Wednesday 30 November 2011

I'd Pick More Daisies

Letter to Tiger Thursday

Dear Tiger,

I am not going to pretend that I read poems all the time and serenaded you with my beautiful sing-song voice. I have neither the patience nor intelligence to decipher what the heck the writers/poem-ist are trying to say behind their flowery and complicated language.

This one poem struck a chord when I first read it because I hope when I am fifty, I don't have to write about my regrets in life. I hope it leaves an impression on you to live your life to the fullest and to reach for the stars.

Mommy will be right behind you every step of the way.

So, if you tell me that you wish to be a ballerina in thights, I will bite my tongue and nod my head encouragingly. Should dementia set in early, please print out this letter to remind me, ok?

If I Had My Life Over - I'd Pick More Daisies

Nadine Stair

If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I'm one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.
Note: The line I would go to more dances does not translate to clubbing every weekend, well unless you take me along. Then, can...

Lots of love,


Mini Bugs Bin

Since I am a Lazy Mama these days, most things come in mini versions. They are cuter too, like mini poodle, Mini Cooper, etc.

Also, most themes are extended two weeks cause umm....we want to have a better understanding of whatever we are doing. (Tiger would roll his eyes, if he could)

I was wasn't planning to do a bin of any sort (coz again, I am lazy) but the brat didn't want to do 'match-ze-inzect-to-ze-flashcards'. So, I had to get sleazy
I just grabbed whatever was within reach and threw it together. The kiddo was tricked and he loved it.


Here's the Bugs Bin (after Tiger attacked it, I swear it was prettier):

A just expired bag of spiral pasta & rubber bugs.
I used a small box as the usual container would require a few bags of pasta.
Besides, 1 bag is already more than enough for clean up time.
Believe me, there is a lot of cleaning up with just 1 bag.

The bin had his undivided attention for 30 minutes.
He did lots of scooping.

...and scooped till he was bored.

Then, he developed a love for pom-poms out of the blue.

When I say, "Bugs bin?"
He replied, "gibberish" and added his whining and leg stomping drama.

Of course he got what he wanted: not 1 but 2 boxes of pom-pom
He filled up the entire can, no joke...
Well, it was good practice for his pincer grip

Then he decided that Mommy needed to do some sorting and the bin was too bland.
So, graciously, he tipped the pom-poms into the bin.
Then, he looked at me with menace and did an evil laugh.
Or did I imagine it as my eyes tear up?

Then, he did some transferring before he quickly thought of more work for Mommy

 "I think I'll just scoop it across the room...Muahahahaha"

Then he stepped on them for that delicious cracking sound...
Lots of sensory fun for him and more work for lazy mommy..
Serves me right for being sluggish...

We love messy play, don't you?

Sunday 27 November 2011

Tot School:Rounding Up Math Week

‘Un’schooling Tiger Week 15(15th- 28th Oct 2011) @ 17 months

Letter M
Theme: Math/Money/Numbers

We are wrapping up maths after 2 weeks. He really enjoyed the tot trays. So much so that he did not ask for worksheets! He also enjoyed singing to 10 Little Numbers and Phonics Song on Youtube.

There is an unwritten law that singing can only take place after school work.
And we know who makes the law around here, that will be MOMMY!
Well, I'm boss most of the time anyways.
OK, sometimes...urmmm maybe once in a while.
Fine, I'll admit it...
there are days when we do nothing except singing the same
bl**dy songs repetitively until I fall asleep.

This is my lil' techie trying to play his songs by climbing onto the chair and clicking the mouse like mad.

In a rather unknowing manner, my son has turned into the family jester. Proof:

Last Saturday, my youngest sister, her boyfriend (Clement) and my lil' brother came over for dinner. After thay sat down, Clement asked, "What new tricks can he do now?" I replied indignantly, "Ahem, you think my son is a clown?" Then I turned to Tiger and made him 'perform' his new funny sign 'crying'. (He closes his eyes with his fingers and say wuuhuuhuuhuu dramatically). Such cruelty, I know.

Then, last night, hubby's nephews came over for barbecue and just for fun, I ask Tiger to do  'farting'...hehe...and he did! He lifted one leg and and made farting noise. Wahahaha!
Cuckoo mommy = crazy kiddo.
I throw him a biscuit after each trick. Just kidding :p

On to Tot School business:

I am listing his trays by popularity (as voted by Tiger, tallied by Mommy):

No. 1:  Eva foam Numbers.
He LOVED these.
I think because he can show off by completing it without my help!

No. 2: Small pegged numbers puzzle.
Minimal help from Mommy

No.3: Abacus
He enjoyed counting in his own language and added some 'teens' behind his 'numbers'
I caught a few 'fourteeng's and 'eighteeng's

No. 4: ELC foam numbers
For some reasons, he really enjoyed these.
I used them to put on a show with the abacus.
We counted, sang, used the numbers to move the beads, rolled off the abacus...
He had a blast...

No.5: The pocket chart.
He loved messing up the numbers!
At least it was good fine motor practise.

No. 6: Magnetic numbers
Excellent for hand eye coordination.

Least popular: Mini Numbers Pegs
Still too advanced for him.
He just tried to put them upright in the tray

Best of the week:
Reading frenzy!!

Exhaustion...Reading is hard work  =.="

Boo boo of the week: Mild influenza
That means no water play or messy art.
Instead, we played with SAND!!
Thanks to Aunty Sharon who lugged it back for us from Midvalley!!
It was RM 19 instead the usual RM29.90 from ELC

I tried to make it interesting but he was bored and covered in sweat after a while.
He went to check out the dry fountain.
Ah, children and their amazing observations.
Notice the broom?
Well, Tiger did...

 The place smelled of cow dung because daddy drove over some the night before.
Apparently, Tiger's not very tolerant of the smell too.
So, he tried to help.
Hmmm, if only Daddy was as helpful...

Update on playroom:
It gets its daily dose of love from Tiger.
Occasionally, he will attack the the tiny train town with his baskets.
He loves the wedgits and the sponge alphabets

Tiger is a rascal.
Proof: Caught in the act of throwing the ball at me!

Mommy's fav shot:
My classy boy..
I swear he didn't learn this from me, or did he?

I am sure he will miss Math Week, but we all have to move on in life.
I hope he enjoys bug week cause, ummm, I don't. I'll pretend I LOVE bugs,,,yucks...

Linking up to Tot School at 1+1+1=1

Thursday 24 November 2011

Why Won't You Say Mama?

Letter To Tiger Thursday

Dear Tiger,

Mommy's a little irritated with you.

My sweet 17 month old boy, WHY WON'T YOU SAY MAMA?

You just won't say it spontaneously. Only when you need me for something, you will wail "Ma Ma MA MA" but never a two-syllabic mama.

I am a little upset because you can make the letter M sound and say mum-mum (food). Also, you sing this:

Ah, ah, apple
Beh,beh, ball
Khe, khe, Khe (cat)

If you are making letter M sound, why won't you say mama? *Bang head against wall*

To add salt to the wound, you call the maid in 3 different ways: Kakak (sister in Malay), Ah Kak (short for kakak) and Ah Kek (her name). *Bang head against floor*

When Kakak say "Tiger" (Well, not exactly Tiger but your real name), you will reply, "Ah Kak". When I do the same, you look at me and blink blink. *Insert cricket sound*

Daddy thinks it's hilarious that you call me "Eh" or "Papa". Honestly, it is driving me up the wall. I have tried bribing you with food, toys, books, etc....arrrgghhhh....I'll have to think of something else, hmmm, maybe I'll starve you...but grandma's around (who you call "nai nai' nowadays because you are allergic to M-words)

Maybe no Tot School until you say Mama. That'll teach you a lesson! *Insert evil laugh*

Lots of Love, Not That Much Love (cause my ego's bruised and squashed),


Tot School: We Love Puzzles!

Occasionally, I finish work at 10pm and last night was another late one. When I reached home, the first thing he said to me was "Eh!" like he was surprised to see me. Hmmm, forgotten your mommy, huh?

Then he said, "Up" (in a rather bossy manner)

I was observing him at work for a while before Daddy joined us. Then, WHAM! I came to realise something..

When it's just the two of us, Tiger tend to be more independent and self-reliant. He would sit down, focus and try to complete his puzzle by himself.

However, if Daddy joins's a different story. after every piece he placed correctly, he would look at Daddy and wait for him to applaud!! OMG!! Attention and praise seeker!! Showboat!!

The rascal has realised that Mommy don't praise. {I'm sorry babe, after I read Nurture Shock and Brain Rules, praising is kept to a minimum}

Now, I understand why he doesn't indicate his ears/eyes/nose/feet, etc for me no matter how nicely I ask. When Daddy is the one asking, he'll do it like a routine! Hah, so I am the bad guy for not praising. I'll have to ban Daddy from school time..

Anyways, back to business:

This cheap numbers EVA foam came together with the alphabet ones.
Just like the alphabets, Tiger loved it.
He can complete this independently now.
Daddy didn't believe he could do it, but we showed him
I love watching him pointing to the numbers and reciting them in his own baby language.

This small pegged numbers puzzles is also Tiger's fav.
I love that it encourages pincer grip.
He is pretty good with this but sill require some help.

He gave it daily attention.

 The gradated rods are a little boring for him at this stage.
He'll just arrange the rods randomly into the box, applaud his own work and move on

He couldn't ignore the Grolier Fun Thinkers

Combining flashcards, puzzles and rods.
I love this pic where he is tracing the number while giberrish-ing.
Funny boy!

We are still doing maths until this weekend and Tiger is loving his Tot Trays. Each and everyone. Letter M setup is most successful tray setup ever! Woohoo!

I think it's because it's maths & numbers. Mommy's effort has nothing to do with the sudden love and interest.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Toys: Tiger's Playroom Update

I am always tired nowadays.

Last night was a terrible mommy moment. We went for a short walk and then played school for 30 minutes before I collasped on my bed. I could hear him crying to come upstairs to do more work but I just couldn't move a muscle. My poor baby...

To compensate for my incompetence, I spruced up Tiger's playroom with an area for open ended play.

This is Tiger's view from the door.
The major items that he loves are not rotated, namely the slide and the Fisher Price Learning Home.

I have added a ball tent to replace the ball pit

The newly organized open-ended play area with the train table.
The train table is from Gift2kids.
One of my best investments.
At least 30 minutes of undivided attention from Tiger DAILY. Enough said.

My favourite part of the room, the baskets for open ended play:

On the top row, from left to right:
1. Mega blocks
2. Wooden Imaginarium blocks
3. Wisdom builders (USL). These are basically linking quarters
Middle row, from left to right:
1. Sponge alphabets (ELC)
2. Fake grass and some miniature farm animals for imaginary play
3. Wedgits

Bottom row, from left to right:
1. Train table tracks and parts
2. Tiger's fav miniature dinosaurs
3. Kitchen play things

On the tall shelf to the left:
Colourful IKEA baskets hold:
1. Hand puppets
2. A small rabbit with a hair brush
3. Two soft cars (K kids)

Below them:
1. Wooden bead maze (IKEA)
2. A pull-along shapes stacker (Fun & Cheer)
3. A wooden stacking train (Fun & Cheer)

*He ignores these usually. This will be his bookshelf later on as his collection grows.

The out of rotation toys.
I am aware of how much I have amassed over the past 1 year.
I wish I can hide them somewhere.

Thanks to Melissa, I found Janet Lansbury.

If you are too lazy to comb through her site, here are few play-based articles worth reading:
1. Spoiling Our Kids
4. If you are contemplating sending your child to a play gym or class: read this: Focus or Freedom? This was one of the issues that was bugging me when I send Little Tiger to Tweedlewink. Time restriction. It doesn't bode well with a toddler's natural instinct to play and explore. I can't imagine how infants and toddlers in a Schicida class would feel? Overwhelmed?

I am sure every parent have the best of their child's interest. We all want to give our children a head start and create the best environment for them. I am still finding my direction and hopefully I will find it soon. 

Monday 21 November 2011

Tot School: Stacking Cups and Maths

This boy have always loved stacking cups.
 One of his earliest favourite toys was this from IKEA

So, when I gave him the ELC ones, he was thrilled!
It was challenging as the cup sizes were just slightly differentiated.
So. he just stacked as he liked and nested upwards...

I thought I was smart to entice him to do some learning with the cups.
He didn't budge, at all!
I love the cups though, it has numbers embossed at the bases.

He also enjoyed learning with his ELC foam numbers
and moving them individually from tray to mat.
He's really good at saying 'six' and eight'. The rest of the numbers still sounded gibberish..

These are the numbers that he arranged from the mat to the floor.
The order is not right but I realized that he is able to recognize numbers.
Just to be sure, I turned a few upside down and sideways.
He gave me a dirty look and corrected them

The next day, he decided to do some one-on-one correspondence work.
He took the cups and numbers and placed one into each cup!

My busy little bee!

Nowadays, I rarely interrupt his work.
I just sit in the corner and watch him.
Ok, sometimes I fall asleep but that's not the point..
Unless he is working with puzzles, he rarely ask for help.

I can recite the numbers 1-10 a thousand times and he wouldn't repeat after me.
So, I don't.
I ask Youtube to do it on my behalf....wahahaha...
The little rascal love music, so he dances and repeats after this song
Tiger dance like Mr Bean, I am dead serious..

Art & craft: Painting Rocks!

Just in case the title is a bit confusing, we painted some decorative stones (I thought that rocks sounded cooler!) and oh yeah, we think that painting rooocksss!!!

Tiger already has his heart set on messy stuff every weekend.
On Saturday morning, he woke me up with slob and started whining to get outside.
Oh, wait... that's my imaginary dog, Patch.
Daddy thinks it's funny that Tiger whines. He's only 17 months!!

I love his fisherman's hat!
Daddy thinks it ain't cool but he's OK with it after I promised it's for home use only
(It's from Mothercare, ok?)

My super-focused little painter!

Nothing is more important than art except FOOD!
Mommy's breakfast: chee cheong fun and coffee

He immediately abandoned his work and made himself available and very comfortable :)

Contented after food and waiting for his bath outside ^.^

 On Sunday, he woke up crying for art again (He signed drawing very vigorously)
We couldn't draw as we had to go to the indoor playground in Gardens, Midvalley.
Just in case anyone's wondering why we couldn't play outdoors in sunny Malaysia?

1. It ain't sunny. It's burn-your-butt and fry-your-hair HOT in Malaysia!
2. Mommy's too lazy to get up early on Sundays. I will soon, I hope.
3. It rains without warning nowadays.
4. Indoor playground also means shopping and Borders. *Evil grin*
Oh, also I found Art Friend in Gardens which is like the mothership art and craft store....woohoo! Bought some googly eyes, sparkly mod podge and sponge brushes.
5. It's padded. So, no cuts or bruises for my boy who runs everywhere like a drunken.

He loved the mini maze at the top of the huge contraption.
Luckily I am not osteoporotic yet..
"I would climb it a million times just to see that smile on your face." (I'm so corny, I know)

A loving moment with the horsey..
All I kept thinking was, the germs on that thing...wahaaha....OCD overdrive!!!!

 MommyTiger loved the jumbo slide.
He tried to defy gravity like what he does at home and laughed his butt off trying.

 This ship is always a favourite.
I love this pic cause he reminds me of ME when I am nagging..LOL

It was a fun and very tiring trip.
Mommy went to Borders bookstore and got more books:
We found Chicka Chicka Boom Boom ABC...yay! It's now officially the boom boom book.
It was love at first sight/song for Tiger. Yup, I sang it OUTLOUD in Borders, many times in fact.
The Indian gentleman at the corner kept giving me a look.
I think he was trying not to laugh.
Dang, it is an old song and I couldn't remember some parts but come on, it couldn't have been that bad!

 This is the book cover and this is the song

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