Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dancing and singing queen!!

I had this captured on last Wednesday, but was too busy with the preparation with Dad's ordination that I found no time to post about it. Finally, now I'm sitting in front of my computer doing this post.



No words or phrases could best describe this funny clip of Grace singing and dancing. Let the video clip says for itself. Enjoy!

video

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Puzzles for the little one

Grace has a number of puzzles which some of them are still too advance for her. There's this Bible Puzzles, which I saw from Christianbook.com, which contains 3 double sided puzzles with 12, 24 and 36 pieces respectively. Though this is too advance for her, I will put the puzzles together myself, in front of her and then teach her on the bible stories that the pictures depict.



Other than the bible puzzle, we have 2 early Puzzles set which we redeemed using our Bonuslink points. Each of this set has 4 puzzles ranging from 3 pieces to 6 pieces. Earlier on when I obtained the puzzle, I would put it together for Grace and tell her stories of the picture. This:



About 3 weeks ago, I started to teach Grace to put together the 3-piece puzzle which assemble to a fish. Initially, Grace would just bring me the pieces randomly and asked me to put the puzzle together. When I ask her to put it together herself, she would need my help to bring her the correct piece.



We abandoned the puzzle activity for about 2 weeks cause I was so busy with the Church Children Holiday camp. Today, Grace saw the puzzle in her cupboard and requested to play with it. I took the 3 pieces out and shuffle it. Then to my surprised, she could put it all together, needing some help in securing the joints. What a great pace children are learning at!

I will start to teach her another 3-piece puzzle which assembles to a car next.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

THANK YOU, HUBBY!!!

Our church Children Holiday Camp had just ended yesterday night. It was a great time with the kids there. Though tiring (I had been sleeping over 2am in the past few days too), but joyful to see so many children learning together. I am especially glad and proud of my group of dancers, 5 girls (one 7-year-old girl, three 8-year-old girls and one 10-year-old girl). All of them did a good job yesterday night in performing the dance, though they only have 3 days (not full day) to learn and practice. I taught them the Hi-5 T.E.A.M song dance and it was a great success!

While I was busy with the teaching and things, I was so glad that I have hubby and my mom to help with looking after Grace. Grace is still too young to join in the fun in the camp, and we are also afraid that she might get knocked down by the kids accidentally. On Thursday, my mom followed me to church and looked after Grace through out the time there. Thanks mom!

On Friday, hubby took the day off just to look after Grace. I leave home earlier in the morning with mother in law to the camp, while Grace and hubby stayed on at home. They only joined us later.

Friday night I slept at 3am as I was rushing with the video clip editing for the graduation night. So it was a little hard to get up on Saturday morning. Hubby was so good in bringing Grace our for breakfast while I continue to sleep. Later I was still busy with completing the video clip and hubby continued to look after Grace. Our camp starts at 4pm and hubby also continue to look after Grace at home while mom (in law) and I headed to church. They joined us later in the evening for the graduation night.

All in all, I am glad that Grace can now be away from me for longer duration. And after these days, the bond between father and daughter has grown a lot!

Great job done, hubby and Grace way to go!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

No more a super glue!

Grace use to stick to me and/or hubby like super glue whenever she's surrounded by strangers or even those she knew from church. So every time when we are in church, either one of us would need to look after her while another one of us go on with our church service.

When Grace was younger, we tried to let her join the children worship (which runs concurrently with the Sunday service). Although she likes to be around other children, she can't sit down quietly. For fear of disturbing the other kids, we postpone the thought and let her play in another room.

Until the last Sunday (not yesterday, it was the week before, August 10th). That Sunday I was serving as a pianist during the Sunday service while hubby is involved in a choir and testimony. As both of us were tied up, there's no one to take care of Grace. I have a god-daughter Joan, whom willingly help to take care of Grace for us that day.

Joan together with her mom, Chai Luan, whom so happens was the teacher for the children worship that day, lead Grace into the class. And...to our surprised, she went through the whole class without any major problem. Half way through the class, Chai Luan help bring in milk (Grace is now mixing between breast milk and formula milk) for her.

Later on after the Sunday service, I checked with Chai Luan on Grace performance in the class. She told me that Grace joined in the singing by clapping, while sitting quietly during the story telling. Now there's this 2 sisters in the class whom like so much to take off their shoes. Grace did make noise wanting to take off her shoes, but the teachers manage to attract her with something else while not taking off her shoes.

It seems to us that Grace is beginning to learn to be independent.

Yesterday, I had plans to let Grace join the children worship too, but before I could do that, Grace demand on playing on some board games. Knowing Grace, I hold on to sending her into the class for fear that she will protest. While she's playing with her game, I asked her if she wants to join the "哥哥,姐姐" (means brothers and sisters) in the class. To my surprise, she node and says "收" (keep/tidy up the game). So I sent her into the class. Everything was going smoothly until a little girl suddenly cried during the class. Grace was frightened and thus asked for me. So we have to send her to another room. Overall, I think Grace is ready for classes like that.

Grace further showed her independence through out the day. As the children camp is coming up this Thursday, we were busy preparing for it (learning the dance, songs, final meeting and arrangement) after Sunday service. Moses was not around as he went to my dad's church for rehearsal on dad's church 50th anniversary and ordination service (Moses will be the chairman that day). Even so, I still gets to do all my things without Grace screaming away. How's that so? Many of those not involve in the camp help to look after Grace. Not forgetting to mention that, Grace don't even asked to be breastfed until when we were at home at 4pm. (Grace had milk and porridge).

"Grace, good progress! Keep it up!"

Busy weeks....

My church will be holding a Children Holiday Camp this coming Thursday to Saturday. It's a 40 person kind of day camp for kids in the age group ranging from 4 to 11; although we do have a few whom are only 3 years old. I have always been involved in children ministry, so there's no exception this time.

Though the camp won't be starting until this coming Thursday, we have had several meetings months ago, and I have been busy with tasks weeks before.

Some introduction on the camp. This camp is a place where we will teach these kids Bible stories, most importantly the gospel. Other than story telling, there are off course lots of singing, game and crafts! Besides, we are also holding a graduation night on Saturday for the parents to come join in the fun. Thus, there are needs to teach these kids to perform every kind of performance for their parents. There will be singing (with action), mini sketch, dancing, instruments and many more. Beside the performance, this will also be a night to recognise the children's effort during the camp. There will be prize giving as well for the Role Model and Craft competition. And because this is a camp for children, we will be giving out attendance gift for all who attended the 3-day camp. Not to forget the graduation certificate!
Well...why then am I so busy?? Earlier weeks, I was searching high and low (well sort of) in the Internet for crafts that suit the different age group that we have in the camp. Then last week I was busy with the preparation of the presents.

For the attendance gift we had been giving things like pencils, toothbrush, glue, other stationery in the past. As I was thinking of what to give this year, it came to me that though we had been taking group photo during the camp, we had never distribute it to the kids! So, I suggested that we distribute the photo to the kids, but just that? Nope, distribute the photo in a DIY photo frame.

I went out with Grace on last Monday to get all the stuff. Craft foam, glue, card stock and glitter pen. Then on Monday night itself, I started off to work on the photo frames. With Grace around, I can only do limited things in the day. Though I have my mother in law to look after Grace for short intervals during the day.

So for almost every night last week, I engaged myself in cutting, designing and putting the frame together. I had to do it after putting Grace to bed. It was like 10pm at night. Thus, I had to "burn the midnight oil" to get all these done. Had been consistently sleeping at 2am every night, from Monday to Saturday. How many am I making? 42 pieces. I guess, if I wanna do all these, I will just have to sacrifice some of my sleeping time as well as blogging time! Another lesson on sacrifice.

After so many nights of hard work, I finally finished off the last bit yesterday night.

Here's some of my favourites and my "working station".
<-----my working station----->
<--every frame is unique,my favourites->

This coming week, I will be busy preparing for the story telling and the camp itself!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Swimming, swimming, swimming!!!

Well, swimming is one of the usual activity that we will have twice a week. Grace loves swimming a lot. In fact, you cannot mention "游泳" (swimming) when you don't want to go swimming. Else, Grace will be jumping around asking to go swimming.

Every time when I ask, "Do you want to go swimming?", Grace will node her head over and over again, then she will be super happy. Nowadays, she will say "yiyong" (swimming in chinese is "you yong", so she pronounced it as "yiyong"). Once she gets changed into her swimsuit, she will happily wave to her grandma saying goodbye.

Today we when swimming and we also did 9 turn on the water slide. I could still remember the very first time when I introduced the water slide to Grace. It was like 2 months ago (I think).

Back then Grace immediately shook her head after one try on the slide. Then the next time, she requested it herself. And from then on, she was in love with the water slide.

You see, the place where I live is already like 12-13 years old. So the water slide is a little old. Plus, sometimes the water on the slide was not on the full run.

On Grace's second try, only one side of the water was running. Imagine slit down a water slide with limited water. Huh.......I need to push us down with my both hands! With the weight that I am in, argh......it was hard work. And this Grace asked for it over and over and over again.

Luckily the water is running at maximum level now. Else, I will have muscles in my arm!

Once we reach the end of the slide and into the pool, Grace will node her head , signaling to me that she wants another go. She's really in love with the water slide!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Watching Olympics

I was surprised to see that Grace loves watching sport events. These few days we had been watching live Olympic games and Grace joined in the fun and cheering. She is attracted by swimming events, fooball, volleyball, badminton, and anything that do to with ball and swimming pool. I guess it's the pool that she's interested in.

Today afternoon I wanted to go off to Tesco to buy some stuff for the coming children camp in our church. I changed and came out to the living room to get Grace, whom was watching a swimming race then, changed. To our surprised, she refused to get changed.

So I took my bag and keys and walked straight to the door. Seeing me leaving without her, Grace immediately run to me and said "Xie?" (means shoes?) in a questioning tone. She was actually telling me that, she do not have her shoes on. It seems that going out of the house supersede all!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grace?!? What is wrong with you?!?

Sigh...sigh...sigh.....I don't know what she wants!!!

It has been 2 continuous nights! Both yesterday and today. Not sure what is bothering Grace. She just can't or may be it's won't get to sleep during bed time. During the midnight, it was ok. It was just when wanna make her sleep. Just can't get her to sleep without tears!

She kept crying and crying and crying. When we asked her what does she wants, she will just point to the door, exclaiming "Ah Mo", "Ah Mo". Who is she referring to? I recon it is Amos, her cousin brother in Shanghai. Is she really missing Amos? We won't get to know unless she speak to us!

Furthermore, she won't allow her daddy to leave the room until she falls asleep. Whenever Moses attempts to leave, she will stop feeding and turned towards Moses, then......CRY!!! Sigh..sigh..sigh...Poor daddy, has to stay on and on and on, leaving his important work behind.

Yesterday it took us about an hour to make her sleep. Tonight, it's even worse. We went into the room at about 10pm, start feeding her, but she won't sleep. Came out to the living room, played football for about 10minutes before she requested to go into the room. Got into the room, she requested to browse through her big book of pictures. Saw a page on birthday party, demanded we sing birthday song over and over and over again. Then give me a love bite that bleeds. Then start feeding again. Then cry. Then feed. Then cry. Then feed. Then cry, cry, cry. Then at about 11.25pm, finally fall asleep. Argh.....what is wrong with her?!?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Teaching Grace to read

During my confinement, my sister-in-law Jessie, introduced me to a flash card system by GD Resources; "How to raise an intelligent child programme". Actually, before then I already heard of flash card system and is planning to invest in one.

So during that time, I search in the Internet for more information and for dealers of the resources in Penang. Later on I invested on 2 sets of Ready-To Read Kid, English and Mandarin respectively.

I started on the programme immediately after the purchase (and off course after reading the guidelines....grin). Then Grace was about 2 to 3 months old. I wanted to teach my baby both English and Mandarin at the same time. So there are 10 cards to flash at each session, 5 for English and 5 for Mandarin.

When Grace was little, she will look at the words while I read it aloud. That was how the flashing session started. As Grace grew, the flashing sessions turn from easy to harder and then harder. She started to want things her own way. So I have to do things differently now. Instead of sitting opposite her, I let her sit on my lap and then flashing the cards while pointing to the words. It worked....but not for very long.

So, I have to find another way to attract her. This time, I let her sit opposite to me and I then put one of the cards on the floor in front of her. When she reaches for it, I read the wordings aloud. It worked too! She enjoys collecting all the cards.

It then came to a period where she refuses to even look at the card. Whenever I wanted to show her the cards, she will just look somewhere else, mischievously. Or she will just lie down on the floor or bed! Argh....great.....how to proceed? how to proceed?!?!? I can't force her, because even if I flash the card, she will not pay attention. So I take it easy with her for a few days, and then a few weeks.

Until recently, I started on the cards again. This time, she is cooperative. She will look at the wordings and even make signs or point to the physical item of the wordings. Whew.....at least she learns from it. Every time I asked her if she wants to read and look at words, she will node and follow me to the room where I keep the cards. At least, some progress.

Till now, I am still clueless on how many words she could recognise. She just refuses to talk even now at 20 months! I guess I will just have to be patient.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Little girl or little puppy?

Today I went shopping (for LCD projector) with my parents whom wanted to buy a LCD projector for their church. After that I went over to their place for lunch and then dinner. It took quite a while for us to complete the purchase as the person needs to go to Bishop Street to collect the item from their main branch.

By the time we are ready to go home, Grace was already very tired. So we thought that it will be good for my dad to drive while I sit at the back seat breast feeding Grace and let her have a short nap. However, Grace has other plan. She wanted to sit on her car seat and want me to drive the car. So we stopped at the road side and change. But this Grace is too greedy. She wanted her feeding too! How could that be possible?!?!? I am not superwoman! So she cried and cried and cried and even shouted. So we have to stop the car again and change driver again.

This time she's really tired. So she fell asleep.

When we reached home, she's full of energy again. However, as I thought she had just slept for around 30 minutes, she may not have enough sleep yet. About an hour after lunch, I dragged her to sleep. I was so very tired but she's so very energetic! So I just lay down on the bed while she talk and move around. Then she stop and lay beside my feet and all of a sudden, she bit my right foot. I shouted in pain and asked her to stop bitting. But the more I shout, the harder she bite. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! I couldn't do a thing. I can't sit up, can't pull her ear (everytime when she bites I will pull her ear so she knows the pain too), and I couldn't kick her away. I have to just wait for her to let go. My mom heard me and came in to check. But by then Grace has released her bite.
I can still feel the pain, even right now and the bite mark is still there. Argh....it's hard to teach a child!

Happy Birthday Daddy!


Today is hubby's birthday. So I decided to let Grace join in creating a card for her daddy.

Off course, I helped in writing out the wordings. The rest of the decoration were done by Grace, off course with my directions. She even selected the stickers!

Playing tricks

**this is a backdated post for Monday August 4th, 2008

I am not sure from where and when Grace picked up these tricks. Hubby told me that it was from some of the brothers and sisters in church, as they were playing with her on Sunday. I recon that may be she also picks up from me when I played with her "which hand is it in" guessing game with her.

What did she do? It's a pity I could not have it on video, it was so so cute.

In the afternoon, I gave her chocolate. She took it and run around the house. Then, as she was walking towards me, she hid the chocolate with her two hands behind her. Then she show me one hand, the one without the chocolate, and says "Boh" (means none). After a few seconds, she showed me the chocolate and says "Nah"(means here it is). She's playing tricks.

Another one that she did was, she hid the chocolate under her blouse, and says "Boh, Boh", then took out the chocolate and says "Nah". So cute!

"Grace, mommy is very proud of you!"

** this is a backdated post for Sunday August 3rd, 2008

Why am I so proud of my little girl? Well, it's nothing very big, here's the story.

Like every other Sunday, we had our family outdoor fun at Youth Park in the evening. As usual, hubby played in the Caption Ball team while I bring Grace to the children playground.

First thing that Grace did was to play at her favourite slide. Climbing up the staircase and slit down the slide over and over again. I think she did it for about 8 times. Then I stopped her for fear that she will get too tired.

We then when on to the seesaw. Initially Grace is riding it alone, with me shaking her. Then a polite little boy came and ask if he can ride with Grace. I said yes off course. But, Grace didn't like it, in fact she's scared as the boy is shaking too hard. So she came down.

Then she spotted another flight of stairs. The staircase led to a tunnel slide (photo to the right), which Grace has never tried before. When she was younger, she's kind of afraid of this kind of slides. Up she went and when she reached the top, she stood there not knowing how to proceed. She wanted to try on the tunnel, but had no idea how to get herself into it in a sitting position. So I asked her to look and learn from an older boy. She watched and watched and watched.

After about 3 or 4 watch, she finally starts to take some action. Initially she signal to me to go up and help her, but I told her I can't and she has to learn it herself. Slowly she move herself towards the tunnel and starts to climb into it and then change into a sitting position. Well, first step's done.

Now, for the previous slides, I will always hold her hands while she slit down it, because it's too steep and I was afraid that she might knocked her head. But for this tunnel slide, I couldn't possibly hold her hands! So I told her, you have to slit down yourself, mommy can't help you, but will be at the bottom waiting for you. I quickly ran to the other end and motivate her to slit down. And she finally had the courage to push herself down. Bravo! Bravo! I am so proud of her. Finally taking action to overcome her fear.

Once out from the tunnel, she wanted to do it again. This time, she also hesitated a while on sliding down, but some kids from behind gave her a kind push and she's motivated again. And she has no problem in the third and fourth time.

Here's the video of her in action.

video

video

Friday, August 1, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Finally, our stay in Shanghai comes to an end. We are flying back to Penang today!

Yesterday, Maurice's secretary had made phone call to the airport to check on how early we should be at the airport for security check. As Olympics is just around the corner, there are very tight security checks at the airport. I guess is to ensure everything is safe. We were told to arrive at the airport 3 hours before our scheduled flight. Our flight, MH387 is scheduled for departure at 10.15 in the morning. That means we need to be at the airport by 7.15am, which means we need to leave home at about 6.30am, which also means that we need to wake up real early in the morning, like 5.45am. Wow...that's early. Grace ended up waking up at 6.00am.

So we managed to reach the airport by 7.15am. Maurice drove us to the international departure terminal. Now, this is a new terminal. Previously they have just one terminal for both domestic and international departures. Back then, it was so crowded. With the new terminal, the airport now does not look so crowded. The terminal is bigger. Like this one. Here's some photos of the terminal.














Once at the airport, we went through the security check at the entrance. Then looked for the Malaysia Airlines check-in counters. Found it and on we go. No, no, no....the counters were not open yet. It will only open 2 and 1/2 hours before the scheduled departure time. Waited for a while and was always on the look out for the counters to open. Was second on the line. Grin...just can't wait to get everything in. We have 5 luggage totalling to 61kg.

After checking-in we went straight on to immigration clearance, going through security check one after another. Finally we are in and waiting to board the plan. Real early, it was just around 8.30am.

While we were waiting, we met a Malaysian couple with a young toddler. The little girl is around 15 months. I think her name is Shyuen Shyuen (heard her mom calling her). When I first saw Shyuen Shyuen, I was exclaiming (to myself), "oh...Grace has that outfit too". It was a grey sweater by MIKI (photo to the right). Then, Shyuen Shyuen's mom told me, Shyuen Shyuen also has the outfit the Grace is wearing. What the outfit. It's a colourful knitted sweater from Baby Gap (photo to the left). Oh...wow...what coincidence!

Later on, we board the plane. With Grace travelling with us, we have the privilege of being one of the few to board the plane first. I wanted a window bassinet seat, but to my dismay, both window seat were already taken. One by Shyuen Shyuen's parents and the other by a couple whom do not have baby or kid travelling with them. I really think that airline companies should reserve bassinets seats for passenger whom are travelling with young children. Nevertheless, I still got the bassinet row (row 11) but centre seat, 11E and 11F right in the middle!

When everybody boarded the plane, I noticed that we (mom and I) were seated in between two men. Haiyar...it will be not convenient and embarrassing to breast feed! So I asked the stewardess to help me find another seating. Found it and we changed place. It was at row 18 and 3 seats with another seat taken by a lady. Great!

Once we have our seating settled, both mom and I had to find numerous ways and tricks to entertain Grace so that she can quietly go through the whole journey. I feel like I am the most troublesome passenger on board. Keep on asking for assistance for this and that. Grin, grin, grin. We managed to get through the whole journey and at last we are Home Sweet Home!

Good dinner wrapped-up our Shanghai Trip

**this is a post for Thursday 31st July 2008

Well, well, well....our almost 2 weeks stay in Shanghai is really coming to an end. All those shopping has also tired us and we are becoming broke!

Initially we wanted to stay at home, having dinner and watching the final episodes of a chinese drama (宁为女人) which we had been watching for the past few days. However, early morning today, Jessica's parents called, mentioning that they will be treating us dinner tonight. Wow.....

So the day went by. In the morning we went to Carrefour again, for unfinished business. Mom bought some clothes for friends while I only bought a Crayola twistable crayons for Grace. Talk about the crayons....I must say that luckily I bought it! Real good quality, easier to use and not messy at all!

In the afternoon, Amos (little baby) "went" swimming in their own little pool in the bathroom. What happened when Grace sees it? Hmmm....she wanted to go into it also. So both the babies went into the pool and "swim". Amos had a short one cause he's already starving, while Grace played for at least 30 minutes. It was fun!

Then, in the evening we went out for dinner as planned. The dinner was at Tang Dynasty Restaurant. It's a big, big, big restaurant. The restaurant has a 3-storey dining area. The ground floor is the lobby area with receptionist and storage of life seafood, first floor is an open dining area with lots of dining tables of different sizes and the second floor has numerous VIP and SVIP dining rooms.

There's no elavator, so we had to walk up the staircases to the second floor to one of the VIP room. Jessica ordered the food and before long, food is served. I really have to compliment Jessica. She made the right choices on food and we had a really good dinner. Not much meat, but everything is just so delicious. Even Grace enjoyed the dinner.

And tt was so, the last dinner we had in Shanghai and this rounded up our stay in Shanghai.