carried this way while I do my shopping. I like the convenience and being able to get my hands free.

MPJ Nursing cover
This really is one of my best investment. It allows me to nurse almost anytime and anywhere, without having to panic about getting to a nursing room. It's really easy to use, lug it over shoulders, hide the baby in and milk. A must have item in my bag if I'm bringing him out.

Dwinguler play mat

I wanted to get this mat for the longest time ever, since I had Jazz. I'll never forget how Jazz fell from bed when she was 6 months young. I neglected her growth, left her on the bed, went for my shower and she fell. From then, it's always floor level for all activities. This play mat is serving us very well. The Js play, milk and even sleep on it. The parents nap on it as well. Haha.

Bumbo seat
I got this bumbo very recently, 3 days ago to be exact. He likes to sit upright, but still unable to sit independently. This bumbo allows him to have upright view without having us to carry. He watches TV in his bumbo and soon, he'll start semi-solids on it. I got this on sale from Spring maternity. You can purchase it with or without the tray. The man bought it with a tray though. My mum and myself like this new buy. Spares us from aching arms. Always remember using it a low level and soft ground.

Mambo baby pool
I got this hands down from a Mummy on a Motherhood Forum. I bargained to get it at $30 for the pool. So far, I've only used it twice. I bought just so that he can have some water play without dipping into those cold pools out there. In the end, Jazz loves playing in it, much more than Jareth. It's litres of water wasted in here, but I used the water to wash their toys and toilets after their play, at least I recycled.

Perhaps I should have a number 3 to maximize the usage of these items' and make my spending worth.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

P.O.P

I've learned a new acronym today, P.O.P - Prisoner of Parenthood!

I'm imprisoned with a lifetime sentence, perhaps, a lighter sentence as years goes by. It's true that life will never be the same with kids. Positively or negatively, it's just never the same.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Explore English

Last weekend, I attended a workshop with the man on, "Helping your child to speak good English."It was conducted by Mr Paul Edward Osgodby from UK. I attended it for the kids and for ourselves, as parents. If we speak well, I'm sure the kids will.

In Chinese, we are clear in using only the modern Chinese writing in our local context, no qualms about it. Whereas in English, we are still very much mixed up between the British and the US lingo. In school, we adopt the British style of learning, we spell the British way. Yet in media, we are very much influenced by the US - Movies, cartoons, educational programmes, magazines, books and even software like microsoft word, corrects English to its US style. I'm not sure about you, but I'm always confused by the different spelling of UK and US English. Although, in an examination, one shouldn't be penalised when colour is spelt as color, or organise as organize. It's all about being consistent with the style adopted.

Anyway, back to the workshop, I walked out with some fruitful learning and here are some tidbits I walked away with to share. We learned on the commonly mispronounced words and how to pronounce the 'th' sound. Here are some samples to try on the 'th' sound:
  • three
  • healthy
  • teeth
Notice the 'th' within the different parts of the words? I didn't much appreciate the 'th' sound until attending this workshop. To pronounce this sound, stick your tongue out between your teeth, try blowing air out between your tongue and front teeth. Got it? Now try the above words and see if you've got 'three' as THree and not tree. The commonly mispronounced 3, even myself at times. Then we went through some of the commonly mispronounced words:
  • tuition (too-i-shion)
  • salmon (sa-mon, a silent 'l')
  • calender (care-len-der)
  • sachet (sa shey, a french word, so kind of tricky)
  • photography (fur-tog-rur-phy)
  • wednesday (wenz-day, as a two syllabus word, not three)
Figured them right? I'm limited by the sounding ability of this blog, hope the side notes helped. And there are many more words to explore. So then, to get ourselves easily understood across the countries, I doubt it's the accient, it's about getting the pronunciations right. Speak clearly and accurately, we won't go too far wrong.

English takes a whole life time to explore, we stop learning and writing Chinese once we're out of school. But English is never neglected, it's just as important in our everyday life. A well spoken and written person, impresses much. Everyone can speak and write, but not many can speak and write Good English, it really is a skill to master. Some say English is crazy, just like how you can't find egg in eggplant, ham in hamburger or apple in pineapple.

With that to conclude, I must admit that Singlish is still very much practiced at home. I don't foresee ourselves being able to doing away with the la, lor and lei. So see la, how speak good English. Never mind, this makes us unique as Singaporeans, just get the pronunciations, grammer and tenses right, I think we're good enough.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Trip to underwater world

We brought Jazz to the Underwater world last Sunday. It was a promise hanging on her daddy's lips for weeks before it finally realised. That day was really hot! But we still prefer Mr Sun to Mr rain.

I had the excursion bag packed all for the adults and the kids. Diapers, snacks, plenty of water, hats and I felt like I packed the whole house in. The load became lighter when my mum offered to babysit Jareth. It was much easier to just lug a toddler out.

So we began our underwater journey:

Surrounded by underwater creatures


Gigantic fish!


Putting her hand into the tank to touch the fishes


With Mr Shark


Foot reflexology with the fishes that eat dead skin. Jazz didn't dare to try.


While relaxing our foot, Jazz fell asleep in daddy's arms.

After she woke up from her nap, she was all energetic again. But the adults were tired, we took a little more pictures and called it a day.


With her favourite Jelly Belly beans


She sure can pose with lolly


With huge m & m

Underwater world has many visitors during weekends, both tourists and locals. The entrance is free for kids below 3, but pricey for the adults. Only good to go as an eye opener for the little ones in a blue blue moon. Nothing much be impressed about, I feel.

I was pretty ambitious about conquering the different attractions in Sentosa that day, but my body couldn't match my thought. I was much exhausted just after these few activities.

See what I meant:

And with such signs, it means home...

Well, at least the promise to the little girl is fulfilled. What freaks us out is when she says, "I want to go to the Underwater world again."

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Hungry Caterpillar

Having always coming across, 'Eric Carle', a children's story writer, I've decided to get this book that I read raves about, "The very hungry caterpillar." Jazz loves it very much. She loves any kinds of books I get for her anyway.

This book teaches the days of the week, from Sunday through the next Sunday. The illustrations are very good and it narrates the days well. The book follows a caterpillar as it eats its way through a wide variety of food before pupating and emerging as a butterfly. It teaches the days of the week and a butterfly's life stages.


It's "The very hungry caterpillar"


There are holes punched in the 'food' that the caterpillar ate through

I've always felt that dates, time and days are intangible, it can be a little difficult to teach than the tangible subjects. Moreover, dates, time and days are of no importance to toddlers. We are their walking diaries, their schedules are in our mind and they follow the routine we set for them.

I teach Jazz time in a simple way, I told her, "when the sun comes up, you wake up, when the moon is out and sun goes down, you go to bed." Other than that, she knows that lunch is for noon and dinner is for evening. I don't talk to her about dates because they don't really matter to her.

Just recently, I heard her singing a song about the days of the week. And obviously, I didn't teach her about them, I just got this book fresh yesterday. I was coincidentally in line with her school's curriculum. So that made everything easy for me, there wasn't much explanation on my part when I read to her. After the story, I told her, "On Monday to Friday, you go to school while Daddy and Mummy go to work. There's no school on Saturday and Sunday." I hope she understands what I was trying to tell her.

In fact, the first day of a week isn't Monday, It's Sunday. The book began with a Sunday... Good read for the little ones!

Big Sis and Little Bro

It took Jazz some time to adapt to the arrival of her little brother. There was jealously, extreme misbehaviours and tantrums. There were even moments when Jazz would challenge us to hit his little brother. That was scary! Time smoothed things out for her. Now, she would play, read, sing and change his diapers (with supervision of course). In our everyday routine, we would bring Jare into our conversations, we would kiss him before leaving home and greet him when we're home.

They play together

They watch baby signing together
Jazz entertains Jare

Jazz reads for Jare
Not kidding you, she was really reading to him. Jazz has these category of favourite books and from here, there are books that she knows how to narrate just from the pictures. We've read those books umpteen times.

I hope the children will grow up with great sisterly and brotherly love and bond for each other.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Messy hair

Her hair used to be so straight and fine. Along the months, I've no idea what caused her hair to stray and curl! Messy is the word. I wonder why? Don't recall myself with such bad hair days when I was young, who's genes is this?

Some months ago, her hair was still manageable


Recently:

Stray here.
Stray there
It's so messy!

I wonder if there's hair re-bonding for kids. These days, she goes to school with her hair tied up, and in school, teachers would tie her hair too. At least it tidies the crown of her head. I hope they'll grow to beautifully long and neat on her.

Jareth's Eyes!

Jareth is growing everyday, he's getting more interactive, he chuckles, smiles and laughs at us more often. He's speaking his baby language and he loves flipping up and down his tummy. Recently, he has engaged himself onto baby bright and baby signing DVDs.

And of all, I've suddenly realised that his eyes are humongous! Neither the man nor myself has those huge eyes. Friends and even strangers would tell us that his eyes are huge. I hope he grows up proportionately handsome. Haha.


Jareth's huge and electrifying eyes

I don't recall Jazz having those huge eyes. Here's what I've dug out for comparison:

That's Jazz at 4 months old. Seemed like Jazz was chubbier than Jareth.

Well, I don't really see the double eyelids in them or maybe not yet. They'll be beautiful in my eyes anyway. I just wonder how are they gonna look like when they grow older... years will tell.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Jazz no cute

Jazz is getting terrible with tantrums now. When we're out, she would always ask to be carried, even for short distances. I've no idea what's in her little mind, why doesn't she wants to walk? When she starts to cry loudly outside, because we refuse to give in to her requests, we get stares or heads turned.

At times, I master the art of ignorance. In midst of these tantrums, I kept sane and whipped out my camera to snap, for keepsakes too:

Not giving into her request
She insisted that I read her books at her 'NOW'
She wants to be carried even in the nursing room!
We love remebering and capturing beautiful moments, but maybe some crying moments would be good to laugh over in time to come. 

I hope Jazz outgrows this stage soon, but there's still Jare waiting to enter this phase. Grant me double portion of patience please!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Flash cards

I've more seriously introduced flash cards to Jazz recently. I picked the three letter words to begin with. Along the days, she thinks flash cards are fun, she would keep bringing them to me. Instead of me asking her what the words are, which I have taught her many times, she would be asking me, "Mummy, what word is this?" I see a little teacher in her.


The three letter words - bee, CAT, OWL, COW, ant, BUG, FLY, DOG, VAN, bed, CAR

And when she lost interest in my lessons, the cards end up as her toy...


Long train of cards


The words and their pictures

We had a hard time trying to decipher the pictures, they looked so alien from the ant, cat and bee that we have in mind. So well, that's the WordWorld series.

Jazz's Artworks

Time flew! If you haven't realised, half a year is gone! What have I accomplished? I produced Jareth. Not too bad, at least an accomplishment. Haha.

And here's Jazz's portfolio of her first half year in school:


Jazz and creativity

I hope she's loving her everyday in school...

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Spree!

Hi there! Would like to organise some sprees, so I'm gathering responses to see if we have enough orders to share shipping cost. Here are some sprees that I've items to get from:

1. iherb - I'm getting happy baby yoghurt melts and cereal for the Js. There 's 10% off purchase with $60 or more.
(http://www.iherb.com/Children-s-Health)

2. Tommy Hilfiger - There's additional 30% off sale items + additional 10%
(http://usa.tommy.com/tommy/browse/category.jsp?categoryId=cat160008&addFacet=9004%3Acat160008)

3. Carters & Oshkosh - 10% off purchase with $50 or more OR 20% storewide
(https://www.carters.com)

For iherb and Tommy, you'll have to send me your orders by Tomorrow, 3rd July - midnight. In order to be in time for discounts. For carters and oshkosh, you can send me by Friday, 8th July.

I'm using vpost, sharing the base charge among these sprees. However, if we do not have enough orders, we'll have to drop the buys and join other spree-ers.

Email your orders: heart_ocean03@hotmail.com

This is a spree for my friends, so it's just the actual rate and sharing of shipping cost according to weight of items.