Can’t make cute bento? Try message in a lunch box!

While I do make simple lunch bentos for the family very often (almost every weekdays) and love looking at the pictures of cute & beautiful bento lunch/snack boxes like these amazing moms have made for their children, I find myself not ready to jump on the cute bento-making wagon yet.

To make cute & beautiful bentos, you will need to have the interest, time and a whole lot of patience, of which I have none. But since I really want to do something special for my little kindergartener, I opted for a more doable thing instead. I add lunchbox notes to her snack box. If you haven’t heard of lunchbox notes before, they are just what they are – a note in the lunch (snack) box. :)

Bento

These are some of the better looking bentos that I made for the girl recently. The boy usually has a similar but smaller bento to bring along with him on his backpack when he sends the sister to school.

When I have the time, I love to fold the note into simple origami (usually heart, flower or crane) and if I’m in the mood, I would also decorate it with some drawing. Sometimes if she is having a banana for snack, I would write simple messages or draw pictures across it, just for a change. As banana peel bruises very easily, all I have to do is to use a toothpick or a pen tip to scratch a message across the peel and the area that I marked will be dark brown by the time she has snack. It is really simple and fun. If you haven’t try it before, you should.

I started slipping notes into the gal’s snack box since the start of the kindergarten school year because the gal was a little anxious about going to this new school and I wanted to let her know that we are thinking of her while she is at school. And it worked! Now she looks forward to going to school because she wants to read her special note during her snack time. :)

In the beginning, I just wrote simple notes like “Mommy loves you”, “Have a good snack!”, “You are my sunshine!” etc. but I got bored of writing these lovey dovey messages after a week. Then I thought… since I’m spending time to write, I might as well write something motivating, educational and fun instead. So I started looking for age-appropriate jokes, riddles and fun facts to write on the notes. Occasionally, I will also slip in some Chinese words just so that she gets to learn to read them too.

To my pleasant surprise, it was an instant hit with not just the girl, but also her teachers & classmates! According to her teacher, Ms. K, the girl would share her notes with her friends and they are now looking forward to see and listen to what her note says at snack time too. :) I also heard from the girl that some children also starting to receive a few notes from their mommies too, but not on a daily basis though. I guess these children must have told their moms about the notes and their moms felt the pressure and did lunchbox notes thing too. 😛 Haha…

Anyway, I must say I’m so glad that I did this lunch box notes thing. DH and I often worry about her not making new friends at school because she takes a long time to warm up to people. But it seems that with the notes becoming a conversational starter, we don’t really have to worry about her anymore. :)

I think I should also start documenting the lunchbox notes that I wrote for the girl so that when it is time for the boy to receive them, I don’t have to do the research again on what to write for him. 😉

So, do check back soon to read about our lunchbox notes! 😉

Here are some interesting lunchbox notes links:

Article – Lunch Box Love Notes for Your Child (link)
Blog on lunch box notes from The Tin Tiffin (Link)

Don’t know what to write? Maybe you can try free printable lunch notes from these sites…
Nick Jr – (Link)
Alenka’s Lunch Box Notes (Link)
Gingerbread Nook – (Link)
The Heart of Motherhood – (Link)
Lunch note Promise – (Link)

Singapore national pledge

The other day the girl asked me to say the Singapore national pledge in Chinese and I couldn’t. So, I quickly google and found the Chinese version on Wikipedia. I better start remembering it myself, in case she ask me again. 😛

We, the citizens of Singapore
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,
to build a democratic society,
based on justice and equality,
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and
progress for our nation.

我们是新加坡公民,
誓愿不分种族、言语、宗教,
团结一致,
建设公正平等
的民主社会,
并为实现国家之幸福、繁荣与进步,
共同努力。

That also reminds me to start reading up on the American history, which I know nuts about it!! Argh…
It’s not easy to be a mom these days!!

the girl’s latest drawings

Title :This is my daddy

My DH is going to complain, but I just have to show you what inspired the girl to draw this picture and how observant she was. (Sorry, dear! At least I downsized the picture. :P)

I think she did a good job in drawing her daddy. See how she even drew the hair stubs! So cute. What I like most about this picture is that she makes him looks like Mr. Potato from the toy story! I always joke about DH looking like Mr. Potato whenever he has a haircut but the self-proclaimed “Richard Gere” lookalike obviously disagree with me. Now his daughter drew him like Mr. Potato, I guess he cannot deny it violently any more. Hahaa…

Title: I am a Princess.

This month I see great improvements in the girl’s drawing of people. She no longer draws the limps like a stick now. She draws and decorates the clothing of the people and she even gives them shoes too! See the picture she drew of herself as a princess. She wore a tiara, a dress with heart shapes print and a strippy leggings. She even wore a high heeled shoes!

Here’s another picture she drew on the same day. It’s called “The King and The Queen”.

Don’t you just love the pictures?
It is such a joy to see her drawings these days. :)

pictures of my two baobei

My 38 girl loves to dress herself up from head to toe for her pretend play these days. In this picture, she was pretending to be a “白骨精” (skull spirit).

My innocent Doudou looking more and more like a Sumo wrestler these days. Very chubby now, hor?

parent teacher conference (autumn’07)

This afternoon, we had a parent-teacher conference session with The girl’s teachers – Mrs. V and Mrs. G. Mrs. V mentioned that The girl is doing really well academically. She especially loves mathematic and language arts.

For the mathematics, she can complete the hundred board work all by herself now and that explains why she could type the numbers 1-100. She has since moved on to learn the thousands blocks work. As for Language Arts, The girl is able to sound the phonics correctly and her reading is improving. We are actually quite surprised to hear that she is reading now because we have never seen her read a book by herself. Mrs. V has recommended us to get some simple ‘first reader’ books for her to practice; I guess we have to get them soon.

The teachers also feedback that The girl has very good concentration when she is doing her work. When she starts a work, she will try to finish it before she moves on to the next one. However, if the work is too repetitive and time consuming, like the push pin work, she has no patience for them. Well, actually I notice this too during our art & craft sessions. When I asked her to cut out some stuff for our project, she will usually give up half way citing that she is too tired from the cutting and wants me to finish the work myself. I think my girl has my lazy genes. -_-

The girl is well-liked by her peers. Most of her classmates are willing to work and play with her. However, she is too attached to her best friend, April and that is the only thing the teachers and us are concerned about. If April is absent from school, The girl would be so upset that she refuses to go into her classroom. If April is around, she doesn’t want to work with anyone except her. She will skip her snack if she couldn’t have April to join her during snack time. And during circle time, when it is supposed to be a group activity, she and April will do small talk among themselves and not focusing on what others have to say. Both teachers are having a hard time separating them but they are going to keep trying to ask The girl to work with other children whenever possible.

Both DH and I are always concerned about The girl being too attached to April since last year. We were especially worried when we heard from Mrs. V that The girl once asked her if April is not going to be her friend when Mrs. V said that they couldn’t work together for one particular work. Because The girl is such a sensitive girl, we can’t possibly stop her from working/playing with April because that will actually do her more harm than good. So, Mrs. V made a very good suggestion to us – to invite some of her classmates over to for playdates and maybe that will help The girl understand that she can have many good friends (and not just April) at the same time. Well, I think for the sake of my daughter, I’m going to try inviting some of her classmates over even though I really dread hosting a playdate, simply because I suck at playdates and I can’t hold a conversation with someone (an adult) I barely know for anything more than 10 minutes.

blog by the girl

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(PS: This entire entry is typed by the girl. She has just learnt to count to 100. :) She is very keen in counting numbers and doing simple addition mathematics problems. She has been pestering us to let her use our computers to type the numbers and hence I let her type it here. Haha… )

 

sneak preview : halloween costume ’08

One of the girl’s idols is Mulan and she loves to role-play as her. She had been eyeing on the Mulan costume since she saw it in the Disney store a few weeks ago. But because we already prepared 2 Halloween costumes for her this year, we decided to wait for the After-Halloween sales before we get it. The short wait was fruitful. We finally got it at a bargain price of $12 (original price was $39.99) last Friday and since then, she has been wearing it almost everyday. Now I just hope that this costume will survive till next Halloween. :)

see… i have pretty, pink long hair!

I was trying to put my pink color pants on my head to pretend it was my long hair but no matter how I tried, I just couldn’t make it stay on my head. So, I went to my mommy and asked her for help. Then mommy suggested using my pink tights instead and true enough it stayed very nicely on my head! My mommy is so smart!! I think I look really pretty so I asked my mommy to take some pictures of me with my new pink long hair. But wait a min… Alamak! I forgot to change into my skirt. So, I quickly went back to my room to change into my mini-skirt and then asked my mom to re-take my picture again. I think I look really pretty, just like my new favorite cartoon character, little dragon girl (小龙女) from Nezha (哪吒传奇)!

 

the happy little one…

That’s the look I see every morning, after he

the boy poops in his potty!

I’m not kua zhang, ok. Every morning for the past 5 days, The boy (who just turned 7 weeks old today) would poop in his small potty. Actually I think if I can focus on him more, it should be quite easy to potty train the boy for his poop because he always give me that kind of “I-need-to-poop” cry before he did his big business. But since I’m working from home and I need to spend some time with The girl, I can’t give him my full attention so he has no choice but to poop in his diaper if he does it in the afternoon. Well, at least the potty introduction part is done now. I’m pretty sure he will not resist sitting on the potty when he is older. :)

(Picture #1: See how focus he is when he is doing his biz! #2: Happy boy after he bombed! #3 and #4: The girl jiejie entertaining and teasing the boy. :D)

See The girl’s potty story here if you are interested.