Monday, November 14, 2011

MOMMade: Magnetic Funny Faces

Made this for Baby O sometime earlier this year but never got a chance to post it up. It is pretty simple. All you need is:

An empty square/rectangular biscuit tin
Magnetic paper
Magnetic tape

First draw a couple of 'faces' on pieces of paper cut to fit the size of the tin you will be using. Mine is half A4. I cut four pieces of magnetic tape for each corner of the paper so they stay on the tin.
Next, draw different types of features on magnetic paper and colour them in - hair, eyebrows, eyes, ears, noses, lips, mouths, beard, moustaches, etc. You can include some accessories like sunglasses and bows. Whatever you fancy really... Cut them out.
Finally, get creative! Place a piece of paper with an empty face on the tin and add features on! Here are some of ours. The possibilities are endless!
This craft can keep a toddler busy for some time. Not recommended for less than two I suppose due to the small bits which may be a choking hazard. Irregardless, I would still advice supervision. Plus playing together is fun!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This Mama Loves... I'm A New Big Sister

As mentioned in my previous post, there were not many choices of books available in our local bookstore to help prepare our little toddler in becoming a big che-che. I am really thankful that the only two available were great finds.

'I'm A New Big Sister' by Nora Gaydos is recommended for toddlers two years onwards. Perfect for Baby O. Illustrations are simple and cute and gives the reader an idea of what to expect when the new baby arrives. Firstly, it tells the reader that things will be a little different now. Then it explains things like the new baby won't be able to play with the big sister yet, or she has to pick up her toys so no one gets hurt, helping around during nappy change and holding baby gently, and to expect crying when baby needs something and lots of cuddling the baby. At the end, the book emphasises that the reader will still be able to spend a lot of time with mommy and daddy when baby is asleep to remind the child that she is still special. There is also a note to parents with some ideas of how to help your toddler adjust to her new role as big sister and a note to the big sister too telling her to lookout for all the many exciting baby milestones together.

Baby O seems to love the idea of being a big che-che from this book as she thinks she gets to read books to her di-di, sing lullabies and feed him. She somehow loves the page where baby does a poo and laughs every time we get to that page. (???!)

The 'I'm A New Big Brother' version is also available.

Read the review of 'What's Inside Your Tummy, Mommy?' by Abby Cocovini here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This Mama Loves... What's Inside Your Tummy, Mommy?

What's Inside Your Tummy, Mommy?Some time in my eventful first trimester, I managed to gather enough energy to look for relevant books that will help prepare Baby O to be a big che-che (elder sister). Not surprisingly, there weren't many. Thankfully, there were two (and only two) great books available! The first would be 'What's Inside Your Tummy, Mommy?' by Abby Cocovini. Unfortunately there was only one tatty and torn copy left and Borders reluctantly offered me a 20% discount off and I reluctantly bought it. (Thought they could do better than that. ;-P)

The book gives a simple explanation of how baby is growing month by month with some simple illustrations.

What I like about this large size paperback is that it is designed to be placed on Mommy's belly to give the toddler a visual of what is inside the growing tummy.

Baby O loves this book and reads it almost every night! She can even tell us the 'story' now - "Month number five, baby is like (a box of) milk. He can blow the trumpet with his thumb - pa, pa, pa, paaa." Well, this is the only page that she kinda made up the story and diverted a little.. haha....

Overall, no regrets getting the copy even in its shabby condition. Definitely a keeper!
Next: Review on the other book 'I'm A New Big Sister' by Nora Gaydos here.

Preparing for a new sibling

Got this from one of those baby sites that I subscribe to and thought I would share it with all those expecting another bundle of joy as it is pretty applicable to our family as D-Day draws nearer:

Be aware that your daughter will need plenty of attention to assure her that she is not being replaced by a newer model.
1. Plan on giving her plenty of one-on-one time with Daddy. Though it is not inevitable, close spacing (less than three years) can create friction between siblings because both will have high needs for parental attention.
2. Read books about babies. You will still have undivided attention to give to her, which will help her adjust to a new situation. Begin reading books to her about babies coming into the family and talk with her about the baby in utero. Though she will not completely understand, she will be primed for the baby's arrival.
3. Stagger the timing of changes. If a new bedroom or bed is required, make this change at least four to six weeks before she becomes a big sister. Your daughter will be less likely to associate her new room or bed with displacement. Any changes that you believe necessary should not coincide with the new baby's arrival.
4. Encourage her regular contact with babies. Teach her the concept "gentle" in touching babies, as well as other living things such as cats and dogs. This will help her get some practice in before she becomes a big sister.
5. Allow her to still be a baby. Despite the fact that she will become a big sister, do not rob her of her own baby-toddlerhood. Don't assume that she must sleep in a bed instead of a crib, especially if she still enjoys and feels comforted by the crib she is now using. Continue to diaper her and offer her the bottle or breast, if you're breastfeeding. She is still very much a baby herself! Expect her to want to be held and even play "baby" by being cuddled and cooed in your arms.
6. Expect moodiness. Don't be alarmed if she seems more clingy or crabby than usual. She will need to express herself and see that her place in the family is still secure. With time and your consideration, she will adapt and gain a sense of mastery (rather than jealousy) about her new role in the family.
7. Remind her that she was a baby too. Show her pictures of herself, the attention she got and the gifts that she received when she was a new baby.
8. Buy a few special toys. It may also help to buy a few gifts that are just for her, so that when you are receiving gifts for the baby and attention is being showered on the newborn there is something for her.
9. Encourage her to help once the baby is born. This will give her a sense of competence. She can bring a diaper to Mommy, take an adult by the hand to show the new baby or giving the baby a toy.
10. Show her the benefits of being a big girl. Involve her in activities she can do which separate her from the new baby and give her the message that she can do certain things because she is not a newborn. Sitting on your lap and pointing to pictures as you read, putting a simple puzzle together or other activities appropriate to her development will continue her excitement in her own growth and the things she can do now that she could not do as a baby.
Whether a new child is being born or a teenager is leaving for college, transitions in families require profound physical and psychological adjustments. Family researchers have identified changes in daily family household membership to be the most stressful. It's natural for your toddler to regress during this time.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Potty Re-training Day ??

I just realised that we have been travelling and having visitors non-stop since the beginning of August till about an hour ago. What brilliant timing This Mama has to start potty training. Nappies were more on than off during this period of time. However, since we came back home from breakfast this morning, I was surprised by the request of wearing panties instead of a nappy as well as pee-ing and poo-ing in the potty without being asked at all!!!! I was really chuffed that Baby O actually told me that she wanted to pang-sai in the potty and willingly sat for a good 10 or so minutes before poo-ing in the potty! If you know her, she usually hides and does her 'business' and tells you that she has done it later if she has her nappy on. She has also been so used to doing it standing up (Yes, I know!) that it was previously difficult to convince her to sit and do it in the potty. So I think this is a real achievement! She was also so proud of herself that she wanted to call her Po-po (grandma) and Gung-gung (grandpa) what she did! Lol.

Certainly hope that we will be nappy-free really soon! Although I must admit that I do miss the convenience of the nappy sometimes! ;-P Especially now that I am carrying a huge bump along everywhere I go!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Potty Re-training Day 9-11

Have still been putting on the nappy for Baby O at night. She still wakes up with a wet nappy so have not dared try to go nappy-less yet.

Today we went to a friends house with pull-up pants on but she still did her shee-shee in the toilet. Yay!! After her afternoon nap, my in-laws arrived and the next few days was again back on a mixture of panties at home and nappies outside (which was most of the time).

Next week is a long holiday and we will be back in our hometown. Expecting on and off nappy days again. Hmm... guess going completely nappy-less will take a little longer as I have cleverly chosen these few weeks with the maximum disruption to our routine to start potty training off! Nevertheless, I am still really proud of the progress we have made even with all these disruptions in the way! Way to go, girl!

Potty Re-training Day 8

Hmm.. Baby O managed to shee-shee in the potty today but... she poo-ed in her pants as she did not want to poo in the potty. Then she had a loooong nap. More than three hours to be precised and I found her all wet in her pee.... Other than that, I guess she still did very well overall!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Potty Re-training Day 7

Today is actually the day we tried to put on training pants again after Baby O's grandparents left. Surprisingly Baby O was willing to do so. Again I had to remind her to tell me if she needs a wee so that she will not wet her 'trains' (on the pants). The morning was slow until after some water intake in the late morning. She actually told me that she wanted to shee-shee in the potty and she did! In fact, she did all her pee in the potty as well as the toilet when we were upstairs without the potty! So proud of her. I even left her in her training pants during nap time this time.

We were out post-nap so the pull-up pants went back on again. Overall, still chuffed that we had a zero accident first half of the day.

Potty Re-training Day 2-6

Baby O's grandparents arrived yesterday. I know we are supposed to potty train when there are not much changes to baby/toddler's routine but there is just not much time left with! With all the going outs, and just one day of training, I did not take the risk and got her back on pull-up pants (and nappies) from the time her grandparents arrived till yesterday when they left. Even when at home when we asked if she wants to shee-shee in the potty, she just went 'No'. Hrmph....

Potty Re-training Day 1

There's so much to prepare before the arrival of our little prince! One would have thought that having a second one would be much easier but...

Anyway, one of the 'projects' we have to embark on is Mission Potty Train! We have tried to potty train Baby O before with well, no success and I am determined to get it out of the way before little di-di arrives (and to achieve my Act of Green pledge from last year!). A friend who knows that I am trying to train Baby O has very generously loaned me tonnes of these re-usable training pants. (She has four boys. That explains the colours and the trains...) Since we were running out of nappies, I used it as an excuse to start training her. I told her that we had no more nappies but I got her some 'new panties' and they have trains on them! That kinda got her excited to wear them. 

So she had on 'panties' and I reminded her what felt like every five minutes or so that she had to shee-shee (slang for pee) in the potty so that she doesn't wet the trains on her panties. We had about four accidents in maybe two hours. Baby O must have forgotten that she was without nappies. 

I left the potty in the living room for easier access and during one of those times when she wanted to sit and wee, I gave her a little book and read together and waited and then... she did it! You should have seen her beaming face. I praised her and we gave each other high-fives. We were both so proud.

She even did a poo while I was cooking lunch! She told me she wanted to shee-shee again so we got her 'panty' off. While sitting there, she said she was gonna pang-sai (slang for poo) instead! She got a little panicky but I told her to sit there and wait for me and she finished before I could get to her. I again showered her with praises and high-fives and made a big fuss of what she had done while she kept asking me to quickly wash the potty. Haha...

Anyway, I didn't dare to attempt to let her continue to be nappy-less during nap time so I dug out some pull-up pants for her before nap time. When she saw them, she went 'Yay!!! Nappy!!!'. That was hilarious. I didn't want her to think that we still have nappies so I pretended to take out a pack of swim nappies and told her that those were swim nappies. Then I quickly hid the pull-up nappy pants together with the pile of training pants. When I changed her into the pull-up pants, she then said that she wanted to go swimming as she thought that I was wearing a swim nappy for her. Hmm... Mental note: Can't lie to toddler anymore.

These all happened before Baby O's grandparents arrived for the week..... Now, what next?

Friday, July 29, 2011


I was just thinking this afternoon while Baby O and I were snuggled together about to have a nap... that I am feeling more settled now after slightly over a year in Penang...

Then, it struck me that things will change again as the little one will be arriving very soon in November!!

So I tried to think of when was the last time I felt settled and somehow that felt like a reeaaally looong time ago! Let's have a look at all the major changes in my life...

2004 - we got engaged and started planning for the big day
2005 - I changed jobs a few months after the big day
2006 - we moved into our own home
2007 - moved halfway across the world to the UK
2008 - relocated to another state for job's sake
2009 - became a mother for the very first time and left the UK
2010 - relocated to Penang
2011 - unsure of what to expect when the prince makes his royal appearance end of the year!

Wow... yeah... thaaaaaat loooong ago! I thank God that through everything, He has provided the support that we needed and has never stopped blessing us. So even though I have not been feeling entirely settled, I am truly and wonderfully blessed!

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Budding Artist

One of the activities Baby O loves is to draw and paint. We started her off with non-toxic Crayola mini chunky crayons since she was maybe about 18 months old? Can't remember now... she was also introduced to water colour painting which she totally loves! I also managed to buy her a box of non-toxic water-based marker pens sometime early this year and she is hooked to them! She started drawing dots and lines initially and progressed to circles just before her second birthday. Soon after that, she totally impressed me by drawing faces! She starts by drawing a circle, then place two dots as the eyes, some squiggles on the sides as ears and a line for the mouth. Sometimes the line is upturn and we get a smiley face. Other times it is downturn and we appear to have a sad face. 
A sad face
She just loves drawing these faces and can spend a looong time 'perfecting' her faces!
Practice makes perfect!

There were only so many pieces of recycled paper that I could find so I had to get her one of these magnetic drawing boards. Got this one at a bargain from Toys R Us! Original retail price was about RM39. It was on promotion for about RM28. I had a RM20 voucher so I paid only RM8+ for this! This Mama loves a bargain!

Limitless creations

And when she had enough of faces, she even attempted to write her own name!! Which I found really amazing for a two year old!!!! Although you will probably think what is that?!? ;-)

Way to go girl!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Uninterrupted Sleep

Since Baby O's birth two years ago, I cannot recall many nights of restful sleep through the night. Most of the time, I will be rudely woken up by a foot on my face, or with a nice hand slapping across me. Since we are preparing for another baby now, we have been thinking a lot more about our sleeping arrangement when the new member of our family moves in with us. Ideally, Baby O should be sleeping on her mattress on the floor on her own (because we are not ready to move her out of our room yet) and her di-di or mei-mei will be placed in a cot. However, call it instinct or whatever you want, Baby O has been EXTREMELY sticky and insists on Mama sleeping next to her since she sort of found out that she will be expecting a sibling. Previously, she was ok with Papa putting her to bed. There were occasions when if she don't see me in the room with her, she will cry so tragically even though Papa is there with her trying his very best to comfort her without any success. The crying immediately stops as soon as she hears the door knob turns expecting no one else but me. These last few nights however, we have tried again to cajole her to sleep on her own 'special' big che-che bed. She seems proud to have a special bed but still insisted that I sleep next to her. Having all the pelvic pain and all with this pregnancy, it just seems difficult to lie comfortably down there with her but I tried to to get her used to the idea and eventually moved back up onto our bed.

We managed to have her on her bed a few nights now but someone has to sleep there with her. Last night however, she wanted to sleep on her special bed again and wanted me to be next to her. After a few minutes, I explained again to her that my hips are aching and I have to go back to sleep on the bed. She surprisingly didn't whine or cry this time but she did climb on to the bed to be next to me. I doze off but later felt her climbing down to her own bed again. I opened my eyes slightly every other minute to have a peek at what she is up to next and smiled when I saw her lying comfortably on a pillow with her little bolster. She even placed the blanket on her body which she usually kicks away when we do it for her. And after a few minutes of adjusting here and there, she finally fell asleep.

Initially, she still woke up at about 5-7am and climbed back onto our bed but these few days, I wake to find her still on her mattress most mornings. I have to admit that sleep has been good these few nights without me having to wake up every so often to check where Baby O is on the bed now and if she is being covered by the blanket/pillow/me/dear hubby or at the verge of falling off the bed... Then there are no more nasty foot of hand surprises. As I am a super light sleeper, even the flick of her hair can wake me up so that's gone now as well.

So do I miss sleeping next to her? Honestly, not really as she is still in the same room by my side albeit on a mattress. Plus we do still sleep together if I have a nap with her. I think I will only miss it if we move her completely out of the room but that seems like a very far fetched idea at this point in time! Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy my uninterrupted sleep for now...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This Mama Is Feeling... A Lot Better!!!

I have finally regained enough energy to want to blog! Yes, it was a first trimester that I never had and wouldn't want to go through again! Well, considering that I had a relatively smooth sailing pregnancy before. This time round, you name it, I had (or still having) it. Started with an insatiable appetite! That is not bad but if I don't get food in in time, I will be nauseous to the core! To make it even more interesting, I was hungry every hour or so! Sometimes I overeat as I was so hungry that my food goes undigested and frequently comes out again the same way it went in looking very much like what it was before.. oops.. sorry for the details..

The heightened sense of smell deterred me from entering the kitchen. I could not bear the smell of food being cooked. I could not smell the leftover smells of cooked food. I could not stand the smells of certain foods like seafood. Dear hubby had to tapau (take away) most meals including lunches for us. He had to rush out during his working lunch hour so we won't starve. Poor Baby O was fed everything under the sun then. No more delicious and nutritious homemade goodness. (Am sure she is actually more happy with the tasty salty and sweet food though! Hmm..)

Then there is the need to pee in the wee hours of morning. Like every night. Even though I try to avoid drinking too much liquid after certain hours at night. 

At the same time, I was also having extreme fatigue. I can be talking to Baby O one minute and my eyes will closed the next. But come night time, I can't sleep. Either I'll be awake till 2 - 3 am or I will wake up at 4 - 5 am and can't go back to sleep till 7 am. This baby is really preparing me very early on! I was so tired that the TV became a regular babysitter for Baby O. I felt really guilty as I could barely give her the attention that she needed.

I craved very particular foods which was actually a good thing come to think of it as it made life easier in the sense that we know where to go for say dinner immediately and head straight there instead of usually having to think about where or what to eat. Dear hubby should also be thankful that my cravings weren't that out of the world and mostly obtainable within reach.

This time round the pelvic pain came much earlier compared to the previous pregnancy and that deterred me from doing exercises like walking and swimming which I really should. There were nights when I just couldn't find a comfortable position to lie in to relieve the pain. Thankfully, most times I know what will trigger it and try to avoid those actions (which includes too much walking in malls!).

So I am really, really thankful that I am SO much better now. Shall really enjoy this honeymoon trimester to the max before I get too big!

And time to dig out that What to Expect When You Are Expecting book again... How exciting!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy 76th Birthday Mr Roger Hargreaves!

Roger Hargreaves is the English cartoonist famous for the Mr Men and Little Miss children series. I was first introduced to the Mr Men series when I was a little girl and am still very fond of them now. I even made sure I got Baby O (or rather myself!) a set of the Mr Men books when we were still in England as I think my set has been given away.

Anyway, while surfing today, I was pleasantly surprised to see the familiar Mr Men and Little Miss characters on Google's search site. Google is celebrating Roger Hargreaves's 76th birthday with not just one, but 16 different doodles!!! Love 'em and just had to 'collect' them!! Oh, and happy birthday Mr Hargreaves!

Little Miss Chatterbox

Little Miss Curious

Little Miss Magic

Mr Uppity and Little Miss Naughty

Little Miss Shy

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Tiny

Mr Bump

Mr Dizzy

Mr Forgetful

Mr Funny

Mr Happy

Mr Messy

Mr Rush

Mr Slow

Mr Tickle

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baby O's Mickey Mouse-Themed 2nd Birthday Cake

This is what has been occupying whatever left of my time and energy over the past few weeks...
The good side of the Mickey Mouse cake
And the whole thing which took hours and days to set up, was all over in just a few minutes!

This is a chocolate sponge cake layered with fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries decorated with fondant. My very first fondant covered cake. An unsuccessful one that is! I underestimated the time and skill required to just roll out the light blue fondant and cover the cake! On top of that, the whipped cream didn't set hard enough and the humid weather here in Penang just took the opportunity to melt the fondant on the cake before we could cut it.

I actually started molding the Mickey and Minnie figurines less than a week before the party. I had initially wanted to just buy the figurines off eBay or the toy store. A lot of eBay sellers don't ship to this part of the world (sigh!) and the toy stores don't seem to stock just Mickey and friends figurines in their original attire! Seriously didn't know that before! So I ran out of time and decided to just mold the figurines. Only Mickey and Minnie instead of all the characters from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto as I was already short of time and didn't want to challenge myself further. So using a piece of cut plastic straw, I managed to mold Mickey's head which probably was the hardest bit. Was quite pleased with the result although dear hubby calls him Mickey's cousin!

Mickey or Mickey's cousin?
Replicated the procedure and made Minnie. Then added the body, legs, shoes and arms.
The only close-up picture of the two that I took of the couple
I actually molded the Mickey Park arch, a 2D Clubhouse, stars on skewers with Baby O's name on it and other bits and bobs the following nights. Unfortunately, I now realised I have not taken a photo of them! 

The night before the party, I baked the chocolate sponge cake. I took the recipe from a friend's friend's blog. Someone I know who bakes a lot and have very successful bakes. She referred us to Kitchen Corner's fool-proof chocolate sponge cake. I only understood part of the instructions on the video but found it really helpful to see how the texture should be after each procedure! Will write what I did in another post when I find the time (and energy). Anyway, if the cake had failed, I would have gone to Secret Recipe the next day, buy a cake and just put the figurines on it!

On the morning of the party itself, I  whipped about 500ml whipping cream with a tablespoon of icing sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla till it is stiff and used it to layer the cake with some sliced strawberries. Then covered the whole cake with whipped cream and dunk it in the fridge to set. The layers added height to the cake which I was really glad!
Love the colour contrast

While setting, I rolled out the fondant, and rolled out again as there were cracks, then rolled out again as the size wasn't big enough, and rolled out again cause some other thing happened..... When I finally got the fondant rolled out nicely, and was putting it on the cake, the fondant split. Well, like I said, I took very much longer than anticipated and was late to go and set up the place with not long till the guests arrive. Yikes! So I gave up and just left the back as it is, all patched up... 
Oh! No! Dear me, dear me!
At least the front was decent enough...
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Then it was off to the party venue and to finish assembling the rest of the items there.

The melted cake...
Anyway, the cake wasn't the highlight of the event of course but I had a lot of fun putting it together. It was something different for me to do to occupy my time. It was almost therapeutic and I certainly look forward to doing things like these though glad that the party is over and I can rest now!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He's Alive!

Amazing love
How can it be
That you, my God
Should die for me?

- Charles Wesley

How thankful, how reassuring.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day 2011

Been away and will blog about it later. It's Earth Day today. I may not be an award winning environmentalist but preserving the Earth for our future generations and teaching our kids to love the world they live in is important to me so I'm stealing some time to write just a little about it.

Last year I pledged to:
1. Potty train Baby O. Failed big time. Well, at least we tried. Numerous times. Unfortunately I think she is now traumatised by the whole experience and may take her even longer to be trained! Yikes!

2. Switch off all electrical items when not in use and not leave on standby. Quite a success except for the Astro decoder which they want us to leave on standby mode for updates. Hmm... 

3. Use a tiffin carrier or own containers for taking away food. Done whenever we know that we are going to take away. Other times still rely on the containers provided by the food seller. I must comment though that a lot of them have actually switched to recyclable paper boxes or plastic wares which we can reuse and not polystyrene anymore. Bravo to them!

Other things that we have been doing:
recycle our milk cartons, egg trays, glass bottles, cereal boxes, etc.
compost though we have unfortunately stopped doing so due to space constrain.
planted own veg though not every plant was successful as everytime we are away even for just the weekend, our poor plants succumb to the heat and lack of water :( We still have sweet potato, ginger, chilli and pandan to harvest from now.
use only one car and public transportation while we still can and don't need a second car.
use our own bags during shopping. I've in fact sometimes swapped a recyclable shopping for my handbag! One size fits all!

This year I pledge to:
1. Continue to try to potty train Baby O.
2. Make my own organic cleaning agent of some sort which does not contain as many harmful chemicals for us and the environment. Am keen to try a soap or shampoo but will have to source the ingredients. 
3. Refashion! Dug out some old t-shirts and hoping to have a chance to make them into something else that can be worn by someone to extend the life of the materials! Very excited about this but just don't know if I'll get a chance to do so. But will pledge to anyway! 

Do you have an Act of Green that you want to share with us? Remember it doesn't have to be something big! Just one small action makes a big difference! Here are some suggestions to get you going:
  • Extend the life cycle of a product - re-use bags/ wrapping papers/ use both sides of the paper etc.
  • Grow your own fruits and vegetables
  • Reduce food waste - buy only what you need/ clear refrigerator before buying more food/ ask for less (rice/ noodles etc.) when ordering if you know you can't finish it
  • Reduce use of air-conditioner by drawing the curtains to keep hot air out
  • Recycle old cell phones and electronics
  • Collect rain water to wash the car, water plants, etc.
  • Car pool instead of driving alone
  • Pay bills online
  • Ask more people to join in the pledge!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jaring Scam?

Mom called earlier informing me that there is a letter addressed to my name from a solicitor acting on behalf of Jaring. The content of the letter basically state that I owe them a few hundred ringgit since 1996. Yes, 1996! So many questions ran through my mind... Firstly, I don't recall ever signing up to Jaring for their services. We did use them at home before but never under my name. I was just out of high school then thus would not have applied for it myself. Mom would have done it and under a common family name. Secondly, I have never, not that I can recall, used the username mentioned in the letter. On top of that, I don't recall ever seeing a Jaring statement before in my life. So why would I suddenly be billed hundreds all of a sudden!?

Whatever it is, I need to get some detective work done. So I tried calling the solicitor's office and initially, it was always engaged. When it finally got through many dials later, no one picked the phone up even after a few more tries at different times. I will need to try again later. I was given two other numbers to talk to someone directly though but I'm hesitant to call these numbers. Somehow want to know exactly is going on and try to clear things up if necessary.

There are tonnes of online Jaring scams going around but I couldn't find any that sends a physical letter during my random search on Google. If this is a really a scam, how in the world did they get my full name and address? If it is not a scam, why have I not received any bills from then from 1996 till now?? Anyone experienced similar incidences before?

*Update: Managed to get through to Jaring, the guy on the other line seems to know what it is all about even though I have only told him my surname and a letter regarding outstanding payment. He also directed me to the same two numbers stated on the letter which I was reluctant to call initially. Still feeling skeptical, I dialed the number. I was only greeted with a 'Hello'. No, so and so speaking from Jarings Communication Sdn Bhd, nothing. I had to ask who is speaking, then explained about the letter. He actually has all my details down: Full name, address, telephone number. I told him that I had not applied for their services on my own before, bla bla bla. I asked how come I had not received any reminders before and then suddenly slapped with a lawyer's letter? Seems they sent out reminders through emails and incidentally my supposedly jaring email account was terminated in 2008. He then told me the only way to get my name off their list is to pay up or get a police report.

Conclusion, I gave it a little more thought and may just make a police report. The more I think about it the more absurd this whole thing is! I was probably either preparing for or maybe even in the exam hall itself sitting for one of the STPM (A-level equivalent) papers on the date mentioned! How did I find myself registering for Jaring services at that time, I have no idea!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

MOMMade: Homemade Guess Who Lift-The-Flap Book

Can't think of anything easier to do than this with Baby O. A personalised lift-the-flap book! Got the idea from the Playhouse Disney channel where at the end of one of the programmes, the viewer was asked to identify which cartoon character it is by revealing only a partial body part. Immediately went scrap hunting after that. 

This is what we used: 
Old magazines with relevant pictures - we used AstroView for Baby O's favourite cartoon characters. Other option would be pictures of animals or vegetables and fruits.
Used envelopes
A booklet - one made of relatively stiff paper would be ideal. Otherwise I suppose old exercise books/ diaries would work too!

This is what we did:
1. Look for and cut cartoon pictures out in old magazines. Trim to fit booklet.
2. Cut used envelopes big enough to cover the cartoon pictures with about one centimetre extra as the flap.
3. Mark and cut holes to reveal only certain parts of the picture as a clue for the child to guess who (or what) is behind the flap.
4. Glue the flaps down adjusting the hole(s) ensuring only the selected parts are covered or exposed.
5. Decorate if desired.

Honestly no rocket science involved. You don't even have to be able to cut a straight line! Here are pictures of some of the pages:
Lift the handy flaps for clues!
The many ways to use see-through envelopes!
Incorporating some numbers
And some shapes!
Baby O was really good with this little game of 'Guess Who?'. She could identify most of them easily. The best part is, even though she already know the answers to some of them, she will still go back to the booklet and lift the flaps again and again! 

You know, we can buy less and be more green if we really want to!

Cut and Paste Craft

A few months ago, I decided to introduce Baby O to glue. Funnily enough, she was quite paranoid about having some invisible sticky stuff all over her fingers and kept wanting to wash her hands! She can be quite a clean freak at times. That didn't last too long though as she kept wanting to put glue on everything after that! Anyway, here is how we used our glue. 

We first gathered a bunch of colourful junk mails and brochures.
Then, I cut them out into pieces and put the different colours in different compartments. Baby O however decided that it was more fun mixing everything up.
I found this picture of Barbie, cut her up and pasted her on a piece of blank paper. The idea is to 'decorate Barbie's gown'. If you can't find a relevant picture, just draw some simple shapes and paste away! No hard and fast rule when it comes to art anyway.

Our masterpiece. :)
Nothing fancy, just lots of learning fun. In the process, Baby O was exposed to lots of new vocabulary - glue, paste, stick, squares, colours, etc. and actions - cutting, arranging, pasting, etc. That's one easy activity for the morning besides just drawing with her crayons! At the same time, making use of all these junk mails instead of just binning them.
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