Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Helping my child to spell

Azalia is now being taught to spell by her kindy. Every week the kids will be tested to spell 6 words. 3 Malay words and 3 English words. Azalia finds it harder to spell in Malay. Maybe because I exposed more English books than Malays books to her although we speak mostly Malay.

Anyway, parents are being tasked to make sure they practice at home. So I've been trying to come up with fun ways to help her spell. Plus I read somewhere that if you learn with all your sense you tend to remember them more

1. Phonics. ( hearing/listening )
Telling her to repeat the sounds of the letters in the words and figuring what letter they are.

Eg. to spell Ayah
Repeat the word slowly, A....y...a...h and figure out what letter makes the sound aaaa yyyy aaaa hhhh

2. Use of wooden alphabets puzzle.(hearing, sight and touch)
I used this to help her see what she's spelling. She would arrange the letters to make the word. I have to have 2 sets of alphabet puzzle to do this.

3. Writing it down. (hearing, sight and touch)

4. Using suku kata / syllable (hearing, sight and touch)
I would write the syllable of the words in pieces of paper and she would have to match them to make the word.

Eg: EMAK = E + MAK

Currently I'm only using this with the malay words because her english words are still 1 syllable.

Azalia loves doing her homework, but she loves playing even more so making her homework look like a game keeps her motivated.


Monday, July 30, 2012

My tools for exclusively give EBM.


After my experience of exclusively giving Azalia expressed breast milk (EBM), I knew I needed a few things to make it easier for me to do this long term with Arfan.

1. A really good breastpump.

Previously with Azalia, I used Spectra 3 and I had Avent manual pump. I bought an extra breastshield so that I could double pump and it definitely saved a lot of time. The Avent manual pump I only used when there was no electrical point available, ie in the car, in the movie theatre (yes i did.. haha) etc.

But this time around I wanted something more efficient. It's expensive but its efficient and saves more time. So I bought the medela freestyle. I bought it directly from mothercare UK website and asked my friend who was visiting  London around the same time to pick it up for me.

2. Bottles and plastic milk storage.

To store the milk of course. Got a good deal from anakibushop and the service is excellent. I bought bottles, autumnz double zip lock milk storage, cooler bag and icepack from her.

3. Extra shields.

Yes freestyle is already a double pump, so what do I need the extra shields for? For convenience. Since I'm pumping at work AND at home, I just wanted an extra pair of shields for convenience. Bought it from mybreastpumpshop

Hope this helps.


Friday, July 27, 2012

TOYS....Renting vs Buying


I started using the rentatoys service when Arfan was around 1 month because Arfan wanted some stimulation and since my mother is taking care of him I wanted things to be easier for her. But buying a RM500++ worth of swing set to be used for a few months was not financially practical. Yes I know we can use it for our second baby, but who knows when that will be and meanwhile where can we store it?

So when I found out about rentatoys. I decided to try them out. Found the swing set I wanted and the monthly rent was only RM39. I had to put in a deposit of RM300 but I'll get that back so its not like I'm paying RM300 for the thing anyway.

Their service was excellent. I texted them and they replied almost immediately. Confirm amount to pay, and after the transfer is done I texted them back. And 2 days later I got my swing. It was clean and in good condition. EXCELLENT!!!.

Arfan ended up loving the swing set. So I decided to extend my rental for another 2 months. All I did was email them and that's it. And sure enough, nearing the 3rd month of my lease, Arfan no longer wants to sit in it anymore. So we returned it. I used their pick up service. Told them when and where I wanted them to pick it up. And in the website they did say it will be picked up within 3 days after the date I gave them and sure enough, on the 3rd day KTM called and the item was picked up. And although I was charged RM15 for this service it was worth the convenience as I don't have to  lug around this bulky item to a courier service.

But recently Arfan has learnt that standing up is fun!! So I thought it would do him good to have an exersaucer or something similar. Browsed the site again and saw the leapfrog learn and groove activity station. Deposit was RM200 and monthly was RM39. So again I texted them and since my deposit was still with them (this was a day before my item was picked up) they just deducted the monthly rental for the new item from my previous deposit. SO EASY!!!

Now Arfan is happily using his activity station and I'm planning to get the bumbo seat next.

Savings??

Instead of paying RM500+ for the seat, I only paid RM132 for 3 months use.

And the activity station could have easily cost me RM500++ too if I were to buy it, but to date, I only paid RM39 for it.

It's a win win really. :)










Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The art of rolling over

Arfan rolled over when he's about 3.5 months. It was amusing to see his effort. He lifted his legs, turned it sideways, his body followed and he flipped. But wait. One hand is stuck under his tummy. He struggled for a few minutes, taking breaks now and then before whimpering for help. I could see he is more patient then Azalia because when she first rolled over she cried after struggling for only a few seconds.

Anyway, I can see there was a thinking process going on in each effort to roll offer. He tried different ways to make sure his other hand wouldn't stuck. He tried lifting himself but couldn't yet. He tried rolling himself faster but his reflexes are still not fast enough for him to pull his hands from beneath himself. Finally he found a way. While still on his back, he would clasp his hand together in front of his face and then roll his body. That way both hands would be in front of him instead of one getting stuck under him. SUCCESS!!

Video of him successfully rolling over.
video

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to make DIY slurpee at home

Azalia loves slurpees. So instead of going the the nearest 7-11 I decided we should do our own. But there's no way she's willing to wait for them to freeze in the fridge for a few hours before having one so I googled how to make DIY slushies and we found this site.

We followed the instructions, and Azalia put on some music on youtube and we shake for 10 mins and ta daaaa we got our own ribena slurpee. Yummzzz..

p.s: I used the Autumnz double zip lock milk storage because ! ran out of the normal zip lock back. And instead of using a bigger zip lock bag to put the ice and salt I used an ikea food container.



Friday, July 20, 2012

Outsider

That's what I've been feeling lately. An outsider. At my workplace to be exact. I wonder if I did something wrong. Did I say something I shouldn't have? Did I offend anyone? Did I do something? I hate not knowing. And I know something is up. Seriously I can take it. Just tell it to my face and I assure you I can take it.

That's what I don't like about work.. they don't say what's on their mind be it personally or professionally. I'm tempted to ask what's up.

Should I?


Online educational games for 3 - 5 year olds

These are the ones I recommend purely because my daughter enjoys them.

1. Starfall
At first we only played the free games but then I decided to subscribe to it for 1 year because the games are quite beneficial for her to learn maths, reading and spelling.

2. Nick Jr
The games are familiar to her because of the characters. Most of the games are free and they have new ones every few months or so.

3. Islamkids.my
This one is not free. But it's not expensive either. She learnt her Arabic numbers from this site. I ended up buying the cd set when our subscription expired.

I have a shortcut for each sites on my desktop for her.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

What I want to do

A friend posted about reaching for her dreams and I just had to wonder what are mine? TBH I've never been a dreamer. Most of the time I live in the present and not dwell on the coulda shoulda woulda. I don't even have a list of what I want do. But I did have one when I was 13. Found it while I was cleaning up my things and I think I've ticked most of them. Except wanting to participate as a sprinter in the 100m event in the Olympics. Hehe.. but I no longer have that as my dream. Stopped running when I was 17 I think.

I used to have targets laid out in front of me as I was growing up.. example,  in school aim for good results. Then it's college, university, a job and get married. Although for me the married part came in between uni and the job. After that kids and more kids? Hehe. But these are given targets.

Now what? While pondering about this in the lrt on the way back from work, I came to realise that throughout my life I've always done exactly what I wanted to do at at the time. I studied what I wanted to study, I went to the college/uni I wanted to, I dabbled in business( although at a small scale but it was still gratifying), I married the person perfect for me, I have two wonderful kids, I have a job which I'm good at, I'm surrounded by those I love, I travelled, watched musicals, went camping, bought a house(although renting it out at the mo but still I love that plc) I'm actually happy and contented with what I currently have in my life.

Maybe one goal that I have currently in place is to have financial freedom so that I know my kids can study what they want without worrying about the cost and we can retire happily and we have a system in place for that so God willing we will achieve that in the near future. InsyaAllah .

But really all I want to do right now is to be with my kids. I want to chauffeur them around, sit down and do their homework with them, come up with fun and interesting activities for them to do at home and read to them. Yes right now that's all I want to do. I do not want an expensive car, I do not want a big house all I want is time with my kids. And although my current job is not as flexible as I hoped it could be but at least I have an understanding boss that enables me to do SOME of these things.

Time.. yes.. thats what I want... more time with the kids. They grow up so fast.

P.s: oh ya I have yet to go white water rafting and bungee jumping so I maybe that can go on my list. Hehe.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Resemblance

Sometimes when I look at Arfan I see my grandfather. Especially when he has his solemn look on. And everytime that happens I can't help but feel sad that he's not here to see his 3rd great grandchild. He witnessed my losses and eagerly waited for my second born but God loves him more. May we meet each other again in Jannah Tokwan. Amin.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Is it ok to not want more. To be contented with what i have now and to just stay still and enjoy the present for awhile.