Sunday, August 31, 2014

Days Without Helper #1

Our helper just took a midnight flight back to her home country to attend to her domestic stuff. So I am now all alone without any help looking after an ultra-active 2 years old.

After attending a wedding dinner and settling down after 12 midnight, I decided to start preparing for tomorrow's stuff  - by  first looking up my recipe book to find an easy-to-prepare soup for her lunch tomorrow (since I don't really know how to cook and has all along been reliant on my helper all along) and started packing her swimming stuff for tomorrow morning session. *yawnz*  

Pork slices with apple soup (loads of Vitamin C)... modified from my recipe book to suit the ingredients I have in my fridge... hopefully it turns out fine... haha

Half-packed bag for tomorrow's morning swimming session... yawnz
Time to sleep now since the day starts really early tomorrow. Hopefully I can tide through the days without helper.

#16 Little Twinkle - 1st Day of Playgroup and The Perfect Bag

It's Little Twinkle's first day of (unaccompanied) playgroup - 25 Aug 2014 (Mon)!
First day of playgroup - "Little Twinkle" seems to be coping well and was oblivious to our departure, despite us trying our best to get her attention to say goodbye (wow!). However, after they cleared the toys, "Little Twinkle" started to look out of the door as though searching for us (i think...).
First day of playgroup - the real situation behind the scene...
Being first-time parents, we didn't know what are the essential things to bring. So we packed quite a fair bit into our adult backpack, and bring it to her preschool.  My thumb of rule: it's better to over-pack rather than realised that we miss out something and ended up she kick a big fuss.
At the preschool, we then realised all her classmates have their own kid bag. It's kind of a discipline for them to put their own bag into their own shelf. (some of the little boys even went to take their own bags and bring it to me to help them unzip, which they then take out their "treasure" aka cuddly toy to show me. Haha...)
So immediately after "Little Twinkle's" class (half day on 1st day to try out), we brought her to find her perfect bag at Takashimaya. :))))))
She fell asleep when we reached Takashimaya,  so we decided to look around for her bags first while she sleep. We found 4 bags based on her likes (animals and kitty), durability (i.e. it can last till K2), size (able to put in towel, clothes and water bottle - the necessities as advised by the preschool teacher).
The 4 bags that we have found for "Little Twinkle"...
When she woke up, we excitedly show her the 4 bags that we have found, thinking she would like them.... Haha...
Mummy: look, there's your favourite - owl! Do you like this owl bag? (excitedly pointing to skip hop bags)
"Little Twinkle":  ... ( hesitate in silence)
Daddy: how about the bee? It looks sooo cute! (Pointing to the bee bag, excitedly as well)
"Little Twinkle": hmm...
Daddy thought that "Little Twinkle" agrees, and proceeds to let her carry it on...
"Little Twinkle": (after wearing for 2 seconds)  不要.... (and she proceeds to take off the bag)
Mummy: how about the owl bag?
"Little Twinkle": no...
Mummy: hmm then how about elephant? ( leading "Little Twinkle" to see the 2nd bag that we found)
"Little Twinkle": (ponders for a while and...) no...
After a few rounds, Little Twinkle kept saying no despite the countless of time we tried to "hardsell" the bags.. and suddenly...
"Little Twinkle": this... (and she pulled out a bag that was totally not in our selection... it's a mini pink trolley bag...)
*our eyes roll...*
Mummy: You sure you don't want owl bag or kitty bag?
"Little Twinkle": this... (still pointing to her mini pink trolley bag)
We didn't really expect to buy her a trolley bag, because we thought it's cuter for little kid to have a mini backpack. Haha... so it's a bit "out of our acceptable range" or "out of the box" for us... we tried to introduce her to other backpack and she still insists on having her mini pink trolley bag. (she called it the duck bag even though we are not sure why it looks like duck to her. haha...)
"Little Twinkle" with the mini pink trolley bag that she has chosen - in which she called it the "duck" bag.
Thinking that perhaps she just prefer a trolley bag, we tried to introduce other trolley bags to her. She tested them out and still prefer her "duck" trolley bag. Really determined!!!
"Little Twinkle" testing out other trolley bag, and was still prefer her "duck" bag aka mini pink trolley bag.
Very determined to get her "duck" bag.
It's really interesting to us actually, we thought that she may not really know how to choose, but in the end she chose something totally on her own and stand by her own decision. So we decided to respect her opinion and wanted to buy the bag, but it happened to be the last piece at that moment and was covered with some wear-and-tear scratches. So the salesperson told us that the new stock will be coming in 2 weeks time and she will call us when it's here. So "Little Twinkle" shall continue to use our big bag before her "duck" bag arrives.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Little Twinkle #16 - Playgroup confirmed

We have finally confirmed Little Twinkle's playgroup! Just made the deposit payment yesterday... Wow, suddenly feels that she's really growing fast.

The decision to put Little Twinkle at the playgroup is a last minute one. This resulted because the contract of our helper is expiring soon (beginning of Oct), thus we need someone to help to take care of Little Twinkle from the time our helper leaves until Little Twinkle starts pre-nursery at the church kindergarten.

We've been to this childcare 3 times. On the 3rd visit, we decided to place Little Twinkle in the playgroup but there was no vacancy then. And just happened they have 1 slot currently, which is very lucky for us. :)))

Things we like about this childcare:
  • Big outdoor playground - as usual we think it's important for toddlers to run around and have fun, instead of sitting around indoors. 
  • Bilingual - they have 1 English teacher and 1 chinese teacher for every class. Both will always be around to speak to the kids in respective language. Thought this is better for toddlers to learn the language through their daily interaction, instead of just 1 hour chinese lesson everyday. 
  • Cozy setup: teachers and principal seems to know the kids well
  • Variety in kid's lunch menu: I'm rather impressed with their lunch menu which sounds sooo yummy, even for me. Each meal includes protein, carb, fibre. Another childcare that we visited last week offered 3-in-1 milo for all breakfast/lunch with nuggets/ butter cake/ soon kuey / steamed bun etc.
  • Near our house: 8 mins car ride

Things that made us reconsider for this childcare:
  • Close by 6.30pm latest: not very ideal for dual working parents as most workplace end at 6-6.30pm. This also assumes that one can leave on the dot everyday, which seems unrealistic in our society. And I was told that the kids in Little Twinkle's class mostly leave by 3pm, so most likely Little Twinkle will be without friends from 3pm onwards. I still feel that childcares should operate until 7 or 7.30pm so that working parents have sufficient time to pick up the child after work.
  • Inconvenient location: the childcare is about 600+ meters from thr MRT station based on street directory. So it means I have to walk 1.2km (600 m back and fro) to fetch Little Twinkle. So I will walk 2.4km everyday. And I have to walk fast enough to be able to catch her before 6.30pm which means I need to leave my workplace early by 5.30pm assuming I need 30 mins to travel via mrt and 30 mins to walk. Sigh.... 
We have considered putting Little Twinkle at the childcare opposite my workplace, which will be super convenient for me. But the quality is really substandard and the price is more expensive.... 
  • Cramped place: like a small office setup
  • No outdoor playground
  • High teacher-to-student ratio: 1 young teacher to 9 students 
  • Unconducive language learning environment: they have only 1 teacher currently and who speaks only singlish to the kids (we do speak singlish as well, but I don't expect a teacher to do that since she's supposed to educate the young kids.) 
  • Not ideal lunch menu: the lunch menu is the one I have described earlier with the 3-in-1 milo and nuggets etc.

So my colleagues were saying it's better that the parents suffer (walked 2.4km daily), rather than kids suffer (un-conducive environment). I guess they are right. Hopefully Little Twinkle will be happy in this childcare that we have painstakingly decided. Haha...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Little Twinkle #15 - She actually wants to be a BOY!!

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Initially I thought perhaps she may not really understand that there's a difference between boy and girl (although she does know how to differentiate "didi", "korkor" aka brother vs "meimei", "jiejie" aka sister ).


So I told her that mummy (me) is a girl, but Little Twinkle insisted being a BOY! Haha what can I say when she's so persistent...

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Little Twinkle #14 - Sweet way of feeding medication

"Little Twinkle" is down with running nose, so I had to feed her medication (Zygtec) last night before her bedtime.
I filled up the syringe with her medication and tried to feed her...
Upon seeing me approaching with the syringe, she immediately lied down on the bed and turned her back towards me, then said "sleep sleep". Indicating that she was going to sleep and thus can't take medication.
I tried to play with her, she giggled and turned around to face me. Then I said "oh "little twinkle" is awake now! Now u can have your medication right?"
And she immediately giggled and turned her back towards me again, saying "sleep sleep".
We tried a few more rounds and she always ended up rejecting my medication by saying "sleep sleep".
Then i thought "oh no, looks like there's no way to let her take medication..."
Out of desperation, I faked a cry.... not knowing how and whether she will respond to my cries.
Her face suddenly turned concerned. She sat up and said "eat eat", followed by opening her mouth for me to feed her with the medication.
Wow I never ever expected that... !!!!
I fed her the medication without any struggle or resistance or cries from her. It's like a breeze.
After feeding, i said to her "thank you for helping mummy to give u medication so easily, mummy appreciates that very much"
And she gave me an ultra radiant smile as thought she understood me. *felt sweetness in my heart*

(P.S: This post has been kept in my drafts for months, and I have only realised today that it has not been posted. LOL.)

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Little Twinkle #13 - Search for Playgroup Continues

We went down to Whitelodge @ loewen garden last friday, before Little Twinkle's doctor appointment.
This is the 2nd time we visited there. As we haven't found any suitable playgroup that met our criteria, so we thought we should re - visit to reconsider our options.
Things we like about the school:
  • relatively near home (about 5-8 mins car ride depending on traffic)
  • outdoor playground (we think it's important to have some sun)
  • bilingual

Things that we are considering about:
  • not easily accessible (MIL would fetch her back home in the afternoon while we send her there in the morning. Public transport doesn't really go there and MIL would has to walk some distance, which may not be easy having Little Twinkle near her nap time)
  • doesn't provide lunch or has lunch time (by the time school ends at 12.30 to 1, it's way past her lunch time and at her nap time. Not sure if she's be fine with late lunch/nap at her young age. )
  • seems to have mosquitos.  We were bitten while we are there. And most of the kids have mosquito patches on them. Asked the principal and she said it's better to have them on.

Nevertheless Little Twinkle did had an enjoyable time at Loewen gardens. She had her first try at trampoline and doesn't want to come down when we are leaving. Haha
Her first venture into the unknown ground. Very cautious and not willing to be far from daddy.
Little Twinkle getting more confident on the trampoline.
Enjoying a flying sensation from daddy
(P.S: This post was created on 14-Mar-2014, but has been kept as my draft for months and I've only realised today that I haven't posted it. LOL) 

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Little Twinkle #12 - Doc Visit at 19 months old

Brought little Twinkle to her supposedly 18 months old vaccination (we went 1 month late... oops!). Hooray, this will be the last compulsory one before she goes primary school. Although Doc Darryl Lim did asked us to consider giving her the vaccination for hepatitis A.
Doc Lim was friendly as usual, with his ultra kid - friendly and cheerful top. He's the only doc in the clinic that wears the cheerful top we realized,  guess it's to make kids feel at ease when they see him.
He asked how many words can Little Twinkle say...I didn't really count before, so i just gave an estimate and said maybe about 30.
Her current vocabulary includes both Chinese and English because different people speak different language to her... those that I can remember are:
1. Mama
2. Papa
3. 奶奶
4. 爷爷
5. 公公
6. Ah ma (for her maternal grandma)
7. 婆婆  (should be 太婆 actually)
8. 姑姑
9. Su Su (for her 叔叔, she's not very good with her  "S" pronunciation)
10. 姨
11. 舅舅
12. Kar kart (Little Twinkle called our helper "sister" in malay because my mum kept referring to our helper as "sister" to Little Twinkle, and our helper was fine with being called the "sister" as well.)
13. giu giu (her version of "thank you" which she pronounced the "you"
14. 谢谢
15. Hi
16. Bye bye
17. Placee (her "please")
18. 好
19. More
20. 不要 (to her grandparents)
21. No (to parents and helper)
22. Mai ("no" in Teochew to my relatives from my mum's side)
23. Milk milk
24. Car
25. Tree
26. Apple
27. Ball
28. Bear
29. Miao miao (she means "cat", she prefers to use miao miao even though she can say "cat" as well)
30. Dog  (to parents and helper)
31. 狗狗  (to grandparents)
32. Full (to parents and helper)
33. 饱饱
34. Two (she skipped "one" and moved to "two" direct)
35. Four
36. Eight
39. Nine
40. Nose
41. Eyes
42. Mouth
43. Ears
44. Head
45. Leg (to parents and helper)
46. 脚 (to grandparents)
47. Poo poo
48. 开
49. Pull
50. Box
51. Out
52. Up
53. roll
54. Go
55. Night night
And she continues to surprise us with her expanding vocabulary... :)
(P.s: this was kept in my draft since 14-Mar-2014, and I just realised I have yet to post it. Haha... )

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Little Twinkle #11 - She says "Night night" :)

Every night Little Twinkle will religiously say goodnight to everyone in the family i.e. papa, 奶奶, 太婆, our helper before she heads into the bedroom with me for her bedtime. 

She tends to give "flying kiss" or hug or wave or say "bye bye" to indicate goodnight to each family member. 

But today she sprouted out "Night" to our helper, and followed on to say "Night night" to 奶奶. We were all pleasantly surprised - she said a new word again! Well done darling! :)

Hang on peeps! It's gonna be weekend soon!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Little Twinkle #10 - Groceries Shopping!

Last night after work, our helper told me of an emergency - Little Twinkle's milk powder was running dangerously low!! So we immediately rush down to Cold Storage right after dinner.
On mission to obtain milk powder
Didn't know the Cold Storage at Great World City is huge! Little Twinkle was pretty excited and pointing to items that she saw, touching them, saying their shapes / names / colors (with whatever vocab that she has). It was pretty amazing to see how she tried to communicate what she saw!

There's a whole big section all catered to baby products and food! And much more varieties of baby yogurts that I don't see at other supermarkets as well! *pleasantly surprised* Little Twinkle didn't really fancy the previous yogurt (yobaby brand) that i bought for her, so it's great that there are other choices over here that she may actually like. :)
Yobaby brand
- Little Twinkle tried and doesn't fancy it
Yotoddler brand
Vaalia brand
Rachel's brand
Mundella brand
I got the Mundella brand (pear flavour) for Little Twinkle to try given 1) it's the lowest sodium content, 2) I thought pear flavour would be refreshing (as Little Twinkle didn't really like vanilla), 3) the size is small enough for her to try out. Hopefully she will like it. :)

Little Helper at work
Nowadays Little Twinkle is always very willing to help out with tasks, so we always try to let her help with small chores (i.e. carry the lightest item - a pack of batteries in this case) and she would be most happy to oblige.  Good for us too :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Little Twinkle #9 - First reaction to preschool!

Last week in the morning...

Me: do you want to go to school?

Little twinkle: ... ... (she was pondering while drinking her morning milk... you could literally see that she's really thinking hard about the question)

Me: wow you can make new friends in school,  learn many new things in school, play with your friends in school... (trying to convince her of the reasons)

Little twinkle: hm! (her way of saying "yes")

Me: so... do you want to go to school?

Little Twinkle: ya!!!

Seems like she would look forward to school (at least a tiny weeny bit)... *hopefully*... haha