Saturday, 15 November 2014

Isaac at swim school

Isaac has been attending swim school for the last three weeks. He is 22 months at the moment and most of the other children in his group are between 1.5-2 years old. Each class has a maximum of 7 children for this age group. A parent goes in to the pool with the child and there is one instructor.

So what do they learn at his age? 

I think the main thing they are trying to get the kids to learn at this age is to feel confident and secure in and with water. The class normally starts with the instructor drizzling water over their heads while the water trickles down their eyes and face. Then we sing a few songs while we encourage the children to splash and kick in the water. These are the warm up activities. Following this they climb up the side of the pool, stand up and as we gently hold their hands, get them to jump into the water on their own. I was quite afraid of this as I thought Isaac would sink but babies are exceptionally buoyant and float up to the surface immediately. There are activities to encourage them to paddle and kick as they go through a tunnel and try to catch rubber duckies. It's all done using play so it is very fun for them. There is also an activity where the kids walk on a large foam mat that floats on the water. When they reach the other end, they jump into the water and we catch them.

One of the kids in Isaac's group has been attending classes since he was 6 months old so he is incredibly confident in the water. But there was one child at today's class who was crying throughout the entire class. Isaac is normally very calm and enjoys it but as he is new, we are still trying to get a hang of the activities and how to do it correctly. 

We attend the Saturday morning class and I have observed that 90% of the time it's the dads who are in the water with the kids. It's such a nice thing to see. Even with us, it was Ken who wanted to take Isaac to swim school because he felt that it would be a nice daddy and Isaac activity to do. I guess we are not the only ones to think this way! 

Back to reality

It's November! I can't stand how the shops start selling Christmas stuff earlier and earlier every year. It's not that I don't like Christmas. It is a very significant day for Christians such as myself and we celebrate it not for the gifts and food but to remember the birth or our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, every time I think about Christmas, I think about the year coming to an end. And when after the year comes to an end, it's the new year. And when the new year ends, it's my birthday. And when my birthday passes, it's time to go back to work!

I have been particularly emotional about this year, 2014, coming to an end. In part because 2015 doesn't look like a very attractive year thus far. I suppose the first thing that I am dreading is going back to work 5 days. I made this decision with much thought and consideration but having enjoyed the wonderful life of working part-time yet having the benefit of a full salary plus childcare benefits has been a dream. Now it's back to work 5 days...I will miss my little boy so much *sobs*

The next thing I'm dreading is my birthday. I am hitting the big 30! I know I'm suppose to be myself but I wonder how I am suppose to act as a 30 year old. I'm still wearing clothes from my uni days. Perhaps it's time for a wardrobe makeover. I guess turning 30 is not that bad but it also means everyone else turns a year older. My dad will be turning 60 end of this month and my boy will be two on 25 January.

So perhaps I should try to take some active steps on being more positive about 2015.. perhaps a holiday, watch more K-dramas?? Time to sleep on it ;)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Isaac at childcare

On his way to childcare carrying his Chuggington backpack
It has been four months since I went back to work and since Isaac started childcare. Four months doesn't seem long but it sure feels like lots have happened during this time. Isaac has developed so much. He is now running and trying to jump. He is talking a lot although it is quite difficult to understand what he is trying to say sometimes...he says it in his own way and he makes all sorts of expressions and actions to try to get his message across. Too cute!!

Anyway, our experience of childcare so far has been really positive. His carers know him so well. They are also really good at keeping us informed of his well-being. Sometimes they ring me just to let me know if Isaac is acting differently or if he is showing signs of being unwell even though he is not that ill. He comes home with all kinds of craft and art work using paint, glue, stuff that I would not use at home simply because I have enough cleaning to do and don't need more. I always tell his carers, wow he would not do this at home. To which they respond, that's why you send your kids to childcare! I agree! His childcare also has a huge backyard with outdoor play equipment and a sandpit. Sometimes when I pick him up and he is out in the backyard, he doesn't want to go home.

Isaac is 21 months now and he is really curious and adventurous. I try my best to give him things to keep him stimulated developmentally and also things that entertain him. If the weather is good, I take him to the playground for 30-45 minutes. Sometimes twice a day. We hang out in the backyard a lot watering plants, picking up stones, plucking weeds. However, I find that he wants more. I suppose he is finding that this is the same backyard and the same weeds I have been pulling out for the last 1.5 years and this is the same playground I have been going to for 1.5 years. He is no longer interested in the toys he used to play - all those Fisher Price drop a ball and I will light up and sing a song for you type of toys. Which is why I think he has so much fun at childcare. Did I mention music appreciation classes? Yes they have it every other awesome is that? We will be sending him to swimming classes very soon. Will blog about it once he starts classes.

In January I return to work full-time. I am feeling more confident that Isaac is gaining lots from attending childcare. I have to also admit that I am a happier person on days when I am at work and Isaac is at childcare. I miss him terribly but at least I am not the exhausted mummy I am on days when I am at home on my own with my very active toddler. He is growing up so fast :)

Monday, 20 October 2014

New food blog - Roti and Rice

I was looking for a recipe for kuih sago today. I found a website that had a nice and simple recipe but while I was doing my search, I came across another awesome blog to add to my list of food/recipe blogs. It is called Roti N Rice which is written by a Malaysian living in America.

Some of the best Malaysian food blogs are written by Malaysians abroad. I think it's because we miss our food so much and we can't easily get it so the only thing to do is to cook it!

Anyway here's the kuih sago I made today:

Recipe available here.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

My week

Ken has been away in UK for the last week for the One Young World conference. Before he left, I remember saying things (jokingly) to make him feel guilty for leaving me with all the parental responsibilities (ie. do both drop off and pick up from childcare, work, clean the house, nappies, bed time, night wakings!). I think we both knew I was not joking. Once he comes back he will be on daddy duty for 1.5 weeks to make up for lost time!

I thought I would be this house-bound, lonely person whilst he was away but turns out I have been able to have quite a lot of me-time. I find that there are many times where I feel torn between my husband and my toddler. Both want to talk to me, both need me but I can only focus on one person at a time. So sometimes Isaac ends up watching TV so I can listen and talk to my husband or my husband just has to wait. And by the time I have 'time' to talk to him, I am tired and just want to have some me-time before going to sleep. So since he has been away, I can pay full attention to Isaac which really helps with his behaviour. Then I put him to sleep and then the rest of the night is mine..all mine! I reckon this short separation has been quite healthy. I must say though that it helps that I work and get to have some baby-free time and lunch with colleagues and friends. I also had three different sets of friends come by dropping off food and just to keep me company (thank u!). Furthermore I had cooked dinners delivered to me during the week. That is a huge task ticked off my to do list. Of course if the separation went longer, it would probably be a different story.

Anyway at 21 months, Isaac doesn't like to play with his indoor toys anymore. What he really likes to do are climbing, water play, going to the play ground, playing with soil and stones in the garden and just running around. I went to Kmart and got him this cool water play set ($28). You fill it with water and there's all these other gadgets that you can fiddle with. There's also a little boat that floats along the canal which he loves.

It was great weather for a few days but as we all know about Melbourne's weather, it changed and became really cold for a few days. So I bought him this awesome inflatable slide and ball pit. It is also from Kmart ($27). When I bought it, I thought I could use Ken's bike pump to inflate it. Unfortunately the nozzle was too big so I had to buy an automatic pump ($19) which did the trick. Isaac LOVES the ball pit and I am hoping the novelty won't wear out too soon!

I wonder what's next on our list-of-awesome-toys-to-buy!