Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Bento Making Reise On-Hold

I was so obsessed with bento art after I’ve got my bento making tools.

I can definitely improve my decorative skills, but only if IZ starts eating them! He was so fascinated by the shapes and patterns I made that he didn’t want to eat much, sad!

7th Sep'12: First trial for dinner - really difficult to get these smiley faces! I wish I had a pincer..
7th Sep'12 Fruits for desserts - IZ was reluctant to eat the butterfly strawberry
8th Sep'12: Tried to shape a hard-boiled egg, apparently the egg was not big enough to fill the mould
8th Sep'12: Breakfast without egg then, but IZ didn't want to eat the whole plate, just wanted to admire them, duhz!

8th Sep'12: 11 fine multi grain cooked with pumpkin served on smiling star!

9th Sep'12: Brown mixed plain rice with cod fish & ngoh hiang - unfortunately he didn't want to destroy the bunny
Until IZ is slightly bigger, eats while appreciating the efforts I put in to be artistic, I guess I have to put this project on-hold for the time being.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Baked Potato with Cheese & Ham! 16th Sep'12

I was inspired by the potato skin I had with friends on Friday evening at Tony Roma's that I wanted to do the same at home.

Tony Roma's Infamous Potato Skin!
The first trial, I tried to simulate the same, but the end product didn’t look nor taste anywhere near.
1st Trial
On Sunday, I wanted to try again, as we have Pamesan and Cheddar cheese, I thought I do not want them to turn mouldy without using again. I altered a little, but cutting the potato skinny instead.
 I tried to loop IZ in to help out. He enjoyed playing in the kitchen, I asked him to scoop the cheese onto the potato, he did very well for the first few pieces and gone crazy after.
IZ hard at work
Then I asked him to put chopped frozen ham onto them, he couldn’t help trying some of the ham. Hahahaha! Curious toddler!
The end result was much better, and yums!!
End product
PS: IZ likes raw cheese and ham, but not baked ones though!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Kitchen Lernen-Reise

Inspired by how IZ was fascinated by kitchen set at his playdate’s, I have been contemplating to get him a kitchen set. But most of the kitchen sets available in the market are in pink. In addition, they look pretty fake to me.
Playing with Keira's kitchen set
IZ was also fascinated by the kitchen set at Ikea, but no way would I buy such expensive toy, girly toy at that. I wouldn’t dream of IZ becoming a chef, but oh well, if he decided cooking is his passion, then so be it.
I also looked for pots and pans in Ikea, but find them too big and doesn’t make economical sense.
In the end, I’ve got a better idea. Why not try Daiso? Everything’s S$2 there!
Alas. I bought these for his kitchen set!
Lovely kitchen set I chose for IZ :-D
And I bought these to kick myself making some nice bentos for him. Hahaha.. at the back of my mind, I am so ambitious, imagining all kind of cute bento for him so he would enjoy meal time more. But thinking is easier than done. I’m horrified to think I have to wake up half hour earlier to make bento breakfast for him, and more so as I do not have creativity whatsoever running in my blood!
My bento tools!
Thus, I contemplated to start over the weekend. Hahaha! Ya, tons of excuses, isn’t it? Stay tuned for mum’s bento lernen-reise!

Science 101: 5th Sep'12

As I need to trial and err which are the activities suitable for IZ who has just turned 21 months, I thought of growing bean sprouts out of green bean. I’m sure he thinks nothing of the beans sitting on the cotton wool, but I would like to see his reaction when the beans start to sprout.
I’m not sure how long it’ll take though. Hahaha.. I shall walk through the experiment with him!
Day 1
Day 2

Day 3
Edited on 19th Sep'12:

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Transferring to soil!

1st Night in soil

Next morning! Amazing growth!

IZ's 1st Baking: 5th Sep'12

I downloaded an app on iPad called Donut Maker by Crazy Cats Inc. There are a few donut maker apps, the one we installed as below, for free:
Snapshot of the app in iTunes

IZ loves this app so much that he would make donuts each time he sees the iPad. I don’t really let iPad lying around much since he could say “pad”. Ya, unless when you wish to have that few moments of peace. Nevertheless, he would call out to you “mama mama” and try to get you involve in whatever app he is using, EVERYTIME without fail.
You get to drag the ingredients onto a plate and stir and move on to the next steps etc. I especially like the sound effect when an egg is placed on the plate, or butter splashed on the plate. Then you get to roll and mold the donuts and deep fry them to brown. Once you fried 6 donuts, you’ll get to go to the next step to decorate the donut with frosting, etc.
But then, imagine rolling using your pointer?! That’s exactly what my hubby said. It’s not a good app for IZ as he would think that rolling just need to use his pointer.
Rolling a dough using your pointer
And that’s when an idea came to mind. Perhaps I should make some real donuts so IZ can be “corrected”. So in the evening, after dinner, I pulled IZ (seated on his high chair) to the kitchen and started measuring the ingredients, mainly flour, sugar, butter, egg, baking powder, and salt.
IZ enjoyed the process very much, at the end of it, he put his messed hands onto his face and head. I didn’t think much of it, as I like to let him explore, but when I bathed him later, I saw his skin actually developed some red rashes, allergic to one of the ingredients I suspect. The rashes came and go fast though.
Kneading the dough
Rolling it flat
Tasting raw flour
Donut shape cut
In the end, the end product came out crispy but not as soft (coz I changed the multipurpose flour to plain flour – oh well, our multipurpose flour nearing expiry, and I saw some ugly black stuffs in them so I threw them away).
IZ loves donut so much he kept wanting more!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

IZ's Speech Reise: 6th Sep'12

He hasn't been very vocal compared to some other playdates, who are plus-minus half a month younger or older.

Latest addition to his vocab at 21 months: more, pour, cut, no, eight, egg, purple, bubble, book, put, zhuo (sit in Chinese).

Pretty much still one syllable word eh!

To recap: Words he could say at 19 months: yi, er, ba, mei you (don't have in Chinese) and ah, ber, ker sound of a, b and c, heart, frog, crab, clock, hua (flower in Chinese), bear, milk.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Random Lernen-Reise in Aug’12

On a separate note, I have completed phonics class with Jann on 14th Aug. Thankful she shared so much and now I know what’s all PHONICS is all about.
As IZ is too young to take on the lesson plan fully, Jann suggested that I do something else with him for the sake of exposure and keep the materials for when he is able to grasp more.
Below are some random things we've done this month:
11th Aug'12:

Playing bubbles in a bubble bath
Little Zoo Adventure

18th Aug'12
In Da Jiu's Art Class

25th Aug'12:

His favorite past time - scribbling!

Edited On 7th Sep'12:
16th Aug'12: His fave clocks
26th Aug'12: Art&Craft @ his playdate for Teachers' Day
The inside - his teachers were very happy
30th Aug'12: Art & Craft Night - Msia Flag as next day was Msia Independence Day

The Start of Our Art Lernen-Reise: 25th Aug'12

As IZ asks to draw every day, I am naturally inclined to send him to art class. Initially when I searched around, I found that at 20months, he is too young to attend any. The art schools I found are mainly for kids aged 3 years old and above. Disappointed, but I didn’t have a choice but to draw and paint at home. Once, we even had a paint date at home, Theme: National Day with his friends.
Painting Date @ Home on National Day 9th Aug'12

My friend, YJ managed to locate a few schools that take in kids as young as 20 months. We shortlisted 3; Artbug, Gymboree and Abrakadoodle.

The very first thing that caught my eyes was the video of kids in their classes. One of the kids were not wearing top, he was a mess, WITH PAINT! I love that! IZ would love it too! IZ would fall in the Babybug category. So I called to enquire more, willing to sacrifice to travel by Circle Line from our place to Bras Basah. The school is walking distance from Bras Basah.

Unfortunately, during the call to arrange for trial class, I got to know they are changing their syllabus in Sept. From an all art class, they are going to include song & movement, show & tell etc, leaving art a miserable small portion.
Thus, I decided to pass.
Location: Tanglin Mall or Vivocity (the best possible for us)
They have a class called Art I catered for kids from 18 to 24 months. IZ would fit perfectly in this. Upon reading more, I found out that they asked the kids to wear socks during the class. I immediately strike Gymboree out of my list. How to learn painting without getting yourself dirty?
This was my last choice as I didn’t find the locations convenient nor the fees are extremely cheap. Then, I found out we could take MRT to Botanic Gardens and cross a small road to their Bukit Timah branch at Cluny Court. It’s just 5 stops away from us. On 10th Aug, I wrote to them to ask for trial arrangement on 25th Aug, the Sat IZ doesn’t have music class. IZ will be going to Twoosy Doddlers.
Their reply was disappointing. They told me the date was 2.5 weeks away, which makes it difficult for them to tell me if we could go for trial. Oh well, I pushed my hope behind my mind.
Then, they wrote to me on the Wed and told me they made arrangement for us to attend trial class! Yippie! I confirmed immediately and asked what we should bring. Michelle replied that we do not have to bring anything but try to dress IZ in non-expensive clothes as the paint they’ll be using is special.
I was all excited for few days, and I told IZ on Fri that we were going to art class, he nodded his head. We took MRT from Serangoon, within 14 mins ride, we reached Botanic Gardens. It was our first time, so I took a picture of IZ.
Outside Botanic Gardens Station
I had difficulty finding the class at first, as I didn’t know where to head upstairs. I asked a Phil helper, she told me can cross Cold Storage and up using a lift or escalator.
Going to Bukit Timah, I half expected classy set-up etc. Indeed, the court was fully of “classy stuffs”. I found Abrakadoodle easily. It’s so nice from the outside! Saw many “ang moh” kids too.
Outside Abrakadoodle
The receptionist asked me to let IZ roam about to warm up. Oh my, that wasn’t a good idea, as IZ started to touch and take out all the Crayola stuffs they display for SALE. Gosh!
Warming up

At 10.15 sharp, we were asked to enter the classroom. IZ was given sanitiser and to take body temperature. But he started to cry, probably thought I would leave him there. Assuring him I would be with him, we sat on the floor together. I saw other kids were either wrapped up with an apron or an adult T-shirt. Damn, why didn’t I think of that? I dressed IZ in a Doraemon shirt that his grandma bought for him cheaply, from the market. :-(
The teacher (pardon me for I didn’t get the teacher’s name!) looks young, speaks with a faint accent and really engaging. She started with a greeting song, and then read a story about shapes from a story book. She invited the kids to join in, engage them to tell her about shapes, and what’s formed by combining different shapes together. And then she taught the kids on different types of brushes, ie. big, small, long and short brushes. She taught the kids how to dip them into the water and rinse, and dry them up on a piece of cloth and dip into paint and started painting. Then, the kids were supposed to cut the painting into shapes and then stick onto the frame. Some of them are meant to be pop-out.
When all are done and dry, it was show & tell time! Teacher says IZ should listen too. So, the kids who are very vocal, started talking about their masterpiece. I thought IZ would not be needed as he can’t talk much yet. But teacher engaged him to point to triangle and circle, and which shape he likes the most. I was impressed that IZ was not neglected coz he is not talking yet.
Teacher ended the class by a goodbye song, and throws a dog soft toy to each of them, ask them to catch. IZ stood there and let the dog fall. Hahahaha!
So, IZ got to learn about shapes, brushes, painting, cutting, putting glue, pasting, show&tell and catching!
Outside, the kids were given a stamp on their hand, and a packet of biscuit. IZ finished the biscuits immediately while I signed up for our artistic journey ahead!
Proud of his work
Close-up of his Elizabeth Murray Doodle
Given a free T-Shirt upon registration
PS: Unfortunately, IZ has to end his music adventure for the time being as the timing clashes with each other, and we found IZ is bored in music class as he knows most of the songs already. Only when teacher sang new song did he pay 100% attention. That’s the backfire of too diligent practice at home I guess.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

End of 6th Week in Playgroup - 3rd Aug'12

It is always encouraging to read the communication book on every Friday. IZ’s teacher sure has something nice to say (except the part about IZ needs to learn to keep one toy before bringing out another).
This was what his teacher had to say this week. I am glad he is friendly to his friends, but I hope he is not overdoing it to the extent he makes other people not comfortable.
Very comforting to know he is doing well, socially
I stumbled upon this Baby’s Day Out 2012 organised by NTUC online and decided to bring IZ for early exposure to National Day celebration. I am not interested in the goodies or the perks, but the idea of picnic in the open space, with Chinese Orchestra and also fireworks sounded like a wonderful idea. Oh, to top it off, we also made it in Singapore Book of Record, in realizing the biggest national flag with milk bottle. Below are some snapshots we took of the event.
Making a record
His 1st National Anthem
His first pledge
His 1st fireworks!