Sunday, December 30, 2007

Learning thru play

Time magazine recently reported that ‘anxious parents are trying to give their kids an academic edge before they even get to kindergarten’ (“Tutors for Toddlers” TIME Dec 3, 2007)


It seems that not only the Asians are kiasu in giving their lil' ones a headstart in education, nowadays the gweilos are also sending their 3-year-olds for tutoring & early developmental programs.

The article summarizes that the main teaching methods in the market used for pre-kindy kids are:
i. flash cards – to teach letter & word recognition.
ii. work sheets – teach early math concepts.
iii. software – early reading skills, etc.

In brief, the article notes that the experts’ views were quite simply - ‘kids already learn what they need to know in a traditional-learning-through-play program.’ (If you wanna find out what the experts say about the above 3 teaching methods, go & read the article ☺)

In other words, this means that all the latest, fancy, hi-fi teaching methods & programs for young kids may not actually be much better than the old fashioned playing and interacting with your kid.

I could not agree more. Kids just need to be exposed to the world around us with a bit of help, patience and guidance from us parents. Watching Sesame Street, singing along to VeggieTales, reciting nursery rhymes, fooling around with kitchen utensils, completing jigsaw puzzles, messing around with Play-Doh, manhandling fruits & veggies at the grocers, reading picture books, etc. – it’s amazing to watch how Evan can grasp and comprehend the things you throw at him. Every new thing he comes across seems to add to & build up his understanding of how the world works around him.


Recently, at a store selling baby stuff, Evan was playing with a baby doll, treating her like a baby and sitting her on a rocker. (See the above rocker & note the 3 hanging toys: bear holding ice-cream, pig holding corn and a cow.)

I innocently asked Evan, “The baby (referring to the doll) is hungry. What would you do?”

And he answered, “Baby eat ice-cream,” feeding the doll with the ice-cream the hanging toy bear is holding.

Then I said, “But the baby can’t eat ice-cream, she needs milk!”

After a second or two, Evan replied, “Baby drink milk. Cows give us milk!” while pointing to the hanging toy cow.

Wow.. application of knowledge & resource to derive a solution, by a 2-year-old (& 4 months).

Boy, how I'm stumped at his processing speed.
Larry

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Unexpected O&G visit

The day after Christmas, I had to make an unexpected visit to the O&G. Discovered some spotting after my big business in the morning. I drove off hurriedly to FMGC without realising that it was Wednesday - the clinic was closed!
However there was a staff there who opened the door for me and queried me. She offered to call Dr. Yap for me and see what she says. Dr. Yap made a special trip to the clinic for me that day..... and she even apologised for being slow because she was bathing her son when she received the call. I was then scanned and baby's fine. Everything else was also normal.

Then she used a disposable speculum and inserted it into my vagina - only mucus - no signs of any bleeding at all. So she said not to worry and to come back if I experience any cramps and heavy bleeding. She prescribed an anti-fungal pessary for me to use as she suspects I have vaginitis. My next appointment on 8th January has been postponed to 24th January and no charges at all for all the trouble she took to see me! Just as I was leaving the clinic, I saw Dr. Raman with 2 emergency patients......

Off I went to Mid Valley Megamall to mail 2 packages (the computer system was down at the Old Klang Road Post Office) and went shopping for awhile ;))) and ate lunch (my favourite Turkey Ham, Avocado & Cheese toasty from JJ Super Sandwiches). Then it was back to work at 1230pm.

Now I have to wait another 4 weeks to know my baby's gender during the fetal anomaly scan at 18 weeks..... Can't wait to know ASAP! Just purchased a huge lot of Gymboree outfits (worth about USD670) from the Gymboree Online Store in the USA - due to arrive next week. Will be listing them in my ebay store to sell. If I am pregnant with a baby girl I will be keeping most of the outfits because they are sooooo adorable!!!

Christmas











Christmas day photo with Evan at home. He was so busy playing with his masak-masak toys that he didn't look into the camera.
We attended Christmas service in the morning at Subang Methodist Church after a scrumptious breakfast at Ka Fei Tian Amcorp Mall. Nice cosy old-style cafe that serves their signature roti bakar and coffee. They also serve other local favorites like nasi lemak etc. The fish porridge is yummy and also their assam fried meehoon with curry chicken. All reasonably-priced below RM10. At church we had a buffet lunch sponsored by a church member. There was a special item by the OSH youths. They presented a white-gloved hand mime based on the song : We are the Reason. In the evening after dinner at home we went out to the Gardens at Mid Valley for a stroll. Simple and quiet Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Beautiful

"Beautiful!" Evan says when he puts on a new article of clothing and then looks into the mirror. He learnt this word from his grandma. Recently Evan saw me in a new dress and he quietly said "Mommy? Mommy.... beautiful!" and flashed a shy grin. This happened another 2 times when i wore a new dress and blouse (he really notices what i wear and knows what to say to make me happy!).

Fun @ The Curve & Ikano














We went to Ikano Power Center in the evening of Hari Raya Haji and we were just in time to catch Gingerbread Man and 2 clowns doing their walk-about in the mall. Evan also had fun playing at the kids playzone (RM5 per entry).















"Clown so tall!"















Then off we went to the Curve for dinner at Marche Movenpick. Lots of 'stalls' here at the marketplace and all meals are cooked fresh before your very eyes! Each diner is given a card and it will be stamped each time an order is made at the different stalls. At the bakery, Larry got a gingerbread man (RM3.50++) for Evan. He was so contented and sat quietly and ate without a fuss. For starters we had the mushroom soup (RM5.90++). We ordered Rosti with Turkey Ham (RM16.90++) and a 12-layer salad (RM12.50++). For dessert we tried the sweet crepe which came with vanilla ice-cream and fruits wrapped inside. I had a glass of iced berries drink. All in all the bill came to about RM50. Nice place to eat - toilets nearby and also a children's playground area with balloons.


























'Snow' at the Curve pedestrian bridge. It's actually foam but looks real. The decorations at the Curve are all snow-themed. There was also a performance by a string quartet & trio - as usual Evan was transfixed. It really was a fun evening out!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rumahku














Rumahhku Cafe & Gallery is one of our favourite haunts for dinner. Easy parking - no charge and so near - just 10 minutes drive away along Jln Universiti opposite UM's Dental Faculty. Evan enjoys the papadams over there.














The menu is local fare - specializing in Indian food. There's also Chinese and Malay food and a few Western dishes. They also provide catering service. We catered from them for Evan's first birthday party last year.















Larry ordered his favourite coconut drink - which is a very refreshing and cooling choice. He tried the fish head noodles that day - which was ok. Usually Larry likes to order the Briyani dinner sets or Masala thosai.













As for me, my all time favourite and only available for dinner on Tuesdays and Fridays is the String Hopper set - RM5.50. Comes with 2 pcs of putumayam and choice of fried potatoes or fried egg. I usually take both choices and they charge me additional RM1.00. Chinese dishes are also available to go with steamed rice. Portions are either regular or large.
We usually spend less than RM20 here for dinner which is a good deal.....plus the place is cosy and clean and toilets are easily accessible - for Evan to wash his hands and use the loo!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Evan's New Bed
















This is a pic of Evan jumping around and falling on his butt wearing his bugs bunny bedroom slippers! Time for bed!
















We bought Evan's new bed from Ikea : Leksvik Extendable Bed with 3 different lengths to extend to. We paid about RM650 for everything including the delivery and assembly service. On the day his bed arrived he was sooooo excited! I took out his cotbed mattress and placed it on his bed for use temporarily. We ordered a custom-made latex mattress from Safe & Sound which will arrive next week. Evan's cotbed mattress is also from Safe & Sound but it was standard size and works really well. Anti-bacterial/dustmites and easy to clean/wash. Evan slept in his bed that night itself. No problems at all. In fact he has been sleeping through the night for the past few nights! No waking up for nen-nen or comforting. Hurray!
















This is a pic of Evan taking his afternoon siesta.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

T'is the Season





















Photo taken at Mid Valley Megamall. As usual the Christmas decorations are elegant and creatively done. Their theme this year is Magical Fairies. Evan had the opportunity to watch a String Quartet perform that night.























Photo taken at 1 Utama. The decorations are quite good - simple and nice. The theme for their Christmas decor is Toy Soldiers. Evan was really excited to see the toy soldiers - they were playing different instruments - bagpipes, trumpet, drums etc. Very difficult to get Evan to pose nicely for pictures....he's always moving. Recently our Canon Powershot digital camera went out of order and we purchased a NEW Canon IXUS with improved functions. Still the photos that were taken were still slightly blurry because of Evan's constant movements!

O&G update

Attended my O&G Follow-up on 22nd Nov. Scan shows everything normal. 2 Weeks later on 6th Dec had another appointment with my Gynaecologist : Dr. Yap Moy Juan. She did a nuchal scan on me at 11 weeks. Was told that risk for Trisomy 21 and a few other genetic disorders were very low. Baby was stretching and squirming actively during the scan. 5 fingers and toes were counted on each hand and foot. Small remnant of the yolk sac still present - which is responsible for my nausea and bloating..... anyway things are slowly improving! Looking forward for my next appointment on 8th Jan. Will be able to know the baby's gender then!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Children of the World
















This is a pic of Evan getting his tatoo done. It's the annual end-of-the-year party for Lil Beansprouts Montessori. It was held on 1st December at the nursery's premises on a Saturday morning. The theme : Children of the World. All were required to dress up in cultural or traditional costumes.


















The program started off with the cultural performance competition where 8 families competed for the Best-Dressed title and Best Performance. We did a lion dance performance - which didnt quite turn out so well as Evan was not in the mood at all to dance in front of an audience..... After the performances, everyone went to the playground area for refreshments. That's where Evan got his butterfly tatoo.



















3 6-year olds graduated this year. They were presented with certificates from Moh Cheng - the principal. Finally the children presented a song from High School Musical - see pic. Then there was a gift exchange in the spirit of Christmas and a special appearance by Santa.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Update on Evan











Some pics of Evan clowning around in Toys r'us Mid Valley during Halloween.









Evan turned 27 months recently. He's very good with his shee shee & poo poo. Only needs diapers when he goes to sleep. Sleeps better at night.... no more midnight nen-nen snacking. He can sing a variety of songs and rhymes.

Evan's favourite phrases :
1) Oh look! Look! what's that? It's a.... (when he sees something interesting)
2) Where are you? (when he's looking for someone)
3) The end.....(at the end of the book)
4) Show mommy (when he wants to show me something)
5) Pleeeeease mommy, pleeeease....... (when he's asking for something)
6) Drink nen-nen over there (when he stirs in the early morning and wants some comforting to get back to sleep)
7) Shee shee potty! (when he needs to go)
8) oh oh, oh no! what happened? (exclaimations)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Busy Busy Busy!

Been busy with loads of stuff lately....
1) Attended my O&G appt on Nov 1st and the doctor did a vaginal scan for me - we viewed the fetus and its heartbeat - pregnancy confirmed. Next follow up on 22nd Nov.

2) My brother Sau-Wern's wedding in Segamat over the Deepavali weekend. He had a Buddhist registration ceremony + buffet lunch, tea ceremony and dinner at Tai Ah Restaurant. Lots of guests - about 300 plus. I was in charge of the reception counter where the guests sign in and 'deposited' their ang pows. Didnt have any nice shots in my camera but Wei-Chung who flew all the way back from Germany, did a good job covering the wedding. My dad also hired videographers for the auspicious event.

3) Started my ebay store on Nov 7th. Do check it out.

Larry is now in London taking his MFGDP(UK) and will be back on Saturday. More pics and updates when I'm not so busy!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Baby in Tummy

"Evan, what's in mommy's tummy?"
"Baby!" Evan responded. I was surprised he said that and it turned out to be true! Well, he also said that he has a baby in HIS tummy......nevertheless, there's indeed a baby inside me.... but not the tummy..... the womb. The home pregnancy test kit showed positive when i did the test after my period was late by one day. Now I am 5 weeks into the pregnancy and I've even dug out my old maternity clothes to wash and wear when the time comes. Larry & I have just started trying for our second baby but didn't expect God to answer our prayers so promptly! I've also booked an appointment to see my O & G : Dr. Raman at Fetal Medicine & Gynaecology Center but as usual he is fully booked! So, I will see another lady gynae instead. Been having lots of wind, bloating and nausea...... definitely different from my first pregnancy...... more on this after my medical check-up on 1st Nov.

Monday, October 22, 2007

This is the way Evan brushes his teeth







Evan has so far been co-operative with brushing his pearly whites. Phewwww! sometimes he enjoys brushing so much that he keeps on asking for more toothpaste and wants to brush again and again.... Here he's brushing with his Buzz Lightyear toothbrush in his room. Up till now, he has 14 teeth, another 4 molars expected within a few months. He has congenitally missing 2 lower incisors - just like mommy.... and mommy didnt noticed until kaima commented about his lack of teeth! Evan also loves to brush his teeth with daddy's electric toothbrush.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Puzzled over Puzzles
















Evan turns 26 months on 18th Oct. Lately he has been doing some puzzles. I started him off with a Dora The Explorer 8-pc woodboard puzzle. No sweat - and he loves doing the puzzle over and over again. Then we progressed to a Mickey & Minnie Puzzle which i bought from Jigsaw Puzzle World. This time it's 20 pcs in a frame tray. this is one of his favourites. I bought another 2 smaller puzzles : 9pcs and 16pcs - Barney & Dora again. Evan also enjoys doing his Cookie Monster 20pcs frame tray puzzle. This puzzle is the hardest among all. I thought of keeping it till he's 3 years (as written on the puzzle for 3+) but since he's such a pro already why not let him have fun playing with it?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Love is in the Air










First up was a wedding dinner at Parkroyal Hotel. I dressed up Evan in a vest and bow-tie. The short pants that came together as a set was too tight for him so he wore this pair of corduroys instead. Dapper and smart! Before the wedding dinner, we drove to Pavillion nearby to check it out. Well, nothing to shout about but the place was very modern and spacious. Then we attended Dr Poon Joy Kwan & J'nie's wedding celebration.










Next up within the same week was Evan's Kai-Ma's(Godma) wedding dinner on October 7th. I dressed him up again in a black white Mickey vest (bought on ebay malaysia for RM10 - second hand) and a bow-tie (new from Bangsar Village). He also wore new shoes from Treehouse which I had bought a few months back in anticipation of a flurry of formal events like this one. The dinner was the BEST that i've ever attended in the sense that it started not too late, food was good, met up with lots of friends and the gu-zheng music was so entertaining and not jarring to the ears. Alan Tam was the gu-zheng soloist who performed that night. We also had him for our wedding 4 years ago and he could recognize us too! Congratulations Siok Keim and Min Wei!









This is Siok Keim - all decked up in bridal finery! She had her marriage registration done on 9th October followed by the Chinese custom of 'fetching the bride', tea ceremony etc. An eye opener for me because i didnt do any of that during my wedding. There were lots of photos taken but i only have this nice one in my camera..... what to do ...... got to keep an eye on Evan..... who happily jumped on Siok Keim's new bed. Will post the other photos as soon as I get them from Siok Keim. My brother Sau-Wern's wedding is up next......

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Cow jumped over the Moon
















The moon was as round as can be on the fifteen day of the eighth lunar month. We brought Evan down to the poolside to play with 'tanglung'. We manage to buy a small swallow shaped lantern and candles at the eleventh hour near our workplace in OUG.
When Evan saw the moon he kept on pointing and shouting "Moon! Moon!". Well it reminds him of his favourite nursery rhyme, in which the cow jumped over the moon.

















Hey so many candles! And Evan promptly sang the Happy Birthday Song - to Mommy! I remember that when I was young, my parents would buy lanterns for me and my brothers and we walked around the neighbourhood. Not many children around because we were the only ones staying in a shophouse.





















This fish lantern was bought last year but was not used so we took it out to play. Later on, a few of Evan's friends joined us and they lighted more lanterns together.

Arts & Crafts








This was what Evan brought home from Nursery. Lots of arts & crafts projects. This is a painting and there rest are cut & paste, coloring etc. The theme for this month is Healthy Foods so the children were taught arts & crafts according to the theme. When i asked Evan who made all these? His reply was "Aunty Moh Cheng" - his teacher!


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Doctor and Dentist







Evan went to see Dr. Koe Swee Lee for his Pneumococcal jab today. And for the first time ever he cried - well - for awhile! The jab was a bit tad painful i reckoned..... he was even pulling his arm and asking us to kiss and make it better! tsk tsk tsk.... his next jab is coming up soon - after chinese new year..... hopefully he will not create any fuss. This is Evan's favourite toy at the Paed's : Crocodile Xylophone.












Since Dr. Koe's clinic is just a stone's throw away from my workplace, Evan went for his 2nd dental visit too. Since he was pretty whiny and tired - we just let him play with the spitoon and polishing brush and off we head home.









His first dental visit was at 2 years old. He was co-operative enough to open wide but he wouldn't allow the polishing brush to enter his mouth. When hubby demonstrated the brush on the model teeth, Evan wanted to do the same too! Eventually we ended up polishing the model teeth instead of Evan's teeth! *slap head*

Monday, September 17, 2007

A to Z




















These are some of Evan's alphabet toys .... one of them - the black board with colorful small case alphabets actually belonged to me! My mother bought it from the UK back in the 70's from Mothercare via post. I can still remember the Mothercare catalogues that my mother used to keep. She not only ordered that alphabet toy but many other toys too which i fondly remember and enjoyed playing with.





















Evan's favourite letters : A & Z. He can sing the alphabet song and also recognize all the letters of the alphabet -capital letters and small letters alike since few months back. Nowadays he's more conscious of the alphabets found in words. Hopefully he will start reading soon, now that he is already attending pre-school morning session from 9-12.30pm everyday.



Friday, September 7, 2007

Gifts Galore!
















Evan received lots of pressies and ang pows for his birthday. We bought him Mr. Potato and friends – and he really enjoyed playing with the spud buds. Kai Ma Siok Keim bought him a pair of crocs shoes with Mickey Mouse on it. He wore them immediately after removing them from the bag! REALLY comfy and so stylo milo! Kai Ma really has good taste la! Thanks!!!





















Elmo backpack with set of 4 game cards is from Auntie Haw Yeng. She was so thoughtful! Other gits include a Thomas the Train alphabet & numbers block Learning Set, Playdoh Barbeque Set, Books, T-Shirt etc My dad requested that we buy Evan a tricycle with the ang pow money he gave but can’t seem to find anything suitable yet.....






















This drumset was one of the gifts Evan received - from Irene Goh & family (Subang Methodist Church). Look at him play!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Hey diddle, diddle, Evan & his fiddle
















This is Evan with his violin - we stumbled across this toy at Babyland, SS2 - only RM9.90. We were actually there to look for a tricycle for Evan as requested by his Kung Kung for little Evan's birthday. Didn't manage to find a suitable one instead we got side-tracked and found the violin and at the same time a old classic wooden toy piano exactly like the ones that we had when we were young. Wow, Evan was sooooo excited that he held the violin all the way home and after that wouldnt let go of it - even when it was time to snooze...... and then he even brought it out with him to Berjaya Times Square. He has a book title 'Howard's Screechy Violin' and he would 'act out' the entire story with his violin - including the part where he would bow after playing the violin. He simply lurves musical instruments....



















This is Evan with his toy guitar...... another one of the many instruments he has. So far, he has a xylophone, drum, trumpet, tambourine, electronic guitar, guitar, piano, violin, drumset with cymbals and another electronic guitar..... well, we are on the look out for an accordion, castanet and maracas for him! He always goes ga-ga over the display of real music instruments at the shops and even in his story books. Before we bought him the piano, he would pretend to play an imaginary piano. He has also used his Lego Duplo blocks to create a flute, clarinet and saxophone. Plus, he would use covers and pretend they are cymbals.
























This is Evan with his toy trumpet. It broke after he dropped it one day and I had to purchase another trumpet but a better design which can play 3 different notes. Anyway, we sent a photo of him with this trumpet and specs to Parenthood magazine and it was selected as a winner in the candid camera contest - check it out in the Parenthood September 2007 issue.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Evan's 2nd Birthday Bash!
















Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street? We organized a Sesame Street themed birthday party for Evan this year as he turned 2. Well, he simply adores Elmo and Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch and well, basically all the characters on Sesame Street. The menu was rather simple fare …. Domino’s Thin Crust Pizzas, Rhu CafĂ©’s Kampung Fried Rice, KFC’s Chicken Nuggets, Cupcakes, Orange Juice, Watermelon and Salad. A total of 30 over guests crammed our condominium unit on the evening of 19th August, Sunday.















Evan’s birthday cake was a gift from Sek Kee. It’s a Jelly Cake of Bert & Ernie. I bought the no.2 birthday candle – just wanted to continue the tradition of number candles (Evan had a no.1 candle last year).
















We had a sing-a-long session of Evan’s favorite songs from Veggie Tales and boy, Evan had a nice time jumping and dancing around to the songs! Following that, we sang the birthday song and Evan blew out the candle and cut the cake.
















Forgot to mention that Evan wore a baby Elmo T-shirt during the party. We also had helium-filled mylar balloons of Elmo and Cookie Monster to decorate the place. Again, most of the partyware were bought on ebay USA. Now, that the party’s over….it’s clean up time! And also opening the presents! Well, that will be reported in the next blog because as of now, Evan still has not received all of his birthday presents yet…. Some pending… heheh…..



Friday, August 17, 2007

Birthday Party







We celebrated Evan's 2nd birthday at Lil Beansprouts Montessori on 16th August 2007. I ordered 50 pcs of cupcakes from Ms. Fong of Sweet Obsessions at Ikano Power Center. I provided her with Elmo cupcake rings and cupcake liners and she baked the sponge cakes. This was the first time the kids had cupcakes instead of cake. I set up the Sesame Street Cupcake Kit and we used an Elmo candle. Everyone went "Oooo" and "Aaaa" over the cupcakes!











After singing the 'Cha-cha-cha Birthday Song', everyone sat down at their tables and ate the cake. Evan walloped his in no time!













Then, after cleaning up, all the kids sat down and Evan walked around the 'Sun' twice because he will be turning 2. Following that, the kids got their party packs from Evan. Finally, everyone lined-up and said 'Good-bye!'