Saturday, January 31, 2009

恭喜恭喜! 新年快乐!

Charlotte wishes everybody happy new year in Mandarin this year, she says "恭喜恭喜! 新年快乐!" and I am so proud of her that she picked up so fast in just a short 3 weeks of school (Chinese speaking). She can even sing the first verse of one very popular chinese new year song "每条大街小巷, 每个人的嘴里, 见面的一句话, 就是恭喜恭喜...". I was so surprised when my mom told me that Charlotte was able to sing together with her when she sang this song to her during the new year's eve.

I was suppose to host the reunion dinner at my house this year but MIL had to go down to KL to visit her youngest daughter who needed to go through a surgery 3 days before Chines New Year. So we had the reunion dinner at my mom's place this year. I decided to cook the 汤圆 (glutinous rice ball) since we didn't have it during 冬至 (the winter solstice celebration). Charlotte helped me with the 汤圆 and it made me I realized how much she has grown. I was hesitated to let her participate because I was worried about the mess that I will have to clean up after that but I was wrong. She did a great job, all the 汤圆 were nicely done, round and almost perfect, no mess and she helped from the beginning till the end (I was expecting a quit like 5min after).

We then got ourselves ready and headed to my parents house. Charlotte is able to join and have a lot of fun playing with her cousins this year and I managed to enjoy the reunion dinner (and also the following few days events) very comfortably time round.
We took out some fire crackers and fire works after the reunion dinner. My 3 nephews and Charlotte were all excited as Pat getting the fun going. They were not allowed to light the fire crackers/works but only watched from a distance and that too brought a lot of laughter and noises to welcome the 牛 year.

The kids also enjoyed the "bak kua" and I think they made a pretty good advertisement for the Kiew Brothers bbq meat...

It's a practise that my mom will give us the dried "longan" and red dates every year and she always says (in hokkien) "给你红枣, 望你年年好;给你龙眼,望你有好末境" (sorry, don't really know how to translate) before we went home. We were told to cook the desert (tong shui) with it and serve on the first day of Chinese New Year.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bedtime Prayer

I started Charlotte on bed time prayer since she started half day school. At the very beginning, she just listened to what I say and she said "Amen" together with me. It wasn't very regular initially as sometimes she refused to say a prayer before bed but I am very happy that today she even reminded when I pretended to forget. She also started to say her own prayer about 1 month back. She has her own story that she wants to tell Jesus, a few special people that she wants to ask to be blessed, and she also remembers those who are not feeling well. Although I don't quite understand what she's trying to say sometimes, I know God loves to hear the little one's prayer and He knows best.

Charlotte also found a new bedtime prayer song from a CD that I have in my car. She will ask me to sing to her and the song goes like this...

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray dear Lord that you will keep
Your eyes upon this sleeping world
Every little boy and girl

Bless the children far away
The ones who don't know how to pray
Those who are not feeling well
The little one who slipped and fell

Bless the puppy down the street
The neighbours I have yet to meet
Bless my mom and dad especially

Just one more thing I like to say
Before I close another day
I'd like to thank you Lord for all the ways
That you bless me

Recently, she wants to be the first one to say the bedtime prayer and she wants me to say mine (out loud) when she is done. So I did and I thought it is not a big deal to say it out loud and share it with my daughter. Last week, we did the same thing and when I was done Charlotte said "now it's daddy's turn!". I could tell that Pat was all blushed. I told Charlotte to teach her daddy and she was so happy that finally she can be the teacher! She asked her daddy to sit up straight and then she started her prayer and her daddy followed after each sentence. So this is what we've been doing, every night since then.

I think children can be a very good example sometimes!

No Sweat

This week is the official week Charlotte starts full day school. She is having 3 meals a day in the school and she is going to nap in the school. Besides the mandarin speaking environment, meals remain my main concern. I did a lot of preparation with Charlotte, I showed her her sleeping bag/set, I told her that she has to eat her food otherwise she will be hungry and most importantly I told her I'm going to be there when school ends.

It's been a week, a no sweat week. Every morning, I send a happy girl to school and every evening I see an excited girl running out from the class, couldn't wait to tell me what happened in school. Her class teachers everyday give me a very good progress update and that not only relieves me but also confirm that we made the right decision by sending her to this school.

The first thing she told me when I went to pick her up yesterday was "see my hair! my teacher tie for me!".

She eats well, she naps, and she adapts well to the new environment. I am very surprised to hear when her class teacher told me about 70% of the time Charlotte understands the conversation they had in the classroom. So I did a small test on her yesterday evening...

After playing bubbles
Me: Charlotte, 洗手 (wash hand) then want to eat dinner already
Charlotte: OK (went straight to the washroom)
Me: Hey, you know what is 洗手?
Charlotte: Yes, wash hand!

During dinner
Me: Charlotte, you want mommy feed you or 你自己吃 (self feed)
Charlotte: (patting on her chest)
Me: 你自己吃?
Charlotte: Yes
I think she's got it (some of it), she even said "saya makan", "saya minum" :)

Today is the last day of the week and as usual she was all happy when I went fetch her. I started by walking her to and back from school during the first week (half day) and I brought along an umbrella because it was very hot at 12pm. Now, school finish at 5pm and she still wants me to bring her princess umbrella even though the sun already set.

All children changed into sport attire after lunch and I think she looks so cute in it :) I'm just so proud of how she adapts to the new school, new arrangement. She is a big girl now.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Invited To Be The Flower Girl Again

Last Saturday we attended one of Pat's friend's wedding and Charlotte was invited to be the flower girl to arsh the newly wed couple during the reception dinner. Charlotte was very happy knowing that she is going to be the flower again. She was the flower girl for her uncle's wedding last year and back then she was only 28 months.

She did a lot more better this time as her coordination is better now. She could walk and throw the flower at the same time (last year, she walked but forgot to throw the flower petals. When she threw the petals she stood there and forgot to walk. It was quite hilarious)

Some pictures to share...

Getting ready...

Picture with the bride and another flower girl (7 years old)

Almost time...

And go!

Daddy was assigned to get her started when the door is opened and I stood in front to let her know where to walk to. Overall, it was done very gracefully!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

三代同堂 (3 Generations All Together)

I mentioned that Pat's family was having a big reunion last Christmas as one of his sisters, Veronica and family were back from Australia. It was my first time meeting them although we met her elder son Brendan early last year.

I come from a small family and I always overwhelmed with the number of people in Pat's family. Even until today, I feel suffocated and kinda uneasy sometimes when everyone is back, like in Christmas and CNY. When I first met Pat, I thought I would never figured out who is who in his family.

The whole family of >30 people gathered at a photo studio on 26th Dec for a big family photo session. It was a BIG group and the studio even warned us that they can't fit so many people in the studio but will take their hall (studio lobby) for the family photo. Each individual family also took the opportunity to take the family photo of their own too. We gathered at the studio at 4.30pm and only finished at 7.30pm (I think) before we all adjourned to a restaurant for dinner!

Last week I got a call from the photo studio that all the photos are finally ready! I drover to the studio and collected all of it. All pictures turned out very well but the big family photo we developed for MIL is really big and couldn't fit into my car. Luckily I drove my Jazz and I told the studio guy to fold down the back seats so that the big frame can fit inside and it did. Phew!

I believe each family was busy putting up the family photos last weekend (at least we were). We took our family photo last year with the same photo studio but I did not develop or enlarge of any the picture until now. Luckily they still keep the soft copy and we enlarged this one to put in our living hall.

We don't get soft copies from the studio as usual and I "reproduced" the pictures with my lousy digital camera just to share it on this post but they are not as clear as the originals.

The Big Family

With Parents-In-Law

Pat decided we should take one more round of family shot of our own and Charlotte was in very good mood. The pictures turned out to be very natural and we made it into a 3-in-1 frame and put it up on the wall at the dining area last week.

This year, the pictures are the new year decoration for our house and we are ready for Chinese New Year!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How Do You Pronounce "L" & "Y"?

I heard people say little kids have problem in pronouncing "s" for words such as "star", "school", and "snake" and Charlotte did that too earlier but I hardly came across mispronounce of "L". Charlotte says word with "L" as it is in "Y", such as, she says "look" as "yook", "yellow" as "ye-yow", "louder" as "yao-der" and "low" as "yeo"...

I didn't think it is necessary to correct her because just like "s", they will outgrown the speech phase as the time comes but it has been annoying hearing that, specially now that she is old enough to understand better. So I decided to correct her.

I spent a nice evening with her yesterday out at the front porch, she was happily cycling around as we chit chat. Then I caught her repeat the "L" and "Y" thingy when she said "Mommy, yook at me! Mommy, yook!". There I started with the correction and showed her the correct way to pronounce "L" by lifting the tongue a little. She followed and the word came out a little better than before but she also thought that it was funny throughout the process. I wonder if she learnt seriously or she thought it was a funny game.

I wonder if there is a better way to correct this?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What My 3 Year Old Said Lately

No 1:
We were very busy doing Christmas shopping and in the end we bought a lot of presents and clothes...
Me: See, so many presents! That's for Christmas!
Charlotte: I cannot believe it!

No 2:
Once I was away for a short moment while we were at a department store. When I came back, Charlotte ran towards me and gave me a big hug and said: I missed you so much mommy!

No 3:
Charlotte: Mommy, I want snow!
Me: Sorry dear, mommy cannot make snow, just like mommy cannot make rainbows.
Charlotte: I can ask Santa Clause.
Me: Huh? Why Santa?
Charlotte: Because Santa Clause house got snow ma! I ask him to take me to his house loh!

No 4:
Charlotte: Mommy, I want to kiss you.
Me: OK, come, come (she came forward and I gave her a quick "muak" on her lips)
Charlotte: No, not like this. I want long long one! Like the Beauty and the Beast...
Me: *faint*

No 5:
Once she was happily playing a balloon in the car with Auntie Brenda. As they were beating the balloon back to each other, the balloon once landed on her head.
Charlotte: Ouch! Say sorry, auntie!
Brenda: Sorry!
Me: No la, ask the balloon to say sorry to you, it hits you ma!
Charlotte: No, cannot. My balloon no mouth one!

No 6.
Charlotte: Mommy, mommy, I want to watch the Mermaid movie
Me: Ok, later I play it for you ya
Later on I forgot what she wanted and I showed her Toy Story and she said yes. So I played. But in the evening, suddenly she remembered...
Charlotte: Mommy, I want the Mermaid movie
Me: Oh, ok
Charlotte: Why you play the Woody? You forgot!
Me: Yeah, I forgot. Sorry.
Charlotte: Next time I tell you, you remember huh? Understand or not?
Me: *lost of words*

No 7.
Pat is a night person. If he comes home early from work, he will have more agenda for the night, such as supper, movie time, or going out to mall. Now that Charlotte has started school, we set her bed time around 9.30pm. There isn't much we can do during weeknights. This is what happened last night, daddy has plan to go out for supper with mommy
Daddy: Charlotte, you want to sleep with Auntie Brenda tonight?
Charlotte: No!
Daddy: Why not?
Charlotte: Hmm, because I want to sleep with you
Daddy: (heart melted) oh, ok loh!

Monday, January 5, 2009


Naomi is 2 years younger than Charlotte, she is Pat's best friend's daughter. Charlotte and Naomi met up a few times before and Charlotte will never stop asking for "mei mei" after we said goodbye.

Last week, Naomi's mommy delivered a baby boy at LWE and we took Charlotte along to visit the new baby. Naomi was there too when we arrived. She was ever energetic and playful, and I was trying to take a good picture of Naomi and Charlotte together but failed.

As I looked through the pictures, I made up something and it seems like a story of what Naomi and Charlotte were up to when I was trying to snap those pictures.

myspace image at Gickr

Isn't she cute?

5 Senses

This is something she learnt from her previous school. She wasn't quite able to get it all right before but suddenly she felt like doing it this morning when it was about time to leave for school and this time she got it!

See if you understand what she says about the 5 senses...

Oops...where's the 5th?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another New Chapter

Today is her first day at school, new school! It was a tough decision but we thought it should do more good than harm by changing Charlotte to this new environment.

She always looks forward to go to this school and each time we pass by she will ask can she go yet and because the school was closed during school holidays we had to make up a lot of excuses and reasons why she is not a allowed to go, yet.

Finally, she was all excited and happy when we went there last Saturday for an orientation. Immediately she found her spot and settled down at a play station. She didn't even bother when I had to leave her to go for payment and stuff collections.

There are a few of changes that she is going to experience with this
1. She has to wear school uniform, no more pretty dress to school.
2. It is a full day school, she has to eat and nap in the school. (this is going to be tough)
3. It is a Chinese speaking environment (she doesn't understand a single word, for now)

I am not worried about 1 and 3, but 2 is always a challenge even at home. I hope she will learn a better eating habit soon.

This was how she looked like this morning, all happy and ready for her new start

I peeked from the door when I went for pick up later on. I saw her sitting among a room of preschoolers, so focused listening to the teacher whom was telling a story, in Mandarin. I doubt she understands any of it but I am happy to see a tear-free start. Well, the first week is only half day schedule. Will see how she does next week, when full day schedule starts.