Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Friday, February 26, 2010

Stardust's Youtube Favourites - Day 2

Stardust calls this the 'World Video'.

Sometimes, in order to unwind in the evenings, we'll often sit together and watch one of our DVD programmes.  At the moment, we are ploughing our way through the BBC Planet Earth series (which, I understand, has also been shown on the Discovery Channel).  I like the fact that Stardust enjoys watching nature programmes, and the fact that the three of us will have a nice snuggle on the sofa at the same time. 

Have a great weekend!

Have a look at Stardust's other Youtube favourites here: Part 1

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 25, 2010

That's right, I'm watching you

Stardust's bedtime ritual is as follows:
1. Milk
2. Storytime
3. Devotions
4. Prayers
5. Cuddles
6. Sleep

Whilst Stardust drinks up his nightcap, he's usually allowed the privilege of watching a video on youtube. It's fun letting him watch a new video every evening, just watch his reaction. Now that Stardust is older and better able to express his opinion, he will occasionally request certain videos that he particularly enjoys watching.

So, over the next couple of days, we will present to you...*drumroll*

Stardust's Favourite Youtube Videos!!

Here's one to start the series off:

Stardust loves this video so much. This first time he watched it, his eyes widened until they were as big as saucers. Afterwards, he pulled his bottle out of his mouth so that he could whisper, in an awed voice, "More...".

After watching this video a few times, he can now identify the original song by Jay Sean when it plays on the radio. He gets all excited and will run to stand in front of the speakers to listen to the whole song!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Glow, little glowworm, glow


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Sleep is a precious commodity in this house, which is why we have taught Stardust to sleep on his own. He is an independant little soul and treasures his privacy. In fact, we realised that he slept longer hours when we moved him to his own room!

Although I do envy my peers whose children fall asleep in their arms or who snuggle up to them at night for comfort, I do not regret the decision to teach Stardust to sleep independantly. It is important for MDH and myself to get adequate rest if we are going to function well during our waking hours!

This past week, Stardust has been feeling a little bit sad since the departure of the Outlaws. He doesn't ask for them, because he knows that they have returned home. However, I have watched him walking into the guest room and just looking solemnly at the empty bed. He has been quieter this week, and more needy.

One afternoon, he woke up midway through his nap, sobbing his little eyes out. He was still sleepy but he was also agitated, so I decided that he could take his nap on my bed next to me. Once he realised that I wasn't going anywhere, his whole body relaxed. I pretended to sleep, so that he would understand what he was meant to be doing. In the meantime, I had the opportunity to observe his sleep-time behaviour.

I have learned that:
1. He sings himself to sleep in a whispery-soft voice.
2. He makes up the tunes himself, repeating random words that have a soothing sound (e.g. 'Starfish', 'Finger-thumb', 'Choose').
3. He counts the patterns on the bedsheets or the shadows on the ceiling (this was a big surprise because he has not counted out loud in front of me before. I didn't even know that he understood the concept of numbers.).
4. He can count from one to twenty three before getting bored.
5. He can count from one to ten in Mandarin (again, a big surprise because I have not been consistent with teaching him mandarin)
6. It takes him about ten to fifteen minutes for him to settle himself to sleep.
7. When he sleeps, he tucks in his chin and curls his hands underneath his chest, just like a little dormouse.
8. Sometimes, he flips over onto his back, but tucks his hands under the backs of his legs.
9. Watching a sleeping baby makes one feel very, VERY sleepy.
10. It's nice waking up to a slobby kiss on the nose from a happy, well-rested baby.


Saturday, February 20, 2010


MDH: So.
TSCD: Yes?
MDH: When are we having another baby?
TSCD: I don't know. When do you think?
MDH: Let's aim for when Stardust turns 3. Or thereabouts.
TSCD: Ok. But...
MDH: Hmm?
TSCD: This sounds stupid but...whenever I think about being pregnant again, I feel really put off by the memory of nauseating all-day sickness and...and...
MDH: And..?
TSCD: And I only just started buying clothes again! Like, clothes that make me feel like a normal person and not an ageing haus-frau!!! And I despise maternity wear. It makes me feel frumpy. Even the fashionable designs still make me feel like Humpty Dumpty.
MDH: Well, you know, it just means that you will have to buy yourself a whole new wardrobe.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Year Of The Tiger

Well, we had a pretty busy weekend, what with visiting relatives and shedding money and stuffing our faces with pineapple tarts and impromptu music rehearsals. What a whirlwind of noise and activity!

Stardust has collected enough angpow money from his well-wishers to fund a term or two of enrichment classes (we decided that it would probably be in his best interest to invest in his future, rather than leaving his money to rot in the Singapore Bank, earning less than 0.1% interest per annum). I haven't decided which classes to enroll him in yet, but I'm thinking maybe some toddler gymnastics or mandarin immersion classes would be fun. Any suggestions or recommendations would be most welcome!

During the Chinese New Year weekend, I neglected my housewifely duties and so today, I have been very busy tidying up the entire house and doing the grocery shopping.

On the way home from the supermarket today, I stopped by the baker's and picked up these cute red-bean sweet buns. Stardust licked it and refused to eat it, so I have the pleasure of demolishing it by myself (MDH doesn't believe in red-bean desserts - he feels that vegetables should remain vegetables and not stray over the the sweets menu.)
Happy Year of the Tiger, everyone.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Bye, Happy CNY and Valentine's Day

Well, the Outlaws are leaving today and I do feel sorry to see them go. Stardust has had SO much fun with them around, and it was nice having the company. They are leaving just in time - I wouldn't know what to do with them during the bustle of the Chinese New Year period!

This afternoon, I have been mostly stuffing AngPows with $2 notes in preparation for the great annual shedding of cash. Being the oldest grandkid in the family has its drawbacks; apart from never getting to sit at the Fun Table during family gatherings, it means that I have to shower my unmarried younger relatives with money.

On the bright side, MDH has a 4 day weekend ahead of him - which means that maybe this year we might be able to spend some time together on Valentine's Day! *gazes hopefully into the mid-distance*

Well, Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Valentine's Day - have a great weekend!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

My New Brother

For my birthday, after much wheedling and coercion, my parents finally agreed that they would give me a new brother.

Here he is:

Isn't he lovely and red?

I opted for the cheapest, most basic model available because - let's face it - I am no surgeon and I cannot sew to save my life (or anyone elses for that matter). I vaguely recall sewing a pair of electric blue boxer shorts during home economics class. I believe the result of my feeble attempts caused my stiff-lipped teacher to shudder outwardly.

Anyhow, I reckon that it's time I learned how to be more crafty! There are so many cool tutorials out there on the internet for needle-fools with sausage fingers like myself and I cannot wait to try them out.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Online Jewellery Shopping: Lushae Jewelry

jewelry earrings I like to try and support small businesses as much as I can. Small businesses are always friendlier, more personable. Now that many small companies have started stores online to save on overhead costs, it is so important for them to maintain good customer service.

I was a little bit apprehensive when
LuShae Jewelry contacted me via email and asked me to write a review of the store. I have never done a review on request before, so I was rather worried that I would not have anything nice to say about the shop. My anxiety tripled after having a quick glance at the store's homepage which, although highly comprehensive and simple to navigate, seemed rather devoid of personality.

The descriptions of the jewellery (if one could call them descriptions at all) were very concise, with clear pictures, but they mostly lists of measurements - how big the stones were, what they were made of and so on. I looked at the picture after picture and felt very uninspired and very scared.
However, I realised that the plain appearance of the website and it's honest, no-nonsense approach to retail is probably what an online shopper is looking for - especially if said person is trying to buy a gift. Lushae Jewelry also has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a free exchange policy, so it is particularly good for the nervous buyer.
Finally, I plucked up the courage to reply the email.
And I was very pleasantly surprised.
Underlying the cold exterior of the shopfront is the warm and affable Sarah, shopkeeper extraordinaire, who responded to my emails very promptly with the honest and friendly fair dinkum Aussie attitude.
Lushae Jewelry sells a range of rings, earrings and necklaces in 14ct white gold or sterling silver with precious gems and crystals in a variety of rainbow colours.
I chose the simple Lucent necklace from the wide range available and hoped for the best.
Again, I was very pleasantly surprised.
Nine days later, a package arrived for me by USPS International Mail (apparently, the business is based in Tasmania, but the factory is located in California).
The necklace is so gorgeous! I love the clear golden sparkle of the pear cut champagne cubic zirconia, and the clean brightness of the white gold rhodium chain.
I always worry about buying colourful gemstones, because they can sometimes look cheap, especially if they are poorly cut and badly set.
This necklace, however, does not look like at all like costume jewellery made from paste and coloured glass. Considering the workmanship and the quality of the materials, this necklace (US$77) is a real bargain. It looks impressive. It looks expensive. I love it.
In fact, I loved the necklace so much that I decided to wear it to Stardust's birthday party.
I got so many compliments! Even my mother, who is usually very fussy about jewellery, commented on how pretty it was and even asked if it was from Tiffany's! How great is that?
For more details and to see more of the collection of sparklies, pop on over to Lushae Jewelry! You won't regret it.

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 08, 2010

Happy Birthday, Stardust

On the morning of the party, I woke up early and put the finishing touches on the party food.
Then, because I had forgotten to do so the day before, I quickly cut up napkins into triangles and stitched them together to make strings of bunting.
MDH helped me to put up the bunting around the room - doesn't it look festive?
Stardust was awake by then, so MDH took him for a walk whilst the Outlaws and I put out the party food.

Finally, all the guests arrived and loaded Stardust with gifts, much to his evident delight. We sat in a circle and sang songs and played pass-the-parcel. All the toddlers were very well-behaved and cooperative and played very well together.

Then, I took all the kids downstairs to the pool with a bunch of balloons. The kids had fun kicking the balloons around the water but soon discovered that it was much more fun to roll around in the water instead, splashing wildly.

Then, with all the children dripping wet and ready to sit still, we sang the birthday song ate the birthday cake by the poolside.

It was a great party!


Friday, February 05, 2010

Party Preps Day 5: Catering

Planning the menu for the party was quite a challenge for me. I wanted to make sure there was enough food for everyone and that the food would also be toddler-friendly (ie. low sugar, no salt). I also wanted to make sure that the bulk of the menu could be made in advance of the day - to minimise stress on myself.

So after careful consideration, here is the menu that I came up with (I have highlighted the parts of the menu that I have already completed):

Potato skins topped with bacon bits and cheese
Cocktail sticks - Mini sausages with cheese and pineapple

Main Course:
“Chang Shou Mian” i.e Birthday Noodles (delegated to the Aged Ps)
Tuna Pasta Bake
Sandwiches (fillings: Ham and cucumber, Egg Mayonnaise)

Butterfly cakes
Birthday cake (delegated to the Aged Ps i.e. they want to buy it)
Fruit cups

Orange or Cucumber water
Fruit punch (i.e. Fruit juice spiked with 7-up)

Whatever is leftover are things that need to be assembled on the day (eg. the cocktail sticks, fruit cups, sandwiches), and I have ensured that there will be plenty of helpers on the morning of the party!

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Party Preps Day 4: Utter Chaos.

I can't separate the light from the darkness! It's Chaos!!!!

Okay, fine, it wasn't that bad, really. I managed to complete what I wanted to accomplish, it was just a little harder than I thought it would be.

The people in the flat upstairs decided that it was time to do a little bit of DIY just around the time when Stardust was settling down for his nap. They only spent 20 minutes with a power drill but it was enough to drive Stardust completely dotty.

The poor boy didn't sleep at all which meant that he was SuperTiredAndCranky and I had to comfort him whilst attempting to make lasagne and tuna pasta bake at the same time.

Additionally, the aged Ps finally confirmed that they could acquire *coffcoff* a video projector for me so I decided to make an Awesome Video Featuring The Awesome Stardust And His Awesome Abilities Of Awesomeness. My computer, however, isn't cool enough to deal with the Awesomeness of my Awesome Video, so it kept attempting suicide.

I managed to get it all done in the end, though. *whew*


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Party Preps Day 3: Odds and ends

Here's what I did today:

1. Went grocery shopping and bought all the ingredients for the party food as well as disposable tableware.
I really want to get to the stage where we use melamine plates instead of paper and plastic but the fact is that I don't own enough unbreakable picnicware at the moment.

I tried taking him to the local ten-dollar hairdresser today but the hairdressers wanted me to leave him alone in the shop whilst his hair was being trimmed. That sounded like a stupid idea to me, so I left. I don't know where the barbers are located in this region yet, but I do not intend to take him to a fancy hair salon in town so that they can charge me $45 for a trim. If anyone knows a good old-fashioned barber on the west side of Singapore, drop me a comment please!
3. Prepared the props and prizes for the games.
Wrapped up the prizes in a giant box and layers of newspaper for pass-the-parcel. Cut up sheets of stickers for the treasure hunt. Dug out all the kiddie music CDs.
4.Folded napkin pockets for the utensils
It looks prettier and neater than a stack of paper napkins and a pile of plastic forks. This also minimises waste and reduces traffic at the buffet line. You can tell from the picture that I only bought plastic forks - this is because all the items on the menu will be in bitesized pieces (no knives required) and are non-drip (no spoons required).


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Party Preps Day 2: Party Gear

I always think that birthday parties are just not complete without party hats! They encourage people to get into a party mood and to relax. It is hard not to smile when you're wearing a silly hat!
I want all the adults and the children to wear party hats, but I don't really like those conical dunce hats that are sold in the shops. True, they have bright and cheerful designs printed on them, but they are so uncomfortable to wear. The elastic bands always snap and there are never enough replacement hats around.
A good friend of mine introduced me to this great origami website, so I decided that I would fold newspaper hats instead of buying them from a store.
I made a few small hats to start with and tried them on Stardust. He absolutely loved them! They stayed on well when he was running around the house and they must have been comfortable to wear because he didn't try to take them off.
I made some bigger ones and tried them on myself - they stayed on pretty well when I was wandering around the house and were so comfortable that I forgot I was wearing them. MDH was very amused when he came home and found me doing the ironing or the cooking with a different paper hat on each evening.
This means that I can put out crayons and markers during the party so that the children can customise their own chapeau, and if anything gets destroyed, I can just fold them a new one!
I decided to fold several different styles so that not everyone would be wearing the same hat.
I made samurai-style helmets, flat berets, bucket hats and tall mitres for the grownups.
For the kiddies, I made simple paper beanies and army-cadet caps. These have a much more snug fit so they are better for them to run around in.
It was so much fun!
I made 40 hats for the adults and 20 hats for the kiddies.
Total cost: Less than the cost of one newspaper!

Labels: ,

Monday, February 01, 2010

Party Prep Day 1: Stuffing the swagbags

Stardust's 2nd birthday is coming up at the end of the week, so this week I will be absolutely swamped with party preparations! I am so glad that the Outlaws are here because I need all the help I can get.

This is a single income family, so we can't afford to hire caterers and buy expensive party gear, so I have to be innovative and try to keep within our tiny budget.

Last year, I stuffed the children's swagbags with a bottle of bubblemix, a handful organic biscuits and an iron-on transfer (an addition to the swagbag from my mum). I wrapped them using a clear bag and twine, and labelled them with thankyou notes.

Here is what is going into this year's swagbag:

1. A bag of japanese melt-in-the-mouth puffbiscuits.
Stardust doesn't eat these himself because he doesn't like them, but they are really popular amongst his peers. They are low sugar and high in calcium so health-conscious parents here seem to like them. I just thought they would look good in the party bag because of the bright pictures printed on them. They were a dollar for a five packets in a box. I bought 3 boxes.

2. A pair Lyra wax crayons - unbreakable and non-toxic!
I bought 2 cartons of 12 and split them up into pairs. They cost $2 a carton.

3. A mini-colouring book
I printed out and assembled these myself. It has thank you notes on the back and a bright picture of Stardust on the front. I downloaded the pictures off the internet - has tons of free colouring pages!

4. A colourful eraser with a bright graphic pattern
These came in a pack of 5 for $2. I bought 3 packs.

5. A small sheet of stickers
I found a giant sheet of stickers for $1.50 and cut it up into equal sized pieces.

We're going to play simple 'everyone-gets-a-prize' games, so I also bought mini-boxes of raisins, some more stickers and whirlygig-windmills to give away.

I packed them all into a dozen polka-dotted cones that I got from IKEA during the post-Christmas sales, wrapped them in clear plastic bags and tied off the tops with a gold twist-tie. They look really festive. I will probably put them in a basket and have Stardust give them out to his friends as they come in.

Grownups will be getting a lollipop attached to a paper 'Thank you' bookmark that has a picture of Stardust on the front. I got the lollipops free from the supermarket after making a $50 purchase there. I made about 40 bookmarks in total.

Budget: $50
Total expenditure: around $30


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.