Travel: Firstcoach

Over the June holidays, we brought the kids to Kuala Lumpur to have a short getaway. We had initially wanted to go back to Sunway Lagoon, but decided to forgo it as we did not have enough time.

This time round, we did not drive up as my SIL is not willing to drive for 5 hours so we took a coach instead. It was the kids first experience on the coach.

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At the recommendation of a relative who travels frequently between Singapore and KL, we decided to try out Firstcoach. And we are glad we made the right choice! Here are the reasons why:

  • Safe.  When travelling to KL, hubby got to take the first row of the coach and he monitored the coach driver throughout the ride (as much as he can). He noticed that the driver never exceeds 100km/hr. It may seem slow, but for such a big and heavy vehicle with so many passengers, I will rather be slow than not reaching my destination at all *Choy!*. We also noticed that there were 2 drivers each time on both our rides (to and fro). And they took turn to drive the coach ensuring they are not tire out from the long journey. (P.S. This is the first time we took this coach and this is what we noticed, we are not sure if it is the same for all the drivers and rides.)
  • Clean.  We also noticed that the coach was quite clean and neat, which is very important when you are trapped in that vehicle for so many hours.
  • Entertaining.  Each of the seat comes with their own entertainment system but you have to bring your own ear phones. Compared to airplanes, the selection were definitely lesser. There are about 6 shows in each category. And there is a category for “cartoon” and another for “family”, enough to keep my elder 2 entertained.
  • Thoughtful.  I noticed 3 pin power socket below the window for each row of seats. This means you can plug your charger in and charge up your devices anytime. No worries of running out of “juice”.
  • Friendly Drivers.  You know how you travel with young kids, a moment ago you asked them if they need to pee, they say no. And like an hour later, they told you they are very urgent. Well, it happened to my SIL and she had to asked the driver if he could pull over at the next resting point. Which they gladly did without much complains. But we feel bad for causing delay to other passengers.
  • Convenient.  It happens that this trip we are staying at the Bandar Utama area. The drop off point for the coach happens to be the hotel that we will be staying. So its really convenient for us.

Of course there are disadvantages:

  • Slow.  It took us a whopping 7 hours to reach KL! The bus left Novena at 8am, and we only reach KL like 3pm. There was queue at the Singapore and Malaysia customs but I think we manage to clear both within an hour. However, we probably chose a bad time to take the coach and was caught in heavy traffic along Singapore expressway while trying to get to Tuas Second Link. On our return leg, we left KL at 8am and cleared the Singapore custom by 12pm. That was really fast but unfortunately we waited at the custom for an hour because of an irresponsible passenger who left without informing the driver (another downside of taking coach).
  • No lunch break.  As our coach ride to KL was 8am, we had thought the coach will stop for a lunch break in between. We were wrong. The coach only stop for a short toilet break and there was no decent food for sale at the area. However, when we were coming back from KL, the coach did stop at an area with hawker and fast food. But we were given only 20 mins, which isn’t enough for us to go for toilet break and eat, especially with the kids. So Chubby actually da bao (packed) KFC on board. He wasn’t stopped by the driver but I felt a little pai seh because of the smell.
  • Reclining affects other passengers.  The chairs can be reclined to an angle where it will be diffcult for the passenger behind to get in and out of their seat. Fortunately for me, the kids were infront of us, so we are not affected. And I tried to be considerate and not recline my chair too much. I have taken a coach many years back to Genting, where the seat was really comfortable and the the reclining does not affect other passengers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t available in this coach.

At the end of the trip I asked the kids if they prefer to take a car or coach to KL. The answer was obviously coach as they can watch to their heart content. For me, I still prefer the car. Maybe because I’m not the driver. But I feel its easier to manage the kids, especially the littlest as he could be belted to the car seat. And the interaction while in the car is part of the family bonding for road trips. Besides, the time saved would mean we have more time to explore KL.

How about you? Do you prefer to drive up or take a coach? Share with us your views.

 

Book: The Littlest Dinosaur 小恐龙

I haven’t been blogging for about two months, as we were busy with the June holidays and the kids falling sick. But we didn’t stop reading this two months, there are many books that I wanted to share, but alas, time doesn’t allow as most books were returned to the library before I have time to take photo and blog about it. Luckily, I manage to “salvage” this book.

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I was trying to look for Chinese books to read to the littlest, when I saw this book on one of the shelves. The (English) book title was just shouting at me to borrowed it. I mean, I always call our youngest the littlest and he has a love for dinosaur, isn’t this book, just by the title, so suitable for him?

Storyline

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This story is about a Mummy Dinosaur who had laid a few eggs. And one day, the eggs began to hatch. However, there is just one egg that wouldn’t hatch. The Mummy Dinosaur took extra care of the egg, fanning it when its hot and keeping it warm when the weather is cold. Due to the extra care that the egg requires, Daddy Dinosaur have to take over the responsibilities of taking care of the other baby dinosaurs.

And one day, when Daddy Dinosaur cannot take it any longer, he wanted to crack the egg, but was obviously stopped by Mummy Dinosaur who feels that the egg should be given time to hatch by itself.

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Finally, one day, the egg hatched. But the dinosaur inside was so small. No bigger than the toe of an adult dinosaur (according to Daddy Dinosaur). And no matter how much Mummy fed the littlest dinosaur, he wouldn’t grow bigger. There were obviously many disadvantages of being such a small dinosaur. So the littlest dinosaur was often very sad. Until one day something happened, and as with most children books, our littlest dinosaur save the day.

What we like

  1. It’s a Chinese and English book combined into one! One book but yet we can teach both languages. And the kids can “read” how the English content is being translated to Chinese and vice versa. A good way to learn language I feel.
  2. It incorporates science and fiction! The littlest dinosaur will climb to the top of the mountain and stay there for a long time because everything seems small when he is at the top of the mountain. So I took the opportunity to ask the littlest to observe if that statement is true. I’m still looking for a way to explain the science behind it in a simple enough way for the kids to understand. Let me know if you have any idea.
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  3. The moral of the story is about accepting ourselves for who we are and we will be useful in our own way. There is no need to get upset for being different. I find this a good value to have, especially for the littlest who often felt that he is not “big” enough to do what his siblings are doing (though his context is a little different from this).
  4. A reflection of real life. I liked the part where Daddy Dinosaur got so tired of taking care of the siblings that he wanted to crack open the egg, so Mummy Dinosaur won’t be spending her time tending to it. It’s so real isn’t it? I think next time when I read this to the kids, I will bring up the analogy that if they fall ill, the same will happen to Daddy and Mummy. So they better keep themselves healthy by drinking more water and washing their hands more often! LOL!

All three kids love the book, though the littlest will not allow me to read every word and choose to look at the pictures. So it really train my skill to summarise it for him. LOL.

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Library Details:

  • Libraries: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Choa Chu Kang, Geylang East, Jurong, Jurong West, Queenstown, Sembawang, Toa Payoh and Woodlands
  • Call Number: Chinese FOR
  • Location: Junior Lending Picture Book
Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

Reflect: May 2017

Our family spend the whole of May falling sick and trying to get back into health. What a tiring May 2017.

HFMD
The illness all started in late April, where the Littlest caught HFMD. And we didn’t realize it was a HFMD case as he didn’t complain much except for the low-grade fever and poor appetite. There was no spots on his hands or mouth. So we thought he just caught some virus. Only when the school announced HFMD cases then we realize he might have caught the HFMD. Unfortunately, by the time we realize, it was a little too late. He has spread the virus to both the Girl and their cousin.

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One of the best stay home activities for the kids were painting. This is the Littlest’s artwork. He says he is drawing “Purple Lion Dance, Leaves, Caterpillar and Rubbish”. Very abstract indeed.

Virus Attack
The Girl recovered from HFMD but developed a cough. It wasn’t really serious, but we could hear she has some phlegm. The Helper also came down with a bad throat and cough during the period. Soon the virus went to the Littlest and the Boy, and finally to Chubby and a little to myself. The Littlest was the worst hit as his fever shot as high as 40C. We eventually took him to the hospital for a check in case he has a chest or lung infection. Luckily all came out well. He is no longer having any fever, but the on-and-off cough is still there. Same for the Girl, while the Boy is back to drippy nose.

Weekend Play
With the kids being sick, we hardly have any chance to bring them out on weekends. The boy had to skip a birthday party as we are afraid we will be bringing the HFMD virus with us. On one of the weekends we manage to bring the elder two for a swim. It was drizzling when we were on our way to our usual pool, so Chubby decides to head further to see if we can escape the rain. So the kids visited the pool at Safra Jurong and we are delighted to have the whole children section to ourselves. Seems like no one visit the pool at that time. Or maybe no parent is crazy enough to bring their kids out for a swim when it looks like it might rain. LOL.

Cycling
The Girl has been asking for a bicycle for sometime already. However, we were pretty reluctant to get one with stabiliser as we know that does not aid in learning to ride. And we have like 2 balance bike at home. Sometime last month, I noticed the Boy could balance pretty well on his balance bike, so we decide the time has finally come for the Boy to own a “normal” bike. And in getting for the Boy, we had to get for the Girl too. Fairness, they called it. LOL.

We decide to pay Decathlon a visit since they opened a new branch in the west. And we got the Girl’s bicycle there with easy to remove stabilisers. However, there was no male design for the Boy’s height, so we decide the both of them is to share the bicycle, and its a waste of money to buy two bicycles of the same height when they will outgrow it pretty soon.

The next day after we got the bicycle, Chubby brought the elder two to cycle. And the Boy manage to ride the bicycle by himself after like 1 try. It’s not the perfect kind of cycling, but he is able to maneuver around. He just had difficulties “starting” the cycle. I must say the balance bike investment was well spent. LOL. Now is to get the Girl to ride on the balance bike more.

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The boy on the “girly” bicycle from Decathlon. We got their helmets and guards there too. Things were reasonably priced. And nope, we are not paid to advertise for them. Just sharing good deals. LOL.

Dino Robot Factory @ Science Centre
It’s the June holidays (though technically we are still in May), so we brought the kids to Science Centre. We decide to pay the Dino Robot Factory a visit since the boy love Dinosaurs. I must say this exhibition is a great improvement from the “Monsters of the Sea” exhibition which we visited last year. There was more interactive play this time round. However, I still find the ticket pricing expensive for such a small exhibition.

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One of the exhibit at the Dino Robot Factory. The kids have to “fix” some of the parts for the robot Dino.

Report Book @ P1
It’s the end of Semester 1, which means the Boy got his report book for the first time. When I first saw his results, I was kind of disappointed. He didn’t do badly, most of his scores were above his cohort mean, however, his English and Math were below his cohort median. I was disappointed he couldn’t make it pass the 50 percentile. However, Chubby reminded me not to compare him with other kids, which I have to agree. We are all unique in our way.

Parent-Teacher-Meet
We also got to meet the Teachers for all three kids last week. This is the first PTM for the Boy, so we were eager to hear what the teacher has to say about him (especially when we don’t see the teacher often unlike in Childcare). The teacher commented that he is generally ok, just that he was caught dozing off in class sometimes. I hope by pulling him out of the student care, we can help to reduce this from happening. His form teacher also commented about his work getting untidy and also some academic area for improvements.

The Girl and the Littlest PTM were more casual as we know the teachers well. The teachers commented that the Girl has made improvement in her ability to recognise words and just need to work harder on her show-and-tell. As well as increasing her interest in reading Chinese books. The Littlest needs more reading to, especially in area which teaches correct behaviors. This make me realize that I have been neglecting on books like these as the elder two are way pass that. I need to get more books suitable for the Littlest’s age.

School Holiday
School holiday has started but I told the Boy it doesn’t mean all play and no work. I have set aside homework for him to complete everyday by himself. He has done it for 2 days already, we hope he can continue to do so in the weeks to come. He needs to revise on what he has learned and also improve on areas which the teachers mentioned.

Tasks for Next Month
Here is what I aim to achieve in June:

  • Get the family back to health
    No chilled drinks, less processed food, supplements and more outdoor time. And exercise for Chubby and me!
  • Revision with the kids
    Homework has taken a back seat since the kids were ill in May. Time to get back in action and make sure the kids have solid foundation.
  • Reading
    For the kids to read more genre and “new” books. For myself, to read at least a few pages a day.

This is our very tiring May. How was yours?

Reflect: April 2017

Our April doesn’t seems to be as busy as our March and yet I couldn’t find time to blog! Where has all the time gone? 时间都去哪儿了?

Primary School Life
The boy had his “holistic assessment” this month, before we even realize that it is happening. This is how not “on the ball” we are. Fortunately, he did fine in both his English and Math. He could do better without the careless mistakes. But well, kids are kids right? We all made careless mistakes when we were young.

His spelling and 听写 has some improvements after I made him write on exercise books instead of just reciting. This is because many times he know how to spell but would write his letters flipped. I realise its the way he write. He writes both “b” and “d” the straight line down first and decides which way to flip the “c”. So when he is anxious or not concentrating, his letters get flipped.

We have also decide to withdraw the boy from his student care, as we realise it is not very effective. Maybe because P1s don’t have much homework in the first place. So he spend a lot of his time at student care playing or watching TV. So instead of paying money for him to do that, we decide to keep him home. As the withdrawal requires notice period and they do not do half-monthly thing, his last day at the student care will be the end of the semester. So we have not start on the new schedule yet, but we shall see how. I intend to get him to do his homework and revise one subject every day. Wish me luck on our “remote learning”. LOL.

The boy also started learning Tae Kwan Do this month. I encouraged him to take out a sport or some enrichment that is outside of school work. The reason being when he gets very stress out academically, there is an outlet for stress relieve. He has enjoyed his class thus far. Lets wait and see how long he can last.

Preparing for P1
Not sure if it is due to the withdrawal of one of their classmate (due to difference in academic expectations), the teachers started loading the kids with more homework. There were reading every week and worksheets for weekend. Compare to many other childcare and kindergarten, I would say its not as much and definitely a good training for the girl to understand what does homework means. LOL.

So far she gets tired from writing and her words are still flying everywhere. I had tried to breakdown her work into smaller sizes and gave her more time to play in between. But this would means going back to the study table multiple times a day. For the boy, I usually tried the “one shot finish everything” stunt, as it is difficult to get him to come back to the table! Fortunately, the girl is able to do it and sometimes she will just walk back to the table herself and asked me to work with her on the rest of her homework. And she is always motivated to finish her work when she knows we are going out to have some fun later. Hope she stays this way.

Toddler Life
We finally got a small table for the Littlest, as he always like to come near us when GorGor and JieJie are studying at night. He had joined us on a few nights, sitting at his table doodling or playing with his rhymes props.

He is reading more books now. My trusty helper has been reading our Maisy collection to him when I’m working with the elder two. And surprisingly he is able to sit down and listen to them. And most of our Maisy books are the longer version and not the short board books which I read to the boy when he was this age. I’m really happy and thankful for that. Oh and he recently fell in love with “The hungry caterpillar” and made me re-read to him many times a night. Maybe he enjoys finishing the sentences when I read to him.

He also had his first Easter Egg hunt experience, thanks to the boy’s friend’s Mummy who organises it every year. He enjoyed himself so much that when he saw the photos on my phone, he was able to tell us what happened.

Decluttering

  • Health
    • I have been consistent at brining my own lunch to work for most days in April. And I usually include a serving of fruits in my lunch. So yay!
    • We were consistent in our Tabata until I fell ill on the 2nd last week of April and couldn’t work out. We need to get back to our routine again!
    • Junk food and ice drinks are still frequently seen in my diet. With the hot weather its really hard to cut down on the ice drinks. As for junk food, they are mainly consumed in office when its near to knock-off time as I would be hungry. I need to buy more healthy snacks for office and really switch myself to hot drinks at Starbucks.
  • Kids
    • Decluttering their weekend and holidays are a tough one. This is because the girl prefers to be out. She would asked us where we are going every weekend. While the boy prefers to stay home on some days to rest. So we got to balance between the two.
    • Miraculously, the boy read 2 very simple chapter books by himself. According to him, its a P2 chapter book that he saw in school and requested me to get it for him. We read with him for the 1st book and he read the 2nd book all by himself. He is now waiting for his 3rd book in the series to arrive. So now I have to get the girl interested in chapter books and start both on Chinese chapter books.
    • 1-to-1 date happened in a different way. As the girl has ballet classes every Thursday, we always bring the boy along. I usually go through his spelling with him at a cafe while waiting for MeiMei class to end and he will share with me his day or other things when we are done with work. For the girl, she always join us for breakfast on weekends. Some days the brother is too tired to join us, so it will become our 2-to-1 date. But 1-to-1 date for the littlest is still nil and difficult to manage. Maybe when he is older, we can try it.
  • Couple
    • Date nights has been consistent for us. Every Friday while both the kids attend their Chinese enrichment classes, we will go for our date night. Sometime its just dinner, other times it can be movies.
  • Self
    • I finally finish reading the first book of 2017! So slow, but I finally did it. Now its time to move on to the next book. But currently, I’m a little distracted with some drama series. LOL. When I’m done with that, its back to reading again. The TV kid in me, never left.
    • Decluttering my stuff never happened this month. I was busy shopping again! More like “decluttering” my wallet. LOL. Need to curb and really clean out the things I do not need anymore.

Our April just zoomed pass again. We are looking forward to May, which is the end of Semester 1!

Book: Beyond the Tiger Mom

I can’t believe it, I’m finally done with reading the 1st book of the year! I found myself so tired every night that I have no energy to pick up my Kindle to read. But I’m quite glad I have read this book and manage to finish it within 3 months (LOL, so slow).

Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age is written by Maya Thiagarajan who was born and raise in India until her teens, where she moved to America to study and later on to teach. After 15 years in US, she moved to Singapore in 2010. Her kids were 5 y.o and 18 months when they moved over. So it is interesting to see how she compares the parenting style in the West and East, particularly for education, which she dedicated a large part of the book to.

I have never stayed in the “West” before, so I do not know the parenting culture “there”, though I have read some of the styles before while trying to be a better parent myself. So I was presently surprised to read in her book that in the West, adults (like teachers) are often held responsible for kids performance in school. Or parents will actually come out with excuses for kids that did not do well. This is really so unlike our Eastern culture. I also agree with some the observations she made on “Eastern” parents. Like our “love” for drilling in education (particularly math) and filling our kids time with enrichment or tuition classes. She went on to explain the pros and cons of both style in education (reading, math and exam preparation), playing and resiliency.

However, I think a lot of Eastern parents are also changing and adapting more Western style parenting as the world becomes more connected and parents get to learn more of different parenting style.

For example, she mentioned that Eastern parents and preschool are not focused on reading aloud and discussing stories but more on phonics and sounding out words. Parents are reading things like Ladybird and Oxford readers to their kids so as to teach reading rather than the letting the kids explore in the fantasy world.

I do not deny many parents are making their kids read the “Readers”, especially when they reach the “Kindergarten” age. However, I think there are also many parents who read freely interesting stories to their children. Even when I was young, my Mum will try within her means to read to me and bring me to the library. In fact, I think reading is quite a common hobby in the past before technology took away our time.

Besides, there are growing number of parents who are also letting their kids go the non-tuition way for their education. An example is Christy from Kids ‘R’ Simple (hop over to her blog to read on how she is doing it).

In short, if you want to get the “best of both worlds”, you can read up this book as she makes the comparison and provide useful tips to implement.

Disclaimer: We received this book for review purposes. No monetary compensation was received and all views are my own.

Reflect: March 2017

We survived 1st Term of School in March and we are now in the 2nd Term of formal school! This calls for a celebration in March plus its the Boy’s birthday. So generally, March is a happy month for us!

The Boy’s Birthday
The last time we held a birthday party for the Boy was when he was 2. Since then, he celebrated his birthday in school with his friends. This year I didn’t plan to have a party. But one of his best friend’s (from childcare) Mum asked if we are interested to hold a party together, since their birthday is 1 day apart. And I know the boy misses his friends so we agreed. It was a no frill affair as we merely ordered food from a restaurant where the kids ate before they rush off for some indoor playground time.

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The boy and his childhood friends during the “party”.

The boy enjoyed himself and told us it’s one of the best day in life for him (so exaggerating). But we are glad he manage to spend time with his best friends and hope it bring some relief to his primary school life.

Fun, Fun, Fun!
The kids had their first taste of “Chalet” fun as I booked a villa to mark the end of Term 1 (and yay! more sleep for me for a week). The kids enjoyed themselves and were not willing to leave when time is up. LOL. We also manage to catch “Disney on Ice”. As I bought the tickets real early, we manage to get discounts and very good seats for our price category. The kids especially the girl were very happy to see their favourite “Elsa”. We also manage to pay Art Zoo a visit and the Littlest had a very good time bouncing around, though we were so afraid for him. LOL.

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Quite surprise the Littlest actually enjoyed it so much. Though I think its kind of dangerous for him as there were so many big kids and adults who can fall on him any moment.

Primary School Life
We established the “Spelling” and “听写” learning routine last month. I think its working out well though there was some resistance the week after school holidays and the boy fell ill. But I think breaking the list into half each day makes the boy feel its more manageable and more willing to learn. So we will continue with this practice. As for revision, we didn’t really manage to do much due to his amount of unfinished homework and also the need to practice his show and tell. So coming April, we will need to buck up on that. I have decide to let him use online resources for his revision, as it is really difficult to make him do “assessment” book now. Maybe I will try to slip in a few pages of assessment books on weekends to let him get use to the idea. LOL.

Preparing for P1
Last Friday when I went to pick the kids from their Chinese Enrichment, the Girl’s teacher approach me. To speak the truth, I was a little worried about what the teacher is going to share. But I was pleasantly surprise that the teacher told me that the Girl is performing well in class and is able to read all the flashcards from last term. I was also surprised too. But I think the Girl has really put in effort and I think we should continue on our sight-reading in English and Chinese. Now our daily revision is sight-reading in both languages and about 4 pages of “assessment” books every night from Monday to Wednesday. And reading on Thursday night. 4 pages doesn’t seems to be a lot for a kid preparing for P1, but I don’t feel like overworking her before she even start formal school.

Reading with 2 y.o.
Over the last few months, the Littlest is finally able to sit for a longer period to enjoy reading. I have also “caught” him reading to himself a few times. He opened up his 大卫 book, flipped through the pages and started telling himself about the pages. I will like to continue reading with him and have just took out a set of books I bought for the Boy when he was young but we never got to read it. Hopefully, the Littlest will like that set of books. I have also bought him a small table (which we are still awaiting for it to arrive from China) and some sticker books, so he can work on them beside his GorGor and JieJie when they do their work as he likes to come to their table and “disturb” when they are working.

Decluttering

  • Health
    • I have been bringing my own lunch for the last 2 weeks! So glad I found some easy cook recipes to help me with this. They are definitely more healthy than what is served at my office canteen.

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      A lunch I made one of the days. I need to add in more greens to my mix.
    • I didn’t swim or run once a week in March. But I did manage to start a routine of Tabata every day for about 10 minutes one week ago. I hope I can continue with this by doing everyday and for longer periods.
    • Did I mention “Ice Shaken Hibiscus Tea with Pomegranate Pearls” are my favourite drinks from Starbuck these days? And oh, there is like 1-for-1 every weekday. How am I going to declutter chilled drinks and tea out of my life with these?
  • Kids
    • The kids weekends for the whole of March were filled with activities. Mostly birthday parties including the Boy’s. And there are 2 more parties coming in April. It looks like a busy month for them again. Well, decluttering their weekend schedule seems like an uphill task.
    • As for reading, we are still reading some new books, but progress for Chapter Books is still slow. When will we finish our Matilda? I have resort to bringing their books out to read while waiting for food to be served. But only manage to do it once, let see if we have more chance to try this out in April.
    • 1-to-1 date is nil for me again. But I’m glad Chubby manage to bring the Boy out on the last day of his school holidays, Just the two of them. I need to really set a date for a 1-to1 date with all of them.
  • Couple
    • Date nights are still ongoing once every week. I hope this can continue, although at the expense of having a 1-to-1 time with the Littlest.
    • Oh, did I mention that we did our Tabata together? We encourage each other on and remind each other to do it every evening after work.
  • Self
    • Manage to read a little bit more this month. Though I slipped again in the last week of March, as I grew tired and fell asleep the moment I hit the bed. LOL.
    • Cut down my shopping from last month, but still made some purchases this month. I need to stop looking at shopping sites. I started tracking my expenses in March. I hope this will make me more conscious of where I spend my money.

That was our very busy March. How was yours? Are you ready for April?

Book: 大卫,圣诞节到啦!

I know it seems weird to be introducing a book about Christmas when we are in March. However, we chance upon the book in the library and I’m afraid the book won’t be available when its near Christmas period (talking about kiasu, LOL). Besides, the Littlest (2 y.o.) really love the book. It’s the few book he allows me to read from page 1 till the end without pushing my hand away, flip to the last page and declare “The End”. So I think it’s really worth the mention here.

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See the little foot here. The Littlest was trying to snatch the book to “read” when I was trying to take photo for the post.

We are not new to 大卫. We read about him in the other book “大卫惹麻烦” (see pic above) and we know that 大卫 is not a really good boy. In this book, 大卫 continued with his “mischief” on the days leading to Christmas.

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大卫 trying to take a peek at the present.

I use the book to explain to the Littlest (the elder two should already know) what is the wrong thing to do. For example, it is very dangerous for 大卫 to stack the chairs so high and climb on top of it. He could fall off and hurt his head like “humpty dumpty”. The littlest seems to understand it and could say “humpty dumpty” whenever we are reading this page. And when I asked “可以把椅子叠这么高,然后爬上去吗?”, he could reply me “不可以”. But well, in reality, the boy still climbs up chairs around the house when we are not looking. So it’s really, knowing is one, doing is another thing. LOL.

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Another page showing a “mischief” act.

When we were reading this page, I actually asked the elder two, why 大卫 should not be eating the Christmas cookie. I was glad that they actually observed that the cookies were probably not baked yet and 大卫 will probably get a tummy ache from eating it (cause and effect). For the Littlest, he always exclaim “吃饼干” when we come to this page. LOL. He probably couldn’t understand the concept of “uncooked” food yet.

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This is the Littlest favourite page. He burst into laughter and exclaim “naked body” whenever we are at this page.

The kids obviously knows that they need to be clothed when they are out in the street (including the 2 y.o. understand this). Before proceeding to the next page, you can actually ask the kids “你觉得为什么大卫会光着身子出门去?”. This will simulate their creative thinking and helps in their 口语表达 and probably 看图说故事 next time. There is actually some clues in the written words, see if your kids manage to guess it. And I think it will be a joy listening to their answers.

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Oh.. 大卫 has been looking forward to Christmas and his present. But he is not going to receive any?

This is my favourite page. LOL. We use this page to describe about emotions and also to tell the kids that they are not going to get present if they misbehave, just like 大卫. So they better start behaving now. And that is the reason why we should be reading this book even before Christmas comes. LOL. As to whether 大卫 is really not getting any present, read the book to find out for yourself. 🙂

Overall, we love this book as it is (1) funny, (2) easy to read (only a few words per page) and (3) a lot of room for discussion. Like the few pages we showed above, there is so much to talk about in the illustrations that can expand the kids vocab in Chinese and also their creativity.

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This is actually the back cover of the book, but it’s equally funny. Like a “chocolate cow”? I asked the kids if a “chocolate cow” will give “chocolate milk”. Obviously, they are old enough to provide me the correct answer. But you may be surprise at what younger kids might think.

This book is available at our local libraries:

  • Libraries: Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah, Central, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Geylang East, Jurong, Jurong West, Marine Parade, Pasir Ris, Queenstown, Sembawang, Serangoon, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Woodlands
  • Call Number: Chinese SHA
  • Location: Junior Lending Picture Book
Growing with the Tans Friday Flips