Monday, May 31, 2010

Drawings....

Reese has started to draw faces and bodies... Check out the left top figure. It's Kevin the peahen like creature in UP. Can you see the sharp feature on the face? It's the beak! Then the bottom left is the figure of Russell (UP character) with balloons on his head... I drew the stick man but Reese added two sticks (walking sticks) and he claimed it was Mr. Frederickson from UP.

Here you can see a house (I drew it). Reese added balloons with smiley faces on them. Then he added extra steps (I drew the first 3 steps). Reese drew some blue lines on the windows claiming them to be rain and at the sides of the steps, you can see many lines... those were water flowing out of the house. Then Reese drew some flags on the roof and he drew Russell (furthest right).

He is getting better at drawing now and everyday you will see something new from him. :)




Cheeky Reese at 3 yrs 8 mths





He is now very cheeky and playful. He is friendly with others and will play with anyone who shows an interest in playing with him! One funny boy.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reese is cooking up a storm!

Yesterday I had a day off to rest my chest muscles. In the evening, as I was doing some ironing... Reese started to 'cook'. At first it was just pork noodles then he got creative and started to cook more food!...

Our conversation:

Reese: Mummy, this pork noodles is for you.
Mummy: Oh... thank you.
Reeese: (Busy scooping more legos into containers..) You(I) wanna cook bah kut teh mummy!
Mummy: Oh.. yummy...
Reese: Must add salt, tomato sauce....
-
-
Reese: now cooking 'wan tan mee'...
Reese: ...Chicken rice...
Reese: ...Spaghetti
Reese: ...Jelly...
Reese: ...'Ku low yok'
Reese: ...Fish and chips...
Reese: ...'Mee suah soup'...
Reese...Fishball noodles...
Reese:...mushroom soup...

All these cooking in 1 hour of playtime....hahahah... I really hope my son will grow up being able to cook! :)

video

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A sign of getting old?

What are the chances of one hurting oneself by mopping the floor? Very very low right? Unless one is above 60....

Well, as I was mopping the floor yesterday morning, I hurt myself by pulling some major muscles around the chest area! Ouch! It hurts so much that even breathing had to be done slowly. I was in so much pain yesterday. Every single movement hurts. Finally I had to go to the clinic to get some medication! Worse.... our planned weekend getaway has to be canceled. Grrrr....

Now I have to just stay home and nurse the injury. At least this morning I can breath at ease and even blog! Could it be age? Or I am simply overweight! mmmmm....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just being human...

How often do you react badly and your child got to bear the brunt of it? I am certainly not an angelic mom nor am I the most patient of all. Once in a while when I am stressed and my child did not behave too well I will get really angry and lash out at my poor son 2 to 3 times more than necessary. It's like I am releasing my anger on my poor child! I felt really bad afterwards but.... I am only human... does it sound familiar? Ha.. I sure hope it is...else I will be even more guilty!

I remembered when I was young, my mom did the same to me and my sister. I will always questioned why can't she take her anger else where! Why on us? I hated it very much. Sad to say... I am doing it to my own child. But seriously.... sometimes you just can't control it!

Just like yesterday evening, I was busy teaching and was all stressed up with some other issues and my dear son woke up and started whining over little things. Fine... I pacified him and gave him a piece of paper to draw. Earlier I drew 3 houses with tall chimneys for him to draw strings and balloons... he got angry and wanted only one house instead and demanded for some other stuff! mmm.... a little angry but it's ok.. he just woke up.. I told myself. Then it was dinner time, gave him his dinner and he refused to eat because I added vegetables. Gggggrrr.... I spent more than 1 hour earlier to prepare his dinner and now he was not happy with it... started throwing tantrum and wanted to play and didn't want to eat... That really put me off and I scolded him and force him to sit and eat his own dinner. Vegetable taken out already. One thing led to another..... I kept scolding him and threaten him with the thinking corner....bla...bla..bla.... My mom wanted to feed him and I told her off and everyone was like thinking what's the matter with me! After a good 1.5 hours... my son finished his food. I gave him a big hug and told him that he has to eat his dinner on his own and bla bla bla.... kissed him and kept telling him I love him so much. Thinking back I knew I was too harsh on the poor kid..... mmm...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What's your name?

Everywhere we go and whenever you ask my son his name.... he will tell you that he is Mr. Fredericsen. He will correct you if you call him Reese! He loves the old man from 'UP'. Why? I have no idea. He is just obsessed with it. Everyday he will take his house with balloons everywhere. Including going out for meals! He will draw nothing but balloons and Mr. Fredericsen's house. He will watch 'UP' on the Ipod and go to his favourite scenes repeatedly.

He does funny antics related to the movie 'UP'. He would talk alot about 'UP'. Daddy is sometimes Charles or Russell and mummy is Ellie. He loves to imitate things Mr. Fredericson did in the movie and it's funny watching him repeat line after line of what the old man said in the movie with complete facial expression.

When we built blocks/Lego... it must be Mr. Fredericson's house. Even the doll house is not spared! He remove all the furniture in the doll house to reenact the scene where the old man removed all his furniture in his house to enable the balloons to carry the house!

Even at school he will call himself Mr. Fredericsen. Everyone at school knows that. A child even asked me why is he calling himself Mr. Fredericsen? Oh well, at least he is not obsessed with Ultraman! I think I will faint then. Haha...

Monday, May 24, 2010

How to encourage creativity and learning....

As a parent who is learning and growing with my child, I sometimes don't know what is the best way to nurture my child in the most natural way and without being invasive. I want my child to discover new things on his own and thus able to be more creative! Creativity cannot be taught! I think our school system kills creativity. Even preschools and kindergartens are being very academic focused these days (So thankful that my son's school is not!). So sad. Children hardly play as much as what our grandparents and their parents used to.

My job is to teach young children and sometimes adults to read and write in English. At times I felt guilty selling to parents that children can read at a very young age! Even my son started reading at the age of 2.5 years old. Phhff! Ain't I contradicting myself? Well, not really. The way I teach... it's more like playing and having fun (for the very young). For my older students, homework from me is very rare. We also had a lot of fun in class. I believe in balance. Let the child learn at their own pace. Learning has to be fun and not a chore! Being a teacher, my job is to guide the child and when appropriate, I encourage and teach and never push(unless the child is truly lazy and a rebel).

So how to encourage creativity or learning? Provide the child with all the necessary tools and a conducive environment then encourage but never push or worse force! Show them examples of great work or better still, you demonstrate whatever you want to teach your child. Show them how much fun they can have and even if you are not good at it...it's ok... all you want to do is to show how much fun it is to learn or do a certain thing. Bottom line is to have fun and let the child explore all the possibilities as he learns. Do not belittle the child if he makes a mistake and in fact, our school system has make children afraid of making mistakes and thus in directly stunts creativity.

An example:

Reese has started to show interest in drawing, colouring and painting. So what do I do? Make sure I have all the necessary stationary like art block, lots of marker pens, colour pencils, tempera paint, an easel, tables in his playroom and also an extra table in the living room for him to do drawing. All within easy reach so that when he feels like drawing he can do so.

Then I started to draw his favourite things and show him once or twice what fun he can have with markers and the rest is history. I constantly think of what I can do to encourage him to try different methods of drawing and using different medium. A lot of mess sometimes but it's all worth it. He learns from mistakes and that is important. Children are not afraid of making mistakes and we should not make it a big deal when they do make a mistake or two, we need to encourage them that making mistake is ok and in fact it's part and parcel of the learning process.

Easel

Extra table in the living room

Markers!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Drawing and Colouring

I drew the picture and coloured the house and maybe a dozen of the balloons. Reese did the rest. He will colour 5 to 6 balloons a day and finally last weekend he completed all of them. He also added some additional balloons and fireworks (dots and lines you see around the house)



Watching a cartoon and drawing some 'excitement' from the cartoon this morning. He was babbling about a little girl doing something exciting. Not quite sure what was it.... was too busy writing this post. :)


Yesterday I drew another house on his request. This time he took charge of the art direction! He told me how he wanted the house and then he did the rest. He drew the strings and balloons and added curtains and a flag and some additional parts to the house. He did the colouring as well. Have yet to complete it but I am just so proud of him. He sure can colour well... no white spaces and almost never colour out of line. (I did not even teach all these things!) :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Good Morning Sweetheart....

Reese: Good Morning Sweetheart...... (spoke in a deliberately slow manner)
Mummy: *Shiok* Good morning sweetheart.... eerr... Reese are you saying that to mummy?
Reese: No! talking to balloons!
Mummy: *Disappointed* Mummy is sad now...
Reese: Good Morning Sweetheart (Looking at me now)
Mummy: Now you are talking to me?
Reese: Yes!
Reese: Good morning sweetheart.... (looking at the balloons again and grinning away..)
Mummy: *sigh*

That is my dear son. :) Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mummy? I want mummy love you (me).....

My little boy is getting very good at reading signs. The moment he detects anger in me, he will immediately asked me to love him and he will try to manja manja me.

I love it when he hugs me and hugs me like a bear! Most nights, he will ask me to hug him to sleep. He will guide my hand to hold his tummy area or at times, he will playfully climb on me to sleep or hug me with both his hand and leg.

I am waiting patiently for the day when he tells me that he loves me. :)

Whenever I can, I will carry my boy. I miss carrying him but these days... even hubby finds it difficult to carry him! He is soooooo heavy. So the only time now to be really close to him is during night time or nap time where I get to smell him and hug him snugly in my arms.

:) I love my only son so much.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Great Books, Great Value!

One of my favourite book store is located in Amcorp Mall in PJ. It is like a factory outlet for books at super cheap prices! I mean you pay about Rm35 for a novel and here you pay about RM17.90 for one. It's cheap and they also have books under RM10. They are all brand new but some do come with some printing errors or minor defects which is negligible. You do need some time to find some great reads as they have quite a variety. Last Sunday and yesterday we went to the bookshop and bought some books for Reese and myself. I paid close to RM200. If I were to go to MPH or Borders, my bill would have been doubled! The only thing is their children section is quite limited. The place is called Book Xcess. They are a floor above Popular Bookstore. I think on the 3rd floor. You can visit their website.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Teachers Day Cards


Opening up the boxes of sequins and stars deco

Reese has been blessed with 3 lovely teachers. They have been more than patient with him. I am glad the teachers found him adorable even though at times he did give them some hard times! Yesterday morning we made 3 teachers day cards for them. I did the planning and some simple drawings. Reese did the decoration and some colouring. We had a fun time doing them. It is Reese first in making greeting cards. :) Hope the teachers will like them. Can't wait to give it to them. Well, I think I am the one more excited. Hahaha...

Colouring the picture

Pasting the deco pieces


The finished product! Not bad huh? :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Einstein the Doodle Master in the Making....


Hard at work!

The last few weeks saw Reese's sudden interest in colouring and improvement in his pencil holding and also watching Einstein the Doodle Master on TVIQ had led him to start doodling on paper and now on the easel. Finally he produced his first master piece yesterday. He did a drawing of Mr. Frederickson's house with a roof and strings (for the balloons).

Yesterday most of his play time was spend doodling and colouring. My dear son has discovered a new activity! Yippie!

Check out some of his master pieces.


First master piece. Looks a little like Van Gogh's art right?
It's Mr. Frederickson's house with a chimney and lots of strings.



Saturday, May 15, 2010

Love Being an Idiot....

I love it when Reese genuinely laugh till he drools! It makes me feel so good that my son is happy. One of the best way to do so is when I am being an idiot in front of him! :) At his age, it's important we let him explore and have fun and most importantly we spent enough time with him. We love having silly plays. I enjoy watching daddy chasing Reese in Reese's baby bike and Reese will laugh and shouts non stop! Yesterday night while watching Thomas Cup finals (So disappointing) I played badminton with Reese using a toy guitar! That got Reese laughing like a horse....hehehe...

Just yesterday I was reading how important it is to play, play, play and read, read, read to your 3-4 year old child. Academic skills later please! (guilty because Reese started doing worksheets! but... school requires that..mmm... balance is the key.. )

I read about 'What should a 4 year old know?' by Alicia Bayer and I wanna share this with you.

She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time... She should know that it is always okay to paint the sky orange and give cats 6 legs... He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them... Read the article

Friday, May 14, 2010

Old Kiddie Classic Records on a Lazy Day

A few months ago I stumble upon this wonderful site with lots of old classic records of the golden age for children. I am a sucker for golden oldies. :) It's really nice for a change to those boring modern children songs and stories. These were recorded even before I was born. They were rich in sound and content and just have that magical touch to it.

When I am too lazy to read Reese a book or just wanna enjoy some quite moments, I will play these records on the laptop while surfing the net and Reese and I will listen to these wonderful songs and stories. At the same time, it helps improve Reese's listening skills.... :)

Hope you will enjoy them too with your kids! Tell me what you think?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Time for Work Sheets!

About a week ago, Reese's teacher told me that it was time that they be more firm with him in regards to joining group time and learning time in the class. For the past 4 months or so, Reese only joined these activities when he wanted to. The teachers allowed him to do so. So all he did was play and read and occasionally join in the activities (I am fine with it actually.. hehe).

So last Thursday they started to 'gently' force him to join group time. He cried and I was told since 2 days ago that now he is getting better and they can actually negotiate with him! Last night when I sent him to school, the moment I left him there the teacher called saying Reese was crying non-stop asking to go home! Wow! Never happened before but it stopped after five minutes. Mmmm.... must be all the changes lately. I hope he will get over this phase soon. It hurts to see him unhappy and cry.

Another area that the teachers want to work with him is learning time. The teachers at school will spend some individual time with each child when it comes to learning more academic stuff. Reese has been incorporative. Since last week, everyday after lunch at home I will spent 15 to 20 minutes with him doing worksheets. Explaining to him that he has to learn to do work with his teachers at school because he is a big boy! At first I thought I am going to fail getting him to do the worksheets but he surprised me by showing an interest in them! (Tried this several times over the months and failed) Now everyday we will spent 15 to 20 minutes doing literacy and math.

Every worksheet that I introduced to him, he is able to do without difficulty. He loves to do matching and circling exercises and dislike colouring. On average we do about 7 worksheets each session. When we do math, at his age it involves counting things and I realized that he can count things mentally without having to use his fingers up to about 4 and sometimes 5 items.

At school I was shown worksheets that he will be doing like for literacy. He needs to learn alphabets and their sounds and I had to tell the teacher that he already knew both upper and lower cases as well as the sound but I guess he still needs to go through the motion. In terms of learning academic stuff, Reese is really way ahead of his peers. For literacy he is actually doing Grade 1 materials except that he can't write. Math I am not so such but looking at the worksheets that he is doing with me at home, it seems easy for him except that he haven't been taught the number words and of course he can't write yet.

His grip of the pencil is almost 95% right. He has begin to write numbers. So hopefully he will also do alphabets. Reese is getting there. By the way, all without much forcing. I am not the crazy parent that makes an almost 4 year old to learn and learn and learn and no play. :) 99% of Reese's learning is through play and reading. He has always been an easy child to teach.

What about your kids? What challenges do you face when it comes to teaching?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Simpler Life....

Just the other day as I was watching the animated cartoon 'UP' with Reese, I was moved by scenes in the cartoon showing Carl(The old man) and Ellie got married, built their life together, lost a baby, moved on and enjoyed the little things in life, a simple life and they were happy. That got me thinking... simple is good. I thought back to my younger days when having a car is like a dream! Just being with my husband riding on his 'kap jai' (motorbike) and enjoying a very simple life felt so good. We didn't have much money then but we were happy and quite contented.

Looking at what we have now, we thank God for everything but it's no longer a simple life. We are blinded by material things and we want the best of everything that we can afford. We are constantly worry whether financially we are secure. There are many commitments financially. We are never contented with what we have now. In order to maintain our current lifestyle, we work harder though I am fortunate that my work allows me alot of time to be with Reese and at the same time making very good money.

Sometimes I felt so tired. All the commitments, constantly going after better things and etc... Once I asked a friend who is with her hubby in South Africa doing mission work how's life (they gave up their jobs and left) and she said it's good. Life is simpler and she smiled. I have been observing people around me and even strangers on how they live their life. The very rich sure is enjoying life but it's way too complicated and the average family just as happy but less complicated and easily contented. I want to be like Carl and Ellie in the cartoon 'UP'. I want to be happy and less materialistic. It's easy to say but hard to change and do it. I guess I am sucked too deep into this complicated world.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Learning to please to the point of lying?

My dear son was never the rebellious type. He may throw very bad tantrums at times but at the end of a session he will listen to us. I guess most kids at his age want things to be done to their liking right? Reese is no exception.

We find reverse psychology works very well with him. For example, if we ask him to finish his food before playing... he will ignore us and continue playing. Then I will just tell him it's ok. Don't need to eat. You be hungry and I will take away the plate of food. Immediately he will say something like... "Don't want to be hungry!" (whines or tantrum starts), "I want to eat!!!" (getting angry). See? it always works. :)

Then lately... he has learned to read signs of us not being happy with his actions! He will then try to do petty actions to please you! Not only that... sometimes just to get away from being nagged or scolded he will tell you he did something rather than not! Now that's lying right? I don't think Reese fully understand how lying works but sadly... I can see he is getting there....*sigh*

He is growing up fast isn't it? Sooner or later he will pick up bad stuff from others... Oh boy! teaching him is going to get tougher...... got to be prepared!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Life Skills

It's never too young to teach a child life skills. I grew up in a family where independence were taught very early in life. We do not have the luxury of a maid doing things for us and financially we were not able to have many luxuries. It is a blessing for me.

Living in a plural income society means less time for parents to spend with their kids. Having a maid seems to be a norm and to be without one is like nearly impossible. I had a maid for 3 years before she ran away last November. When we had a maid, everything will be done for Reese. Anything he needs, ask kakak to prepare. Pampered to the max!

Now 6 months down the road.... Reese is learning to be more independent. He is taught how to set the table before each meal. He has learned to keep his toys properly, helping out with simple chores (suitable for his age) and I believe if the maid is still around, he won't be doing any of the stuff I just mentioned. As he grows, I want to instill more positive values and life skills to prepare him for the real world!

Mother's Day

Started with some house chores (hubby wanted me to do nothing! but I can't bear to see him do all the house work... :)) and then 'tim sum' with my family.

Spent the afternoon lazing around, ironed a few pants for hubby, surfed the net, played with Reese and made some papaya/green tea drink for me and hubby!

Cooked pasta for dinner and everyone enjoyed it. All of us went into Reese's playroom and spent the rest of the evening there. Hubby played a game on Ipod, I played with Reese, did some drawings and later Lego building. Hubby ended joining us.

That was my Mother's Day. Simple and quiet. I am happy. :)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

4 posts in one night!

Phew.... done! I haven't blogged for a long time and suddenly tonight even though tired, decided to do some blog post about my precious boy and I did four! :)

Hopefully more to come.... more to come....

Will be blog hopping again! Been busy and lazy and not feeling very well too.

Toys.... No End?








Wish I was as lucky as Reese!

We as parents seem obsessed with buying toys for Reese. Almost every week we will buy something for him. I know, we are crazy and now we are trying to control ouselves... hehehe.

His play room is already full and there are still toys in the living room that simply can't fit in the playroom!




Tuesday, May 04, 2010

At 43 Months Old



It's been a while since I last update. Reese has been growing well.

Learning

He has been having pockets of problems at school. Mostly related to his tantrums when he doesn't get his ways or not following instructions. After a month of reminder, threats, rewards and lots of love, he was mostly good the past 2 weeks coming to 3 weeks now. :)

His teacher told me that he only learns when he wants to. He doesn't like sitting with the teacher and literarily learn! He just loves to play with whatever that he fancies. His teacher told me that he has a fantastic memory and when they thought he was busy playing and not listening to the lesson, he would later go to the teacher and questioned them about the lesson! :)

His memory is really something to shout about! Not being proud here. It's true. :)

He is also singing more in tune and picking up more Hokkien, Bahasa, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Creativity

I used to say that he doesn't play creatively. Well, I am so wrong. His imagination and creativity are fantastic. He likes to pretend to be different characters from his favourite cartoons and he will make props out of whatever he can get his hands on! Then he will role play with me or whoever that is around. We are constantly surprised by him.

Physical Skills

He is still very active. He can hop very well, shake his hips, climbs obstacles, kicks and the latest, we are teaching him how to do roller blading! No joke! :)

Emotional Skills

He is learning to control his tantrums and whining. He will feel sad or panic when mummy or daddy is hurt. Learning to share things with others. He always says 'I am so sorry' when he does something wrong or when he accidentally hurt someone. He has more control over his emotion now.

Personality

He is a very friendly boy. Everywhere we go, if there are children around, he will go play with them. He is not the shy type!
Reese has always been considered a good boy in the sense that we do not have to use the cane. He is controllable. He is always cheerful and happy. Only when you upset him will he get really mad and then the tantrums!
He can be a very cheeky boy too!

Food Intake

Good eater and less fussy. I am controlling his food intake and don't want him to be overweight. From baby till now, doctors claimed that he is overweight. He may not look overweight but he is damn heavy! Very very solid. He is about 21kgs.

Can't think of what else to update... :)

Training Reese to Use A Pencil


Reese was never interested in drawing or colouring. So I never bothered to do any of the related activities.

In fact, I have no idea how to teach him to hold a pencil (he is left-handed) let alone draw! Thank God for school, Reese has began to hold the pencil more correctly and has learned to not colour out of the line.

The past month, I started to draw things related to his favourite cartoons. One of those were balloons carrying a house from UP. Reese has always been fascinated with balloons since he was a baby. So I took advantage of that and tried to ask him to colour with magic colour. He actually did it and told me that he must not colour out of line! I was impressed. At times, he spent close to an hour colouring the balloons and he did a great job too, each balloon filled with colours and nothing out of the line.


First Art Project

My son was never an arts and crafts person. So after a few attempts, I gave up!

Today we did our first art project with me doing the planning, hubby helped out with the cutting and supervising Reese with the pasting. Reese did 90% of pasting. It was amazing. We were all satisfied with the end result. The only reason he was willing to do this was because of his love with the UP cartoon.

He loves Mr. Fredrickson and Russell but most of all the balloons that carried the house. For the past two months or so, he has been imagining balloons carrying Mr. Fredrickson's house all over the place. Recently, he uses one of the toy rescue station as Mr. Fredrickson's house and for the balloons, he uses pegs and some deflated balloons!! He will go around the house pretending the balloons (pegs) are taking the house (rescue station) high up in the sky.


His pretend Mr. Fredrickson's house

So after dinner at about 8.30pm today, I decided to do an art project with Reese. From planning to completing the balloons and replace the pegs with them, it took about one and half hour.


Daddy supervising the pasting

The balloons that was completed with the drawing I did this morning

Quite similar right?

Replacing the pegs with the balloons

Reese enjoying his new balloons on Mr. Fredrickson's house!


Mission accomplished.
Next post will talk about his colouring skill.