28 September 2009

How to teach a child to hold a pencil correctly

I never knew there is a correct way to hold a pencil until I brought Werney to consult the psychiatrist recently on her school phobia and separation anxiety.

At the psychiatrist clinic, the Dr. pointed out that Werney is not holding the pencil the correct way. Werney uses four fingers to hold a pencil where the pencil will be resting on her ring finger, leaving only her little finger free. I have always thought that every child is different and didn't try to correct Werney on her pencil holding method. I am also surprised that such important skill is not taught in our preschool, where a child first learns to hold a pencil.

The Dr. pointed out that by holding a pencil the wrong way, it will slow down the handwriting skill of a child and making the hand tired easily. According to the Dr. it is like using a "parang" to cut an apple! Furthermore, a correct pencil grip will reduce future health risk associated to the hand and wrist, such as carpal tunnel syndrome!

Th Dr. demonstrated the right way to hold a pencil is to have all three fingers (thumb, index and middle finger) to be placed on each side each of a triangle-shaped pencil. No wonder some colour pencils or crayons available in the market are shaped in triangle and not round or square! I never knew there is a reason for it.

Triangular shaped pencil to assist young children to learn the pencil grip

I did googled and found that the right way to hold a pencil is called a Tripod Grip. The pencil should be placed so that there is equal pressure between thumb, the side of the middle finger and the tip of the index finger. All finger are bent slightly. See picture below for illustration:-

Other method to encourage your child to have a correct pencil grip is get a triangular shaped pencil, paint each side with a different colour (e.g blue, red and green) and place one colour sticker (blue, red and green) each on the thumb, index and middle finger or nail. This will helps the child to remember the correct grip by matching the colour of the sticker on each finger (thumb, index and middle finger) to the side of the pencil.

I also found another article from Rocks In My Dryer - Works For Me: Teaching a Child To Hold a Pencil and the tip is great. For more information, please click here.

The Dr. has suggested that I bring Werney to consult an occupational therapist to correct her pencil grip. The Dr. assured this is something that could be corrected easily. I will try out the above methods with Werney first and if it doesn't work, then I will arrange an appointment with the occupational therapist.

25 September 2009

Raya break getaway @ 21 - 22 September 2009

Despite the drama at home, we took a short break during the recent Raya break with my family members. Sis#2 suggested that we drive up to Genting Highland and did a last minute booking for 3 rooms at Awana Genting Highland Golf & Country Resort. It was super peak and everywhere was crowded. Luckily we left our house early and were not caught in the Karak highway jam!

We reached Genting Highlands at about 10.30am and the indoor theme park was already quite packed. The queue at the ticket counter were like "ular" (snake) already. I have booked the ticket online a day before and it was easy for us. We just have to collect our tickets at the tagging counter instead of queuing at the ticket counter. Otherwise, probably poor DH have to queue for an hour or so before we can get the tickets.

As this was not the first time we bought our girls to the Indoor Theme Park, Werney got tired of the rides easily and we only managed to catch 2 rides before we break for lunch. After lunch, both Werney and Anney were sleepy and it was still way too early for us to check in at Awana. So, we decided to let them nap in their strollers while we sip a cuppa at Starbuck.....well....it is the least crowded place! DH also decided to try his luck at the First World casino and I wanted to do some shopping. So we took turns to look after our two sleeping kittens!

We left the Indoor Theme Park shortly after 2pm and proceeded to Awana for check-in. Sis was already there queuing for us and it took us about 1.5 hours to check-in. The queue was very very loooong and yet there were only 2 counters for check-in. I was so mad as Anney got really restless and parents were tired as there were not enough chair/sofa for the waiting guests and the lobby was totally crowded. When I complaint to the Front Desk Manager, they just said "sorry" with the couldn't careless attitude. We have always love to stay at Awana as the air was fresher and we love the view of the golf course. However, after this experience, we will probably have to think twice before making another booking here.

For dinner, we had our buffet at the Coffee Terrace @ Genting Hotel. For RM69 nett/pax, there have good selection of main course (Asian and Western) and many yummy desserts. The food was quite good. After dinner, we visited the theme park again and this time, the girls decided to go for the merry-go-round.

We left Awana before noon the next day and visited the new Strawberry Park. It is located at the Goh Tong Jaya area, just 5-10 minutes drive from Awana. The place is exactly like Cameron Highlands and you can self-picked the strawberries. For self-picked, they will charge RM8/100g. Quite pricey but we have never picked any strawberries and Werney really wanted to try. In the end, we ended buying 800g (me - 200g, Mom - 400g and Sis#2 - 200g). Mom and Werney got so shiok picking the strawberries!

This place also have nice collection of cactus, orchid and mushroom. Worth a visit since it is only 45 minutes drive from KL.

Check out the wonderful pictures below.....

23 September 2009

A beautiful poem to share....

Something light and beautiful to share with all of you.....

When you feel
by Caramel Bliss

When you feel you're alone in a bad world
When all you once had is gone
Remember that life has taught us
That the darkest night precedes the dawn

When you feel you are out of hope
Remember that God is there
Keep your faith strong
Soon, he will answer your prayers

When you feel you have no friend left
And only enemies are near
Worry not, my love
For I'll always be here for you, dear

Fear not, you are safe in my arms
You will always find a home in my heart
And I shall forever be your loyal one
'Till death do us part

*My heart is ever at your service. ~William Shakespeare

Sleepy head

Today, Wednesday is the start of the working week after the Raya break.

Instead of having a good start, I only managed to catch a 2-3 hours sleeps last night. First, was trying to solve Sue Wern's mission of not wanting to go to school....chatted and chatted with her and trying to find out why she refuses school etc. Yes, we have called it a mission like the Little Einsteins series. Yet, after many small talks, she told me she still doesn't want to go to school because she misses us, afraid of all her teachers etc and I still didn't manage to find out the real reason. We went to the paed last week and was told it could be due to severe school phobia and separation anxiety. Hmm.... sounded really serious right? Anyway, I have made a appointment to consult a child psychiatrist today and hopefully the Dr. could shred us some lights.

Second, Anney has been really cranky last night, crying for 1-2 hours before finally dozed off in the car at around 1.30am. Yes, I have to drive her around the neighborhood before she finally settled down....the security guard must be thinking what is this mad woman doing with a baby in car driving at 1+ am. Anney also refused to let my hubby drive her around....she only wanted mommy to cradle her and drive her around. She woke up again at 5am...wanted to watch TV and crying again. We thought it could be due to the blocked nose she has that made her cranky and switched off the air-cond in the room.......however she seemed okay in the car with the air-cond??? I drove her around our neighborhood again at 6am and after that managed to catch 30 minutes of eye shut before Anney started crying again!

Now I am feeling really sleepy and walking like a zombie...yawn....yawn...

16 September 2009

Stress? Separation anxiety disorder?

Sorry for the lack of posts lately as I was worried sick of Werney.

Remember, I blogged about her refusing to go to school after the August school break and I thought she just need a little more time to get thing moving again (Werney was okay for the last 8 months). Well, it has been more than 2 weeks now and her condition has not improved. In fact, I think it is getting worst.

Werney would cries before bedtime telling us she doesn't want to go to school and I will have a hard time trying to console her and telling us how wonderful the school is etc, before she eventually drift off to slumberland . She keeps on telling us she is scared to go to school but can't tell me the exact reason for her fear. She usually wakes up around 9.30am in the morning and for the past weeks, she was up and awake at 8am and started crying again till time for school at around noon.... imagine, that is like 4 hours daily! It is really a mental torture for everyone at home especially my mom and dad. No matter what we said or do, she just can't stop crying and doesn't want to go to school. Once she is at school, she seems to be fine and stop crying after we left her. It is the drama before school and during bedtime that stressed everyone up at home.

I've also spoken to her teachers and principal - we have ruled out any school bully etc. Her teachers are really loving and caring and even offer to visit us at home during weekend. Werney was really excited that her teacher would be coming to our house to play Barbie doll with her.....but the mere thoughts of going to school would freaked her out! Werney's principal said she is stressed and maybe separation anxiety too. What puzzled us is why now after 8 months of school? In fact, Werney started school when she was 4!

I have stopped Werney from school this week and told her she will only resumes school after the Raya break, which is next Wednesday. She was okay on Monday and yesterday, again started to cry telling us she doesn't want to go to school next Wednesday....well, that is like another week away! Werney is really very stressed and I think this is not just the normal whining from a kid. She seems to have the fear about going to school because when I touches her hand, they are really cold and she would also be silently weeping from time to time.

We are already at our wits end on what to do? Wondering whether anyone else have the same problem and how to overcome this? Maybe I should bring her to seek for professional help.

Mommy and Daddy just wish our little Werney will be back to her usual chatter box and bubbly self soon.

10 September 2009

MomBloggersPlanet Cutest baby with Bottle Contest

Mom Bloggers Planet is currently running the Cutest Baby Photo Contest and for the month of September 2009, the theme is Cutest Baby with Bottle!

Yeah, it is easy to win some prizes sponsored by PhotoBook Malaysia and Alicewonders. Contest details can be found here. Please note that the deadline for submission is 15 September 2009.

Date of birth: 9 March 2008

Cheeky Anney with her Avent milk bottle

Breast milk is the most suitable food for any newborns to 6 months old and the World Health Organisation ("WHO") has recommend to continue breastfeeding your baby up till 2 years old. If you are a working mom like me, you could still continue breastfeeding your baby by giving expressed breastmilk in a baby bottle.

Although Anney has started solid at around 6 months, she is still very much into milk and can takes up to 6-7 bottles (about 6 oz each) a day. Sometimes, I think it is more for the comfort of sucking as she will asks for her milk right after dinner!

Choosing the right baby bottle is important to ensure your child safety. I have started Anney with Phillips Avent bottle and have switched to the Phillips Avent BPA-free range a few months back when the BPA-free bottles arrived on our shore. If you would like to know what is BPA, please read my earlier blog post here.

Why I go for Phillips Avent:
  • The simple reason is my baby loves Avent
  • Clinically proven to reduce colic in baby
  • I loves the wide neck bottle design and it is simple to use. No complicated parts to assemble and dismantle. Just great for dad, grandparents and nanny!
  • Avent bottles are very versatile - pump, store & feed!
  • Easy to read measurement - you would be wondering why this matter? It made a great different for sleep-deprived parents, trying to guess the measurement on the bottle!
  • Stain-free
  • I also used my 4oz bottle to store pureed fruits & vegetables when Anney first started weaning
If you decide to bottle feed your baby, there are certain steps to ensure safe bottle-feeding:
  • For first time use, wash and rinse all bottles, teats & parts in warm soapy water
  • Wash with warm soapy water and sterile all bottles, teats and parts after every use. I find using a soft bristle brush (the 2-in-1 brush with big and small bristles) is great to remove any milk stains
  • For sterilisation, you can either use electric steam steriliser, boil the bottles & parts in hot water for 10 minutes or use cold water with sterilisation tablet method
  • It is recommended to have at least 4-6 bottles, to save time from constantly sterilising the bottles
  • Frequently check for wear and tear on the bottles, teat and parts
  • For teat, ensure you get the right size & flow for your baby. For breastfed baby, choosing the right teat (usually wider base and softer texture) would encourage an easier switch for baby between breast and bottle
  • Do not let your baby sleep with the bottle as this will cause tooth decay and also middle-ear infection
  • Always have an adult to watch your baby while bottle feeding to avoid chocking
  • Always test the milk temperature before feeding your baby
How do you bottle feed safely while you are out & about?

For expressed breast milk
  • Store the expressed breast milk in cooler bag with ice brick
  • During feeding time, warm the expressed breast milk using a bowl of hot water (if you are at the restaurant) or use an electric bottle warmer (if you are at any baby friendly outlet like Ikea or major shopping complexes)
  • Do not warm the expressed breast milk using microwave due to uneven warming and may scale the baby tongue
For formula milk
  • Do not prepare the formula milk in advanced as our warm and humid environment will encourage the bacteria to grow easily
  • Have the following handy - Sterilised milk bottle, a bottle of cooled boiled water, formula milk powder in a dispenser and a bottle of hot water in a baby safe thermos
  • Prepare the milk when baby is ready to feed
  • Discard any unconsumed milk
Happy bottle-feeding!

09 September 2009

My messy little eater

Anney loves to be independent and is currently in the self-feeding stage.

She could spooned some foods into her mouth using her baby spoon although still not very good at it yet. She hates me feeding her or holding her cup while she drinks her juice or water. She would push my hand away whenever she sees me doing that (holding her cup)....but the problem is my little Anney is a messy eater.

After every meal time, it is like I just had a "party" at home. I will have food everywhere on her face, her hair, her mouth, the table, high chair and floor. Imagine the mess! And mommy have to sweep and mop the floor after every meals.

At times, Anney also refuses to sit at her high chair....it can get really messy whenever we are at the restaurant. She prefers to roam around the restaurant or running or climbing everywhere!

Some of Anney's pictures taken during meal times.....

Anney having a bowl of cereal with banana

Mom, it is tastier this way!

Finger licking good!

See how messy Anney could be?

08 September 2009

New Ipoh Salt-Baked Chicken Restaurant

I love the all-time favourite Ipoh Salt-Baked Chicken.

Whenever DH goes to Ipoh for business, I will ask him to pack a few of the Ipoh famous salt-baked chicken home. I will keep the chickens in freezer and steam it or cook with porridge whenever I have the craving. Don't ask me which shop in Ipoh as all the shops have the same red packaging box.

Anyway, I found a new Ipoh Salt-Baked Chicken Restaurant at Kuchai Lama. Yes, the chicken is as yummy & juicy as the ones from Ipoh although it is definitely more expensive. They are selling at RM22 per bird and additional RM1 for delivery. The funny part is they used McD driver for delivery!

If you love Ipoh salt-baked chicken, do check them out at:-

Ipoh Salt-Baked Chicken Restaurant
B-0-5, Kuchai Business Park
Off Jalan Kuchai Lama
Kuala Lumpur

Call 03-7987 3377 for enquiries, take-away and delivery.

07 September 2009

MOBS & HKS Little Bookworm Contest

If your child loves books and you would like to win some freebies, do join the Malaysian Online Baby Shops ("MOBS") & HuiWearn Kids Store ("HKS") Little Bookworm Contest. Contest details and prizes can be found here. Contest ends on 1 October 2009.

I love to shop for fabulous deals at Ebay and have been a regular customer of HuiWearn Kids Store. Hui Wearn offers many fabulous books, toys and Gymboree attires for boys and girls at great bargains.

Some of the fabulous titles that I have bought from Hui Wearn include Dora the Explorer collections, Sesame Street, Disney Princesses and lately, the Charlie & Lola series. Why am I crazy about all these children books? The answer is my two little angels - Werney & Anney, of course! Our children book collections have filled up 2 bookshelves now. In fact, DH is also another bookworm and he has his study room cabinets filled up with his books, which he has collected for the last 20 years??

Werney, 5 years old

Werney has started showing interest in books since baby. Initially, I started reading to Werney to distract her while I feed her as she is quite a fussy eater. Since then, it has became our daily routine. In fact, every night before bedtime now, Werney will request for me to read her at least 2 books. Some of Werney's classic favourite during her baby days were Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? I think I have read the Goodnight Moon book for more than a 100 times and even have to bring the book along during our holiday aboard.

Now at 5, Werney loves Dora the Explorer and many others. I have also started Werney with the Ladybird Key Words with Peter and Jane series. One of her current favourite is Charlie & Lola, I Will Never Not Ever Eat A Tomato by Lauren Child. This book features the popular Charlie & Lola of the TV cartoon series.

Being a fussy eater, I bought this book with the aim to encourage Werney to try out more foods, other than her usual french fries and sausages. It is really a funny book and Werney loves how Charlie convinced her little sister, Lola, a picky eater to try out the varieties of foods. Lola won't eat her carrots until big brother Charlie reveals that they are really orange twiglets from Jupiter. She won't eat her mashed potatoes until Charlie explains they are cloud fluff from Mount Fuji. What about eating Ocean Nibbles (for fish sticks), the food of Mermaids?

There are many, many other things that Lola absolutely will not eat, including and especially tomatoes. And yes, Werney doesn't like tomatoes too but I have convinced her that she should try everything, just like Lola.

A really well written story and the book is alive with lots of colors and imagination. Werney really enjoys this book and we read it at least a few times a week.

If you would like to get your copy of Charlie & Lola, I Will Never Not Ever Eat A Tomato book too, hop over to Ebay now. Hui Wearn has just stocked up on this book again.

, 18 months

As for Anney, she loves books too but her attention span is short and I usually read her picture board books. One of her favourite is Baby Einstein Language Nursery book.

I bought this book from Pay Less Books shop for just RM9, a few years ago. It still looks great after many years with frequent stains from milk, fruit juice and what's not!

What is so special about this book? This is a board board that is suitable for baby from ages 1 months to 4 years old. It has a collection of bright and bold pictures of simple words like Star, Duck, Bear, Flower, Train, My name is.........etc in English and also 4 other different languages - French, Spanish, Japanese, Hebrew. The last page of the book comes with a non-breakable mirror and this has never failed to leave a smile on Anney's face. It is such a joy to see her laugh whenever she looks at her own reflection in the mirror. Anney's favourite word is "Baby", pointing at herself in the mirror.

Anney has learned many words from this Baby Einstein book and she is like a parrot now, repeating all the words after me. For words that she can't pronounced, she would just said "gaga" and smiled at me!

Homemade mango cheese cake

Some of you have seen my pictures of the homemade mango cheese cake in Facebook and wanted to know the recipe? So, here is it. It is quite easy and no baking is required.


250g of Digestive biscuits
60g butter
250g of Cream Cheese (thawed at room temperature)
125g castor sugar or superfine sugar (not icing sugar!)
125ml whipping cream
1 canned mango and chopped into smaller pieces (you can also use fresh mango puree)
1 sachet of gelatine powder or about 1.5 tablespoon
4 tablespoon of water or as per the gelatine instruction
10 fresh strawberries for decoration

You will also need:

A 20cm round baking pan with removable base
Aluminium foil to cover the base of the baking pan
Cake mixer or hand mixer

  1. Melt the butter in a small bowl (place the bowl of butter over a pan of hot water)
  2. Crush the Digestive biscuit in a ziplock bag
  3. Mix the crushed Digestive biscuits with the melted butter in a large bowl
  4. Pour the Digestive biscuits into the baking pan and press it firmly using the back of a metal spoon. Once done, place the baking pan in the fridge
  5. Gently sprinkle the gelatine powder into the small bowl containing water
  6. Mix the gelatine powder until completely dissolved (it will become spongy now) and place the bowl over a pan of hot water until the gelatine mixture turns clear and runny. Set aside now
  7. Beat the thawed cream cream until smooth. Slowly add in the castor sugar and beat the mixture until light and fluffy
  8. Mix the dissolved gelatine to the canned mango
  9. Whip up the whipping cream and add the canned mango to the whipping cream
  10. Final step, combine the cream cheese with step 10 above
  11. Pour the mixture into the baking pan now
  12. Chill for at least 5 hours or overnight till firm
  13. Add the fresh strawberries on top for decoration

Serve chilled!

Werney who doesn't like cheese also love the mango cheese cake.

05 September 2009

Anney's new hair style

Po Po has been complaining about how long Anney's hair was. We have been keeping her curly lock since 1 months old till now.

Unfortunately, Po Po and Gong Gong really cannot tahan her messy hair and Po Po decided to chop off her curly locks yesterday.

See Anney's new hair style....

DH said her new hair style looked like "Lam Ah Jane"....if you know who la!

Bei Zhan Restaurant (Non-halal) @ Malacca

If you happen to be at Malacca, do check this restaurant out. While I was in Malacca last week, I had my dinner there for 2 consecutive nights.

They have just moved to this new location and the restaurant is a lot bigger. While I was there for 2 nights, the place was crowded to the brim for both nights....weekday nights!

Front entrance

Business card

Nice decoration

Beautiful interior of the restaurant

Some of the other specialties of the restaurants are:-

Pattaya Chicken
Deep fried soft shell crab with chicken floss
Apple with potato juice
and lots more!

Sorry no pictures for the above dishes.

04 September 2009

School refusal

School re-opened this week after a 10-days mid-term break.

One of my mom's biggest concern is Werney refusing school. Yes, this has happen many a times before and when she first started kindergarten at 4, my mom basically have to go to the school with her and sat there throughout her 3 hours class for at least a month (luckily I have a very patient mom!).

True enough, Werney's old habit surfaces again on Tuesday. As usual, she will tell my mom that she didn't want to go to school, giving excuses that she has sore throat etc. My mom insisted that she must go to school and sent her to school. Of course, she cried when my mom left and it was only for a short while. It didn't help that one of the teacher joked that she will bring diaper and bottle for her the next day if she cries again! Werney is a very sensitive child and any such "joke" would be taken seriously! The principal is well aware of this and unfortunately, the teacher on duty that day to bring the children up the school was not aware.

The same night (Tuesday), Werney cried (quite badly before bedtime!) and whined that she doesn't want to go to school anymore. Knowing her, I knew something must have happen in school and she told me about the diaper & bottle story. I reassured her that the teacher was just joking etc and finally she settled now and slept.

On Wednesday, she cried big time again before school time and vomitted her lunch all over the floor. My mom was furious and Werney didn't go to school that day.

Hubby kindly send Werney to school yesterday (Thursday) and spoke to the principal and teachers. Luckily Werney told me she likes her class teacher a lot and her class teacher was quite accommodating. She sat with Werney and talked to her before the class start just to make sure she is okay!

Today is already Friday....I hope Werney would have adjusted to the school re-open thingy. Really pening with this missy....sometimes she would tell me she loves her school and all her teachers and the next time, I don't want to go to school etc......

Do you have this problem with your child?
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