Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We just came back from church and now I am in the midst of preparing Christmas dinner. I had invited a few friends over for dinner which I am looking forward to since weeks ago. Chloe has been busy helping me (or rather messing around).

She sings while I marinate the turkey (which I know I should be doing yesterday) while my hubby decorates the Christmas tree (small version). I will be making steam chocolate cake for dessert, sandwiches for the kids, stew lamb shanks for big bird hater, salad for Mandy (one of my neighbour who loves greens) and cocktail for everyone except babies :-)

Before I log out and sweat myself in the kitchen I would like to wish for Santa to fulfill all the wishes that all blogger make and hope that we will overcome all the uncertainty in our life with strength and courage. Merry Christmas.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Brainy Baby

Today I am going to present a very special gift to one of the great inventor.... 'TV' (The Vicious). He is the most notorious crook I ever know where he brain wash children's mind with whatever he screen from the black box. He allow the kids to get attached to him so that kids will not listen to mom when she is talking.

Mom, I want Bonnie Bear, I want Tillie Knock Knock, I want Bloop and Loop...

That is what Chloe will say whenever she saw TV. Today I decided to allow her to watch something different. Shapes and colour, from Brainy Baby... Hei, she doesn't have to watch TV for that right?

"Chloe why don't mommy play with you. We don't have to watch TV for shapes and colour. We can play with our blocks. Just you and me."

"NO! I want TV. I want to learn with TV! I WANT TV!"

"Don't you want to play with mommy? Or maybe we can visit Carrie (Chloe's play date) and play with her."

"NO! I don't want mommy. I don't want Carrie. I WANT TV!"

That is how 'The Vicious' impacted our lives.

Winter solstices

Yesterday was suppose to be the longest day in the day. What is the tradition around winter solstices? As I was born in Asia, I was a mix between East and West tradition.

Winter solstices was celebrated in China by making glutinous rice balls. We will roll the rice ball together.... in a very BIG family.... great grandma, grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins, mom, dad and siblings. I never understand the meaning of all this tradition when I was young but right now I do miss rolling of rice ball with my family. The togetherness, laughter and joy as a family.

Yesterday, we celebrate winter solstices by saying prayer where we hope that the world will be a better place for Chloe. No war, no terror and hopefully no economy downturn in long run :-)


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cell Phones

This is probably what cell phone does to our brain power - like putting your head in a microwave.  Check this out!

And we are supposed to believe that cell phones are safe. Just imagine the impact to our young children who's brain is developing.

Chloe in action

After the first jump into the pool, Chloe got so excited ever time we go for a walk. She will take her swimming suits, overcoat and a toy with her... preparing herself just in case she decided to jump into the swimming pool again which she always does no matter how cold the water is.


This has prompt me to do some research on how to teach kids to swim. The technique seems interesting but I just wish that Chloe is able to sit still like the little girl :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Growing up

Does toddler always goes backward when they are growing up? Chloe who can walk and run is crawling again. She built a train track (that is what she called it) using Lego and walked around the track.

Then she started to dance around. Seems like she enjoyed the colourful track very much.

Suddenly she was happily crawling and crawling nonstop. She did that for almost half and hour. From train track to kitchen to bedroom. It is normal? :-)

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Run For Good Cause

It is not my normal post mentioning about fundraising but event is very close to my heart. I am a follower of It's my life and in today's post, Charlotte (the writer's sister) is going to run a marathon for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training.

The Team In Training raises funds to blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. Their mission is to cure  leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Oh, why am I interested in this fundraising program? Remember that I mentioned in A Brand New Year that I lost a couple of love one this year? One of them is my grandpa who died after a year battling Lymphoma.

A tough guy who had fought during WWII, equipped  me with financial educations and provided all the loves as a grandpa. When he was sick at 80, bravely he fought the disease and went through a number of chemotherapy in the hope that he live till 100 years old. Yes, he was 80 years old at that time  yet he never give up hope.

I appreciate Charlotte's run and hope that all reader's will donate for a good cause. Charlotte needed $2600 and every dollar that you donated will give more hope in curing the ultimate disease. Click Here and do good. Thanks.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Steam Banana Cake

After a successful steam chocolate moist cake, I had decided to stay healthy and try Chloe's favourite banana cake (steam version). Initially I was a bit pessimistic as it doesn't look good, but the taste is just fantastic. It is easy to make and I just love it.

What you need:
2 Eggs
1/2 cup of castor sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed (200g)
1 cup Self-raising Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/3 cup oil (any flavorless oil)

What to do!

1. Sift together self-raising flour and baking soda, set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together Eggs and sugar till ribbon stage.
3. Mix in mashed bananas, beat till combine.
4. Gently fold in flour mixture and Oil, taking care not to deflate the eggs and sugar mixture.
5. Heat up the steamer.
6. Lined and greased a 8 or 9 inch baking pan.
7. Pour the batter into prepared pan and place the pans into the steamer.
8. Steam over medium heat for 30 mins.
9. Cool the cake in pan before turning out for further decoration.

PS: Please check out steam chocolate moist cake photos which I missed out previously.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Green tomato

Finally several months of watering, playing and plucking the leaves (which is Chloe's favourite), the tomato plant that Chloe planted has bear some fruit. It is still green but I do hope that it will turn out to be beautiful plump healthy tomatoes

Some tips on growing tomato plant
1) They need sufficient sunlight and plenty of moisture
2) You can enrich the soil by adding homemade compost.
3) Water the plants once in two days.
4) If the shoot is too soft, tie it to a wood so that it will grow vertically.
Finally make sure that your kids do not pluck the leaves before the tomatoes is ripe otherwise the tree will look rather funny

Christmas Towel Cake

I got this idea from a friend to make a Christmas Towel Cake. All this while, I only know about edible cake but never have I thought that that we can giveaway healthy beautiful cake that can last a lifetime :)

Reasons to make a towel cake

1.It is calorie and fat free! Not only can you create a beautiful cake, you can stick to your diet at the same time!

2.If you can fold a towel and roll a towel, chances are that you will excel beautifully at the towel cake.

3.It is useful

4.It is inexpensive and easy to create

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

To change or just be yourself

As a parent, we always wanted to provide the best for our children. In the process we might unconsciously hurt mentally. In my previous post in parenting, I mentioned before in Playing Piano that we should not forcing our children to do something when they are not ready. Today I wanted to share a video clip about a peacock living in the Land of penguins. Enjoy

Monday, December 8, 2008

Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake

I never thought of making cake without an oven. Recently one of my friend suggested me to steam it rather than bake it for health reason. I love the idea that I don't have to crank up the oven so I just ask her how to go about it.

Her reply:

What you need
3/4 bar of butter (1 bar= 250g)
1 cup of castor sugar
1/2 can of Full Cream Evaporated Milk (about 200g)
2 Eggs,lightly beaten with a folk
1 cup of Plain flour
1/2 cup of Cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract or 1 tsp Vanilla essence

What to do!
1. Combine castor sugar,evaporated milk,vanilla extract or essence and butter in a saucepan.
2. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted,off fire and keep warm.
3. Add the beaten eggs into the slightly cold Evaporated milk mixture and stir till well mix.
4. Sift the flour,cocoa powder,baking powder and baking soda into a large mixing bowl then pour the eggs mixture over the flour and stir till well mix (cake batter should be runny).
5. Heat up the steamer.
6. Lined and greased a 8 or 9 inch baking pan.
7. Pour the batter into prepared pan and place the pans into the steamer and cover the top of the pan loosely with a piece of aluminium foil.
8. Steam over medium heat for 45 mins.
9. Cool the cake in pan before turning out for further decoration.

I am going to try this tomorrow so wish me luck.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Most dangerous toys

I just got this note from and I thought I would like to share with all of you before you start holiday shopping.

List of most recent toys recalls

With all this recall, sometimes I wonder whether there is any safe product out there for Chloe. Has the manufacturer done thorough check before producing these item?

I am concern with what is happening... sometimes maybe too much but I rather be safe than sorry. What about you?

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Chloe has started to be very rebellious. She likes to yell, say 'No!' to every questions that you ask, bang on the door and cry loudly in the mall. I tried very hard to keep my temper and sometimes wonder whether I am a good mother or not.

Are all parents facing the same problems? Spanking or not? Scolding or not? What is the best way to educate a toddler? For all parents out there, do feel free to share your parenting tips here.

Hopefully positive parenting will helps.

Oh yes, something meaningful that I would like to share with all.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Brand New Year

Wow, it is December. I am so excited except for the part where I am getting older. This year has been a rough one for us. My husband and I had gone through a lot of ups and downs. We lost a couple of loves one (whom I still miss very dearly) and struggling through career and financial uncertainty.
Although we are still struggling thought the ocean waves, we pray that things will get better next year. No matter how tough the challenges are, we always have faith as Chloe is walking side by side with us.
To prepare for New Year, I had baked some cookies and in the process of learning how to decorate a cake which I hope Chloe will love it. Check this out.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Carousel ride

I am amazed by how a simple amusement ride of a rotating platform with seats can attract children so much. Chloe is attracted to the carousel at an outlet near our place. Each time I go there with her, a carousel ride is something not to be missed.

It is a nice horse carousel near children's outlet and she will ride for a few minutes before allowing me to buy new clothes... replacing her unfit clothes which I will be mumbling because she outgrown her clothes in 2 months.

A ride will always makes her smile. No wonder I always give in each time she wanted a second ride.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Making Fall Leaves Craft

I just found an interesting way of making fall leaves craft from Kids Craft and I was attracted with it. I am a conventional mother that believe expensive toys can't replace the valueable time that I spend with Chloe. I am not a crafty person but for Chloe, I am learning creative ways to play with Chloe.

Check This Out!

How we make coffee filter leaves:

1. Cut leaf shapes out of basket-type coffee filters.

2. Fill an ice cube tray with water and then put a few drops of food coloring in each of the sections (orange, red, yellow, and brown). Make each section a different color.

3. Flatten out each of your pre-cut filter leaves and use an eyedropper to make designs on them. Each color will spread and run into the other colors.

This is a lot of fun for the kids (and the grownups) and makes a good lesson for what happens when you mix colors. Let the filters dry completely and don’t forget to put down some newspaper or your table will likely be stained.

Then you can use these pretty leaves in any other Thanksgiving project, tape them to windows, or in a pretty Thanksgiving display.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you had a great one. I am suppose to post about turkey for Thanksgiving but unfortunately the trial turkey was burnt and I decided that I don't want to ruin this year's Thanksgiving by burning another turkey again. Will be having pizza instead.
Anyway, Chloe loves pizza more than turkey so I am fine with pizza but my hubby.... hopefully he won't be making a fuzz about it.
It is Thanksgiving and we should be thankful right?

Thanksgiving quote to share:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

W. J. Cameron
It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast.

J. A. Shedd
He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Disney Friendship Stories

I was cleaning the book shelves when I noticed this book. My husband bought it for Chloe when he was on business trip in Hong Kong. Disney Friendship Stories is a great book to teach family and friendship.

The part that I love most is Lilo and Stitch. The story was so warm. The beginning about how Stitch made life harder for Lilo and Nani may not be a good start for some. The trick is to teach us that no matter what happened "Nobody gets left behind" in a family. In good times or bad times.

As a family, we need to stick together through thick and thin. I am learning to become a better mother and wife and I learned a lot from Lilo.
"This is my family. I found it all on my own. It's little and broken but still good"

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's a toy

Spring cleaning time for Christmas. Or rather I will call that winter cleaning time. Vacuuming the dust under the bed, finding all the missing pieces of Chloe's toys and making sure that she doesn't go hiding under the bed playing peek-a-boo.

This time, she did something out of ordinary. She made a slide climber out of the mattress that I took out and put on the sofa. Initially she was mumbling something that I couldn't hear due to the loud noise of the vacuum cleaner. Then she started to climb up and slide down. She was having fun and her laughter was so loud that I stopped working and watched her playing.... Just to make sure she didn’t fall off

Things seem easy with kids. They never bother about how busy you are or whatever you are doing. They can just play and make toys out of anything. Do you call that creativity or naughty?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Preparing Christmas

Christmas is just 5 weeks away and I am looking forward for the celebration. I had made a sock for Chloe to hang on the Christmas tree which we will be decorating it together. This is the first time we celebrate Christmas at home.

Last year, we spent Christmas in the hospital. I remember clearly that how I get a shock in my life worrying that something might happen to Chloe. It was Christmas Eve and I was preparing lunch.

Chloe who just woke up from morning nap cried for me and suddenly vomited. Thinking that it may be due to indigestion, we just calmed her down and changed her. After changing her, she vomited again and this time, her face turned white. Quickly we rushed her to the hospital. Thought-out the whole journey she will just threw up and become unconscious by the time we reached the hospital.

The MO in charge quickly put her on drip and I was so heartbroken. I was so worry if something bad happened to her. She just slept there and I am so helpless. Doctor said that it may be due to bacteria infection but need to monitor her for a day. The next day when she woke up, she just smile at me and called mama. That is the best Christmas present I ever had.

This year, I am looking forward to celebrate Christmas with her at home and hopefully it will go well. Keeping my finger cross.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Playing piano

Me: Chloe is playing with my keyboard again!
Hubby: Maybe she is just talented or she loves it. Do you want to consider sending her for piano class?
Me: She is just a kid! (ha, it is time for me to use this phase against my hubby)

Whether Chloe is a genius or not, I don't like to force her into learning something when she is not ready. Ok, except for number recognition. I know that with the rapid development, the pressure for kids to reach a certain milestones is high. But what is the fun of learning when they cannot learn at their own pace. I will try to keep that in mind.

Birthday Party Theme

I am planning for a Christmas party this year and thought whether it can replace the fun that Chloe at her first birthday party. As she was too young during that time, I wanted to keep it short and simple but memorable. A few pointers that I noted when I was organizing the party:
1) Invite the number of guests that match your child's age so that they can mix around. At least that is what Chloe did.
2) Fewer guests can make for a more manageable party.
3) Kids love to play with their food. Lucky for me, I had a friend who suggested me to this nice restaurant where they allow people to held party. After the party, it was a total disaster in the restaurant as the kids throw their food around, knocking things down etc. Sorry to the restaurateurs for the mess
4) Don't hire a clown if there is infant/toddler around. I make a mistake here. In the midst of joyful party, the clown turned up to give away balloons. A handful of the kids started to cry when they saw the clown. I quickly have to ask the clown to leave so that we can have a peaceful party.
Do leave a note about your experience organizing your child's birthday party.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Since Chloe loves music very much, I explores a few classes that teaches music for toddler until I found Kindermusik.

"Kindermusik is a music and movement program and each week, toddler and parents will play, listen and dance together to music that will impact you and your child in profound ways." Extract from

I am not sure whether the class is as good as it sounds but since they provide free trial, no harm trying right? So yesterday, I went to their trial class with my hubby and Chloe. There are a few other babies and parents around. Chloe with very strong stranger anxiety just stick with me.

The instructor was very friendly trying to play around with Chloe but she refused and sat with me quietly. Surprisingly, I never saw her so quiet. Nevertheless once the music started, she started to swing her body. She loves the musical instrument that they have until she doesn't want to return it back.

Right now I am wondering whether I should enroll her to the class or not. What do you think?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Jumping into the pool

Chloe's vocabulary has grown tremendously since the past one month. I am so happy that she can express herself very well. She is so talkative that she will sing and talk all day.

When we bring her to the park, she will show me flower, tree, coconut, ball etc. There hasn't been any challenge bringing her to the park until now. There is a public pool near the park that we stay and sometimes we will bring her in to watch other kids swimming.

Yesterday when we were getting closer to the swimming pool, she kept saying that she wanted to swim. I am not a good swimmer and my husband does not swim at all. Worse still, she didn't want to go home unless she can go into the water.

I was speechless and nothing seems to be able to stop her from going into the water. I gave in as always.... Admittedly I am too soft with her.

Since it was not too deep, I let her got used to the water by putting her feet down and hope that she will back out due to the cold water.... arggh but she enjoyed the cold water so much that she decided to jump into the pool!

So there she was, wet and cold but happy. For other swimmer that uses the pool, sorry that she wasn't wearing swimming suits. Will bring along next time.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gardening with Chloe

It's gardening time! Or rather 'leaf/flower picking' time for Chloe. I know how much kids likes to try out new things and that is what this blog is about. They love to play in the dirt, water plants and watch their favourite foods growing right before their little amazed eyes.
Tips to help your toddler with gardening
1) Choose foods they like
Tomatoes, Apples.... As long as they can pick the tomatoes or apples before it is even ripe
2) Child-size gardening tools
Err... You can skip this part because whether it is child-size tools or not, they will still grab the tools that you are using.
3) Start your garden with seeds
This is a must because they can throw the seeds in the garden (if you are lucky) or in the house
4) Garden care and upkeep
Oh, they will always look forward to this time because it is the time when they can play with the water in the garden
5) Time for pickin'
You don't have to tell them when the time is. From my experience, everyday is a good day to pick. Leaf, flower you just name it....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

It is time to prepare for Christmas. After all the fun and mess making bread with Chloe, I was thinking about allowing her to try out making Christmas cut out cookies. Baking bread and cookies with kids are very different. I am not particular about how the bread looks like but I am very particular when it comes to cookie. I mean who would want to try a cookie that looks like shit. Ok, there should be a warning sign that I need to be aware regarding baking activities with toddler.

WARNING: Baking with toddler is not for parents who likes clean kitchen, who dislike flour in their hair or who are actually trying to make cut out Christmas cookies to give away or serve to people!


A Toddler's Guide to Making Christmas Cookies

Tip #1: Taste the Dough Whenever Possible
"I am going to shove a piece of cookie dough in my mouth to taste whether it is yummy or not. If not yummy, maybe I can spice it up with my saliva"
Tip #2: Make a Play-Doh out of the cookie dough
“I was thinking about pressing the dough with my Play Doh pump”
Tip #3: You Can Never Have Enough Flour
"There is never enough flour on the table, on the dough on the cookie cutters, on mommy, on me, on the floor...... I am going to make sure there is plenty of flour everywhere."
Tip #4: Cookie Dough and Play-Doh Are the Same
"I am going to decorate the cookie with my Play Doh. It will be very delicious”
Tip #5: Use the Roller to Make Music
“I can make really loud music with the cookie roller"
Tip #6: Cookie Cutters Don't Work

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Homemade paint

Lately there has been news on how China made products (milk, cookies and even eggs) being tainted by melamine. It is so sad to see that because of certain adults so eager to make more money, they risk the life of a child. After all this news, I told my husband that we are not going to buy any made in china product for Chloe.
Ops... how am I suppose to let Chloe learn how to paint. I mean kids love painting and I was hoping to let Chloe mess around with paint so that she can master fine motor skills.
I guess I need to use DIY paint

Homemade Face Paint

Small jars or plastic containers
1 teaspoon cornstarch per container
1/2 teaspoon cold cream per container
1/2 teaspoon water per container
Food coloring

In each small container, mix cornstarch and cold cream until well blended.
Add water and stir.
Add food coloring one drop at a time until you get the desired color.
Paint small designs on face with a small paintbrush; remove with soap and water.
Store covered

Monday, November 10, 2008

Easy Bread Recipe

I was browsing throught a website of a preschool near my place that is based on Rudolf Steiner's education method when I found an idea to spice up Chloe's life. In their daily activities, the children will make breads for their snack. I let Chloe tried with it and guess what? She make a mess all over the kitchen and was having so much fun that she keep on saying the word bread. For Chloe bread making is a wonderful sensory experience. The smell of the yeast, the stickiness of the dough, being allowed to help out and knead the dough. The anticipation as it rises. The increadible smell as it bakes. And the extra treat of that first slice hot out of the oven.


Dough -

6 cups of plain flour
1 packet of yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 cups of warm water
saucepan of boiling water


This is really quick and easy! In a large bowl, pour in 5 cups of the flour, the yeast, the salt and the sugar.

Stir in the warm water and the olive oil and start bringing the dough together. Then stir in the rest of the water to make the dough soft.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, floured with the left over cup of flour, and knead until soft.

Put the dough back into the bowl. Fill the saucepan with the boiling water. Stand the bowl over the saucepan of water and cover and leave the dough to rise.

While the dough’s rising, grease your bread tin or your baking sheet.

Turn the dough out back onto floured surface and work it into the piece(s) you require or ready for a bread tin.

Place the dough in the tin it will be baked in and one last time, stand the tin over the saucepan of boiling water, cover with a tea towel and leave it to stand until the dough rises again to fill the tin.

Bake until golden in a hot oven.

Lovely served warm with some butter!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Radio-controlled car

She should stop playing with cars. She is a little girl! I say to my beloved hubby.

I don't know when I begin to think that car is for boys only. Admittedly I shouldn't stop Chloe from playing with her favourite toys. Regrets that I threw away a radio-control car that I got from a friend because of Chloe's obsession, I bought a radio-control car from Tamiya's Lightning McQueen (from the cartoon 'Cars').

The moment I brought it home, she asked me to let her play with it. It was rather a plug and play car where you need to install the wheel and casing. Since I was a dummy when it comes with problem with the car, I decided to ask my husband to install the machine.

Chloe patiently watched while I just continued with my household chores. Initially Chloe was playing with the controller and maneuvers the car around the living room. Then she started to play with the parts by dismantle and install it again.

I was amazed that she shows such a strong interest with the car. I guess I need to let her grow by her interest.

Potty training - she did it!

Today is just my day. Chloe ask me take the potty out and she sits on it. This time with positive result. I had known that she started to feel her bowel movement a month ago but due to her phobia whenever she saw a potty, she will just run away. I had read many articles about how to potty train and patiently I waited for the time to come. Not to forget the Japanese animation that I shared before for potty trainer.

Some ABC of potty training extracted from ParentCenter
A. Assess your child's readiness — and your own
B. Buy the right equipment
C. Create a routine
D. Demonstrate for your child
E. Explain the process
F. Foster the habit
G. Grab some training pants
H. Handle setbacks gracefully
I. Introduce night training
J. Jump for joy — you're done!

Right now, Chloe is celebrating her success by humming the Japanese potty training song.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Number recognition

Lately financial crisis has been surrounding us so much that I started to be worry about Chloe's future. I decided that I should start to financial education until my husband reminded me that she is just over 18 months!
Ok, then I shouldn't be giving her financial education. I should start with numbers... Yes, counting 1, 2, 3. I started to test out a few activities and right now, she is able to count to 10!

Method 1
Introduce the song 'Ten little Indians'. While you are singing, show her 1, 2, 3 etc using your fingers

Method 2

Get a count and stack cubes for her. I got this for Chloe when she was 6 months and till today, she loves to play with the cubes. Initially she loves knocking them down and trying to build them back but now she will say 1, 2,3 whenever she stacks it up.

Method 3
Play number games in the bathtub. Using a plastic shovel and pail, count the number of water scoops you pour into the pail.
Blow bubbles and count the bubbles. Count fingers and toes as you wash them

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is my child happy?

OMG. This is the toughest question I had been asked as a mother. Thought out these years, I had tried to make sure that Chloe is healthy, organized activities that will stimulate her and loved her unconditionally.
Of course in the midst of educating her, sometimes I may be strict at her; for example not allowing her to go into the kitchen when I was cooking. I always tried to balance up work and family. I tend to spend more time playing with her when I am free. Nevertheless, is my child really happy?
'The best predictors of happiness are internal, not external' says Edward Hallowell, psychiatrist and author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness.
This is a short note on how to raise a happy child
1) Learn to read the signs when something makes him happy or sad
Chloe will throw tantrums and become clingy whenever she is upset
2) Make room for fun
Play with them. Connect with them.
3) Help them develop their talents.
Ok, I must admit that I am not good in this. Chloe (a little girl) is very keen in cars. Everyday she will ask me to let her play with car and today, she just dismantled the wheel. I never like the idea of her playing with a boy's toy but I guess I need to let her do what she is best in.
4) Healthy bodies equal happy children.
Lots of sleep, exercise and healthy diet.
5) Let them struggle with problem.
This doesn't mean children shouldn't ask for help if they need it, but your role is to help them find a solution, not provide it for them. Learning to deal with life's inevitable frustrations and setbacks is critical to your child's future happiness.
If your child develops a sense of independence and confidence, it can lead to greater self esteem and happiness. One way to help your toddler develop these qualities is to have him practice playing alone for ten to 15 minutes several times a day.
6) Allow them to be sad or mad
It's simply part of life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It is not an issue

While making pancake for Chloe, I am discussing with my husband how happy I am that Obama is now the President of United States. In the media, many mentioned that Obama created history by becoming the first black President in the states.
However for me, it had never been an issue. I was born and raised in a multi-racial country mainly Chinese, Indian and Malay back in Singapore. Not only I am proud of my upbringing, I always wish that one day other countries will follow the same diversity as well.
I had heard from my close relatives that migrated to other Western country how the people there discriminate those that doesn't have the same skin colour and religion. I am so upset when I heard about all this. A doctor told me before
'Baby smiles to stranger without considering their skin colour because they are colour blind'
If only everyone in this world are colour blind, there will be no war. But I hope that tonight, we will be able to bring change to everyone that skin colour is never a problem.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sound of Music

I was chatting with one of my girlfriend today and I just realized that it is time for me to introduce Sound of Music to Chloe. I know, it sounds very old but remember about the song do-re-mi that Chloe is singing nowadays? It is one of the songs from sound of music... I have never thought about that...
I love this movie because of its nice scenery and songs that they play. I am not a Broadway fan but Sound of Music is not something to be missed. Maria character is something that I adore. Her soft voice and character is what is missing in today's world. In the real story of Captain Trapp, his rejection to Hitler's empire is to be saluted.
My wish is for all voters out there to vote wisely and reject war for world peace.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Injection day

Yesterday Chloe went for routine medical check-up and guess what? Injection time... At first she was very excited to go to the hospital coz they have a nice playing area. Moreover every time she went to the hospital, she will get all the attention from the nurses and patient... Chloe likes to attract attention from strangers. She will smile and wave at them until they notice her.
However yesterday was different... By the time we are in the hospital, not only she didn't greet strangers, she was sitting on a table and play on her own... ops maybe because there were a lot of people in the waiting room. Then came a big size girl and snatch away the toy that she was playing with... how rude. Nevertheless my baby didn't give in and push the girl away. Ok, that is enough. I pull Chloe away from the table so that she won't hurt herself in a fight.
Suddenly the nurse called out Chloe's name. It's her turn! I pushed her into the doctor's room and the doctor just said
'She is 19 months now. Time really flies. Ok let's give her 2 injections today'
Huh? 2 injections? Can she handle it? What injection is that?
'Well I would recommend her to take prevenar and Hib booster this time since she miss one of it last month'
Well, yeah, she misses it because she was hospitalized for high fever and right now she has to take two

Friday, October 31, 2008

Teddy bear

I have newly introduced teddy bear to Chloe. I am not a teddy bear lover because it is not easy to be kept clean especially those bears with long fur. Chloe is just the opposite. After seeing her playing with one of the teddy bear that I got during my early years, I came to notice the below

10 reasons why toddler likes teddy bear?
1) Bears are soft and cuddly. I can hold and drag them around everywhere
2) I loves hug. Whenever mom and dad are too busy to hug me, teddy bear is always there for me.
3) Teddy bear never scold me... unlike mom and dad
4) I can dress teddy bear without any rejection
5) Teddy bear will accompany me whenever I am bored
6) I can sing to teddy bear
Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around
Teddy bear, teddy bear touch the ground
Teddy bear, teddy bear show your foot
Teddy bear, teddy bear fall right down
7) I can bite teddy bear when my gum is itchy ... ops
8) Every night, teddy bear will give me a good night kiss
9) Teddy bear always smile at me
Last but not least, Teddy bear is my best friend

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who taught her that?

My usual outfit at home are shirt and shorts. Today due to the warm weather, I decided to wear something different while I was trying to create a toddle garden.... I wore a spaghetti-strip blouse. Guess what?
Little Chloe who usually get very excited when I was in the garden said "Mommy, close close it"
"Close what"
Pointing at my shoulder...
"You want mommy to close up my shoulder"
"But mommy is very hot"
"No, close it". Pointing to my shoulder again
I was speechless.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It is tough

I always feel that I wanted to spend more time with Little Chloe but seems like time is always not enough coz I need to work at the same time. Today she has been throwing tantrum at me while I was working at home. As usual, I tried to get her to participate in her regular activities but she was whimpering, whining and then screaming at the top of her lungs.
Thinking about it, I may not be spending as much time as she wanted....

Bloop and Loop

I introduced BabyFirstTV to Chloe couple months back so that she can sit down during mealtime... Yes, I will feed her while she was watching TV. I discourage the idea of letting her watching TV but it seems like BabyFirstTV encourage creativity thus I continue letting her watch it for 30min everyday.
Why am I talking about all this??? ops, actually I wanted to share about bloop and loop that is one of the program in BabyFirstTV. After watching Bloop and Loop, Chloe started to mumble the word 'bubble'.... She loves bubbles and right now I am researching ways to do a homemade bubbles... Fun especially during springtime.

Here is a great recipe for homemade bubbles:

1 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Light Karo syrup or 2 Tablespoons Glycerin
4 Tablespoons tear-free baby wash

Mix together and have fun!

Colored Bubbles:

1 cup granulated soap or soap powder
1 quart warm water
Liquid food coloring
Plastic straws
Small juice cans

Dissolve soap in warm water. Stir in food coloring until desired color is attained. Give each child a can about 1/3 full of mix and a plastic straw to blow the bubbles.

A fun activity that you may want to try with your toddlers is bubble yoga. Bubble yoga is when you teach your baby how to pop the bubbles with different body parts (such as their elbows, knees, tummy), thereby encouraging physical fitness.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A particular blend of love

I was reading an article about an Indian festival called Diwali which means Festival of Light. This festival is celebrated by Indian all over the world and they have a very particular delicacy called Murukku that I would like to share with all.

4 cups rice grains
1/2 cup full of Love
25gm Kindness & Forgiveness
25gm Bliss seeds
2 tbsp Gentle powder
100gm Togetherness
Lovey-dovey oil
Joy leaves
Glee to taste

Rinse rice well. Dry completely. Grind into find powder.
Fry love. Once done, add tenderness and set aside for a lifetime. Mix Love with Kindness and Forgiveness. For stronger ties, add Bliss seeds, Gentle power and a dollop of Togetherness.
Add kisses to mixture and knead into firm dough. Allow dough to sit for years and years.
Sprinkle crushed Joy leaves for added Togetherness. Grease fingers. Roll dough into thin strips. Twist strips into the shape of your heart. Heat oil. Fry each murukku till golden brown. Add a pinch of Glee. Store in air-tight container. Serve throughout generation.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's OK to Be Smart...

I just bought my first brain quest for Chloe. I heard alot about BrainQuest being able to develop word skills in fun, playful way. I am really impressed with the outcome of it. Chloe loves Max, the Monkey that comes with it.... Not as a pointer but as a toy :) She mumbles few new words everyday. However she hates the plastic rivet that holds the cards together coz she couldn't take the card out and terribly bent the card when she uses force against it. Any idea how to resolve this?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Alphabet Recipe

I was cranking my head to think of new activities for Chloe until I noted that it was time to teach her A-B-C... I don't believe in pure education. I believe in creativity and the most important thing FUN!!!

I have found 2 fun way of teaching alphabets.

Method 1
Alphabet Cereal or Cookies
Sliced Bread
Peanut Butter, Jam, or Honey

Spread peanut butter, jam or honey on bread with butter knife. Pour some alphabet cereal in a bowl or on a cookie sheet and spread them around. Let your toddler spell his name or other easy word on the bread. Little toddlers can just put random letters on their bread and still have fun.

Method 2
Magnetic alphabets (Playskool magnetic alphabets are durable and just nice for a little child's hands to handle)

Put all the alphabets on the floor or on a table and let your child handle it. When he/she pick up the alphabets, read the alphabets to them. They may not get it the first time but repeat this play everyday and you will see a difference.

Good luck and do feel free to comment on the outcome.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do Re Mi

Everyday I will spend some time singing to Chloe. I had been singing Do Re Mi for couple of weeks and today I saw a tremendous different in Chloe where she is able sing the song with me... let's just sing....

Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with

When you sing you begin with do-re-mi


The first three notes just happen to be



Oh, let's see if I can make it easier

Doe, a deer, a female deer
Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name I call myself
Far, a long long way to run
Sew, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow sew
Tea, I drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to do...oh oh oh

Doe, a deer, a female deer
Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name I call myself
Far, a long long way to run
Sew, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow sew
Tea, I drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to Do

Do re mi fa so la ti do, so do

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let's go on a vacation

It may be too early to talk about Christmas holiday but I am looking forward for it. This year due to financial turmoil, my hubby's company was forced to shutdown as a cost cutting measurement. I was browsing through the internet for a cheaper getaway and noted that aquarium may be one of the choices. At some of the aquarium, they have toddler time with activity station, storytelling, songs and games. There is also activity to get close with the fishes, dolphin etc... Hmm... I hope Chloe will love it. What do you think?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Regrets regrets...

Yesterday, I bought a Disney Magnetic Drawing board which includes a board book for Chloe. Ignoring the instruction that mentioned it is suitable for children above 3 years old, I bought it in hoping that she will like to read the board book and draw on the board instead of the table :) Unfortunately I was wrong. She did not even flip the board book but instead press hard on the drawing board with the pen until it was spoilt. I hope this is the first and last time Chloe will spoilt a toy in a day.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My First Block

I am strong believer in investing the right toys that suits Chloe's age. Few months ago, my friend presented Chloe a Fisher Price First Block. At first sight, Chloe will open the lid to put the blocks into the container. Thanks to my hubby, he patiently taught Chloe how the blocks work. There are 4 different shapes and she need to sort it out and put them into the right slots. After a few try and error on her own, she has developed a simple problem-solving skills and sense of accomplishment.
My 2cents:
I am not a Fisher Price promoter but it is worth spending some time understanding your child's need based on their age. It is all about play....

Friday, October 17, 2008

Household chores

Little Chloe has grown up. Today she offers to help me with household chores. Not exactly a useful help but she wanted to help me hang her handkerchief. She just light up my day…

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Potty training the fun way

Lately I have been trying potty train Chloe and found this video which is fun and useful.... The animation is cute and funny. Chloe just love it... Although she is not ready, it teaches her personal hygiene and guess what... she just reminded me to wash her hand after poo poo....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reading is fun

Reading to Chloe is the single most valuable thing I can do. Why? It is just a wonderful way to bond with her. When she was just an infant, she will just smile and flip the pages when I read to her. Right now she will read out the word and point to me the physical objects that are shown in the book... I was very delighted to see the connections that we have in reading...

How to Read to your child:

First, be comfortable, cozy and relaxed - both of you. On the other hand, hearing a story can be very calming for a child who is in 'one of those moods'.

Next, make sure your child can see the book the right way up as you read.

For babies and toddlers up to 2 years
Point at pictures and say or ask names of things (depending on age)
Use a slow sing-song voice
Use different voices for different characters - be entertaining
Spend time talking about the pictures before turning the page
Say a name and ask your older baby or toddler to point to the item
Give huge praise each time your child points at and names an object

For 2-4 year-olds
Give your child time to look at the pictures before you read
Ask, 'Where's the...?' 'What's that called?' 'What's she doing?'
Always follow text with your finger as you read
With familiar stories, see if your child can join in or finish phrases
Ask questions like: 'Why did he do that?' 'What happens next?'
Discuss things you both liked/didn't like and why

For 4 year-olds and over (and possibly some 3 year-olds)
As for 2-4 year olds
Ask your child if he can remember the order of events in the story
Try paired reading (sometimes called shared reading)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ball time

Hurray! Chloe is able to walk all by herself. Just to share about a book that I read the other day 'The Infant & Toddler Handbook' by Kathryn Castle, Linda A. Robinson. In this book, they recommended to play ball games with toddler by rolling a ball back and forth. Begin with a large beach ball, and then include a variety of balls such as tennis ball, rubber ball, basketball and soccer ball.
Chloe skipped that part about rolling and went straight to throw and kick the ball. However, I did manage to get a variety of plastic ball with different colour for her and she just loves it. Check this out

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Beachday - Starfish sand castle

The fun part about spending time at the beach is building a sand castle. It is easy and fun to build it. Just sand and water (which is unlimited from the sea).
We built several sand starfish (which is also called sea star) in just a few minutes. Here is how:
First, find a nice flat area, out of beach traffic and close enough to the water but not to near to the wave…. The last thing you want is for the wave to destroy the sculpture.

Use a small pile to get some water and water the sand. Make sure the sand is damp enough before building it. Using your hands or a small sand shovel, pile up a mound of damp sand. Make sure you pat it down so that it is firm and stays together. Once you have a nice firm pile, smooth it out to form the body.

Carved out star shapes from the pile. Do remember to carve the edge of the starfish to make it lively.

Using sea shells that are available from the beach create the topping of the starfish and viola… the starfish is ready.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Observation walk in the park

Yesterday was Chloe's first time walking in the park. As we walk, I asked Chloe to look at the different ways people were moving. Examples: walking, running, biking, fishing etc. I explained to her different things that she saw. Trees, flowers, cats, dogs, fish... and she was running like crazy chasing the birds away....

Friday, April 11, 2008

Listen to the music

Chloe love music very much. Each time when she hear it, she will dance, shake her body and swing like nobody's business. I believe in Mozart Effect and had been playing classical music to her since she was in the womb.
Below are some of recommendations on baby music.
1) Famous Baby Einstein
2) Classical Music especially Mozart and Beethoven
3) Nursery rhymes... you can download it free from internet
.... Last but not least, my very own rhymes... which soothes her all the time.
Check out this video clip on how baby interacts to the music