Friday, May 31, 2013

Foodie Fridays - Cook For Family 2013

We took part in last year's Cook for Family event so how can we miss this year's event?  It's a little bit different from last year where it's a one day event, this year's event lasts for a week; 24 - 31 May 2013.  We only managed to cook 2 days during the week but we are very proud of ourselves already.  Here is what we had during these 2 days.

28 May 2013 - We had oven bake lemon butter prawns, stir fried nai bai & rendang meatballs.  It took me about an hour to whip the dishes up and we have a nice hot home cooked dinner.




29 May 2013 - The last batch of black cod fish we bought in a big pack couple of weeks ago.  We steamed it as usual and had it together with stir fried mixed veggie of broccoli, celery (balanced found in fridge) & carrot and papaya chicken feet soup.  I was not working today so I was able to boil the nutrition soup.  If its normal day I will prepare the soup the night before and put it into my  thermal pot cooker to cook, soup will be ready the next day.




I hope you had fun during the Cook for Family event, we sure did!  Looking forward to Cook for Family 2014.

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This linky is for anything that is FOOD related. It could be a restaurant you visited recently, meals you cook with your family or for your family or recipes you wish to share with every one.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Primary One Parent Teacher Meeting


We had Parent Teacher Meeting recently, even though we were expecting what the teachers is going to say, there were still some good news and a teeny bit of disappointment too.

We were very surprise when DinoBoy's form teacher and Chinese teacher sang praises about him.  Both of them said that he is a bright child who is able to grasps concepts and learn new things fast.  He has confident in himself, his speech is loud and concise, pronunciation is clear and able to converse well in both English and Chinese, something that most 6-7 year old children are unable to do so.

For this we really have to give thanks to DinoBoy's child care centre teachers for teaching and guiding him in his 6 years with them, they put in a lot of effort to nurture him into what he is today.  This call for a trip to the child care centre to show appreciation to the teachers.

Chinese teacher shared with us that she is a little bit surprise with DinoBoy's Term 2 Modular Test result of 26/50.  He scored great in his Chinese oral, good in Listening Comprehension but his written paper pulled his marks down.  If he had scored well for this he will be going to Higher Chinese class for the 2nd half of the year.  Nevertheless, he can still try to improve on his Chinese and perhaps he will be able to switch to Higher Chinese in Primary 2.

I am disappointed about this but not because he is unable to go into Higher Chinese class but rather I'm disappointed with myself.  Perhaps if I have paid equal attention to Chinese as I did with English he'll probably fare better.  There is really a difference between able to speak or/and write and able to read AND understand what is written.  This is what caused DinoBoy to make mistakes in his Modular Test and thus the result of 26/50.

Ok before you parents get all so nerves, anxious or worried about Higher Chinese, whether you should let your child aim to gain a place in Higher Chinese class or to be relax and take it easy, DinoBoy's Chinese teacher says that the teaching style for Higher and "normal" (if I may use this word) Chinese class is the same, just that Higher Chinese students learn a little bit more words.  Of course I would think that the scoring criteria for Higher Chinese may be tougher.

Oh did I mention that he was chosen to be in the school's Wushu team?  Only a handful of P1 students are selected.  Looks like this little boy is serious about this CCA, hope that this passion will persist and maybe one day he will get to take part in some competition and bring home some trophies.

Last but not least, form teacher told us that she does not give homework to her students, she wants to seek our understanding on this as some parents are not too happy with it.  She believe that all school work must be finished in class and only if she feels that some of the students needs extra help then she will give them homework.  We were glad to hear that because both of us feel that we should not stress and overload Primary One students with too much homework.

In summary, DinoBoy is doing well academically as you can see from his Report Book, even in Chinese though I still need to work with him on this subject, especially the grouping of words into sentence 组词成句 and complete the sentences 完成句子 section. Temper flaring is under control though still need to be checked from time to time and I have to help him in reducing his screaming and shouting in class.

Overall, he did well, keep it up son!

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Linking up with

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Starting Primary One #18 - Term 2 Modular Test & Report Book

Though Primary 1 does not have exams they have modular test which is the so called exam, so on the week 13 May 2013 DinoBoy sat for his "exam".  This time, this blur mama know about it and did a minimal revision on Chinese with him.  It turned out bad... DinoBoy does not know how to read many of the Chinese words in the assessment book.  Faced with the truth and getting prepared for the worst, Chinese revision ended an hour later and we heads off to bed, leaving the outcome of the next day's Chinese test to Faith and Fate.

A week's later, DinoBoy brings back the test paper.  He fares well in all but, yupe you guessed it, Chinese.  Well, I'm not going to go into details on my plan to brush up his Chinese, that's for another day.  I am however, going to share with you his school's test paper, let you have a glimpse of how the Primary One test paper looks like.

English








Chinese






Maths





Here is DinoBoy's Report Book, he fares good don't you think?


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I am sharing DinoBoy's Primary One experiences in this series.  I hope it will serve as a useful guide to parents when its their time to get their child ready for the new journey and have an idea how Parent Volunteer works.

Click the button below and you will be able to see all my posts on this topic or grab the badge if you are sharing your thoughts about this topic.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Is it ok for others to discipline your child?

Boys A and B were playing near the edge of bed when Boy B's little baby sister joins in.  She starts crawling towards Boy A and dangerously close to the edge of the bed.  Boy A adores babies and always look out for them, he points his finger near her face and whisper "mei mei (little sister) go back."

At this time Boy B got defensive and hit Boy A "HEY!  Don't point!  It's rude to point!" Boy A got mad, shows an angry face and elbows Boy B once, hard.  Boy B cried out in pain and starts smacking Boy A, his screams sends baby sister crying and crawling towards auntie.  Mama A who is at the other side of bed looked up from her phone and saw Boy B crying, smacking non stop and hard on Boy A's arm and thigh.

Auntie struggles to carry baby sister while telling Boy B to stop hitting and trying to pull Boy A away.  Mama A was coaxing Boy B, rubbing his back, telling him to stop hitting and crying.  Boy A sat there with with no intention to move away and continue to let Boy B hit him.  Auntie carried baby sister out to seek Mama B's help who came in asking "What happened".  Boy B ran into her arms sobbing and crying while Boy A stood there straight faced.

So, what do you think happens next? Did both Mamas defend their own boy?  Accuse the other boy for being "naughty/defiant" and starting a fight?  Read on.

Mama B sat down on the bed and talked to the two boys trying to find out what happened while Mama A sat at a corner listening, letting Mama B handle the situation.  For the next 15 mins or so after gathering all the info about the incident Mama B talked to the boys, explaining to both boys who did wrong and reason for the other boy's reaction.  Mama B was stern and serious with both boys. Even chided Boy A for making funny faces and actions when he is suppose to be serious and listening to her.   

Boy A was wrong to have pointed his fingers so near to baby sister, what if she happens to move forward and her eyes got poked accidentally?  Boy A should not have shown Boy B an angry face and the elbowing was uncalled for, this leads to Boy B crying out in pain and scaring baby sister.

Boy B was wrong to raise his voice at Boy A for pointing at his baby sister though we know that he is trying to protect her.  Boy B's continuous smacking on Boy A's arm and thigh was uncalled for too, he could have come to Mama A and complained about his behaviour.

After both boys understand the reasons for both of their behaviour and actions, the rule of no hitting/screaming/shouting to your friends, every one hugged; even though still reluctant and sniffing, and were friends again.

Only then Mama A brings Boy A to a corner and have a talk, to add on what Mama B have said and to reinforce what she has taught Boy A all along but he has forgotten about it at that instance; no pointing so close at someone's face/eye/nose.

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I think most parents would not have taken it well when friends or siblings discipline or correct their child's behaviour even in a well intended or in a calm manner, let alone one that is serious and reprimanding.  However, we have to bear in mind that a child may behave differently behind their parent's back.  And sometimes children may also do things that are dangerous, causing harm to himself or others and needed to be stopped or warned at that instant.  You can't really hunt for the parent and then tell the parent what her child is doing then leave it to the parent to stop the child, it may be too late by then.

My point is, there are issues that has to be dealt with there and then, at that moment.  And I am perfectly alright if other friends or my siblings stopped DinoBoy for saying certain things or behavioring badly so long that they are not yelling mindlessly at him or belittling him or saying things that hurt him emotionally, hurting him physically is definitely not acceptable to me.  If he really did something that calls for such actions (which I can't really think of any that is so serious), I think the parent should speak to me first, I shall be the one that takes the matter into my hand and deals with him accordingly.  I am even ok if our little friends comes up to me to telling tales about my son coz they are kids and kids have a right to do so because we taught them to tell daddy/mummy/teacher/authority figure when some one misbehaves.

Alright, now comes the difficult part.  Would you have reacted like me; Mama A, took a back seat and let your friend, in this case its my friend Connie; MamaB handles the situation?  Remember your friend was not there when the incident happened but you are.  I saw what happened, even though DinoBoy was the one who started it, both boys were wrong to let it escalate.

The reason for letting Connie takes over the situation is because Isa; Boy B was sobbing uncontrollably and needed comfort badly.  Adding my presence to the equation would mean that DinoBoy; Boy A will think that I have his back and will try to deny every thing he did wrong.  Isa probably think that I am helping DinoBoy to accuse him of behaving badly since I witnessed the whole incident.  The boys needed some one who is neutral to settle the issue and I know Connie will do a good job.  Also, if I joined in the discussion anything that comes from me would be deemed as accusation to either boy.  Why do I have such faith in Connie?  This is because as a teacher she deals with similar situations almost every day and is well, so call experienced if I may say, in settling kid's squabbles.  And she did not disappoint me, she did a wonderful job of calming both boys down, talking sense to both of them and making them see each other's point of view.

Having said that, will I let other friends do the same?  Yes, because I have taught DinoBoy to fight his own battles.  He knows when he is being wrongly accused by the other child/parent and will run to me for help.  And I am glad that most of my friends; even my siblings, trusts each other's judgement enough to leave our children with each other while they play and to take necessary disciplinary actions against the children when needed.

Here are the boys.... one minute they were enjoying each other's company, having loads of fun in the pool, wii-ing and sharing a packet of fried rice as dinner, the next minute they are fighting, arguing and crying.  So glad the day ended with both of them still as good friends.


While on a cab home, I asked DinoBoy about his feelings on the afternoon's incident but he kept quiet.  I asked about his feeling when he fights with his friend.  He mumbled softly "I feel bad", I let the feeling sink into him and that ended our discussion.

Afterall the boys will not remember the squabbles, the tears or the red hand prints.  All they remember are the fun they had in each other's company.

Share with me, will you react the same way as I did or you will sit through the whole discussion?
~ ~ ~

Linking up with

MummyMOO   
Yellow Days

Monday, May 27, 2013

SMB is One Celebration - Adult Canvas Art Session

I've been posting beautiful paintings by DinoBoy which he had done during his art classes in HeART Studio.  Recently I had my chance of getting my fingers and hands dirty with oil pastels to draw my first canvas painting.  I was very excited because I have never thought that I could have a chance to do that!  

In this exclusive class for Singapore Mom Bloggers mummies, most of us do not have any art training or background so every one's as excited as me.  HeART Studio has arranged Teacher Elma and Teacher Gazz to coach us, we will be using oil pastels to recreate 2 different painting; Harbor Scene & Le chateau des seigneurs d'Estaing a Bort-les-Orgues, both painted by French painter Hughes Claude Pissarro.

Teacher Gazz and Teacher Elma starts to do a brief introduction about the painter, the short quick strokes technique and the medium that we will be using for the painting.  We were taught to use a light colored oil pastels like beige, cream, almond to draw the horizon and outline the main subjects which in this case are the sails.  After that we can start to fill the sky, water and the landscape with colors by using short quick strokes, leaving the main subject; which in this case, are the sails, to the last.  We also lean to use the white color pastel to blend in the colors or to lighten it, or our fingers to blend the colors.  Dark or black colors should be used last in case we made a mistake and its difficult to correct it or we accidentally pressed on the colors and imprint it on other parts of the painting.


Look at all the other mummies' painting!  We are really concentrating, too busy to chit chat, all you can hear in the class room are the "tok tok tok" sound of the oil pastels hitting the canvas - hard & fierce, like we are venting our pent up frustrations on the canvas.


It was really an interesting and eye opening 2 hours experience.  I was stuck a few times, unsure which colors to use but luckily Teacher Elma & Teacher Gazz was there to guide me.  Teacher Elma asked if I learn some tips from DinoBoy as I am doing quite well for a first timer.  Well, I always suspect that I have a little bit of artsy genes in me, since the 4 of us has been doodling when we were younger and Sis has made a career in the graphic designer line, while younger bro is in web design, so I can't be very far from them right?

Here is me with my canvas painting, looks pro or not?  Anyone wanna buy it?  Anyway, in case you are in HeART Studio, look around and you may spot my painting some where in the school.


Here's us with our masterpiece!  Pretty sight isn't it?  If we can paint such a beautiful canvas painting under the guidance of 2 great & patient teachers, I am sure you can too!

On the bench - Delphine, Serene, Jolin, Waiwai, Angeline & Madeline
On the floor - Angeline, Ling Siew Ng, Cherie, me & Rachel

If you are keen to learn canvas painting, HeART Studio conducts adult canvas classes to teach basic art sketching to canvas art but they need a minimum of 2 people to start a class.  Get the husband to join for a weekly calm & therapeutic couple dating?

The school also offers art classes for children 3 - 12 years old, so perhaps you can sign up together with your child and paint together!  What a great way to bond with your child!

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Heart Studio LLP
101 Soo Chow Walk Singapore 575385

Tel: (65) 6554 7563
Fax: (65) 6554 7562
Email: info@heartstudiosg.com
Website : http://www.heartstudiosg.com/

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A big Thank You to Singapore Mom Bloggers for organising this canvas art session that was  kindly sponsored by HeART Studio in celebration of our 1st birthday celebration.

SingaporeMomBloggers

Friday, May 24, 2013

Foodie Fridays - What's cooking this week?

I planned to cook for the full week but did not managed to do so, only managed to cook once and DinoPapa cooked for 2 days.  Well, 3 days out of 5 days, not too bad, so a pat on both of our shoulders for a job well done.  Here is our dinner menu for the pass week.

20 May 2013 - DinoPapa came home early and decided to cook dinner!  YAY!  Its a rare occasion that he is able to knock off early.  After a long day at work, he whipped up a simple dinner of Japanese pork curry (mild) rice with a beautiful sunny side up within the hour.  Looks delicious isn't it?

Japanese pork curry rice

21 May 2013 - DinoBoy was down with stomach flu, we went grocery shopping after a visit to the clinic to grabbed a packet of xiao bai cai and a pre packed 四神 soup mixes.  Found some fish cake in the fridge and decided to add it into the vegetables for DinoBoy to enjoy.  Luckily DinoPapa separate the packet of black cod fish into a few portion, I took out one and steam them.  

Dinner preparation starts early I put the soup to boil around 2pm and left it on the stove with small fire for about 2 hours. After that its about half an hour of stir-frying the vegetables and steaming of the fish.  A healthy dinner for all of us.

Quick stir xiao bai cai with fish cake

Steamed Black Cod fish

23 May 2013 - DinoPapa is home early again!  He craves for grilled chicken spaghetti and he sets out to make one for all of us.  We had our dinner in about 1.5 hours later.  I felt so blessed this week~

Grilled chicken spaghetti  

DinoBoy's portion

Campbell cream of seafood mushroom soup

Today's the 1st day of Cook for Family challenge but we are not cooking dinner tonight as we are going out with friends, so happy cooking every one!  Looking forward to see all of your creations and yummilious food!

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This linky is for anything that is FOOD related. It could be a restaurant you visited recently, meals you cook with your family or for your family or recipes you wish to share with every one.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Annual leave not enough

For 6 years I have mentioned to my friends that I will always have at least 5 days of annual leave to be brought forward to the following year.  I have always been able to set aside at least a week in December to spend time with DinoBoy, bringing him out for some fun.  This is because besides the annual leave entitlement of XX days, I also enjoy 6 days of Child Care Leave which I was grateful as on many occasions I have to take urgent leave when DinoBoy falls sick suddenly during the night and have to stay home instead. I would have exhausted my annual leave fast if not for these extra 6 days.

So the day DinoBoy enters Primary school is also the day I "lost" this Child Care Leave entitlement.  We are only near end May 2013 and I have about 10 days of annual leave left!  And with so many things happening at home I am afraid that I will use them up before the end of the year.  I am already seeing that its impossible to take a week's leave in December as usual, am so not liking it.

In case you are wondering its not as easy for DinoPapa to apply leave plus I would want to be with the boy looking after him.  If I leave him with DinoPapa I will be worried the whole day; did he give the boy medicine on time, how's the fever, did he prepare nourishing healthy food for the boy to eat etc, its the Mothering thing that is making me a worrywart.

Anyway, besides taking leave to attend to DinoBoy who was feeling under the weather, I have also taken 3 days when school starts just to visit the school during recess time to make sure he is OKAY.  And on the few occasions I have listed below we need to make a trip down to the school; the last one below is optional BUT you know you would not want to miss it for ANYTHING!

* Chinese workshop
* Maths workshop
* Parents Teacher Meeting
* P1 performance 

All the above events only takes 2-3 hours, you can take half day's leave but I usually take a day as it's a bit rush for me since my work place is in town.  I will make use of the extra time for house work, groceries shopping and preparing for the day's dinner.

Photo Credits

There you have it, with the above its already 5 days (DinoPapa attended the Maths workshop and we couldn't take leave to attend the P1 performance), add in the days where DinoBoy was sick and urgent leave for some important matters, half of my annual leave is gone.  It's very frustrating especially when I planned to take some days off during the June school holidays to go for some interesting activities with DinoBoy.  Looks like its not going to happen too.  It breaks my heart when DinoBoy expressed disappointment after I told him that he is unable to go for some holiday workshops as they fall on weekday - a working day.

I just hope that next year it will be better.
That next year I will have time to bring him to where ever he wishes to go.
That next year we will have the budget and time to go for an overseas holiday, I know DinoBoy wants to go to Penang again.

Next year...

Damn you This Year!  GGRrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!

~ ~ ~

Linking up with

SANses.com's Talkative Thursdays

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

No complaints are too small to be ignored

I was reading my book on the train as usual while commuting to work, then I have this sudden nagging urge to put down the book n pick up the phone.  Its not my habit look at the phone while on the book, anyway I took the gadget out and saw 2 missed calls from a familiar number - The School.

A few things flashed across my mind when I see that number.
1. Is he injured?
2. Did he injured some one?
3. Is he sick?
4. Did he get himself into trouble and the Principal wants to see me?

Alright maybe #4 is a little bit unreal since school just started 6 minutes ago.  Anyway I returned call and it turns out that DinoBoy was feeling unwell.  I immediately hopped off the train and took the train from the opposite direction to go back.

I was met with a pale scrunched up faced DinoBoy.  He was sent to the sick bay after complaining of stomach pain and he also vomited once earlier.  My heart ache, how did a normal morning turned out like this?

This morning he does not want breakfast, not unusual but he rarely skips breakfast, I thought it was just one of those rare days, I gave him a cup of milk and we starts to get ourselves ready to leave the house soon.  He paid a visit to the toilet for his "big business" and complained about tummy aches after that but I thought perhaps that cup of milk has kicked off his system and made him hungry.  Plus he always mixed up tummy pain with hunger so I did not think too much about it.  We went off to school without breakfast as there were no time.

Well, if it's comforting, this was not caused by skipping this morning's breakfast as the doctor confirmed, DinoBoy's having stomach flu with bloated stomach which may have happened over the night.  Now how did I missed the sign(s) that he is not feeling well?  Perhaps I should have paid more attention to his "tummy pain" complain instead of brushing it off as nothing serious.

Ok lesson learnt, luckily it was not a painful or regretful one.  I shall be more attentive to this little fella instead of taking all his complains/whines lightly.

Enjoying his Long John Silver breakfast

An hour later we left the clinic and heads off to Long John Silver for our late breakfast (well, its either this or Mcdonalds).  For a boy who complains of stomachache and vomited earlier he sure have a good appetite and finishes off a Big Fish meal all by himself!  Either he is really famished or his stomach feels better after he vomited.

Its 4.50pm, I have been keeping an eye on him, after taking the medicine there are no sign of feeling lethargic and wanting to vomit though occasionally still complains about tummy pain .  He's been cheerful and happy since we got home, playing with his toys, ipad and watching tv.  No screen time during weekdays I know but he is SICK, so it does not count?  Ok unreasonable Mum trying to reason out here.  Truth is, I'm feeling a little bit guilty for what happened this morning and trying to make myself feel better by giving him the privileges.

Get well soon son!  I promise you that the next time you complain of any discomfort, Mummy is going to show more concern and be more attentive, I shall try to find out the cause of it and deal with it in a much better manner then today.

On a side note, I am really glad that I am working in a company with understanding bosses.  I have been taking a tad too many annual leaves (sometimes urgent leave) during the pass 2 months but they did not show any unhappiness about it because they know about my current situation at home.   

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MummyMOO