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Parenting

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In September (yeah, I know this is an extremely delayed post…so sorry about that, but hopefully the pictures will be more than enough to make up for that! The kids and hubby have been very good at pushing and encouraging me to finish this post!), we took a highly-overdued family vacation and headed down south to the kids-absolutely-love-the-place-but-it-is-so-freaking-HOT LEGOLAND in Nusajaya, Johor.  We had been to Legoland in Carlsbad, CA seven years ago, but back then it was just with Ethan and I was heavily pregnant with Hannah.  I doubt Ethan remembers much of Legoland Carlsbad apart from what I have recorded in this blog, so the visit to Johor’s Legoland could be considered a fresh experience for the kids.

We decided to stay in the Legoland Hotel whilst we were there, which would make it so much more convenient for us, especially with kids along.  No complaints there and the room we had was spectacular.  More on that later.

On the day we were to start our vacation, everyone woke up super early.  Our flight from Penang to Johor was at 7:15a.m. so I had arranged for a cab to pick us up at 5:30a.m. that morning.  It was pouring!  But everyone was in a happy mood and we got on the plane, which departed and arrived on schedule.

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We arrived in Legoland Hotel at about 10:00a.m. and because it was still early, our room was not ready yet.  We decided to put our luggage with the concierge and go right in to Legoland.

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Yes, we were all raring to go. Hahaha.  And here are the pictures to prove it.

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Okay, to be honest, Emma’s first ever concert that I am about to show you pictures from, was held over a month ago.  I have been procrastinating for most part, but also because I have been hunting high and low for a video editor that can either mask or add a block label, to no avail.

So I have decided to post this with pictures only.

This was held on a Saturday evening in Emma’s school, and both Ethan and Hannah had to excuse themselves early from catechism classes to attend this event.

I was pleasantly surprised with how natural Emma was on stage, given that I have been told she is rather shy and quiet in school (not at home).

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Can you spot Emma?

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Don’t you think she looks super adorable in dungarees?

The first performance was a Chinese number where she had to hold a small pink duster as a prop.

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The second performance was an English song, where Emma dressed up in a mouse headgear.

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Finale: Thumbs up for a splendid performance!

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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.

Here’s a video I captured recently of Emma “reading” Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  I use quotes for the word “reading” because we all know that the pictures in this much loved Eric Carle book guides the child all through.

Still…a very good try for my little sweetheart.  And just for the record, this was the book that Emma “gave” to Hannah when Emma was born. 🙂

Pssst… look out for the part where she reads the page with the “Black Sheep”.  Simply precious!!

Sunday May 8 2016 was an important and special day for us as a family, and even more so for Ethan.  It was the day he participated in the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the very first time.

Words cannot express my pride for my little boy and the entire celebration touched my heart and soul so very deeply.

The special day also coincided with Mother’s Day this year, so it was a happy celebration all around.  Ethan was also selected to give a short speech on behalf of all the first holy communicants, at the end of the celebration.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get a clear video of his speech because Emma kept wanting to snatch my phone!

Here are some photos commemorating the event…

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Image Source

So it has been about a month now that Emma started playschool.  We had hesitated starting her off in January because I was not convinced then that she would be okay on her own, what with her skin sensitivities and her itch that could come and go at any time.  Plus…she’s still my little baby!!

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However as she approached her third birthday, she had shown signs that she was ready for school.  She was a very active child, and she was eager to learn and explore.  In addition, her skin was under control and she could finally now wear normal toddler clothes.  So we decided to start her off in playschool in April.

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The first week or so was an orientation week where I could be with her in the class.  I was pleasantly surprised that she happily and willingly sat in circle time on her own and ate at snack time on her own from the get go.  She was a little bit shy at first but she did not put up a fuss.

She happily played with toys when she had the chance to do so, and even had the opportunity to do some finger painting on the first day itself!

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On the third day of school, I told Emma that I would be sitting outside her classroom to wait for her and she was okay with it.  From the 5th day onwards, I would walk her to class in the morning and help her settle down, then I would say goodbye with a hug and kiss and she was fine.

Now she greets me with a cheerful happy smile and wave when I pick her up, which is one of my highlights of the day. 🙂

The only problem is that she would want to play in the school playground after school every day, and it is SO hard to pry her from the playground!  She is also very gungho, and although initially I was very scared and concerned that she would not be able to maneuver the playground equipment on her own, she is proving me wrong.

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So yes, I am definitely happy that she is in a loving, wonderful environment for school, and she is learning lots in terms of socialising and being herself.  She also recently started singing and saying some stuff in Chinese, without my prompting her!

Exciting and glorious days ahead! ♥

 

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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.

 

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