Monday, May 31, 2010

"Terrible Two" Stormed Up

It's been a long time I didn't buy myself any books*. These days, I feel a need to get a parenting book although I have some in the house. But I need one that can provide me with more details to cope with my boy's current development. I feel that we are experiencing the "terrible twos" now. *I managed to get one last saturday. I also "google" the topic and found some of the useful links as follow:

Once my boy starts to speak... not one word or two words anymore, but a sentence or more! He can voice out his little opinions and raise some arguments. He's no longer a listener. Just doing the opposite if we insist of what we want. We are so tensed with his rebellious behaviours.

#Tantrum 1: Ask him to get into / out of the car is a big headache.
If we are in a hurry, we ask him to move faster then he will get annoyed and refuse to move. If we carry him in/out by force, he will burst in tears.
Our solutions: Make a goody offer to him like let him watch ABC's video (via phone) or try to perk up his curiosity over something we see at outside.
Expert's suggestion: No more direct commands. Be patient to allow him to do the task independently (within his ability). Give him some options."I know you can come down by yourself. So you want daddy to carry or you want to come down by yourself?" I just said this to him this morning when he refused to come down. Without seconds, he walked down and went inside the house. Yes, at such stage, he wants to show his independence to us whenever there's an opportunity. By offering him some options, he feels much happy to follow.

#Tantrum 2: Refuse to hold hands or sit quietly while we are outside
It's always sweats+tears when we want to hold his hands to take escalators or carry him in the crowded areas. He likes to walk or run freely now. Even dining, he insists to sit on a normal chair instead of baby-chair. Sometimes, it ends up we need to shorten our trip or dining when he's out of control. Staying in house is safer and hassle-free. Hence, my hubby comments that he'd rather to packing food home.
Our solutions: Make a goody offer to him like bring him to ride machine-horse or threaten him that police will come after him (not effective at all now).
Expert's suggestion: At such stage, children like to test our limits. However, children need freedom to make decision like us too.
As to avoid dragging n pulling scenes, we need talk to him first "if you want to go there, you must sit in the cart (or hold hands). If you don't, we can't go there to buy XXX for you. Alright?" We let him make the decision (sit or hold hands if he wants to go). Never give in (tantrums) if children act over the limit. Especially when it involves safety issues like crossing road/taking escalators, we need to carry him once he opposes to holding our hands. Do explain to him why we do so.

#Tantrum 3: Intolerable tantrums if he is being refused or neglected.
As being the only child in the family, my boy enjoys to be the center of attention. Although he's still small, it's important to teach him to respect others. Like when I talk to my hubby, he will interrupt us by pulling me away or talk loud to me. If I ignore him, he'll shout or cry. Worse now, he always wants to pick up any coming calls and talk to the callers.
Our solutions: Just leave our conversations behind and pay attention to him first.
Expert's suggestion:
Time out. It's necessary to let children understand our rules.Explain to him. "Let Mommy talk with daddy first. Then I come to you. Can you wait?" If he cries or says "No", I'll repeat my request. Still he kicks off the tantrum, I'll ignore him or leave him for a time-out. When he's cooling down, I'll talk to him and cuddle him. I want him to know about the rules. Sometimes, he'll come to me and say "Mommy, I'm sorry" or "Mommy, I don't" if I don't go to him.

After reading the relevant articles on this topic, I agree that my boy is trying to have our attention to share his independence and capacity of doing something. We are his example to learn the qualities. He needs time to understand what is good or bad and what is safe or dangerous. Yes, just think in this way, what he does or says, is actually our reflections like the mirror. Now I will talk to him at his level (kneel or sit) which are eyes-to-eyes. Let him think that I respect his little talks or opinions. A long way that we are making through it together.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Review: We're Going On A Bear Hunt

Book Review # 3: We're Going on A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

This book was just purchased 2 months ago. It's a nice and humor short story for young readers to follow the flows from beginning to the end. The story is about a family who took on an adventure to trail a bear but was later chased after by the bear.

I like this book. Through reading this book, my boy learns many new phrases like "go over", "go under", "go through", "go upstairs", "back downstairs", "open the door" and "shut the door". These phrases are so commonly applied in our daily activities.
Anytime I will rehearse the actions with my boy when I see there's a chance. Like coming back from outside, I'll quote "Quick, shut the door, don't let the bear come in!" when we enter house; or sometimes, i forgot to pick up something from downstairs, I'll say "Oh no, I forgot to take xxx, back downstairs!". Soon and sooner, he understands how to use these phrases too. *Tips: Try to use the same words/phrases of a book with your little ones in daily activities whenever there's a chance to impress them.

After reading this book, my boy also quotes his own favourite phrase - "What's that?". By that time, questioning power is at his peak. He never stops using this phrase every hour every day. Until one day, I don't tell him the answer but I ask him the same. Just pretending that I'm curious to know too... at least, he's thinking too to tell me the answer. When he tells me the correct answer, I'd praise him then he will be happy. A win-win situation.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Book Review: Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

Book Review # 2: Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

I just bought this book and never expected to read it so early to my 2 y.o+ boy. Not only he has some new books to read, I was doubted if he could handle it (which content is longer and deeper; in fact, Room on the broom is harder than this one).

Just few nights after the arrival of new books (include this one), he saw the 'penguin' on the cover and therefore he took this book from the book shelf. Well, I or his daddy has to read the book since he's given the right to choose book to read from our mini home library.

Mrs Montessori is right on her saying 'a child's brain is like a sponge". At younger age, a little brain can absorb any sorts of information at ease and pace... never be contented. So we read the full story to him whenever he brings this book to us. One night after a shower, I walked out from the bathroom while my boy just finished his bedtime story (of this book) with daddy. He came to me with arms open wide and said.

My boy: Mommy, hug me, like penguin"
Me: Like penguin? Penguin hugged who?
My boy: Penguin hugged boy.

From that night, I changed my review about this book. It fits for younger children. Just read it and share the things you see ... the feelings you feel from the book. Like the big ship, the south pole (where penguins live), the boat... and the words like lost, found, sad, happy and hug. Whenever we finish reading this book, we give each other a hug.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where To Find A Good Pyjamas - DPAM

Du Pareil au même (or DPAM)
It's a french brand which sells children apparels and accessories. I only know about this brand when I visit its store at Pavilion KL (6th floor, next to Pumpkin Patch). I love their summer pyjamas (though it's my boy who wear them). It's pretty hard to find such a good quality + cheeky design's old-styled pyjamas. The fabric suits our hot weather here. I bought Size 3 but my boy can wear it since 2 y.o. To my surprise, the fabric and the colour of the pyjamas still look as new piece despite few machine washes (2 or 3 times) every week.

Back to my old days, my mum and aunties liked to tailor children clothing (especially pyjamas) with the leftover fabrics or stripe-pattern fabric. So comfy but plain graphic.. I like DPAM's website as well as their animation work. A lot of stitched and embroidered motifs can be easily found in their collections. They use and mix many colours in their designs too. Look at the pyjamas' print (see picture above), you can spot many animals... just teach your little one to know each animal from his/her pyjamas. Just like books or flash cards!

The price... depend on how you value and compare it with others. I was lucky to get the pyjamas (RM40+) for my boy's size during Sales period. Except for the backpack bag, I bought it at the normal price. I couldn't resist it when I saw this little cute bag. I felt more guilty if I didn't take the last piece in the store. (Oh no, it'd be another story if my hubby was there! Shhhh...)

Bad news!!! (To me only?) This store has closed down already. I just found out about it few weeks ago when I was shopping at Pavillion KL. The existing unit is under renovation. Wondering if the new store carries this brand. Or I gotta hunt it in Singapore. (Aiya, forget the location, anyone knows? Email me, please..)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Play n Learn: Our House Got Talent

My boy likes to sing in solo now. Recently he learns to sing Hokkien songs... Not a joke, he can sing the chorus part. So he always hosts his talent's show in our bedroom as well as in the car. Even he braves himself to sing for his grandparents, uncles/aunties and cousins upon request. What a little man he is!(Applaused) But when he gets too excited on singing... OMG, he'll be like yelling, not singing anymore!

Sharing here with one of his singing video clips - a
simple counting rhyme of "Five Little Ducks":

Five* Little Ducks Went Out One Day
*Repeat with Four, Three, Two, One
Went Overhill and Far Away

Mother Duck Said: Quak, Quak, Quak...
Only Four* Little Ducks Came Back.
*Repeat with Three, Two, One, None

Note: Picture inserted at right - One of his Term 1's art projects in Toddler Program.
Teacher sang the above song which followed by some actions. So I will do the same when singing it to my boy. Children easily pay attention to the funny sounds or exaggerate actions or facial expressions that are involved in a reading or singing or dancing.

Although he can just sing one paragraph, we feel much satisfied about his performance. Absolutely never forget some big claps to appreciate his little talent show.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Play n Learn: Leapfrog's Tag Junior Set

My Boy's New Learning Tool: Leapfrog's Tag Junior
This January, I bought a set of Leapfrog's Tag Junior for my boy's 2y.o birthday. Other than this one, my boy has a Fridge's Phonic Magnetic Set (see right) from this brand.

During that time, he could not operate this Tag in a proper way. He just pressed the buttons or tapped the pages. As such, I keep this set away and let him read other books as usual. 3 months later... I think that he should be able to handle the Tag Junior. As per guide, Tag Junior is designed for children aged 2 to 4. I can't hold it for any longer. I decide to let him try it again.

This set comprises 2 books which are "If I Were" and "Curious Geo
rge Color Fun". In recent, my boy just learns about colours so I choose the latter for him. I gave him a demo on how to use the gadget with the book. At last, he didn't let me down this time. He enjoys tapping it which makes many sounds then. Now he will tell me "Mommy, i want to point" when he wants it. He realises that the gadget can 'talk' once he points it to the icons found on each pages. "Mommy, you see, he talks and he sings!"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Baby Food: Organic Rice Cereal

My Baby's First Cereal: Why not? Organic First Flavour Cereal

Rarely I write about baby stuff here. All my "first-hand" experiences about looking after our first baby are in history now. Perhaps I only able to recall any when I ......

Last Sunday, I saw this rice cereal at the supermarket's Organic Food Section. When I took a picture of it, my tot asked me what it is. I explained to him that he used to eat this cereal (original flavour) when he was a baby. He finished 2 cans during 6-8 months.

If you are an organic-oriented mummy, you may be interested to introduce this rice cereal as the first weaning food for your little baby (at 6 months).
Just mix it with warm milk (breast-milk or formula milk).
Tips to wean your baby for 1st time:
  • Try to feed (10am - 12pm) after the 1st morning milk feed when baby's mood is joyous.
  • Start with small portion (1 tablespoon) and gradually add the portion if baby is not enough.
  • Don't force baby to finish the portion as he/she just starts to take solid food
  • Set a vibrant environment for baby to enjoy his/her first solid food (away from TV and Toys)
  • Say "yummy.. yummy..."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stop This... Baby is so fragile!

Last Sunday, I read a sad story about a mother whose 8-months baby girl has been diagnosed as "Shaken Baby Syndrome" (SBS). What is this? It's a serious brain hemorrhage caused by a rough and repeated shakes on a young child (especially the infants) in back and forth motion (whiplash). Infants are not strong enough to control their neck muscles and therefore the vigorous "shakes" may rupture the blood vessels and cause bruising to the brain. Just imagine what happen to an egg's yolk when you shake the egg non-stop.

Long time ago, I happened to see a father playing a dangerous game with his little baby. How dangerous it was? Holding his baby up in the air and suddenly throwing him up a bit (I can't tolerate even it's just "a bit")... then catching him back into arms. The little baby just laughed off whenever his father "saved" him from the throw. Oh no, I couldn't bear to watch this and swear to stop anyone who does it onto my baby. Importantly, we should convey the "dangerous" message to surrounding people (our parents, relatives, maids and babysitters).
Some ways to prevent the risk (SBS):
Educate the risk of SBS.
Send baby to another if you doubt about the caregivers' abilities to look after. (Hot-tempered, Lack of sleep, drunk or on drug)
(3) Check the caregivers background. (Many SBS victims are found to be abused)
Don't play too rough with baby.
(5) Don't shake baby when he's unconscious due to swallowing/ vomiting/ falling/ difficult breathing. Send baby to the nearest hospital immediately.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Play n Learn: Now I know My ABC

I was so touched when my 2 y.o tot could sing ABC's song without missing a letter. I could not sing a complete one until primary one. Luckily was my parents got me a good tutor to teach me from the basic. I'm not a pro in teaching but I wish to be a good mentor in his early education path.

In beginning, he always missed the letter "N" and "V". So I rectified him every time. I notice that he can tell the correct one after I highlight the "missing" or "incorrect" parts several times. Trials and errors actually make him learn faster.

Does he recognise the 26 letters? I'd say he is slowly picking them up... letter by letter. Like last week, he could say the letter "O" when he spotted any "0" (circle, zero number, letter O). At one point, he said the letter "Q" was "O" when he saw it from his daddy's car plate. Haha... Yesterday, he took out the letter "Z" from his foam playmat and said "it's zebra". What made me laugh about this picture (see right)? My boy pointed it and said "mommy, I got this "O" and I got this "Zebra"; but, my husband asked me "why Aussie?" when I took the picture of the two letters.

In recent, I like to record his small performances. For me, video is a live-memory that bringing more sentimental feelings about the past.
Let's watch the NG take + the Good take.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Read List For My Boy - Volume 3

Yes, more new books for my boy..... Can he digest so many?

Recently, I don't pick books to read for him. I let him to decide. Quite amazing to observe him do so. He goes to the book shelf and simultaneously he tells the books while looking for them.. either "Gruffalo bear" (refers 'Gruffalo's Child') & "Witch" (refers 'Room on the broom') or "Caterpillar" & "10 little rubber ducks"... sometimes he opts for older ones like "Brown bear","Peter Rabbit" & "3 Little pigs". He could remember the books I have read to him.

Read list - Volume 3:
1) Maisy Goes to the Playground
(Hardcover) by Lucy Cousins
2) Maisy, Charley and the Wobbly Tooth (Hardcover) by Lucy Cousins
3) The Tiger who Came to Tea (Softcover) by Judith Kerr
4) 'The Cat in The Hat' Picture Book & CD set by Theodor Geisel
5) Dr Suess's ABC - An Amazing Alphabet Book (Mini Board book) by Theodor Geisel
6) The Gruffalo (board book) by Julia Donaldson

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Irresistibly Cupcakes of "Alice in Wonderland"

Irresistibly Cupcakes - "Alice in Wonderland"
I've eyed on a birthday cake in cupcakes version for long. Finally I got one (indeed, many cupcakes). Thanks hubby.

These days, there's a new trend to get more mini cakes as one cake. Not only for birthdays, but for any occasions like Mo
ther's or Father's Day, Easter's Day, X'mas, Fullmoon, Weddings... which you feel like getting one design for "your own" (non-homogeneous).

Through a friend, I got to know the wonderful cupcake makers
- The colourful and special themed marzipan-toppings make them look so unique than the traditional cupcakes. Prettyfrosting can custom design the theme upon request. Check my order, cupcakes in "Alice in Wonderland" look so awesome!

My friend is right about the sweetness, the cupcakes don't taste so sweet, even the marzipan-toppings taste just sweet.
For a nicer decor at party table, you could stack up the cupcakes on a English Hi-tea tray (see picture) or place them on the cupcake stand.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sweetest Birthday's Greeting for Mummy

This morning.. my little tot just woke up and I told him about my birthday (today). So I asked him what he wanted to say... without a second, he said "Happy Mother's Day" to me. Whaaaa!!! Then I gave him a little clue - cake, eventually I got the right one. Quickly I recorded it via iphone.

With the high-tech devices, we are able to photograph or videotape the very special moments of our little ones. It's a good keepsake that can be kept and played back (to show) to them in later years or forever.

Oh, I can't wait to share my birthday cupcakes with him later. Yum.. yum..

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Precious Mother's Day Gift

Happy Mother's Day to all great moms in the world.

I'm being a mother for the 3rd year. I (for all moms) only wish that our little one(s) is healthy and happy. That's the best blessings.

But this year, I got a special Mother's
Day's gift from my 2 y.o boy. What could he get for me?

There's nothing worth more than a humble greeting from my dear child. I also asked him to greet his grandmothers when he met them later. Yes, he did so.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Book Review: Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Book Review # 1: Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

This book was just arrived with ot
her new books I ordered from Littlereadingnook yesterday. My boy chose to read this book amongst the new arrivals. Maybe he was attracted with those animals (illustrations) hiding behind those windows (openings).

It's kinda peek-a-boo book and suitably read by 1-2 years old. Quite a good one to teach your little one about some animals through illustrations. For a 2 y.o toddler, my boy managed to name out most of the animals.

For elder kids (2-5 y.o), the names of animals are not printed for each illustrated animal in this book but they can learn different adjective words relating to each illustrated animal in the descriptions. Such as big for elephant, tall for giraffe and jumpy for frog.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

From Words To A Sentence

Every morning, my boy asks his first question once he wakes up. "Mommy, go where?" Until this morning, he spoke to me while laying on the bed, "Mommy, where are you going?" I was stunned for awhile although I knew he speak few simple sentences but not this one yet. How good he can speak of now?
"Daddy go (should be goes) to work." , now he says "Daddy go to office puchong"; "Mommy go to work." , now he says "Mommy is in gong gong's shop, working";

Also he can phrase his thoughts now. (In fact, some were spoken by us to him before.)
About naughtiness: "Mommy, I made Jia-Jia (grandma) angry. I throw things."
About sick: "Mommy, I sick... have to see doctor and put injection."

To make little one to speak better, it's advised that parents should converse in appropriate phrases or/and in complete sentence. Sometimes, we can hear some using "kiddy" words to speak with their young kids. For examples (in mandarin version) :

drink "water" --> drink "coke-coke"
eat "food" --> eat "mang-
go "shopping" --> go "gai-gai"
sleep --> "ooi-ooi" Our parents still talk to our boy with kiddies but we both insist to speak to him in a proper way.

Besides, reading helps babies/toddlers to speak well too. It enriches their vocabularies and also stimulates their minds (to think). Like "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", my boy learned the meaning of "stomachache". Days ago, I told him that Jia-jia (grandma) had stomachache and warned him not to sit on Jia-jia's tummy. Suddenly he looked so upset and said to me, "Jia-jia, stomachache? Jia-jia eat so many things?" Look, reading benefits our little ones.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Play n Learn: Building Up A Mega-block Skyscraper

My boy's Favourite Block Game: Mega-blocks Box Set

My boy is lucky to be the youngest in his generation. His aunties have kept many toys and other baby stuff in good condition. For instance, this box of colourful mega-blocks is one of the family's treasures. It can be passed on for many generations.

Different shapes and multi-coloured b
locks help toddlers to develop fine motor skills (touch, build and experiment) and also hand-eye coordination. In addition, it's a good game to train your little one's concentration and creativity by sorting the shapes and the colours to build his own creation.

There's one important code to teach your little one during playtime. "Tidy up" his/her toys. Putting toys in place (the toy's box or the shelf). In the beginning, we show them how and tidy up together. For our boy, we allow him to play one or few toys at one time and request him to clear away the current one before switching to another. So, don't forget to say "tidy up" when your little one finishes playing one toy.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Play n Learn: "Vroomm..." on a 3D Road Map

My boy's Favourite 3D-Playmat: ELC's 3D Road Map

Yes, it's a 3D playmat from ELC. The trees, the bridges and the buildings are all inflatable. Since having a child, I become a patron of Children stores, either apparels or toys, I like to check out the latest items.

"Think Toys" (or used to be "ELC") is top of my favourite children's Toy store. I bought this 3D playmat last year and opened it up on the floor. Unbelievable, 90% of the 3D figures are still inflated in good shape until today... imagine the inner air was pumped nearly a year ago.

Many think that this 3D playmat surely cost me a lot because the flat one is not cheap either. In fact, the price is lower than the other flat playmats in the store. Maybe it's made of plastic. I bought it for RM 69. Good deal, right? It's easier to let my boy learn about the buildings (ie hospital, shop, post office) which are presented in 3D form on this playmat. And learning on-the-road terms piece by piece.

Vroom, vroom, drive past a hospital and go straight to the roundabout... Watch out, there's a traffic light ahead! It's red light, STOP and WAIT... now it turns green, GO. Turn Right.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Play n Learn: Introduce Opposites

My boy is recovering from FHMD... no, he has recovered indeed. Yesterday, he not only finished a bowl of porridge but also ate 3 mini bananas. Glad to see him gaining some appetite. And today he's being active (mischievous too) again, talking a lot and playing a lot.

Today is public holiday and therefore my parents are free at home. In the evening, he asked his "gong gong" (grandfather or my dad) to take him out for a bicycle ride. "Gong gong" offered to fetch him on his big old bike, but my little boy insisted to ride his own small bike on the road. I tried to coax him in riding with "gong gong" but eventually we gave in. Why??

I said: Come on, ride on gong-gong's bicycle.
My boy: It is big bicycle, I don't want. I want this small one. (Then, he pulled his little bike to the porch.)

Weeks ago, he just learned to describe those vehicles which are bigger than his daddy's car
as "big car" such as vans, MPVs and four-wheels. *He started to use "big" word after reading "Gruffalo's Child" - quote "big bad mouse". Today, he can differentiate the words of "Big" and "Small". Remarkably using "Opposite" to describe things and even to express his little logical mindset. Most obvious is he can answer with "Yes" or "No" to the questions.

As such, I think I could introduce Dr.Suess's beginner opposite cards to him very soon.


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