Monthly Archives: January 2011

A Hairy Affair

I decided to take Max to get his hair cut since he was starting to look like an extra from ” Planet of the Apes” . To my surprise, Ally asked to get her hair cut as well, or as she put it ” I want my hair just like Max’s!” We compromised on a short bob instead.

Max usually gets his hair cut at United Square, the lady at Junior League is fast and pretty good. It’s definitely expensive at $22 a cut but the TV keeps him entertained so I have no complains.

This time round he actually sat in the chair all on his own. I was sure that he was going to protest but luckily we had Thomas to distract him. I sat next to him and he held onto my hand the entire time.

He didn’t quite like the shaver but managed to remain quite still for the lady to finish. I was really proud of him!

Next up was Ally who said to me “Mama, I don’t need you to sit with me, you can go and play with Max” She acted so grown up, first she chose her DVD, then she explained to the lady what sort of hairstyle she wanted.

I miss her long hair

I was a bit hesitant to let her cut her hair, it’s taken 3 years for it to grow past her shoulder! But she was certain she wanted it short. And actually her new hairstyle is really growing onto me, she looks a lot neater , most importantly, SHE loves it. Unfortunately I don’t have a good after shot of Ally with her short hair, will try to take one tomorrow.

A much neater looking Max, the cut looks much better today since it has had time to settle

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A Surprise For Max

Ever since Max’s prison break attempt, we decided that he is probably ready to learn to ride a bike. Now the problem with having vertically challenged kids is finding the right size bike for them.We had the same problem when Ally was about his age as well, in the end she had to make do with her plastic trike but even that is too big for Max at the moment.

After much research, I decided to buy him a Strider Bike. It’s height adjustable which hopefully means he’ll get a few years use out of it. It could also mean jack all if he decides he doesn’t actually like the bike. It’s supposedly light which would make it easier for him to handle or it would mean it just easier for him to pick it up and hit someone with.

I’ll do a review of the bike once it’s been delivered and the kids have had a chance to try it out so stay tune!

 

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Special Memories

My cousin is a photography buff and even has a mini studio in his home. We had a very impromptu photo shoot at his place where the entire family had gathered for his home warming party.

My brother and grandfather, in my personal opinion, two of the few good men around

This photo is very special to me, my brother is not only my best friend but has one of the kindest hearts you can ever find. He’s very similar to my grandfather, both are quiet individuals who prefer to blend into the background than be the life of the party.

3 generations in 1 photo

I look terrible in the photo, like a poster child for hangovers. Anyway I still like this photo cos it’s the only one we have of our entire family with my grandfather. Ally and Max are his only great grandchildren and he always lights up when they are around.

Now for the kids…..

An extremely happy Ally

The kids were in fantastic moods that afternoon

Still happy!

My Little Man

Nothing beats spending time with the family, have a great weekend!

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Ally’s 2nd Week at School

I am very happy to say that Ally is starting to settle in at school. She is eager to go and is always full of smiles when we pick her up. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of her at school cos I try not to hang around once I drop her off.

Based on the email from her teacher, she participates eagerly in class and loves music time. The teachers have been so patient with her and I’m very please with the way they have helped her adapt. She brings her favourite peguin to school to give her a bit of security and he is now accepted as an extra member of the class. Over time I will do my part to try and wean her off her penguin and I’m sure I’ll be able to persuade her to leave him in her school bag. Right now we’re working on keeping him in her pocket and only taking him out whenever she needs him.

On the academic side, they haven’t been doing much these pass two weeks since their main aim is to help the children feel comfortable with the school environment. But after only 3 Mandarin lessons, she is starting to show an interest in the language and is able to sing a couple of songs. On my part I really need to make a better effort to speak to her more often in Mandarin.

I appreciate the school’s open and honest communication with the parents which I feel helps ease a lot of the parent’s anxiety as well. Each time I’ve gone to her school, I’ve never heard teachers shouting or raising their voices. It’s a very calm environment which is one of the reasons why i think she settled in so quickly. I was bracing myself for a month of tears before she settled in so I’m very relieved that it didn’t take that long.

 

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Prison Break

I put Max down for his afternoon nap today and as usual he fussed a little and cried. Soon the crying stopped and then I heard ” Mama? Mama!” I ignored his shouts cos I knew if no one responded he would soon go to sleep. While I was walking past his room, Matt and I suddenly heard a bang. We opened the room door and there was Max, standing behind the door, happy as a lark. The cheeky boy had somehow managed to climb OUT of his crib. We figured he must have climbed onto Ally’s bed and lowered himself to the ground.

The two of us stood there and looked at each other, stunned. In actual fact we shouldn’t have been as shock as we were cos he has always been a climber. Despite his short stature, he has managed to get to places one would have thought impossible.

Well meaning friends have suggested that it’s time to put him in a toddler bed. Now, his crib doesn’t convert and I have no plans in moving him to a bed as yet. Like I said, he’s a climber. Without being enclosed in his crib, there is no way the two children will ever get to sleep. Max will be climbing all over trying to play with Ally and bedtimes will be a total nightmare. I had actually already researched possible solutions since I saw him climb out of the pack and play at grandma’s a few weeks ago. So I placed an order for a crib tent. I have no idea if it will actually work, but I sure hope so!

 

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Chinese Vs Western Parents

I found an interesting article this morning, the author talks about “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior”

As I read the article, I cringed when the author shares how she raises her two daughters. They are not allowed to have sleepovers, get any grades less than an A, watch Tv or play computer games…. and the list goes on.

She states that western parents care too much about a child’s feelings and individuality and therefore they do not dare to demand perfection from their children.

Her two daughters may have turned out alright under her iron rod but I shudder to think the numerous children who have had their spirits and self esteem crushed by parents who simply demand too much too soon.

The author doesn’t see her two daughters as two individuals, to her, everything can be achieved as long as one works hard and long enough at it. I tend to disagree cos I like to think the journey to achievement is as important as the result itself.

I don’t see myself as a totally “western’ parent either. While I respect the children’s individuality, I demand a certain standard of behavior and respect from them. Rudeness and bad manners are never tolerated but neither do I believe in shaming them by calling them “garbage” either.

Matt and I do rank academic achievements as our no. 1 priority, instead we choose to steer the children towards sports as we personally believe that it builds discipline and character. Sports allow my kids to release their energy in a positive and healthy way. They learn how to share, how to accept defeat and be a gracious person.

At the end of the day, both extremes can’t be good for a child. Mollycoddling them isn’t going to be beneficial in the long run and neither will shaming them. There needs to be an equal balance of both to raise happy, confident kids.

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Monkey Business

The children can never be house bound for long, they soon get restless and start to drive each other, and me, crazy.

Like all kids they make up their own games which only they seem to understand. Ally usually sings and dances to entertain herself while Max tries to see how much mischief he can get away with before I notice.

Ally doing one of her dances

Today they decided to throw all the pillows off the sofa and use it as a big trampoline. They know that jumping on the sofa is FORBIDDEN so they were trying to do it as discreetly as possible while I was in the kitchen preparing lunch. The problem was, the minute they get too quiet, I always know trouble is around the corner. When I peeped out of the kitchen, Max saw me and immediately pretended to lie down and “sleep”. Ally saw him and realised that I was looking so she quickly sat down and gave me a sheepish grin. I wanted to laugh but I just reminded them not to jump on the sofa anymore.

Later, Max found Ally’s bicycle helmet and decided he wanted to wear it as well. One of the problems with Max’s big head is that it seems to unbalance him. He trips over at least once a day and it’s a good day if we get by with 3 falls.

His head is as big as hers even though he's 2 years younger

When you throw Matt into the mix, you have three insane out of control kids. He makes them laugh, giggle and scream to the point of being hysterical. Their favourite game is to chase each other around the house and when one is caught, it results in lots of tickles. I’m sure my neighbours downstairs must think I keep a herd of elephants in the house.

I shall leave you with a picture of Ally’s best impression of a monkey. Have a good weekend!

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