Tuesday 29 November 2011

Lesson on Cut

Learning to cut is something that didn't cross my mind until I saw this book on, "Let's cut paper!" I never thought she would be able to learn how to cut until it stated on the book cover, for ages 2 and up. I got that book and put it to practice. Before that, I bought Jazz a pair of friendly, round tipped scissors.

She was very excited when I told her we are going to cut papers with scissors. Instead of cutting right into the book, I thought we should begin practice on unwanted papers, to get her familiarised with the scissors and learn how to hold, control, open and close it, as well as how to hold the paper for cutting. Safety precautions apply. We practiced 'air cutting' on the movements, after which I drew a line on the paper for her to cut. 

Practice on paper
Her first few attempts were disastrous, so much so that I felt she wasn't ready for this part of motor skill development. After all, the scissors which I bought, stated itself for ages 4 and up. She went zig zag instead of following the line I drew. That was when I decided to stop lesson and continue some other time, when she's older. This little girl persisted in cutting, she wouldn't allow me to keep the tools away.

"Alright then, let's try on the book." I thought to myself. It's meant for armatures anyway. I cut out the lesson page for her to work on and told her how to cut. Amazingly, she did it relatively well, not neat cuts, but nice tries. 
To develop fine motor skills

Cutting the otter's whiskers
We continued practicing every other days, and that made her more skillful. There's definite truth in saying, "Practice makes perfect." Instead of cut and snip continuously, she could cut, cut, cut and snip, making the cuts smoother.  
Cut to separate the rat from the cat

Cut a big square into four smaller squares, and made a picture out of it
There are circumstances when I would limit my expectations on Jazz. Always thinking she can't do this or that, but kids can surprise our thoughts. Their pace is faster than we can imagine. There could be this day when we tell them, 'let's play bubbles", and they would probably say they're not interested in bubbles anymore. I hope I can keep up with their growth. 

Royce again

It was Jazz's school closure yesterday. I brought her to Royce, yet again, for some good fun and bonding while the man is at work. Good thing he left the car for our usage, it was raining mad. We did lunch at Liang court, after which we played at Royce. As usual, the things that captured her attention were the soft toys, especially Barney and friends. 

The place was quite empty to visit on a weekday afternoon, we were there on a Monday, from 1240hrs to 1340hrs. There were less than 3 kids around. It was as good as having the whole place to ourselves. This time, I was caught between signing up for the membership or not. I missed signing up when we were there for the trial, which could be cheaper. And since this is an annual membership, I decided not to go for it. I'm not sure how often we'll be coming by, although I really love the place because I don't have to run around madly like other physically challenging play gyms. At Royce, they're all toys, nothing too adventurous about them. One bad, babies above 6 months have to pay, I felt it wasn't too worth paying for Jare although I must agree, there are toys suitable for him. This explained Jare being home bound again.   
Trying to scoop these into her arms
Kitchen play - Her favourite too
After play, I went Mac to pack some burgers for home, Jazz saw someone getting an ice-cream cone and hinted, "Mummy, I got fever?" I said, "Nope, you want an ice-cream?" The only time she knows she's not getting near any ice-cream is when fever or cough battles with her. Anyway, I got her an ice-cream, and we shared.

Ice cream on a rainy day
After play and ice-cream, it's time we head home. Usually, in the car, Jazz would be very talkative, and sometimes distracting me so much from my driving. On our way home, I realised this noisy little girl is all quiet. At a traffic light stop, I turned to look at her and snapped her sleeping. She slid off her booster seat and found a comfortable position to sleep. She even took off those socks and shoes of hers.

Looking comfortable with those fingers again

It was all fun! I enjoyed this moment when it's only two of us. She didn't misbehave and that made our outing pleasant.

Friday 25 November 2011

Jare's First step

Jare is getting cheekier each day, I'm gradually agreeing that boys are much more difficult to handle than girls. This little boy is getting mischievous, brought him to a wedding dinner last weekend and realized it was a nightmare. He wouldn't sit still in his high chair, except for 10 minutes when he was munching on his crackers. He would stretch his hands out to anything and everything on the table, it was chaotic. Throughout our dinner, the man and myself had to rotate shifts to bring him in and out the ballroom.

Cheeky little one

Last Friday marked his exact 9 months, I spotted him taking his first step. Like every other parents, his first step felt so magical. It was another milestone achieved. Although he's still an expert on his fours, in no time, he's gonna be a little fast walker, and then a runner. How time flies and I thought I just delivered him yesterday.  

Balancing and cruising around 

Every milestone poses new challenges. Looking optimistic, I think parenting is fun.

Thursday 24 November 2011

First Writing

I did the first writing lesson with Jazz, not doodling. I was surprised that she could control her wrist movements and trace accordingly. Not perfect, not neat but good enough effort. In fact, my challenge was getting her to hold the pencil right. Her fingers were too stiff for me to help her adjust, we need more practice on that.  
The simplest to begin - Writing 1
Very crooked, but good enough for it being first practice
Moving on to number 2

We practiced on numbers 1 and 2, after which her attention diverted. We'll be doing more of such lessons, and I hope this becomes part of her routine along the days.
Learning Milestone: 2yrs8mths

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Beyond toys

I love getting books for Js, and so I decided to visit the bookFest at Suntec. It's high time to move Jazz beyond just knowing ABCs and 123s. I bought her loads of assessment books and some story books, spending a sum of $150 for these enrichment. My man saw these, looked at Jazz and commented, "Poor Jazz." It's always the perception you choose to view it from. To me, it's progression, and because I don't send Jazz to expensive enrichment classes out there, I've to be more diligent in her 'academics.' A mummy who spends about 2k every month for her 4 year old son's enrichment classes once told me what she was doing was only survival. These preschool books are good through till she's six. I'm not kiasu, but quoting - survival only.     
Maths, English and Chinese
The man said he would teach on 'time', but lesson has not began
Loving her Letterland book

The right book to get is when colour (UK) is not spelt as color (US)

I'm not sure if Jazz is ready to start writing and reading, but I'll just introduce them gradually. I've to keep trying repeatedly to know what's she ready for and what she's not. Parenting is getting more challenging.

BookFest is running till 27 Nov 11, at Suntec Hall 601 - 603

Saturday 19 November 2011

Cakes and Tea

Sometimes we really run out of places to go, or rather we've been tied down by weddings every other week, it's difficult to plan an outing. Jazz is now a perfect guest to be at weddings, she would sit through the dinners with minimum fuss. This evening, being free after dinner, we decided to have cakes and tea at a nearby restaurant, newly opened around our area at Penhas Road - Antoinette. 

It's my third time there and I'm ever praising about the place to anyone who loves cakes and tea. We brought Jazz along, but left the boy at home. The place was filled with kids on a Saturday evening. I'm loving this place far over TWG, because they have high chairs here and not at TWG. That's how a mummy rates restaurants. Sweets wise, cakes, macarons and tea at Antoinette tastes so much better too. The place is also very beautifully embellished to the vintage theme, even their toilet is worth a visit. 
Jazz enjoying herself on the couch
As if she knows what tea to choose

Model for hire, anyone?
She loved every bite of them, so did I
Jazz took every bite of the cake and went, "hmm, very nice." For that moment, she really sounded like a food critic. Our bill of 2 adults and 1 kid came up to about $50. If you think tea and cake sessions are only for the adults, it's time renew mindset and bring the kids in. Not to worry, they have caffeine free tea. I shared that with Jazz. We had great bonding through chatting and playing mini games with Jazz. The next time we're there, I want to try its dinner and hopefully, bill it to the man, which he did this time. Oh, do remember to bring a cardigan along for the little one, it's pretty cold in there. 

Other branches Antoinette can be found include Mandarin Gallery and Scarlet Hotel.  

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Powdered Calcium

I've never foreseen myself doing so much work for Jare's food, not to even mention Jazz. I've always thought my kids are losing out on an adventurous food journey because I couldn't afford the time and attention a SAHM could - to prepare nutritious meals. As much as I can, I'll try. 
I've never thought of preparing a source of calcium this way, until some mummies spoke about it. So then, I bought some ikan billis (Anchovies), those with the heads and tails chopped, and turned them to powder. It sounded like a chaotic process to me, but after trying it, everything was simple:

1. Wash and drain the ikan billis
2. Baked them at 180 deg, for about 20 mins. Stopping at half time to stir and spread them evenly again.
3. Blend and voila! Powdered Ikan Billis 

The headless, tail-less and split Ikan billis

Powered Calcium! Leave it to cool and store in a cool dry place

My end result wasn't as powdered as imagined. That's because I wasn't using a blender with leveled blades, but you can always sieve them if you aren't satisfied with the finest of it, especially it being baby's food. Ikan billis are very good source of calcium and I'm going to sprinkle some into Jare's porridge tomorrow, to make it tastier as well! Hope he likes it.

Monday 7 November 2011

Official haircut

I've chopped off my hair recently, and so I sounded to Jazz about trimming her hair and bringing her for a hair cut. Talking about my new hairstyle, which I've boldly chopped off to above shoulder length, I got home with my new look and Jare couldn't recognise me. He frowned and cried when he saw me, as if I was some alien to him. That was comical.

Back to Jazz, I wanted to trim her fraying hair as she has an important mission on my bro's wedding coming Friday - Flower girl. I brought her to United square, Junior League, a cut is $22 bucks! I wanted to keep her fringe and length, and the cutter cut them short. I merely wanted a trim for Jazz, not cut! Argh! Her hair ended up more frayed than before. Darn! 
Entertained by Barney
All focused on Barney
I brought her to a kids' salon because she hasn't had any official haircut since birth, I was her trimmer all the while. I was hoping she wouldn't fidget too much and stay focused on the video. Most importantly, I wasn't ready for a situation when the cutter would ask me to carry her for cut, and having hair all over me. Glad this turned out well. It was funny when I put her on the salon's chair, I said, "Jazz, you sit here, watch Barney while auntie trim your hair, alright?" I didn't expect a reply, and she said, "Mummy, I want to cut like Katy Perry." For a moment, I could see other parents giggling at us. Katy Perry, Lady gaga and all other video and songs seen on MTV and heard over the radio are introduced by her Daddy. Wonder what is my man teaching!  

This is not working too well now
I've got this leave on conditioner for her recently to tame those stubborn curls, it worked quite well for her, but now, it's a little too difficult on her shorter hair. Jazz's hair is very thin and lightweight. I hope she'll grow thicker and more luxurious hair along the days. After all, the it's the crown of our head, it sets our appearance.

Sunday 6 November 2011

Sunday Church

For many months, my mum has been bringing Jazz to Sunday school in a church behind our block. One of the Sundays, Jazz requested that I come along, and I did. Together with my Mum, I brought Jare along too. It was free play when we arrived, which means we were early and while waiting to begin, both Js were hooked on the toys. When it was time to keep the toys away, Jazz lent her helping hands to clean up. It was my first time with her there, but to her, it's her routine. She knows the programme really well - singing, praying, offering, story time, colouring and her favourite moment, treats! She knew each segment really well. I was being led by her instead. 

Even though Jare was too young for these, he enjoyed his time there too. At different moments, he was letting out screams of excitements, I could see that he really enjoyed the crowd, toys and music. To sum, Sunday school is fun!  
Jare on a toy that he couldn't let go

Singing and Clapping
"This the way you brush your teeth..."

Pay attention Jare!
Moral of the day - It is wrong to lie
I'm pretty pleased to see them enjoy Sunday school so much. When home, Jazz would never stop singing those songs she learned in there. As I'm blogging, they're off to Sunday school again. I didn't tag along, I'm doing the cooking. So Sunday, at this time, my house is really really peaceful.

Thursday 3 November 2011

Classic pictures

Jare has unknowingly become Jazz's toy. My goodness! And my mum was part of their gang.

Jare became Jazz's passenger on her toy trolley, which was able to hold his light weight. Worrying to watch her push around, but I thought they looked adorable. She must have got this inspiration whenever I groceries shop with her in the NTUC trolley.  
I think he was nervous!
Enjoying their play at the expense of my worry

Little Shrek

I was busy in the kitchen when my man asked me out to watch a 'little hero' in action. An orange superman. He really seemed to enjoy having some bands on his head. Goodness! 

Recycled Halloween wear from sis

Sis is still not having enough fun of dressing him

I call these pictures, classic moments. Moments when I needed to run, grab my camera and snap! Looking forward to more creative ideas from them.