Archive for September, 2011

Kids say the Darnest Things

September 23, 2011

Calvin was holding the paper fan we picked up from Japan. It was a total lifesaver in the sweltering heat. The fans are publicity items that were handed out at the Ueno station.

Calvin (points at the picture on the fan): Where? Where?
Me: That’s Japan. Do you remember we were there and ate lots of yummies?
Calvin (repeats): Ja- pan (pauses and thinks)
Calvin (pointing at his pants): Brown pants! (points at fan) Ja-Pan!

A Typical Day

September 12, 2011

So what do I actually do, you may ask, apart from diligently recording the utterances of my little boy genius and baking cookies? Usually morning starts with Calvin waking up at around 7am, demanding milk. After feeding him, he usually goes back to sleep. Meanwhile, having been disturbed from my reverie, my day starts. I either sit at the computer surfing today’s grocery/ baby deals or prepares breakfast for the two sleeping babies, until they wake up around 8am. Then it’s mostly time spent entertaining the little warlord until around 11am when I prepare our lunch. I’ll feed calvin his share or a special meal just for him like say cheesy chicken sandwich. Around 12 pm, Calvin will take his nap. If Johnny has classes that day, we’ll take a 10 min walk out with him to campus with the stroller and then back.

For the first hour of his nap, I read more stuff online and start to organize my grocery list for the week, depending on what’s on sale. Or I look for more recipes that I’d like to try my hand on. Then I’ll join him in the bedroom and read or nap for a while. In case he wakes up, he feels more reassured that I’m just sitting right there.

After his nap, usually about 2 hrs, we go downstairs and I’ll prepare a fruit snack for him. For the days when Johnny has a few classes, I’ll bring Calvin out to the downtown library for him to caper around and borrow more books, then drop by cvs and let him play with the random merchandise. The whole trip including the half hour bus ride each to and fro, takes about 2 to 2.5 hours, by which time J will be home and it’s daddy time while I cook dinner.

We share our dinner with the little guy and then go out for a walk. Recently, we discovered that we can actually walk to one of the playgrounds at the family housing – about 15 mins walk each way. (The mosquitoes there are vicious but dumb. They bite really hard but fly really slow as well) when we get home, it’s time to get the little one ready to sleep. that’s usually around 8:30. While J bores him to sleep, I load the dishes into the dishwasher and wash up whatever else that doesn’t take kindly to being washed by the wonder machine. Night time is also when I do random things like vacuum the floor, do the laundry, pick up the toys, take our the food from the freezer for tomorrow’s meal or marinate the meat overnight etc, plan the week’s meals, clip coupons, finalize the grocery list (because we rent a car for groceries, I use a list so we can finish shopping faster and save on the rental charge which is hourly), take a bath. Usually, there’s still some time for my own personal pleasures such as reading manga or going through yet more recipes in search for more jackpot recipes to add to my repertoire.

It’s a fairly busy day but I feel rather pleased that I am able to deal with the household work and help to support my little family. I’m also very happy with the food I’ve been turning out recently – especially those heavenly oatmeal cookies which is definitely expanding my waistline….

Calvin Speaks @ 21.5 months

September 10, 2011

Calvin has been learning so many new words so quickly I’m starting to lose track of them. So here is my attempt to count how many words he actually knows by category instead. Current count: 287

Animals
Dog, Cat, Bird, Squirrel, Camel, Penguin, Bear, Flamingo, Lion, Giraffe
Pig, Horse, Cow, Sheep, Chicken, Panda, Crocodile, Turtle, Fish, Tiger
Butterfly, bug, rabbit, neigh, moo, meow, woof, bee, baa, roar
hippo, rhino, monkey, Lamb, hyena, animals, frog, snail, hedgehog, parrot
Spider, dinosaur, owl, elephant

Food
Grape, tomato, chicken, melon, bread, biscuit, apple, orange, rice, banana
Cucumber, bean, nuts, cheese, raisin, cornflakes, papaya, bread, egg, peach
Broccoli, cauliflower, cookie

Things around the house
Bowl, plate, cup, chair, table, floor, door, bathroom, sink, potty
Stairs, spoon, fork, bag, ball, blocks, wagon, tower, book, tunnel
Box, tub, glasses, Clock, bell, bubble, bell, key, Door, bottle,
Phone, puzzle, pieces, umbrella, night night, brush, comb, gate, lamp, light,
fridge, TV, wall, cap, naizhui, shovel, pail, knife, vacuum, kettle
Bone, toothpaste, stroller, pen,

Clothing
Button, shoes, shirt, pants, socks, hat

Vehicles
Car, fire engine, bicycle, truck, excavator, ambulance, bike, helicopter, boat, jeep
Plane, rocket, train, bulldozer, bus, tractor, wheel, police car,

Outside the house
Tree, grass, sky, cloud, sun, moon, star, leaf, wire, tracks
flower, houses, rain, shadow, playground, slide, swing,

Action words/ adjective
Eat, drink, poke, walk, hide, stop, go, open, close, come here,
come out, inside, up, down, sleep, throw, hug, kiss, make, there
Wash, cooking, dump, read, pop, kick, push, clap, hello, bye bye
Puff puff, cough, shake, hot, cold, collapse, fall down, uh oh
Wet, pee pee, stuck, no, more, drive, dance, stop, go, wait
Bump, forward, backward, big, small, tall, sorry, crawl, bounce, kick
Stomp, pull, peel, chase, careful, hug, where, are you, Stack, burp,
Fart, again, press, turn, draw, all aboard, pour, scoop, empty, dig
Scoot, heavy, whistle, hiccup, many

Color
Silver, blue, green, purple, yellow

Body parts
Eyes, eyebrow, head, hair, ear, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, arm
Hand, leg, feet, toes, tummy, finger, kuku, chin, cheek,

People
Baby, mama, papa, man, woman, girl, boy, nai nai, farmer, people

Shapes
Circle, square, diamond, triangle, heart,

Calvin and the Mumminator

September 5, 2011

Another weekend and another great cook-out. The new dish of the week is chicken and sausage gumbo and chicken pot pie. I’ll probably do a batch of cookie tonight also. I have to admit I’m addicted to freshly baked cookies. The taste after it has cooled just isn’t quite the same. We don’t own a weighing machine yet but I’m sure the pounds are surely creeping back since we are eating so heartily here. It’s amazing though how much vegetables cost here. I mean $3 for a stalk of cauliflower? I’m certainly spoiled by the cheap and wide variety of vegetables we can get in Singapore. I’m just not a big fan of peppers, kale, collard greens or whatever those purple salad leaves are. The kitchen itself is also expensive to stock especially when it comes to spices and other baking items like vanilla extract etc. And I didn’t even acquire those fancy schmancy gadgets like a food processor, blender, juicer, griddle, mixer etc. I sure feel poor at the moment esp since we are waiting on his first stipend cheque.

Calvin is certainly thriving under all the attention we are giving him daily. His language development in particular is amazing. He’s now putting together short phrases/ sentence like ‘Baby fall down’, ‘Car car come here’, ‘Uh-oh, train fell down’. And he has a good grasp of concepts like ‘man’ vs ‘woman’, ‘up’ and ‘down’, ‘open’ and ‘close’. He’s also learning to spout multi-syllabic words like ‘bicycle’ and ‘executor —he meant excavator’

It’s a real joy to play with him but it’s also tiring at the same time. The house is a lot safer than our place in Singapore even though it still has the ever treacherous stairs but there are not many things he can endanger himself with otherwise. There’s lots of space indoors for him to rampage around as well. All in all, we are quite pleased with this apartment despite the sparse furnishings we currently have i.e. 2 mattresses, 2 square tables, 2 computer chairs, 1 dining table w 4 chairs and 1 small shelf. Not the prettiest of houses but it’s starting to feel like home.

He’s also starting to transition to 1 nap during the day but this means that he gets extra cranky during his normal nap time. Unless of course we bring him out for a walk etc. I’m surely getting a good workout here with the slopes and daily walks. In fact, with all that load bearing should make me immune to osteoporosis forever! Anyway, time to prepare the food I’ve cooked for freezing and give Johnny a break to play basketball.