Friday 31 August 2012

Photo *Heart* Friday - Daddy's Girl

Sometimes when I get completely mad with Jazz, I'll think only her daddy understands her better. I'll step aside in midst of my discipline and get the man to take over, before I get really crazy. It seems like there are some reasons why we call the little girls, "Daddy's girl." I was one, and am still one, so I completely understand the bond between a father and daughter. I look to my Dad for opinions and wise words, but to my mum - Food and groceries! Interesting departments tagged to. 
Love her playfulness with Daddy

Smiley pair
Even photo taking with Daddy has such wonderful chemistry. Love the pictures! This little girl of mine is simply adorable, but a terror at times. Which kid doesn't give trouble anyway. I claim that she is mummy's girl too!

Farewell schoolmates!

Today marks Jazz's last school day, Jare ended his school day 2 weeks earlier as I wanted to give my mum more time with him, before departing. And since Jazz's lessons has more educational elements than Jare, she will max her school days. Know what, she told me she was happy to be leaving school. I wonder what she was thinking. I'm all emotional about her last school day - The place, the teachers and the little children. The sending and picking them from school has been so routine. I have no idea how's life for us when she stops school.

Her teachers were nice to have thrown a farewell party for her. I gate-crashed the party with Jare. It was my last chance to picture the kids! I've also prepared little gifts for her teachers and friends. I bought wooden frames for the teachers, framed up their class picture and got Jazz to decorate the borders. She did them all by herself, I did not intervene. They were as authentic as they are. I was tempted to touch up her works, but I felt that her sincere thoughts and efforts were good enough to make the gifts memorable. 
Polka dotted frame
For her teachers!
I bought wooden pegs and ornaments for her to decorate, for her friends. I used them to clip the gift tag. Again, she did it all by herself. I was merely her assistant when she needed help.
Production in process
The completed pegs!
As she packed the goodies, she would assign each child a specific peg. She would go, this friend likes yellow, that friend likes green and on and on. I typed a farewell message and left her blog for point of contact and updates for some of her friends.

It's just goodbye for now, I hope the kids will meet again
As I bought the little gifts, I wondered if the kids would be disappointed to not find any sweets or munchies, but I was just being kind to their teeth. Hope the non-edibles excite them too. 
Craft and stationery goodies
Blue for boys and pink for girls
It was party time! Thank you little children and parents for bringing the munchies! The kids simply love parties. Look at the food they got to munch. Jazz kept asking for more crackers. I stayed throughout the party, and the little children were simply adorable. The kids would go, "Jazzelle's mummy, Jazzelle's mummy!" Then they would tell me their stories. Every child has a story to tell.  
Yummy foodie!
Enjoying the party!
Jare enjoying too!
Her teachers and good friends gave her farewell gifts. As her mummy, I felt so touched. Her teacher even suggested we could keep in touch to help with my homeschooling journey. How nice! Some of her friends have grown with her since their infant days. I will definitely miss everyone of them. 

Thank you for the thoughtful gifts!

Not sure if the kids will meet again, but I hope we can be back to the same place 18mths later. Her school days have been great, her teachers were and are ever passionate. I'm happy and glad that she had some good times shared during her preschool days. Thank you and a fond farewell!

Interesting conversations

Conversation 1
Jazz: Daddy, next time can you do craft with me?
Daddy: Okay, what craft? Starcraft or Warcraft?
I flipped upon hearing. My man has been too hooked on online gaming!

Conversation 2
Daddy: Jareth, drink your nan nan
Mummy: Can you not use baby language
Daddy: Jareth, can you consume your white liquid from the cow
I burst out laughing, so 'profound!'

Conversation 3
The kids were given some notes for their little banks.
Mummy: Jazzelle, can you allow didi to keep his note
Jazzelle: But sharing makes playing more fun and helping makes playing more fun
Mummy: Okay, you're nice!
What else can I say for being so 'helpful'

Conversation 4
It was raining heavily while we were in the car
Jazz: Daddy, is the car painful?
Daddy: Oh yes, the raindrops are so big and heavy
Jazz: Then got blood?

Conversation 5
Jazz: Mummy, do you know I love all the red things?
Mummy: Like what?
Jazz: Like blood
This little girl is giving me some scare

Thursday 30 August 2012

Drama Time

Since the arrival of kids, I've hardly got hooked on my dramas again. I was into Korean dramas and now, hardly the luxury to even couch for an hour. My dramas these day would be the occasional channel 8 or U local production that I chance upon when I switch on the TV. And so, one night, while the kids were asleep, I saw this Taiwan drama on Channel U - 犀利人妻. After some episodes on it, I was totally hooked! Let me assure you, I've never been a Taiwan drama fan, they're usually cheesy and comical in a manner that I can't appreciate. 

This show that I spent days and nights on, is so good that I think any mummies should watch. It's a worthy watch. It's all about a happily married woman with a daughter, and her husband who fell in love with another woman. Their family was all so perfect until a third party came. Being married with kids, I strongly identify the show. The story is not one to applaud, but I'm totally impressed and inspired by the wits of the Wife/Mother portrayed. A wise woman is one that uses her words for kindness, hands for good works, heart for love and those who do not like her, she forgives. Aspiring to be one. 

It began with showing the stereotype image of a housewife, how 'obasan' or auntie she is for staying home, spending most time on the housework and her child. A typical thrifty housewife who doesn't doll up to look good. Her husband got into a relationship with her cousin, which I thought he was going to end it for the sake of his family. But, he decided to go for a divorce and before everything gets really bad and ugly, there was no more turning back. Despite the chances his wife gave, in hope for a returning husband, he was never remorseful until the day everything was beyond hope. The ending is bold because it's definitely not one local dramas would write up. After all, family enhancement and education comes largely from the media, most dramas usually end with a happy story. 

Much being told, I shall not go into more details, in case you intend to watch and I could have burst any excitement. Sometimes, inspirations doesn't come from just people around us, but as fantasy as I may be, from dramas! Let's get the matter right, it's just a drama after all. But, I've definitely learnt some good points and decided to, after watching the show some time ago:

1. Dress better - Even it means staying home or going out for a short while.
2. Makeup - Which I always do whenever I'm out, even for minutes.
3. Be a woman of wisdom - Possess that character of a great heart and speak wise words.

I really love the wisdom she portrays in the show, her thoughts and words, they're just so profound. She got especially wiser as she went through the roughs of her life. Pitfalls always make one wiser. As a wife and a mother, I hope I'm the pride of my husband and children.

Everytime I chat up with my married friends, I would casually bring this drama up as a good watch. I strongly recommend and have successfully recommended some of my friends to watch. It was so exciting that I went ahead to watch online, instead of routinely waiting for the episodes to be aired on TV. I assure you, it won't be a waste of time, hopefully. Like how I always tell myself, dramas are a waste of my precious time, especially when I've 2 little ones to give attention to. Once in a while, for inspiring dramas, it's fine. Oh, there's a follow up movie coming soon too!

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Free Expressions

As oppose to my wordless post, Jare's 'drawing' describes the thousand words!

Full concentration
I'm always hiding markers away from the kids for the mess they'll create. My bad! Markers are their free expressions and at least, he knows doodling goes onto the board, not the floor or walls. Phew!

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Wikki Stix - Product Review

Received Wikki Stix from the nice people in Think Thank, and had some fun with Jazz. These interesting sticky wikki stix are flexible, as in you can really bend them in any way you like. They adhere to almost any smooth surface, are safe, non-toxic and allergy free. The only challenge is how to get creative with them.  

Sample ideas and stix received
Mother and daughter are really lacking creativity, what I could think of, with the number of stix given, was to create Jazz's name. It's also a good time to get her familiar with letters writing. She sure knows how to spell her name well, but hmm, not writing them yet. I gave aid by writing the letters on paper, and she used the stix to curve her name out.
Simple creativity
Doing all by herself
What I've simply achieved from this activity was reminding her that writing and reading always begins from left to right and highlighting the directions and strokes of writing each letter. She did it simply well. I love the way she flexes and squeezes the stix to fit the letters. That was also when I realised I did the upper case and switched to the lower case unknowingly! What was I thinking.

These stix are reusable, simple peel them gently to correct an err or change your idea! I left the letters as they were, thought the mixed cases looked rather 'creative'. Bad learning demonstration though. The stix are also light, portable and easy to carry around. Definitely great craft to keep kids occupied on the go.  

Love the way she does her 'e'
Mixed cases of letters!
She completed her name with some remaining stix as embellishments. Oh, one thing for note, it's definitely not a good idea to cut the stix, they are made of acrylic hand-knitting yarn and a food-grade, microcrystalline wax, which made my scissors sticky and difficult to wash. So well, that sets the rule of the game, bend and flex as it is.
Happy girl with her happy work

These stix are made in USA. Locally, you can purchase online at: wikkistix.
Disclaimer: Product was sponsored for review, all opinions are solely our own.

Friday 24 August 2012

Packing in progress

Am getting into some serious packing mode for our long trip abroad. I typed our check list for the man to add on his items, but got an edited sheet returned with 'P2' notes. Meaning priority 2. I glanced through and saw my craft materials not being prioritised! "Those are my job tools for staying home with the two little ones. It's homeschooling, you know?" Maybe not what a daddy can identify with. Anyway, I need these items readily, and so, I'm packing along. Home teacher overrules.  

Craft as P2!
I have pulled out the thicker clothing from the kids wardrobe for packing. These were the easiest as they hardly use them locally. Thick wears for the two little ones are already this much. Will be getting more kids wears when we arrive there. Can't believe I'm entering the land of carters, oshkosh, gap, old navy, kate spade, coach and my man's favourite, Abercrombie and so many more labels! Shopping, here we come. 

Clothes for the cold weather
Not being kiasu, instead of wondering if I can get some Chinese dried goods there, I've packed some to bring along for cooking. Need to buy my curry pre-mix and 3 in 1 kopi. Yveon has been really nice to keep me updated and give advice of her experiences there. She told me old town kopi is at USD9 per packet! Must try to bring more. The power of blogging connected us!

Dried goods for cooking: Red dates, wolf berries, Anchovies, scallop, nan bei xing
We bought 3 new luggage, which is definitely not enough. Urgent plea for anyone letting go of their unwanted luggage. We have requested for more baggage limit, it's all carried over. No prior sending done.

In addition to the weights, we have a box of 6 milk powder tins to carry over. They're for Jare as his milk brand isn't available there and we aren't ready to wean him off formula. Jazz on the other hand is taking fresh milk well. What's more, I'm lugging the kids books - Assessment and story books. Jazz will be in K1 when back, there's definitely some teaching to be done prior to joining local school again. I'm bringing more Chinese materials to keep the kids excited about the language. 
Assessment books!

Newly bought luggage and a box of milk powder
I've also dug out my warm clothing to pack, there's just so much to bring, with so little space. Still in state of facing the reality of big move... Not real till it happens. But happening real soon! Back to packing mode...

Thursday 23 August 2012

Wordless Wednesday: FOC haircut

I came home with some 'shocking' find, saw my darling boy in an interesting hairstyle. Well, when haircut becomes FOC, there's nothing to complain about. My helper styled this! Lesson learnt - I should have banned her from snipping his hair and pay for a decent cut elsewhere.

Mushroom style
Or perhaps, I could have done a better job myself. Shall try when it grows longer again!

Sunday 19 August 2012

Trial Class at Heart Studio

Yesterday, we brought Jazz for an art trial class invited by Heart Studio. She has never attended art, music or any enrichment classes out of school, as I find her school's curriculum rather enriched and well-rounded. Art is a good subject to keep the right brain of young little kids active. She was rather moody and soft spoken throughout class, which was not her usual self. As lesson went along, she got brighter and all I can say is art nourishes one's soul and she feels good doing it.

Waiting for lesson to begin
And the topic of that day was flowers! Little children learnt how to draw either a daisy or a sunflower. When I first saw these flowers on the white board, I went, "Can my little girl do this? I haven't really seen her drawn decent pictures." The teacher conducted the steps patiently and in good details that she could follow through. 
Draw a flower
Mixing blue and yellow gives green
Painting the canvas with green background

Drawing the petals on her own

Drying her art piece
Crayons at work - Outlining
Happy girl with her happy art
She was a happy girl when we left. I'm convinced art has great therapy effect on any child. I'm happy to see her complete that art piece too. How could I have belittled her. It's definitely a good idea to get your child started on Art. Heart Studio has classes for kids from 3 to 12 years old. And I felt the command of English delivered by her teacher was excellent too, although not an English school, I'm particular in adults conducting lessons to little kids. To speak and deliver well is important.

For being a reader of our blog, you can get 5% off upon signing up 10 lessons per term at Heart Studio. All you need to do is to quote HSTSMB3

Heart Studio:
101 Soo Chow Walk Singapore 575385
Tel: (65) 6554 7563
Fax: (65) 6554 7562
Disclaimer: We were invited only for the trial class. Opinions are genuinely expressed to our experiences.

Friday 17 August 2012

Photo *Heart* Fridays - Sibling Fun

Picture courtesy of Mummy J
I'm very in love with this photo. Jazz was pouring water over Jare during waterplay, which he seemed to be enjoying. There are always different roles to take in playing. Playing in agreement displays the love, joy and fun of co-playing. Watching them enjoy their sibling companionship makes me feel great! If only, all play sessions are so smiley and peaceful, they probably delay the visibility of wrinkles on my face.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Apple Craft & Water Playdate

Had a craft and water play party with little kids of Mummies Eve, J and Jes, last Sunday. I prepared different crafts for the younger and older kids. I thought it would be fun to introduce shapes through craft for the 1 year old and related, more complex craft for the 3 year old. I started with squares and circles. 

We did apple craft for the kids. Younger ones did shapes pasting on an apple that I've pre-cut and pasted. And here's what you simply need:
  • Colourful A4 paper
  • Red and Green papers
  • Apple shape print
  • Pencil 
  • Ruler
  • Round Coin or object
  • Finger paint & Brush
  • Glue
  • Scissors
Cut and paste the apple on any coloured paper.

1. Preparation for 4 little kids - Print and paste apple
I cut the shapes, which I was desperately hoping to have a big circle shaped puncher to make this easier. It's definitely more tedious to cut circles over squares, I could have gone for triangles, but little ones need basic and easy to pronounce shapes, I had better stick to circles and squares. 

Draw many circles and squares on the green and red paper respectively. I clipped 2 pieces of same coloured papers together, so that I can cut double at any one time. One colour, one shape to avoid confusing little minds. We had green round and red square apples! 
2. Draw the shapes and cut out
3. All ready for little hands to craft on
Jare's messy and overlapping creation
A hand print for the apple's stem
Either my craft failed or my toys are too tempting, the little kids gave short attention and diverted for toys. While younger siblings worked on their shapes pasting apples, older siblings did yarn apples. And these are what you need for yarn apple craft:
  • Yarn (Green Or Red)
  • Pipe cleaners (Brown)
  • Wired fake leaves
  • Cardboard (2cm x 5cm)
  • Scissors

Couldn't find brown or green pipe cleaners, settled with gold
Fold the cardboard into half, wind the yarn around the cardboard as many times as possible. 100 times, for a juicy apple! Training little kids' patience.   
1. Going round and round. When done, tuck the end beneath
2. Insert pipe cleaner underneath the yarn. Curl the cardboard to make it easier.

Complete works of Big Kor kor and Jie jie - Sum, Jazz and Jus
These not so juicy apples are good attempts. Looking at them makes me feel so Christmas. I thought brown pipe cleaners as stems make the apples look better. I couldn't find, and gold seems fine too. 
Simple and easy apple crafts completed. The kids were more looking forward to what's ahead after craft, Water Play! 
Little Ms and Mr World in their swim wears. All ready to plunge!
The pool of fun
It was a fun filled craft and water play evening. The kids had extreme fun and great appetite after play. The pot of salmon porridge I cooked was all gone! Made me felt like a great chef. Thank you Daddies and Mummies for coming, I felt blessed when the kids had fun! Water play date makes pumping and filling up the mobile pool more worth.  

Saturday 11 August 2012

Foam glasses & Corn nuggets crafts

I was shopping online for some craft works and came across yet another foam art, but in an innovative way - Foam Glasses. Without much hesitation, I bought some for Jazz to try. 

Foam glasses
She did this extremely simple craft, all by herself. Nothing was required or prepared. With the pack, you can just work on it anytime and anywhere. The items are self adhesive when peeled. She peeled and stick them according to the picture.

With much concentration

She took about 20 mins to complete this craft. What took most time was the little polka dots around the frame, which she patiently peeled and pasted. Not too bad. Other than the usual hand-eye coordination and fingers skills, her patience was tested.

She had great fun working through craft and parading her final product to everyone in the family. I've also purchased more to include into her farewell goodies bag, for her friends on her last schooling day.

Along with those foam glasses, we also worked with some self stick corn nuggets. They are also simple and fun to work with. Whenever I do craft with Jazz, I'm always desperately wanting to keep Jare out of our work zone. As I go along, I've also learnt to include him in whatever crafts possible, regardless how young he is. I rebuke the constant thought of, "He's too young, what's there to learn or explore?" There's no limit to fun play and I'm sure there's always something to learn. There are times when certain crafts are too complex for him, I'll plan something else for him while big sis works on the complex ones. This round, we're all having fun.

Corn nuggets
These corn nuggets are made of cornstarch, they just need a little water to dampen, and it will stick. Too much water, it will melt! So simple and easy that no one needs to be ban from crafting. The only challenge is, what to create out of them. This caught me too. The product came with simple guides, I browsed through and suggested Jazz to make some flowers. For Jare, it's free play.
Dampen and stick
Sure he's having fun!
Creation in process

We joined Jazz's flowers and Jare's stems. Together, we also made a basket to hold the flowers. This is our final product with Teamwork defined.

Final creation

Team craft work is as important as individual craft too. Looking forward to more craft sessions when both kids can work hand in hand to complete an artwork. Our final craft looks funny eh, but it's the process of fun that's more important. After all, beautiful craft lies in the eyes of its creators. It's pretty to the kids, I'm sure! Craft gifts are definitely a good idea into kids' goodies bag.