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Bible Verse of the Day

School’s Out!

Hannah had been excitedly waiting for the last day of school on Friday.  She even planned what to wear and which hair clip she wanted to put on.  Don’t get me wrong…she does enjoy school, but according to her, she enjoys holidays as well. :)  (Don’t we all?)

It would be her last day of school in K1 (Kindergarten 1) and next year, she would be in K2 (Kindergarten 2).  To celebrate, her class had a party with an early Christmas gift exchange for the kids.  Actually, I think she was really looking forward to the gift exchange.

I baked some graham crackers as a last-minute thingy and Hannah and I prepared these little succulents in pots as gifts for her teachers.

schoolsout1

I found these cute gift tags which suited the pots, so I downloaded and printed them; and Hannah decorated them.

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She helped me arrange the tags in the pot and she insisted on bringing them to class all by herself.  I think these make pretty gifts. :)

Later, after school, Hannah told me all about the party, what she ate and what she did.  Then she told me, “Mommy, today was a great day for me!”

Awww…I just love it when the kids are happy like that. :)

Last Saturday, we attended the Catechism Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2014.  Our Ethan had been attending catechism classes every Saturday afternoon for the past year, and this ceremony was just to close the chapter for 2014 before moving forward into 2015 next year.

It was held in the church sanctuary and we were treated to simple performances from each class.

cecgrad

Doesn’t my boy look handsome? :)

Anyway, during the ceremony, certificates of achievement were also presented to those who had 100% attendance in catechism, and also those who had great participation in class.  I think Ethan wants to aim for the 100% attendance award next year. :)

Hannah too, was excitedly watching the entire ceremony.  She can’t wait to start catechism next year when she will be in the preschool class.

Emma at 20 Months

Emma-20monthsScrap Credits
a hopping hallOween QP freebie from Sahlin Studio

Weight

7.7 – 7.8 kilos.

Height/Length

Not measured.

Teeth

11 teeth: 5 bottom teeth (3 incisors and 2 canines) and 6 upper teeth (4 incisors and 2 canines).

Motor Skills

  • Emma can do a perfect down dog.
  • Her walking speed has increased in leaps and bounds.  I have no doubt that she’ll start hopping, running and jumping soon.
  • She can also climb up the stairs (on all fours) pretty quickly now.
  • She has a pretty strong grip and she loves to hold on to the grille gate and place her feet on the bottom-most bar.  That’s how she greets Daddy’s return home every day.

Communication and Social Skills

  • Emma will shake her head for “no” and “I don’t want to”; and nod her head when she means “yes”.
  • She seems happier nowadays, and we delight in hearing her giggle all the time.
  • Seems to call “Mahmeeee….!!!” only when she is desperate enough to get attention.

Food and Feeding

Emma is eating almost everything we eat now with the exception of very salty or very sweet foods.  I’m also not giving her shellfish and dairy just yet.

However, we can see that she really loves food, and shows a keen interest in whatever we are eating.

She loves her nutritious bowl of homemade chicken porridge and is getting better and better at self-feeding.

I also found a little pre-loved plastic straw bottle, which Emma loves to drink from now.  You’ll see it in the picture above.  We’re hoping this will help her drink more water.

bronzecert

Here’s the thing about regular school that homeschooling does not have: Competition; and since the beginning of his school year in August, Ethan has been excitedly reporting to us his progress on accumulating merits whilst in school.  Yes, this is something he really really thrives on and gets hims really inspired.

Students are given incentives in the form of house points when they behave well (e.g. showing respect and good manners) or perform well (e.g. good work in assignments).  Accumulation of five house points will earn you a merit.  Earn 20 merits and you get a Bronze certificate; 40 merits = a Silver certificate, and 60 merits = a Gold certificate.

At one point, he almost got wrongly penalised (a teacher wanted to subtract house points his house points because she mistook him for someone else).  Thankfully, his record stayed intact and unscathed.

Every now and then, Ethan would eagerly either tell us that he was currently the front-runner in his class, or that someone else had overtaken him by a few points.

Finally just 2 weeks ago, he hit the 20-merit mark.  We could tell he was so very proud of himself :)

So last Friday, Emma and I attended the morning celebration assembly where Ethan was presented with his Bronze certificate.  What’s more, he was one of four in the first batch this year to get the Bronze certificate.

Way to go, Ethan!  Next up: the Silver cert! :)

I’m very happy to see all my kids putting in an effort to exercise.  Today they will demonstrate how to perform the Down Dog pose.  When done correctly, the Down Dog pose will energize the body and calm the mind, and results in an excellent all-over stretch.

To jog your memory, here’s Ethan doing the down dog when he was just 3 years’ old!

Down Dog example #1: Ethan

 downdog1

Down Dog example #2: Hannah

downdog2

Down Dog example #3: Emma

downdog3

Have you done the Down Dog today yet? :)

together1

Just like chicken soup that warms the tummy, it warms my heart to see them playing together like this.  Certainly makes the sighs and grumbles of the day worth the while. 

Wall Sit

In my ongoing efforts in bringing back some semblance of fitness into my already-overbusied life, I’m trying to to the 7-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) at least once a day.  There are 12 different exercises to be done in intervals of 30 seconds each, with a 10-second recovery period in between.

One of the exercises is a Wall Sit, and after I’d explained to the kids how I do it, Hannah was happily “practising” it herself.  What was amusing was that after she demonstrated the exercise, Emma walked over to the wall, and tried to do the same thing!

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wallsit2

My two girls…they have just grown so close to each other.  I pray they will grow up in each other’s love and support always. 

hannahem

Emma at 19 Months

Emma-19monthsScrap Credits
I Love You Dairy Much QP freebie from Just Us Dreamers Designs

Weight

7.6 – 7.7 kilos.  Our latest visit at the pediatrician had her weight read at 8.1 kilos but I reckon that was just the additional weight of the diaper and clothes.

Height/Length

Not measured.

Teeth

11 teeth: 5 bottom teeth (3 incisors and 2 canines) and 6 upper teeth (4 incisors and 2 canines).

Motor Skills

  • Emma is now walking more and more and getting confident in doing so.  She started by using her arms for balance but now, sometimes she will just walk really quickly without extending her arms.
  • Eagerly tries to walk up the stairs!! :O Mommy is getting tired just chasing her around the house.
  • She has also started to attempt climbing up on stools and chairs and anything at all within her climbing reach.
  • For the past few months, she has started to turn around to “see” what is in front when she is placed in her rear-facing child seat in the car.  Recent studies have advised that the child should be at least 10 kilos and aged 2 years before switching to a forward-facing seat, so wait we will.

Communication and Social Skills

  • She understands when I say “Let’s go upstairs” or “Let’s go downstairs”; she will point to the direction we want to go.
  • She also understands simple instructions like “Please bring me the car”, or “Please give this to Mommy”
  • Says “Buh-bye” very clearly while waving and at the right time too, e.g. when a show she is watching has ended, or when leaving a room to bid farewell.
  • Emma loves to hold the remote and she will sometimes pretend that it is a phone, holding it to her ear and pretend to talk.
  • Says “uh-oh” or “oh” when she accidentally drops something.

Others

  • Ever since she started walking, I have been showering her without the use of the bath tub.  She stands in the shower stall while I wash her.  So we definitely have a pre-loved baby bath tub for sale now. :P
  • Lately I have also noticed that when she is about to poopoo, she will stop whatever she is doing, look at me worriedly, and say something in “baby talk”.  It could be “per per” or “baba”.  Sometimes she will point to her diaper too!  Perhaps it’s about time I start potty training for poopoo.

Food and Feeding

Most of her diet still consists of Mommy’s milk but she is showing an increasingly keen interest in the food and drinks we take.  Soon (we hope) she will be able to eat whatever we eat at meals.  She will sometimes self-feed herself with her hands, and I allow her to do so with finger food and snacks.  Sometimes she will also attempt to feed herself with her spoon.  This is all well and good and in line with my relaxed approach to baby-led weaning.

eating

Some of the foods she has tried in the past month are:

  • Red lentils (in the form of homemade dhall): she made a face at first but she liked it a little after that.
  • Dried cranberries (courtesy of Daddy)
  • Moringa leaves (these are from my home garden :) – I plucked some leaves out and added them to her porridge)
  • Flaxseed meal (sprinkled onto her porridge or oats)
  • Bayam (local spinach)
  • Wolfberries/Goji berries (usually added into her porridge or soup)
  • Udon (which I cut into small lengths and feed her using chopsticks)

Her favorite food currently is homemade pumpkin and beetroot porridge.  Sometimes I add in a bit of chicken for that extra taste.  I love the bright color and interesting texture of this combo, and Emma loves it too!

pumpkinbeetroot

So far though, she has not taken a liking to tacos, naan, bread and guacamole. :(  I’m working on it…

A minute of stardom, a wealth of experience…

That’s how it must have felt for Hannah and her classmates, because for them, as K1 students, although they only played a supporting role in the school concert, with only a short dance sequence, the exposure to the world of performing arts was definitely something to be cherished.

We attended her school concert last Sunday.  Ethan was also excited because for the first time, he would be sitting in the audience.  The title of the concert was “Humpty Dumpty Stood on the Wall”, a playful take on a story of the little egg character and two adjacent lands: Nursery Rhyme Land and Chinese Folklore Land.  Hannah was one of the kid dancers in the Chinese folklore scene where Si Ma Guang rescued a child who had fallen into a big pottery vase/tank.

concert1

concert5

Can you spot Hannah?  Check out the adorable pigtail hairdo!

Prior to the concert, I had no clue as to what she was going to be doing in the concert, except that she was going to be dancing.  The only thing she told me was, “Mommy, there are two groups in my dance.  The skipping group and the running group.  I am the leader of the skipping group.”

concert2

Later after the concert, she told me, “Mommy, I was quite nervous before the concert, because there is a big audience watching.”

concert3

Awww….you did an awesome job, sweetheart!  We are so proud of you!

concert4

Pssst….and little Emma was rather well-behaved too, and was able to sit through the entire concert.

My little baby Emma became a toddler not too long ago.  Whilst we were expecting her to walk around 12-13 months, she had her own plans and preferred to take her own time and was so far only cruising and not walking unsupported.

Because she tended to scratch her skin due to eczema, I have had to dress her up on sleep-n-play onesies that cover her feet most of the time.  That could have caused her apprehension to walk sooner because it was quite slippery compared to stepping out on bare feet.  A few weeks ago, I decided to put her in regular onesies and allowed her to explore.

By and by, she gained some confidence and started reaching out from point to point and taking baby steps to reach places.  Over the next few weeks, she started walking more and more.  From two steps to three, then four, then all the way to the foot of the staircase!!  Oooops!!!

Awww…I’m feeling emotional just watching her attain this milestone of hers, officially elevating her status from baby to toddler.