Saturday, May 8, 2010

Celebrating fun times

Although it's been hectic time for me these days, it's quite alot of fun with a growing and learning Rosabelle, and as we explore new games/toys together.


When we went to Ikea the other day to buy a small cabinet to put our microwave on (it used to be on the kitchen tabletop until Wayne's mum decided it was not giving her enough space for the chopping), we also bought some wall decals to decorate Rosabelle's bed space.


So ta-dah! She now has a bevy of hot air ballooners and racing car animals to wake up to. It kept her occupied and interested for only about a week or so as she pointed out, and made sounds of, the various animals on the wall.
And then, when we were in Singapore, Rosabelle was very attached to/intrigued by the plastic toy baby Simon and Marianne had in the bath, and was always very keen to bathe and called out 'Bay..beeeee....' whenever she went into the toilet. Even at Pauline's house, she was also very happily playing with Raeanne's baby...

When we came back, the first few days I bathed her, she would look at her bath tub and ask 'Baby?', remembering that the baby accompanied her in the bath. So in the end, I decided to get Rosabelle her own baby doll, complete with potty (that Rosabelle uses as a chair at times), milk bottle, plate and spoon. She was very thrilled upon casting eye on the baby the first time she saw it, and will love/pat it, putting it onto its pillow. Other kids have come by our house, saw the baby, and got scared of it (as it does have rather lifelike eyes), but our girl still likes playing with it these days.
The seller on Taobao.com suggested I get a doctor's set to accompany the doll - the quality of the set isn't that good, but our girl likes using the stethoscope, and at times the thermometer and torch that comes with it, heh!
That's her fixing her big butt onto the baby's small potty... She even wants to put 如意油 on the baby - in Singapore, when she had a bad tummy, my mum applied it for her and when we came back to Beijing, upon seeing the bottle, she remembered and even said 如意油. When the baby came, she went to the cupboard with the oil, and indicated she wanted to apply the oil for the baby as well. Haha!
Another major item I got for her was a drawing board, as she seems to like to draw these days, and it was quite troublesome (and stifling of her creativity) to set up the paper on her small dining table. So I got a set from Taobao.com - the seller at first indicated the set would come with alot of freebies, and when I wrangled free shipping from her, she realised she might have lost out, and quickly updated the product description to remove quite a few of the items. When I specified that my set should have the full set of freebies, she reassured me but true enough, the set came without the lowercase magnetic alphabets, a green marker, and a chalkboard duster. Even the bookends I ordered from her had a screw loose... when I confronted her, she even wanted me to bear my own shipping charges if I were to get a refund, but in the end, after deciding that Wayne spent too much time ripping the packaging apart and setting it up, I decided to instead post a bad review online for the seller/product instead. Hmph! But I take consolation in the fact that the drawing board is a hit with Rosabelle, though we make sure she dons her artist's work clothes (i.e. a bib) before she starts on her masterpieces, as the first few times she drew, she had marker marks all over her top...
She gets very gleeful with her scribblings as she clamours for us to look at them, and always wants me to draw things like cat, 叔叔, fish, ball, baby etc... She especially likes using the chalk, and knows to use the duster to wipe away her drawings after. The other day, when a neighbour's kid came over and poured the chalk onto the floor, breaking them, I told her off. Wayne thinks I should not discipline other people's kids but my rule is if the parents can't teach them in my house, then I have to do it, especially since I should not be setting double standards by allowing other children to destroy the chalk, and then scolding my own daughter for doing exactly the same thing. Nowadays, Rosabelle will point at the chalk and say 妹妹, indicating she knows that I was angry with the kid for being naughty.
I also got other things online like a Hello Kitty toy camera (though Rosabelle still has not learnt to face it the right way times...) and Pustelisk bubble blower (for bath times - a good brand that I saw used very often at play groups). I was at first thinking of buying a chair/table set for her for crafts time (not that I have alot of that now...) but think we're going to have space constraints so that can wait. In the mean time, she's happy sitting on her shapes sorter and using it as a chair (when she's not sitting on baby's potty)...

Other non-expense-incurring (i.e. making do with what we have) fun activities we've been doing include following the kids' pictures in the books (or Wayne's GQ mags...) and learning to hop/jump/fly/dance/fold arms/close eyes/make faces. She also likes search and spot books, and can identify objects by looking at their shadows (an activity in one of the books). Strangely enough, she calls Barney in the books 'Yeye' - maybe it's the wide-mouthed-grin, because I'm very sure it's not the purple pallor...


We have also found another use for her Fisher Price walker - as a wheelbarrow for us to push her around, or for her to push baby around, haha!
She's wearing over-sized clothes here as we piled on the layers at home before the weather became warmer, but I detract. Rosabelle also knows/likes to throw balls, having me empty the Ikea basket of different-sized balls onto the sofa, then running over to pick them one by one to put back into the basket placed a distance away (good workout!). I'm glad that she has a good habit of keeping her toys away, and putting them exactly where they belong (in spite of the increasing numbers of toy containers around), especially when we're going out/meal-times. This comes in handy as she is getting quite good at jigsaw puzzles - the kinds with single objects with knobs on them, as she can remember where each piece goes. She has a cute habit of going 'No more' as she hides the jigsaw pieces behind her back, then revealing them with a grin when we pretend to look for them.

I also took everyday household items like a dish sponge (clean one, of course) and letting her dip into a basin of water and squeezing it. Only thing is we did this in the living room and she decided to empty the water onto the floor... so the next day, Wayne bought her a bath sponge and she now has fun playing with it, heh! Still on water, she also likes ice, taking one in her hands and licking it, as she learns about how heat melts the ice, and how cold it can be. Whenever we put out the sheets to dry on her clothes rack, I will hide, or let her hide under it, to let her be exposed to large expanses of things. One thing that I picked up at the playgroups we went to (another post coming!) is that she is quite terrified of the large parachute that they all used, so one of the teachers said I could let her get used to such big items. Like when we were looking at a man flying a kite today, she was quite afraid of the kite as it was rather big, and looked at me, waiting for me to touch it before she dared to touch it.


Songs-wise, she knows the 'Incy Wincy' spider song (first or last words of the verses, complete with action), a 'Naughty pussy cat' song where she will indicate the whiskers on her face, and the angry action with fists to her armpits, and even the 'It's raining, it's pouring' song as she knows the 'bump' and goes 'no more' when it should be 'morning', heh! New words picked up include heavy (as she lifts up her heavy activity station), durian (we offered her some last night - haha!), one-two (as I sing her 'One, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive' song), and beak (as she can remember and indicate the beak of the duck that I mentioned only once to her).

Sometimes we also visit other kids' homes, especially when the weather wasn't as good prior. She likes Dou dou Ge Ge, and Wei wei Jie Jie, and when we visited the former's home the day before, we even refused to go home with me, closing the main door on me when I said bye bye, then walking into the house with Dou dou! When I asked her what she did at his house when bathing her that night, she pinched her cheeks and made a crying sound, as if indicating that Dou dou had squeezed either hers or Wei wei's cheeks and made them squirm. Haha!

That's her at play with her cheeky grin!

At times, I find that the best times are when we do not set out to actively do anything with anything, like today when I brought her for her morning walk - we saw a millipede that made her chuckle at the way it moved, picked up stones to draw on the sidewalk, saw dogs and cats, saw the kite-flying uncle, taught her that the green rectangular signs on the ground read '小心地滑' (she can go 'xin', 'hua'), and she even very quickly pointed out to me when the sole of my shoe came apart ('open!' as she indicated to Wayne when he opened the door). Priceless moments, again...

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