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Bible Verse of the Day

Parenting

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This is how I like to hone the creativity in my kids.  Not by telling them what to do and how to do it, but letting them explore and find out for themselves.

In art especially, it is important not to be TOLD what to do but to explore and more often than not, surprise yourself with your creations.

Here are Hannah and Ethan’s cartoon fight scenes!  Can you tell which is whose? :)

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They watched a simple tutorial on the telly and decided that they wanted to do it themselves, and there ya go… I absolutely love it.

This week, most kids start a new school year, and so did my kids.  For Hannah, it was also a new school and a whole new experience.

We were initially going to homeschool Hannah but over the holidays, we decided that it would be in her best interest to let her start in a brick and mortar school first.  My little snowflake thrives with friends around her and is very sociable.  Her kindergarten teacher also commented that she looked rather sad when her kindergarten friends were discussing their impending school lives, so we figured she was ready for school.  After all, we can homeschool anytime we want, but we can’t go to regular school that easily if we homeschool first.  I guess it doesn’t hurt to try.

She attended an interview and an assessment test at her new school at the beginning of the holidays.  She was assessed on I.Q., English and Bahasa Malaysia, and I am pleased that she did very well.

So over the holidays, I had been busy getting her school gear, wrapping school books, and oh yeah…ironing school uniforms.

And finally January 5th came!

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Look at how happy she is!  She looks forward to going to school every day, and I am so blessed that my kids don’t complain at all.  No tears and all happiness… ♥♥♥

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She’s definitely gotten a good headstart in school, and she eagerly gets ready every morning.  I am not too bothered about good grades and all, but I believe that the experience she gains from being in a school environment (like a “little world”) is crucial in bringing out the best in her.

  • Hannah has lunch in school, and I allow her to select her meals on her own.  Gives her a sense of independence and accountability.
  • Hannah has her own locker in school, so she can leave most of her books in the locker and only brings back those she needs.  I am against heavy school bags for kids, so this is a good plus point.  I also got her a lock for the locker, with a number combination which she needs to remember.  Again…a very good way to instill responsibility.
  • She has her own planner where she will need to jot down any notes to remind her to do or bring stuff, homework assignments, etc.

She is very happy thus far, and that in turn makes me happy too.  Couldn’t ask for more…

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  • When he discusses video game tactics, and leaderboard scores with his dad, and you have absolutely nothing to contribute to the conversation.
  • When he knows most of the songs on the radio, including the singers
  • When he knows trivia about entertainers you know nothing about.
  • When he figures out how to tune the radio in his room to his favorite radio channel, and spends time “chillin'” by listening to the radio.
  • When he goes off for “jamming sessions” with his friends and performs onstage playing the ukulele in school talent shows (and emerges a winner!)

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[ Apologies for the blurry image – can I say I did that on purpose? ]

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  • When he seems to be hungry for food all the time.
  • When we have to change his shampoo from the kiddie type to the regular kind.
  • When he expresses his “genuine concern” on financial matters.

Why do kids grow up so FAST?

Note: We respect your privacy, so if you see a picture of your child in this post and would prefer for me to blot out his/her face, please email me at joyce.cheah (at) gmail.com and I will do the needful.  Thank you.

At the pinnacle of Hannah’s preschool journey, we have the school concert.  Unlike any regular preschool concert, her school prides itself in producing spectacular performances which is one-of-a-kind, in a edu-theater style and is a whole play in itself.  From the writing of the script, to choreography and to the beautiful costumes, I am always left in awe when I watch her preschool concerts.

This year was even more special than last year’s, because it was her final year in preschool, and Hannah had been eagerly waiting for the concert day.

Now, unlike the past years where the concert was produced in either tri-lingual or bi-lingual, this year the kids put up 2 separate stories which were loved by all: The Pied Piper of Hamelin (in Chinese) & Treasure Island (in English).  I found the story line more enjoyable when the concert is done in a single language for separate stories, like this year.

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From the beginning of the school year, Hannah had been eagerly awaiting the concert.  From the inception of the play to the casting of the parts, to the selection of costumes, and rehearsing, she had been excitedly updating me in bits and pieces…so as not to reveal the entire story altogether.

For a bunch of 6-year-olds, performing this school play was no mean feat, given that there were many costume changes involved and everything had to be done in super-quick time.

Here are a few random shots from her concert performance.  Hannah played several parts in the concert:

  • One of the mice in the Pied Piper of Hamelin
  • One of the citizens in the village of Hamelin
  • Tattoo Charlie in Treasure Island
  • Queen Benjamina Gunn in Treasure Island (The original story casted this as Benjamin Gunn, the marooned crewman on a remote island, but in Hannah’s concert, the script was rewritten to replace Ben Gunn with Queen Benjamina Gunn)

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We have every reason possible to be beaming with pride for our little girl.  She performed every single role with such passion and commitment, and she was full of confidence on stage.  I could hardly believe she was just a wee little baby not too long ago.

She told me later that she enjoyed performing so much, she wished there would be another concert soon!

Well done, my little snowflake!

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Note: We respect your privacy, so if you see a picture of your child in this post and would prefer for me to blot out his/her face, please email me at joyce.cheah (at) gmail.com and I will do the needful.  Thank you.

 

Last Saturday, our initial plans of going swimming were dashed when the unhealthy haze still loomed in the air.  So we made a spur of the moment decision and decided to see if we could get tickets to watch a movie instead!

Oh yes.  It had been ages since we had watched a movie in the cinema, and it would be Emma’s very first time! After all, we would be going for Hannah’s school concert in a dark hall soon, so I decided to treat this movie outing as a trial run.

The only movie available and suitable was Inside Out.  Ethan had already learnt that the movie was all about “voices and things in our head”.

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Emma was all excited when we walked together to the cinema.  Of course she had no inkling on what to expect.

This was taken right before the show started.  Apologies for the grainy picture because lighting was bad and errrr….. it was almost time to put away our phones anyway…

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We had the usual popcorn and water for snacks and Ethan offered to share his seat with Emma.  The show was, on the whole, very entertaining and the cinema was nearly a full house.

Get this: Emma SAT THROUGH the entire movie without getting out from her seat!  No crying, no whining and not even once asked for milk!

I am truly, simply amazed!!

After the show, we asked if she had enjoyed the movie and she gives us her usual, wide-eyed, knowing nod.  She said, “I watched the BIG TV!”

A couple of weeks ago, Pete and I were discussing if we should let Emma start school (Playgroup) next year.  We were not sure if she would be ready yet though, but if she did start school, I would at least have a few hours to spend alone with Hannah next year, since she would be homeschooled.  It was a debatable topic because if she started, it would mean travelling to school every morning too.

Anyway, we decided to let Emma go for a trial parent-toddler class, just like Ethan and Hannah did at her age.  Last Saturday I took her for the 9:00a.m. class.  Woke her up at 8:30a.m. and got her dressed and cleaned up.  However, our little missy fell asleep on the way there!

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Good thing she woke up without a fuss when we arrived.  She is very familiar with the school playground because I often take her there when I pick Hannah up from school.

Parent-toddler class is just an avenue for the child to explore various activities while interacting with the parent and hopefully thereafter, kids their age.

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Emma certainly looked like she enjoyed her parent-toddler class session.  When we came home, I sang the action songs she was introduced to during circle time and she could even remember the actions, and did them happily, despite only hearing them for the first time that morning!

We will be bringing her to another session tomorrow.  I’m sure she’s looking forward to it!

 

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We brought Emma for her first visit to the dentist recently.  In the past, my kids began seeing the dentist at least once a year when they turn 2.  So it was the same for little Emma.  We make it a family affair where everyone gets their teeth checked.  It’s a good practice and it’s something I would recommend for all families.

Here she is browsing the reading material in the waiting area…

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I had told her about it so she would be prepared, and she watched as Hannah and Ethan took their turns sitting in the chair.

When it was Emma’s turn, she was very confident and ready to go.  The chair was HUGE compared to her, and the dentist gently coaxed her to open her mouth so he could look at her teeth.

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I was actually surprised when the dentist told us that all her incisors and canines were there!  I had thought Emma was missing an incisor all this while!  She now has 18 teeth with 2 more molars to come soon.

Good job, Emma! :)

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Emma sprang another pleasant surprise on us all last week when she suddenly said, “Amen!” at the end of our bedtime prayer.  We were so surprised and just to make doubly sure, I suggested we say another prayer, after which she clearly said, “Amen!” again. :)

Ah, life’s little surprises are most definitely sweet!

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We are Stage Pass Members of the Hard Rock Hotel, and although our primary reason for becoming members was to utilize the pool, we are also given a complimentary night’s stay in the hotel, as one of the benefits of membership.  Our deadline for redemption is in July, so we finally decided to “move” to the hotel for a night last weekend, before the benefit expires.

We only told the kids about it the day before we were to check in, and boy, were they excited!  I was worried they would not be able to sleep that night!

Ethan still had school activities until 4:00p.m., so when we checked in, it was already 5:00p.m.!

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Dinner Shots

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We spent our morning at the pool after a scrumptious buffet breakfast (which included chocolate milk for the kids!!).

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It was a fun and enjoyable holiday away from home, although a short one and not really that far from home… LOL!  Ethan left a little thank you souvenir for the housekeeping staff too!

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I still have a back rub to redeem as part of the membership benefits though…need to make an appointment soon!

About 2 weeks ago, Emma suddenly developed a fever.  She registered a temperature of 38.2ºC despite being her usual self the whole day.  To be fair, she had a sore throat and slight cough a few days earlier, but she had looked on the way to recovery, so the fever actually took me by surprise.

Anyway, she was very listless because of the fever and I had to quickly give her a suppository to bring the fever down.  She fell asleep but woke up at 3:00a.m. and when I changed her, I noticed her breathing was slightly wheezy.  I promptly took her downstairs because she was fussing a lot probably due to breathlessness, and I gave her small sips of Izumio hydrogen water.  After about half a pack, she fell asleep, and almost instantly all wheezing gone.

The next morning, I decided to take her in to see the doctor.  He confirmed that her lungs were quite congested and she would have to undergo some nebuliser sessions.  She had one done right away, and after that the doctor said her lungs sounded better. Had her lungs still sounded congested, he would have to order an x-ray immediately, in case it’s pneumonia.

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I strongly believe that Izumio had helped Emma healed somewhat and prevented her from getting pneumonia.  What she had was bronchitis, and resulted in shortness of breath, wheezing and some cough.  She had to go on a course of oral antibiotics unfortunately, and nebuliser sessions twice a day for about 3 days (morning and night).  The doctor told us that her fever would go up and down during the next few days while she recovered and we were to bring her in again if the fever still persisted after 3 days.  The doctor also said her appetite might be affected if she was still short of breath.

The fever never went up again. And she ate like a champion. (Must have been the Izumio again) :)

Emma continued to heal and get better, and while the first few days of feeding medicine was stressful, I finally found out that all it took to feed her medicine was that she wanted was to sit up on the chair and fed straight with the syringe….just like a big girl.  So no need to hold her or cradle her….well, so much for all the stress and worrying!

She is now completely healed, praise God…and her cough and phlegm were gone within 5 days, which is remarkably fast, judging from past experience.

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