Friday, May 30, 2014

Some sweetness for the weekend

Sorry about the blurry photo, I couldn't resist the joyful expressions! Watching the two littles play together is my preference of sweetness these days! 

Here, I filled the tub of water for babydoll to play with some plastic animals. Ryan was doing something else but he can never resist water, so he joined in the fun. The two of them invented their own game - babydoll would hold out her container and Ryan would fill it up, then she would pour all the water into his container. Repeat. And repeat. They were chuckling and giggling away the entire time. And yes, they made a real mess. Heh heh.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Trip to KL - April 2014

A quick post today to document our trip to KL in April. We make the trip in April every year to celebrate some family birthdays and, on this occasion, Richard had business meetings in KL as well.

Here's a photographic run down of the trip.

Here are the littles, building forts as always.

Babydoll is always hilarious. Here she is, with her feet in my shoes and her brother's goggles on her head. I had to buy a pair of goggles for her after that because I knew that there would be a big tug-of-war if there was only one pair when the littles next went swimming.

And yes, there was a lot of swimming. I think the littles were in the pool almost everyday. Here they are with their uncle.

Babydoll was not content to stay in the baby pool and she climbed over the divider into the big pool. Ryan went to join her and they hung out there by themselves for a while. I usually just watched from the poolside.

Ryan finally had the chance to open his Lego train set, which was one of last year's Christmas presents from Richard and I. He was pretty enthusiastic about putting the model together, although he didn't finish it - to be continued next trip!

Babydoll always found ways to entertain herself (and us). After I took this photo, she stood up on the chair and started dancing to the music from the TV.

Car doodles. We spend quite a bit of time commuting in the car while we are in KL so the littles have to find ways to keep from getting restless in their seats. Ryan said that he drew this picture for me - it's a heart!

As always, we ate well. If you can't make out what babydoll is holding - it's a pig trotter.

One highlight of the trip for the littles was an outing to Sunway Lagoon. Their Aunty Margaret brought them there with their cousins while Richard and I had some time to ourselves.

This photo of babydoll and me was taken at Levain Boulangerie & Patisserie, which is a stone oven bakery in KL. Lots of yummy pastries and breads.

All in all, a good trip. We hope to be back in KL again in late June.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Simple life

We have been making good use of our tiny pool / giant bathtub. Ryan especially loves it. I mix in some hot water so that the pool is nice and warm and he can stay as long as he likes in it.

Lately, he has been calling it his "aquarium tank", after one session when I dumped toy sea animals inside. He said it was like swimming in a big aquarium. He's happy with the dolphins and the sharks and even the squid, but he always boots the octopus out (I usually throw the octopus back into the pool to tease him - can you spot it in this photo below?).

About two sessions ago, Ryan set up a water slide on the wall. It was the simplest of water slides - just a slanted pool noodle for the water to go down, with a bucket at the bottom end. I helped him to secure it with masking tape, but otherwise it was all him, and I didn't try to improve the set up for him at all. 

I wanted to give him the chance to take full ownership of his accomplishment, to know that he could make things happen, to be confident that his ideas were worthy, and to know that I appreciate him as he is. I didn't want to deprive him of that powerful feeling of, "I can do this."

After he set it up, he played with the slide repeatedly, just pouring water into it over and over again, filling up the bucket and emptying the bucket, and starting over again and again. 

The following Monday at school, during the class morning meeting when the students shared what they did over the weekend, his water slide was the first thing he talked about, including how he set it up and how he played with it. 

At the next session in the pool, he set it up again with just as much interest and enthusiasm.

It was a simple, simple thing, yet there was so much value from the experience. Good stuff.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Some sweetness for the weekend

Yup, that about sums it up. See you next week. Be good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Updates on Rachel

On Tuesday last week, which was Vesak Day, we were all at the bookshop. I was carrying babydoll when she kissed me and said, "I love you." It was completely spontaneous and came as a lovely surprise. I certainly can't say that she fully understood what she said but for sure, she associates it with happiness, with feeling good, with affection, and with me. And that is more than good enough.

When Richard was away in KL earlier this week, I had to bring babydoll with me when I dropped Ryan off at preschool. I always walk Ryan right into his classroom so babydoll came along with us all the way. It wasn't the first time she's been to his preschool; in fact, she's been there many times, including in his classroom. 

On this Monday, Ryan and I had discussed and agreed that he would share two poems with his classmates so I let the teacher know of his intentions and she said sure, and why don't I stay for their morning meeting? The class morning meeting is their morning circle time - the class gathers in a circle on a big mat and have little discussions and on Mondays, they usually share what they did over the weekend. 

So, babydoll and I stayed for a while and, before their morning meeting began, Ryan held her hand and proudly introduced her to all his classmates ("This is my sister, Rachel") and showed her a few things around the classroom. It was very adorable. 

The interesting thing was how babydoll behaved. She was confident, curious and completely at ease. The preschool has been asking me if I want to enrol her and I've been saying no but looking at her in the classroom, it seemed to me and to the teachers that babydoll would have no issue.

When the morning meeting began, babydoll settled down with the rest of the children, sitting in the circle just like them, without any prompting from me. She lasted the entire meeting (about half an hour) listening to each and every student (and the teachers) giving an account of their weekend. She was a little restless towards the end, but she did not fuss or disrupt the meeting. Truly amazing. 

By the way, Ryan did a wonderful job with his poems and his teacher sighed, "Oh, a five year old reciting poetry... how lovely!" When I told Richard later that day, Richard said that we should teach Ryan some love poems so that he can charm his girlfriends... heh.

Anyway, the next day, babydoll was all set to join in the fun in class and when I stopped at the classroom door and asked Ryan to go in without us. I could see the expectation in her face turn to surprise. To make up for any disappointment, I let her wander about the preschool grounds where there are many little stations for exploring and playing. She had a blast investigating everything - dabbling with the paints at the easels, recording observations on the clipboards on the tables, etc. When some of the classes came out for outdoor playtime, she happily went to join the older children, inserting herself between them at the water play area, playing side by side and cooperatively with them, filling up little cups with water. I let her go on for as long as she liked.

Following my observations, there are a couple of things that I want to ponder now. First is babydoll's preschool. We haven't been discussing this, for various reasons, and we need to spend some time thinking about this. We may come to the same decisions we made for Ryan, we may not. We'll see. Second is, to assess whether we are providing the right environment for her at home in terms of engaging her and fueling her curiosity. I think we are doing all right now but I also think that we need to step things up a bit soon. So, some planning to do there.

Okay, so that's where we are with babydoll. Now, on to the photos!

Here she was, leaving the house one morning. This is her usual look - fully laden. I found it particularly interesting that she was carrying her backpack on one shoulder. We didn't teach her that. She just got it. 

She is still into handbags and she doesn't discriminate - any sort of bag will do, even a plastic bag.

Babydoll loves to do pretend play. Here she set out the mat and positioned herself and Bear Bear for a good chat.

Sometimes, they even go places where they have to dress up. Heh heh.

Okay, that's all for now!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Moments with Ryan

The other day, I showed Ryan a dress that I had sewn for Rachel. Holding it up, I asked him, "Look Ryan, I made this for meimei. Is it nice?" He said, "Yes it is."
Then I held up another dress, "Look at this one, which one do you like better?" and he said, "The first one, mama. Because you sewed it."
"Oh, thank you darling, but I sewed both of them."
"Oh, then both of them are nice. I like them both," he said, without missing a beat. "They have nice patterns, mama."

One night as we were in bed chatting,  I told Ryan, "Baby, remember to tell mama everything, ok. Things that make you happy, things that make you sad, you can tell mama everything. Don't keep things in your heart, just tell me. Ok?"
He says, "It's ok, mama, don't worry. I put you in my heart too."
Then he adds softly, "You can tell me everything too, mama. Don't keep things in your heart, ok?"

Another night, as we were both reading our own books in bed, laying side by side, I grabbed Ryan's foot, sniffed it and playfully threw it aside, saying, "Smelly feet!"
Without looking up from his book, he said, "I love you too."

Monday, May 19, 2014

A different point of view

Richard is away in KL for two days on business so it's just the three of us at home at the moment. I'll be back tomorrow with more snippets of life with the littles, but for today, it's the phone dump! Enjoy!


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