Saturday, August 2, 2014

Almost a Tic Tac Toe

Bento # 336

It has been a while since I last made a bento box. And today I did not know what should I prepare for my son's lunch (you know there were times we, as a home maker, just could not figure out what to put on the dining table).  I was contemplating between sushi or rice ball and my dear son chose to have rice ball. So I put together all the ingredients available into a bento box and almost did a Tic Tac Toe theme but without the the 'X' and 'O'.  My boy has rice balls wrapped with seaweed/topped with pork floss, tamagoyaki, stir-fried chicken breast with soya/mirin, boil green peas/carrot strips and green kiwi.  However he commented that the rice balls did not taste like 'Japanese' food.  Indeed, it was just plain rice flavoured with pork floss.  I shall try some furikake seasoning next time.

July - a month that was truly eventful and unforgettable due to the loss of our grandma (aka Ah Ma)who has passed away (less than a week after we visited her during the June school holiday) and the Primary one registration for in-take 2015 (details refer to MOE website). In Singapore, majority of the parents, wherever possible, would have planned to become a parent volunteer or even become a member of affiliated association or part of resident committee, two years ahead of the registration just to have greater chance of enrolling their kids into their choice of primary school (especially popular or elite schools).  Well, we did nothing of that sort (basically I lacked support/backing from Papa).  And now, we were faced with a situation that balloting is required for Singapore citizen who resides within 1km away from the school as the number of children registered exceeded the vacancy available in the school of our choice in phase 2C.  It has been stressful for the past few days.  I have been calling and even popping by the school to check the statistics.  Balloting is fixed on 6 August 2014.  I wish for luck and the best outcome for us.














Thursday, July 17, 2014

A paper peacock fan

Back to school and back to my normal routine as a home maker after the one month June holidays.  July also began the Primary One registration for in-take in 2015 for my 6 years old boy which all parents, included myself, was really concerned on the take up rate at each phase of the registration process.  On the other hand, it also means that my boy is graduating from his kindergarten at the end of the year.  According to my son, he will be performing as a peacock on stage during his graduation ceremony in school  he's going to perform Malay and peacock dance in celebration of the cultural day next Monday and not for his graduation. (He claimed to have forgotten and did not lie in purpose.)  This explained why he  borrowed a Chinese book from the library to know more about peacock.  To enhance his learning experience, I suggested to make a paper peacock fan perhaps another day which I found it here.  But he responded with such enthusiasm that I just have to oblige it! And we did it yesterday late afternoon whilst I trying to multi-tasking by preparing the dinner and at the same time, demonstrating/giving him instructions what to do. He chose the beautiful Indian/ blue peacock for his craft.  We made a semi-circle fan instead since we have limited green paper and create our own kind of peacock fan.
 
Materials :-
 
  • Green colour paper folded like a fan for its tail feathers or rather known as a "train"
  • Blue colour paper for its body
  • Yellow colour paper for its beak and legs
  • Black marker to draw 1) the pattern on the tail feathers, 2) outline the legs and, 3) on the tip of the crest atop its head
  • A wiggling eye
  • Paint - we used red
  • Glitters - we chose gold
  • A Plastic fork
  • Scissor
  • Glue
  • Double side tape to stick the peacock on the fork
It's really easy and I'm proud that he has done it mostly by himself. :))  He got quite messy that you can see patches of ink smeared on the blue body.
 
  
 




Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My kid lies

It is normal for a kid to lie.  Even adult lies too.  But to personally experience it myself with my 6 years old son is a rude awakening.

It has never occurred to me that my boy is capable of creating tall tales other than occasional white lies.  I was unprepared and shocked to learn about it.  It set me back into deeper thoughts and started to read up articles in the internet on 'Why kids lie?' and 'What to do about it?   Initially, he began with some white lies such as:-

"I have already brushed my teeth"
"I have already washed my hands"
"I have already flushed the toilet after poo"
"I wear my underpants"

which, in fact, he did not do it or rather he dislikes me telling him what to do.  At times, I caught him red handed and confronted him. He did not deny.  On the contrary, he laughed it off cheekily.  However, a recent incident triggered me to find out the truth from his teacher and only to discover that I have been misled into believing him that he has been constantly being bullied in the school. 

Previously, I have heard from my son that a particular boy always picked on him for the last few months.  Because there was no serious injury or bruises physically, I asked him to inform the teacher and stay away from that kid.  Basically, I hope that he could manage himself.  His account of story:-

"Tripped, kicked, stepped and punched him when the teacher was busy or not around."
"Ambushed him when he was not looking."
"The bully was punished by the teacher and was locked out of the classroom."
"The bully fought with another boy by throwing beyblade at each other resulting minor cuts and bled a little near their eyes."

I was alarmed and cautioned that he should stay way from them to avoid being hurt. One day, I found a letter in his bag written by the bully that he was sorry for disturbing my boy and would not do it again.  That further affirmed my belief that he indeed has bullied my son for the past few months. Few days later,  he came home telling me that the bully striked again.  His account of story: -

"I was being punched, tripped and fell over." 
"My forehead hit the floor and I cried because it was very very painful. "
"The bully also touched my private part as well as other kids too."

I was astonished and fuming that this child need help, so was my son.  I asked my son to pen down his feelings about this bully on a paper and send a strong message to the bully that he would not accept his apology.  Fearing my boy might get hurt since he was going for the independence camp at the end of May for 2 days 1 night in the school compound, I felt it was necessary to have a good talk with his teachers. 

On 19 May 2014, a Monday morning before school, my boy told me that he could handle the matter himself.  I was sceptical but he was full of confidence.  I was determined to find out more from the teacher and hence, has requested the latter to give me a call.  When I picked him up from school, he again assured me that he has passed the message to his teacher and the latter would convey it to the bully's parent.  In his own words, he told me "Mommy, relax and soon will be over"!  In addition, he also said "I have shared the bad things the bully did to me with my friends so that they could also protect themselves too. "  Sound like he's the superhero of the day!

Finally the cat is out of the bag when I received a phone call from his teacher. I raised my voice and almost wanted to give him a scolding.  Teacher on the phone calmed me down so that I could have a good talk with my son.  .

The truth was -

1.  He was never bullied.
2.  The kid was a good friend and a shy boy.  Both often played together.
3.  There was absolutely no beyblade in the school.  However, the 2 boys indeed had a fight but in the computer room because one of them switch it off on purpose and angered the other kid.
4.  No complaints from other children that they were touched down there.  (After questioning him many times, he insisted he was being touched.  I had requested the teacher to watch out for it.)

Teacher commented that at his age of 6 years old, he exhibits maturity in his thoughts, knowledge and behaviour as compared to his peers. Most likely, he could not differentiate between facts and fictions, his rich imagination could have dramatized the episodes of each make up stories. There should not be a great concern if we, as his parents, could reinforce good values such as honesty from home.

Ever since then, we began to stress that we need him to be honest with us so that we can trust and believe him again.  Repeatedly, we also emphasized the consequence of lying like grounded or removed his privileges such as watching his favourite TV or toys.  There were times we still doubted him and asked him many times to confirm whether he was telling the truth.

I am glad it is over.  And hopefully, my boy understand and know his limit. 


At Tampines Eco Park










Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Japanese steamed cake, DIY Tornado in a bottle

 
June school holiday begins next week.  What are your plans for your kids?  I have already booked a Mangroves Adventure 3-day camp with Terraminds from 2 to 4 June 2014.  For the rest of the days, we probably will visit the museum, explore a new playground, play at Grandma's house and more soccer, or even pop by our neighbourhood library for a storytelling session.  These outdoor activities (I hope) would pretty much occupy my energetic boy for the one whole month of June.  If weather is not favourable, it is also a good time to bond with our children by engaging them perhaps with some home baking or even some easy science experiments which I'm going to share here.  It was an awesome experience for us. 
 
We made Japanese steamed cake together allowing my son to free hand doodle on the batter before we steamed it.  My boy wanted to draw kerropi frog but somehow, the finished products did not turn out and resemble kerropi.  It did not matter at all.  Most importantly, my little man enjoyed the process and happy to eat his own steamed cake that he made (with my help).  The receipe can be found here.  Except I added pandan flavour that my boy loves.
 



 
 
 
 
Next, we created a Tornado in a bottle.  It was fascinating for my boy and he just could not stop swirling the bottle.
 
Materials
  • 1 plastic bottle
  • 6 small aluminium foil balls
  • water
  • blue food colouring
  • teaspoon
  • clear dish liquid soup
 
Steps
 
  • Pour 1 teaspoon of dish liquid soup into the bottle
  • Drop aluminium foil balls
  • Add food colouring
  • Rotate the bottle to create a swirling motion.
 
video

Enjoy.....



 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Octopus, DIY Gift Box

 
Food Art #336


 
Simple meal at home.  Potato mash for the octopus head.  Green peas for its eight tentacles.  Some carrots and cherries to create rocky seabed under the sea.  I decorated the baked salmon fillet with some patterns which I pressed out from a piece of cheese using straw. Hehe, does it look like coral?  Well, guess you need some imagination!

Last week happened to be the birthday of his form teacher, Ms Josie and some of the kids actually gave her presents.  After school, my son told me that he too wanted to make a gift for Ms Josie.  A box!  Yeah, a box for his teacher he insisted.  I then asked him why it has to be a box?  He replied that Ms Josie wanted a box to put her things.  I was quite baffled that the teacher requested for it.  (Afterwhich, I learnt from his Chinese teacher, she had read a story about a box to the children.  Probably that was the reason why he thought of a box as a gift.)  Back home, he searched our shoe cabinet for empty boxes.  Mommy usually kept a couple of nice shoe boxes whenever she buys new shoes.  A habit I could not explain why ;P  We decided to use his kiddy shoe box; old and dusty.  Not for long....after we transformed it.

First, I told me son to wipe off the dust with a dam cloth.  Then, I took out my art and craft barang (a Malay word for stuff) and let him chose the materials to dress up the box. 

Materials:
  • An old shoe box of any size
  • A red colour wrapping paper (which I collected from Christmas shopping last year)
  • A paper daisy (from Grandma and she also could not remember how on earth she got it)
  • Black felt for the base
  • Stickers, stencils, colour papers or any decorative items you can find
  • Glue
Whilst I wrapped up the shoe box, my boy did the decorative parts and cuttings where necessary. We also did the paper daisy together. He was so proud of the DIY gift box and that night, he slept with it.


Cut-outs to make paper daisy

Bright yellow daisy

DIY gift box
 
Glue black felt on the base
Stickers around the four sides of the box
 

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Dinosaur playground at Fu Shan Garden, Woodlands

We visited Grandma ("Po Po") on Vesak day since it was a public holiday.  As part of Mother's day celebration (although it has already passed but never too late!), we treated her for lunch at a Ichiban Japanese restaurant in Causeway point.  After lunch, we made an impromptu trip to Fu Shan Garden at Woodlands Street 81.  I have mentioned to my mum previously that Dinosaur theme playground at Fu Shan Garden was one of the playgrounds on my wish list to visit. (Thus far, we had been to the Dragon playground at Toa Payoh and Watermelon playground at Tampines.) I was taken a back that she actually suggested to walk to Fu Shan Garden from Causeway point under such that super hot and humid afternoon.  Along the way, there were a lots of complaints from my little man.   Nevertheless, when we finally made it, my boy was elated to see dinosaurs there. 
 
The playground was rather muddy after the rain.  Pretty quiet and deserted as well. We seemed to enter into the prehistoric period.  If it was not because of the scorching hot sun, we would love to hang around for a longer time.  Perspiring but satisfying, we took a bus number 911 back to Bus Terminal  enroute to my mum's home.
 
  





 







Monday, May 12, 2014

Miffy's boyfriend, Sweet Mother's day



Bento # 335
I wanted to make Mother's day theme bento quietly without his (my boy's) knowledge.  However, my dear son enthusiastically asked me to create a bunny bento instead.  Unusual request - that was what I thought!  Because as far as I knew, he was not keen in cute bento.  I gladly obliged him and created Miffy's boyfriend made of yellow cheese/nori.  Yeah, it must be a boy not girl.  I really tempted to put a red ribbon foodpick on it instead :P  Well, I did not obviously.  In the box, he has white rice mixed with baked salmon flakes, seaweed and corn kernels.  Top with carrot flowers and Japanese cucumber leaves.  Some strawberries and blueberries to go in his lunch.

Bet everyone has a fabulous Mother's day celebration yesterday.  We did the usual casual dining at Ichiban restaurant for lunch which I ate the whole dragon roll all by myself.  I like the creamy avocado and fried tiger prawn but hardly order the dragon sushi roll since it was quite pricey (to us at  $14.90). And later that evening, we had Chinese food at Soup restaurant which we were pleasantly surprised that the day's menu only limited Mother's day set meals, nothing else.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed the dinner.

Prior to that, I made strawberry tarts since I have plenty of organic oats left in the cupboard which were due to expire next month.  And the boys were not fond of oatmeal too.  Cracking my head on what I should do with these roll oats.  I ended up with these yummy strawberry tarts. 

Receipe for tart base
125g butter
50g brown sugar
75g plain flour
140g rolled oats

For Crème Pâtissière, I followed and adapted the receipe from The Little Teochew here.




I also received a jewellery box and the cards he made in the school.  Love it all.   It was interesting how my son described what he drew on the card and just have to quickly pen down before I forgot. Quoted by my 6 years old little man:

"Mummy is the tree
with flowers and love and,
attracts butterflies, bees and stickbugs"



Jewellery box made of ice cream sticks

Balloon print design card




A Japanese red stork
Computer generated
using
Tux paint