Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How do children learn to read?

I recently bought the Ladybird Key words reading scheme books for Harvynna. As I was looking at it, I was wandering how children really learn to read. I know most kindergartens use Phonics nowadays and it is quite effective as they will also learn the right pronounciation.

I have been reading to Harvynna since she was very young and I realise that she memorizes the lines from the books. After reading a book a couple of times, she can actually 'read' the story. Somehow, I think either, she has memorised the story or linked the words to the pictures in the book.

The ladybird key words may actually get children to learn by sight the words as they emphasise on the frequently used words in the English Language. So, the more they are exposed to the words, the more they will know it. This is similar to using flahscards. But with flashcards, there are no distractions from pictures

I actually learnt to read using this method.

I will try to slowly introduce Harvynna to this method and see how she takes to it.

My baby is back

We fetched Harvynna from my parents place during the weekend. She was so excited to see us, flashing her pretty smile to us. Rowena, on the other hand did not seem to pleased. She actually looked upset when she saw Harvynna. She probably thought, 'there goes my attention and freedom'. It was quite funny actually as Harvynna was very happy to see her sister and kept carrying her and holding her hand.

Now, we are back to our routine and I no longer have a quiet drive everyday as she will be there asking her usual 101 questions. She seems more matured now (probably because I have not seen her for 3 weeks)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Just me and my gal

Since hubs was working on saturday, I took decided to take Rowena out. I havent really done that as Harvynna was around and was less adventurous since. I used to take Harvynna out alone and still do.

It was not too bad - we left the house a little after 10 and decided to go to Mid Valley since Mothercare was having a sale. It was quite good with discounts up to 50%. I bought the girls a few dresses since I just love Mothercare and their quality is good. But thanks to Rowena, I could not really shop much as she kept running outside the store - so I had one eye on her and one eye on the clothes. That's one of the reasons I dont like going to Mid Valley - fear of psychopaths lurking around as they place is just too huge. Luckily, the salesgirls there took some toys off the shelve and let Rowena play with them.

After that we just walked around and I realise that Rowena has become a real toddler. She will not sit in the stroller for long, after a while she will start fidgeting and arching her back (all the tantrum signs) and I have to let her out where she will RUN, and I mean really RUN. So that was the end of the shopping episode.

Later, we went to the play area at Jusco and she played on some of the rides including the carousal (mini one). She really had fun there.

Finally, I got tired and we had a bite at Dunkin Donuts where the grand finale was Rowena squashing the chocolate donut in her hand and all over her face. That was the sign that said, its time to go!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Best rehab Programme

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Finger painting no more

As mentioned in my earlier post, I was planning to do some finger painting with Rowena. So I prepared the stuff using pink food colouring and got all the newpapers laid out on the balcony (to avoid staining the furniture), stripped her to her diapers and we started our arts and crafts activity.

First of all, she looked at everything hesitantly and sat on in the hall (refused to sit in the balcony). So I dipped my hands in the tub of paint, she copied me but rubbed the paint all over her legs,then she decided to taste it.

Haha, she started the gagging thing where she goes buaaak, buaaak non stop. Everytime, I ask her to dip her hands into the tub,she will say buaaak. OK, I get the message.

Then I ask her to come sit with me, and she comes, and SITS on my lap with all the paint on her and she just stares at the paint.

I think it will be a long, long time before I try painting with her again. I did not take any pictures as i did not want to end up dipping my camera in paint!

Rowena with Uncle Jovan

Friday, July 20, 2007

All About Celebrities

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Finger painting

Since Harvynna is not around, I was looking around for ideas to entertain Rowena. Currently, she is happily walking around, dipping her hands into everything, pulling out all the toys and exploring them and 'reading' her books without having them grabbed by Harvynna.

Was thinking of doing some finger painting with her this weekend. I had a bad experience the last time I used Finger paint with Harvynna as it stained really badly and I had to get rid of the clothes she was wearing. I got the set of finger paints from Toys r us and was so disappointed. Later, I did not allow her to wear any clothes while painting! (just diapers)

I found some easy recipes to make finger paints which may be less lethal!

Easy Fingerpaint

2 cups white flour
2 cups cold water
food coloring


Put water into a large bowl. Slowly add the flour, while the children are stirring. Once it's all mixed together, divide into smaller bowls and add food coloring.

Be sure to have lots of heavy paper on hand for painting. These paint tend to be too wet for newsprint or regular paper.

Plus its safe if she sticks her fingers into her mouth too!

Musikgarten for toddlers

In my earlier post, I mentioned about sending Rowena for Musikgarten. PErsonally, I had a good experience with Musikgarten with Harvynna. Harvynna started Musikgarten at about 14-15 months. Initially, she used to just run around and do her own things, she would cry sometimes, or she will look at everyone. She put everything into her mouth including the bells, sticks and other props.
The first 2-3 sessions were quite bewildering to me, as I saw the other children participating actively while Harvynna was in her own world.

Slowly, she started to join in as she got used to the people and environment. Slowly, she started to enjoy the activities and picked up songs very fast. She learnt a lot of words and used to recall and recap what she learnt at home. We were lucky that her teacher was very good and did not really follow a structure but rather went with the flow. The children seemed to love her as she was very animated.

I think Musikgarten is effective provided the teacher is good. They have dances, songs, actions, musical instruments e.g. drums, jingles, bells and use simple props like scarves, balls, parachutes.Harvynna defintely benefited from the classes.

I brought Harvynna for a Yamaha Music trial class (for 3 year olds) in Bangsar but I found it very boring and structured. The teacher was so liveless and passive. Basically, everyone had to sit on the organ stool and was confined to a small room. I made up my mind immediately not to enrol her there.

I love Baby Gap

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

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Activities for Rowena

I am thinking of starting some group activities for Rowena, but havent quite decided on it yet. The options right now are Musikgarten, Gymboree and Kidsportz. I am also looking at other factors like the timing and location. The teacher is also important as a good teacher can make a lousy class very exciting and vice versa. Time to go exploring!

I signed up for PPP!

I started blogging about 2 years ago when my eldest daughter was 18 months old. The main intention was to share about her developments, antics and also a good opportunity to post pictures of her so friends and family can share the experience with me. It wasn’t until early this year that I decided to start blogging for money. As Payperpost puts it, ‘get paid for blogging about the things you love’.

I have made many new friends in the blogging community and most of them have signed up with Payperpost and have earned a good salary through this. They wake up early in the morning to check if there are any new opportunities available to them and quickly grab them. Their enthusiasm and eagerness is really remarkable. Some of the opportunities offered are issues really close to their hearts like shopping, education and movies.

I was truly amazed at how much you can earn just by writing a simple review. All you need is to have a blog. Sign up with Payperpost and blog about the things you love.The more you write, the more you can earn. How easy is that? Since the money earned will be sent through Paypal, I intend to spend them on Ebay and get loads of stuff for my girls.

It’s just great – everything can be done at my computer. I write with Payperpost, get paid, shop online and the stuff gets sent to me. Traffic jams and long queues are a thing of the past.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I miss Harvynna

pics taken on Fathers day in June at Victoria Station

Harvynna followed my parents back to Melaka last Wednesday, so its just me, Hubs and Rowena. The house is extremely quiet, not to mention the car rides every morning and evening. NOrmally, Harvynna will be chatting away, singing and entertaining me in the car. Now, the car is so quiet that I had to buy some new CDs to entertain myself.

The first few days were tough as Rowena used to cry her heart out in the car (I think she was missing the sister). But thanks to this new CDs I got, she keeps quiet and doses off within minutes. Hehe - its some oldies CD with the likes of The Platter, Ben E king etc. Either the songs totally bore her or it soothing to her ears.

Rowena is also sooooo clingy at home. The moment she does not see me, she cries and wails like nobody's business. Normally, when I put them to bed, she sleeps off within 20 minutes , but now she refuses to sleep. Even after she has closed her eyes, she can sense if I wake up and she willl wake up too. I have caught her peeking at me with just one eye open, they goes back to sleep (like reassuring herself I am still there)

Somehow I think, she knows that her sister is not there and does not know where she is. As such, she has a fear, that we might disappear too. So she really cries if she does not see us. Poor thing. I thought I can get a lot of things done since Harvynna is not here, but boy, was I wrong. That happy go lucky little baby has turned into a cry baby cling-on!!!

Harvynna seems to be having a good time, though, when I speak to her on the phone, she is so loving. She just says, 'mummy. mummy in the sweetest voice' The other day, She said 'mummy, I want to go home. Mummy, can you please come and take me home'. I told her I will pick her up during the weekend and she said,'no, I want to go now' and I felt really bad.

Anyway, to drown my sadness, I have gone on various shopping sprees to Mothercare, IKEA, Kids Oasis and Zara. hehe. As for daddy, if I ask him whether he misses Harvynna, he will say 'Who's that????'!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Splish Splash at Andalucia

This is a backdated post

We brought the girls for a swim at Brendan & Ameta's place. It was the last weekend before they move out to their new house at taman desa. Much nearer to us now.

The girls had so much fun in the baby pool. Harvynna kept jumping into the pool. The kids pool is nice as it is not too shallow, yet her feet can touch the floor. I think the arm floats are really great as it does not limit kids movements as compared to the ring float.

Baby Asha had her first swim and seemed to enjoy it as well.

It was a late night and the girls were so knackered. The only thing was Harvynna broke Brendan's favourite light in his study. Poor guy - he really loved that light, though Ameta and I find that light cheap and tacky!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cover My Travels

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Its my birthday!!

Yay! It's my birthday today. I am 3x years old!! Haha - you are only as old as you think you are. I had a new temp staff come in today and she said' ooh, so you will celebrate your birthday with your boyfriend today!' I was like 'huh'?

Probably go out for dinner with my hubby and have a teeny cake to cut with the girls! Harvynna told me she will give me barbie doll stickers. Last time, before the girls were born, Hubby will send flowers to the office, now hmmm...... All my colleagues were asking me, 'hey - no flowers this year ah!

It was kind of nice, my boss belanja lunch today, and some of my close friends at the office gave me chocolates with a card that had really sweet wordings. Best of all, I get to celebrate it with my 2 beautiful girls