Friday, May 29, 2009

the lazy lie-in dress

I was strolling along the aisle of a local fabric store when this fabric caught my eye. It has a really sweet print of puffy clouds floating with babies, ducks, or cribs sitting on them. The background is in pink, which makes it really appropriate for little girls like QQ.

I wanted to make a dress that QQ could wear on lazy Sunday mornings, roomy enough to let her run, roll, jump, squat, and play freely. I wanted to give the dress sleeves, so that it would not be too chilly to wear in the morning. So this is what I came out with: Details: She sure loves the roomy feeling this dress gives her. Hmm... I may try on some solids soon...

See my other handmade projects.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

monologue of my 22-month-old...

Sit car. Go kai kai. Dark… Not bright. Koko where? In front. Papa drive. Drive car. Car. Bus! Motorsikal! There. There motorsikal! Woooo…. So fast! So laud. (pause) Whale eat Pin-know-cheo. Eat uncle. Uncle cry. Pin-know-cheo got donkey ears. Donkey ears like that... (giggle) (pause) Moon. Star. High up in the sky! Want to catch moon. Catch! Bird fly. Fly high up in the sky! Burung. Bird. Burung kakak tua… Giginya dua… let tum let tum let tum ooo laaa laa

I swear she was chattering non-stop at the back of the car yesterday night in her mixture of broken English, Malay and Mandarin. It was entertaining when her monologue broke into an incomplete Malay song, which she repeated over and over. When her voice finally drifted off, I knew she had fallen asleep. Occasionally, she let a soft giggle escape her soft lips. She must be dreaming she had finally caught the moon and hugging it against the round belly of hers…

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

refashion: from tops to skirts

As I was digging out HQ’s clothes to be refashioned into more feminine looking attires for QQ, I thought of all the clothes that I could not wear anymore, after having my babies. They are very new, still look really good, and I hated to waste. After some pondering, I thought of some ways that I can refashion them to be used again by my little girl!

These are two slinky stretchable Key Ng tops that I love, but because I went from a size S to a size M, sometimes L, I could not possibly fit into them anymore. To alter the tops to skirt,

1. I took my scissors and snipped away the top meant for the neck and armholes. At this point, they looked like very loose tubes.
2. Next, fold over the top fabric and run the sewing machine over to make casings for the elastics.

3. Using a safety pin, insert the elastics into the casings.

4. Sew both ends of the elastics together. Close the casings' openings.

5. Done! Easy peasy. I spent no more than 15 minutes on both skirts.
Simple and chic, aren’t they?
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Monday, May 25, 2009


HQ: 4 years old
HQ drew this the other day on a piece of random paper.

it looks cartoonish
the scarecrow eyes are looking at the flying bird, and it's smiling
the little bird is flying towards it, not from it
it is done with a few quick spontaneous strokes
i love this funny lopsided scarecrow with its flying big-headed friend

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Friday, May 22, 2009


Besides celebrating in school, we celebrated HQ’s birthday, at home too, with gong gong and popo. It was a simple celebration, just a lunch, followed by a cake cutting session. I wished I have gotten some really nice pictures, but they did not turn out as good as I hoped. These are few ones that are ok.

In the morning, he went through his school activities like usual. While he’s at school, I rushed back to bake and decorate his cake. Okay, I cheated. I baked from a box of Pillsbury yellow cake mix. I wanted to add chocolate chips to make it yummier, prettier and somewhat more homemade, but I forgot. And okay, the decoration was so minimal… I just cut off the domed top, spread strawberry jam on top, sprinkled coloured chocolate rice at the side, and placed a ready store-bought sugar piece of Ben10 picture. So, here's the shabby work of an a novice baker... When HQ came back from school, his papa gave him a Ben10 watch as his birthday present. Turned out, he was more interested with a strange looking ant, crawling at the glass door. I told hubby to just get him a jarful of ants next time, or some equally creepy crawlies.HQ enjoyed blowing another round of 4 candles, perched proudly on his Ben10 birthday cake. Baked and decorated by his mama. His little sister was very pleased too, obviously more with the cake than anything else; she could not get her eyes off the cake. And my little boy had a great time. He’s a really happy boy; proud to be four. :-)

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

if only QQ can sing like beyonce

This is 21-month-old QQ's version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars.

I didn't get to record the first line of the song
Very off-tune
Words missing
There's a little conversation in the background
And paused in between to pick up a pen for her brother (Other times, she would be pausing to check out what's on tv, ask for biscuits, point out to something that caught her attention, etc.)

This video is by no means perfect, but I gave up.

In which her brother, HQ, commented:

"I think this song, ah, meimei can get 6 out of 10 only!"

And "No la… 3 out of 10 only la, because she keep(s) moving around!"

And "No ah… I think jero out of ten! Hahaha"

But to me? It's a perfect tune...

(And yeah, her hair makes her look like a dorky china doll. Her hair was thick and long; making her very uncomfortable at her neck, eyes and ears. So we snipped the length off. Poor girl, she has to live with this hair until it grows out.)

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

3 to 4

My smiley little guy (with his unsuccessful peace signs) celebrates his 4th birthday today!

This post is for me to record down the details of HQ’s life when he was 3, before what little brain cells I have left, forget them. If you are interested to read on, this is going to be a long post.

What happened last year when he was 3?

19 May 2008
~ We celebrated HQ birthday by going to the zoo with popo and gong gong (the kids’ grandma and granddad). After the trip, we did our usual dinner and cake-cutting. HQ wanted a strawberry cake, but I could not bring myself to buy one that is laden with coloured icing, so we bought a rather healthy carrot cake with cream cheese frosting from Secret Recipe. To make our cake strawberry-like, we cut some strawberries and arranged them on the cake. Our little guy was happy enough!
~ And oh, yes, he successfully killed a mosquito and many more mosquitoes in the days that come.

June 2008
~ 8 June 2008
HQ baked his first chocolate banana muffins, and they were yummy! He was the Chief Banana Masher, the Head of Stir-Them-all-Together, the Scoop-into-Muffin-Holes Captain, and our Primary Taster.
~ 9 June 2009 HQ started pre-kindy; although he was shy, he was a star on his first day! No fuss, no tears, just really excited and eager to really start school!
~ 14 June 2008 We attended HQ’s school Parents Day – it was first for him, as well as for us! There was a talk on how to foster reading habit with your children, which was quite good. Looking forward to our next Parents Day and many more to come. On the same day, I saw him speaking up to a much older boy, in broken Mandarin, which really hit the reality – my boy is growing up, and I’m growing old, fast.
~ On his first week of school, HQ made his first friend, a sweet little girl who’s one year older than him, Ke Qian.
First mosquito, HQ first time helping to bake, HQ telling his popo he's going to school on his first day, HQ cutting his birthday cake with the help of gong gong, made his first friend Ke Qian, HQ speaking up to a much older boy.

July 2008
~ 20 July 2008 HQ celebrated his little sister’s 1st birthday. He was the proud brother who helped in arranging the candles, blowing them, cutting the cake and a handy-man in helping to fix a trainer bicycle (QQ’s birthday present).
~ HQ made some really cool things in school – a father’s day card, a Malaysia flag, a fish, a tortoise, a party hat, an ice-cream cone, a flower.
~ HQ learnt to use the camera; blur photos but he’s getting better at it!
HQ helping to fix his little sister's tricycle, HQ posing with his self-made (with teacher's help) ice cream cone and party hat, and other self-made crafts.

Aug 2008
~ 09 Aug 2008 HQ folded his first origami “frog”, that did jumped a wee bit.
~ Enjoyed himself very much in Dinosaur Park.
~ Enjoyed himself tremendously at the pool
~ HQ loves using the building blocks to build robots, animal pens, garages, supermarkets, houses and hospitals, although sometimes I need to look at different angles to see how those things work.

Sept 2008
~ 14 Sept 2008
HQ celebrated his Lantern Festival, first time in school. I bought a dragon lantern for him, and he made a lantern using paper plates (with teacher's help). We played games, and HQ won his first prize in a game. I just realized my kid can be really greedy with anything involving french fries.
~ HQ loves helping in the kitchen, usually stirring, washing vegetables, and washing rice. “Put more waters into the rices!” I was trying to teach him singular and plural, and he said them awfully wrong. :-) He’s wearing an apron that I sewn for him!
~ HQ is very much into doodling nowadays. Favorite drawing subjects are fishes, whales, stegosaurus with mighty long spikes, and portraits of the whole family.
~ HQ had Dental Week in school; it sure is more fun brushing teeth with friends. He’s now always saying “Brush one time, gargle 3 times. Brush second time, gargle another 3 times.”
~ HQ talked his papa into planting tomatoes.
HQ drew a fish swimming among seaweeds, an origami frog that HQ made, a dragon lantern that I bought for him, HQ swimming with papa, made a friend in KLCC park, HQ enjoying himself in Dinosaur Park, HQ helping in the kitchen, HQ's self potrait, HQ with his self-made (with teacher's help) lantern, popo and HQ played and won a game in school.

October 2008

~ 1 Oct 2008
HQ tried rock climbing for the first time in Bangi park. We spotted a tortoise too, and HQ wanted to bring it home!
~ 1 Oct 2008 With help from papa, HQ replanted his tomato plants.
~ HQ did his first exams. I can't say he did well in all subjects, but he did particularly well in Maths, English and Science. He got 3rd in class. :-)
~ 30 Oct 2008 HQ got his first mamak experience at 3.00 am in the morning. Long story.

November 2008
~ 2 Nov 2008 HQ had his first school concert. HQ took his first bus ride on the way to the local hotel for his school concert. And he was talking about the bus ride more than anything else. HQ had his first performance, where he sang a Mandarin song, solo. QQ and I missed his performance. Long story.
~ Went for his first outing with the school to Sunway Petting Zoo! He has been talking about the bus ride, the animals that he saw, how he fed the rabbits, and how he fell asleep in the bus on the way back since then. He still remembers till today!
~ 30 Nov 2008 HQ attended his first wedding dinner of my cousin. Was well behaved, but when the sleeping bugs attacked, we had to leave early.
~ During the school break, HQ attended his first school camp.
~ We put up the Christmas tree, and HQ insisted on having all his animals line up under the tree.
~ HQ's tomato plants were flowering!
HQ performing during his school concert, HQ with his throphy, HQ trying rock climbing, HQ posing a kung fu position, HQ first time at mamak, HQ visiting Sunway Petting Zoo, animal figuries lined up under the Christmas tree, HQ made alphabets.

December 2008

~ HQ attended his first play – A Christmas Carol at KLPac, tickets courtesy of YTL. We left early when the howling of Christmas ghosts was too eerie for the kids to handle. They were jumping and laughing like their usual selves again once seated in the car. Both kids feel asleep on the way home.
~ HQ attended his first school Christmas Party, and prepared his first Christmas gift for exchange. There were a Pooh pencil box case with pencil, sharpener, eraser, and ruler; a Cadbury chocolate bar, and stickers.
~ Cousin Gabriel came to visit from Singapore, and they had a blast.
~ HQ celebrated his 3rd Christmas with his papa, mama and meimei.
~ We visited Melacca with gong gong and popo.
~ HQ’s tomato trees were bearing fruits!

January 2009
~ HQ celebrated Chinese New Year with gong gong, popo and cousin Gabriel from Singapore.
~ HQ went to Bukit Tinggi and visited his rabbit friends.
~ HQ started his second year in school.
~ HQ’s tomatoes were getting ripe! Christmas, HQ at Bukit Tinggi, Melacca trip, first Christmas exchange present, HQ and Gabriel during CNY, a ripening tomato, A Christmas Carol, free tickets to A Christmas Carol play.

February 2009

~ Papa brought HQ for water play in KLCC - "It's a man day!" HQ said
~ HQ started playing this IQ game and is hooked for many days. I’ve never seen him concentrating so intensely before! He’s getting very quick!

March 2009

~ HQ visited KLCC park with his meimei, and they loved the experience.
~ HQ presented his first self-coloured present to his gong gong. I love that the pirate's face is purple, with blue and green hands.

April 2009
~ HQ enjoyed his first strawberries for this year with his meimei.
~ 10 April 2009 - HQ celebrated his papa’s birthday for the 4th time.
~ 25 April 2009 – HQ had, from what I observed, his first crush, if it's possible, for someone who's going to be 4 next month... scary thought.

May 2009
~ HQ’s birthday month! HQ pre-kindy celebrated HQ’s be-early-birthday with another birthday kid.
~ 9 May 2009 - HQ went to Bangi park for the second time. Like the first time, we had picnic breakfast and the kids enjoyed themselves very much at the playground.
HQ enjoying strawberries with QQ, papa's birthday, first coloured picture for gong gong, HQ colouring away, the IQ game that HQ loves, celebrating be-early-birthday in school, HQ in Bangi park, the sweet little girl that HQ has his eyes on, HQ in KLCC park with QQ.

HQ really enjoys school; his favourite subjects are Mathematics and Science. He can do simple mathematics additions, but he does not like Mandarin very much.

His current favourite colour is blue; favourite shows are Walking With Dinosaurs documentaries, Ben10 and Power Rangers; favourite action heroes are Ben10, Spiderman, Power Rangers, Wong Fei Hung, and Li Xiao Lung (Bruce Lee); favourite dinosaurs are Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor.

He speaks English to us and his teachers, Malay to the Indonesian helper and Mandarin with his friends. Although there's lots of room for improvement on his grammer, he expresses himself very well for his age. He sings well in these three languages too, although I wonder if he understands many of the Malay and Chinese songs that he sings.

He has good memory, especially on things that interests him; for example, he knows the names of many different types of dinosaurs. He is curious in nature, and never ceases to amaze me with his thoughtful questions, thinking and conclusions that he comes up with. Although sometimes, his assumptions can be awfully funny. :-)

Although he can be quite protective over his toys, books and stationeries, he is great in helping to babysit his younger sister, playing with her, teaching her the alphabets and the numbers, showing her the shapes and colours, and QQ learns very fast from him too. They are great playing together and enjoy each other company very much.

He is a great joy to me and his papa, his gong gong and popo too.

Happy 4th birthday, dear, we love you very much, and we look forward to many more birthdays to come!

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

party favors for kids

During HQ's turn to celebrate his be-early-birthday in school, I prepared party favors, which I hope is fun and healthy for kids age 3 to 6. Also, these favors should be within my budget.

These are the 60 party favors we came out with:
Contents and costs of the party favors:

A bag to hold the goodies
I kept the bag simple and just bought clear plastic bags. When all the goodies are in the bag, I simply staple the openings. They looked great as all the colourful items in the bags were visible.
Cost of 60 plastic bags = RM 2.15

Goodies that kiddies can chomp on
Now this is a very important item in any party favor, or the hungry little kids will not call them goodie bags.
I wanted to provide something nutritious; no sweets, colourful jellies, lollipops and packets of junk food. I opted for packets of Iko nutritious oat biscuits, rice puff with peanut butter/ blueberry filling, Danhua cakes, and Nips chocolate coated peanuts, which were sweet but do have better nutrition values.
Cost of goodies = RM 51.00

Something that kiddos can play with
I was watching my budget when I decide on the toys for the favors. It’s an optional item, but will be deeply appreciated by the recipients. What’s within my budget yet ooze with kids appeal?
I sourced the Internet for free pictures of cartoon characters, printed them out, sent them to the photocopier, get them stapled, and viola! Attractive colouring books, one version each for boys and girls.
Blue or green covers with pictures of Ben10, Power Ranger, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Mickey Mouse, Bob the Builder, Pooh Bear, etc. for the boys, and red or yellow covers with pictures of Cinderella, Hello Kitty, Snow White, Little Mermaid, Strawberry Shortcake, Minnie Mouse, Pooh Bear, etc. for the girls.

The colouring books:
Pictures from the boys' and girls' colouring books:Centerspread of the boys' colouring books, featuring their favourite Ben10: Centerspread for the girls' colouring books:The kids went totally nuts over them :-)
Cost of colour paper, photocopying and stapling = RM 64.70

Total investment in party favors = RM 117.85
Cost of each party favor = RM 1.95
The figure is within my budget, and I know I’m getting quality goodies that kids appreciate. The kids seemed happy receiving their bags, comparing colouring books and chomping their goodies!


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