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Showing posts from March, 2015

Father and Son Date: Octonauts Live!

Holiday season is almost upon us here. I actually should be busy frantically running around trying to get a million things done before then. But I’ve just recently been down with a very sniffly cold… as well as the procrastination bug.So I’m borrowing some big happenings from my hubby as a space filler in the meantime…Presenting, The Big Father & Son Date: Octonauts Live!Depending on what stage of life you are currently at or what part of the world you currently live in, the word ‘Octonauts’ could either generate a “Oooooooooooh!!!” or a “Huh?!?! Octo-what???”. But over here in Australia, the Octonauts are huge. Especially with the two to five year old crowd. Particularly boys. Including ours.Credits for this whole Octonauts date idea goes one hundred percent to my hubs. He was the one who found out about the event, decided on making it a date, bought the tickets and everything. Well, my job was to pack the snack box for the boys.On the big day, Nathan was just quivering with exci…

Three sensory play ideas and some fun links

We’ve been keeping ourselves pretty busy so far this past summer both indoors and out. With the weather slowly taking a cooler turn, I expect to soon start bracing ourselves for more indoor time. There’s always a risk of getting cabin fever being stuck indoors together all day. But by keeping those little hands and minds occupied, the days can fly by just as quickly as in summer. Here are three sensory play ideas you can try out at home to keep you and the little ones busy…Make your own play dough and out together a big ice cream feast
(I like this play dough recipe from oneperfectdayblog.net)Sensory tray with an assortment of materials to explore different textures
(I also like to include some tongs and utensils for practicing motor skills)Shaving foam or soap and water messy play
(I throw in some toy dishes and sponges to extend the play into a washing up exercise)*****Some tips on how to deal with the mess that comes with messy playSensory play: How necessary is it really?Ten things c…

So beautiful

Something pretty dramatic and sad happened over the weekend.My baby girl had a little accident. She was running and tripped over her own feet and fell down flat on her face.The next moment was a big mess of blood and tears.She and I headed straight to the emergency room right after that.The good news is that there were no head injuries or lacerations or stitches needed.The bad news is that she broke her front tooth.It was a pretty major chip so they could not save the tooth. So they removed it. They tried to cheer us up saying that it’s just her milk tooth. A new one will be along in a few ‘short’ years.I think I’m the one who is most devastated over the whole thing.The scenes from my first baby’s major scar kept replaying in my mind over and over. And layered over that were more replays of my own accident (item #3 in this post) involving the loss my front tooth.A hundred whys flashed across my mind.A thousand ‘should haves’ repeated in my headAnd a searing angry pain just kept grippi…

Spiderman and Princess Elsa

Real life conversations with the two small humans in our household…
(Nathan - four years old; Grace - 20 months old)Grace: Oh! What noise?
Mummy: I think that’s a bird.
Grace: Bird! Bird!
Nathan: That’s not a bird. That’s a pterodactyl.
Mummy: I don’t think that’s a pterodactyl. They lived in the time of the dinosaurs. So they are all extinct now.
Nathan: What’s a ‘stink’?
Mummy: Extinct means that they have all died out. So there are no more pterodactyls any more.
Nathan: What about the dinosaurs?
Mummy: Yeah, dinosaurs are extinct too.
Nathan: Like the dragons?
Grace: Gagen!
Mummy: Dragons are pretend creatures. They live in our imagination.
Nathan: I wish I had a ‘magition’.
Mummy: You do have an imagination. It’s whatever you think about in your mind. Like all your favourite stories you like to think about and tell me.
Nathan: And like the stories in our books?
Grace: Book!
Mummy: Yes, that’s right.
Nathan: I wish I could live in a book.
Mummy: Yes you can. You can just think about it in your imagin…

Being mortal and Choosing to die

Death. A topic that has been on my mind quite a bit lately.And it’s strange how when your mind is thinking about that one thing, the rest of the world seems to be thinking about it too. Or seems to be.I stumbled across these two amazing mini-documentaries about death and mortality.It seems to be such morbid thing to dwell on. But I found it quite refreshing to watch. They were really thought-provoking and and opened up new perspectives to the issues surrounding our inevitable fate.Being Mortal, by surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande, examines the how physicians struggle to talk to patients about death and dying. The film explores difficult questions such as: How can we know if it’s time for the story to end? And how would you want to die?Choosing To Die, by author Sir Terry Pratchett, looks at the controversies surrounding ‘assisted dying’, which is still largely illegal in most countries. This film was especially challenging to watch as it actually takes us through a journey to witness a termina…

War and Slavery

While watching the 87th Academy Awards a couple of weeks back, there were several references to the big winner of last year’s Academy Awards, ‘12 Years a Slave’. Up until now, I hadn’t seen the movie before. So after hearing all the glowing references in this year’s Oscars. The film delved into the many disturbing practices and issues on slavery in the 1800s.Despite the discomfiting feeling the movie left behind, the story continued to stay with me. So I tracked down the original book the movie was based on. I was amazed to find that all the disturbing scenes in the movie stayed largely true to form as the original book. It’s definitely worth reading.I recently re-watched one of my favourite old classic films: ‘Gone With The Wind’. I thought it interesting how differently the world of slavery is portrayed in this film. Such a contrast of ugliness and beauty of human nature.So read the book. And watch thefilms. And come to talk to me about them sometime.

A Picnic Dinner

I often like to serve the children’s meals outside. The food seems to taste yummier when eaten outdoors, it saves on clean up time, and it’s simply just good fun.So on Saturday evening, after a long lazy day indoors, I put together a simple meal of sandwiches and some fruit, popped everything into a basket and handed it to the kids along with a picnic mat and told them that was their dinner. They whooped excitedly and ran out to the yard and set everything down excitedly. Then I left them to it.I kept an eye on them through the window. I half expected them to fool around or get up to silly tricks like hiding the food. But surprisingly, they managed themselves pretty well being left on their own. They chilled out together, munched on their sandwiches and fruit and enjoyed the evening summer breeze.After they polished off the plate, I surprised them with two cookies apiece. Ah, this is the life!

Happy Chap Goh Mei 2015

So tomorrow marks the 15th day of the Chinese New Year celebration. So before the celebrations officially come to an end, let me squeeze in a quick ‘Happy Chinese New Year’ greeting to you all.Our Chinese New Year was relatively quiet this year. We had a simple home cooked reunion dinner on the eve. We had plans to head up to the city to watch the lion dances in Chinatown, but our family were all struck down with a horrible case of gastro. So we all spent the weekend running back and forth between our beds and the toilets. We did have a couple of lovely catch up sessions with various friends afterwards to make up for it.The kids were very happy with their ang pow loot. Though to Nathan, he decided the ang pows with coins were the most valuable ones, the one with chocolate gold coins being the most valuable of all. Grace was just more interested in the red packets themselves rather than its contents.So Happy New Year. Again. Sending all the best Chinese New Year wishes and blessings yo…

Remembering jia-gong, my maternal grandfather

I’ve been going through a rather pensive mode these past few days. My maternal grandfather (my mother’s father) recently passed away a couple of days ago after suffering a stroke. He was in the hospital for several days slipping in and out of consciousness as various family members came to sit beside him before finally closing his eyes for the last time on Saturday evening.I wrestled with a strange undercurrent of emotions throughout this time. You see the truth is, I wouldn’t consider myself as being close to any of my grandparents. Whether it was due to the geographical distance or the language barrier, it was simply a privilege I never had a chance to experience.I never felt any sadness or jealousy over this fact. I read stories about children with favourite grandmas and grandpas, and I could see the affectionate way my cousins who were close to my grandparents related to them. But it never bothered me. I suppose one can’t really feel sad over something one never had. It was just t…

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