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Friday, December 29, 2006

Slow Internet Connection caused by Taiwan earthquake driving bloggers crazy.

I don't know about you but this sloooooow internet connection is driving me crazy! Its absolutely infuriating! The access to overseas sites is oh so sloooooooow. The pages are taking forever to load! Forget about streaming video and audio. Those are totally out.

Cannot blog, cannot listen to music, listen to news, accept payments, etc......

Its just amazing how our lives has changed in just a few short years with the advent of the internet. With no online connection, I really feel like something is missing from my daily routine. I use the pc for everything! Its my recipe book, my diary, my dictionary, my tv, my radio and I even use it to socialise. (I need to get a life!)

When its slooooooow like this. I really feel it! Aaarrrgh! Its just as well, I'm rather busy this few days so I don't have very much time to be in front of the PC anyway. Phew!

What about you? Has your internet connection been affected too by damage underground cables due to the Taiwan earthquake? Would you feel that something is missing too when you cannot get online?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Welcome to "Parenting Times"

In case you're wondering if you are in the right place, yes you are! I've changed my blog title from "Mumsgather" to "Parenting Times"..... just in time for the new year.

I've changed it because I was getting confused myself each time I log in to check my site traffic etc because I have two blogs with the same heading. Eventually, I decided to change the heading of this one to reflect the renewed theme for this blog. I mentioned renewed because it is a renewal of my old blog theme. It is just the same blog minus my personal rantings. I have moved my personal rantings to my new mumsgather blog. All other postings on this blog will remain the same ie. I will mostly be posting about parenting issues and my children's favourite crafts, online sites etc.

There may however be some overlap. I may sometimes post those cherish moments with my children either here or on my personal blog depending on the relevance or my mood. Lol! With several blogs online now, I find there are bits and pieces of me all over the web. So if you only follow one of my blogs, you will get to know only one aspect of me which is fine with me since it sometimes feels weird to reveal too much online. Spreading it out over blogs makes me feel that I'm being less personal which is what I prefer. Silly I know, but this is just one of my idiosyncrasies.

Changing the name required some blog housekeeping work though ie...... having to update my various blog listings in various directories etc. Boring! I'm also dreading the blog housekeeping I have to do when I have to switch to the new Blogger eventually. I've changed the template of my Mothering Times blog in a step towards preparing for that eventuality. Wish me luck!

BTW, Paula Neal Mooney mentioned in her comment on my previous post that my blog is "Blog Of The Day" on PPP today. I just couldn't resist taking a screenshot. LOL! Thanks Paula for letting me know. :)

Switching to the New Blogger

Can anyone who has switched to the new blogger (previously known as Blogger beta) share with me their experience?
  • Was it easy or difficult?
  • Did it take up a lot of your time?
  • Did you lose your customisation? (My greatest fear! I hate to lose time over having to recustomise my entire blog.)
  • Did you have to adjust your layout?
  • Did it take you long to categorise your postings?
  • Were you able to make use of the current template you were using or did you have to change to one of blogger's customized templates?
  • Can you describe your switching experience?
  • Which do you prefer? The new Blogger or the old.

Thank you for sharing. I have not been able to switch my blogs yet because when I tried to I got this message "Thanks for your interest in the new Blogger. Unfortunately, we cannot switch your Blogger account at this time, because one or more of your blogs cannot be moved. Please see our help article for more information." Thats annoying because I was hoping to do the switch during this quiet holiday week.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Blog Break

Credit for Christmas Turkey Image: http://www.golden-promise.co.uk/default.asp

Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year. That means a long weekend for all. And as usual, for those of you who know me, I don't blog on Weekends or Public Holidays so that will mean a looooooooong 3-day blogging break for me too. Lol! So have a good weekend you all and you better not be naughty, be nice, cos' Santa Claus is coming to town!

My personal rantings is now located here: http://mumsgather.com/

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Craft for Kids - Pop-up Christmas Tree Card

Just like seasonal toys, I like to do seasonal crafts with the kids. Here is one Christmas craft idea which is fun and easy to do with the kids. Its a homemade Pop-Up Christmas tree card.

Here's what you need:
  1. Scissors
  2. Tape
  3. Stickers
  4. Coloured Pen
  5. Green Origami Paper
  6. Hard Cardboard Paper for the card base (I used the back of an old magazine cover or you can use an old recycled Christmas card. A red one would be nice. Just pull off the middle portion.)


View the pictures below for step-by-step instructions to make the pop-up Christmas Tree Card.

1. Supplies

2. Cut your origami into this shape then make a small cut about one inch in the middle as shown

3. Fold back and forth along the lines like folding a fan

4. Separate the bottom halves along the cut

5. Paste your Origami Christmas tree on your card and have your child decorate the card with stickers.Optional:

You can ask your child to "decorate" the tree by drawing baubles and other decorations that you normally hang on a Christmas tree before you start folding. My girl drew in baubles as well as a gingerbread man but you can't see it in the picture. She was also excited to learn how to spell "Christmas" and "New Year". I find that doing crafts with the kids help them learn new words in a fun and exciting way. It also helps in their hand eye coordination as they learn to cut, fold and paste.

Tadaaa! You have yourself a nice homemade Christmas Card.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mama loves you no matter what

This is the phrase that my girl loves to hear me say the most. Recently, I managed to buy some good quality Scholastic story books for under RM5. It was a steal. My girl particularly liked one book called "Mama, Do You Love Me?"

In it is a story of a little girl who asks her mama how much, how long and whether her mama still loves her if she has been naughty, broken some stuff accidentally or turns into something hideous. Of course the answer is "Yes, Mama loves you dear one, Mama Loves you no matter what."

I think its important to give this message to our children ie that our love for them is unconditional that we love them no matter what, no matter who they are or what they look like. I always try to show my children this but sometimes I worry that I may have overdone it.

I worry about this when my girl seem to seek loving reassurance from me too frequently. She would go round all day telling me "Mummy, I love you" and if I don't reply with a "I love you too." she'd become unhappy. When that happens, I can see hubby in the background rolling his eyes.

I am a little worried that the kids seem to always seek reassurance from me. Whenever they have been bad, they would come to me and try to force a smile out of me by smiling at me right in my face. If I don't give them a smile in return (and it has to be the exact same kind of smile that they are giving me which is an opened mouth grin for my boy and a smile with lips closed for my girl), it would make them cry. When I tell them, "No, I don't want you to behave like this. You cannot force someone to smile at you exactly in the way that you want!" they would tell me "Mummy, we want you to be happy!" Its blackmail I tell you! The kids are really good at blackmail and sometimes I'm at a loss as to how to handle this situation.

Parenting is hard. Its a fine line......trying to give but not giving too much.... of anything.... even affection.

For those of you who don't know by now, you can visit my personal blog here.

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This policy is valid from 18 December 2006

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Immunisation against pneumococcal disease

I took my boy to the paediatrician recently and was asked whether I wish to vaccinate him against pneumococcal disease. Apparently this vaccine is available now and although its not a must yet, parents can consider giving their child this vaccine.

What is pneumococcal disease? Pneumococcal disease describes a grop of illness caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus. It is a serious infection that occurs most commonly in children, particularly those under 2 years of age.

The pneumococcus bug can cause meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain), pneumonia (infection of the lung), septicaemia (blood infection), as well as otitis media (infection in the middle ear).

I'm no medical person, just a parent. I got the above information from the Wyeth leaflet the doctor handed to me. All of the above sounds rather serious so this needs careful consideration.

The doctor says that my girl won't need it since she is 4 1/2 years old now but she recommends one jab for my boy who is 2 1/2 years old. She says that this jab can be given to babies as early as 4 months of age and if given at that age, the baby will require 4 jabs altogether ie 3 jabs plus a booster one. Each jab will cost about RM300.

This is just one more of the many decisions a parent has to make. Its expensive but costs aside, as parents we still have numerous concerns and worries about the safety and effects of vaccines. One has to weigh carefully about whether its better to prevent vs our concerns and worries.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Seasonal Toys

The kids are very excited about Christmas. They've been watching their Barney Christmas tape, playing online Christmas themed games and helping me shop and wrap up presents.

This week I took down their singing and dancing Santa plus the Christmas hats they received for last year's Christmas gifts out from the storeroom. Luckily I still remembered where I kept them away. Hahaha.

I find it very useful to store away what I call seasonal toys to be taken out and played only during the festival. We have Christmas toys, Chinese New Year toys and Latern Festival Toys stashed away. By keeping and recycling them, it helps them appreciate the toys more and it helps to save money too.

They appreciate it more because they recognise and remember the toys. That is much better than allowing them to play with it all year long till it spoils or they lose interest in it. There is also no need to buy them new toys each time a festival arrives. I definitely recommend recycling toys for your child.

Do you recycle toys?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Brainstorming for a New Blog Name

Now that I've moved my personal rants to another blog, I need a new title for this one.

I decided to call my new personal blog and domain "mumsgather" because its like a brand name I built up for myself. Hahaha! In fact, I don't really like the name at all! However, when I first started blogging and did a search on google for "mumsgather" just for the fun of it, I could not find any results. Zero! Now, a search on google for "mumsgather" yields 34,000 results. So thats the reason why I kept that name. Pride. Lol!

However that creates a dilemma for me. I can't have two blogs with the same name! So, I need a new one for this blog. Can everyone help me brainstorm for a new name? Please read the description I have at the top (over the light green banner) and try to come up with a suitable name that will reflect the identity of this blog.

Sorry, no prizes for the winner but I'll provide a link to the one with the best suggestion. Hehe. I've run out of ideas. Thats why I'm opening this up for discussion. Terrible hor me.

A thought just crossed my mind. What does everyone think of "Parenting Times" to match my "Mothering Times" blog. Hehe.

Another thing, does anyone know.... Will changing my blog title affect my old search engine results?

My new "job" is to blog for money!

I've got a new "job" now. My "job" is to blog for money. Its the most flexible "job". I can work as hard or as little as I want and at anytime I choose to. I would definitely recommend it to other SAHMs too. Its legitimate and it pays. I won't need to extend my hand like a little girl anymore to ask hubby for money. Lol!

If you want to know more reasons why I love this new "job" of mine, go to my other blog where I've listed down the top few reasons why other SAHMs should consider becoming WAHMs and start receiving blog money too.

Its very simple. All you have to do is click on the little blue/green referral button on my sidebar which reads "PayPerPost - Get paid to blog about the things you love" and take it from there. BTW, I'll get paid US15.00 once your first blog posting is accepted. Hehe. Well, I thank you in advance but then you will be thanking me later too as you start earning more and more in your pyjamas!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Online Christmas Games for Children

As part of the strategy in creating some "suspense" for the children in welcoming the coming Christmas celebrations, I searched for online Christmas themed games and found this one which has many interesting links.

Parents of toddlers and preschoolers, do check it out for or with your kids. My girl especially likes this online dress up the Christmas tree game. She also likes to make her own online gingerbread man (since her mummy does not know how to bake her one. Haha.)

Theres also an online design your own gingerbread house site which she enjoys. She designed a house then called out excitedly to me to have a look. "Its our new house mummy" she says. Luckily my boy is happy to just stand or sit beside her to watch her play otherwise I would have to referree a lot of fights!

Oh, and in case you are wondering.... No! This is not a sponsored post. Its just me sharing my kids' favourite Christmas sites with the parents who follow my blog. Just wanted to share something with your that will delight your child too!

Note: I will continue to post useful articles and links for parents of young children on this blog. For my personal blog, please visit mumsgather.com

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Which Blog?

Someone asked me which blog I will be blogging on? The answer is both actually. I have decided to continue blogging about my kids (especially their activities) on this blog. This blog will continue with my original intention of it being my mini parenting resource for useful links and articles for parents. I will still be sharing my children's favourite sites, online games and crafts here.

As a matter of fact, I have in draft some of the following topics for my oncoming posts.
  • Online Christmas Games for Children
  • Seasonal Toys
  • Kids' Craft - Pop-up Christmas Card
  • Indoor Treasure Hunt - Activity for a rainy day

So, stay tuned...........

(P.S. Does this give that someone a better idea now?)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Unveiling of Mumsgather.com

Ok! Thats it! I can't stand it anymore. There's no better time than the present, no other time like right now. So why wait any longer? I will "hoi cheong" or open blog ceremony for my new weblog hosted on my own domain today.

I would appreciate it if you all will be so sweet as to add my new link to your blogroll. "Add" ok? Not "Replace" with this link as I will keeping this blog alive. Hehehe.

Thank you everyone for visiting my blog and special thanks to Lilian and Bryan for making this happen and to Sesame for her many ideas and suggestions.

So, here it is, my new blog. Tadaa! http://www.mumsgather.com/

P.S. The brainstorming session on how to keep this blog alive (from the previous post) is not closed yet! Please keep the suggestions coming. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Seeking opinion for new blog focus and direction

I shall be moving my personal weblog on my own domain soon. I have been busy setting it up and being the perfectionist that I am, I wanted it to be just right and learn all the ropes about blogging on wordpress first before I move but........ I'm getting impatient. I think I will just jump right in and learn along the way as I did with this blog. Hehe.

This is how I am planning my move.
  • I will not be importing my archives over to my new blog. (because I don't know how and I'm lazy. I also do not want to be penalised by google for duplicate content, nor do I want to lose my page ranking for this blog) So, my archives stay here. I will interlink both blogs.
  • I am reaching my target 10th post at PayPerPost on my Mothering Times blog and will be registering this blog to write sponsored posts. (Then maybe I will become a WAHM instead of a SAHM. )
  • I will be keeping this blog alive but I need new direction and focus

But what should I focus on? My job is "mother" and thats the best subject I like to write about with passion but I can't very well have 3 motherhood blogs! Thats overkill! Lol! So now I have my own domain for my personal weblog, I have my Mothering Times blog for mothers but what about this one? What shall I do with it? Should I change the heading and description?

Help! My dear readers, please help me brainstorm for ideas on how to keep this blog alive. I don't want to kill it. I love it too much. Besides, this blog is now worth something ie in terms of being able to generate some income. I just realised that its got its own value as a cyber real estate. Thats so amazing!

I thought about continuing this blog for topics related to all my kid's lessons, crafts, activities, favourite online sites etc. or maybe I could write about topics of interests specifically to SAHMs and the rants and joys of being one. Hmm... I can't decide. I need new purpose and focus for this blog. Any ideas, anyone? What should I continue to write about here?

Monday, December 04, 2006

I saw gingerbread man and gingerbread lady at the mall!

We took the kids to Mid Valley Megamall during the weekend and they were thrilled to see gingerbread man and gingerbread lady there. Thats the Christmas theme they are having there this year and I must say it looks wonderful, like a fairytale place. (looks much nicer than my photo above gives it credit for because my photo taking skills is poor. Hehe.) The decorations look good enough to eat!

We also took them to IKEA where we bought lots of less than RM10 Christmas gifts. They had nice things there for under RM10 but it was packed! Some people even lost their kids. At IKEA, we met Santa Claus. My girl didn't want to meet him but my boy eagerly extended his hand. At night when we spoke about it, he still remembered that Santa said "Ho! Ho! Ho!" to him.

Santa gave the kids some hard candy which we forbade them to eat for fear of choking risk. That made the little one bawl at the top of his voice at IKEA. (Not being allowed to eat the candy which Santa gave him coupled with the fact that he was hungry, tired and bored made him throw the biggest tantrum. Phew!) So, we blamed it all on Santa. It was all Santa's fault! HoHoHo!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Handling stresses as a couple

Some of the major stresses in life comes after marriage...... starting a family, moving house, changing jobs etc. These things usually come along after marriage and one has to learn how to go through them together with their spouses.

I'm afraid that when it comes to learning how to handle stresses together as a couple, Mr MG and I still have a loooong way to go. I find that at a time when we should support each other the most, quite often we end up rubbing each other the wrong way instead. At a time when we should be patting each other's shoulders and saying "Its okay, dear. You're not alone." we end up sprouting fangs and nails and tearing each other apart! Lol!

There is something about our personalities that don't quite jive (thats what happens when opposites attract!) so we always come back to the same argument everytime. I find the true test of a relationship is during hardships or troubled times. When things are going well, usually everything is smooth sailing but when your ship hits rough waters, aha! thats when you really know whether you will sink or continue sailing.

Well our ship hasn't always been smooth sailing but its still sailing. Hopefully we will both mellow with age and learn to resolve our personality differences along the way.

I wonder how does everyone else handle their stresses as a couple? Anyone feel like sharing?

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