A very overdue post on Xan’s birthday party in school…last year

I meant for this post to be out LAST YEAR but hey, better late than never right?

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Me: What would you like for your birthday, Xan?
Xan: Mmm… I dunno.
Me: How about the cake? You want a proper cake like your cousin’s or several cupcakes laid out together?
Xan: Cupcakes! Cupcakes!
Me: Okkkk… What kind? How do you want them to look like?
Xan: I want it to be a surprise! Don’t tell me ok? I want a surprise!! *excited giggles*

And so the birthday party prep began.

Have I told you this little fella doesn’t like cakes? He likes to taste them, buy them, distribute them but he’ll never finish eating them. If for some strange reason he does finish the cake, it must have been damn nice. Since he’s not going to care how they taste like, it made my life a whole lot easier.

We figured he is probably not going to be able to celebrate with this group of kids in K2 (his birthday is in December and most parents would’ve withdrawn their kids from the school from November onwards), I decided to go the extra mile and tried to plan something extra special. He was a big fan of the movie Despicable Me and especially love the silly minions so I went along with this theme for the party.

You see, I don’t plan parties, I go to parties. I had no clue whatsoever what to do other than ordering cakes. In times like this, the Internet is the best place to source for ideas and I found this! How cute are these cupcakes?? Incidentally, these were made by an old secondary school mate so I quickly made my order with her and breathed a huge sigh of relief. 

The Goodie Bags and Balloons

minion balloons and minion goodie bags
What is a school birthday party without goodie bags and balloons?

I DIYed the goodie bags and balloons for his friends and boy did I bit off more than I could chew! I forgot to take into consideration I couldn’t prepare everything in advance without spoiling the surprise for the little boy. That meant we only had the night before the party to get everything together. That meant blowing up the balloons, cutting the eyes, tags and whatnots. Very chuan ah! *hyperventilates* I found the templates for the Minion goggles here and the Evil Minion goggles and mouth here. For the goodie bags and I enlarged some of the goggles a little bit use on the yellow and purple balloons. Nice right? I even made “hair” for the evil minions but they were very troublesome to make. Have to use steel brush to brush out some purple wool. Wah biang! Brushed until hand numb only managed to get a small handful of usable fluff. I cursed and swore and wanted to give up. In the end I had enough for 4 purple head. The rest of the evil fellas had no hair and the kids didn’t even care because none of them wanted to take the evil minions home! Wah lau! So cute why dowan?? *heart crushed*

We also forgot that to fit 30 balloons in the car + big box of cupcakes + goodie bags will require some space planning which I obviously didn’t do. The balloons almost got crushed by the car door, nearly flew away at the void deck and they blocked my rear view mirror thus making driving a little tricky and scary because of they were staring back at me in the mirror. That was not the worst. Midway through while I was on the way to pick up the cupcakes, it started to rain. WAH LAU EH! *cries to the sky* WHY YOU BULLY PREGNANT ME???

Luckily The Husband met me at the cupcake pick up point and we managed to get everything into the school building with minimal damage; some of the balloons flew out of our hands and landed in the rain 🙁 After some screaming, running, shoving, huffing and puffing (referring to the very large and pregnant me lah), we got the table, goodie bags and balloons set up before Xander’s class arrived. Phew!

Yay! We are finally here!

Minion balloons, Minion cupcakes
Swee boh?

Xander’s face immediately lit up when he saw us and the balloons. He was beaming from ear to ear. His classmates squealed with excitement. The surprise was a success! Yay!

Minions everywhere
Some group photos from that day
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The cupcakes were really good!

I was so glad he loved his surprise party. I wonder if he will remember it 20 years down the road? Oh well, doesn’t matter lah. As long as he enjoyed himself and we have these photos as mementoes can already lah 🙂

P.S. Minion cupcakes were created by Flourish. Do give them at least 1 week advance notice for customized design.

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Let’s play… Kinetic Sand! (Review + Giveaway + Promo)

Product Review

Image Source

You must have seen this video floating around the internet quite a lot last year. The Husband and I were so amazed with it but wondered if it will ever be available in Singapore. This has to be the coolest toy we have seen. Like EVER!

You know what? IT IS AVAILABLE IN SINGAPORE NOW! Pardon my excitement but yeah, I’m excited!! The Kinetic Sand is available in Singapore through the good folks of Pupsik Studio who also specializes in awesome baby and parenting products.

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Pupsik Studio was very kind to provide us with the 1kg pack to review and we (namely Mummy and Daddy) couldn’t wait to rip off the packaging to play with the cool sand. Yes, Mummy and Daddy were way more excited than our child. Hahaha!

According to Pupsik Studio’s website,

“Sand play stimulates and develops children’s fine motor and creative playing skills. Kinetic Sand is the perfect material for open-ended, non-directed play. It leaves no sand or residue on your hands and is great for sensory therapy. Kinetic Sand is also great for kids with allergies – it is wheat, gluten and casein free and 100% safe and non-toxic.”

According to Mother of Xander,

If your kid loves the beach and you hate the sun, this might be a good compromise. He gets to play his sand, you get to lounge around in cool air-condition comfort in your house and with minimum cleanup afterwards. Win-win situation!

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At first glance, the Kinetic Sand looks like any regular fine grained sand you might find on the beach or in stores. Even though clean-up is relatively easy, the sand can still get everywhere if your kiddo is the fidgety or active sort. We found a bit of sand in his hair, on the floor and under his feet but nothing a quick vacuum couldn’t solve.

Xander loves to play at the beach and with sand. but we haven’t been able to hang out at the beach very much last year because… I don’t know why actually. We just never got round to it for some reason. When I showed him the box, he thought “Oh how nice, sand in a box! Gimmegimmegimme! Open now!” We then showed him what the Kinetic Sand could REALLY do and that got Xander even more excited. He wasted no time and immediately attacked the sand completely ignoring us for a good hour and a half. I need to mention that Xander has sensitive skin and whenever he plays with regular play-dough or sand, he will always end up with some rashes somewhere on his face or hands. I am pleased to say he had none of those at the end of the day. Phew! If your little tike accidentally gets some in their eyes or even swallowed some, don’t panic. Just grab water to flush their eyes or drink some water. Easy peasy!

Naturally, Daddy got into the action with the little one and made some masterpieces of his own as well.

My verdict of Kinetic Sand is an honest and completely unbias BUY IT! Not only was it great for my 5 year old, even my 30 something year old was thoroughly entertained by it.

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Exclusively for Mother of Xander readers! Pupsik Studio is giving away a 1kg pack of Kinetic Sand to ONE lucky winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come back to this page on Monday 20 Jan 2014 to see if you are the lucky winner.

Congratulations Pavalamani! We will be in touch with you via email soon!
Thank you everybody for your support!

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Kinetic Sand, Pupsik Studio is offering all readers of Mother of Xander a 15% discount on the Kinetic Sand as well as the Bubber Smart Shape set in the month of January! Just key in the discount promo code of “MOTHEROFXANDER” before you Checkout.

The Kinetic Sand is available from Pupsik Studio and it is suitable for ages 3 and above.

For pricing and other product information, please visit their website or Facebook page.

Website: http://www.pupsikstudio.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pupsikstudio

Check out the other fun products from Wabafun at http://www.pupsikstudio.com/shop-by-brands/bubber-moon-sand/

Wordless Wednesday: Last mischief of 2013

My 1st post of the new year and it’s about mischief! Hahaha!

As you can see he is off by about 10 cm. Typically I would scream at him for marking the walls. With permanent marker no less. The naughty boy also drew a smiley face next to his master piece and that little smiley face reminded me the walls can always be repainted but moments like this can never be recreated. So I laughed and shooed him back to bed. “We will talk about this later.”

When the 2 of them (yes, Daddy needed a nap too) woke up at the same time, I broke the news to Daddy.

I stood in front of the masterpiece and said “I show you something but you cannot get angry with him ah?” Then I moved away. Daddy laughed and I said “he is off by 10cm”. Daddy used the same blue marker Xan had used earlier and re marked the correct measurement. After that, we went out for our last dinner of 2013, followed by the last car ride of 2013 then the last sleep of 2013. My goodness, so many “lasts” I should stop here hor? No end one…

What would you do if it happened to you?

 

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Let’s make… Ice Cream Bread!

I chanced upon this really weird recipe while looking for dunnowhat online. Ice-cream bread! I know right? Madness! Fat die you ah! 肥死你啊! Budden I’m pregnant and I don’t care!

So easy! 2 ingredients nia! Ice-cream and self-raising flour! When you think about it, it makes sense though. The ice-cream already have milk, eggs and sugar so all you need is just flour.

Just to eng siew (entertain) you, here are the list of ingredients and measurements:

Taken from The Hungry Housewife

Makes One 8 x 4 loaf

  1. 2 Cups Ice Cream, any flavor, softened
  2. 1 1/2 cups Self-Rising Flour*
  • Preheat your oven to 350. Spray and flour a 8 x 4 loaf pan, or line it with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl mix the ice cream and flour together until just combined.
  • Scoop into the loaf and and smooth out.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the loaf comes out with a few crumbs stuck to it.
  • Remove from the pan and allow to cool.

*No self-raising flour? Nair mind. Can make your own! 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt can liao!

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Since this bread was going to be unhealthy so I picked the most unhealthy ice-cream of the lot lor. Then I thought, so simple ah? Get Xan to do this with me! He loves it when I give him baking/food prep chores and always get super excited.

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It is a bad horrible idea to get your child to help you bake anything at 10pm. I forgot that he was already excited to be in the kitchen working with me but double that excitement when it’s past his bedtime. O.M.G…

I asked him to help me to scoop/sift flour, into the mixing bowl thinking what could possibly go wrong.  While he was at it, I can take pictures of him in action. Big boy already mah, he should know what to do by now. I was adjusting the settings on my phone when suddenly I heard him say BAM BAM BAM! So I looked up just in time to see a big cloud of flour and a giggly boy using the spatula to stab the mixture in the mixing bowl. *facepalm*

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Well, here it is. My ugly, dry brick of ice-cream bread. Not as exciting looking as the original eh? I think I figured out that I should’ve measured the ice-cream based on weight instead of volume. The bread turned out way too dry and not fluffy at all. Sigh. Nair mind lah. At least I can tick this off my list of recipes to try. I doubt I will try this again because I feel ice-cream tastes better the way they were supposed to be served. Cold and wet.

 

 

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Today I told my son to be a quitter

spelling

Xan is in K1 now and he has been having spelling tests at his preschool every Monday for a few months now. The teacher go through the list of words with the class the week before the test doing the usual writing practice.The list is usually between 6 to 10 words and they are words like brush, push, chair, etc. Not too tough, but I can understand if he mixes some of the ‘e’s and and the ‘a’s for words like men and man. We would also do some revision on our own to try to refresh his memory on Sundays at home.

This morning, I decided to spring a surprise test on him during our journey to his school. I got extremely frustrated when he couldn’t remember anything we went through so I gave him a pat on the back and said “Be prepared to fail the test later. Heck, why don’t you just not write anything at all during the test so then you will get to write and rewrite all the words all day long in school today?” He gave me a very sad look, shook his head slowly and said “I dowan”. I continued “You remembered me threatening to keep the iPad and yet forgot all 6 of the words you learnt last night. You even gave up after giving me just the 1st letter. You should just fail the test, don’t learn how to read and write anything. How are you going to survive P1 if you can’t even read or write? Be a quitter then. Easy for you easy for me and I can save my money on your education for other things. You want to give up? Ok, I’ll give up too.” Silence for next 10 mins.

When I dropped him off at the school’s main door and walked off to sign in the attendance book, I heard his teacher said “Oh dear, why are you so sad Xander? Where’s Mummy?” He finally burst into tears much to his teacher’s surprise. When I stepped back into view, he sobbed harder but not yet wailing. What did I then do? I handed him a tissue to wipe off his tears and told him sternly to stop crying. He nodded, grabbed his enormous bags, tried to hold back his tears, waved byebye to me while walking to his classroom with his teacher. I definately won the Parent of the Year award today.

How do you deal with a child who when faced with a difficult task decides to give up halfway? Or when he sees the other children already running so far ahead or have completed their assignment, he would feel defeated and will stop whatever he was doing because he doesn’t see the point of completion anymore. He used to be so fearless and determined. Where did that boy go?

I wonder if he is picking this up from us his parents and if so, are we really doing it? I don’t remember giving up so easily leh. His teacher know he has a tendancy to give up easily and has advised us to be more patient and gentle with him. I tried but my patience is running thin and I finally cracked this morning.

I don’t want him to be a quitter and neither do I want to quit on him. How in the world do I motivate him then?

Sigh.

Wordless Wednesday: Don’t grow up so fast!

My dear boy, can you don’t grow up so fast?

Mummy, I have to grow up! I want to go to K2! I don’t want to be a baby anymore.

But you will always be Mummy’s baby. Is that ok?

No. Teacher say I’m not a baby anymore.

Aiyah, just for today. You are Mummy’s baby today. Then I can give you big hugs and big kisses and bao bao you all day. Can?

Okie!

*Big hugs + big kisses + squeals of laughter*

 

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Let’s make… Chocolate Crispies!

Over the weekend we popped over to a fellow mummy blogger’s home to pick up some shelves from her garage sale. While The Husband was dismantling the shelves, Xan and I decided to do a little more shopping. He almost immediately spotted the cookbook among the boxes of books and while flipping through it, he got excited and told me he wanted to make everything in the book. Since it was only $4, it was definately coming home with us.

He wanted to make the Chocolate Crispies from the very start mostly because he loves cereal and it was the main ingredient in the recipe. I liked the recipe because it is simple and just nice for Chinese New Year! Yay!

Here are the directions with some slight modification.

Equipment:

Mixing bowl
Large saucepan
Wooden spoon
Dessertspoon
12 Paper cases (more if you are using the bite sized ones like ours)

Ingredients:

  1. 55g butter
  2. 4 tbsp golden syrup (I couldn’t find the regular ones so we bought the one mixed with honey.)
  3. 100g milk chocolate broken into pieces (I already had a packet of Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips in the fridge so I used that instead.)
  4. 70g cornflakes (We normally use Nestle’s cornflakes because it’s thicker and doesn’t turn into mush very quickly)

Put the butter, syrup and chocolate into a mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water.

Since I don’t have a heatproof mixing bowl, I used my Visionware saucepan and partially submerged it into a big pot of water. Clever right? I also say!

Allow the butter, syrup and chocolate to melt, stirring to mix well

Remove the pan from the heat. Take the bowl out of the saucepan.

Add the cornflakes to the mixture and stir well, using a wooden spoon. (I used a regular metal spoon. Made no difference to me.)

Not to belittle you but please remember it is going to be HOT!

Oh, because the cornflakes were enormous and the paper cases we bought were so tiny, I told Xan to mash it up as much as possible so that it will be easier for him to spoon later. I waited a little while for the saucepan to cool a bit before I allowed my little assistant to help me with the mixing bit.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the paper cases. Doesn’t matter if you spill some, you or your little assistant can always lick it up.

After you have completed putting the mixture into the paper cases, stand back and admire your masterpiece please. You deserve it.

Leave your crispies to set in the fridge for 1 hour. You can store them in an airtight tin so they stay crisp. Truthfully, in our humid climate, I doubt it will stay solid and not a melted mess if left in the open. You might want to store them in a cool dry area just to be safe.

Suggestions:
You could substitute the chocolate pieces with Milo or chocolate drink mix.
Add 55g raisins to make them even chewier.
Before you pop them into the fridge, add sprinkles on top to make them look pretty. We wanted to but Mummy was too tired and forgot all about it.

1 hour later. Voila! Buelly buelly quick and easy ah? We are definately going to make another batch of this for his school’s Chinese New Year party next week. This time, we will remember to put the sprinkles for sure 🙂

There are other similar recipes floating around the net. Search “Chocolate Crispies” and pick one that suits you.

Have a happy weekend!

 

 

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Always be grateful

Source

Well folks, the Mayans were wrong, we are still very much alive and it’s 2013. *gasp* For those who didn’t pay all their bills or borrowed tons of money from loansharks for no reason or spray painted your ex’s car or gave it to  your bosses/wives/mother-in-laws on the 20th of December… gua gua gua. Idiots…

Because I’m still alive, I need to remind myself to be grateful for the following things I have and take for granted.

Son 我的儿

The Husband and I ask ourselves almost daily, what did we do to deserve this little boy? Someone upstairs must really like us. Even when he was a little baby, Xan seems to understand when I’m feeling down. He is always there to comfort me with an assuring smile, a hand on my knee or pass me a tissue paper. Most of the time, he will just squeeze up next to me, plant a kiss on my lips and we watch whatever it is on TV together in silence. He brings joy not only to our lives but also to whoever he comes into contact with. Sounds very far fetched but my friends will be willing to tell you otherwise. I’m grateful to have him in my life.

The Husband 我的愛人

I hope 2013 will be a better year for him. Money, we can earn together (I can always sell his shirts, shoes, bags, guitars, etc. Or I can rent him out to you. He’s very handy with tech and furniture. Hiak hiak hiak!) but faith and confidence is entirely up to himself. He allowed me to do my ‘thing’ from ’09 to ’12 so I guess it’s my turn to return the favour. I won’t deny that the finance part will always be on top of my mind in the next few months but I will TRY to focus on more important aspects of the family and less on the money. I am grateful we are able to do a little bit of role reversal this year. We will never know how things will turn out until we try right?

Health 我的健康状态

I finally know the reason of my constant back pains, not exactly jumping for joy with the diagnosis but glad that the pains are not entirely all in my head. Other than that, I’m (somewhat) healthy and ALIVE!  I’m grateful for every breath I take every morning because it means I can have 1 more day with my loved ones.

My Mum 我的娘亲

I keep talking about her in my posts because I think she’s great! She stalks me, she infuriates me, she stuffs me with excessive amount of food then points out my ever expanding  waistline. I know mummy does all these nonsense because she loves me. I hope my relationship with Xan will be this good when he grows up. She taught me that being a woman is more than just a daughter, sister, wife or a mother. She constantly reminds me to be happy, take care of myself and to stay true to my principles. I am grateful for such a loving, insane woman who drives me up the wall and around the neighbourhood 10 times as my mummy.

My Blog 我的博客

It’s a work in progress. Since 2008. It’s a long process lah. Spurred by a secret group of mum bloggers, I started to write a bit more and I’m liking it. The blog had helped me to organize my very random train of thoughts and also helped me made some new like minded friends. I am grateful to The Husband who helped spruce up my blog and make me want to write more.

So glad 2012 is over and I hope 2013 will be better and bring in a steady stream of good news to everyone.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wordless Wednesday: Mini Me

Mini me

 

The Husband found an old photo of me in a bag of stuff my dad very casually threw to us when we went over for dinner one day. Not so subtle hints from them that I should remove my junk from their place you think? Hurhur… I completely forgot about the bag until a few days ago The Husband took it out to show Xan. He had seen it before and so wasn’t impressed. He was more perturbed by us interrupting his Team Umizoomi show and didn’t entertain my request for him to face the camera 🙁

Look like me ah? Poor boy. Hope his nose won’t end up looking like my mine. Grow bigger ok, Mr Nose? Small nose not handsome leh.

 

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