Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Falling sick on Christmas Day

Poor EV had a bad bout of fever on Christmas Day which lasted three days. It started Christmas Day morning and by the afternoon, when we were at a relative’s house, we were putting cool towels on her forehead to cool her down. By evening, her fever rose to almost 40 degrees, and we rushed her to a doctor which was opened. The medicine he prescribed gave some relief that night, and for a while, we were able to relax a little.

The next morning, her temperature was lower, but went up to 40 degrees again in the evening. I alternated her new fever medicine with the one previously given by her usual doctor. In between dosages, we wiped her with cool water to curtail the fever. Eventually, I gave only the fever medicine that her usual doctor gave her, as she was reacting more positively to it. By 1am, her fever went down and we gave her another dosage. While her fever didn’t go up to 40 degrees again, we continued to monitor and give the fever medicine, and mopping her with cool water. By the late of the third day and into the fourth day, her temperature was stable. All I can say is, it was a really worrying and sleepless experience for me and hubby.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

EV is learning incredibly fast

The brain of a toddler is like a sponge, with the ability to absorb and learn at an incredible speed. This is not just hearsay, based on educators’ research or teaching methods like Shichida. This I have witnessed myself and am truly amazed.

For the last one month, EV has been learning incredibly fast. Previously, she kept saying the same words like ‘moon’, ‘star’, ‘ball’ and ‘balloon’. I was wondering if she was absorbing what we were teaching her. Shame on mummy to doubt her abilities. EV was absorbing everything, but she was just keeping it all and binding her time in expressing it.

Until she learnt the word ‘no’, that is. After that, there seems like there’s no stopping her. She learnt her alphabets, numbers and words so extremely fast. She also started to string words together to express herself, eg ‘key’ and ‘bag’, to tell us to take the key, bag and go out. Here are some of her achievements:

a. Saying A to Z and calling out the next letter after us in sequence (eg, we say A, she say B)

b. Saying 1 to 12 and saying the next number in sequence after us (eg, we say 2 and she says 3)

c. Increased vocabulary, eg book, bread, write, fish, dog, open, fly, raisin, aeroplane

d. String words together, eg ‘book to read’, ‘aeroplane fly’, ‘key open’, ‘eat bread’, ‘drink milk’

e. Ability to say simple Chinese words eg , , 三, , 爸爸, 小, 狗, 猪, , 鸡, 牛

f. Recognising written English words and Chinese characters, eg apple, ball, book, moon, star, , , 三, , 狗, 人, 大, 天

g. Able to sing ‘do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do’

h. able to understand what adults say and respond by nodding or shaking the head, sometimes even responding with her own babbles as though she is sharing with us her views

Clearly, EV is learning at an amazing speed. She has absorbed whatever we taught her previously, even things we say day to day and is now exhibiting them, and absorbing even more. I knew it was time to do more home learning. More on that in another post.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Recommendation: Colouring & Tracing books

Here are some colouring and tracing books which I find are quite useful. They're also quite handy to bring around on outdoor adventures, and helpful in keeping EV occupied when we are having our meals. They were purchased from Popular, which also has heaps of other similar books.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Swissotel Stamford staycation

Last weekend, we took a one-day family staycation at Swissotel Stamford. As usual, my little beauty princess put on her charming smile and charmed everyone from the receptionist to the restaurant waitress. She even helped herself to a Korean tourist’s toy while we were waiting for our turn to check in.

The weather was fantastic and we brought EV swimming. She was elated at seeing so many kids at the pool. We didn’t bring any floats but as I was just right beside her, it was OK. She tripped on the stairs twice and got her head underwater. Being close by, I quickly held and hugged her. So she was fine in seconds.

EV managed to borrow a pail, a plastic watering can and a float from another girl of similar age. It was interesting to see how both girls wanted to lay claim to the toys and float and both parents asking them to share. No screaming fights ensued, and both girls managed to have their turn at the toys and floats, under careful and watchful ‘management’ by both parents.

Dinner consisted of noodles, carrot cake and ha kau (the Szechuan Kitchen restaurant at the hotel was still serving it). After which we took a walk around the mall and showed her Christmas trees, which she was able to appreciate more compared to last year. Every time she saw a Christmas tree, she would say ‘ball ball!’, and pointed to the decorations. In the mall, we met an Indonesian couple with two boys. When the father opened his pack of Yakult drinks, our EV caught sight of it, stood in front of him and looked up with a cute ‘can I have some’ expression. The father gave a bottle to her, and she responded with a brilliant grin. My cheeky little girl!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Teaching EV Chinese

Look around, and everyone's talking about putting the young ones into a Chinese-integrated preschool or sign up for enrichment classes. It's hard not to be stressed, especially when hubby and I converse mostly in English.

So from very early on, I decided that EV must be exposed to the Chinese language from an early age. From when she was still a baby, I made it a point to speak to her in Mandarin, sometimes even Cantonese. I have also been reading Chinese books to her, and showed her Chinese flashcards, so that she is exposed to the written language at a young age. Here are some books that I've been reading to her, and which EV enjoys very much.

As for the simple Chinese characters, I recently began with those that have simple strokes, and by adding another stroke, becomes another character, such as , , 三, , 大, 天. So far, she's been responding well. My Chinese-educated father-in-law also shows her various Chinese characters and strokes, from a wall chart. My mom read Chinese poems to her. So hopefully, we are starting on the right track in Chinese. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Books: Daddy Kiss

By Margaret Allum & Jonathan Bentley

The moment I found this book at the library, I knew I had to get it. It is currently EV's favourite book, and tells a charming tale of a girl giving kisses to everything and everyone, like a big kiss to a lion, or a fluttery kiss to butterflies, or a frosty kiss on a cold wintry day, or a sad kiss when saying goodbye, or a yucky kiss to a baby brother. The tale then leads to warm, snuggly kisses by grandmothers and mummies, and ends with a great big daddy kiss, which she loves best of all. When I read this book, I follow the words and do the actions, and hubby and I give her kisses when it describes a mummy or daddy kiss. Soon, EV could recognise which kiss comes next, and eagerly waits to give hubby a great big daddy kiss. Sometimes, she even goes to daddy even before I start reading the page. A really endearing tale that daddy, mummy and baby will love.