Saturday, 31 March 2012

A trip to Tokyo - Mar 2012

Finally, pictures are ready for sharing. We had a fun filled trip in Tokyo. Tokyo is generally a child friendly country, except for the many steps at most subways, which was stroller unfriendly. And it really seems crowded all the time in the subways. Jazz was quite a baggage when she didn't want to walk. Few occasions, we ignored her requests to be carried, and left her to cry in the crowd. Whatever the embarrassment she was causing, I just wanted to follow through my words. No bao bao means no bao bao. It worked, she gave up on her endless tries of excuses. She walked!

Food is yummy and she ate almost everything except for sashimi. Their rice is just as good as eating on it's own. She had short naps because we brought a stroller that couldn't be reclined or when without stroller, she would be sleeping in our arms.

The Japanese are very friendly and polite. I feel that the elders seem to like children alot. An old lady gave Jazz a sweet and went, "Kawaii." Most people do not speak English and I had a hard time shopping for their cosmetics, because writings are in Japanese. I tried to ask about certain products, but got a Japanese reply. I was so keen in their cosmetics because any lady on the streets seems to have baby skin complexion! It must be their products, I thought to myself. My man is smart, to cut my expenditure, he said they are inborn. Ok, fine, I'm not buying much anyway. If I've the chance there again, I'll pick some Japanese language before heading there.

The highlight of the trip for Jazz was Disneyland. It really is a paradise of dreams, said in their tag line, "where dreams come true!" In there, I felt like a child again. I was enjoying myself as much as Jazz did! If only we were there much earlier, we could have more fun. Sky darkened early, when we didn't have enough fun. Most rides are child friendly and suitable for her age. She went on the carousel, flying Dumbo, train ride, 2 boat rides and a roller coaster ride! Her thick pediped shoes gave her that 2 more centimetres to qualify for the minimum height. She was laughing hilariously when she rode on the roller coaster. I was wrong to think that she would be scared.      

A shot with Mickey

She asked to picture with Mickey alone! He really is her idol.

Day parade - Minnie

Another bunch of her favourites!

Minnie's letterbox outside her home
On the Carousel

Flying on Dumbo

Peep into minnie's fridge

Night parade
Our loot from Disneyland!
Other than rides, we visited Minnie and Chip and dale's home. Long queue to Mickey's home, so we missed it. That left me wondering how his house looked like. I want to be back there again! It was crowded when we visited on a Saturday. I wonder if weekdays may be better with shorter queues.

With children travelling along, I think Tokyo is a nice place to visit. It feels safe and clean. Hotels are extremely clean, food is prettily presented and tasty. I really want to be there again, with Jare! To visit Disney sea and hello kitty land. Well, we have to manage expectations with kids along, it means less shopping or rather very quick shopping. Still, my man got me a blue label, thanks muchie! Looking forward to earn more money for more family trips.

Interesting conversations

Interesting conversation 1
Dad: Jazzelle, can you get a tissue for me?
Jazz: Why?
Dad: I got a runny nose
Jazz: Where where? I see
Dad: Here, see, runny nose
Jazz: Ok, take yourself

After all the questions, she refused to help.

Interesting conversation 2
On the road to a destination
Mum: Where are we, daddy?
Jazz: Singapore

Interesting conversation 3
Jazz: Mummy, I want godilocks story
Mum: Ok. Once upon a time, there was a girl with curly golden hair...
Jazz: Then she throw her ipad away
Mum: Huh?
Jazz: Daddy said goldilocks throw the ipad
Mum: Ok, that's daddy's version
Jazz: Daddy, godilocks threw the ipad away right?
Dad: Yes. What else she did? You tell mummy.
Jazz: Then she eat bee tai mak and kway teow...

With such interesting bedtime story, I wonder how to get a kid to sleep.

Interesting conversation 4
Jazz: I need space mummy
Mum: ok, here
Jazz: No, I want to sit to the right
Mum: Wow, you know your right and left. Where's your right hand?
Jazz: Here. *Lifting her right arm
Mum: Where's your left hand?
Jazz: Here. *Lifting her left arm
Mum: Right foot? Left foot? (She got both right)
Mum: Right nose, left nose?
Jazz: I don't have. Only got one.

Ok, I think she passed the test well.

Interesting conversation 5
Mum: Ouch! Your stub!
Dad: This is very useful, can make your kids laugh. See, every part of the body is useful.
Mum: No, you told me appendicitis are useless
Dad: Ya. Err, no. It's useful, for doctors to cut.

To keep doctors on job.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Birthday celebration in school

We touched down early this morning at 4:30am, took a cab home and I just felt it was a cheap and good ride. After soaking so many days in the premium country, everything in Singapore is affordable. When we got home, Jazz and myself headed straight to look for Jare, we stroked his hair and kissed the sleeping boy before shower. After which, Jazz packed her birthday goodie bag for her celebration in school later that morning. I had everything prepared before leaving on this holiday. All she did was to include the munchies we got from Tokyo Disney resort into the goodie bags. She took a morning nap before heading to school.

Jazz is turning Three this Sunday, but since we were on leave, we celebrated it in school today. I pre-ordered a jelly cake instead of the usual sponge cake. The kids love it, some came to me for second helping. Her classmates are a bunch of excited kids! When we stepped into the class, everyone went, "Hi Jazz, Hi Jazz's mummy and daddy!" Oh man, they are all so adorable!

Jazz hosted her little party by giving out the jelly cake and packed the goodie bags into her classmates bags. To be nice to her teachers, we bought them gifts separately. She had a fun morning. It's back to school and work for us tomorrow. If only holidays are never ending. 
Goodie bags packed and personalised
Cookie monster pairs
Minnie mouse jelly cake

Jare stealing some limelight

Her classmates!

Packing goodie bags into her classmates' bags
Looking forward to singing her another birthday song on Sunday!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Jare and HFMD

Huge sigh! Jare is down with HFMD, but we're still going ahead with our travelling plans. I just hope Jazz is immune to this strain of HFMD. 

On Sunday morning, Jare developed a fever, but HFMD was the last thing on my mind. He's being cared for at home and doesn't go to school. I really wonder how this happened. Two possibilities:
1. If incubation was 7 days, then possibly from the Bubs Hub playgym we went to. Though there were only two children in there when we went OR
2. If incubation period was between 3 to 4 days, Jazz could have carried the virus home, as there was one case in her class. She might have resistant to it as she had it once. Chances diminishes, especially if a child had it twice. Rare extreme - Thrice!

Whichever the case, the two are being separated very strictly. They are banned from playing with each other and they now sleep in separate rooms. I'm sanitizing everything madly.

On Monday, my mum called me to tell me her suspicion. I didn't buy her, still thinking it's not possible. Until I got home that evening, I started to see spots on Jare. I self-declared him a HFMD carrier. We confirmed it this afternoon with his doctor. Officially, he added a count to the current HFMD statistics, which is peak. 

Spots around his mouth
Today, we spotted more spots and blisters beyond his mouth area. I've no idea why this is called HFMD when it appears beyond the hand, foot and mouth. It's almost everywhere on him. I find him more spotty than Jazz when she had hers at about 8 months young.
Spots on his arms and legs
Huge blister
The thankful thing is that the 'trend' of this ongoing strain seems mild. Little boy is playing and eating well, except for his milk feeds, but he got better today, I saw him down his milk feeds. Tomorrow marks his fourth day on running the HFMD course, 3 more days and he'll be well. Getting it earlier makes it less worrying and paranoid for us when he starts schooling.

"Jare, you caught us. It was a tough decision on whether to proceed with our trip or not. We tried calling the airline and re-arranged our planned leaves, but we decided to go ahead, trusting you'll be well in Grandma's care. You be good and make it easy for her alright? Our promise to you - Next trippy, you'll come along, so stop protesting this way okie. Daddy, Mummy and Jiejie love you! Get well soon. We'll bring many goodies back for you."

Back to luggage packing... 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Barney tics!

I don't really like it when the kids are home bound over the weekend with me, doing nothing. As much as possible, I would try to include an activity of the day, be it an outing or home learning. I hope to get them engaged and create some quality bonding. If not, Jazz would be on the TV or ipad most times.

I was planning about what to do today, when I remembered I've bought 3 Barney musical tickets for this evening! That settles my activity of the day. To think that I actually forgot about this purchase until the actual day itself. Well, it was some time ago since I got the tickets. Motherhood is detrimental to memory.

Jare admission's  free

Hope the kids will enjoy. In fact, anywhere with music engages them, they'll dance to it. Importantly, they are great fans of Barney!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Clothes for travel

Spent a sum today on Jazz's clothes. I was packing her luggage for our Japan trip next week and realised that her wardrobe wasn't prepared for cold weather. Thank goodness for Uniqlo and H and M. Travelling to a different climate means expenditure on clothes. And she's gonna outgrow them in no time.

Spent $150 on these!
It's Jazz's 3rd travelling trip. First to KL, second to Taiwan and next week to Japan. I really hope she can help us enjoy the trip by walking on her own most time.

To Jare: "Many times, I appealed to bring you along, but my attempts failed. Daddy thinks we aren't able to handle two little ones. Next time, I promise, it's both or neither. Stay good and well with Grandma. We'll pack goodies home for you!" 

Monday, 12 March 2012


I've been wanting to try Jazz out on painting, but unsure of her ability. I got a painting tool for Jazz at Robinson, ambitiously wanting her to paint the 'portraits' and frame them up. The kids room are pretty plain, so I'm hoping to display some artworks in their room.

Jazz excitedly want to try this new gadget I got her, so I opened and left her to work on it herself. The picture was too small for her to work on. She could hardly paint within the lines. My bad, I realised this was not age appropriate for her.
Leaving her to paint by herself
After painting the first portrait, I took her much bigger colouring book for her to colour. Again, I left her to create her desired outcome. Even though at times, I was tempted to take over the brush and tell her what to do, what colour it should or should not be. But no, she's on her own to explore. Kids need to freely express at times, for us to study and analyse their character a little. 
Her much bigger colouring book
She painted the girl's face pink
While sister was painting, I had to be on guard of this boy

Jazz loves art. From drawing to colouring and to painting, she's ever excited about them.

The Bubs Hub

Early this morning, since my man was rarely awake by 9am on a Sunday, I suggested breakfast at East Coast park. However, by the time we were ready to lug 2 kids out, It was probably near lunch time. Still, we made it to ECP. Instead of doing breakfast, we ended up at a play gym which my friend introduced me earlier this week. The Bubs Hub is located at ECP, big splash area, near carls junior.  

It's free for babies below 6 months, and $15 for child above 6 months, unlimited time. It's a very small indoor play area with ball pool, slides, obstacle play and some toys. From parents point of view, I don't really like the place and the turn off was, before we entered, their staff came out with a live cockroach on their mop!!! I felt so irky throughout their play. And Jazz's shorts was so dirty after her play, I guess she helped alot with the cleaning. Their outdoor play was some animal and car rides, with separate charges at $5 per 5 minutes.

My pay out was greater because we didn't bring socks along, so we had to purchase a pair at $3. To the kids, anywhere with toys, balls or slides, it's fun! From kids point of view, I'm sure they enjoyed.
A very small playgym
Few toys for the really young
Ball pool
Jare and the big kid
Jare loves climbing!
Jazz is pretty much on her own now, when it comes to play gym. She can climb, walk and slide the challenges all by herself. I only paid more attention to the little boy. Even though it's unlimited playtime, we rounded up play after 45 mins. The kids got restless and it was also time for lunch. We had a cranky ride home, and when we reached home for food, both fell asleep. That's what fun did to them. They both had very late lunch.

It was nice being at the 'park', enjoying the shade and the aircon. No sweat.

Airplane - T1

It's airplane craze again. We went to the airport, T1 for plane viewing. This time a much larger view of the planes, mostly stationary, with the occasional glimpse of take offs and landings. For great plane view, recommended terminal would be T1. It's a large space area of transparent viewing gallery. While watching the planes, my man posed Jazz a question, "What's inside the airplane?" Jazz said, "People." My man was impressed with this 3 year old reply. Nothing impressive with that reply, I feel. 

The captain waved

Munching on her biscuits

Watching curiously

Little vainy posing

Love being there for the aircon and space. The kids can run and walk about without bumping into humans and objects.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Love the Chinese language

Began my birthday morning by bringing Jazz to Berries trial class. I've been very keen about exciting her love for the Chinese language. It was after a chat with her school's Chinese teachers that I realised, I've not given her much focus on that language. She speaks mandarin only to my parents. Though I attempt to converse in mandarin with her. She identifies parents equal to conversing in English. 

I asked her Chinese teachers if Jazz is able to converse in mandarin to them. They praised her, telling me how excellent and good her mandarin is, and well, you know preschool teachers always tell you how good your child is. They told me about her ability to recognise some characters and so I did a test that evening. I dug out some Chinese flash cards that I've bought some time ago, picked out the words she learnt in school and yes, she was able to read me: 大,小,人 and 口. That was when I knew, I've neglected her mother tongue, I lost her progress.

Most kids are usually comfortable with English, for it being the main teaching subject preschools, primary and secondary schools. I thought, if I don't get her to fall in love with this language now, it would probably be difficult to introduce as she grows. Language ability is strong for kids below 7. Seriously, if I know of a third language, I would want her to be on it too. But I don't, and even if she learns a third, there's no one to converse with her at home.    

At berries today, she added 2 more words to her dictionary - 尺 and 笔. I sat through the trial with her, she wouldn't allow me to leave her for a second. The lesson began with some showing of flash cards on the characters that they've learnt in the previous lessons, after which they move on to the characters of the day. It was much drilling, through pictures, objects and songs that they introduce the new words into the kids memory. It works because Jazz remembers them after the lesson. It's very much of group based teaching (about 10 kids), with individual attention given only during practical time. The teacher would call upon each kid to complete a quick worksheet, while the rest of the kids will be on 'games', like what Jazz is doing in the pictures below. They also learn through songs and storytelling. It's a 1.5 hour lesson, which I find it pretty draining. The kids seemed to enjoy though, and they're all birthed in the same year as Jazz. 
Matching the words and pictures
Human's face match
Characters of the day
After lesson, I asked if she enjoyed and if she would like to come again. She said yes to both questions, but I'm not sure if she's alright with attending the classes all by herself. Moreover, they don't have suitable classes for her on Sat. Isn't it pitiful to be 'schooling' on a Sunday. Maybe, think of it as fun, it should be fine. Shall see how, am checking around for suitable timing. For her N1 classes, fees at $359.50 for 12 weeks (Once a week). They've quite a number of centres island wide.

After the trial, I told the man, introducing her 2 words per week isn't a difficult task for me, I'm the academic department anyway. The challenge is keeping Jare out of our lesson area. He's a great distraction to us. The man said tuitions and enrichment classes are largely for lazy parents. Hmm, yes and no, it depends. So well, to home school or outsource? If you've the time, patience and creativity, you can always self teach. Prepare home made worksheets and you can give your child the sole attention during lesson time.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Birthday Bouquets

It's my Big 30 tomorrow! A decade away from 20. I thick skinly, very much want to have a birthday bash, but forget it, planning is a chore. 30 is a prime age - still relatively youthful. After that, let's not ask about age. It's about aging gracefully...

My man sent flowers to my office yesterday morning and my colleagues gave me a bunch of broccoli, which we've been joking about when we once saw a broccoli bouquet. It's so practical and I'm gonna cook it. They are really a funny bunch of colleagues. And the joke of the day was, I sent a picture of the broccoli bouquet to my man:

The creative broccoli bouquet
I texted him, "Why like that?" The man was in a serious mode, 20 mins later, he called me for the order number on the delivery slip. I asked him 'what for', and he told me far east flora needs the order number to track if the correct bouquet was sent. I laughed off my chair when he told me that, I couldn't help but laughed and smiled over it the whole day! 

The man defended that he couldn't see the picture clearly as he was under the sun and that the size was not distinct from the picture. He thought it looked like broccoli, but maybe far east flora could be sending one of those. Ok, I'm still laughing over it. It's a lifetime joke to carry with, as I age.

The beautiful yam roses and the practical

When we picked Jazz from school, and showed her the broccoli bouquet, she exclaimed, "Wow! Broccoli." She's in love with it, kept smiling over it. What an easy pleaser - Take note, boys. When we got home, she went round parading and telling my mum and dad about her broccoli. They all had a good laugh with the creativity. 

Happy over her broccoli bouquet

Thanks husband for the flowers and colleagues for the broccoli that gave us such good laughter!