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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Parenting Times

One of the things that I like to do best is search for cute tools for my blog. Well, at least that is something that I used to do when I first started blogging but now I don't have much time to play around on my blog anymore. I only have time to pound on the keyboard to write. Haha.

Anyway, its good that 123 greetings now allows you to embed its e-cards on your blogs. However the card is a bit senget (crooked from not enough space) as you can see. There is a snowman on the right but he is hidden behind my sidebar. Hahaha. Hope you enjoy the card and your Christmas anyway.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Craft: Making Pop-Up Christmas Cards

Today the kids made pop-up Christmas cards for their aunts. Just for the aunts and none for the uncles as somehow ladies seem to appreciate these things more than the men.

We made two types of cards. The first is a pop-up origami tree card. The second is a pop-up cut-out Christmas tree card.

If you are interested, here are the step-by step instructions on how to make the pop-up origami Christmas tree card.

And here is a step-by-step instruction on how to make the cut-out or pop up Christmas tree card using the Robert Sabuda Method. By the way, I found many other interesting and simple pop-ups to try with the kids on RobertSabuda.com You should check it out too.

For both types of cards, I helped the kids to make the frames and the pop-ups, the cutting and the glueing (because Christmas is almost here so we need speed. lol) and then got them to decorate it in any way they wish. I gave them stickers, glitter pens, color pens etc to use for decorations.

The girl drew presents under the tree, stars, candy canes, snowflakes. The boys decorated his with stars and sesame street stickers, drew in cars (his favourite), and various shapes, hearts, diamonds, etc. We're not quite done yet but I couldn't wait to post up the pictures. :P


Extension of Contest Period

Remember this contest? If you don't, or if this is the first time you are reading about it, please check the link to find out more about the contest.

Well, I have good news for those of you who wanted to enter the contest but could not because you just didn't have the time earlier on.

The contest period has been extended to Jan 5, 2009. Results will be announced on Jan 12, 2009.

The first batch of participants are receiving a belt worth RM30 for their little ones courtesy of Domii. This consolation prize is exclusive to those participants who entered the contest prior to the extension period.

However, all contestants stand a chance to win the a RM88 cash voucher plus a 1 year free membership worth RM10 from DOMII which entitles you to a discount of 10% on all regular items for the entire year. Please note that the voucher can only be used at Domii's flagship store at The Curve.

So, if you missed out earlier on, here's your chance now. Here is your chance to Clad Your Lads in Style.

Domii specialises in clothing for boys aged 1 to 14.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Because I love You

The Little One wanted me to feed him and he said....

"Mummy, do you know why I want you to feed me?........... Because I love You!"

Bad mommy told him that "if you love me then you will feed yourself" to which mini teacher added....

"Yah, if you love mummy, you will feed yourself, so that mummy has more time."

This is something that I tell mini teacher all the time because usually it is her who requests to be fed while the little one eats all by himself. Haha.

In another unrelated incident, mini teacher had persuaded daddy to buy her a new hair grip with flowers on it. She wanted to wear it to aunty's house for the coming Christmas party.

The little one wanted to wear the Santa's hat that I had gotten out of the toy box from last year.

I overheard her persuading her little brother not to wear the Santa's hat.

"Baby, you should not wear the Santa's hat you know. You must gel up your hair now you know. You must gel up your hair everyday now."

The little one fell for it. He said....

"Must I do it myself?"

And she replied....

"Yes, baby, you must gel up your hair everyday now."

And then she went on telling him about how he should have a different look now but I can't remember her exact words now.

Ah... thats mini teacher using the power of persuasion to get her brother to do what she wants. *rolls eyes*

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Online Comprehensive Chinese-English Dictionary

My daughter and I are now learning the final 800 words from my daughter's Preschool Chinese Reading Series from Odonata Publishing that was recommended by other bloggers.

I become frustrated at the difficulty in searching for words in our printed Chinese-English Dictionaries. We have two at home. Its difficult to search for compound characters. Chinese Characters are so complex (to me), they take a whole new meaning when you put two different characters one after another. Searching for the Chinese characters individually just won't do.

I was taking so long searching for the words in my printed Chinese-English Dictionaries that I turned online to search. Usually I use Mandarintools.com. I like it because it is simple and easy to use. There is another dictionary at Zhongwen.com but I find that one a bit complicated.

However, I still had trouble searching for the compound characters.......until I found the Chinese-English Dictionary at Nciku. I am really excited about this dictionary. So excited that I must share it with you.

I know that there are many other mothers like me who do not know Chinese but who wish to guide their child who is learning Chinese in school. I think this is perfect for us. It is easy to search. I like to use the search in Pinyin. I searched for the compound words by typing in pinyin. You can even do a search in handwriting using your mouse with the Handwriting Recognition tool.

When I used the dictionary last night, the page was slow to load and the handwriting tool didn't work very well but this morning it is fine. (Maybe its just my lousy internet connection). When you write the characters in, the dictionary will show you a list of the characters it thinks you are trying to look for even as you write.

You can listen to the words you look up because text is translated to speech so you can check your pronunciation. You can check your stroke order too. You can view the definition of each character using the Collins Chinese-English Dictionary, the Comprehensive Chinese-English Dictionary or the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary with lots and lots of examples and you are able to listen to the sentences. Sometimes there is even a picture to go with the definition. The auto complete tool when searching for words is extremely useful too. And I like the fact that you can search for idioms too. Chinese writing is full of idioms and I can't find it in regular dictionaries.

You can even save the word you looked up in your own vocab list for easy reference later on. And.... take memorization tests to see how well you have learned the word. It is amazing. I love it. I am definitely going to bookmark this dictionary right here.

The dictionary which is in Beta, has the tag line "More than a dictionary". I think its very appropriate. Its certainly more than a dictionary for me. Its a Chinese Learning tool and dictionary all rolled up into one.

I won't make this post too long and descriptive. The best way for you to find out more about the dictionary is to go over to the dictionary and explore it yourself. I just signed up for an account myself and have yet to explore all the things I can do with it to help me learn Chinese. There is a help center for learners or users but I have not managed to check it out thoroughly yet.

So far, I find this dictionary the best dictionary for English speaking users who are trying to learn Chinese. I don't use other dictionaries like iciba.com or Dict.cn because they are filled with Chinese words which I don't understand.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Clad Your Lad in Style

I have a boy and a girl but right from the beginning, I have found that gender differences happen not only in their temperaments but also in the clothing I can find for them.

I remember, soon after delivering my girl and I was home recuperating, my husband would return every weekend with a new cute outfit for the girl each time he went grocery shopping. I chided him for spoiling my joy of shopping for my girl but he couldn't help it. There were so many cute little outfits for his little girl!

Even now that she is a little bit older at age 6, we find it so easy to shop for her outfits. Whenever we take her out to buy clothes for an event or festival, my husband would hold up a piece from afar, raise his head for acknowledgement from me and I'd usually gush and nod back a yes while holding up another for him to see.

There are so many lovely fairytale, sweet clothes for our princess.... but what about our little prince? Its not that way for our boy. We'd walk around from store to store with hardly a good find. They all look the same ole, same ole.... oh well, boys clothing can be so boring!

So, I am very glad to have met Linda online. Linda is one of the partners of the DOMII trademark for boys clothing. DOMII has striking shirts for boys in eye-catching colors. They're not in the boring old blues or browns you usually see in boys shirts. Instead, you will find hues of yellows, greens and other bright primary colours for their casual shirts.

If you want to dress your boy up for an occasion, you can also check out DOMII's collection of long sleeved shirts (just like daddy's grown up working shirts!). He'll look like a mini adult, one fun and cool little guy. Your boy will look absolutely adorable dressed up in one of those. Dress your son in one of these together with matching formal pants for a more formal occasion or with jeans or slacks for a smart but more casual look. Either way, your boy will be creating a fashion statement and his outfit will be the talk of the day, not his sister's or the girl sitting next to him.

They even have a Lil' Prince Package appropriately named "My first Tuxedo Shirt" for one month old babies. Its made of the finest cotton fabric and will be just right to dress up your baby for his full moon party. Hey, its never too young to start being fashionable!

You can also find tuxedos and formal pants and suit sets together with matching bow ties and other accessories for boys aged 1 through 14. These are perfect for a formal dinner or wedding. I am sure that all mother's of boys will agree that when it comes to these formal occasions, its even harder to find suitable outfits for your boys so the next time you have a formal occasion, you know you where you can head on to.

You can head over to DOMII, the fashion outlet exclusively for boys, Crafted by Mothers and Created by Designers. You can also check out DOMII for their Chinese New Year Collection With Chinese New Year just around the corner in about two months, its not too early to start shopping to avoid the crowds.

For more information, you can visit or contact Linda at

Lot 172B First Floor, The Curve, Mutiara Damansara
Tel +603 7726 8566 Fax +603 5161 6788
Email: lindaysp@gmail.com

Apart from The Curve, 4 stores in Malaysia and Singapore also carries the DOMII label in their collection including Metrojaya MidValley. You can view the latest DOMII collection in Facebook under: DOMII group or domiiboyswear. It is updated daily with latest promotions and new collections.

DOMII also ships internationally worldwide.

Contest for Bloggers

Bloggers may like to take note that DOMII is currently running a writing contest for Bloggers. Here are the rules:

Write a post of about 100 words describing DOMII's Chinese New Year Kungfu shirt. (Imagine that you are writing a sponsored post).

  • Please reference and link to this post.

  • You are also required to link to www.domii.co.uk/ with the keyword "boy's clothing". (The website is currently under construction. If you have trouble viewing the website and wish to receive a brochure in pdf format, please drop me a comment. Thank you.)

  • Please post one of the above pictures of the Chinese New Year Kungfu shirt in your post.

  • When you're done, please come back here and leave your link in the comment's section. All participant's links will be displayed within this post to give even more exposure to your writings and for the judge's easy reference.

  • What are you waiting for? Lets get writing! May the best post win ........ a RM88 cash voucher plus a 1 year free membership worth RM10 from DOMII which entitles you to a discount of 10% on all regular items for the entire year. Please note that the voucher can only be used at Domii's flagship store at The Curve.

  • Closing Date for the contest is 12 noon (local time) 20th December 2008. Updated: The closing period has been extended to 5th Jan 2008. Results will be announced on 12th Jan 2008.

  • This contest is open to Malaysians and Singaporeans only.

This post has been specially brought to you by DOMII, the creators of boys fashion.

List of Contestants:

ChanelWong with Busy Searching for Children's Clothes....

Family First with Chinese Kungfu Shirt

Ann with Dressing Up Christmas

Mummy to QiQi with Ang Pow for CNY Clothes

Sting with Kungfu Zen

Sasha with Tong Tong Chiang!

Magic Tree with Drooling over DOMII'S CNY Kungfu Shirt

How to Make Paper Snowflakes

Here is a step by step instruction on how we made our paper snowflakes for our Christmas Scene Craft

1. Cut out a square piece of paper. You can use white for white paper snowflakes but my kids like coloured ones. :)

2. Fold the paper into two

3. Then fold the paper into two again forming a small folded square

4. Next, draw a curved line on the outer part of the square

5. Then cut along those lines so that when you open the paper you will get a circle

6. Finally make snips all over the paper while it is still folded. You can fold it further to make more snips as well

7. Lastly, unfold your paper and voila you got yourself a paper snowflake

Later on I found out why my paper snowflake didn't look that good. Because they were all round! If you want to learn how to make a more authentic looking paper snowflake. Check this out. Its got steps by steps instructions too and the paper snowflakes look much better than mine. :)

Christmas Craft: Christmas Trees & Snowflakes Scene

Its been awhile since we did a proper craft on this blog. Since, its the school holidays and Christmas is round the corner, we decided to make a Christmas Craft. This one is a Christmas Snow Scene with Paper Snowflakes and Christmas Trees.

First, here is the picture of our finished or almost finished craft (We haven't put the finishing touches of decorations on the tree but I was impatient.) :P

This is the boy's picture. Notice the little car on the right?

This is what we used to make our Christmas Craft.

  • White Paper, Glue, Scissors
  • Coloured Paper to make the Christmas tree cutouts and the Snowflakes
  • Paint
  • Star Stickers
  • Glitter Pens

Its really simple. The picture is almost self explanatory.

  1. First we make cutouts of the Christmas trees and some paper snowflakes
  2. Then we divided the paper into two and painted the top portion blue
  3. Next we glued our Christmas trees and paper snowflakes onto the picture. We made one small tree and one bigger one for proportion and glued the smaller one behind the bigger one. The picture looks nicer this way.
  4. Then the kids finger painted the snow in using white paint
  5. Then the girl wanted to stick a star sticker on top of the trees
  6. Then its time to decorate the tree with baubles and candy canes, gingerbread men and presents. We drew those in with glitter pens

This is the girl's picture. Notice the pink snowflake?

Coming up next: Step by Step Instructions on how to make a paper snowflake

Monday, December 01, 2008

Mini Teacher

Overheard during a car ride...

My Boy: Kakak is dotty.

My Girl: No baby, Its naughty, not dotty. Say Naughty. Noooooottty.

My Boy: Nooooootttty.

My Girl: Yes. Yes. Say slowly. Nooooootttty. Then fast fast. Notty. Naughty.

My Boy: Noooootttty. Notty. Naughty.

My Girl: Mummy, baby so clever already, can say "Naughty."

Looks like I have a mini teacher so I can relax now. Lol.

My Girl has said a few times that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. The other day she changed her mind and said she wanted to be an artist.

As for my boy, he wants to be a postman when he grows up. Must be the influence of Postman Pat. Haha.

I wonder what they will want to be next month.

How to Handle the First Week of School?

Next year, I have a kid starting primary school and another starting kindy. So now I have a headache wondering how I should handle the first week of school.

Hubby was telling me to just drop the boy in kindy and then accompany the girl for the first week. The reason is because the boy is very used to the kindy by now since he is always accompanying me to send and pick his sister there. Quite often, we would hang around there for quite a long time too, watching the kids practising for their concert, taking photographs etc so the school is not new to him.

However, it is HIS first time going to the kindy so I would like to accompany him the way I accompanied the girl to get him off to a good start. So I was thinking of letting him skip the first week (since its mostly a crying week ie the kids will be crying most of the time in kindy), then I can accompany the girl for the first week and accompany the boy for the second week.

But will this be fair to him? Will he miss out anything during the first week? (Apart from the crying). I really don't know what to do. What do you all think?

Smart Alec and Spoil Sport

Everyday when I finish bathing my boy, he would run off as soon as I drape the towel over him to dry. He would then run dripping to a spot between the window and the bed and hide there giggling. When I ask him to come to me so I could dress him, he would continue giggling away happily.

Even when I eventually catch him, he would not stand still to be changed. He would do a dance, turn around or jump up and down when I am dressing him. I feel like such a spoil sport for not playing along with him when he looks so naturally happy.

One day, I asked him to "Come here" as usual and he replied "I can't, mummy." When I asked him "Why not?", he said "Because my legs are pulling me away." Then off he ran giggling again.

The kids, they do tire me sometimes (I can tell you that its really tiring when you have a 101 things on your mind and 101 things to do and you have to chase a little boy all over the room just to dress him). The kids they tire me but I love them dearly. I love them so much.

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