Faith’s Christmas Wreath, 2014 edition

I love Christmas because somehow the festive season gives me much cheer. There are also loads of opportunity to expose Faith to craft related to Christmas. I hope to work with her on as many age-appropriate ‘projects’ as possible. First up is the Christmas wreath.

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This is really achievable for the little one. Obviously, I have to provide the round cardboard for her and to tap it with double-sided tape. You can get the kid to tear the paper into pieces and then she could paste them after she has peeled the tape off.

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I’m actually not confident that F would like this activity since she is not a very ‘craft’ person (from what I have observed from her playdates) but surprisingly, she could stay focussed until most of the space was filled up by the green scraps of paper.

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And she completed it and gave me a smile. Awesome! I did up the rest of the work by making a bow at the bottom of the wreath using ribbon and making a hook at the top of it using wire. And that’s it! Easy?

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The Christmas wreath is now hanging on our door. It’s something that she can be proud of since it is her work.

;)

The day Faith turns two

It was just another ordinary day. We had our regular playdate and we had {almost} full attendance that day. Faith was clad in her new dress and she wondered why.

Why?

She turned two years old that day.

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We didn’t have any party. In fact, I didn’t inform the mummies that it was Faith’s birthday that day. I thought it was unnecessary. All I hope was that she could enjoy a brief moment of happiness with her playmates as she had the cake presented before her and of course, the birthday song. It is good enough to have close friends and family members with you as you celebrate important events and that’s what I want for her birthday.

20141120_094655Mummy Ade and C came a tad earlier and the kids had free play. There were sea creatures on the table and then they busied themselves with the blocks. Oh, how I love to see the joy in Faith and the children.

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I_LJmDOOLzA3b6gPBAP7yvQ18GjLwnTh7ghCV_EuLgoD=w604-h524-noMummy C read The Rainbow Fish but somehow the kids were distracted. Perhaps the book was too small?I thought the story was really meaningful but am not sure if the kids could understand.

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For craft, I thought of an activity to complement the book and got the little ones to make fish out of cupcake cases. For the older boy, J, I got him to design his own rainbow fish using scraps of paper. He’s proud of his work. Well done!

IMG-20141120-WA0012-SMILEThe cake cutting session! Actually, I honestly don’t think Faith understands anything about it. For the record, she didn’t even know how to blow the candle and I had to get the hubs to teach her when he got back home. Anyway, the other kids had fun!

IMG-20141120-WA0005I didn’t bake this cake for her since I’m really too tired from baking for others and I do want to taste other cakes! It’s for self-development. Hah! Lovely matcha azuki cake!

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Just look at Faith’s expression as we cut the cake. Oh no! Don’t destroy the cake!

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For practical life, the kids got to work with a pair of scissors and they were thrilled! Just imagine all these while, they were not allowed to touch it and now they could!

20141120_113122I love this scene. J, the older boy, led the others into singing three songs and the kids followed him, complete with actions! This is so heartening

For a more detailed account of the playdate, check Mummy Ade’s blog!

20141120_114727After the playdate, sis came over with the nephews and brought sushi for lunch. Faith was presented with one of her favourite food – fishball! And boy, this is a huge one!

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The hubs came back and we sang the birthday song again and this time round, Faith could blow out the candles after the hubs taught her how.

So, this is how we celebrate her birthday. No fuss, no stress!

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And we really don’t want others to buy presents for her just because it’s her birthday (but thank you to the thoughtful ones for the gifts!). To me anyway, it is a day to remember God’s blessing towards our family and how He has brought us through the past year with her. It has been really wonderful despite some difficult moments. Again, I can’t stress enough the importance of playdates and having friends who have the same mindset and those who can encourage you on this journey. It has been a joyful ride. Thank you all for being there for (and with) us as we bring up this little girl.

Baking madness!

The past week or so, I have been really busy with making cakes, all thanks to friends who support me in my hobby! It is tiring, no doubt. The washing part is most dreaded and that includes the cleaning of the countertop and the floor since I don’t want ants to occupy my kitchen. Nope, they cannot even enter!

The cakes baked thus far:

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This is a simple 7 inch vanilla sponge cake with vanilla buttercream and peach between the layers. The mummy has requested that the design fit the theme of a magic show and thus I came up with this design.

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Christmas came early! A friend browsed my pinterest account, saw this cake and asked me to do it for her. It’s a cranberry infused sponge cake with cranberry sauce in between. I took a long time to source for the cranberries and finally found frozen ones at Marketplace at I12. My friend requested for a 1/2kg cake but you know, I don’t work by weight but by size. So, the cake came up to be about 1.5kg. Hah!

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Frozen cake #1. A hit among my friends when I posted it on FB. The design is simple but the figurines make it look awesome. My friend wants it really simple and she didn’t want blue-coloured layers because she felt the colour look weird on a cake. Agree too so I just did a simple cake for her daughter.

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Rainbow cake. Still a hit and this is for the last day of school party for a preschooler. Her class is called Rainbow 5 and it’s absolutely apt to bake such a cake for her! Naked cake can look really pretty! Love the colourful sprinkles too!

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A last-minute order from a friend. This is for her daughter who turns 22! I used to teach her when she was in primary school and now she’s a young adult! I feel so old! Rainbow cake inside and Nat was surprised as she cut the cake, she told me.

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The wheels on the bus go round and round…. this is an order from the hubs’ friend. Her son wanted the bus on the cake along with some animal figurines. A rainbow cake was requested and I found that when I bake about 300g of the batter in the 6″ pan, the cake came out even and I didn’t need to slice the top of the cake. Will go with this method the next time a rainbow cake is requested. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s ok. It’s just for my reference. ;p

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Frozen cake #2. This is a tad more complicated than #1 in the sense that my friend wanted a blue side and a white top that acts as snow. I prefer this design.

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60 Hello Kitty Chocolate cupcakes. I was more stressed and tired over them than all other cakes. It’s definitely more tedious to come up with these toppers and could get really mundane. But the labour was worth it when the girl received them with joy. I make kids happy. I love my job.

;)

Shopping with Agape Babies

Faith is going to school next year and that means it’s time to shop for stuff! How exciting! {Window} Shopping has been one of my favourite past time but lately, this activity has been reduced drastically because I simply have no time to do so anymore. Thankfully there are always online stores and I appreciate those that are easy to navigate because I don’t really like confusing layout. One of them is Agape Babies.

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Agape Babies specializes in baby essentials such as diapers, milk, skincare, organic food, books and toys and is currently partnered with over 150 premium brands and retail over 3000 products in its store. It has also created a multi-store with The Sunshine Kids which are dedicated to kids apparel, bags and accessories. This means that we can shop between both stores and check out in one shopping cart! Isn’t that good? The folks at Agape Babies are presently looking to add more stores & products with the aim to become a one-stop shop for all of us mummies  so that shopping can be easy & convenient. This is really one online store that I would bookmark and frequent!

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Just look at the many brands that the store carries and I’m so happy that some of my favourite brands are among them!

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So, what did I get for Faith? I’ve been meaning to buy a Skip Hop Zoo Backpack for her since the current one that she has is getting too small. As I browse the store, I found one that I thought would be awesome on her. It’s a limited edition of the Polar Bear backpack. I couldn’t find this design in the usual stores and I’m so delighted to find it at The Sunshine Kids at a discounted price. Yay!

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Currently, Agape Babies is offering free courier delivery with $80 spend and a free gift given with every $120 purchase. So I thought I should purchase a few more items to enjoy the free delivery.  I bought the Bambino Mio training pants because I think Faith is ready to be potty-trained, along with a pair of swim nappies.  This girl just loves waterplay and swimming!

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My experience with Agape Babies was a very pleasant one because I received the purchased goods really quickly. I made my purchase in the evening and got them the next morning. It’s the fastest delivery I have ever encountered! *impressed*

If you are a first time customer, you can enjoy a $10 off your first order when you sign up for an account and newsletter here! I’m also excited to share that Agape Babies is offering Raising Faith’s readers a 5% discount! All you need to do is to quote raisingfaith upon checkout. This discount is valid for 4 weeks (16 Nov to 14 Dec) and the code excludes sale category items, diapers, milk & breast pumps.

Apart from the online store, Agape Babies also has a parenting & lifestyle blog entitled The Agape Lifestyle. There are many good articles for new mummies and are certainly worth reading! Check out their facebook page to get yourself updated! Alternatively, you can always stalk them on Instagram (@agapebabies)!

Christmas is just round the corner, go do some shopping and enjoy the discount! ;)

Disclaimer: I was gifted shopping credits from Agape Babies to purchase the mentioned products and I topped up for the remaining amount. No additional monetary compensation was given and I do not stand to gain any commission from sales using the discount code given. All opinions are mine.

I <3 Singapore Walk 2014

This morning, our family, together with our CG, participated in the ‘I Love Singapore Walk’. As a community, we raised funds to bless the {financially} poor living amongst us while continuing to remember how blessed we are to live in such an environment. It is also an opportunity to appreciate our family members too!

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The little one woke up at 6ish, bright and cheery, although we all know that she would be really cranky by noon. Breathe…breathe…We were at the Padang at 7am and then realised that the walk would only commence at 8am! Arghhh! Time to have our breakfast and to take pictures (nicer ones taken by the Pang family).

1509813_10205224095785782_5190695884489844652_nFaith, with one of her regular playmates

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Nom..nom..nom..

IMG-20141115-WA0009Love this shot!

IMG_20141115_073255Our family of three

IMG-20141115-WA0002This is our CG and again, I’m thankful to be part of this family.

IMG-20141115-WA0008Isn’t this a beautiful shot?

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We didn’t complete the walk since it was getting hot and the little ones started to be restless but we had our second round of fellowship having brunch together!

IMG-20141115-WA0006I’m tired!

Teaching the little ones

“Perhaps, it is a calling to teach your own kid during this season of your life?”

This is a statement that spoke to me when I decided to resign from teaching after giving birth to Faith. I didn’t know what to expect then because teaching very young children can be so different from the ones that I had been trained in teaching. I guess we (parents) all learn along the way and am so glad that I have a team of mothers to co-teach the little ones during our weekly playdate/co-op.

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It’s definitely a joy to see how the little ones have developed during these few months. They were strangers before but now are friends. They used to be distracted easily by toys in the house but now are captivated by the stories found in the book.

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Once we had to handhold them a lot in their craft work, but now they gradually want to take over (although our girl is still not very enthusiastic about it).

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The mums used to say grace for the food on their behalf. Now, they could utter the prayer themselves.

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It’s always a joy to see how they have progressed during the Practical Life segment. They certainly have improved in their fine motor skills, amongst others.

Though I am no longer working in the school, I’m glad that I’m teaching the little ones, together with the awesome mummies in the group (and the majority of them are teachers too). Yes, I do miss interacting and discussing about lesson plans with fellow educators but now’s not bad too.

IMG_220286143596659-1I still get to introduce books such as My Red Balloon by Kazuaki Yamada to the children.

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I can still practise my storytelling skills…

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…and plan follow-up activities for the little ones. Here, I’m getting the kids to use round shapes to create the penguin which is one of the characters in the book.

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Of course, I get to hone my art….

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…and learn from fellow educators.

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What joy to see them grow!

Will I go back to teaching again? I guess there is still a deep desire in me to teach because I believe in education. However, it has to be in a different capacity for now. Perhaps, I will volunteer my time at Faith’s school? Help out at Sunday School? *Shrug shoulders* There are a lot of unknowns but I’ll just take a step at a time.

Read Mummy Ade’s account of the coop here.

The November Vaby Box

The Vaby subscription box for November refreshes… quite literally! As I opened the box in anticipation, I was greeted with a sweet scent and there before my eyes were bottles of samples that could be used by people of all ages. They certainly come in handy since the holiday season is approaching!

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So what do we have here?

:: Peausque Body Wash
:: Peausque ATO Cream
:: Peausque Diaper Cream
:: Olivella’s Anti-stretch Mark Cream
:: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil
:: THE010 Heat
:: Eucalyptus Graden Concentrated Floor Cleaner
:: Curash Baby Care 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner
:: Curash Baby Care Anti-Rash Baby Powder
:: Disney Pookalooz Tin Box. Good for storing the little one’s favourite snacks!
:: BabySpa $5 voucher

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You can find out more about the Vaby box here. Have you subscribed to it yet?

Hello, Hello Kitty!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and I’m inspired to decorate my cakes according to this season. How about a simple Hello Kitty cake for a start?

I bought the Hello Kitty pan a while back and it has been sitting in the cabinet for too long. I had only used it once and I thought I should give it some life!

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I decided to bake the traditional sponge cake, a recipe by Alex Goh, the one that is rather soft and one whom my mom might approve. All these while, the cakes that I bake are dense since they have to be decorated with fondant. It’s time to bake the softer version!

(A)
4 eggs
120g sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

(B)
110g all-purpose flour

(C)
70g hot melted butter

1. Whip (A) until light and fluffy

2. Stir in (B) and mix until well blended

3. Add (C) and mix well.

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4. Pour the batter into the greased pan (you really need to grease this pan well!). Bake at 180C for about 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove it from the pan immediately when done.

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This cake can be troublesome to slice into two and I find it a bit plain to just eat the cake with buttercream only. So, I injected some strawberry jam using Wilton tip #230 before covering it with with Italian Meringue Buttercream and dessicated coconut to give a more natural feel to Hello Kitty. The more common ones we see in bakeries are covered with fondant but I think it is equally good to cover it with buttercream. To create the Christmas theme, I added cranberries and the fondant holly leaves. Faith saw the cake and kept saying, “I want eat cake.” She had her wish of course since this is not a very sweet cake. My father-in-law who has a very sweet tooth much preferred the sweeter version. Difficult to please!

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There’s no occasion for the cake. We just cut and eat! I think the sponge cake can be softer if I use the cake flour. Fellow bakers, why don’t you try and let me know?

;)

Tuesday thoughts: Loneliness

Someone’s feeling lonely. It’s not me. I’ve gone past that stage, at least for now. It’s Faith.

In recent months, I have observed that the little girl loves company and would jump for joy when I told her that we would be meeting so-and-so. Even when we are going around the neighbourhood, she would greet the people she meets and tries to befriend new ones especially at the playground and library. She has grown out of the solitary play mode and increasingly loves to hang out with people.

Bad news for me, huh?

That means she gets bored at home more often because her mother doesn’t always have time to think of new activities to engage her. Thankfully, there are the weekly playdates and co-ops and the occasional swimming sessions with her cousins. However, these might not continue the following year since her playmates would be in preschool and there would be fewer opportunities to go out with them.

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So I did the unthinkable (in my case). I went to shop for schools for her.

I really didn’t want her to go to school until she turns 4 years old. She is, after all, still so young! She needs to play and enjoy her childhood. Besides, I don’t think we are doing an awful job in our homeschooling effort. However, since she is born in the popular year of the dragon, I thought that I should start looking for schools just in case there are no vacancies left by the time I decide to put her in school. I should at least put her on a waiting list or something, that’s what a lot of mummy friends were telling me to do.

In the end, I visited two schools. The first one was none too impressive although it seems like a well-known preschool. The moment the marketing executive (yes, not the principal!) told me that they emphasize on academic excellence, I lost complete interest. I want a preschool that focuses on building the children’s characters, where each child’s uniqueness is respected and that they can learn at their own pace. The second school fits my criterion to a tee. It’s not a well-known school and in fact, the preschool is rather young but as I spoke with the principal and visited the premise, I was won over.

That is the preschool for Faith. And on the spot, I decided that Faith would go to school the following year.

After leaving the compound, I started to have doubts and was uncertain if I have made the right decision. On one hand, I would want to continue what we have been doing. I can always find a new group of playmates for her and we can always go out and learn stuff together. On the other hand, getting her to go to school might do her good too since she can have more friends and learn from the wonderful teachers and principal in that school.

We shall see.

For now, the decision is for her to go to school.

So, yes, Faith is going to school. *sobs*

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A date @ Privikids

#notasponsoredpost

Faith is turning two in a few weeks’ time and I thought I should just buy a few dresses for her. Nope, there will not be any party because we don’t think she understands much about birthday at this point in time. However, we would definitely spend that day with close friends and relatives. That, to us, is good enough.

I have always wanted to go down to Privikids since the physical store opened but didn’t have the time to do so. I like their stylish designs that are priced affordably and am really happy that I could go down to see and feel the materials for myself.

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Met up with Ade to shop and Faith had N for company! The little ones had a jolly good time playing with the displays and dancing to the background music. Thankfully, the store owner, Cheryl, was cool about it and found them adorable. Nice boss. It makes shopping with kids stress-free.

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Interior of the store

Photo courtesy of Mummy Ade

So these two kids were monkeying around as we got them to try out some clothes. I’m so happy that they were enjoying themselves!

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After trying out the clothes, they went off to have a little fun by themselves.

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Oh, the many other cute stuff available at the store.

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They are good as gifts for children!

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Video and photo above courtesy of Mummy Ade

We went back with her new clothes carefully wrapped. I love the shopping experience at Privikids. Cheryl took the time to recommend some of the clothes that would look good on Faith and I didn’t feel pressured at any one point to make purchases. I appreciate her honest opinion on some of the outfits that might not be suitable for the little one. Overall, the experience is great!

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Privikids
Changi City Point, Unit 02-04, 5
Changi Business Park Central 1
11am to 9pm daily
6443 8802 / ask@privi-kids.com

Alive Museum

One good thing about being a SAHM and one whose kid is not in school is the fact that we could plan impromptu outings and that is exactly what I did for today. SIL gave me some complimentary tickets to Alive Museum and I got Mummy T and Belle to go with us. Since the kiddos are not yet three years of age, they could go in free (which otherwise, they would have to pay $20 per entry). Yay to #funforfreesg. Hah!

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We were there early because we wanted to avoid the crowd. Besides, the kids are most alert in the morning and have the tendency to respond well to our requests.

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The crowd came in half an hour later and it was getting difficult to get decent photos of the kids. They must be wondering what was wrong with their mummies that morning since they were whisked from one small area to another and all they were asked to do was to look at the camera. I could tell that Faith was frustrated and disturbed by some of the pictures and soon became a little fussy.

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There is obviously a need to wait since we needed to take turns to take the pictures. I could only imagine the great crowd and frustration one would feel if he was to go during the weekends. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think this is a great place for toddlers to hang out. Maybe it would be better if they are older and could understand instructions better since they have to pose in a certain manner to have maximum effect. Even if you are so interested to go, I would strongly recommend extra pairs of hands. Mummy T and I had to make sure the toddlers don’t run off while one of us helped to take pictures.

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Pictures in this set courtesy of Mummy Trisa!

I think Alive Museum would be a great place to visit if you are going without young kids (haha). At the very least, you could spend more time going through each art piece and posing in/with it, that is if you are game for it.

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 Our children had more fun and laughter after being issued a balloon each during lunch.

[Review & Giveaway] JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets

When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading comics because the content is light and the graphics entertaining. I still do, as a matter of fact, and am happy to help review a comic book – JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets – that is educational in nature.

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JJ’s Science Adventure is a series of educational comic books designed to help readers master key learning objectives stated in the Singapore Ministry of Education’s Primary School Science syllabus. The author, Aurelia, an educator herself, has observed that students were often reluctant to read their science textbook but would ask their parents to buy storybooks for them to read. She concluded that children’s motivation to learn is directly linked to their interest and observed that an interest shared by most of them is reading comic books. This led her to commit two years of her life developing this first book on Magnets.

This book has won the Readers’ Favourite Illustration Award which recognises books with quality illustrations. The learning objectives are brilliantly introduced in the storyline and it is an absolute delight to read it.

sample 1

What I appreciate about this book:

:: The story has a science fiction fantasy setting which has a tendency to capture the attention of readers. I read it in one sitting and I can be one easily distracted mom if you know me. This book gets me reading till the end.

:: The key teaching points are printed in colour which help readers identify them easily.

:: Besides the key teaching points, there is additional interesting information that is relevant to the topic, thus catering to the needs of different students. I find myself understanding more about MRI and MagLev after the read. Feels good gaining knowledge! ;)

:: The language used is wholesome.

:: The graphics are colourful and attractive and will certainly be appreciated by visual learners.

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This is one book that should be found in the class library where students can have easy access to it! It certainly is a great complement to the textbook and one which helps to reinforce the students’ understanding of the topic. I’m actually looking forward to the next book on Heat and Light which can be pre-ordered here.

JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets is retailing at S$18.90 and is available at these stores or online. They are wonderful gifts for Christmas! ;)

GIVEAWAY!

The good folks at Harvest Edutainment are giving away 2 copies of JJ’s Science Adventure – Magnets to 2 lucky readers who are residing in Singapore (1 copy per winner). Please state your email address as winners will be notified via email.

Giveaway will end on 13 November 2014.

Enter the giveaway here!

Winners will be announced on this blog post and my facebook page.

All the best!

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are mine.

Update: Thank you for all your participation in the giveaway! The winners are Jolin Poon and Yu Meiyi. You will be contacted shortly via email. Enjoy the comic book! ;)

‘Caking’ my way through November

Oh, you mean it’s November already? So soon?

The beginning of the 11th month saw me working real hard in kitchen. I have started taking cake orders again after a two-month break. And November is a popular month and there are orders every week! Thank God! Faith’s birthday also falls on this month and I’m still thinking if I should bake her a cake. ;p

Rainbow cake continues to be a popular choice and when it comes to young children, you won’t go wrong with animal figurines. Each day, when Faith saw the figurines on the dining table, she would climb up the chair and admire them and at the same time, practising her counting. ;)

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So, I’m thankful that the hubs didn’t complain about the messy dining table. He also gave up a bit of rest to spend more time with Faith while I work in the kitchen. Thank you so much!

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I love animal figurines such as these because they help make a simple cake look adorable (I think!). And I so love the colourful sprinkles!

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Both the cakes happened to be for two-year-olds. 6-inch for both but oh, how tall the cakes are!

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The third cake for the first week is for a good friend of both the hubs and mine. She is our ex-colleague and we had so many wonderful memories working with her. She is also very wise and is a mom to three beautiful children and this cake is for her youngest. I finally have the privilege of baking for her! I’m elated that she told me that her folks love the cake. I was actually afraid that the cake might be too bland since I have reduced the amount of sweetness based on her request. But yay, love the positive review. I’m so encouraged!

Besides the baking adventures, November is off to a good start as our church celebrated her 28th year and I’m thankful that we are placed in this community of believers. I felt belonged and know that there will always be brothers and sisters-in-Christ who will be there to help and encourage us in this journey.

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It’s definitely a bonus that Faith has found herself friends to grow up with in church. I’m praying that they will grow into youth and adults together! ;)

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This is what happens when she stays with us during service – beautifying chairs.

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The week came to a close as we celebrated the birthday of Faith’s uncle. She had such a wonderful time with my in-laws which brings me great joy too. I’m thankful that she feels loved by the people around her. *Blessed*

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Looking forward to a busy but fulfilling November! And definitely more cakes!

*Photos of Faith courtesy of Mummy Trisa and Auntie Eunice!

Memories of our playdate (today)

I’m writing this post with quite a heavy heart. You see, over the course of this year, I have grown attached to this group of mothers who come together to plan lessons for our children’s weekly playdate. I love the dynamics of this group and appreciate their care and concern for the children. We pool our resources and chip in whenever one couldn’t make it or have difficulty with any segment of the playdate. And I also love it that our children have forged friendship with one another.

But it would be a different story come next year.

All but one of the children will be going to school the following year. And yes, that includes Faith (that is another story in itself).

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I’ll miss the ‘Good Morning’ song that we know so well by now.

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And Circle Time in which the mummies will think of creative ways to introduce the farm animals (our theme for this term). There is always something new to learn each session.

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Love Mummy Ade, the lobang queen and one avid blogger. We love her outgoing spirit and she is always willing to take on new segments even if it is out of her comfort zone. Part of the objective of having the mummies to lead the various segments is for our own development too. We grow in love and knowledge together!

It is really heartening to note that the children could sit down and enjoy the storytelling session. When we first started during the earlier part of the year, our children couldn’t sit still and were distracted by things around them. But now, they can and even respond to the story! Yahoo!

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Mummy C and I have been friends for almost two decades and since the days of our youth, we have known her to be one ‘crafty’ lady. She would send homemade encouragement cards to us and they were always so pretty. So, it is no surprise that the children learn some useful art and craft skills from her. Mummy C has a lot of creative juice in her and it is a pity that she doesn’t have the time to blog about them. ;( Thankfully, she shares her ideas and knowledge to fellow mummies and those who come into contact with her. A very wonderful and patient mother.

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We had full attendance today!

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Mummy Jenna, the best Chinese storyteller in my humble opinion! She is so animated and speaks with clear, crisp Mandarin. As you can see from the picture, everyone was all ears!

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Our little girl led her peers in giving thanks for the food.

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Since today we had our lesson in the outdoor, we decided to get the kids to play with the balloons and balls. They had great fun despite the heat and we ended off with the feeding of the fish at the nearby pond, thanks to Mummy Jenna.

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We had such great times together and I believe we have provided our kids with a fun and safe environment to learn. Faith would come back and hum the songs she has learnt during the playdates and would often utter the names of her playmates. I’m thankful that the mummies help to correct the behaviour of the kids if anyone misbehaves and would not be stingy with encouragement for the kids and fellow mummies alike.

It is entirely possible to plan regular playdates such as ours. All you need are like-minded mummies who are willing to do a little bit of homework in planning for the lessons. Mummy Ade had written a very useful post on organising playdates. Do check it out!

Playdate with little distraction

Our last playdate was held in a function room of one of the mummy’s condo. Turned out to be awesome because there was little distraction from toys and the kids were more attentive.

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After storytelling, we got them to create a lion’s face using the tines of the fork. Again, this was designed with kids who don’t like to get their hands dirty like Faith.

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Faith’s lion is the one of the left and the right is mine which I used to demonstrate to the kids. Again, Faith wasn’t that interested in craftwork but I shall persevere!

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Practical life segment

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Playground time: The Children’s favourite!

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“I wonder where we will be going next week?”

Protected: My kind of preschool, finally!

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How do you price your cakes?

This is not a parenting post but one about my other love – baking and cake decorating.

If you are a home baker who bakes at the request of friends, how do you determine your pricing?

I find it really tough to answer this question. Sure I did my rounds of checking out the cakes at the bakeries but I can’t do a direct comparison because what I’m doing is customised cakes. These cakes will inevitably cost more than what are available in the usual bakeries simply because they are made upon specific request. Where sugar art is involved, the cake will definitely be priced higher because of the time invested in creating and beautifying the figurine(s). The ingredients themselves already cost more, what’s with artwork?

I pen down this post because this is a question that is often posed to me when I’m teaching cake-decorating classes. I have no definite answer but what I am certain is that we must cover the cost price of the cake which includes the ingredients used, electricity bills, transportation cost to purchase the ingredients and materials. Cakes that involve sugar art like fondant-covered cakes need a cool environment and that is when most bakers would switch on the air-conditioner just for the cakes. Do we need to take that cost into consideration? I definitely think so!

What is commonly overlooked are labour cost and the time taken to design the cake. How would you pay yourself as you spend time creating the cakes? But sadly, these are often overlooked by those who order cakes.

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I have been teaching cake decorating lessons for almost a year now and each time after the class (especially so for sugarart lessons), the participants will always tell me that it is so time consuming and involves so much work that they now understand why such cakes cost a bomb. More recently, one participant started to bake cakes that require sugarart for others and she would often utter, “It’s not worth it. I spent so much time and effort in creating those cakes but the customer doesn’t want to pay that kind of price.”

My advice to them? Don’t accept such orders. I mean unless you are okay with it, you are better off not accepting the order. In the end, you have to be happy doing what you love and not grudgingly.

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Recently, I made this 6-inch x 3.5-inch Devil’s Food Cake using Valrhona chocolates. How much would you have priced it?

I guess for me, I want baking for friends to be a passion and not a business venture. Baking for {much} profit kills my love for baking but yet at the same time, I do have to cover the cost and maybe get a little bit of return so that I can continue to practise my craft and to buy those materials (hah!). Then again, I think I have underpriced most of the time. Maybe I should look into my pricing again?

If you find yourself at a loss when it comes to pricing, here are some helpful links that were searched by the dear hubs:

http://www.cakeboss.com/Cake-Stuff/Articles/How-Much-Should-I-Charge

http://www.veenaartofcakes.com/pricing-your-cakes-a-beginners-guide/

http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/09/pricing-cakes-like-a-pro/

http://www.celebrate-with-cake.com/p/price-guide.html

Hope this helps.

Thankful that we are one

Our family has joined a new Cell Group (CG) late last year since our previous group dissolved *sobs*. But we always believe that “..in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) and true enough, many of our ex-members are settled well in the new CGs and that includes us.

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Personally, I’m thankful to be placed in this group because I can identify more with the ladies who share some common interests with me AKA cooking and education. The fact that we have a big group of young children helps because Faith could have more playmates and big brothers and sisters to learn from. Recently, she does not need me to be with her anymore as she finds more joy mingling with her playmates. Independence eh? Praise the Lord!

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We can almost start a  Children’s programme with this group of kids and I’m thankful that the ladies are always willing to step up to help look after them. Awesome!

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Yesterday, I had the privilege of baking cakes for our pilot CG leader and another member of the group. We had a wonderful celebration and all ladies chipped in in terms of food – roasted chicken thighs, beef stew, black sesame paste, apple strudel, fruits, etc. This is the kind of sharing I long for in a group, that kind of love demonstrated in giving (.. “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” ~ Acts 20:35).

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It’s such a joy to see smiles on their faces and more so, the Christ in all of them.

May we not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but to encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

Co-op at the reservoir

For our last co-op, we had it at the reservoir. It’s been so long since we had an outdoor lesson and thankfully, that day, the weather was fine though it threatened to rain initially.

That morning, the little one woke up early and since she had nothing much to do, she got bored and threw a tantrum. Going to the park earlier than expected seemed to be a desirable choice and off we went, with the skate-scooter in tow.

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Faith spent the bulk of the time observing the joggers and cyclists and broke into smiles when she saw her playmates. Thank God! We started off with the introduction of the farm animals and Mummy Ade brought along a puzzle to get the kids to match the animals.

The kids eagerly awaiting their turns

The kids eagerly awaiting their turns

For storytime, I chose the book ‘Do Cows Meow?’ by Salina Yoon and I thought it would spice things up if I bring some puppets along. Because the story is really straightforward and simple, I thought I just had to read it with much enthusiasm and I though the puppets helped in getting the kids interested. The children were all ears!

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For Craft, since we were in the natural environment, I thought of getting them to paint leaves on the trunk. Knowing that some of them (especially Faith) did not like to get their hands dirty during painting, I got them to use clothes pegs and the pom pom balls to ‘paint’ the leaves.

Explaining the steps to the children

Explaining the steps to the children

Engaged in the art work

Engaged in the art work

Group photo

Group photo

After Chinese time, we had snacks as usual before getting them to work on their big muscles. Mummy C had brought along various types of balls and we got the kids to learn to throw the balls upwards and sidewards and of course, not forgetting the kicking of the soccer ball.

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10676340_10152542501554234_7922960652791048130_nThe kids had an enjoyable time for this Co-op and the moms too!
Read a more comprehensive account at Mummy Ade’s blog here.

 

The October Vaby Box

The October Vaby box came in a bigger size this month! Let’s take a look at the content!

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1. The O10 Skin peppermint essence which helps stop the itch of affected area and leaves it moisturised. Inhaling the blam also clears nasal congestion.

2. Summer Citrus 5X Dishwashing Liquid by Idocare

3. Foldable Tote Bag

4. Bonny Baby Diapers

5. Everyday Head to Toe Cleanser by Bud Cosmetics which is suitable for growing babies. Its gentle amino acid and sugar based cleanser is combined with soothing, hydrating Aloe Vera and Fructan to cleanse and nurture the baby’s skin.

6. Educational mini book

Of these, we love the polyester and waterproof tote bag. We brought it along to the library once and were pleased that it is really hardy and could withstand the weight of the many books that were loaned. When folded and stored in the small bag, Faith loves to carry it around!

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You can find out more about the Vaby box here.

A day in the kindy … in Paris

These few days, I have been toying with the idea of putting Faith in school. I have had enough of her tantrums and she’s pushing boundaries all most of the time. I have been raising my voice to get my point across and disciplining her and I’m just short of getting the cane to work (and thankfully I haven’t bought it). She’s really getting too comfortable with me. Either that or she’s really bored. At the end of the day, I have a headache and a sore throat; this is worse than my teaching days.

This phase will soon pass, so say my friends. I just pray that I will not scar her emotionally as we go through this period together. *just kidding* On a serious note, I really ought to do more ‘lesson planning’ to engage her. She has grown out of her jigsaw puzzles and is less motivated to want to complete them. And I find that I constantly have to look for more activities through books or the internet just so that she could learn new stuff. If only I have more time….

Thankfully, there is the library and she won’t get tired of new stories. Recently, I read this book to her and at the end of it, I asked if she wanted to go to school, “Yes…”

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Not sure if she meant it. Anyway, I thought of posting some pictures of life in a French kindy as a friend has kindly sent them over to share about their life there.

Apparently, preschool education ( all the way to Secondary school) is free in France though you have to pay for the catered food in school. This year, the French government introduced 4 and a half school days per week as compared to the previous 4 school days. Generally, school starts at 8.30am (though you can put the child in school from 7.30am) and ends at 4.30pm though the children could stay in school until 7pm.

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Each morning, the children place their bags outside the classroom in their rightful position that are marked by their names. As they enter the classroom, they would greet the teacher and have free play while waiting for all the children arrive.

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The children would have storytime, playtime and other learning activities, such as…

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Are these activities that you do with your kids too?

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This board shows the names of those children who will be staying at the canteen for lunch.

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The menu is pasted on the wall so that parents will know what they have for lunch every day.

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Shhh… nap time and every child has a bed of his/her own.

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Women are really more enticed to work with such a school system (free and ample activities to engage the children) though I’m personally not fond of the idea of having the kid away from the parent(s) for such long hours daily. But that’s just me.

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_y7N4tJJL7n8OBCYXPW8CV3OMaxSGQB9pyf4gunSUZYX=w567-h524-noDuring mid-afternoon, the kids would be having their snacks and outdoor playtime until their parents fetch them. If the weather is not good, the children stay indoors and for after-school care activities (for those whose parents could only fetch them later than 4.30pm).

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There are definitely a lot of activities going on in a day for these kids in the kindy and I wonder if I could enrich Faith to such an extent. Possibly, if I could spend some time planning her curriculum which I hope to update on this space if I ever get around to doing that. Of course, I need to be realistic as to how much I can do since I…I… have to mind the other chores. #lifeasaSAHM

I hope I am writing this post with some coherence. #ilacksleep

F’s first experience with stage performance

So we went for the Hairy Maclary & Friends show during the weekend. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of Faith’s reaction to it. She’s a bit young, a month more to being TWO, and the show caters to young children from 2+ years old onwards. We’ll just give it a try, I reckon. There is really no harm in trying.

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We arrived at the library a tad earlier, to return the books that we had borrowed in order to help Faith get acquainted with the characters in the books. I was pleasantly surprised, upon reaching the lobby, that there was a small counter selling books by the author and other children’s books and some artwork done by preschoolers.

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We met an ex-colleague who bought the tickets way back in March for her twin kids. Her kids were excited about the show since they have been reading the books in their preschool. How wonderful is that? I had my hopes up from that point forth. Surely, Faith would enjoy too?

The show didn’t disappoint. In fact, Faith was engaged and sat through the 55-minute show. This was really surprising because she is a high kinesthetic learner and to have her sit down for 15 minutes is a great feat already, but 55 minutes? I was all prepared to bring her out of the theatre when she gets restless but hey, there’s nothing of that sort. In fact, she was laughing at the characters and watching intently at them! As a result, I got to enjoy the show as well.

I love the beautiful music and lyrics and the actors sang them with clarity. The music was catchy and upbeat which was great for kids. Love that the characters of the books came alive during that show and the audience was just entertained by them. It also helps that the audience was encouraged to be part of the show too by performing certain actions with regard to the story.

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This is Faith’s first time in a theatre and she was busy checking it out.

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Yay, I’ve got a balloon!

After the show, the children were given a balloon and a bag with promotion of upcoming shows by Kidsfest for the following year. All of them are good titles and since Faith enjoyed this show as much as her parents, I believe we would be bringing her to more next year! The shows run from January 21 2015. Be sure to check them out! I know I will!

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Homeschool or preschool?

These few days have been rather challenging basically because Faith has become more aware of herself and testing limits more often. Her mom, of course, feels very drained each day and her frustration level increases daily. And today she’s contemplating if she is able to take yet another year to homeschool her. Patience is wearing thin.

I have the group of moms to thank that I am still in this journey of ‘homeschooling’ Faith. We encourage one another and share ideas. As always, I feel enriched after each session of playdate/coop because there is always something new to learn.

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Mummy C hosted today’s session and for free play, she set up this painting area along the corridor so that the little one could express their appreciation for art. Hah. Faith stopped after a mere three minutes. She really doesn’t like art! Is it a lack of exposure or is it the genes? Sigh!

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For craftwork, Mummy Ade had the children colour the different parts of a lion and the mums helped to put them together using paper fasteners. Mr Google is a great resource for ideas! We just need time to search!

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Faith, with her completed lion.

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Group photo. It’s uber difficult to get everyone to look at the camera!

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The children learnt about the names of the farm animals in Chinese.

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I love the practical life segment that Mummy C organised. I have always loved her ideas as she has more experience and could come up with really useful stations which we could re-create at home.

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Station 1: Matching of bears which is an okay task for Faith since she has been doing quite a lot of matching at home.

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Station 2: Cutting homemade dough into pieces. Child-size knife is from Ikea and I’m pleasantly surprised that Faith was willing to touch the dough and attempted successfully to cut them up. More practice needed though.

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Station 3. Recreating the patterns using blocks. Faith didn’t follow through and piece up the blocks as she liked it. Sigh!

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Station 4. Pouring of water into cups. I guess a smaller jug would be helpful because the little one doesn’t have sufficient strength. Good to practise at home!

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Station 5. Hanging of clothes. Faith’s pincer’s grip is not there yet and could not perform this task. I’ve been looking out for clothes pegs that don’t require so much effort but till now, have not found suitable ones. Anyone has recommendations?

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For big muscles segment, we got the children to play at the playground. The restless kids came alive all of a sudden and played to their hearts’ content! Up and down the slide they went and each wore a smile on their faces. *Bliss*

Alas, my joy was cut short as we headed back home. Faith kicked up such a fuss on our way back that I had to raise my voice many times. Bad! Bad! Bad! And then the thought of sending her to school came back. Guilt gripped me once more as I was reminded that this is the wrong reason for having her in school.

The cycle continues…

You may want to read Mummy Ade’s account of the coop here.

Curriculum planning??

We are almost coming to the end of the year and for the following year, our playgroup would shrink in terms of the number of children. A majority of them would be entering preschool and it’s back to Mummy C and I in the end. Both of us are not that keen in sending the little ones to school…yet. We intend to homeschool for at least a year more and I guess it’s time to do some planning for the following year and by that I mean the ‘curriculum’ for Faith.

20141002_101059-MIXI’m not trained in early childhood education and to do curriculum planning for Faith can be daunting but that’s no harm trying eh? Thankfully, a friend who is a preschool teacher had shared a little with me with regard to that and I guess I would be doing a lot more reading and planning for these remaining few months.

The above is an activity in which Faith (and I) made a sheep for craftwork during her last playgroup. You can read about it from Mommy J’s perspective and that of Mommy Ade’s.

Certainly hope to come up with some concrete plans by December!

Pool shoes? Poolzies!

Faith loves waterplay and each week, she will utter ‘waterplay, waterplay’ under her breath and I make sure that I schedule one session of waterplay or swimming session per week.

If you are a regular for these activities, you will notice that the little ones do have problem with the slippery surfaces especially in and around the pool area or the shower facilities at the waterplay area. It’s common to have them slip (even when they are held by their parents) and this can be dangerous. If you bring your kid to the waterplay area in the morning like I do,  you might encounter that the ground can get too hot for the little ones to step on on days when the weather is warm.

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I guess the above are some of the reasons why Poolzies are created. Poolzies are pool shoes that are designed to help protect our kids from slippery surfaces mentioned above. The unique soles are made and imported from Toughtek USA, and the top part of the pool shoes is from Lycra Xtralife UPF50+ and is imported from Australia.  The pool shoes are then made to order from the Philippines.

I got Faith to wear this pair of Poolzies when we went for our recent waterplay session. Being a fussy girl (yes, she can be now!), I was prepared that she would remove them soon after we put them on. But I was wrong! She went off and roamed about in the pool shoes and kept them on throughout the session.

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She must have felt comfortable in wearing them! The fact that it is ultra lightweight must have helped in having her keep the pool shoes on. She had no problem getting in and out of this waterplay area (in the pic) and what’s good is that she didn’t slip at all at the shower area. I can now shower her in peace! Hah!

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If you know me, I’m not one who is uptight about the little one slipping and falling. I think she can learn to pick herself up or walk on slippery floor because eventually she would need to learn how to manage that (you get what I mean?). However, I find the pool shoes especially useful during waterplay due to a recent incident in which my friend’s daughter had a swollen foot after a waterplay session. We suspected that she was bitten by an insect during that short time when they removed their shoes and played barefooted. Thankfully, the swell went down after a few days.

I must say that poolzies are a good pair of pool shoes to have when the kids are younger. At the very least, they help alleviate some fears about the kids slipping and falling at the pool area, amongst others. There are 10 vibrant designs to choose from. Do visit http://www.poolzies.com/ to find out more!

Disclaimer: Faith was gifted with a pair of Poolzies for review purposes. I am not obliged to do a blog post if I do not find the product beneficial. No other form of compensation was received and opinions are mine. 

 

Milestone

Today was just another ordinary day.

No, it turned out to be a very memorable one indeed.

The little one did a few things that surprised and delighted me.

At the playground, the hubs got her to climb up a rather difficult ladder. It is curved and the distance between each set of space is wide. The hubs got her to attempt once, guiding her through it. Before long, she could figure the concept. There were a lot of children at the playground and some children were eager to climb that ladder too. Faith waited patiently for her turn before attempting and once, there was a boy who wanted to descend, she actually gestured and told the boy to wait.

It was all very polite. But more importantly, I admired her courage to attempt the climb and her persistence in it.

She was the youngest in that group. Bravo, girl!

Back home, she surprised me again by telling us that she wanted to poo, to use the potty and after trying for a few minutes, the waste came out. It’s a first for me! I mean, having her poo in the potty. You see, I wasn’t that hung up about having her potty-trained. I believe that when she understands the concept and when she’s ready, she would be, well, ready for it. There’s no point in rushing to train her. But now, it seems she’s ready to take on this challenge and I’m so happy to witness her first poo in the potty. Hah! Simple joy!

In the evening, her skate-scooter was delivered, all thanks to the delivery man who came back again after I contacted him; we missed him when we went jogging earlier. And oh, I really had a very wonderful experience with Yamato Transport! Faith was obviously excited but I had to cut short that joy since it was time for her shower and subsequently, bed time. Told her to wait for tomorrow since we could get Grandpa and Auntie to play with her and she willingly obliged.

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I’m praying that she will stay this way – that she will be patient and not insist on her way.

#22MO #firsttimeparent

Fun for Free Fridays: Pasir Ris Park

Somewhere in the eastern part of Singapore lies a wonderful park that appeals to the young and old alike. There, children could enjoy the various kinds of playground, a pony ride or simply spend the time building sandcastles while the older folks could have a relaxing time picnicking. The place I’m referring to is the Pasir Ris Park.

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Kids under the age of 13 years old could enjoy a pony ride at the Gallop Stable. Faith was too young to ride the pony but she could still admire it from a near distance! Alternatively, you may purchase pony feed packets and get up close to these ponies by feeding them.

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There is a bicycle kiosk nearby and you could rent the bike for an hour but you could ride for two hours! Not bad a deal eh? The park was a tad quiet even though we went on a weekend. So the ride turned out to be a very leisurely one for us and the little one sure loved the breeze!

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We rode to the main playground area and stopped for Faith to have a little workout. There are really a lot of activities to choose from!

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Swing just for the little one!

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Getting lost in the maze

Walking along the suspension bridge

Walking along the suspension bridge

Enjoying the ride!

Enjoying the ride!

Gearing up for rock climbing

Gearing up for rock wall climbing

Making melody!

Making melody!

Rock wall climbing!

Rock wall climbing!

These are but just SOME of the activities that are available at the big playground and we have not included some of the activities that are suitable for older kids like the flying fox!

The one thing that this park lacks is a decent cafe or eating place. We wanted to continue to chill out at the beach but we didn’t bring a mat or any food. So we had to bid farewell to the park in search of a eatery to satisfy our empty stomachs.

I believe you can spend the whole morning or an afternoon in the park itself if you go with a group. Savour the moment with loved ones and have the children enjoy themselves at the playground. You could also bring along a volleyball or a soccer ball and have a kicking good time! Do visit the Pasir Ris Park if you haven’t!

[Giveaway] A family set of 4 top category tickets to HAIRY MACLARY AND FRIENDS

Life as a mom can be exciting when the little one grows older. It’s really much like having a constant adorable companion by your side and doing things together with your mini-me. One of the things that I enjoy doing is watching musicals and performances and now, as she approaches the wonderful TWO, it’s time to expose her to such shows!

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The very first show that we are watching together is Hairy Maclary and Friends! I’m looking forward to this show because I know Faith loves dogs and would go up to the furry animal if she sees one. She’s just not afraid at all! Besides, Hairy Maclary and Friends is coming to Singapore for it’s very first time and promises great fun for the family!  It is an official stage adaptation of the much-loved Hairy Maclary children’s books by Lynley Dodd. This hugely popular performance is suitable for children ages 2+ and above and is packed with live music, singing and colourful costumes. There are also opportunities for the young ones to sing along and do the actions with all the characters from the books. I’m sure the young ones would enjoy this 55-minute show!

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DETAILS

Venue: Drama Centre Theatre, National Library Building
Season: Fri 10 Oct, 5pm; Sat and Sun 11-12 Oct, 11.30am, 2pm, 4.30pm
Duration: Approximately 55 minutes
Tickets: $35 onwards
Bookings: Tickets are available via SISTIC. Quote ABA2014 to save 10% on the tickets!

GIVEAWAY!

You can get to watch the performance with your loved ones! ABA Productions has kindly sponsored a family set of 4 category 1 tickets to ONE lucky reader of this blog (you will have to be residing in Singapore though). The tickets will be for the opening performance on Friday Oct 10th, 5pm, at Drama Centre Theatre – National Library. Enter the giveaway here! Results of the giveaway will be announced on Tuesday Oct 7th at 5pm on this blog post and my Facebook page.

All the best!

Disclaimer: Our family is invited to review Hairy Maclary and Friends. No monetary gift was received. 

Mushroom Pumpkin Mixed Rice

If you know me, I’m a huge fan of one-pot-dish meal. Call me lazy but there are really too many things to handle and I just need to fix a quick and healthy meal for the family. I can certainly eat out, like what the hubs always tells me to do but I don’t really fancy that idea because I want the little one to be interested with what’s going on in the kitchen, just like how my mom got us all to be so hands-on with food preparation and cooking from young. Yea, even my brother cooks well. It’s certainly a skill that I want to impart to Faith.

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I love this Mushroom Pumpkin Mixed Rice because it is absolutely tasty and doesn’t involve too much work. Credit goes to Naturel Living who inserted a recipe in the goodie bag that I received during the recent Eeva Chang’s Language Power talk show. I thought it would be worthwhile to try out the recipe since Faith loves pumpkin and mushroom. Win-win situation for me!

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Ok, I must also confess that the pressed rice on the first page attracted me so much that I kept the leftlet. I had wanted to make Bento sets and this picture really captures my attention. Oh! The many things that I want to do!

Anyway, here’s the recipe, just in case the words in the picture are too small. By the way, I used their organic mixed brown and red rice and I must say it is good! The recipe serves 4.

Ingredients: 
2 cups Naturel Organic Mixed Brown and Red Rice (uncooked)
300g Pumpkin (small cubes)
200g Chicken thigh (small chunks)
100g Chinese cabbage
12 pcs Shittake mushroom
20g Dried shrimp
1 stalk spring onion
10g Raw ginger (sliced)
20g Garlic (2 cloves)
500ml Chicken Stock or Woh Hup Concentrated Chicken Stock

Seasoning (Pre-mix in a bowl)
2tsp salt
1tbsp Light soy sauce
1tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1tbsp Naturel Pure Olive oil
1/2 tsp Ground white pepper
1tsp Sesame oil
1tsp Thai Fish Sauce

Preparation:
1. Rinse the rice and drain.

2. Rinse pumpkin and cabbage.

3. Soak dried shrimp.

4. Cut ginger into slices, crush and peel garlic and dice spring onion.

5. Pre-mix all seasoning in a bowl.

Method:

1. Heat the olive oil in a wok. Add chicken, ginger, garlic and dried shrimp. Stir-fry until chicken is cooked on the outside and fragrant.

2. Add in shittake mushroom, cabbage, pumpkin and mixed brown and red rice (uncooked). Stir-fry evenly.

3. Add in the chicken stock, seasoning and continue to stir-fry for another minute.

4. Transfer all ingredients to an electric rice cooker to cook fully.

5. Garnish with spring onion (and seaweed) and serve hot.

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Maybe I will attempt Bento next… for Faith!

Ready for more sports?

There is nothing more joyful than to see the little one enjoying what she is doing. It’s no surprise that Faith is better in terms of her physical abilities. She started walking rather early and has a good sense of balance (maybe because she’s short!). Now at 22 months, she could walk a fair distance (from our place to the playground at the reservoir) and run steadily.

Today, we had our playdate at the new sports hub and two of the kids brought along their skate-scooters. Faith tried scooting and in no time at all, could scoot! You can imagine my joy!

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I have always wanted her to be able to do that and am ever ready to spend on the scooter. The time has come! Skate-scooting is a good form of sports because the kid needs to have hand-eye coordination and a sense of balancing. Always good to sweat it out too!

Apart from that, we have been getting the little one to swim. Although she was afraid of the waters in the beginning, she wasn’t afraid of getting her head under the water now. Yay!

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I’m still waiting for Faith to be taller so that she could try on her balance bike which she has won through a contest! Yea, triathlon is very much on my mind. That’s the grand plan. Haha!

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Disclaimer: Opinion does not reflect that of my hubs. It’s purely mine. ;)