Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A New Chapter

"Why don't you leave her here for about an hour? I see she is quite open and willing to explore"
"I'm not sure if it is a good idea, I did not pre-alert her"
"It's ok, if anything we will call you"

That was my conversation with her school principle this Monday and it marked a new chapter in Charlotte's life. I was only planning to send in the registration card, I took Charlotte along just to introduce her to her new school, teachers and friends. Charlotte smiled and hugged me when I came to pick her about an hour later. The teacher said she was very good, a little quiet but overall she reacted rather well on that impromptu session.

Yes, school hunting has come to an end. Since sticking to a school which most of our family children been to makes everyone in the family feels more secured and assured we decided to stay and follow the trend.

Day 2:
I continue to send her as the principle suggested to continue the spirit and keeping the momentum. She woke up, changed, had milk and packed her breakfast that I prepared for her and off we went to school. No cry, no wail, maybe she didn't know what to expect as yet. I waited till she settled down a little bit before I left. I came back about 2 hours later. The first thing teacher told me was "she didn't want to go wee wee" but overall she was good. She participated in counting and coloring, which the teacher was a bit surprised by her coloring skills (homework helps I guess). I checked her breakfast box and found she almost finished the biscuit I prepared, but not the apple slices.

Day 3:
"Where my pretty dress?". Yes, this has been going on for about 2 weeks now, she wanted to wear dresses everyday. She said she is a princess *vain*. I took this opportunity and told her that I have already prepared her dress, she can change and get ready for school! Immediately her eyes opened up and gave me a big grin. Off we went to school together with daddy this time, and with her breakfast box (hello kitty sandwiches and yakult). Oh btw, for Yakult it is required to be chilled under 10 degree C, because I know Charlotte will consume it right after she got to her class (which is probably 5min away from my house) so I am not worried about killing the probiotic by leaving it outside of the refrigerator for too long.

I let her stayed through half a day, followed the school schedule. When I went to pick her up, teacher said she cried a little bit. The school had a photo session that morning, the teacher forgot to inform me (because we are still on trial period, I guess they didn't count us in). Charlotte probably didn't anticipate that and she did not want to be in the picture. Some other kids cried too, maybe that was why Charlotte cried too. Overall, she was still a very good girl in class.

I checked her breakfast box and only 5 out of 9 pcs of hello kitty bread left. I asked her if she ate the bread, her first response was "no, kakak eat". What??? I don't know how true was that, because Charlotte still doesn't quite tell the "true story" yet. So, I checked with the teacher and she said Charlotte ate 2pcs during the break time. Then where the other 2pcs went? I did not tell the teacher that I was told because I needed time to process the info.

I talked to my hubby and my friends, we think it is very possible that Charlotte told the truth. Actually, I am not concern that kakak or even other children share Charlotte's food because I always prepare extra and Charlotte is such a small eater. But in this case, I need to make sure the teacher is aware of what happened and more importantly how much Charlotte eats in school everyday. Not so much of to confront the kakak because I don't want Charlotte gets "extra" treatment later on, you know what I mean?

*to be continue...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just Gotta Try It!

I have started to use some of those bento tools that I bought couple of weeks back, practising and testing out what could make my lil girl to be more interested in food.

I made cookies with those cute cookies mold, moulded hard boiled egg, shaped sandwiches , vege and fruits, sausages in fancy food picks and etc. . I found that she loves those moulded hard boiled eggs, and shaped sandwiches sometimes, and she loves those fancy food picks I bought and that was quite a good trick to make her finish the food if I use the different food picks. She didn't like cookies, she was excited when she saw the hello kitty, pooh and mickey mouse cookies but then she returned it back to me and said "I don't want" without give it a bite *sigh*. So instead of sharing, I gave all to Bryan the next day. I also found out that those vege cutters can be quite useful. Besides vege, I also use it on sandwiches, fruits and cookies. I didn't take any picture so far, too excited to offer it to my girl when ready.

Last night, I baked a simple butter cake with the Pooh cake mould. I made a total of 8 but only 50% yield. Why? The first tray (2 cakes), under bake. Well, not really under bake but because I used both top and bottom heat of the oven, I remove the cake from the oven when the top (which is the back of the Pooh face) was already golden brown. But when I flipped it over, the Pooh face is not brown enough and I could hardly see design. So when I baked the second tray, I switched from top/bottom heat to only bottom heat and left it in the oven for a little bit longer....it burnt! Then again, it wasn't really burnt but the color was way too dark then how a usual cake looks like. The third tray, I learnt my lessons and this time only bottom heat and not to bake for too long and the result?

Perfect of course!!! The 4th tray turned out as good too. I packed one for Charlotte this morning, will see if she gives it a bite.

Oh by the way, I figured that the Pooh cake moulds are silicone but not metal like the usual tray we use for baking. So the heat conduction is poorer than metal, that's why the bottom heat needs to stay longer than usual to make the "face" or design more remarkable.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Happens After The Interview?

We received all the congrats and so looking forward to start school for Charlotte in Sept. We went through enquiry stage and we know about the school schedules and expectations as it is not a playschool or kindy before the interview arrangement. The only thing we forgot was to get or inform the grandparents about our choice of school... As we were so eagle to inform the grandparents at that evening when we went to pick up Charlotte, we were congratulated (as well) but then some other stories followed...

First the objection was on the school schedule. It starts at 7.20am, "It's too early for a little girl like her!". It ends at 1.30pm, "Such a long hours, she won't be able to cope!". As it is not a nursery of daycare center, they will have recess time but eating will be on their own, "How she is going to eat? She will be hungry and not able to stand until 1.30pm!", "She is not ready!" and it goes on and on...

I think children are able to adapt quickly, and like what is mentioned in this post given a choice they will never be ready. I have mommy friends who already started school for their kid at the same age as Charlotte and I have heard a lot of stories from them. Given 7am or 9am, they will still have to go through that separation anxiety phase. We do have lucky parents, which their children never cries/struggles when starting school, those are minority. Some even after started school for some time, occasionally will still have to deal with the "fight" that they have to put up when the kid decided it's THE day.

So how? I'm tired, really. It was so hard to find a school which both me and my hubby are ok with but...Another round of school hunting loh! I think grandparents are more comfortable with schools they know, ordinary kindy, playschool, or daycare. We do have several around the area, I'll just have to decide which one meets everyone "expectation" (trying to avoid any conflict la).

But we are still going to send Charlotte to that school, maybe when she turns 4 next year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I started to give Charlotte a worksheet per day this week. I figured her development is progressing very well, she can write from 1-7 now, 8 is a bit tricky, sometimes she got it right, sometimes not. For alphabets, she also can write a few like A, B, C, D, E, F, H, I, O, and R. She gets bored if we keep asking her to repeat things that she already know. Which also means that I have not been spending enough time to coach and teacher, shame on me.

So I worked out something new this week. I know she is able to follow instruction pretty well so I give her 1 homework everyday, give her the instruction and I told her I will check when I come home in the evening. I printed out several simple coloring worksheets, some are pictures/characters of her favorite, some are for letter learning. I gave her a few simple instructions:

1. the color has to stay inside the line
2. write a correspondent alphabet of the picture when she finished coloring

Of course, I sat down with her and work through the first worksheet on Monday night. The second was what she did yesterday. See the A and B she wrote?

Let's see how far she goes with this activity :)

Not Even Ice-Cream

I was telling a few close friends of mine the other day that how challenging it is to get Charlotte to eat. Just last weekend, we decided to eat out. We went to the nearby mall decided to head towards to Charlotte's favorite Japanese restaurant, Sakae Sushi. Not that Charlotte loves the food there, but she is always impressed with the "kaiten" (conveyor belt) and the flat screen monitor. It makes it easier for me to feed her when she gets distracted, you know what I mean?

So, there we were and actually dinner went pretty well. Charlotte had edamame (boiled green soy beans) as usual and one whole chawanmushi (steamed egg in a cup). I was quite happy with that achievement already I tell ya.

We then decided to offer her ice-cream since she's such a good girl. She happily said "yes, big big one!". I said OK, and we headed to Swensens which is just next door. As usual, we are only interested in ordering "earthquake". When it was served, Charlotte was of course amazed by the presentation and the dry ice effect. Each of us got a spoon to our own, so did Charlotte. Honestly, I am not worried about Charlotte getting too much sweet/junk stuff because I know she never goes overboard. True enough, she started her first move. Picking up the spoon and made the her first scoop.........................and that's it! She told me "I am very full already" and she put down the spoon and started to play with other things.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Interview (Part II)

Interview was scheduled at 10.30am but we arrived early because I wanted Charlotte to settle down and get used to the environment before the interview starts.

It was the school break time when we arrived, all children were out and Charlotte was quite excited to see so many "friends". She wondered around and checkout the classroom a little bit. We waited till the break time was over and after the form teacher settled down the kids in the classroom and she then came to attend to us. She introduced herself and shook hand with us. She then also shook hand with Charlotte and started to speak to her evry friendly. Then very quickly she held Charlotte's hand and turned to us said "it's ok, both of you wait for us at the office" and she turned away and took Charlotte to the class.

It happened so quickly, I wasn't have time to ask if we can come along or worry that Charlotte might broke into tears when she was taken away without us. When I realized it, Charlotte was already happily walking away with her form teacher. No struggle, no cry. Pat and I were both lost for a moment and then we decided to quickly get out of their sight and wait at the office.

We waited about 10-15min and then Charlotte came together with her form teacher. The first thing she asked us was "Is she toilet trained?". Of course she is, long long time ago! Then the teacher said she is ready and they are giving us a 1 week trial when the new semester starts. The trial was given because they are actually only open for children 3+, Charlotte is only 2+ when comes to Sept but she said Charlotte can follow instructions very well and so also accepting friends. So she should be able to adapt very quickly.

We don't know what happened in the classrom or what kind of assessment was gieven but we were very happy to hear the result. At the same time I need to start my homework to overcome the challenges when school starts:
1. School starts 7.20am, which means Charlotte needs to wake up latest by 6.30am *faint*
2. She needs to finish her milk before leaving for school because break time is only at 10.10am *double faint*
3. Making snacks for her to bring to school (bento!!!)

Good job Charlotte, and good luck to mommy :)

p/s: Charlotte is the only one got accepted among a total of 5 of 2+ age attended the interview this year.

Interview (Part I)

Charlotte is scheduled to attend an interview this morning. Not interview for job, but to start school. The school that we are interested in offers preparation school start at 3 years old. Because Charlotte only turning 3 this Nov, the teacher is concerned if she is ready. So, we were requested to bring Charlotte for this interview.

We had been preparing her for this interview so that she knows what to expect. We don't really know what kind of questions or assessment the teacher will be giving. So we just "tembak" lah. Below was our conversation with Charlotte last night...

Me: Charlotte, when teacher asks you question you must answer ok?
Charlotte: Yes

Me: If teacher asks you what is your name?
Charlotte: My name is Charlotte Chan
Me: Good, say loud loud ya. If teacher asks you how old are you?
Charlotte: I am 2 years old (showing her 2 fingers also)
Me: Ok, what do you say when you want to shee shee (wee wee)?
Charlotte: Teacher, I want to shee shee
Me: OK, what do you say when you want to pangsai (pass motion)?
Charlotte: Teacher, I want to pangsai
Me: Yes, must tell teacher ya, very important.
Daddy: Teacher asks you do you want to go to school?
Charlotte: Yes
Daddy: What do you do in school?
Charlotte: *think for awhile* mum mum (because I told her she must eat together with other kids *slaphead*)
Daddy: No la, you go to school to study
Charlotte: Oh, ok
Daddy: What car daddy drives?
Charlotte: B-M-W
Daddy: What car mommy drives?
Charlotte: Honda Jazz
Me: Teacher won't ask these questions la...bottom line is, when teacher ask you questions you must answer ok?

Charlotte: Yes! (that was loud)

Good luck Charlotte!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You Got It!

Remember this motorbike? The last time we took Charlotte out riding on the bike was December last year. Back then she wasn't quite able to control the direction yet, and now...

In fact, she can do this a few months back. I just didn't have time to take video clip until last weekend. She even pretend to stop by a gas station for refill, move and stop according to the traffic lights signal (daddy and I were the living traffic lights lah, who else)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bento Fever!

I read so many interesting bento some of the mommies out there have been making for their toddlers but I wasn't sure if Charlotte would buy the idea of the "look" instead of the "taste". Feeding Charlotte is a great challenge. After talking to many of my friends, we conclude that Charlotte is not picky but she is just not interested in food and she is very conservative about new taste.

I have no plan to buy any bento tool until a recent encounter. One day we went to one of the bakeries at Queensbay Mall and Charlotte picked out a red bean bun, with a face drawing on it. She hardly take bread or bun, but she ate half the bun that day. Then Pat said food presentation might be something that attracts her, at least to give it a bite. So I decided to make my initial investment on bento tools. I made some purchases online, those were very expensive especially on the shipping and handling cost but I am very lucky that Shooi shared with me some of her recent purchase from Taiwan. Those items were easily half the price of what I saw online, furthermore she gets free shipping!

Here are my collection of bento tools so far. More to come, hehehe...

I have started to use some of it and I am very glad that Charlotte buys the idea! She loves hard boiled egg, and especially excited when I molded it with the Hello Kitty egg mold. She also takes the tiny sandwiches I made with the Kitty and Pooh vege cutters.

This was my first attempt using the Hello Kitty toast cutter. Still need more to practise...I guess nowadays, mommy will have to be more creative and all rounded capable then before. Happy bento-ing everyone :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

She Loves To Pose For Photos

When we were in KL, we were busy with family gatherings. Charlotte has 3 KooKoo (Pat's sisters) there and 1 just recently married uncle. Of course, all of them welcomed us and especially happy to see Charlotte. Many photos were taken and I love this one the most...

Christopher & Charlotte

Recent Flight Exprience

Charlotte and I flew down to KL last Saturday because we needed to make a trip to the Philippines Embassy for Brenda's passport renewal. Pat on the other hand, drove Brenda and MIL down and they picked us up from the airport. Why did we take 2 different routes? That's because Charlotte has been asking us to bring her to another flight experience lately. Her 1st flight was when we went to Pulau Langkawi when she was 10 months old, and her 2nd flight was last Christmas which Charlotte and I flew down to KL and Pat drove there as well. I guess it was quite some time already and Charlotte misses the flight experience.

Before the journey, I was checking the flight ticket price of Air Asia vs. Firefly. One evening, we were discussing about the competitive ticket pricing and Charlotte over heard "Firefly". MIL thought we were getting Firefly ticket and told her that Charlotte will be flying with firefly. After that she kept telling me that she doesn't want aeroplane, she want firefly! I had a tough time correcting her and getting her to accept that Firefly is an aeroplane *sigh*. Finally, she accepted and acknowledged that she will be on an aeroplane and I had to stop everyone from mentioning "firefly" to her again. In fact, we were flying Air Asia lah...

This trip, Charlotte got her own seat (in fact she got her own seat last Christmas too) and she totally enjoyed the flight. I still remembered when I took her flying last Christmas, 5min after we boarded the plane she told me she didn't want aeroplane anymore. This round she was really excited and keep asking me has the plane took off yet. I had to explain to her almost everything that happened before take off, eg. door closing, stewardess demonstrating the safety procedures, taxing, and finally take off...She then told her daddy and grandma when we arrived in KL exactly how I told her. I am amazed by how a toddler learns and absorbs new knowledge.

After take off, I bring her the lunch box I prepared for her. There was a molded hard boiled egg and sausages in cute food picks (didn't manage to take any picture). She happily finished off the sausages and 3/4 of the egg. She also stood up to check out the cotton like white clouds outside the window and then she was happily reading her new Mickey Mouse Club House story book that I bought her. She behaved rather well throughout the journey.

We arrived at LCCT right on time but daddy was stuck in a traffic jam (norm for KL?). I almost fainted there at LCCT because of the huge crowd (it was my first Air Asia flight, never expected to see soooooo many people). Furthermore, it was way past Charlotte's nap time. So she was a little tired and didn't want to walk. It was a long walk from the aircraft to the terminal, I had to carry her, plus my hand bag and Charlotte's favorite blanket. Along the way, I showed Charlotte that the red aeroplane was the one we took and her replied was "I want purple color next time" *slaphead*

As I came to the terminal I went straight towards to Mc Donald's as I desperately needed a drink and needed to sit down to rest my arms but the Mc Donald's was like a refugee camp! With all 8 registers open, we had to queue for >15min (with a 12kg toddler in my arms). I was lucky that the Manager on duty willing to serve my food and find me a table. Yes, no empty table for just the 2 of us. Can you imagine that? We had to share with a Malay couple. When I finally sat down, my arms were like falling off my shoulders.

Five minutes later daddy called, thank goodness! I would seriously think twice if I ever flying to LCCT again.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Where Is Charlotte's "Chut Chut"?

I posted about Charlotte's sleeping habit last week and coincidentally, Brenda told me that Charlotte napped without her "chut chut" (pacifier) that afternoon. I thought wow, Charlotte is taking one step ahead!

At night, we went through all the night time routine as usual and I was keeping my fingers crossed at all time. We said a prayer together, we sang and sang, and sang...and then finally I said "It's time! Good night baby, close your eyes and sleep". She said "ok!" and rolled over. She didn't ask for my hand, she also didn't ask for pacifier. Yippee!!!

Night after night, it has been slightly over 1 week. I am confident to say that Charlotte is no longer needing pacifier. She did ask for it on and off, but we didn't give in and she is ok with it.

Charlotte's missing chut chut story - Version 1.
Charlotte: Mommy, where is my chut chut?
Me: Where is Charlotte's chut chut?
Charlotte: The bad snake take already
Me: Huh? Bad snake take already ah? Then how?
Charlotte: Ask baby einstein to help
Me: Oh! Have you asked?
Charlotte: Yes, not yet come.
Me: Ok, baby einstein will find it?
Charlotte: Yes

Version 2.
Charlotte: Where is my chut chut?
Me: Where?
Charlotte: Bad snake take already
Me: Then how? Naughty snake hor?
Charlotte: Yes, naughty. Ask good snake take my chut chut back
Me: Huh?
Charlotte: Good snake go fight fight fight (with action), then bad snake died (with action). Charlotte take my chut chut
Me: Oh! Where good snake?
Charlotte: In the jungle. Mommy I want to see!
Me: *oops*

We have no idea how she made up the story but this is how we usually brush it off when she ask for pacifier. Charlotte's request is so far pretty manageable. Hopefully she will forget about it soon.

Daddy on the other hand is very concern seeing Charlotte missing her pacifier. He told me this morning "Charlotte looks very sad after we removed her chut chut" because Charlotte woke up asking for her pacifier and version 2 was her story this morning. I asked daddy how? Do you want to give in? Of course, we both know the answer. We just holding our breath and staying firm, praying this phase will be over soon...