Wednesday, February 25, 2009

That Was Amusing!

Charlotte picks up Mandarin at a very fast pace, at times I was surprised when she blabbed out something that was totally unexpected and other times she got herself confused by all the new words and sentences she just learned.

A very amusing incident with her last night:
Charlotte was playing at the living room when I was trying to get some work done with my laptop. She suddenly decided to give me a kiss and so she ran towards me but she couldn't stopped and knocked herself at me as she was running too fast...

Me: Ouch! That was so painful!
Charlotte: (looked at me, feeling guilty)
Me: What must you say to me? (while rubbing my head in pain)
Charlotte: Mmm...不客气! (you're welcome!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Bento Attempts

I stopped making bento ever since Charlotte started with her new school in Jan this year. Since she is attending a full day school and I do not want to make her feel neither she is different/special nor she has a choice when comes to food, she has to have food prepared by the school. I only make bento when we are dining out and the food may not suits her or when we are meeting with friends and we can't make people/food to suit her.

Although I made a lot of investments in bento tools, I'm not as creative and artistic as most bento making mothers out there. I usually just made simple food with those cute cutters and molds I have without taking the extra miles of decorating it. Now that I have more time and able to prepare bento in advance whenever we are having an event I try to make Charlotte's bento a little bit more interesting than before.

I recently follow a very creative, artistic and hard working bento making mother's blog and I looked through her bento archives and picked something simple whenever I need to prepare one. Even that, it always takes me a lot of time doing what she had done for her kids and yet the results were never any close to hers :p

Here are a few I did very recently. One was at the Valentines Day when daddy and I decided to dine at a Korean restaurant. I know nothing at a Korean restaurant is close to Charlotte's taste buds so I had to prepare something that she would enjoy and yet filling. I know she loves to have ham sandwiches, and to make it more interesting I copied the idea this mother used to make 2 simplified happy face ham sandwiches with the soft buns that I bought from a bakery and some dried cranberries.

It is important that I prepare food that Charlotte loves so that I will have a peaceful time enjoying my meal and don't have to worry about her empty tummy issue. She finished the bento just like I expected!

This other one was prepared last weekend when we had a dinner meet-up with some friends. In fact, I did 2 bentos that evening, the other one is filled with small treats and snacks like marshmallows and mini pretzels as I knew we were going to hang out till late night. She saw me when I was preparing it and I had a tough time holding on to her bento until the food was served at the Thai restaurant. You may ask why didn't I give it to her earlier? Well, I need to make sure the timing is right otherwise when my food is served she will be asking to get out from her chair.

It took me quite awhile getting the Hello Kitty face fixed. I finally found a shop selling the kamaboko and many other Japanese specialities in Penang. It is located in Kelawai Road, it's called the Meijiya Mini Market. If you are looking for any of the Japanese ingredient for your cooking, this is the store to look for.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pretty Little Chef

Two weeks before CNY I received a message from Charlotte's school that they are going to make peanut cookies for CNY! Coincidentally, I made a dentist appointment for Charlotte that day and thought of sending her to school only after the dentist appointment. I then asked what she wanted to do, see dentist and probably missed the cookies making session in school or join the cookies making and see dentist other time. She said she wanted to make cookies and so I called up the dentist and changed the appointment time.

I didn't get any update after the cookies making but each of them brought a small box of peanut cookies back just before they break for CNY holidays. It tasted great! (didn't take any picture of the cookies)

Last Friday, as checked into her message bag (she brings back message bag every Friday) and as I flipped through her files and updates I saw this...

I almost couldn't recognize that the girl in the picture is my Charlotte! It was taken during the cookies making session. It was so cute! I'm sure they had a lot of fun and learning through the lesson.

The tiny little note the teacher wrote says:
Pretty Little Chef
See! You need to slowly roll it to make a perfect round peanut cookie!

No wonder she could made the 汤圆 so well!

My First Scooter!

If I'm not mistaken, Charlotte started to ask for a scooter before Christmas last year. I had no idea how she got the scooter idea but she seemed so consistent asking for it and I promised her that it will be her 2009 Christmas present as I thought she was not ready for it.

When she started school in Jan, she asked for it again and again and one day I saw there is 1 scooter lining among the bicycles, tricycles and cars in front of the school playground. "No wonder she remembers the scooter!" I thought to myself.

3 weeks ago, daddy promised Charlotte a toy (I forgot what was the deal) and off we went to the mall. Charlotte as usual looked around, didn't know what to get. She then saw a preschooler learning computer and insisted on it. She already has one at home, another one at her grandma's house so we didn't think it is a choice. I then remembered the scooter but then again I thought she wasn't ready for it. So I told her we are going to check out the scooter and instantly her sad-dying-for-a-computer face changed to a big grin! I told her unless she knows how to maneuver the scooter, we are not buying it and she agreed (this is my girl, we need to define the deal before hand).

She spent the first few minutes getting herself comfortable with the scooter as we got her one to try on. We thought no chance she's going to make it and we might get to save the few hundred bucks and get her a cheaper toy instead. She started of moving even slower than a walking pace, then she slowly trying out her coordination, and then she was able to move a little bit more, and a little more and then...she got it!!! Well, not exactly how you should play a scooter (what do you expect, she is only 3 years old!) but she was able to do more than we expected! That means, there goes our $$ and she got her scooter finally!

It has been a few weeks and she's getting better with her new toy. She spends a lot of time exploring the scooter inside the house, from the living room to the kitchen, then to the bedroom and out to living room again. Other time we also took her to the park and let her experience on the real track. But when we were at the park, she preferred her bicycle, I guess because she was able to move faster with it then her scooter :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Poem

Charlotte picked up quite a few new poems from school, many of those are in Mandarin and I am very pleased that she picks up Mandarin at a faster pace than I expected!

Last night, she blabbed out something new out of a blue and I only managed to catch some of it after she repeated a few rounds. She said it with action, very cute!

我有鼻子。。。(she forgot what about the nose)
。。。。。。。(I couldn't catch this last sentence but she folded her legs and sat down after this)

I am very surprised that she is able to remember it, it is quite long of a poem and it's in a new language to her. Well, good job baby!

She Just Knows How!

Back dated post...

My eldest brother invited us to his house for lunch on the second day of CNY, I couldn't be more happy to get that invitation because 1. I didn't have to crack my head thinking of what to cook for my family, 2. Charlotte will have company!

So off we went but I didn't forget to pack along the Nintendo Gameboy that my sister-in-law gave to Charlotte. I know my 3 nephews are such high tech worms, they played not only computer games, each of them has a computer to themselves, used to own a Gameboy each (1 given to Charlotte now) and now they have PSP, Nintendo Wii...I bring that Gameboy along so that Charlotte will feel belong when her brothers were grossed with their high tech games.

I thought she wasn't really know how to operate the Gameboy until I took a minute and sat down beside her. I looked at her controlling the game and making the moves and I realized that I was wrong. She really knows!! Nobody ever taught her how and the game is brand new to her! I just couldn't believe my own eyes!

Gotta be really careful of what we offer to kids these days and never under estimate them!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Nice Morning With Charlotte

I like these was taken minutes before we left for school and office this morning :)

This one, Charlotte asked me to snap for both of us. As I was focusing the camera at us, suddenly she turned and kissed me!

This one, taken by Charlotte. Not bad eh?

She was in good mood, I think it was that little trick I did on her hair! Vain, I know. I can do more tricks if only daddy doesn't bring Charlotte for hair cut that often.

The Lee Family

This is my side of the family, nothing close to the Chan though. Even that, there is still 1 person who has yet to be officially Lee - my second brother's girl friend (next to Charlotte).

This picture was taken during the first day of CNY, we had dinner at the Evergreen Laurel Hotel. Charlotte was wearing a very nice red color "cheongsum" unfortunately she was rather cranky because she skipped her nap that afternoon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Beatiful Ballerina

Charlotte loves singing and dancing (well, which child doesn't?) and she asked for ballet lessons earlier but I didn't think she was serious. Not until she was invited to Emily's (her cousin) ballet performance last Nov. We were told (we did not attend but just sent Charlotte there with her KooKoo and Ah Mah) she was very engrossed throughout the performance and she even asked people to stop talking during the show.

Ever since after, she kept asking for ballet lessons but I still didn't think it was time to send her at this young age. Until one day, I really ran out of reasons to tell her why she is not allowed to go and so I called up one of the popular ballet schools hoping for answers like "No, she is too young" or "Maybe wait for another 6 months" kinda thing. I was wrong! I was told that they even have children at 2 years old. What can they do at 2 or 3 years old? They haven't even master in their walking, running and jumping and they are expect to do some dancing tricks and pointing their toes as they dance? I sent her to a trial class anyway after enquiring much information. That was 1 month ago and she continues the lessons since then.

I have to say that Charlotte really show interest in ballet!!! She is so happy and excited every time I told her that I am getting her ready for ballet lesson. I was right that she can't follow every action asked as yet but she certainly is a fast learner and she also benefits from of those basic lessons that I thought her at home.

Most people drop out from ballet lesson when exams started and/or fighting time to balance with school homework and activities. Will see how long will Charlotte last.

Actually, I prefer gymnastic instead of ballet...but I don't know of any gymnastic school here in Penang. Anyone care to share?

Sunday, February 8, 2009


As I was browsing the web lately, I found this very interesting yet useful tool to add to my already-more-than-enough feeding accessories - KABOOST! The only reason I wanted to get was because I am trying to train Charlotte to sit and eat at the dining table with us instead of having to set the feeding table aside just for her. It was my mistake not training her since young to sit on a high chair during meal time, I was almost never successful trying to feed her while strapping her down on a high chair except at the restaurants. Now that she is able to climb onto and off a chair unassisted and not to be restrained to keep from falling I feel that I could use this tool to start a better eating habit.

Besides the creative design, the size also makes it very portable. I was thinking if at any chance a restaurant ran out of high chair or doesn't provide one, we can always bring along this and use it to raise the chair instead. I was certainly disappointed when I found that it is not available in Malaysia and I definitely not going to purchase it online as international shipping always cost double the price of the product itself. But at last I found a nearest distributor and yet I don't have to pay a cent of shipping! It is in Singapore! I quickly wrote a letter to one of my sister-in-law who works in Singapore and was coming back for CNY holiday! The timing was just never better!

I have been using it and encouraging Charlotte to take her meals with us at the dining table. So far the return of investment is very good.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Night With Daddy, Alone

Charlotte is slightly over 39months now and her only time alone with daddy was when I had to be on business travels (twice before, a couple of weeks each time). Then also she was staying over at my parents place and our maid, Brenda was around to help out. So it wasn't really a daddy-daughter one-to-one kinda time.

Until last Wednesday, I wanted to attend a dinner event with some colleagues of mine. Although it wasn't an important event that I couldn't afford to miss, I was really trying to make effort to participate in activities with friends/colleagues once in awhile without having to rush back and get busy with baby and house chores. I had not done anything like that since Charlotte came along. Now that Charlotte is bigger and she is able to express herself better I feel more comfortable leaving her to someone trust worthy and get a little space of my own sometime. Pat was nice enough to offer the help since we do not have Brenda with us this week (Brenda is on "loan" to my SIL in KL who just had an surgery before CNY). I wasn't really comfortable with this whole arrangement not because Pat is not trust worthy but it really was the 1st time for Pat to handle Charlotte all by himself. Furthermore, Charlotte had not done her "big business" in 3 days and Pat's biggest task was to get her to "pangsai" (pass motion). Other than that, it was just normal routine like bath her after school, feed her dinner and milk before bed, brush her teeth and get her to sleep without me.

Pat picked her up from school and everything went so well. He text message me when Charlotte finally "pangsai" after feeding her dragon fruits that I prepared earlier on. I was so relief getting that message. Later on, Pat text me again letting me know that Charlotte had 3 chicken nuggets. 3 is a lot to me as she usually just barely finish 2. No more news after that...

I was home around 10.20pm, it was all silence when I opened the front door and I know Charlotte was already in bed. I didn't went wash up right away because I had to clear Charlotte's school bag and prepare for next school day. I saw milk cup, tooth brush soaked in the sink and I know daddy had done everything.

Good job, daddy!!! XOXO

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

年初一 (First Day of New Year)

This is how she looked look during the 1st day of Chinese New Year. I got her dressed up and made her stood in front of us (Pat and I) for the 1st time to wish us happy new year and to gain her 1st ang pow (red packet). She didn't forget to wish Simba (our golden retriever) too while waiting for daddy to setup the fire crackers.

We got an 8 feet long fire crackers the night before but we didn't light it during the eve simply because we know there is a new born baby just a few doors away from our house. It was about 10am when we were all ready to set the noise and welcome the new year officially. No fengshui or checking if it was a auspicious time to do that simply because we are Christians. It was all about fun and letting Charlotte to experience it (we didn't have it last year).

Usually we will go to MIL's house first and then only go to visit my parents but since MIL was not in town this year I get to visit my parents first :) We were just in time as my parents went to church for the new year service and they were on their way home when we arrived. I didn't take any picture then, must be too busy enjoying the mee sua my mom prepared. Same ingredients, same recipe, somehow mom's cook tastes better always.

The rest of the day was just busy eating, visiting, gathering, giving ang pow...