Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Butterfly puppets

The best toys are those that don't cost anything to make, and can be made over and over again. I remember making a bunch of butterflies for Ellie when she was about one. Almost two years later, butterflies are still one of Ellie's favourite things. I drew the butterflies and Ellie coloured and cut them out, (she coloured some for Caitlin too) then we stuck them on ice-cream sticks.
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Another skirt

I finally finished another skirt. The same pattern as the fairy skirt only this time with this lovely cotton polka dot material and satin ribbon (which I paid too much for). This is an easy design and my target was to finish 2 skirts in one night. I would have if only I discovered why my sewing machine was making more noise than usual. (The three layers of cloth were a bit too thick for the needle). One more skirt to go (for Caitlin) before I move on to something a bit more challenging.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Patience (Need more of it)

There are good days and there are bad. Sometimes in the middle of another Ellie episode I feel like throwing in the blanket and sending them both off to childcare and then regain my sanity at work. Almost everytime some one cries it is sharing-related (or rather not sharing), or attention-related.

More often than not it always begins like this. 1. Caitlin gets hold of something or other that belongs to Ellie. 2. Ellie notices it. 3. Ellie reaches over to snatch it back. 4. I intervene either by sepearating them, getting someone another toy or removing the toy or a combination of the above. An impossible situation 5. By this time Caitlin has either pinched Ellie or pulled her hair and Ellie has probably tried to hit back. 6. Both are bawling.

Of course I can't really "throw in the blanket". This is one job where quitting isn't an option. I remember a question my friend S once asked during lunch with a bunch of my old school friends. What is the one thing that you never expect when you become a parent. B (a full time mom with 4! kids) replied, "The need for patience". My answer was "lack of sleep". I've since thought it over. My answer (like B's) is patience and added to that, sacrifice.

Oh by the way, Ellie has moved out of our room. This is her third night in her own room.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

By the way I am in the process of migrating my blog over from Wordpress. Blogger is a lot more user friendly and so much faster. At least on my computer. And the link to Piccasa makes it so easy to post images. Now I know why I was blogging so little and had so few photos. I think it is going to take a while for everything to come over.

It bags

We made handbags today. Ellie wore a little skirt to school with pictures of handbags and shoes and asked if we could draw pictures of handbags so I decided to cut out our Quaker Oatmeal Square box and draw a handbag each. Ellie coloured hers and later coloured Caitlin's as well. Caitlin didn't quite get the idea of holding this sort of bag she kept trying to put it up her arm and of course got really annoyed in the process.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Caitlin at class

I brought Caitlin for a trial music class at Kindermusik today. Her second class of any sort. The first was a trial at Gymboree. That first trial did not go well at all. She cried most of the time, was afraid of the crowd (not much of a crowd-about 12 adults and babies) and didn't like the Gymboree mascot. I had signed up for the trial with the good intentions of any mother wanting the best for her baby. Caitlin quite obviously didn't think it was such a great idea.

Well, Caitlin fared so much better the second time round. Even though she was sound asleep when we arrived and woke up in a completely new environment, she was up and about after 10 minutes of warm-up time, participating and being very cooperative. I couldn't say the same for Ellie when she went for these same classes almost 1 and a half years ago. Ellie took weeks to warm up to the class. Of course, she ended up enjoying herself and taking all those songs home, but there were weeks, I recall, where she would just lie on the carpet and suck her thumb, or tire after half the class. I went with my friend E and her 15month old daughter Isabel, so I had some mummy time too, and Caitlin a new friend.

Mandarin Time

Ellie got her first report card on Monday. It suddenly hit me. She’s only but she’s all grown up in a proper school with grades at mid-term. I had a chat with her principal and then her chinese lao shi. She’s doing pretty well in math (ok, not really math, just counting) and reads well for her age but talking to her chinese teacher brought back all these memories of my own experience with a language I never quite mastered.

She doesn’t respond much in chinese class; so her lao shi does not quite know what she knows or what she doesn’t. She doesn’t speak any chinese in school. “So what about the other children her age?” I asked. Well, they at least can name the objects at say little phrases, her lao shi replied. That got me a little bit worried. I didn’t think I was doing that badly with my chinese at home. We speak it maybe about 5% of the time, mainly to point out things to Ellie and Cait now and then and also to talk about the kids in front of them (we try to switch to our chinese dialect for that). And we sing a lot of chinese songs and read chinese books. All this was not enough; at least according to what I was hearing about Ellie’s progress in mandarin class from lao shi.

That very evening, we started our Mandarin time. At 7 in the evening, every speaks mandarin. Right now the mandarin conversations are between KM and I. Ellie speaks English and her version of made-up-Mandarin, and Caitlin her single English words. It isn’t perfect, but this is the best we can do. Today, three days into our new speak Mandarin programme and we forgot about Mandarin time. Will have to start all over again.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Photo Weekend

KM has been absolutely shutter crazy with his new Olympus SLR. We still have our trusty Nikon but this new Olympus takes photo taking to new heights. We’ve been bringing it almost everywhere with us. There has always been a bit of competition between us both when it comes to photos. But this time KM with his new toy had his field day. Needless to say, I too had a go with the camera.

Friday May Day. Animal Resort and Summer Koi Farm

Saturday 2 May. Exploring our neighbourhood Fire Station

We discover that Fire Stations are on of Singapore’s best kept attractions. It doesn’t cost anything to enter them, you get a personalised guided tour and a chance to try out various fire fighting equipment, and go home with gifts for the children. Unfortunately, Ellie was not too keen on firemen and fire engines- she really would have rather spent a morning visiting princesses or fairies.

Sunday 3 May. A morning at the Park

We go to the Park instead of church because both Ellie and Cait have coughs and colds. We seem to always end up at parks or anywhere with a bit of sand to dig around in. At least it keeps them both in one spot and lets us have some sit down time.

..And lots and lots of playground time downstairs