Monthly Archives: June 2010

Ding Dong Bell

Ally had a little project that she had to do for her Kindermusik class. The task was to make an object that resembled a bell or sounded like one. The kids had to use things that they could find around the house.

When it comes to crafts, I’m not the most creative person, thankfully Matt is great at stuff like that.  He found a old plastic flower pot, a metal screw of some sort and some cable tie.

Our homemade bell

Ally loves to paint, we usually let her paint the bathroom walls before her bath since it makes clean up easier. More often than not, she paints with her fingers and ends up using her whole body as a canvas. I really like the washable paints from Crayola, they don’t stain clothes and are really easy to wash out. When it comes to art projects, I’ve learned through trial and error that it is best to have everything set up before hand. Ally has the attention of a flea, when everything is set up, all she has to do is get right to her task instead of waiting around for me to look for the materials.

All ready to paint her bell

She did a really great job, I just sat there and watched her. When it comes to art, I like her to do what she pleases, if she decides an elephant should be purple, then so be it.

Ally's finished bell, she decided to add the dinosaur sticker at the last minute

She’s so excited about taking it to class tomorrow to show her teacher!

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Art Attack!

We wanted to visit the Singapore Bird Park but the weather was miserable so we had to change our plans to something indoors. I’ve been wanting to check out the Art Garden at the Singapore Art Museum so we decided to head there instead.

Definitely not a day to be outdoors

It took us almost an hour to reach Queen’s Street, little did we know that there were floods around various parts of Singapore. We were very lucky to escape the massive traffic jam on the CTE.

The exhibition was really interesting, some were interactive, others had a strict “hands off ” policy. Needless to say the kids enjoyed those that they could touch, play or even throw.

Max checking out the grass

It was interesting, even for Max, there was a lot for him to touch, see and explore. I enjoyed watching the children take in the various exhibitions in their own ways.

Ally and her trees in "Walter's Garden"

There were some art and crafts stations where children could make little puppets or color butterflies.

We spent quite a while walking around and letting the children explore. After we were done, we decided to check out Food for Thought since it was just next door. Ally was yawning before the food came and sure enough, we drove home with 2 sleeping children, such bliss.

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She’s All Grown Up!

Ally attended her first ever unaccompanied class today. I was really nervous since she is so use to having at least one of us around during her classes. We prepped her about what to expect and reassured her that we’ll be right outside her class, which thankfully had a glass door so she could see us.

It did help that Ally has been attending Kindermusik since she was six months old. She is very familiar with the way the lessons are carried out as well as the teachers there. Once class started, she walked straight in and never looked back. I was more anxious than her but once I saw her happily waving goodbye to me, I knew she would be alright. I was really proud of her, she followed instructions, participated in all the activities and remembered her manners. Hopefully this will ease her transition into school when/if she starts next January.

Ally & her classmates waiting for their instruments

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The Joy of Bare feet

When Ally was a baby, I couldn’t resist buying those oh so cute baby booties. She had 4 pairs of shoes before she was 5 months old. Her outfits were always painstakingly coordinated from top to toe.  This obsession with dressing her up soon died off when I realised she really wasn’t a girly girl. Ally is happiest in a pair of shorts, singlet and bare feet. Yes, I have one of those children that dislikes wearing shoes. Unfortunately I’m the same.

And then we had Max. I’m not sure if it’s because boys clothes are more limited in choices or is it because we’re so busy juggling both children, but I never shopped for clothes for Max. We received a lot of nice hand me downs from friends which was fantastic since he grew so quickly the first four months. I never thought of putting on shoes for Max, not even socks. I figured when he starts walking, I’ll buy him a pair of shoes. Recently he has been wanting to cruise around while we’re out, the little man isn’t so contented to sit in his stroller anymore. I can’t let him walk around in his bare feet so I dug up a pair of old shoes and placed them on his feet. Well, you would have thought I tied weights to him! Suddenly his legs turned to jelly, they kept crossing over each other and he just looked so funny. He wasn’t used to wearing shoes and it took him a long time to figure it out. At any chance he had, he would try to remove them or chew them.

I’ve decided to buy Max a pair of soft leather shoes to help him get use to having something on his feet. But honestly, if I had a choice, I’ll go about bare footed everywhere as well. I think Ally sums it up best. When I asked her why she always kicked off her shoes, she said ” because it feels so much nicer and I can wiggle my toes”

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Beading

We were given a set of Hama beads and I have to admit I was really hesitant to accept them at first. With Max around, the little beads just seemed too risky. I stashed the package away but this morning when Max was taking his nap, I gave in and showed it to Ally. She took to it immediately and picked out a heart to make for her daddy.

Hama beads come in two sizes, Ally was working with the slightly larger beads meant for children 3-6 years. Even then the beads are rather small and require a lot of concentration to put in place. It is good training for their fine motor skills. What I love about the product is you can make anything as long as you can imagine it. They even sell glow in the dark beads, how cool is that?

In case you’re wondering where to buy them, check out Growing Fun!

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Just Five Minutes

I often find myself caught up in the routine of daily chores. Wake up, make the kids breakfast, wash up the breakfast dishes, give them baths….etc And because of this, I find myself saying ” not now darling, mama is busy” to Ally whenever she asks for a few minutes of my time. Sometimes the minute the words leave my mouth, I instantly regret it. Will it hurt if the dishes are left unwashed for a while? Does it really matter if lunch isn’t served on time? NO. Does it matter to my child if I just stop and pay attention to her for five minutes? Oh, yes!

Now when she comes to the kitchen with a request to read a book or play a game of baseball, instead of saying No straightaway, we usually have a compromise. I’ll stop what I’m doing, to read her a book or play her game and then come back to my chores. I know it makes a huge difference to her that we take the time to listen and attend to her needs rather than just brush her off.

We definitely had more time for her when she was just an only child, but the companionship and love that Max has brought has more than made up for it. Still, we try to spend a little time everyday with each child. One of our favourite moments with Ally is playing with her after Max has gone to bed. We usually gather in the playroom and either read a book, make something out of playdoh or build castles with her wooden blocks. I really treasure those few minutes with her, the delight on her face at having the undivided attention from both her parents. As for Max? When Ally takes her afternoon nap, it’s his turn for some alone time with us.  Unfortunately for him, I don’t function well at 1pm in the afternoon, its when I need my power nap in order to last the rest of the day. I usually lie on the mat in the playroom and entertain him from there, or allow him to use me as a jungle gym.

I need to point out that the reason I have the energy to spend time with the children is because I have a fantastic husband. He pitches in with the housework and truth be told, he is way better at household chores than me. We work so well together, whenever I need to escape to the kitchen to prepare a meal, he automatically gathers the children up and entertains them. If one of us needs a badly needed nap, the other is always on hand to look after the kids. His flexible work hours make all this possible and honestly, I would have gone insane without him.

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Teething Woes

The teething bug has hit us again. Max is cutting three teeth at the same time and they seem to take forever to emerge. Unlike Ally who seemed to have no problem with teething, Max suffers terribly each time a new one cuts through. He is grumpy, fussy and grinds his teeth constantly resulting in a hair-raising noise that is easily the most annoying man-made sound ever.

I don’t like using teething gel on his gums so to help relief the itching, we usually keep a few frozen teethers in the freezer. When he was younger he preferred a cold cloth but for now, frozen teethers are his favourite. Another thing that he loves to chew on are teething biscuits, but not just any but Rafferty’s banana milk rusks. This proves that he really is a little monkey.

If he is as slow a teether as Ally, we’re going to be suffering from teething woes for a long time. At nearly 3, Ally still hasn’t got her full set of teeth, we’re missing 3 more molars.

A totally unrelated but very cute picture of Max

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