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Bible Verse of the Day

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After almost a year attending regular school as opposed to homeschooling, I’m evaluating the key takeaways that Ethan has had in a school environment compared to homeschooling.  To be fair, we have constantly asked him if he enjoys school, and we can see that in general, he is having fun, and tells me his favorite subject in school is Math and ICT (Information and Communication Technology).  When asked if he would consider returning to homeschooling, he said he would too.

However, there are a few things that I feel he has benefited from by attending regular school.

  • Responsibility – this covers responsibility for his own belongings and also as a person.  There is marked improvement where we have noticed he doesn’t lose things as easily nowadays, but we are working on strengthening his focus and vigilance.  Misplacing things in a big school is inevitable and ideally we want to reduce that to a zero.  Ethan has also been given responsibility as a student council in his class.  This is basically a class representative position and I will never forget the day he related how he was selected:  The candidates were asked to give a short speech to classmates on why they should vote for them, and they voted.  The one with the highest votes (1 boy and 1 girl) would then be elected.  He now wears his student council pin proudly every day and yes, we are ever so proud of him.
  • Loyalty – I can sense a strong sense of loyalty to his school when he plays soccer for his school against other schools.  His Daddy says this sense of loyalty and belonging to a team will not be the same if he was homeschooled, and not even if he participated in a homeschool event against other teams.  This I would have to agree.
  • Teamwork – In school, he is learning to work in a team, to be part of a team and how to handle conflict.  He would come and report to me who did what, who is naughty and who is good, etc.  Next week, he will be part of a team as part of their Young Entrepreneurs program, and his team will be managing a shoulder massage service.  They will also be serving refreshments and providing music and entertainment for the customers.  Ethan will be playing the ukulele!
  • Socialising – Ethan’s social skills have definitely improved and I have noticed that he is more vocal now.  In school, as we all know, he needs to learn how to interact with kids from different backgrounds, how to handle it when kids are noisy and playful, or quiet and compliant.  Also, how to communicate effectively with teachers and educators and also how to treat them with respect.  When he was homeschooled, we met up with other kids too, but it was maybe 1-2 times a week at the most.  This socialising in school is definitely doing heaps for his confidence and morale.

So did we make the right decision to let him experience school?  I would say yes, weighing in the pros and cons.  But would we consider homeschooling again?  Definitely.  But ultimately, as I have always maintained, we will look at his progress and how each option will benefit him more before we decide.

Emma-2years

Scrap Credits
AquaLicious QP from Delicious Scraps

Weight

8.1-8.2 kilos

Height/Length

Not measured.

Teeth

Still 15 teeth (I think), maybe 17 or 19.  She won’t open up for me to check : 7 bottom teeth (3 incisors, 2 canines, 2 molars) and  (maybe) 8 upper teeth (4 incisors, 2 canines and 2 molars).

Motor Skills

  • Loves dancing and prancing around.
  • Has an extremely firm grip and will not let go of whatever she is holding really tight.

Communication and Social Skills

  • Loves lying down on her siblings’ beds and “chillin’”.
  • Starting to say more words now such as:
    • “Go!”, when we prompt her with “Ready… Set….?”
    • “Book”, while pointing to, or holding one
    • “Poopoo”, while pointing to diaper (Okay okay…will start potty training soon!)
    • “Kou” when we give her things.  I think it means “Thank you”
    • “Stairs”
    • “No more”, with gestures
    • “Ball”
    • “uh-oh…fall down!”
    • “Nose”, more like “Nosh” while pointing to her nose.
    • “Mouth”
    • “Ears”
    • “Hair”
    • “Toes”
    • “Butt”
    • “Cow”
    • “Dog”
    • “Bear”
    • “Book”
    • “Bag”
    • “Bird”
    • “There!”

Food and Feeding

I’ve been cooking her some simple buttered rice with onions, garlic, chicken and vegetables lately, which she loves.  Loves steamed fish too.

Others

Hey peeps!!  Have you seen Hannah and Emma on television yet?  They are featured on two different videos as part of the Disney Junior Birthday Book for the month of March.

Last year, they didn’t get featured so this year, I made it a point to submit their pictures really early.  These are videos taken from the feature in the Disney Junior Asia Birthday Book site online.

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Last week my littlest one turned 2.  I can’t believe how fast 24 months had passed!  She is still very much my little baby but she’s quickly becoming very vocal and is able to assert her personality, that one.

We decided to just have a little family celebration at home, so I baked her an orange and pumpkin crazy cake with no butter, no milk and no eggs.  As for cake deco, it was a toss up between Elmo and Hi-5, cos she likes both, but I went with Elmo, because I also wanted to try creating Elmo’s fur with the grass tip I had.

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♥  Happy Birthday dearest Emma!!  ♥

 

She must have picked it up either from her siblings or from me.  It started when she would come to me and say “Oww!”, point to the place where it hurt and sometimes point at the person who had “hurt” her.

As time went on, every time someone touched her, even ever so gently, she would say “Oww!!”

She would keep on saying that until I kissed her.

Ethan and Hannah would sometimes just touch her just to hear her say “Oww!!” and then they would say, “Sorry Emma…”

Here’s a demo:

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I’d been so busy that I’d forgotten to announce that we are slowly transitioning Emma to a forward-facing seat.  While previously it was the norm that toddlers would be switched to forward-facing seat when they were about 15 months or so, recent studies have shown that it is advantageous and safer for the toddler if she remains in a rear-facing seat at least till 2 years old.

However, since Emma was only less than a month shy of her 2-year old milestone, we figured it would be good to start now.  In any case, she was getting rather heavy for the infant carrier because quite simply, she is not an infant anymore.  Well, actually, the real reason is because in her rear-facing seat, she kept doing this:

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That looks dangerous, right?  She might hurt her head or her mouth or her eyes when the car moves!

So her “maiden voyage” in a forward-facing car seat was when we made the trip to Ipoh for Chinese New Year recently.  I had removed the seat covers of the car seat, and washed them, and also washed the plastic parts.

Doesn’t she look comfy?

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Emma is now only forward-facing in one of the cars.  She is still sitting in the rear-facing seat in the car I drive every week day, because we found that because of the upright position of the forward-facing car seat, she finds it difficult to fall asleep!  However, she is learning to, and soon …. when I have the time, I will wash the OTHER car seat so we can fix front-facing seats in both cars for her.

Oh…and she’s also experiencing new sights with a forward-facing stroller experience now!  Wheeee!!!!

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In addition to her party at Adventurezone, Hannah wanted a small birthday cake cutting session in school too.  I guess at her age, she can never have enough parties, eh? :)

She had been indecisive about the birthday cake she wanted me to bake for her, but when I gave her a Princess Anna dress a few weeks ago, she decided that she wanted a Frozen-themed cake.  I had no idea she was into Frozen to begin with!! :)

Her actual birthdate fell on the day after her Adventurezone party, and since she had had an accident the evening before, she decided that she would only go to school for that half hour, to cut the cake and pass out party packs to her classmates.

This was the cake I baked for her: a Frozen-themed watercolor cake, with three layers of butter cake in three different colors, topped with buttercream frosting and blue glittery sugar.

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Obviously I reduced the sugar content in the cake, because the frosting itself would have provided loads of sweetness.

Stuff we packed the party packs with: Customized Frozen-themed water bottles, homemade glitter playdough and custom-packed marshmallows.

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Yes, my little girl borrowed my shell necklace … 

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Her birthday continued at home as she opened up our presents for her… she got the watch from Daddy that she had been asking for :P

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…and a musical jewellery box from me (which was a pleasant surprise!)

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It was a special day for a very special birthday girl!  Happy Birthday Hannah!

If you’ve ever had a child who is down with fever, you would know how worrying it is.  It is even worse when the child is a baby who cannot yet express herself or communicate how severe the pain is.

We were in that position a week or so ago when we returned from our recent Chinese New Year travels.  Emma suddenly developed a fever on a Saturday evening, after she had gotten up from her afternoon nap.  The fever was about 39ºC, and I promptly breastfed her in a marathon manner, interspersed with lots of fluids, Izumio hydrogenated water and S Lutein capsules.  I did not want to start on meds yet, hoping that the fever would go down.

The following day, it was still on the high side, around 38ºC, but she was active.  She didn’t want to take a lot of the Izumio water and Lutein capsules though and kept waving her hand at her throat, which led me to suspect that her throat was sore.  At night the fever shot up past 39ºC, and I decided to medicate with Brufen.  That helped a little but the fever came back in the morning.  I decided to take her to the doc.

Doc diagnosed her condition as a throat infection, and because the fever was still high, he suspected a bacterial infection, hence he prescribed antibiotics too.  I was reluctant to start the course of antibiotics but at the back of my mind, there was a nagging feeling of, “What if the doctor is right?  What if it’s a bacterial infection?”

So against my better judgment, I started her on the course.  Her fever was still yoyoing up and down, peaking at 40ºC even on Tuesday (which was 4 days after the initial onset of fever.  My understanding with antibiotics was that it would bring the fever down within a day provided it was indeed a bacterial infection.  If it was a viral fever, however, the fever would be still present after 4-5 days, sometimes up to a week!  However, doctors here would typically prescribe antibiotics if the fever was still above 38ºC after 3 days.

In any case, my mommy instincts told me that Emma could have been suffering from a viral fever all along, but since we had already started antibiotics, we had to finish the course.  The good thing was, her fever was going down, albeit slowly.  I continued with PCM every 4-6 hours and the Voren suppository if the fever went up beyond  38.5ºC.

By Wednesday, the fever was lowgrade and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Tuesday was a worrying day because she hardly had appetite for anything, not even fluids.  I was ever so thankful that I was still breastfeeding her, and she was still nursing well.  That was her sole comfort and nutrition, and I am absolutely sure the breast milk helped her heal in leaps and bounds.

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On Thursday she was back to her usual self, and the fever was a thing of the past.  The doctor had asked me to bring her in for a blood test if the fever still persisted on Thursday.  However, I noticed some red bumpy rashes on the trunk of her body and her cheeks.  A good friend of mine said this was symptomatic of roseola fever, but the rashes disappeared after a few hours.

I’m so happy to see Emma happy again and so much more vocal now.  I hope we never ever have to deal with the ordeal of fevers again.

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Hannah had a birthday celebration with her friends at AdventureZone yesterday, which is a day before her birthday proper.  AdventureZone always makes the kids eager, excited and brings out the energy and adrenalin in everyone.

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SOoooooo much easier to take pictures of the wee babes because the older ones were zipping past me so fast!!

Hannah conquered her fear of going down the blue slide and now confidently slides down it like a pro.

Next time, she says she’s gonna go down the “scary” red slide!

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The kids all enjoyed themselves and even continued playing at the slide area after they were done with their food and cake.

However, an unfortunate accident happened when we got home. :(

Hannah tripped and fell and knocked her head on the open grille door in our house.  She had an open wound on her forehead and after I cleaned her up and gave her a quick shower, we took her to the doctor.  Thankfully, the doctor said the wound was a shallow one, and she only used 3 steristrips to hold it close.  Then she covered the wound with a sheet of waterproof plaster.  We will be going back to the medical center to have it removed 4-5 days later.

Despite the unfortunate incident, our little big girl Hannah, ever so courageous, remained cheerful and happy.  She came back home and asked to open her presents!

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Happy Birthday dearest Hannah!

May your days be filled with happiness and rainbows now and forevermore!

Emma at 23 Months

Emma-23months

Scrap Credits
Pretty Shabby QP from kimbroedelet graphics and designs

Weight

8 kilos!!

Height/Length

Not measured.

Teeth

Still 15 teeth (I think): 7 bottom teeth (3 incisors, 2 canines, 2 molars) and  (maybe) 8 upper teeth (4 incisors, 2 canines and 2 molars).

Motor Skills

  • Loves climbing on chairs!!! :O
  • Will usually stand up when put in a baby high chair!! :O
  • Walking and moving faster now, almost running.
  • Showing a keen interest in jumping and hopping.

Communication and Social Skills

  • Constantly saying “No” or “No no…”.
  • “Reads” books in her own language and her own way.
  • Gestures and says “No more” appropriately.
  • Almost saying “poo poo”
  • Loves giggling and playing with her siblings.

Food and Feeding

At home Emma is still eating yummy homecooked porridge, and I’ve noticed that she loves it when I add millet into the porridge.  It’s usually either chicken, pork or fish porridge with some vegetables for good measure.  She is definitely ready for rice too, so she may join us at the dining table soon. Yay!!

She loves her animal biscuits and the “rare and occasional” french fry.

Others