Monday, January 31, 2011

Home is the best school, Parents are the best teacher

Indeed it's true, there's nothing beat home and parents to teach the kids
Home is where the kid feels safe, secure, comfortable and become who he is
Parents are the best teacher who know their kid better than anyone else, whenever they are happy, sad, troubled, tired, sleepy, hungry. Parents teach their kid not because of  "job" or they are paid like school teacher but they teach kid because they love to nurture and watch them grow happily with full confidence and broad knowledges.

That's why mommy doesn't want to waste the best three years of Richie's life.
It's the years when Richie gets very close with his parents, happily learning and playing without any peer pressure and it the years mommy and daddy can shape his characters to be a patient, wise, responsible, and generous boy.

Mommy will enrol him to N2 when he's turning 4 instead of next year.

Mommy knows when he starts to go to school, he will have less time with us and spend more times with his friends. It can be a good and bad.
It's good to learn social life, not shy with people but it's bad if the friends gave him bad influence.
That's why mommy and daddy need to put a good foundation in him before he's ready to face the external influences.

Mommy makes our home becomes a preschool like. Mommy pastes many words in english and mandarin in our furniture instead of doing flashcards.
Why? It's just something different and it's more real and fun than doing usual flashcards.
Voila, Richie also likes it, for eg whenever he wants to go outside, he will see the word "door".
And when he wants to go to toilet, he will see the word "toilet"
Hopefully his brain will absorb this words and sinking them to his subconscious mind.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Favorite chinese nursery songs

Yesterday, mommy bought 1 karaoke chinese nursery song. Wowww...I was quite surprised, 'cos I thought it was like english nursery song translated to chinese but turned out that it's different songs. Only two songs that mommy and Richie were familiar with. Two tiger song (are you sleeping Bro John? in english) and Twinkle twinkle little star.

Mommy had no choice except find the lyric in pinyin and sing it for Richie

Here are the lyrics in pinyin

Two tigers Song

liǎng zhī lǎo hǔ, liǎng zhī lǎo hǔ
pǎo de kuài, pǎo de kuài
yī zhī méi yǒu ěr duo
yī zhī méi yǒu wěi ba
zhēn qí guài
zhēn qí guài

English translation

Two tigers, two tigers
Run so fast, run so fast
One has no ears
One has no tail
So strange! So strange!

Twinkle twinkle little star

yi shan yi shan liang jing jing

man tian dou shi xiao xing xing

gua zai tian shang fang guang ming

hao xiang xu duo xiao yan jing

yi shan yi shan liang jing jing

man tian dou shi xiao xing xing


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Activities with daddy in the evening

Thanks to daddy who always spends some times after works playing with Richie.
You are both mommy's precious.
I love you both

Sign language with songs

Recently, mommy likes to take the video of Richie while he's doing the action
like quack quack, song : if you happy and you know you clap your hand, etc
so here is some videos. I guess it will bring a good memory for mommy, daddy and himself when he's grown up

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The culture and customs of Chinese New Year

All you need to know about

1. Red Envelope / Hongbao

A red envelope (紅包, hóngbāo) is simply a long, narrow, red envelope with money in it. Traditional red envelopes are often decorated with gold Chinese characters like happiness and wealth.
Red symbolizes luck. Red envelopes are handed out to younger generations by their parents, grandparents, relatives, and even close neighbors and friends during Chinese New Year.
When giving someone a red envelope, use both hands to present the red envelope to the recipient. Giving and receiving red envelopes, gifts, and even business cards is a solemn act

The amount of money in red envelopes given to children for Chinese New Year depends on age and the giver’s relationship to the child. For younger children, the equivalent of about $7 dollars is fine. More money is given to older children and teenagers. The amount is usually enough for the child to buy himself his own gift like a T-shirt or DVD. Parents may give the child a more substantial amount since material gifts are usually not given during the holidays.

For all occasions, certain amounts of money are to be avoided. Anything with a four is best avoided because 四 (sì, four) sounds similar to死 (sǐ, death). Even numbers, except four, are better than odd. Eight is a particularly auspicious number. The money inside a red envelope should always be new and crisp. Folding the money or giving dirty or wrinkled bills is in bad taste. Coins and checks are avoided

2. Chinese New Year Eve

What happen during the eve ?
the new year's eve is the time for families of the year, the new year eve's dinner will certainly be the hour of the new year's eve. The dinner is full of symbolic meaning, such as Chinese dumplings implying wealth since they have the shape of ancient Chinese gold or silver ingots. Everyone, even kids, drinks a little Jiu (usually hard liquor), which symbolizes longevity since Jiu has the same pronunciation as longevity in Chinese. 

3. Yu sheng

meaning "raw fish" is a Chinese New Year dish, served traditionally on the seventh day of Chinese New Year or Ren Ri ("Everyman's Birthday"). It is a salad dish made of thin slices of raw fish and various spices, mixed with tossing actions by diners. A play on Chinese homonyms links the ingredients and tossing actions to prosperity and longevity, all adding to the good wishes for the new year.
Rituals :
Step 1: All at the table offer New Year greetings.
Words: Gong xi fa cai meaning "congratulations for your wealth" or wan shi ru yi meaning "may all your wishes be fulfilled".

Step 2: Fish, symbolising abundance or excess through the year, is added.
Words: Nian nian you yu and you yu you sheng.

Step 3: The pomelo is added over the fish, adding both luck and auspicious value.
Words: Da ji da li.
Pepper is then dashed over the ingredients in the hope of attracting more money and valuables.
Words: Zhao cai jin bao.
Then oil is poured, circling the ingredients to increase all profits 10,000 times and to encourage money to flow in from all directions.
Words: Yi ben wan li and cai yuan guang jin.

Step 4: Carrots are added to the fish, indicating blessings of good luck.
Words: Hong yun dang tou.
Then the shredded green radish is placed on the fish, symbolising eternal youth.
Words: Qing chun chang zhu.
Next, the shredded white radish is added for prosperity in business and promotion at work.
Words: Feng sheng shui qi and bu bu gao sheng.

Step 5: The condiments are finally added. First, peanut crumbs are dusted on the dish, symbolising a household filled with gold and silver. As an icon of longevity, peanuts also symbolise eternal youth.
Words: Jin yin man wu.
Sesame seeds quickly follow symbolising a flourishing business.
Words: Sheng yi xing long.
Deep-fried flour crisps in the shape of golden pillows are then added with wishes that literally translate to mean the whole floor would be filled with gold.
Words: Pian di huang jin.

Step 6: All toss the salad an auspicious seven times with loud shouts of lo hei and other auspicious New Year wishes.
Words: Lo hei which is Cantonese for "tossing luck".
The ingredients are mixed by pushing them toward the centre, an encouragement to push on the good luck of all at the table.

 4. Some fruit and plants symbols
Tangerine symbolises ‘good tidings’ as it sounds like ‘good luck’ in Chinese.  Oranges symbolises wealth as it sounds like ‘gold’ in Cantonese.

New Year plant, peach blossom symbolises ‘courage and hope’. The blossoms burst forth at the end of winter season on a seemingly lifeless branch.

Lucky bamboo means ‘bamboo that invites good fortune’. Lucky Bamboo represents the natural 5 elements of water, earth, wood, metal and fire to balance the flow of energy or ‘chi’ in the house.  A red ribbon is tied around the stalks to represent the fire element

Tray of togetherness traditionally made up of eight compartments. The number ‘eight’ symbolises good fortune. Some choices are
  • Sweeten Candied Winter Melons – ‘Tian Tian Mi Mi’ signify ‘a sweet and easy life’
  • Sweeten Lotus Root – ‘Jia Ou Tian Chen’ signify ‘marital bliss’ or ‘match made in heaven’
  • Sweeten Tangerine – ‘Ji Xiang Ru Yi’ signify ‘auspiciousness’
  • Sweeten Shredded Coconut Pieces – ‘Yong Jie Tong Xin’ signify ‘everlasting love’
  • Sweeten Ginger – ‘Wan So Wu Jiang’ signify ‘longevity’
  • Sweeten Carrots – ‘Jin Ying Cai Bao’ signify ‘wealth and precious jewels’
  • Sweeten Lotus Seeds – ‘Lian Shen Gui Zi’ signify ‘fertility’
  • Sweeten Dried Red Dates – ‘Hong Yun Dang Tou’ signify ‘good luck in every endeavour’
  • Sweeten Water Chestnut – ‘Dong Chen Xi Jiu’ signify ‘accomplishment in all activities’
  • Sweeten Pineapple – ‘Fei Huang Teng Da’ signify ‘great achievement in career or business’
  • Sweet Potato – ‘Huang Jing Man Tong’ signify ‘overflowing pot of gold’
  • Sweeten Mandarin Orange – ‘Da Ji Da Li’ signify ‘auspiciousness’
  • Sweeten Dried Longans – signify ‘many good sons’
  • Pistachio Nuts – ‘Kai Xin Guo’ in Chinese which means ‘happiness’
  • Red Melon Seeds – red colour signify ‘joy and happiness’

Richie says gong xi gong xi

This is the photo and video, Richie says gong xi gong xi to all

Gong Xi Gong Xi Songs

Mommy wants to introduce him the culture of chinese new year. Even though we are Chinese but we don't really follow the custom, only give and get hong bao. That's it...Even, we don't know how to sing gong xi fa cai song
That's why, mommy wants Richie knows about it, even though he couldn't understand much, at least it will be one of good memories for him

First, mommy bought chinese new year decorations that can be used every year, so no animal characters please.
Only fish, oranges, the chinese character hehe...

Then, mommy learns gong xi fa cai song after googling from internet hehe...this is the lyric in pinyin, 'cos this what mommy can do, and mommy also teaches Richie how to do when mommy sings the ref. gong xi gong xi

mei tiao da jie xiao xiang
mei ge ren di zhui li
jian mian di yi ju hua
jiu si gong xi gong xi
gong xi gong xi gong xi ni a
gong xi gong xi gong xi ni

dong tian yi dao jing tou
zhen shi hao di xiao xi
wen nuan di chun feng
jiu yao chui xing da di
gong xi gong xi gong xi ni a
gong xi gong xi gong xi ni

hao hao bing xue rong jie
yan kan mei hua tu rei
man man chang ye guo qu
ting dao yi shen ji ti
gong xi gong xi gong xi ni a
gong xi gong xi gong xi ni

jing guo duo shao kun nan
li jing duo sao mo lian
duo shao xin er pan wang
pan wang chun de xiao xi
gong xi gong xi gong xi ni a
gong xi gong xi gong xi ni
in English
In every avenue and street
From the mouth of everyone
The first sentence when we meet is congratulations
Congratulations, congratluations, congratulations to you
Congratulations, congratluations, congratulations to you

The winter has come to an end
That's really good news
The warm breeze of the spring
will wake up the earth
Congratulations, congratluations, congratulations to you
Congratulations, congratluations, congratulations to you

The heavy snow has melted
The plums are about to blossom
The endless dark night is over
We hear the crowing of a rooster
Congratulations, congratluations, congratulations to you
Congratulations, congratluations, congratulations to you

After so much difficulty
with so much discipline
How many hearts are looking forward
To the news of spring
Congratulations, congratluations, congratulations to you
Congratulations, congratluations, congratulations to you

Monday, January 24, 2011

Digital Chinese Flashcards

After reading some stories from parents who're struggling with their P1 kids in chinese lessons, mommy decided to introduce chinese language to Richie as early as possible.
Mommy made handmade flashcard in hanyu pinyin but turn out that the spelling was difficult. Mommy try to learn 5 spelling from google translate and forgot again when tried to do flashcard to Richie.

End up, Richie's just look at mommy and perhaps he think what are you trying to say mom? sigh....

That's why, mommy bought the baby brain chinese language. First mommy wanted to show it to Richie during meal time while he's eating and learn together. But end up, he refused both eating and watching. haiya...
So the alternative, using PC.
They have the schedule for every day. So starting today, mommy let him watch the program for day 1.

It has pictures and hanyu pinyin and has many subjects like body parts, vegetables, fruits, flowers, action and feelings, sports etc.

Well, hopefully his brain memorizes all of these and when the time comes, he's easily picking up the chinese language in school.

Besides, mommy will try to find nursery school who's speaking chinese more instead of english. Hopefully, it works too.

Richie in the playground

On lazy Sunday, we brought Richie to playground below our block and he had so much fun with us
Here some videos

Happy 16 months old

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Camel ??

This is what daddy called Richie, a camel.
Because sometimes he likes to eat a lot, sometimes he just refuses eat and drink together.
So daddy told mommy, Richie's like a camel.
He likes to eat a lot and keep it inside his tummy. When it's full, he won't eat some more and uses it up until finished, then top up again...

Well after my previous entry that his appetite was growing a lot, this week he just simply eat and drink milk a little bit. After few spoons and few sips, he just spitted it out ....sigh....

Thomas and Friends

Since Richie likes train, so mommy bought lunch backpack, lunch box and the water bottle Thomas and Friends.
Hopefully he can use them 'till kindergarten, since the mickey mouse backpack has been spoilt and not enough for his milk, lunch box, snacks etc

Scrabbling and doodling

Whenever mommy gave him pen and paper, he'll start scrabbling and doodling even though he couldn't hold the pen properly yet.
And what he draws ? it's just dots here and there hehe...

Barney Songs, five little ducks and other signings

This time mommy sang Barney's favorite song " I love you "
then suddenly there's a sound of train's coming so mommy asked him...where's train
and he nodded his head few times to show the sound of train hihi...

Then mommy asks him where's the cat, he managed to say maooo...for a while
and when mommy asks dog, he just nodded his head...

The other video is mommy sang five little ducks while Richie's holding the duck, suddenly he put the duck into his mouth. Perhaps he though it's peking duck hehe

Mommy singing nursery rhymes, Richie trying to follow with signing

There are 4 songs that Mommy sings and Richie's trying to follow with signing
1. Ba Ba Black sheeps
Richie's just moving his body and clapping when mommy said the little boy in the end of the song
2. Twinkle twinkle little starts
Even though he could open and close his hand when mommy said twinkle twinkle, sometimes he just doesn't want to do it hehe...but he could say are....when mommy end the song " I wonder what you are"
Btw, this is one of his lullaby song, that's why he's familiar with this song
3. Itsy Bitsy Spider
When mommy said itsy bitsy spider, his hand is placed in his head, 'cos mommy likes to show him how spider climbing up into his body until head haha...
then when mommy said down came the rain and washed the spider out, he will put the hand like wiper, meaning washed the spider out
mommy said out came the sun and dry up all the rain, his hand will open and up (but not so clear)
the last one, repeat again itsy bitsy spider went out the spout again, he will put his hand on his head again hehe...
4. Head shoulder knees toes
He managed to point knees, eyes, ears, mouth, nose (sometimes he can point head depends on his mood)

Enjoy the clip then hehe !

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Prefer self discovery

I'm not sure other babies and kids the way they learn. But for Richie, he prefers to self discover the things
When mommy teach him body parts, sound of animals etc, he doesn't seem bother about it.
I know that he absorbs but if mommy asks him, he just smiles and walk away...sigh...

But one thing that he likes to learn and manages it by himself, open the door using the key.
He knows the main door is always locked, therefore if he wants to go out, he points to the keys beside the door.
There are many keys in the key chain, amazingly he knows which key is used to open the main gate.
We never really teach him though, we just show him once I guess and he could remember correctly.

After that he will try to open the door by himself. And when mommy or daddy want to help him, he refuses it and prefers to do it by himself. Oh boy...
Too bad his fine motor skills hasn't perfect yet, therefore he couldn't put it correctly after some times..
The positive side, it's good for training his fine motor skill hehe....

Eyes, mouth, ears, nose

There are four body parts that he could recognize now even though sometimes he doesn't want to point if mommy asks.
So mommy sings head - shoulder - knees - toes and asks him to point.
The funny part, when mommy says mouth, he put his hand into his mouth and make the funny sound cute...


There are pets that Richie's familiar with...
'Cos they are animals that Richie always sees whenever mommy or daddy bring him to playground.
When Richie notices either cat, dog or bird, he gets excited and point to the animals.

If there's a cat, he will say mao mao hehe...(mao = cat in mandarin) but I know for sure, what he means is meaw meaww 'cos it's what I teach him the sound of cat.

Other than that, mommy bought a set of pet animals from Kiddy Place. It's on sale hehe...
There are ducks, chicken, cow, sheep, lamb, cat, buffalo, turkey, horse. At least mommy could introduce him the pets in 3D not only the book

Interested in Vehicles

His favorite vehicle is train, why ? because our house just few meters away from MRT track therefore we could hear and see MRT almost every 3 minutes.
And Richie likes to see the train from our window, and whenever I bring him downstairs, he will point to the track when there's train.

Sometimes, he could even hear it without see it if the train is coming and he starts excited and point and make the sound. He couldn't speak train yet though.
Besides train, he also knows bus, car, traffic light, taxi
when we are in the car and he can't sit still in the car seat, mommy will tell him which one is the car, bus etc.
And when he gets excited, he could say car car and point to the car.

When the traffic light turns red, he will make a sound as if he says it's red.

Even though he couldn't speak yet, he knows which one is car, bus, motorcycle, taxi, train.
It's good enough

Well done boy!

Mom always knows the best

Mommy wants to write this quite sometimes ago. But because of one and other reasons, it keeps postponing
Anyway, I just want to highlight the title Mom always knows the best for their kids
because mom has been given the greatest gift from God which is Motherly instinct.

This fact is not only from my own experience but also my observations to other mommies and kids.
From my own experience, I know for sure what my kid can or can't do and the limitations
whenever he plays, falls, eats, drinks, sleeps etc.
Of course as first mommy, I was confused in the beginning especially the first few months of his life.
It's because of too much information and influence either from the books, parents, relatives, friends or other experienced mommy.

I was busy comparing Richie with the charts guideline, other kids milestone etc and became stressful.
After Richie was reaching 1 year old, mommy has enough confidence to handle Richie based on intuition and seldom reading the book by "expert" or comparing with other kids, unless there's a big problem that need to be attended.

Mommy knows whether Richie could manage his own when he's playing indoor or outdoor, and whether Richie needs to be carried or not whenever he cries or fall down.
Mommy knows whether Richie likes or dislikes the food, or whenever he wants to play with food.

Last but not least, for whoever mommy, especially first time mommy.
You know your kids the best and nobody knows the best but you, nor your parents, relatives, friends, books etc.
Your kids are unique and you can't compare them with other kids and sometimes you can't apply what it says in the book, or end up it will make both of you stressful.
If someone tries to convince something that you don't feel it suitable for your kids, tell him/her that I know what best for my kids.

Sometimes even your mom or mom in law tries to persuade you applying what she did to you when you're kids, it may or may not applicable to your kids now, therefore don't worry, don't bother and don't be stressful, just follow your motherly intuition. 

good luck moms !

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back to normal

Holiday is finally over, our parents and relative have gone back to the country where they are belong.
Now, we are back to small warmed family, three of us again.
We are grateful having parents and relatives visiting us, even though the house is not as clean as if there's only three of us but there's warm and joy being together.

Mommy's workload is much more easier and not so tiring. When oma was here, Richie's sleeping with her at night and he's not looking for mommy and daddy so we could sleep peacefully hehe...
During the day, mommy did cooking for Richie and other household chores and oma helps to take care and keep an eye on Richie.
Two days before oma went back to Jkt, mommy made use of the time to get "me" time again by shopping and window shopping too hehe...huahhh it's like almost decades mommy went to mall without disruptions and can shop peacefully

And after last Sunday, we go back to square again.
Mommy did cooking for daddy and Richie, household chores and taking care Richie and daddy...
It's tiring though, but whenever mommy sees the house becomes clean and comfy, it gives me satisfaction

On first two days, Richie's a little cranky, 'cos none give him full attention like when our parents and relative were here. Since mommy's busy multitasking, sometimes mommy just let him play by himself as long as it's not dangerous.
When our parents and relatives here, they gave over attention to him, whenever Richie's cranky or cries for something, they will give him whatever he wants and he kinda gets used to it, and now he couldn't.

Well, now the third day, he rather gets used to the days before our relatives came.
He's not cranky and can play by himself whenever mommy needs to do something.
After mommy finished doing the things then we play together....

Starting toilet training (pee)

When Richie could walk steady, he didn't want to be put in bath tub during shower.
So mommy decided to let him stand, holding the wall and shower him.
And he prefers that too, he likes to stand in the corner and facing the wall. After that, he will pee hahaha....
Now, almost every time when mommy shower him, he will pee before or after shower.

It's a good start for toilet training, at least he's willing to do it by himself.

And today, when he poop, before mommy changed to new diaper, mommy let him to pee first in the toilet
and he did it hehe...good job !
Mommy will slowly try to use training pant during the day and see if he gets used to pee in the toilet

For "big" business aka poo, he still doesn't want to do it in the potty.
And he prefers to play with the potty hehe...
Anyway, when the time comes, he will do it by himself.

Settle down in the bed by himself

For about 14 months++, Richie likes to be carried before sleeping.

When he's about 13 months old, mommy has trained him to settle down by himself at night and he managed to do it.
And recently, just before xmas when he's turned 15 months old, mommy trained him to settle down at bed during morning or afternoon nap.
First, it's not easy 'cos the window has no curtain therefore, it's really bright during the day.

But mommy still let him play in his room even though there's no toys hehe...until he's tired and sleep by himself.
Now, he could settle down by himself during day and night and even he doesn't want to be carried when he's sleepy. He prefers to sleep by himself.

Well done boy !

His nap is longer about 2hours+ and usually once during the day. But if he's too tired, he will still sleep twice

6 teeth

Recently, when Richie's about 15.5 months his teeth has emerged again which is 2 more below.
Making his teeth is 6 in total

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Growing up appetite (15.5 months)

Richie's appetite is back to normal and even more than before,
He eats quite a lot. Besides his regular meals, he likes to munch also. Unfortunately, drinking milk is still a challenge.
Mommy has changed his milk to Gain IQ, 'cos he seems bored with fresh milk.
So far he managed to drink 480ml per day (180ml in the morning, 2x150ml in the afternoon and night before going to bed)

Mommy asked the doc about this, and he said it's okay. So long he takes solid food, milk is just complimentary not the main diet.
Alright, at least mommy has peace of mind about this.

15 months old development assessment

We went to our family doc today for development assessment and injections.
Richie had MMR + Chicken pox injections. He's so calm and just cried a while when mommy hold his leg tightly.
It's not because of injection, well done boy !

The weight is 10kg, the height is 76.5cm, and head circumference is 46cm
All of them fall into 25 - 50% percentile meaning it's average

The rest is normal except the testicles.
His testicles slide back up again, not in the scrotum and the doc said we must go back one month later for checking up again. Hopefully, it's going down to the scrotum by itself. Otherwise, Richie must go surgery to bring it down.

First, mommy's not so worry but after reading some information in the internet the impact of undescended testis, mommy's getting worry. Hopefully, it's going down naturally without surgery help.

Monday, January 3, 2011

First Family outing in 2011 (02-01-2011)

We had our first family outing in this new year. We decided to go to Chinese Garden on lazy Sunday.
It was cloudy and humid but it's fun after all

Hello 2011

We were starting New Year 2011 with dating
We left Richie at home with his grandparents and we went to watch movie and had peaceful lunch and dinner
We watched two movies, The Tourist and Gulliver's Travel and had lunch @ The Aston and dinner @ Nihon Mura Sushi.
It was a great day and we were like back to our courtship time when we both were young and fell in love haha...
Hopefully we could do it once a month or once three month

Thanks hubby for such a great arrangement and hope our love will always bloom no matter how many kids we have

Last two days of 2010

Thanks God on last 2 days of 2010, Richie has recovered so we could celebrate New Year Eve.
On 30th December 2010, we had dinner with our distant relative at Copthorne King's Hotel.
It's penang food buffet. The food was just so-so, luckily it's a treat from our distant relative hehe...

The next day, we celebrated New Year Eve dinner at Pioneer Wharf Seafood Restaurant at Jurong Point.
Since our grandma from Holland was also coming, so it's also another reunion dinner.
After that, the adults went to Marina Bay for count down party and mommy,daddy and Richie went back home since Richie's slept already in the car on the way back from restaurant.

Nonetheless, we are blessed to have warm family surrounding us and celebrate together with laughter and joy.

2010 was a great and blessed year for us with ups and downs

looking forward to another great year in 2011