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.

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 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!" 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


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 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.