Category Archives: Parenting

List of things to get for School

Standard

When Arielle first started school, we bought her the nicest pencilbox she wanted, you know the ones that has a lot of buttons to press and some small compartments will open; it has a compass and a detachable pencil sharpener – cool stuff like that, which comes with the latest cartoon (no, not Frozen) and then we got nice 2B pencils, quality erasers and a nice fancy ruler. For her bag, we got her one with wheels at the back so she didn’t have to lug her heavy bag on her small shoulders. Her grandma bought her a Tupperware bottle. First child and first grandchild going off to school… everyone was excited and excited for her.

Just one week in, she’s lost all her pencils. Another week in, her eraser is gone and is replaced with one of her friend’s; her ruler as well. Meanwhile, her pencilbox is slowly missing its detachable pieces. Sighsss…. this isn’t the end tho. After we replenished her pencilbox with new stationaries, they lasted for nearly 2 weeks max.

When Ashton started school, he didn’t have as much fancy stuff as did Arielle; we just decided to be wiser 🙂 But, we still got him some quite expensive stationaries to use in school. We rationalized, since he has most of the time took better care of his own things and is better at keeping them in proper, that he would also bring this positive attitude with him to school… naturally.

How wrong we were… (#facepalm)
He turned out to be worse.

img_5932

his school shirt which he ‘accidentally spilled’ an opened marker pen on.

 

img_5933

his school track pants which ‘his friend used a scissor on’.

Should I also mention, he managed to use a whole bottle of glue in one day at school (must’ve had a massive collage session during art lesson), break his plastic ruler AND PENCILS! into small pieces just coz he can, tear pages from his school exercise books to make his very own ‘origami’ and lose bottles after bottles of water bottles he brings to school everyday. He also broke 2 of those schoolbag with wheels and is now with his 3rd schoolbag, which is a backpack (coz no more wheels for you!) and the school year isn’t even done yet. (inhales……… exhales) 

So, what have we learned?
Here’s my list of ‘smarter’ stuff to get for School.

  1. School Bags – we bought Arielle an ‘Astrokid‘ bag, one with wheels and is ergonomic for her back which lasted for nearly 3 years. I would recommend this bag, even though it is quite steep in price (retails for at least RM250) but if it means not having to keep buying new bags within a year itself, why not? Not so sure if Ashton was the one using it though…hmmm.
  2. Pencilboxes – we don’t buy them anymore… hahahaa…. we just use those free/gifted ones in whatever shape or colour they come in. Our friends were nice to provide them as gifts knowing that they’re attending school now.
  3. Stationaries – Mr DIY is our best friend. We buy erasers, pencils, rulers, sharpeners, glue etc in bulk and slowly, very slowly ration them to the kids when theirs’ run out. Sometimes I refuse though, esp when I just gave them a new one… the day before! Why is it so hard for them to be responsible for their own stuff?
  4. Water bottles – originally we bought those BPA free ones, and they had Tupperware/Rubbermaid/Bro’s as well. After many lost ones, we just went to get some from Mydin and kept a few in storage just in case. Or they use whatever that we have; bottles gifted from company/banks. Sorry, too bad!
  5. School attire – it is always wise to buy more than what they will wear, and keep for ‘just-in-cases’, especially their school shoes. We were fortunate to have extra ones for Ashton’s ‘accidents’.
  6. Hair accessories – if you have daughters, going to public school would require black, white or blue hair ties/clips/hairbands etc. and the stocks for these has to be infinite…. yes, infinity and beyond.

So…. (glass raised) here’s hoping we as parents become smarter together, and avoid having to waste precious time and resources, including raising more responsible kids. Cheers!

 

Teaching

Standard

I’m sitting here teaching Arielle Mathematics, and waiting for her to respond to me … simple maths like how much is left after $$ amount is spent – basically, it’s addition/subtraction. Since she’s taking a long long time to think, I thought I’d cool down a bit by writing down my thoughts and ask myself some questions:

  1. Why am I getting so agitated/frustrated?
  2. Why am I raising my voice?
  3. What does she learn in school when she can’t do a simple Q like RM1 – 0.45sen??
  4. Is it because I have not followed up with her close enough?
  5. Why do I feel like I’m gonna bleed through my ears, mouth and nose??
  6. Is this normal when teaching one’s own child?
  7. Should I be praying for more patience?
  8. Could it be due to the fact that I’m also trying to swat that one-single-super-annoying mosquito that’s been trying to feed on me with the batt-operated racquet under the table?

And guess what? I also happen to see this just this morning… what does it even mean?? no homework?

 

*hands up* Can we please shift to Finland, please? Lesser mosquitoes there too.

Update 29/Sept

Standard

Ash’s teething now at 11months; he gave us a REALLY REALLY hard time these past few days and nights. i checked and 2 teeth are coming out from the upper gum; must be so painful for him. we slept at 2am for 2 nights, but not before having to endure his loud crying and whining. it was really such a trying time for all of us; whatever we did was wrong – he just couldn’t stop crying. on Monday night, i didn’t know what else to do and i was tired, so i just let him lie on our bed and cry. there were no tears, just a lot of loud whining and tantrum throwing.

Thank God it was over yesterday (thanks to those who prayed), and today his fever was gone and his temperament was much much better. at the least, i didn’t have to carry him everywhere i went, which made it easier for work around the house.

Any of you know any effective home remedies other than teething gel to soothe the ‘gum-ache’? it got so bad that we ended up rubbing some DOM (brandy) on his gums, coz we heard that rum helps but we didn’t have any so… (shrugs) that was the next best thing. that was Sunday night, and on Monday night, I took a full shotglass of DOM, just to spike the milk (well, MY milk) but he was so caught up crying and whining that he didn’t take the bait. hahaha…

Bottle Feeding ~ Breast Feeding

Standard

Now that I have tried both, here’s my 2cents.

When I first had Arielle, my firstborn, my ideal plan to breastfeed her was shattered. Not only because she was admitted immediately after birth to NICU due to her having congenital pneumonia, I had a traumatic birth experience and my wounds were too painful for me to make frequent visits to the hospital. We got the wrong kind of breastpump (the one that looks like an old horn; Don’t Ever Get That!!) and the nurses in the hospital fed her with the bottle. When she got back home to us after 10days, she has gotten used to the bottle and didn’t want to latch on no matter how we tried. And believe me, how we really tried; just thinking about it now makes me wanna crack up with laughter!! (even though it was really serious matter then).

So, what to do… formula it is then for my dear firstborn and formula till she was 2 years old. We didn’t have much money then, and if you’re a parent, you will know that formulas can cost a FORTUNE! So we bought Dumex brand (they have a few in range) and we got the one closest to our monthly budget. I’m not sure if it’s due to the milk or the weather or because she has a history of pneumonia, but our dear girl got sick nearly every month. I don’t mean just the common flu; most times she’s on antibiotics and a few times she has to go on the ‘gas’ to clear her lungs.

With Bottle Feeding (BoF), we had to have hot water AND boiled water everywhere we went. Thus, we carried a big bag that contained one thermos flask of hot water, a Tupperware bottle for the boiled water, 2 empty milk bottles and a cannister for the formula with the exact measurement. This we lug to the malls, the playground, the church, etc EVERYWHERE and it prolly weighed like a tonne what with all the water we have to carry.

The biggest problem ever we faced for BoF, was when we travel. I’m not talking about travelling within Malaysia itself, because most sundry shops/hypermarkets/supermarkets carry all types of formula milk. Think further…

What happens if you run out of formula milk when you’re in an 18hr flight?

What happens when the milk you used to give your baby, is not sold at the place of destination that you travel to?

What happens if the water in the hot water flask has turned cold? How are you going to make the milk?

These are some of the things we had to consider every time we go out of the house. And because I was careless, we ran out of milk once – not in a flight but when we went travelling once (by car); it was a public holiday and everything was closed! We had to hunt for the only shop that was open in a totally strange and new place to get formula milk, it was strenuous and crazy. don’t even mention to me about GPS; it was one of the reasons we got crazy as well.

So, when Ashton came along 10months ago (btw, I’m still BrF him, woohoo!), I tried again to BrF and let me tell you… it wasn’t without a lot of tears and self-doubt and frustration. those 4weeks after his birth was one of the biggest trials in my life! At first it was a matter of latching on correctly so that he gets the right amount of milk and I don’t get sore, then it was trying to gauge how often he wants to feed and for how long. And then there was also the ultimate Question of all: Do I have milk??

He was crying and frustrated and so was I. Because I was new with BrF, I don’t know when it is time for him to feed after the last one, but when I waited till he got hungry, he was so impatient that he’s forgotten how to latch on. And because he’s not getting milk, he’d cry and cry and I would fumble and get distressed. This cycle went on for what seems like an eternity! One of the random ways I did to help him latch on was to make some formula milk in a cup and spoon him the milk, which I converted to using a syringe later on. This at least helps to calm him down because he’s drinking something. I could take the easy way and just shove the bottle in his mouth, but I didn’t want to risk him getting nipple confused. The other thing was not to wait until he was hungry, so I timed his feedings 2 hourly.

I’d say the biggest inconvenience of BrF would be nursing in public. But now that I have the nursing poncho, I do it everywhere I go whenever the need arises. 🙂 I got mine from here.

nursing poncho with Ashton inside

Compared to BoF, I only had to be mindful to bring the poncho in my bag whenever I go out. Of course there are also the diapers and wet wipes, but at least they’re not as heavy and bulky.

I relate BrF to the 3 P’s.

Patience – because it takes a longer time to feed the baby as compared to BoF.

Perseverance – when it gets tough like the first few weeks after birth, it’s easy to give in to BoF.

Pain – now that Ashton’s got teeth, it’s OUCH!! but most times, it’s my arms. 🙂

So which do I prefer? Needless to say, it’s Breastfeeding!! I’ve witnessed myself the benefits of it. How now can I not advocate it? For those of you mothers-to-be or a new mother… let me just encourage you. BrF is the best for baby and for you!

www.starfall.com

Standard

holding a pretend microphone, i interviewed Arielle.

‘What is your name?’

– My name is Arielle (she previously said ‘Arielle is Girl’ when asked in front of everyone in Children Church, hhahaa… don’t ask me why)

‘How old are you?’

– 3 years already.

‘What do you like?’

– Arielle likes Pumpkin!

Super cute when she’s being so nice and when Ash’s asleep.

there’s a meaning behind the ‘pumpkin’ she’s talking about. it has to do with www.starfall.com. this site was introduced to me by Annette when we were still in Bratislava.

it’s a children’s site for learning English, for ages 2 and above (i’m judging from my own daughter’s competency here) in a very fun and interactive way. there are games and activities to assist learning shapes, colours, the alphabets and phonics, which ultimately leads to reading.

what i like about it is it’s interactive, it has songs to attract my preschool daughter, it focuses on the phonics of every alphabet (even on every click!) and the lesson plans are very interesting. it teaches us the correct pronunciation of every word we use in English (no Manglish here la ya). what’s more? IT’S FREE!!!! it’s a free tool i get to use everyday to homeschool my preschooler. my daughter loves it so much she bugs me everyday for it! (her fav is the Pumpkin) 🙂

so, if you’re looking for a tool to teach your kids English – here’s a very good one; just get online!