Wednesday, 31 October 2012

We built these lanterns!

Yet another long overdue post: about the lanterns we built for the Mid-Autumn Festival this year. Didn't have time to post this before coz it took place just before our trip. But I wanna show you what we made!!! :)

The kids came home and told us that it was a school assignment for them to make a lantern. I said:"Oh, you want ang pow paper is it? No problem, Mummy got lots of ang pow paper for you to take to school..." But Isaac said:"No, Mummy, no need to bring ang pow paper to school. We just make the lantern and bring the lantern to school, can already!" I see!

Inspired by one of the Singapore Mom Bloggers - Hai Fang's wonderful creations here and here - we set out to build some lanterns. Ours weren't as well-executed as Hai Fang's ones were - partly coz I was too lazy to paint the lanterns (confess that I am rather afraid of the mess paint creates). Nevertheless, I pledge myself to try harder next year! hahaha...
Our plane and space shuttle. The plane looks more like a bird, though!
So we had the two lanterns above for Isaac and Shawna. What about Asher? He loves the colour green, and I had this green tea can that I was itching to make a craft out of. So I made a lantern of it, and this is what Asher got to bring to school to hand in.
So we did the rush jobs above over one night, just so that the kids could bring something to school to hand in, right? But I wasn't exactly pleased about the standard of the lanterns that turned out. So I started tinkering around, and did the following one made out of three takeaway food carriers joined together. Found the pink and red gauze/ribbons and added that to give it some colour. Ended up tying up the ribbons to give the lantern more stability. Looked great with the candle lit up!

Super simple lantern - but looks the most like a 'traditional' lantern, yah?
 I had so much fun making the can lantern, that I made another one. Also, this is for Isaac coz he requested for one of his own in red, one of his favourite colours! It's very easy to make as well - just use a regular penknife to cut some crosses, and using a pen (and then your fingers), push the flaps in. This ensures that the edges are not sharp too. The big window in the can (so that we can put in the candle, as well as for ventilation), is made by cutting a squarish U shape.  Roll up the piece and tuck it into the can. Leave a margin on the other three sides and fold them into the can - again, ensuring that there are no sharp edges to hurt anyone.

This is not an ad for Coca Cola.
Our flight to Perth was on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival. So here we are, below, playing with the lit lanterns, before it was time for us to go to the airport. We didn't get to light up the plane and the space shuttle that night as they were still in display in the kids' school. I had to make the 100plus can lantern coz Isaac twisted off the tab on the top of the coke can, so we couldn't "hang" it!
The can lantern looks better 'in person' than it turned out in the pix it was stationary in. So i twisted the rubber band it was suspended on, and made the can spin when I took the pictures, so that you can see the light in the pictures of the can above.

I think the can lantern would make a great lighting piece for like garden furniture, ya know, if you wanna sit out for a cuppa wine or ice-cream! :) Romantic lighting, recycling style! :)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

My precocious Shawna!

Shawna has always been quite precocious for her age, since she was born. Then again, perhaps this only appears to be so because she has a twin brother, Asher, that she inevitably always gets 'compared' with. We do not intentionally "compare" them all the time, we simply like to observe the similarities and differences in them. You know, the old nature versus nurture study - yes, we like to 'study' them! haha!

Shawna @ 2 years 8 months | September 2012
So, just last night, I was at our friendly local mall that's just right beside the train station I drop off at, picking up a few stuff for our last minute attempt to make Isaac his Halloween costume (he requested Ironman!), and I called home, to ask hubbs if there was anything else he wanted me to get...

Me:"Hi Shawna!"
Shawna:"Mummy, kor kor wants kaya!"
Me:"Oh okay! Is Papa there?"

So I spoke to hubbs and apparently Isaac wants to eat his favourite kaya waffle from Prima Deli, which we allow him to - provided he finishes his main meal first. I walked to the Prima Deli and realise it's closed for renovations. So I called home again - to let hubbs know to tell Isaac that it's not available. Isaac is the sort that you have to pre-empt and warn, failing which he will throw a huge tantrum. But if we "warn" him about it, he will be okay.

Shawna:"Mummy! Kor kor wants to eat kaya!"
Me:"Yes, I know! But can you tell Papa that the shop that sells kaya is closed for renovations?"
Shawna:"Oh! Papa! No more kaya!"

I burst out laughing. I was amazed that she could decode my lengthy sentence and summarised it to the bare essence - very succinct too, I might add! You might be wondering why I would speak like that to a 2 and half year old child. Well, I've always believed that one shouldn't talk down to children. Also, I wanted to see if she could repeat the word "renovations" - I know if Asher was the one who picked up the phone, he would have attempted to repeat my entire statement to hubbs, and probably do it perfectly.

That's the difference, in this aspect, between Asher and Shawna. Asher's diction and ability to repeat and parrot is top notch. He can speak very well in that sense. But he doesn't necessarily understand what he is saying. Now, Shawna is different, her diction and pronunciation is not as clear as Asher's - but her level of understanding, is much higher.

Interesting huh. Stay tuned on more on my 'study' on twins! :)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Stranger Danger Safety Education

So, as you know, we just came back from our Perth trip not too long ago. We had a fantastic time - didn't chalk up visits to tonnes of tourist attractions - but we spent lotsa time with just each other, and family and friends living in Perth. That made the trip faboo, in our books!

However, being the paranoid Pam I am... (*That Pam-I-Am, that Pam-I-Am! Oh!!! That Paranoid Pam-I-Am*)

Before the trip, I said many quick prayers (whenever these worries cross my mind) for our safety while overseas. It's always a little unsettling to leave home, albeit for a holiday. I would worry about losing the kids, or meeting with terrorists on the plane... etc. Not totally unfounded, right? Considering we are two adults travelling with three kids, and terrorists, well there can be terrorists and mad people any where. Besides, planes can malfunction even without the aid of terrorists...
The hits and misses of self-taken pictures! My Isaac and I - October 2012
In any case, rather than just worrying about it, I decided that I needed to try to educate the kids as best as I could, Stranger Danger and that sorta stuff. The twins may be slightly too young to really understand what I am saying, but Isaac should understand fine. It never hurts to start educating the kids about such stuff this early, and so I started to...

Me:"Isaac, when we are in Australia, or even in Singapore, when we go out, you must always stick close to Mummy and Papa okay. Don't wander off."
Isaac:"What is 'wander'?"
Me:"Walk off. Don't walk off without us. Don't suddenly stop."
Isaac:"But sometimes my shoe come out, that's why I stop."
Me:"It's okay, then you tell us you need to stop, then we will stop to let you wear your shoe properly. It is not safe to suddenly stop. In places where there are lots of people, you can easily get lost and separated from us."
Isaac:"Okay. "
Me:"Oh, also, you cannot any how follow other people ah. You can only follow Mummy and Papa. Even if someone tell you they are Mummy and Papa's friends and tell you to follow them - you cannot."
Isaac:"You mean they are telling lies?"
Me:"Yes! Exactly! You are right! They are telling lies! These bad people, they tell you lies to bluff you and make you follow them and go with them. But they will catch you and take you away. So you should not listen to them."
Isaac:"Oh, adults can tell lies?"
Me:"Yes, these bad strangers can tell lies. You know what is stranger, right?"
Isaac:"People we don't know?"
Me:"That's right. So if people you don't know, suddenly catch you, hold you very tight like that. You must scream and shout very loud ok. Say "You are not my Mummy!" or "You are not my Papa! Help help!" Then I allow you to beat the stranger, kick him, scratch him, bite him, poke his eyes."
Isaac:"I know I be like a ninja and hiah hiah hiah him! Chop him and kick him!"
Me:"Yes! That's right! Cannot let them take you away! And cannot let him change your clothes or cut your hair, you understand? Cannot! 
Isaac:"Why they want to change my clothes and cut my hair?"
Me:"They do that so that we cannot recognise you, then we cannot find you. We love you, so we will definitely be looking for you coz we don't want to lose you. But these bad people dont want us to find you, so they may try this trick to change your clothes and cut your hair."
Isaac:"Oh okay."
Me:"Oh and you must take care of your brother and sister ah! If you see a stranger talking to them, or want to take them away or catch them, you must shout for us also."
Isaac:"Okay, I will protect them!"
Me:"Yes, very good. You're a good kor kor. Oh, and you also know, right? That you cannot take and eat sweets or chocolates that strangers give."
Isaac:"Yes, the policeman come our school say cannot. But why cannot?"
Me:"That's right. Because sometime these sweets they give you got bad things inside that will give you a stomachache or make you sleep - then they take you away. Not good."

I thought this was enough for one sitting. At another time, I approached a different topic...

Me:"Isaac, in school, now, who bathe you?"
Isaac:"Teacher S turn on the water, but I bathe myself"
Me:"Oh, so you soap yourself and wash your backside and kookoo bird yourself?"
Isaac:"Yes, I wash myself."
Me:"Okay good. So ah, Mummy tell you ah, you cannot any how let people see or touch your penis or your backside, you understand."
Isaac:"Yes, understand."
Me:"If outside, got people say to you 'Little boy, can I see your penis, please?' what must you say?" I asked him, as I shook my head. He took my cue and said
Me:"Yah! Cannot! Even though he said 'Please' also cannot, understand."
Me:"What if he say 'Little boy, you so good boy, if you let me see your kookoo bird, I give you chocolate.' Can or not?"
Me:"That's right! Cannot!"
Isaac:"Mummy can I have some chocolate please?"
Me:"That's right! If you want chocolate or sweets, you ask from us; cannot take from strangers, understand."
Isaac:"Yes, understand."

And I hope that he really understands what I am trying to knock into him. Just over the weekend, while standing in a queue at the Ikea cashier counter, I took the opportunity to teach Isaac my mobile number and managed to successfully get him to memorise my number. This is partially in preparation for the planning for my next lessons: I want him to learn to recognise cashiers and information counters in shops and shopping centres, so that if he ever gets lost, he will go to such points to seek help. 

When we came back to Singapore safe and sound, I said many quick silent prayers (whether the thought strikes me), to thank the good Lord in blessing us on our trip. Thank goodness nothing untoward happened to us!

Linking up with SANses's Talkative Thursdays's Talkative Thursdays

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A train, a train!

"A train! A train! Would you, could you, on a train?"

Don't think dirty, please. The line above is from a children's book by a very renowned author, and talking about eating weird coloured food. So no dirty thoughts there... :p Brownie points for you if you know which book the quote came from! :)

Do you remember this post on how we made our own cars? Well, I thought the cars would also make good carriages of a train! So on the night of the KidsRead Make Cars Day, when I had the three cars that the kids made that night, I transformed it into a train!
How to attach the bottle bottom to the first carriage? I just cut slits into the carriage, and slid the slots of the top bottle in. The connections were really easily done too - just cut an X into the bottle, tie a knot in the rope and push it through. The 'rope' is actually saved from paper bags that had deteriorated and was going into the bin - but I usually save the handles coz they come in handy ;)
So after it is done, you can paint it, or paste paper, or whatever. This one above has masking tape plastered all over it. I wanted to varnish it, to give it an antiqued look. This masking-tape-varnish-antique was a craft that we did way back when I was in Secondary school. But I couldn't find any varnish at home, and the train has been this way ever since :p

Try making your train today! :)

Linking up with BWS tips button

Monday, 15 October 2012

A Day in the Life of Playful Pamela!

This Day In A Life (DIAL) guest-post I wrote first appeared here :) Read more DIAL posts by more than 12 mums collated in links over at the Day In A Life series by Mum in the Making!

When Justina first approached me to contribute to this new series that she was hosting, I thought it'd be fun. What I didn't expect was that I had to consciously remember to take pictures to chronicle the day! So below is a post on what happens on an average weekday of my life, consisting of a compilation of photos taken across several average weekdays.

Of the three children, Shawna is usually the one who wakes up first, at approximately 6.45am. After snuggling up to me for ten minutes or so, she will go out and "order milk" from our helper. I.e. she will ask our helper to make milk for Asher and herself, and she will patiently wait for the milk and bring the bottles into the bedroom. This is how I steal another 5 minutes of shut-eye :p
After the twins finish their milk (while I check my phone for Facebook updates that were chalked up over the night), they proceed to give their older brother Isaac a wake up call... They will try asking him nicely to wake up, followed by nudging, then pushing, then climbing on him to wake him up. Once Isaac is up, the three of them start tumbling around together amid my cries of "Please be gentle with each other!!!"
Shawna would be the first to get changed, followed by Isaac. Asher tends to drag it out a little and be the last to get changed. While hubbs and I bathe and get dressed, we tell the kids to entertain themselves by reading. Isaac would either pick a book he wants to read and start reading it, or the twins would pick a book and ask their elder brother to read it to them.
Next, dressing Asher! Usually, either hubbs or I would have to haul Asher off to the next room, and pass him to our helper for her to help dress him. On quite a few days, he would simply refuse to change. Shawna, despite the fact that she is the youngest of the three kids, acts like the Big Sister and would chase after Asher with a set of his uniform, asking him to change. Asher usually obliges her, and allows her to help him wear his pants (top two pix) even though he is well capable of putting it on himself. Nowadays, Shawna even does up the buttons for Asher. He is always patient and quietly waits for her to be done.
It's 8.15am and we're at the void deck (with all our bags and stuff) waiting for hubbs to drive down the car from the multi-storey carpark. Every day, Asher & Shawna would follow hubbs to the carpark to drive the car down. Hubbs would wind down the windows and as he drives down the storeys, every time the car window faces our direction, the kids would shout "HELLO!!!" through the windows. Isaac and I would wait at the void deck. Some days we play "What's the time, Mr Wolf?", sometimes we talk and chit chat about what he did in school or about his friends. When he is smiley and in a good mood, we'd take pictures of ourselves!

Hubbs drop me off at the nearby MRT station before driving the kids to school. I take the train to work and it is about 9:15am by the time I walk to my office building. Glad to have missed the bulk of office crowd who must have rushed to get in before 9.

9.30am at my desk, booting up the computer, switching on the radio... I have my coffee in a large over-sized mug which was given to us on our wedding day by hubbs' students (yes, he's a teacher!)... After breakfast, work begins!

12 noon - Lunch time! Colleagues and I love this salad place not far from our office. It's not exactly cheap, each bowl of salad above costs between $10 to $12.50. But salads in this area all cost that much so, we don't have much choice. That's my salad at the bottom of the picture consisting of: spinach leaves, poached chicken, broccolli, sweet corn, raisins, feta cheese, mushrooms, boiled egg and cashew nuts, with honey mustard sauce. $10!
It's 8pm and the kids are having their dinner at home. We have this Little Tikes bench (which the Chanders gave us two Christmases ago) that would comfortably sit 2 kids on each side of the table, but no, on some days (such as this) they would insist on all squeezing at one side.

After dinner we play boardgames! Usually hubbs and I would "divide and conquer", meaning, he will take the twins and play with them a game, and I will play a game with Isaac, or vice versa. This is because they each have their favourite games of the moment, since games are usually age-appropriate at that young age. So the games which Asher & Shawna would like would usually be too simple and not challenging enough for Isaac. Occasionally, we do play games together, all five of us. Games suitable for this are usually dexterity based, like Toc Toc Woodman, which is a recent favourite.

Occasionally, the boys have war games! When this happens, I will either play another board game with Shawna, or we will go in to read books together. This is where I get my personal bonding time with my daughter while the boys play with Papa.

When it's late and time to sleep, we make sure the kids keep the games and toys before we troop off to the bedroom for milk (the twins) and story time! Hubbs is in charge of reading Chinese books, whilst the English books are my department! :) When we are done with the books, it's time to brush teeth, off lights, and off to sleep!

So that's it! A day in the life of... Pamela! :)

Liked this DIAL (Day In A Life) post? Read more DIAL posts by more than 12 mums collated in links over at the Day In A Life series by Mum in the Making!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Add this utility