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Archive for June, 2009

Jayden hasn’t been too well for almost 1 week now, lots of snorts and coughs. Aside from that everything is good.. 

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Jayden @ 19+ months

 

Jayden put on his own shoes (croc) for the first time last week (the right way too – left shoes on left foot!). YIPPEE!! He was slightly frustrated initially, because he kept losing his balance or the shoes kept turning over/around. But finally after many tries, he managed to put both on by himself, while standing up too! Jayden doesn’t have the best balance – always tripping over and everything else, so to me this is a great achievement 🙂

Today he also figured out how to open the toilet door and his bedroom door. He’s now tall enough to reach it. I haven’t measured him lately, but my guess is he’s about 87 cm and 13+kg. Lately, he’s been singing all the time. His favourite songs are “Wheel on the bus” and “Incy wincy Spider”. He can speak very well now, his sentences are getting longer and longer. He understands when to use please, sorry and thank you and he can even say “naughty mummy” or “good girl mummy”, when I’m doing something right. haha!

He’s curious all the time, especially with sounds, eg. lawnmower, drills, washing machine, etc. He always say “What’s that noise” or “What sound is that?”, so I have to be switched on all the time too 🙂 He still like his cars but I think he’s getting slightly bored with his toys. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do with 20 months old boys, beside puzzles, reading, painting, running around and playing with cars??

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My little Jake is almost ONE!  And with his egg, dairy and nut allergy, he can’t have the usual cake.  So I have searched high and low for an allergy free chocolate cake.  I finally found a recipe from another blog Coco & Me.

So I tried the recipe yesterday.  I must say I am really surprised with the result, it’s really really moist, and not too sweet.  I think it would be perfect with some kind of frosting (yet to try the frosting!).  Really good chocolate cake recipe when you don’t have any butter or eggs in the house.  I tried the recipe exactly, that includes greasing the pan with oil and not lining it with baking paper (if there is one thing that I don’t enjoy is lining my pan with paper!), however one came out nicely, while the other one, got stuck!  I had to slice it thinly from the base of the pan.  I think just to be safe, I will line it with baking paper next time…

egg,dairy and nut free chocolate cake

egg,dairy and nut free chocolate cake

  
Ingredients
330 g plain flour
400 g light brown sugar
12 g bicarb soda
65 g nut free cocoa powder
2 g salt
450 ml unsweetened soy milk
90 ml vegetable oil, extra for greasing
23 ml apple cider vinegar
7 ml vanilla extract
large tin of pitted cherry jam (I used strawberry jam)
Grease 2 x 20cm round tins.
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Sift together dry ingredients flour, sugar, bicarb soda, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl.
Mix together soya milk, oil and vanilla in another bowl.
Mix wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Stir in the apple cider vinegar.
Divide mixture into 2 greased tins, spread evenly.  Evenly scatter the cherries on top of the batter.  Make sure you don’t place any cherries in the centre, this way you would be able to cut clean slice with a straight angle when serving.
Bake for 40 minutes until it rises and firm to touch.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.  Place sponge upside down on the stand.
Slather jam of your choice. Pop the other sponge on top.

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Beyond our control?

Reading ‘Random Thought‘ that Kelen wrote few weeks ago… I can totally relate to her.  I was laughing when I read that Jayden emptied the content of the vacuum cleaner minutes before they left the house, or how he spilled milk everywhere, but I know how hard it is…  I think I have my fair share of “Accident”.  There was one time when I was pregnant with Jake and had the worst morning sickness, so I laid on the bed thinking that Stella was watching Playschool! WRONG.  She came into my room covered with Sunscreen lotion.  When I walked out to the living room, my sofa was covered with it too!  Then there was spilled milk all over the carpet, because she wants to help me bring my cup!  Most of the time, I try to remind myself that she is only little.  But, there were times when I was furious and  just wished nothing had happened!

I was reading a book called ‘365 ways to Raise Confident kids’ by Sheila Ellison and Barbara Ann Barnett (Great book, it has lots activities for building self esteem, developing character and encourage imagination.  Best of all, the chapters are divided into short 2-5 minutes reading. Perfect for mums and dads!)

It happens that one of the chapter on building character was titled “When Things Are Beyond Our Control”

So much time is wasted worrying about things that have already happened, things we cannot change, or things that are beyond our control.  It’s important that children learn form you how to tolerate mistake in themselves and in others…  There are two ways to handle situation: scream your anger, or calmly say that the damage is done and there is nothing that can magically make it “un-happen.”  The most important thing we can teach children about mistakes is that there are only two things you can do with a mistake: do the best you can to fix the problem, and learn from it so it doesn’t happen again in the futre.  If you respond to your child with anger an accusations when they make a mistake, you can be sure your child will respond in the same way when she sees a mistake being made.”

So after reading that, I made a promise to myself, to stay CALM when ‘accident’ happen, and to talk to them so we can solve the problem together…   It’s hard!  I know myself, when things happened, I would be thinking, “Do I really need this extra work???” “We are running late!” “Why does it HAVE to happen now!”  But I will definitely try my hardest and keep reminding myself that we can’t make it UN-HAPPEN.  So it must happen for a reason!  To teach them and (me) how to handle ‘accident’ and hopefully learn not to do it again.

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The count down is on. Only 10 more days until the Jay Chou Concert in Sydney!

I’m getting more and more excited about seeing Jay perform live. After watching his dvd concerts over and over again, I’m really looking forward to experiencing one of his concerts in real life. I can’t wait to hear him sing the crazy cowboy song, the ballads and especially watching him play the piano.

So in preparation… I’ve been listening to all his songs non-stop and at the same time, trying to memorise the lyrics. Remember, I can’t speak or read Chinese so this is quite a challenge. Haha Oh well, call me insane but this guy is talented and man I’m excited! Haha

Jay Chou Poster

Hope all you Jay fans are also getting excited 🙂
See you there!

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Little Chef Stella loves crushing the Weetbix, rolling the dough and most of all putting the huge dark chocolate buttons on the cookies.  I guess the weetbix and oats makes this cookie a sort of healthy cookie 🙂  We made some without the chocolate too and they tasted fantastic.  The cookies are chewy in texture and the apricots is just delicious.  Cookies without chocolate is egg, dairy and nut free!

Ingredients

4 Weetbix, crushed

2/3 C rolled oats

3/4 C plain flour

1/2 C light brown sugar

2/3 C dried apricot, chopped

3 Tbs nuttelex

2 Tbs honey

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 C water

Dark Chocolate buttons, optional

dry ingredients

dry ingredients

Preheat oven to 160 C.

Mix Weetbix, oats, flour and brown sugar in a bowl until well combined.

Place apricot, water in a small saucepan, heat on a low heat until the mixture boil.  Turn off the heat then add the baking soda in the mixture.  Transfer in a bowl and set aside.

In the same saucepan place the nuttelex and honey, heat gently until nuttelex has melted.  Pour the nuttelex mixture into the apricot mixture and mix gently.

mixing wet and dry ingredients

mixing wet and dry ingredients

 

Stella mixing the ingredients

Stella mixing the ingredients

 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.  The dough should be firm and sticky.

 

'the dough'

'the dough'

I like to make small biscuit so I place 1 teaspoon of the dough, roll them like a ball, place them on the baking tray.  Press lightly with a fork to make it flatter. 

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For a variation, Stella dot the dough with dark chocolate buttons on top.  Yum yum…

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Bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes.

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Yes I still have my brown paper rolls.  I did make heaps of wrapping paper with it.  But one day, this idea just popped out of my head.  Trace Stella.  Yup.  Her whole body on the brown paper.  Then I’d ask her to draw the eyes, nose, ears, mouth, etc.  And of course paint the whole thing.   

tracing stella

tracing stella

 Ask your child to lay flat on the brown paper and trace his/her body.  Stella giggled throughout…

drawing the eyes, nose and mouth

drawing the eyes, nose and mouth

After you have the whole outline of the body and the head, you can ask your child to start drawing their eyes, nose, mouth, ears etc.  When Stella finished drawing the eyes, nose, etc.  She looked at me and said “Mum, I look like a monkey…” and burst out laughing.  I don’t remember what I said to her, we were laughing a lot.  But I didn’t want to do the drawing for her, I wanted it to be her own original artwork.  After that, she went crazy with her paints.  She started of with her left fingers, she was really into it she painted each one of her fingers.  But by the time she did the other hands, it looks more like a fist hehe…  I must say, I am impressed when she finished the painting, it was afterall quite HUGE painting for a 3 year old! 

Stella and her finished painting

Stella and her finished painting

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To remember what she is like at 3 and 1/2 I asked lots of questions and wrote down the answer along the side of the painting.

Questions like:

Favourite colours, foods, fruits, books, songs, tv shows, her first kindy teacher, and then she added her imaginary friend “uncle emu” (who lives in surabaya, and she has never seen him before, but speaks on the phone often!)

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Here are some of the books that are currently his favourites:

Who Sank the Boat by Pamela Allen

Time for Bed by Mem Fox (learning about baby animals and lots of repetition that rhymes)

Pearl Barley & Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey (story about friendship – my favourite too!)

Maisy goes to Hospital, Maisy goes Camping by Lucy Cousins (First experience books)

and Jayden’s all time favourite…..Maisy goes to the Museum by Lucy Cousins. I think we’ve read this together at least 100 times, he really loves it. Listen to the story below.

 

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