Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Conversations : Take 2

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Continuation of their conversations over lunch. This time, I realised my camera was set to "colour accent" (Yellow), which you may have noticed that other colours seemed a little off-colour in the previous video. Here they talk about more random stuff!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Conversations between pre-schoolers

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Shean Wenn had a friend, Kaye, over for playdate few weeks ago and I took this video of them over lunch. Kaye is 7 months younger than Shean Wenn and both of them such chatterboxes! Here, they talk about Birthdays, scooters and more.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Can't wait to grow up

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I remember when I was a child, I thought to myself, how nice if I am 10 now. And when I was 10, I thought how nice it would be if I'm 16. And when I was 16, I can't wait to be an adult and go to work (so I don't have to study). And when you finally become an adult, you wish you were a kid again! Such is the irony of life.

And I now see this in SW as well, she likes to do "pretend play" and once, Anna (who is the co-ordinator of the playgroup and also has 2 kids going to the same kindy as SW) told me that she saw SW & her girl-friends playing in their kindy classroom stuffing dolls in their shirts and being a "mummy"! We had a good laugh about it. They know about "the bun in the oven" because there are a few mummies at kindy who were/are pregnant.

Then few nights ago, as I was preparing to go to bed, I went into the room to have a peek at her. I saw her fast asleep..... with her dolls (Makka-paka & Iggle-piggle) stuffed in her shirt! She must have been pretending before she went to sleep and fell asleep without taking them out. I roared with laughter and summoned Meng to have a look. She cracks us up!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Grateful (SW : Through the eyes of others)

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There are many things that I am grateful for in my life but the one i am most grateful for, is having the chance to see Shean Wenn grow & to mould her.

Since she started kindergarten, I have been able to witness her character blossom and got to know her better, not through my eyes, but through the eyes of her teachers, her peers and some of the other parents (her friends' parents). I am always earnest to hear about her days from her account but what really made my days are the days when her teachers or some of the parents coming up to me to tell me certain things that Shean Wenn has done in kindy. For example, just the other day, D - a mom to a younger girl whom we knew from playgroup (her daughter goes to the other class in kindy, not the same class as SW) told me with a twinkle in her eyes how one morning, Shean Wenn came running up to her smiling and saying "I really love your dress, it looks very good on you!". She said it totally made her day.

(Shean Wenn with her friends at the farm)

Anna, who was a parent from playgroup but has now become the co-ordinator of the playgroup constantly tells me how SW would always greet her & chat with her in the mornings when Anna comes in to set up her playgroup. She says the things SW says shows great understanding of things and SW is always smiley & positive. Anna says SW makes her laugh all the time.

I think it's small gestures like that about Shean Wenn that people notice. And I'm so grateful she seems to be a kind child, which was the reason I chose the name "Shan"/Shean (which means Kind in mandarin) for her.

Before I go on further (rather smugly), I must say i'm recording this down not just for posterity sake and definitely not being smug, afterall I can't give myself a pat in the back - she's not even a teenager or an adult yet, I'm recording this down because I feel grateful. Good parenting is crucial to a child's development but I also know I'm probably lucky to have such an "easy"(going) child. She is independent around the home, and would be able to find things to entertain herself with, she loves reading and drawing & writing but she also loves the outdoors.

Sometimes when I send her off at kindy or while picking her up, her peers would come up to me and say things like, "Shean Wenn's mommy.... today Shean Wenn made me a card!"

There were wonderful stories I heard from her teachers, and they all made me feel like I was part of her life in kindy. The Steiner Kindy also has a folder of each child, individually made of the things she did in school, some photos to show us their activities, it is like a visual progress report. I brought it home last week to show Meng. I really loved watching her grow, through the eyes of others. I'm grateful I can "see" her, from another perspective because often, as a stay-at-home-mom, we get so stressed with everyday life that we overlook the kinder things in our child, the positive character that they have. Sometimes it all gets lost in cleaning up, the shouting when she spilled her apple juice, then knocking off the sushi box with all the contents strewn across the newly-vacuumed & newly-mopped floor..
Here is a peek at her folder :
(I love how she uses leaves to stick to her artwork. Her teacher, who happens to be a prolific illustrator herself, tells me SW is very artistic as she always comes up with her own style, for example, she "developed" leaf rubbing (using crayon to colour the leaves and transferring that to paper by rubbing the leaf on the paper!)) Fascinating!
I noticed the teacher wrote down Meng's name on the paper, they don't know his name and rarely writes this so I figured SW must've told her teacher how so spell Meng's name. I'm always amazed at a child's memory. Her teacher told me that day, she just decided to clean the class and took a cloth, wet it and went around cleaning every nook & corner. Hahaha..

(Above)These 2 photos are contributed by me. They asked the parents to capture some of their lives at home.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Royal Wedding Weekend : Day 1 - Bournemouth

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We took the opportunity to get away to one of Britain's Award Winning Beaches, spending the Royal Wedding Weekend in the south at one of the award winning beaches in UK (sandy, not pebbly), my pale limbs needed some colours on them too. Watched the Royal Wedding on telly in the hotel room 12 hours after it happened, on a 12-inch tv.

Spent quality time with the daughter & husband and put on weight from eating too much. Bliss!

Enjoy the photos!

Interior of the hotel :
I chose this place because it has an indoor swimming pool, a soft-play area for kids, and an outdoor playground. The pool would be good in case the weather turned wet and we find ourselves cooped up at the hotel, also the soft play area proved to be a good idea too, as SW loves playing there in the evenings after our swimming sessions. We used the indoor pool everyday eventhough the pool was too deep for her (1.4M pool) and it was nice to swim after our daily beach-sessions.
Exterior : The hotel is located just 2-minutes' walk from the Boscombe Pier (one of the stretch of the seven-mile of award-winning beach in Bournemouth).
(Outdoor pool)

** Our Royal Wedding Weekend will continue in another post.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Celebrating May Pole

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They made some head-decoration and a small version of the May Pole for this year's May Pole celebration. (I wrote once about it 3 years ago)
(You like the jumpsuit I just got for her? I thought it looks so cute on her!)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Ofsted Party : 24 Mar 2011

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To celebrate the kindergarten's excellent Ofsted inspection results, they had a party on Thur 24 Mar. They received an "Outstanding" report and most of the parents were not surprised, as we felt the kindy has always been a great place for the kids to flourish under the guidance & care of the Steiner teachers. It was a meaningful event to show appreciation for the teacher's dedication & hardwork, and we were happy to be there to be part of it. I baked my orange chiffon cake (which received a surprising praise from a mom - she mentioned to her other friends that this cake at first looked like a "bread" but when she ate it, it is really soft & tasty! I was beaming!)
(Orange Chiffon Cake, made using Angel Cake Pan given to me by Angel - Yes, that's her name! TQ very much Angel!)
Earlier on in the morning, we went out to get some roses for the teachers. It was Shean Wenn's idea - she had been asking me if she could give her teachers flowers for a long time, so I thought this would be a good occasion to do so. We then went home & wrapped them up in bright colourful "Origami" papers I had bought the week before. So useful and made the flower-bouquet so cheerful!
There was a room prepared by the teachers for exhibition of the children's work & various projects that the kindergarten has done. I quickly spotted some cute artwork from the kids below the counter. In each of the kindergarten's room, there is this section (as shown below) which is like a pantry. They use it to bake, or prepare some of the kids' meal (cutting and some simple cooking). Everytime when the teachers bake, the aroma fills the air and I LOVE this! Can you spot Shean Wenn's artwork?? Here it is! This must be her "body-less portraits" phase. She now draws people with a body, limbs (and fingers) and hair.
The whole time, the kids were having a grand time playing in their playground!
Chalk-drawing on the pavement! I love how they have free-reign to express themselves. A few times when I came to pick her up from kindy and get a nice surprise as I stepped into the school - I can't help but admire the chalk-artwork the kids/teachers have done on the pavement. Very cute!
In one of the rooms, they have a wooden horse which the kids love to go on.
I took a couple of photos of the Easter decoration (which was celebrated 2 week later) in the kindy. The below must be an "Easter tree" handmade by the teachers, branches being picked form the garden, flowers were made by paper and possibly stuck together with the kids and on it, are hung the kid's handiwork : Clay in some Easter shapes. I spotted Shean Wenn's piece, which is a pink bunny!
We went home 2 hours later well-fed and happy!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Little Miss Chatterbox

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My little 3 and a half year-old is full of opinions and is always willing to share them with anyone who wants to listen. We had just returned home from a fun-filled day out - it was the Easter Fare held by her kindy in the morning followed by lunch and scootering in CW malls.

Here, she talks about friends in school, days of the week and butterflies!

More of the "Little Miss" Series here.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Thank you!

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Last month, I submitted a photo for netmum's foodie competition ending 31 Mar. I received an e-mail on Fri that I was one of the runners-up. The prize being a "Feeding Kids" netmum's recipe book but the organisers have kindly given us a £15 Amazon gift voucher (to get the book) instead. The book has sold out on Amazon for now so Celine (from netmums) told me I could wait until they re-stock it or get something else.

Her photo looks familiar? That's because it's from this post. (Yes, taken 2 years ago!)

I love her expression when devouring that fish cake, it looks as though it was REALLY delicious! (Hey, it WAS!)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Cantonese class : Chinese writing

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Saturdays are busy days for little Shean Wenn. She starts her morning with ballet class at 9am for 35minutes, before a mad dash for us going to the another side of London for her Cantonese Class (not Mandarin). She enjoys her ballet class very much but the same cannot be said about the chinese class. Sometimes, she would cry in the beginning of the class and I can see that she was not very enthusiastic about it at all.

When we first started the class, I told her that she will be going for a Chinese Playgroup. And due to the education system in the UK, a child is not required to sit down & read/write until they are 5-years old (according to the early years education system) so when I said "playgroup", her natural perception was a FUN class where she is allowed to play/jump/sing/tumble-about! So when she attended the chinese class, it was a shock to her to have to sit down quietly for a full hour (60mins) listening to the teacher and writing /doing homework. They break for 20mins for food & drinks before commencing the class again with some games or singing. She is getting used to this class and style now.

After much coaxing & prepping, she no longer finds this class a chore. She is more enthusiastic about her Chinese Class and even chirps to me out of the blue sometimes : "I'm going to practice my Chinese (writing), mummy, because I'm a Chinese!". Ahh.. a good sign, isn't it?

So, since starting her weekly 2-hourly CANTONESE class less than 3 months ago, she has been learning to write come basic Chinese words. Here, she is practicing a few words (chinese Han Yu Pin Yin followed by the meaning in English in brackets) :

Yue (Moon)
Ri (Sun)
Da (Big)
Xiao (Small)
Shan (mountain)
Li (Strong)
Dao (Knife)
Mu (Wood)

And numbers :
4, 5, 6 & 7

Friday, 25 March 2011

"Look, I'm so strong!" Rawrrr

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Donned in her safety helmet, knee pads (she calls them "knee knee pad") & elbow pads, she strikes a pose while shouting for my attention "Mummy! Look at me.. Look at me, I'm so STRONG.. "

Yes, we bought our clumsy tot the pack for her scooter riding because well, she is learning and we reckon she may have a few tumbles here & there. The moment she put the gears on, she strike out this pose. I thought it was hilarious - just look at how serious she is, trying to look "strong" & tough. Oh boy, I wouldn't mess with her if I see that face in the playground.

On the other hand, she really is our brave girl. Two weeks ago, she ran a fever for 4 nights and I was pretty worried so brought her to see the GP 2nd time and she advised me to bring her for a blood test - which I did in the same afternoon. We took a cab to the hospital and they had to give her an anaesthetic cream to apply, then wait for 55mins before going back to them to do the blood test. After the test, the kind nurse (a kind middle-aged man who took her blood, he looks like santa claus) gave her a plaster and then with a pen, he started to draw a funny face on it. That made SW laughed! (Oh, I love how she laughs) She was brave throughout the ordeal although she did complain to the nurse that she was afraid of needles, to which the man said "Oh no.. no needles, only butterflies!" And he took out this needle drawing equipment which looked like a butterfly with 2 yellow wings. Bless him. He is great with my child (and i'm sure many kids). It was a stress-free & pleasant blood test at the Newham Hospital.

(She is fine now, the fever went on for 5 nights in total)

Here she is at home.

Spring has sprung!

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It seems Spring this year came early. We have been enjoying sunshine with mild temperature for about 2 weeks now. Here is Shean Wenn's version of a Spring!
Shean Wenn's drawing of what seems like a Spring day, Sun is out and all the insects are out too : the butterflies, spiders and even a tortoise (in red, next to the red butterfly on the bottom left).

I've also been waiting for Spring for a long time, because I was planning to photograph all the British Wildflower (they start to flower in Jan, infact). Snowdrops were seen in early Feb and daffodils started to blossom late Feb. Right now, I see some daffodils have wilted. But luckily my trusty camera & I managed to captured some beautiful daffodils in the park last weekend.
It was a Saturday, and she was really tired out so slept in the car while on our way to the park. We decided to just chill in the cafe while she get some good rest. Saturdays are particularly busy for her as she starts her morning with half an hour of ballet (9am) before rushing off for a 2-hour Cantonese class (they break for 20mins at 11am).
(Comfortably sleeping in daddy's embrace)
We quietly sipped tea and watched the world around us go by.. then when SW woke up, she went for a scooter ride around the park.

Who can resist a taking a photo of a field of daffodils??! SW plucked 3 daffodils before I stopped her, cautioning her not to pluck so many incase we get caught. Yes, I read an online newspaper about a young family who were given a warning for doing just that. Their little boy (or was it girl) was plucking daffodils in the park when spotted by a council member who promptly called the police, she was given a stern warning saying that her parents may go to jail for it. Obviously the toddler is very upset from the incident.

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