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Friday, May 30, 2008

Last day of School Term Party

On the last day of the school term the kids had a party at the kindy. Parents were "encouraged to bring food". I don't know the "protocol" for such gatherings since this is the first year my girl is attending kindy. I was going to "buat tak tahu" (pretend I didn't know) since I'm not one of those clever mothers who can either 1) bake wonderful stuff or 2) have very good PR.

But then.......... she came home the day before the party and told me that ........ she had volunteered to bring hotdog for the party. Ooops! I believe that she was coerced into volunteering but how do you say "No" to a kid who pleads "Please mummy, please, I want to bring hotdog for my friends."

Daddy said, "Why don't you bring doughnuts so mummy won't have to get up in the morning to cook the hotdogs?"

"No, daddy I can't change my mind. I already said hotdogs." but daddy persuaded her otherwise and so we rushed out to buy doughnuts. We were too late though. All the other parents had rushed out to the doughnut shop and so there was none (just kidding). I thought of bringing fresh cut fruits but eventually we went to the supermarket and got the hotdogs for the girl and mummy had to get up early in the morning to boil the hotdogs.

The next day I saw many parents bringing food. Some came with packet drinks (I should have thought of that), a few came with doughnuts, many cakes, sweets and other junk foods. There was so much junk food, each of the kids were given a party pack of junk foods to take home.

The kids enjoyed the party very much. The little girls looked so sweet in their pretty party dresses.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I can't believe she's 6!

My girl is 6. Recently we celebrated her birthday at the kindy for the first time. That is because she is attending the kindy for the first time this year. I had my worries about her adapting due to sending her this late but I needn't have. She is getting along just fine in kindy.

Anyway, we brought her to the cake shop to choose her cake. Thats how we do it for most of their birthdays. They will go along to the cakeshop and choose the design and the filling, usually chocolate with some chocolate rice sprinkled on the side. Hehe. We do this because mummy doesn't bake and the kids love to choose their own cake.

We had chosen a 2 kg cake but a few days later the cake shop rang up and said that the design we had chosen had to be a minimum of 3kg. Oh bother! We didn't have time to go back to the shop to choose another cake so we said ok while mummy took out her calculator and calculated the extra cost.

We had wanted a cake big enough to feed her whole class but now we got one big enough to feed the whole school said the teacher. Anyway her estimate may have been wrong because I saw that half the cake had disappeared by the time two classes were finished with it. The moment the cake was opened, all the kids pointed and said "Wow". That was priceless, so mummy kept her calculator.

The girl had been so excited about giving out her party packs. She had asked her teacher for a name list of all her classmates which she wrote out onto little stickers. We had a mixture of toys and snacks (no hard candy! I hate those) and she carefully chose the toys for each of her classmates before we tied them up prettily and stuck the name stickers on them.

After school we did exactly the same thing as we did for my boy's birthday. We went to a one of those indoor kidsports places, then went to eat pancakes and gave her a surprise present after her evening nap. She had thought that her present was the hula hoop which she chose herself at the toystore. She loves her hula hoop but she loves her surprise present even more.

I can't believe she is 6! I really can't. Time really flies.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Gold Standard in Milk Powders

Does your child take the gold standard in Milk Powders or the normal Milk Powders? The Gold Standard means Milk Powders that are enhanced with extra nutrients plus DHA etc. Mine takes the normal Milk Powders. Why? Simply because as a breastfeeding mum, I felt that the kids have all the DHA etc that they needed from my breast milk so I didn't bother to read up about the other nutrients and other goodness in the Milk Powders. To me, the DHA, AA, SA, etc are just alphabets. Frankly, I do not know much about them.

Now that the kids are older, aged 4 and 6, I was wondering whether I should try those Gold Standard in Milk Powders. I have always wondered about that but never bothered to do any research into it. Perhaps I should.

Recently, I came across a magazine article about Friso Gold Growing Up Milk. I checked the website (www.dutchlady.com.my) and saw a few things that interest me. First, about the milk. There is Friso Gold 3 and Friso Gold 4. As the name suggests, Friso Gold 3 is for those aged 1-3 and Friso Gold 4 is for those aged 3 onwards.

According to the site the Friso Gold Milk is formulated with Frisoshield™, a nutritious blend of prebiotics (FOS), probiotics (L. reuteri), nucleotides, selenium and mixed carotenes. The Friso Gold 3 & 4 also has DHA, AA and SA for your child’s overall development. Gosh! What do all these mean?

Well, I did the hard work for you and found out what all those alphabet means. Lol!

  • Prebiotics (FOS) = Prebiotics helps the good bacteria in our gut to grow and flourish which leads to an improved immune system

  • Probiotics (L. reuteri) = Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in our intestines. In other words they improve the environment of our intestinal tract

  • Nucleotides = A nucleotide is a chemical compound that consists of 3 portions: a nitrogenous base, a sugar, and one or more phosphate groups. It supports immune system and also plays an important role in reducing the duration of diarrhoea cases in young child.

  • Selenium = A trace mineral found in some foods (antioxidant)

  • Mixed Carotenes = Contains Vitamin A, beta carotene, alpha carotene and many other beneficial consituents

  • DHA = Docosahexaenoic Acid is an Omega-3 Fatty Acid

  • AA = Arachidonic Acid is another essential Fatty Acid

  • SA = Sialic Acid
Gosh? What does all that mean? Lol! To sum it all, the milk is supplemented with extra nutrition and goodness for your child.

But the thing that I like most about it is the PACKAGING! Yes, you heard me right. I've got a screen capture below. I love the packaging! The scoop is stuck at the back of the cover. No more digging into the milk to find the scoop. Haha. Its such a hassle to wash a spoon, dry it before digging in to find the scoop! (Or when I'm plain lazy, dig my wet fingers in. That's so unhygienic but I must confess that I do it. :P) In addition, there is a little level bar so that you get the perfect scoop every time. Not too large or too little. What a good idea.

(You can click here to get a free sample pack.). I will get a sample to try Friso Gold milk and hope they will like it. Last time, when I weaned them off breastmilk, they didn't adjust to the new milk formula immediately. They had never tasted any other formula other than their present one. Sometimes they looooooved their present milk but sometimes they turned their noses away from it. I was thinking that an alternative would be good for them and hope that they would not reject it.

I have a question to ask. What brand of milk does your child take? Do you go for Gold Standard or normal Milk Powders? Have you ever changed brands? Did your child reject it? Can you share with me how you did it? Do you use only one brand or do you have an alternative brand?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Teacher's Day

Since its coming to the end of the term, classes at my girl's kindy seems quite relaxed now. There is no homework. So she looks forward to doing "mummy's lessons" or doing crafts etc.

Yesterday we decided to make flowers and cards for the teachers. Its a lesson in itself. A lesson in giving. We made some or our crepe paper carnations, then wrapped them up in pretty transparent paper and tied it up with colourful ribbons. Then the girl wrote a Thank You note to the teachers on colourful papers which we folded into cards.

Teacher's Day is today but the kindy is only celebrating it next week so we kept the flowers and cards. However we decided to give her class teacher hers today.

My girl was so excited about it. She carefully packed the flowers and cards for her class teacher into her school bag and this morning she woke me up. "Mummy, mummy wake up. We don't want to be late for school today." :)

To all the teacher's who have dedicated their lives to teaching. Happy Teacher's Day. Yours is a noble profession.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Exam Stress

Its coming to the end of the school term again. The older kids are having their exams. My sister says that she is very stressed up during this time. I can imagine that it would be stressful to get the kids to revise their work. I have a daily stress trying to get my girl to finish her homework as she usually daydreams or plays while doing it taking hours to finish her homework.

Fortunately my time to feel a parent's stress during exams has not come. My girl is still in kindy. At this time all she talks about is the party they are going to have on the last day of school. No stress yet for me or for her. I'm going to enjoy this while I can!

I came across some good pointers on how to face exam pressure. I'm going to keep the links here for future reference but anyone who is facing exam stress now can refer to it.

Parenting Plus: Exam Stress (Make sure you refer to the links within the article. They're good.)
BBC News: Parents Add to Exam Stress (I like this phrase in the article "At the end of the day, parents have to let go and trust their children. The most important thing is to provide support and love them for who they are, not for what exams they pass." It is very true. In wanting to make sure they revise and pass their exams we must not place too much pressure on them because it will have a negative effect.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

But my teacher said...

Teacher's words are really powerful. They are seen as figures of authority by the little ones and they really listen to them. Sometimes when faced with a choice they would pick what teacher said rather than what mummy and daddy said.

How often have you heard this phrase "But my teacher said...." Well, I hear it quite often.

"But my teacher said we shouldn't do this."
"But my teacher said we must not eat this."
"But my teacher said we should write it this way!"
"But my teacher said we have to do this."

Well, I'm happy with my girl's preschool teachers. She loves them though I don't think she respects them enough.

With teachers being such an important person in our child's life, its ok now at preschool but what about later. I worry about what sort of teacher's our kids will have later on. The too lepak kebangsaan school teachers or the overly strict chinese school teachers. Why does it have to be so extreme? Why can't there be an in between? No doubt we parents are our kids most important teachers in life but it does not lessen the importance of the teachers she will face in school. Worry worry worry. I worry about everything. Lol!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Two of Everything

Previously I used to scoff at those parents who buy two or more of everything for their kids just to pacify the kids.

Now, horror of horrors! I am one of those parents! We sometimes would buy the kids the same toy or book or whatever to stop them from fighting and shut up in trying to appear fair to both of them. We try not to do this all the time but I'm afraid we do it quite often.

For example, sometimes, when we see a nice book (which the boy isn't developmental ready to read yet) or which is more more suitable for the girl so we buy it for her. We would tell the boy. "No, sometimes we buy things for you and sometimes for your cheh cheh (sister)." when he insists that he wants one too.

Or we would have this scenario. "Mummy, I only have 2 books, he has 3!" "How come he has and I don't have?!" Then we would say "No, sometimes we buy things for you and sometimes for baby."

Well, we do try our best not to be taken in by their sad faces and our guilt. We try to be fair and all but sometimes we buy two of everything. *guilty*

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mirror Image Writing in 4 year old

My 4 year old son writes most of his numbers and alphabets in mirror image or reversed. Numbers 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 are written the other way around. Alphabets like D, E, F, L, P, R, Z are also written backwards ie facing the other way. He also tends to write from right to left. He is left-handed.

I was beggining to get a little worried because I read that some children with dyslexia may reverse or transpose letters when writing. (I also read that dyslexia is not a visual problem that involves reading letters or words backwards or upside down, nor are such reversals a defining characteristic of dyslexia.) Still, I was worried.

Then I came across some forums and learned that its quite normal at this age. If your child does reverse or backwards writing and you are worried, you can check out the following links.

Mirror Writing
Five Year Old Writes Backwards
Writing in Reversed Letters

Updated 2014: These days you can help your child overcome backwards writing and letter reversals using apps like this one. LetterReflex App for iPad and iPhone.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Glitter Graphics

I may be over 40 but I'm still mad about cute cuddlies and glitters like a little girl. I'm actually still a 20 over trapped in a 40 year old's body. Hahaha. I was searching for a nice graphic for Mother's Day and was delighted to find this cute graphic. There's lots more. They're all so cute, I couldn't decide which to post.

Anyway, I just wanted to wish all the Mother's who visit this blog a very Happy Mother's Day. May all your wishes and hopes for your children come true. May they turn out the way you would like them to. And remember, When the going gets tough, the Mother gets going!

Remember this too:

When your child tires you with too many questions, be thankful they can talk

When your child tires you by running around for you to chase after, be thankful that they can walk

Be Thankful, Be Happy and Never Complain about being a mother (Ok, you may "complain" for just this one day on Mother's Day. Haha.)

You may lose your sleep, your figure and your temper but....

Being a Mother is the greatest gift of all (sounds cliche but it is)

Its the gift of joy abundance

If you have ever looked at your own child's antics and find a silly grin still pasted on your face for minutes afterwards, then you know about the joy that I am talking about.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Using a Simple 100 Bead Abacus to Teach Maths to Kids

Recently my boy learned to count on his own. He had taken two toys and wanted to take two more and he said to me "two and two makes four". I tested him by asking him what will happen if he takes three more toys and he said "two and three makes five". I was so excited and quickly bought him a math activity book to teach him further because he was ready for it. I thought him to count using his 10 fingers.

Later on, when we were relating this incident to his father, my boy suddenly asked his dad, "Daddy, how to count five plus six?" (because he only had 10 fingers and that was all I taught him). Daddy laughed and went out and bought him a 100 Bead Abacus the next day. (Another excuse for Daddy and Mummy to buy a "toy".)

I've never learned counting using an Abacus before. Certainly not those Chinese or Japanese Abacus and not even a simple basic 100 Bead Abacus. So as usual, I searched around the web and was delighted to find this site RightStart Mathematics. As usual, I'd like to share it with you. Its mission is to help children understand, apply and enjoy mathematics.

Using the Abacus helps the children in math by visualisation instead of mere rote learning. It has a simple explanation of how to use the Abacus to teach math. It even has an interactive Abacus to try out. Here is another interactive Abacus from another site to test out. If you're not sure whether your child will like the Abacus, you can let them try out the interactive one first.

I also like the children's counting songs to help children memorize counting from 6 to 10, about the months of the year and about number writing. Great site for teaching kids math. My kids love the abacus. It has rekindled their interest in math.

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