Saturday, 31 May 2008

The Little "Souz Chef"

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The past 2 months, I noticed Shean Wenn has been having a little "separation anxiety". Our apartment is quite small and when i put her in her playpen, she will be able to see me even if i moved into the kitchen. i really do not see a reason why she would want to scream for me, or if she isn't "impris*ned", she would drop everything that she is doing and crawl into the kitchen to look for me.

This might explain why... Perhaps my Shean Wenn has been busy learning essential "living skills" while being with mummy in the kitchen.

Or perhaps, she just have the "Wong" genes (as demonstrated by her cousin Marwin, who displays a flair for "cooking" with his own set of kitchen)....

We were at ELC today, with intention of buying a gift for SW's friend who's birthday party is next weekend. We lingered for an hour or more in the store. The hubs saw this kitchen set and put SW down to gauge her reaction to it - she was really enthusiastic about it! Look...

(Ratatouille peeking at the Little Souz Chef at work)
SW was actually using a ladle/spoon to "stir-fry" a lemon in a "wok" - which is actually a sink!

She, mimicking the ways of pottering around the kitchen : At one point, she even kneeled down to open the "cabinet" underneath the sink to take out some dishes from the "dishwasher".

("I really love this")

And when it was time to go back, hubs had to literally tear her away from the kitchen set! She gave out a loud scream and kicked her legs in protest. By golly, I didn't know she would be SO ENTHUSIASTIC about it!

The set costs £60, but they are currently running a promotion in-store that when you buy the kitchen set, you get a free accessory set worth £30 (plus, I have a £5 off voucher to spend instore for June).

Personally, I would have preferred her to enjoy playing with garage sets or those boys' tools kit. But well... if she likes this, she likes this.

Credits :
Scrapbook embelishment (mouse) :
Edge effects : PanosFX

Friday, 30 May 2008

Steiner Waldorf Playgroup

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Every Wednesdays, I bring her to the Steiner/ Waldorf Playgroup I found a month ago. We have been here 3 times so far. This week was our third time. Katie, the facilitator was on leave and another person was to take over. Somehow, she could not be contacted. So there was no facilitator around. The class was only me, Chloe and a new dad with our 4 kids! And since Katie was not around, I took out my cameraphone and snapped a few photos of SW in the class. I had to do it quick and fast as not to annoy the other parents. (I also try not to photograph the other kids incase their parents throw a hissy fit!)

(There were some "clothes" and pegs hanging around which piqued Shean Wenn's interests)
(Trying to reach for the scissors - the adults can do some handiwork while the kids play)

As usual, she really enjoyed herself here and it's a pity that she still couldn't join the rest during "outdoor" playtime as there wasn't an area suitable for non-walkers. I did however manage to entertain her by leading her by her hands to "walk around" (she does that pretty well now). She can hold on one of my hands and walk about. We walked on a plank a few times... she even sat on a slide - there was this sweet little girl (Charlotte) who simply adores SW! She kept her entertained and even volunteered to put SW on her lap sliding down the slides! What an adorable little girl.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Milestone : Walking

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She is still cruising, but she cruises pretty well. Getting from one place to another very fast and effective with the assistance of furniture around. At best, she takes a few steps - slow steps, but defnitely taking steps independantly. Occasionally, she falls down, and sometimes without tears, she climbs back up and on her toes again.

Last week, I had an appointment in the city and the appointment involved some waiting time. (half hours, twice. Waste of my time, and it was near lunch time. HUNGER PANGS) Shean Wenn spent an hour sleeping in her stroller, oblivious to the hustle and bustle around her (it was a busy office). When she woke up, she was in a jolly mood.

Here is she using the stroller as a "Walker". I think it is time that we get her a proper walker. I had my eyes on a walker-cum-rider, at least to me, it gives more value because once they passed the "Walking" stage, they can use the walker as a vehicle and ride around the house.

I really like this Fisher Price Laugh and Learn, Walk and Drive "Car". But it's quite impossible to find it in the retail stores.

The other one is this, which is the FP Stride to Ride walker which I spied in Wollies selling for £20 (cheap, normal RSP is around £27.79-29.99).

Now, the difficult bit is actually convincing the hubs that we need this. He has lamented many times that our apartment is too small for another toy!

Spending time with daddy : Driving

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Part of the "Spending time with Daddy" series. Taken on 16 May 2008 (Sunny Spring day)

She is definitely the apple of his eyes. I was forbade to drive the precious car unless I get my British Driver's Licence. But that sunny morning, barely 11 months old, he happily led her on the driver's seat (albeit with some lap support) . She, in between giggles, manoeuvred the steering wheel as though she is driving in KL*. You then, wouldn't blame me for speculating what she would say to him 17 years from now (or whatever the legal age is for driving).

* Driving on the roads of KL - insider's joke. If you have visited KL, you would get it (and perhaps nod your head in agreement).

Sunday, 25 May 2008


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.. is being loved. And carried and bounced on daddy's shoulders.

Also, a happy Full-Moon to my beautiful new cousin, Patreeya Banluelap, born 25 April 2008.

(Patreeya enjoying her bath)

Shean Wenn
(ps : Mommy has taken alot of photos of me in the last couple of weeks but she has no inspiration to edit them. *sigh*)

Friday, 9 May 2008

10.5 Months Old

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Words recognition (expanded to now include the following):
1. "Twinkle twinkle little stars" (sing to the tune of "twinkle twinkle little star") - Shean Wenn will make the gesture of "twinkling stars" with both her hands and fingers when you sing her the song. VERY CUTE!

2. "Clap your hands" - usually she needs to be prompted by the song "Happy and you know it" to get her clapping happily. Sometimes I put on the CD with that song and she'll listen and wait till the part where they say "clap your hands" before she claps!

3. Duckie - I bought a bath time duck for her (not a rubber duck, but one with winding). When you wind the duck, the legs will kick thus creating some excitement in the bathtub for her. She likes to bite on its legs though(she is teething).

4. Elmo - We bought her a "tickle me Elmo" (Watch this video of it in action here - not my video, just something to show you) last year. When she was 4 months old, I showed it to her and she got scared of Elmo. NOW, now she laughs along, tries to pinch his nose, scratch his eyes, and always pushing him down (she's SO excited!). Once she even sat on him and he started laughing and she laughed along, wondering where did the laughter come from?! She loves watching Elmo laugh and she is happy to see him too.

Teeth : You can now see 2 incisors emerging from her gums (bottom). Slow and steady, these two!

Please, teething problems, away you go! Shooooooh!

As I was having my lunch, Shean Wenn was playing with her toys. Then she went into her playpen (I usually leave the gate open) and when she saw Elmo, she was so happy she started waving at him (I know I know.. she thinks Elmo is "real") and started to take a few steps towards it - 4 steps with NO SUPPORT! I am a proud mommy, me. 9th May is the day she took her first steps. Well i know she needs more time to practice before she can become truly independent in her steps, but this is a big milestone for her (me). **hugs self**

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Shean Wenn's first playgroup

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After searching for many months for a suitable one, I finally stumbled upon this parent & child group. And what a delight when I found it!

This particular playgroup is part of the "Children's Garden Early Years Centre" and is located within a university campus. The centre based their teaching on Waldorf Education. After reading up on them, I thought Shean Wenn would really benefit from this so I went for the first time today.

(At the waterfront - we had some spare time before the "class" starts)

The facilitator/teacher is Katie and she greeted both me and Shean Wenn at the entrance to "Maple Hut" (one of the 3 rooms of this children's centre) before telling me that she is planning to bake a cake for our meals later on!

(Infront of the children's centre : The wooden structure on the left-back is the building of the centre)

What I liked about Steiner Education (which the centre based its teaching/playing methods) :

>> This is a child-led, but structured play - with activities for the child aged 0-3 years old, and even for the parent!

>> Is based on an understanding of the relevance of the different phases of child development, split into 3 phases :

>> Sees artistic activity and the development of the imagination as integral to learning

>> Steiner Waldorf pedagogy believes that early childhood learning is largely experiential, imitative and sensory-based.The education emphasizes learning through practical activities.

The "structured play" programme mainly consists of the below :
"Free play" - kids play as they like, with the toys which are made of natural resources; ie made of wood, cloth or tins and they interact with kids around them if they so choose. The adults, in the meantime, contribute to the class by helping to "loose some wool" using two steel brushes putting the wool on one of them and brushing the two brushes against each other. It was fun, reminds me of "Kemahiran Hidup" (Living Skills - a subject taught in school) days. At one point during this time, Shean Wenn was chasing around (crawling) a boy who was pushing this wooden duck with flappy legs around the room. It was hilarious, she kept laughing because she is just so entertained by the duck.. and some of the moms were laughing at SW's antics saying she's just a cute baby.

(Riding on a wooden horse)
She was chasing a wooden duck similar to this one pulled along by a boy

Story time and "Circle time" - sit in a group while the teacher tells them a story while singing. We also did a dance around this pole (called "May Pole Dance" which is a traditional dance to celebrate the beginning of warmer weather or the arrival of summer) with ribbons. At around this time, the aroma of the yoghurt cake that is being baked in the oven filled the room. I was feeling hungry!


Cleaning up time & washing hands- Instead of gathering the kids by giving "commands" which I expected from a "teacher", Katie's way of initiating an activity is by singing (as they believe in setting an example to the impressionable kids) what the class will be doing next; ie "Let's wash our hands, come come come. Wash away the dirt with soap... " (something like that).

Meal time - The table has been set and we each take a seat on the little baby chairs. I put SW on a chair as well. This is an important activity as well because it is teaching the kids socialising at the table. The kids got served rice crackers, raisins (SW was not given some due to her age), the freshly baked cake (Yoghurt cake) and some diluted apple juice. The adults got to eat cakes and spiced tea. Halfway enjoying her rice cracker, SW fell asleep on my arms (so cute).

Outdoor time - For kids to venture outside and just "go wild"! They were given a sun hat (hot hot day) and before long, they were running everywhere - jumping on the sandpit, carrying watering cans and filling them with water before pouring it on some poor plants! :) They really enjoyed themselves, I can see. I sat down on a bench with some of the other moms and talked.

*Ps : All the while, whenever there is a new activity going on, the facilitator/teacher will sing a song to prompt the kids (or the parents) to start this new activity.

(The class runs for 2 hours and costs £4)

After the class
Shean Wenn was still asleep in her stroller. It was a beautiful day so I went for a stroll along the waterfront and around the campus. The university was having a "Mayfest" Day - there's a stage with some bands playing, students milling everywhere and having their lunches on the grassy areas overlooking the waterfront, there were some food stalls, some art exhibition going on. The whole place was buzzing with activity!

(Further reading on the Waldorf Education : I did find some critics on the Waldorf education on the www, and although it might be a real concern, I believe at this age I can still "control" SW's cognitive development whether or not this method is "extremist". Giving this the benefit of the doubt, perhaps some Steiner Waldorf education centres has really overdone its teaching methods, by being extremist in its approach. We shall see. See here for context from one of its critics)


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