Painting Upin!

I’m starting to get a knack for this crafts at home thingee.

This time, the painting activity I prepared for the boys was much more manageable. It was IMPORTANT that is was manageable because I was ALL ALONE with them today!

So it was a SUPER WIN for me! =O

The 3 Key Successs Factors that I should remember always:

1. It is important to situate the activity in a contained area preferably one which is a convenient place for clean up.

 In this case the boy’s bathroom. We intentionally didn’t do up any shower stalls, etc in the toilet to keep it as open and spacious as possible, for them. So, I put a plastic mat on the floor so that their drawing paper would keep dry. It’s the same plastic mat i use under their high-chairs for when they practise feeding themselves, so it was mucho convenient!

2. Use Non-TOXIC washable paints.

Since my time as an Assistant Teacher at Julia Gabriels, I’ve known the importance of using non-toxic paints. While not many babies would feed themselves paint, some do. I remember a fellow teacher’s little boy, Anthony, who picked up the brush and then put it in his mount and proceeded to eat up the paint. His mom, one of the teachers, just shook her head and smiled. I think lil Anthony went on to finish the whole bowl of red paint! =D

When u know the paint is ok, you can be as cool as a cucumber. And that’s a good state of being, to be in when you’re organising these sorts of activities. Especially when your child has a knack for wanting to eat paint or wanting to BE the painting Canvas!

Upin instinctively starts to paint himself. He has so much fun with it and I know he’s exploring textures and how it feels, so I encourage him. I did get a bit antsy about him painting his diapers! But ok lah- I mean nothing wrong with it, except that I found it a tad weird.

Talk about different personalities! Ipin kept relatively clean the whole time, and complained about the little bits of paint that DID get on him. He also showed obvious displeasure when Upin tried to paint his diaper! lol…

3.  Let them be almost nude and let them continue to play in the shower  and watch you clean up

Obviously, when they’re unclothed it eases any anxiety about getting clothes dirty mah? I did consider letting them go without diapers, but I thought dingle-dongle prints on the drawing paper was a tad distasteful!

But letting them watch and participate in clean up was something I didn’t expect would work so well. They were quite amused helping me rinse off the plastic mat and wash off all the paints that we used- which basically meant them shounting “There!”, “Wet” while I was bent over backwards cleaning.

Anyhow, I think it was a nice transition for them into their shower. It was a sign that, well the painting fun is over. Momma has cleaned everything up and now it’s time for us to get cleaned up!

I just HAD to post up these 2 pics cos I think they’re so cute and funny! I blurred out the dingle-dongle bits though. I do hope they don’t hate me when they’re bigger for posting these sorts of pics on my blog.

Lol..

And this was one of the 2 final products! =D 
I’m proud of my babies, but PROUDER of myself! LOL!

Homemade Meals

I really enjoy entertaining. I find cooking for close friends and family really gratifying. I’ve not always been interested in cooking, maybe all the Food Network Shows i’ve been watching is rubbing off on me.

I’ve recently realised how much passion cooking requires, and the joy it brings people. And shows like Top Chef, Chopped and Masterchef really made me realise the innovation that cooking is!

I’m not a great cook, but I suppose one will never approach greatness without practice.

I should cook more. Really!

The Hopeless Mom

I’ve been having a string of hopeless-mommy-moments.

I was in the Orchard area today with some time on my hands. So i decided to visit Kino to get some books for the boys. I knew where the kids book area was, but when i got there, i found myself just walking around and around and along the aisles.

Every aisle looked like this…

I think the usual me, before mommyhood, sleepless nights and crazy work schedules, would have loved to plonk myself down by the aisle, pick out one colourful spine after the other and thumb through the pages, enjoying the thick card-boardy pages, that only kiddy books have!

But sleep-deprived, stressed out mommy me? It was all tooo much! Like there must have been a gazillion books. How was I supposed to choose?

It’s real easy when it comes to adult books right? For me, I think- Indian author, family drama, set in rural areas, or set in the past (I don’t quite like stories in present day metropolitan cities), some mother-daughter-in-law tension is great, inter-caste romance is a bonus, some nomination for some award is good- and it’s a WIN for me!

I could have just grabbed any book, but at like an average of $15 a pop, I wasn’t about to waste my money. So I walked out defeated and empty handed.

It wasn’t all bad. I had to make a trip to NTUC on my way home. Ridden with guilt, I jumped at the opportunity to get something, ANYTHING, when I saw a discount bin of books in the middle of NTUC. I picked this book out for $6.

Not quite a great whimsical story I was looking out for, when I headed to Kino, but it served to sooth my own guilt of being such a hopeless Mom.

I hate the iPAD

I hate the iPAD!

I just spent the last 20mins trying to get my boys from the house down to my mom’s car for their daily commute to my mom’s. She watches them during the day.

It’s usually not so challenging, but today there was screaming, rolling on the floor, rolling around on the elevator floor and non stop wailing.

Because…..because I made the rookie mistake of letting them play on the iPAD this morning!!! Major Fail!

I usually don’t, but today Ipin was looking for it. And I thought I could entice him to just take his iron supplements (he’s suspected to be mildly thallasemic) without me having to mix it into juice, which would take a much longer time to have him finish, with the iPAD. Of course, it worked like a charm! He took the 1.4mls in a breeze and thr stuff is NASTY I tell ya! And settled to watch his fav videos on the iPAD. Upin joined in of course.

The drama began when it was time to go down to meet my mom and neither wanted to surrender the iPAD.

Upin managed to calm down and had absolutely forgotten about the iPAD when we reached the void Deck, but Ipin continued to cry and wail. I managed to get him into hs car seat and my mom drove off, with him still yelling his head off.

I’m hoping he doesn’t continue to be upset all day. Its going to be tough for my mum if he is all cranky today.

I have no one to blame but myself, and of course the damned existence of the iPAD, I suppose. Of course, the very fact that I’m typing this out on the bus, on my iPAD, does not change my feelings about how I hate the it all the same.

OK, everyone, say it together on the count of 3. 1…..2……3…..,

HYPOCRITE!!!!!’

Carrot Prints

When you have 2 little boys under 2, the only way to survive a day without tantrums because they’re frustrated or bored, is to ensure that you have a stream of planned activities to keep them engaged.

That said, some days are more challenging. Last Saturday was one of those days!

The boys were up at 6am refusing to go back to sleep. So they were bathed by 7am, had breakfast by 7.30am  and we were at the playground before 8am. By 8.30am, I knew we couldn’t spend all morning at the playground. While they ran around harassing other children at the playground, my mind scrambled to think about what we could do next.

I thought I had the perfect activity. I had paints and some vegetables that had been in the fridge for awhile. So i enticed the boys to leave the playground by promising them a funfilled activity of CARROT PRINTING

The boys watched intently as I demonstrated how you pick the carrot, dip the end, that I had cut little shapes, into the paint and then print.

I should have expected what happened next. But I did not!

Ipin channeling Chanel! Like Mommy, he LOVES bright red lips!
They both picked up a carrot each, said ‘CARROT’ gleefully to me and proceeded to try and eat it! My boys love to eat carrots, and I think they thought I was serving them a mid-day snack?

Ihsan taking on a more emo, rocker, darker kinda look!

Luckily for me,  I used non-toxic paints. So i wasn’t quite bothered about them licking up the delish paints! I did have a good time laughing though.

It also got quite funny when Upin found carrot printing himself more interesting.

I do think it was a successful activity. It kept them quite entertained and occupied for awhile, and it certainly amused me. Only problem was that they didn’t want to stop, and insisted that we brought the carrots into the shower with them! So the fun continued during their shower!

Hubby, on the other hand, was not amused when I proudly showed him the photos I had taken and shared how they boys had tried to eat the carrots.

He said, ” You shouldn’t use food items. Vegetables are for eating, not playing!”.

I just went…”Oh”. Yes, the formally trained early childhood educator had a point. Maybe it wasn’t a suitable activity for such young ones. But, I had fun anyway. Next time we use sponges or something lah!

I need SIMPLE.

We discovered a really nice old chinese bakery near our place It makes really nice, fluffy french loaves.
 And it’s regular loaf is really quite a treat.
Especially with some butter and kaya.
SIMPLE. 
Uncomplicated.
Easy.
Yet, Satisfying.
Perhaps its time for me to focus on the simple things.
What really matters!
Maybe complexity is just not me
Someone else can try and figure out how to whip up eggs benedict, with hollandaise sauce, smoked salmon and asparagus with truffle sauce, from scratch.
I’l just butter me up some plain white toast and slather me on some pre-made kaya.

Because of Elmo, I owe NLB money now.

Got this in the mail this morning
CRAP!

I didn’t have to open it.
I already knew what it said-
“You have a book you haven’t returned, and well you’re going to pay 
an unnecessary fine for being too lazy to get your bum bum down to the library to return it!’
Okay…not in those words exactly.
It’s true. We’ve been hanging on to Elmo for like 2 weeks too long. Maybe even 3 weeks.
In fact we were hanging on to a bunch of books 2 weeks too long and when we finally got to the library to return them, I realised too late that this Elmo book was still at home.

I know, I know- how difficult is it to get to the library?
And yet….this book is still with us.
And it’s not even a good book. It’s much too advanced for the boys, but they love Elmo and anything with Elmo. Frankly, I think there are no good Elmo books around. I went to get one at Times and I thought it was so badly written. I was just relieved I didn’t go around ordering a whole bunch of different Elmo books I was checking out on Amazon, as I think they’re all not written very well. 
The boys love the books because of Elmo really, but in terms of the way the books are written,
I don’t think it does my kids language development a favour.
Words don’t rhyme, there’s no flow and tempo to the sentences that will immediately catch the boy’s attention (or mine). And hey, that’s important too. If i don’t enjoy reading the book to the boys, then what hope is there that they’ll love the book or story too?
Anyway, it IS time to get this returned. And I need to find the boys some new books. I think I can’t run away from needing to get some Elmo related books that I enjoy reading too, as they’ll just hound me with the ones we already have that I don’t quite like. 
Any tips? 
Yeah, maybe some tips about how you deal with these ‘flavour of the moment’ themes/character books may help. For example, how long will this Elmo faze last, and the next character faze begin? It’ll be stupid for me to get another 5 books Elmo related only to find that they decide Dora the Explorer is more interesting right?
I don’t mind Dora- some girl power will rock it here. FAR too many book on Boy-sie stuff! 
lol…