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Friday, January 29, 2010



Her first pair of Spectacles



This year, on the first day of school, I took a peep into her classroom and saw my girl squatting/kneeling down right underneath the board to copy something from the white board. She looked like she was being punished.

Upon further investigation, I found that the real reason was because she could not see what was written on the board. We quickly took her to have her eyes evaluated by an optometrist. Sure enough, she required glasses. If I am not mistaken, her power is about 140/50 plus 100 for astimatism.

She chose the rims she liked and seem happy with it. Now, she looks just like a regular Chinese School Student.

She wears her specs in school but not at home unless it is for watching the tv. I have to teach her how to be responsible for her specs, where to keep it and how to clean it. We ask her to remove it for gym classes but she must remember where to keep it and to remember to put it back on again. Having specs is an added responsiblity for a child. Now, she has to remember her eyewear in addition to her stationaries and tumbler each day. I get her to remember to put it on at the same time everyday, right before she wears her school shoes and she has a special place to keep it so she can always find it there instead of losing it.

On the first day when she wore it, she said the boy next to her told her "Eeeeeyeeea why you wear specs one!" I told her she can say the same thing to him "Eeeeeyeeeea why you don't wear specs one!" She had a good laugh about it and said she will tell him "Eeeeeyeeea why you like Ben 10 one!" Good. At least her sense of humour is intact and she is not affected by teasing or negative comments.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010



Building Family Traditions

"Why do you bother to spring clean your house, decorate it and buy Chinese New Year cookies?"

Each year, for Chinese New Year, we balik kampung or return to my hometown to visit my relatives. When we return we hardly entertain any visitors at home. Friends in similar situations (which is quite a number) often say that it is unnecessary for them to do spring cleaning, decorate and buy cookies. They say "I just close up my house and go away. Why should I bother. I won't allow the kids to eat so much junk food so I won't buy cookies. Besides there is no one visiting. So why should I clean up and decorate as well. I don't have the time."

However, I feel it is very important for us to do these things. We do it for the kids naturally and in doing so, for ourselves too. Now that the kids are older, we have started building our own family traditions.

So it is important to us to do these things. We involve the kids every step of the way. When we spring clean, their job is to clean the car and the porch. When we decorate, they help to make the decorations and decide where to hang them. They help to choose their favourite cookies that they can only eat once a year.

The whole family goes shopping together for new shoes and clothes. We try to limit buying clothes to just once a year so that it will fell really special. If you buy throughout the year, then it is no longer special or something to look forward to. We don't just buy the clothing for them. We take them along to try them on. They love this. They love choosing their own clothing. They also love to help me and my husband choose ours.

On new year's eve, after a bath, we let them wear new pyjamas to herald the start of the New Year. We eat our own reunion dinner, only the four of us. Cooking at home is a must. No eating out. Having dinner at a restaurant is not a reunion dinner to us. This is the only time when husband joins us at the dining table, so it IS a reunion. The rest of the time, he eats in front of the tv. We don't join my relatives in my hometown for a big noisy reunion because my husband is not so comfortable with that. As his wife, I learn to respect his likes and dislikes so we have our own quiet one.

After dinner, the kids help me to pack money into angpow packets. I help the girl put on some nail polish to make her pretty for the New Year. We try out our Chinese New Year cookies and eat some mandarin oranges.

On the first day of CNY we don our new clothes and visit the same places and people. On the 2nd, 3rd, days etc, we do roughly the same things we do every year.

We started this, our very own little family tradition a few years ago. The kids are familiar with it now and they look forward to it very much. So do I.



Online Garfield Games - Garfield's Scary Scavenger Hunt

One day my kids said "Mummy, please search for Garfield games for us to play online." So we searched for "Garfield Games" and we found this game. This game called Garfield's Scary Scavenger Hunt is perfect for Halloween. If you are searching for scary Halloween games, this is it!

The music is scary and the game interesting as you take Garfield from room to room in the Scary Haunted House in search of muffins and doughnuts for Garfield to gobble up at the end of the game. I also enjoyed playing the game together with the kids.

The kids also liked the Garfield PingPong Game. Since then, this site is my kids' new favourite online games site. My boy enjoyed the car games. The best thing is the car games actually work! Most of the time when he plays car games it would stall or halt the pc! However the car games on this site works. The adventure games and sports games are fun too.

I would certainly recommend this online games for kids site. Its called FunnyGames.co.uk Thumbs up from MG. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010



Online Games for kids with Chinese New Year themes


I like to create the excitement of coming festivals with my kids by talking to them about it, showing them old photos of past festivals we have celebrated as well as allowing them to play online games with the festival theme.

Parents searching for Online Games for kids with a Chinese New Year theme can try this out.

Here's an online game that my kids enjoy. Its Kai-Lan's Paper Lantern Game. Kids get to decorate an online paper lantern for a virtual lantern festival. (This game is also suitable during the Lantern Festival.)

This game is one of ten games from Ni-Hao Kai-Lan's Games from NickJr.com. Enjoy!

Monday, January 25, 2010



Homemade Chinese New Year Decorations from Angpow paper


As a child, I loved Chinese New Year. Now, as a parent, I want to make Chinese New Year as memorable and happy for my kids as I can.

The kids love crafting and they love being involved. So, we start off by making them excited about the coming New Year by doing some Chinese New Year related craft. We make DIY Chinese New Year Decorations out of angpow paper.

We spent an afternoon making homemade angpow decorations. DIY Angpow lanterns can be very beautiful. The ones here are really amazing and gorgeous. I also loved the ones hung up by fellow blogger Julian last year. Oops, I think it was two years ago, judging from the date of his post. :)

I was too lazy to post up step by step instructions, but I can point you to one or two sites which has good step by step pictorial instructions for the angpow handicrafts.

We made our angpow fish following the instructions from this site. My girl suggested that we string them up by stapling them together because she had seen her teacher do it at school. When we were done, we counted that we had 33 angpow fish in all. Chinese like this number. When spoken in Chinese, it sounds like "rise and prosper". Hehe.


Oh, and here is my very first 12 angpows lantern. Its cool isn't it? My girl doesn't think so though. She said it was ugly. Hahaha. I followed the instructions from here. Halfway through, it looks like a hat. The kids had a fine time walking around in the angpow hat and were disappointed when their hat turned into a lantern. Haha.


We also made some simple 6 angpows lanterns. At first I forgot how to make them and they turned out looking like boxes. The kids fought over who should keep the angpow box. lol. Later on, memory kicked in (I had turned them inside out at first) and eventually, even the girl can make them. It is very simple to make.


We also made these simple cut outs angpow lanterns. These are even simpler to make. I have posted the instructions to these in my earlier post: Paper Lantern Craft for Lantern Festival. Just improvise with angpow paper instead.


Finally, here are some angpows we clipped together for hanging onto plants.



We made them from all the angpow papers we had saved from last year. We got so many varied types from friends and relatives. We also collected quite a few from banks, supermarkets, fast food stores etc etc. We haven't collected any this year yet though but I think the retailers and banks should be giving them from about now since it is only 3 weeks more to Chinese New Year.



This year, Chinese New Year 2010 falls on 14 February 2010 so there is double celebration. After all family reunions and celebrations is all about love.

Related Posts:
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Chinese New Year 2016 Year Of The Monkey Craft For Kids
How To Make A Chinese Lantern For Kids

Friday, January 22, 2010



Schedule of a Primary 2 child

My girl is 7 going on 8 this year while my boy is 5 going on 6 this year. They are in Primary 2 and Kindergarten 2 respectively. The girl is in a Chinese Primary School while the boy is in a regular English medium kindy with some Chinese being taught.

This is the same kindy my girl used to attend. I chose this kindergarten previously because it did not have that much homework. However, I noticed that this year they have a lot more homework. I think they are probably under pressure to give more homework. So my boy who is in the 6 year old class has a lot more homework now compared to his sister then.

This year the kids have little chance to nap in the afternoons like they used to. Their daily schedule is something like this:

6am Wake up (The boy can wake up at 7.30-8)
6.45am Go to school
7.45 - 1/1.30 pm School Hours
2-3pm Lunch and Bath
3-6pm Homework and Pack school bag for the next day
6-7pm Rest in bed and chit chat about school day
7pm Dinner
8-9pm Piano or More School Work or Play
9pm Get ready for bed, storytime then zzzzz

The schedule is very tight indeed. The only extra curricular activity they have is piano. I don't ask them to practise everyday like the music teacher asks to. It depends on their schedule. I wonder how others who have swimming, dance, tuition, music etc do it. It baffles me. As it is, we are always rushing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010



Hers and Hers


I love those mummy daughter matching or look alike outfits but so far I have not come across any nice ones. The only set we have are these matching t-shirts.

We received these t-shirts free from buying baby stuff before she arrived. It seemed like a silly free gift then because the t-shirt was much too big for a newborn. I had to keep it for some time before she could fit into them.

The words on mummy's t-shirt says "I love being a mother. Soon the baby will love the same things that mummy loves and be one happy family." The words on the smaller t-shirt simply says "I love my mummy. She is the greatest."

I remember we used to lift the bears from our t-shirts and make the bears kiss each other. She loved that so much. She has outgrown the t-shirt now but she still remembers the bear kiss. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010



His and His


I absolutely loved this mini boxer shorts when we spotted it at the departmental store. We got a couple for the boy and he likes it very much. It's cool. It's comfortable. Most importantly, it looks like the one daddy has!


When they both put it on at home, they look really adorable, well to the wife and mummy, they look adorable. Her big man and her little man. They'd both wear it with those holiday style white t-shirts with "Penang" printed on it. They both spot the same hairstyle. We call it "Pokey hair". Once a month daddy and the boy would go off to the salon to get their "Pokey hair" done up.

I am happy to note that the boy now bonds with his daddy a lot more than previously. Previously he used to reject daddy and run to me most of the time. We took note of that. Daddy spent more time teaching him etc and now, they've bonded. Now, he runs to daddy too with "Daddy.... daddy....!" especially when it comes to "gai gai" time. He forgets all about mummy then. :)

Friday, January 15, 2010



His and Hers


I don't know at which age children are supposed to be weaned off their bottles and sippy cups but here is our story.

My kids never took to a bottle right from the start. They are both breastfed and when offered the bottle, the both spat it out. They both hated the bottle much to my dismay. I was their mobile 2-in-1 pacifier and dispenser.

As soon as they were able to take sippy cups, I quickly introduced them to it. They both enjoyed that. I did too because it meant no spills! We got the Avent bottle and attached the sippy tops on it or whatever you call it.

Some time ago, we decided to end their love affair with the sippy cup, so we went to buy them their own mugs with covers on it. They both love it immediately. Bye Bye Sippy Cups. Hello Spills! It's harder work for mummy but they do not seem to miss their sippy cups in the least bit.

Now they drink all their hot beverages in their own mugs sitting at the table and not walking around watching tv, playing or on the sofa. It is much more disciplined but then mummy has to be disciplined too. They take cold beverages from those coloured plastic cups that we bought from Ikea. I forgot to take a picture of those but I think you probably know what I am talking about.

Will you share your story too?

Thursday, January 14, 2010



Communication Book


The kids have a "Communication Book" each from their respective school/kindy to facilitate communication between parent/home and teacher/school.

The kindergarten basically uses this Communication Book once a month to inform parents about what is happening at the kindy whether there is an upcoming concert, a special holiday etc.

The Communication Book at the primary school is used daily to record homework as well as what to bring to school the next day eg what extra fees to pay or special materials to bring to school. The children are required to copy all this down in their Communication Book for mum or dad to see. Parents are supposed to sign in the book after checking and they can write in the form of remarks or questions to the teachers in the same book. The latest school notices are also pasted in the book for parents to take note of.

So far I have not written anything down on the book to the teacher, preferring to meet or call up the teacher instead. However, I find the book extremely useful as a record to check on my girl's work and help her with her homework. My girl often forgets to write on it therefore defeating its purpose. I am glad the school is working towards an online version of the Communication Book now.


Do you check your child's Communication Book?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010



Strawberry Farm in Genting Highlands

If you have young children, your trip to Genting Highlands would be more complete if you visited the Strawberry Farm in Genting Highlands. It is best to visit the Strawberry Farm on the way home rather than on the way to Genting. Well, that is only my personal opinion.




You see, on the way to Genting, the kids are so excited about the prospect of playing all the games and rides, they probably couldn't care less about picking strawberries. lol. However, on the way home, they are disappointed and a bit down and the strawberry farm is the best place to pick up their spirits again before leaving Genting. All you need is another 20-30 minutes for a walkabout.




You can handpick strawberries at the Strawberry Farm, look at the mushroom farm, the flower farm and the organic bean sprouts. There is a little Strawberry Farmhouse Cafe if you need a little snack. They also sell pretty kites and strawberry print umbrellas.




I feel that the strawberries are a little pricey though. So we picked the minimum possible just to give the kids the experience and fun of hand picking strawberries. :P




It is called the Genting Strawberry Leisure Farms and here is the location map. You can't miss it. Just watch out for the signage along the road.




Since the visit will be a very simple one, I won't say anymore or I'll spoil your visit. :)

Monday, January 11, 2010



Back to School Shopping

This is a belated post about our back to school preparation. I read in the papers that back to school shopping was very complicated and expensive.

My back to school shopping was very simple. We bought two pairs of school shoes for the girl because the velcro straps had worn out. Actually the shoes are still new and in a good size. :(

With that, our back to school shopping was complete. School Uniforms still fit. School bags and pencil cases and tumblers are still in good working order so there was no need to replace them. That's it. Finito.

I keep one or two boxes of pencils and about half a dozen or erasers at home all the time so I did not have to buy any extras. I took out two new pencils and an eraser each, labeled them and gave them to the kids, then we sat down and sharpened all their coloured pencils together and they were ready to go back to school. They each have a coloured pencil box for school use and we have a nicer one at home for them to share. When a certain colour from the school box runs out, they may replace that colour from the home one.

I wish that they sold coloured pencils separately so that we may pick and choose colours. The kids always seem to run out of light blue.... from colouring skies and the seas, I presume.

They boy lost his new pencils in two days! Grrrr.... His sister's long new pencils, were halved in a week. So I gave her another long one but the boy did not get one. I took some shorter ones from home to replace his lost ones.

Last year, he kept on coming home with pencils that were not his. This year, he came home without pencils! He sulked when his sister got a new one but not him but I told him that he shall not get anymore new pencils until he learned how to take care of his pencils. The next day he came home with several pencils, some of which were not his! Really pengsan.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010



Standard Two and K2

This year my children enter Standard 2 and Kindy 2 respectively.

The girl has been good. During the school holidays, she asked me to help her practise changing in and out of her school uniform and gym clothes. "I must try to do it faster", she says. She is afraid that she will be scolded by the teacher if she changes in and out of those clothes too slowly during gym days.

So I put the timer on and helped her to practise on some days. A little fear is sometimes a good motivator. We set the timer, for 5 minutes, then 3 then 2 as suggested by her. I am glad that she took this iniative by herself. She is growing up really fast.

During the first day of school, she was happy. "I have a kind teacher", she says. She was afraid that she'd get a really fierce new class teacher. I spoke to the teacher myself and I think she may be right. The teacher looks very prim and proper but she is soft spoken and quite nice... so far.

When packing her bags with her new time table, she said "Let me do it myself. I am a big girl now. I am in Std 2 now." She said the same thing during mealtimes as well.

It was also easy to get the kids to bed early (after a drastic change during the school holidays) and up early. They also got ready on their own without fuss or complain. Since they were apprehensive but excited about the first day of school, they were very good. Hopefully, this continues longer than 1 week. Haha.

As for the boy, well, he can't wait to go back to kindy to see all his friends and teachers. He is very happy to be back in school.

As for me, I am happy to have some time to myself in the mornings again, even though I enjoyed their company for 6 whole weeks.

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