Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!


Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and happy holidays!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

SSO Babies’ Prom 2011

Last year, by the time I found out about the SSO Babies’ Prom, the tickets were fully sold out. So this year, when I hear about it, I got tickets as soon as I could. Unfortunately, it was not soon enough, and I only managed to get one ticket. Fortunately, The Little Man is young enough not to require his own ticket (under 2), so that worked out fine.
The SSO Babies’ Prom is in its ninth year, and is conducted by Uncle Peter, Peter Moore, who is based in Western Australia.

That’s The Little Man and I, just before the concert started.  He was somewhat sleepy, as he did not have his morning nap at home, and only fell asleep on the way there. I let him sleep as long as I could in the car, and only plucked him out minutes before this picture was taken.
The concert was great! Uncle Peter took the time to explain the different sections and instruments. The theme for this year was Pirates, and the orchestra started with the theme from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. As for the other pieces, Uncle Peter wove them into the pirate story he told.
The programme was:
BADELT, KLAUS arr. RICKETTS, TED - Pirates of the Caribbean
MASCAGNI – Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticanaHANDEL ed. BAINES & MACKERRAS - Overture from Music for the Royal Fireworks
KHACHATURIAN - Waltz from Masquerade Suit
AS RECORDED BY THE CANADIAN BRASS arr. DON GILLIS - Just A Closer Walk
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV – Flight of the BumbleBee
KABALEVSKY - Galop from The Comedians Suite
TOWNSEND, J. – Cheerful Cha Cha Cha
FUCIK ed. McALISTER - Entry of the Gladiators, Op.68
TCHAIKOVSKY - Polonaise from Eugene OneginSTRAUSS, J. Snr. ed. McALISTER - Radetzky March, Op.228
I think the Babies’ Prom is a wonderful idea, as this introduces children and babies to classical music in a fun, non-intimidating way, and no one cares if your child makes noise during the concert!
There was lots of audience participation, and my favourite part was when four children from the audience were picked up to conduct Tchaikovsky’s Polonaise. I loved that the orchestra actually followed the conducting of the children, which led to lots of laughs when their conducting was erratic, or when their arms got tired and became slower. The best was when the orchestra held the last note when 2 of the children stopped waving the baton at the crucial moment.
Although The Little One was not dancing and clapping along, he did sit quietly through most of it. He nursed through the last few pieces, and only really fussed just before the last piece, the Radetzky March but stopped as soon as I started dancing. I really got a good workout then!
I’ll have to be on my toes next year, and try to get the tickets earlier, especially since Evan will have to have his own seat by then.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Best4baby Skincare Products

When my little man was younger, I heard about the magical properties of Calendula – it is believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is often used to promote healing of rashes.
And so when Mum went to Perth, I asked to to look out for some for me. (I didn’t find any in the places I frequent, and didn’t make that much effort into hunting some down.) She came back with Best4baby Calendula Cream and some other organic moisturisers of other brands.
I tried the Best4baby Calendula cream on the Little One’s rashes caused by drool and was pleased when they cleared nicely. I now use it when he has the beginnings of nappy rash and it works like a miracle cream! Generally stops the redness with one application (depending on how severe it was), and prevents rashes from forming!
Since I liked the Calendula Cream so much, I got some of the other products from the Best4baby line and tried them too. I really like the Best4baby Hair and Body Wash.
What I especially like about it is that his skin feels clean and yet smoother and more moisturised after using it. I use it myself – the skin on my face is sensitive, and when I use the Hair and Body Wash to cleanse my face, I find that it is not irritated and is generally less sensitive.
Two other products in the line are the Baby Moisturising Cream and the Mummy Tummy Cream.
I haven’t tried the Mummy Tummy Cream, but the Baby Moisturising Cream is nice and light and absorbs easily without leaving the icky sticky feeling. It has a nice light Lavender scent too. However, I don’t use it much as my boy’s skin is sufficiently moisturised with the Hair and Body Wash, and does not need additional moisturing in this humid climate.
The Best4baby line of products is developed by two naturopaths and is formulated with high quality natural, botanical and organic certified ingredients. It does not contain parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, petroleum derived oils or genetically modified ingredients. Thus, the products are extremely gentle, and I can attest to that. One of the founders suffers from dermatitis and keeps it at bay with the products. Furthermore, they are not tested on animals, which is another plus point for me!
In Singapore, they are available from Pupsik Studio and Baby Bear Studio.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Tantrums

The Little One is starting to assert himself by throwing tantrums when he does not get his way. Usually over having to leave the playground, or me needing to be somewhere but in the same room with him – mostly the kitchen.
Occasionally, he is hungry, or simply over-tired. Those are easy to deal with. Feed him regularly, make sure he has his naps, just being sensitive to his rhythms and routines.
However, it is the tantrums over him not getting what he wants that are a little tougher for me to handle. Some are still ok -he can be distracted out of a tantrum if, for example, he wants to go out *now* but we are not ready to leave yet.
The ones that are especially tough for me to handle are him wanting me to carry him, and him wanting me beside him all the time. I tell him that I’ve got to go to the kitchen, and he starts protesting. Or he comes in after me and pushes me away from the sink or stove. I find it easier to give in to him because it stops him from crying, but I know that that is not the solution. In fact, it is teaching him to throw tantrums to get his way.
I’ve looked into it, and there are several suggestions to deal with tantrums:
1) Ignore it. (Much easier said than done for me.)
As long as the child is safe and is not in danger of harming himself, the advice is to simply ignore the tantrums as they show the child that such behaviour is not acceptable. In the meantime, neither reward nor punish the child. Most importantly, be calm.
If the child is very physical and is likely to hurt himself, hug him firmly and lovingly and say “You’re angry and you’ve lost control. I’m holding you because I love you.” This teaches the child that you are there for him, even though you do not condone the behaviour. (See No. 2)
2) Teach the child alternatives to tantrum
After the tantrum has passed, talk to the child about the tantrum. There is no need to get into the ‘whys’ of the tantrum, but descibe the feeling and the behaviour. “You were angry/frustrated and were throwing a tantrum. You were throwing things and crying.”
Then explain that such behaviour is unacceptable, and give the child an alternative to expressing the feeling. Using words if the child is verbal, sign language is the child is not.
Follow up with what the child should do /should not do next time. ” (What will you do next time? Should you ___?”)
3) Let your child know what will happen ahead of time
Give ample warning, such as “We’ll be leaving in 5 minutes’ time.” “We’re going to the supermarket to buy some groceries.”
Follow up with what the expected behaviour is. “
I do let my son know when I’m going to another room. However, he still gets upset when I actually leave. Maybe I should give him more of a warning that I’ll be leaving, and explain to him how I expect him to behave when I’m away.
4) Give choices
This gives the child a sense of control, which may avert a tantrum.
5) Distract
when you see a tantrum coming. Although it may not be possible all the time.
6) Be consistent
Do not give in sometimes and hold firm sometimes. If you do so, your child may view screaming as a legitimate way of getting his way. This is difficult for me, especially in public, but I guess I just have to remind myself that everytime I give in, I’m actually teaching him to throw tantrums, and that teaching my child to behave properly is more important than the perceived embarrassment.
7) Be calm
Remember that toddlers throwing tantrums are a normal! It is a typical stage of development. Toddlers are not trying to embarrass or anger you. They simply want certain things/ things done a certain way, but do not have impulse control, the verbal skills to communicate their wants and desires or frustrations, nor the mental ability to handle not getting their way yet.
Frustration tantrums
Most of the strategies mentioned apply to tantrums thrown to manipulate. Sometimes, toddlers throw tantrums out of frustration. Of not being able to communicate, or of not having the motor skills necessary to do certain things. In such cases, the advice is not to ignore these tantrums, but to emphathise and to offer a helping hand. Perhaps breaking down the task into more manageable parts and encouraging the child to communicate what he wants.
Most importantly, Be Calm. Do not start screaming at the child, because that only teaches that it is ok to scream to get what you want, i.e. it is ok to throw a tantrum to get your way, because look, it is what Mum and Dad do too.
Best of luck to all at this stage in their parenthood journey.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Welcome to My World

Hi there,
I am a mother of an 18 month old cutie, and I’ve decided to start this blog to put together my thoughts of bringing up a child.
It’s not as if I’ve never blogged before. I used to, irregularly. But it became even more irregular after I had the little munchkin. What with diapers, and baths, and feeds, and entertaining him, and work, and (some) housework, and, and, and…
Well, I feel that I am now ready to discipline myself and to pen down my thoughts more.
So here goes…

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