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Come sing with me (Memories Captured)

These days we are past ‘Jingle bells’ (finally, sigh), we’re done with ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ and we moved on to other lyrics and songs, which are recited by ‘Timan’ on a regular basis, like … all the time.

With other words: His repertoire of songs and rhymes is steadily growing.

Of course, we are singing the ‘ABC-song’ and he knows some songs in Swiss. But lately he’s coming home with one Creole song after another, these are all songs or rhymes he’s learning in preschool.

Like this one for example:

Translation/rules:

The children are sitting in a circle. And while one kid is walking around this circle, all kids are singing:

“I am planting, I am planting,

a carrot, (a) little eggplant,

(if) it doesn’t grow, (if) it doesn’t grow.

I pull out one.”

and with the last words the one walking touches the nearest child on the head. This kid is following now the one going around. This is repeated until there is only one person left sitting.

“Look at the one that is rotten.”

Everybody is laughing and the ‘rotten’ one gets to be the person ‘pulling out’ the other kids in the next round.

‘Timan’  l.o.v.e.s.  this game.

But sometimes we are making up our own lyrics, like this one for example:

If you want to see more ‘Memories Captured’, head over to Alison @ Mama Wants This or Galit @ These Little Waves for their meme

Tell me about your kid’s favorite songs or nursery rhymes. Do you make up your own variations as well?

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It’s Sweet Tooth Tuesday: Ginger Cookies

The Hubs, ‘Timan’ and I love Ginger. So it won’t come as a surprise that ‘Ginger Nuts’ are the cookies we probably eat the most in our house. They are ‘Timan’s favorites and they are totally milk-free. A win/win situation, because we are still fighting to keep the tot’s allergy at bay and the little one as rash-free as possible and without eczema.

But we are living in Paradise. Very often I hear ‘na pa’ in the shops. If I translate this into proper English, it would be something like ‘I’m very sorry, but unfortunately we don’t have it on stock right now. But certainly we will have it available for you in the future’. 😉

It used to give me a headache and the last time this happened I knew I had to do something. My bones started to itch and I was well aware I would have an erupting volcano at home during snack-time if I simply told the tot ‘na pa’.

I figured the only way to save the day was baking the favorite cookies myself.

Or should I say ourselves? Baking without ‘Timan’s valuable help is not possible anymore.

This time he was the one to break the egg. It’s actually very easy for a toddler to break an egg, LOL. But seriously, even without making a mess. Have him crack it on the hard kitchen counter. Then he can easily open it at the cracks himself and empty the content into a bowl.

But to roll out the dough was even more fun.

Ginger Cookies

Ingredients

2 1/3 cups (300gr) whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ginger, ground

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp mixed spice

3/8 cup (3 oz or 90ml) olive oil or 1/2 cup (125gr) margarine

3/4 cup (150gr) brown sugar

1/2 cup (4 oz or 120ml) honey

1 egg

Method

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 3-4

Mix and sift flour with baking soda and baking powder, add ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice and mix.

In separate bowl beat egg, beat in brown sugar until fluffy, beat in olive oil and add honey until well combined.

Start with stirring flour-mix into egg-mix, later proceed with kneading it in until combined. Wrap in plastic paper and put in fridge for an hour.

Roll out dough 1/5 – 1/4 inch (4-5mm) thick, cut out cookies with your favorite cookie cutters and place on a greased baking sheet. Put in freezer for 10 min. Bake for 12-15 min and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 min. before taking them off.

I was using olive oil because of ‘Timan’s suspected milk-allergy, but you can easily replace the oil with margarine. Feel free to use molasses instead of honey, or use half of each.

Enjoy. If you are looking for a stronger ginger taste, check out the ‘Sticky Ginger Honey Cake‘.

What is the favorite cookie your little one just must have once in a while? Is he also going for ‘Ginger Cookies’?

“Preschool is so cool – but I wanna go home – but I love preschool …”

… to be continued in January. 😉

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Lots of laughter and about the same amount of tears we shed this week. And with ‘we’ I’m talking about ‘Timan’, myself and maybe also the Hub. But what did I learn? Or better what did my little tot learn?

Being a big boy can be a lot of fun, but sometimes it’s sooo nice to be Mommy’s little ‘snuggly’.

This week was all about ‘creche’ (preschool).

1. Finally the Hubs was off for 5 (five!!) days in a row. I didn’t believe this would happen ever again. LOL. He hasn’t had a single day off in 2 (two!!!) months. What a relieve for all of us. And ‘Timan’ was beside himself with joy. Me too by the way. 🙂

2. The three familiarization days in ‘Lakres Bel Eau’ (the preschool) started middle of the week.

Day #1 was quite ok, the Hubs was still off and we all went together.  ‘Timan’ was looking forward to go. When we were there, the tot … hmm … kind of agreed to stay on his own. But he was very happy to see us in the afternoon.

3. Day #2 didn’t go well at the beginning. ‘Timan’ didn’t want me to leave at all. And cried, and begged me to stay …. and cried and held on to my clothes … and cried some more. So I stayed for a couple of hours. When I left he cried again. And inside myself I cried a little too. I was told by the teacher the crying didn’t last long and he had a good time after all.

Just before he fell asleep that night he told me he has made a new friend, Corin, his first girl-friend. Way to go little one. 😉

4. I really enjoyed the way to school with a great view over the harbor area and the islands close by.

5. Day #3 was all right again. The tot seemed to get used to all the other kids. He was still begging me to stay and shed a couple of tears when I left, but was all right soon after. And he was very proud of his art work when I came to pick him up.

6. But I think sometimes ‘Timan’ felt a little left out because he doesn’t speak ‘Creole’. The teacher however reassured me that he will pick it up in no time from the other kids and be able to speak like anyone else in school within the fist six months.

7. And finally I had a blast being myself again during these three days. It’s so nice to go shopping without a little tot, talking to people I met in town without someone pulling me away, cleaning the house in peace, having some time for myself. I was loving it.

8. Of course I missed my little one for a couple of minutes terribly, but I know he was in good hands. I’m looking forward to next January, when ‘Timan’ starts preschool full-time. Happy times lay ahead of us. 🙂

9. Now I will put up the dark curtains again, so the sun won’t wake up ‘Timan’ too early and sleep in until … maybe 6:45am?

Have a good weekend.

For more of those important lessons life is teaching you, head over to ‘Life Ever Since’:

or check out ‘Sunday Funday’ at ‘The Fence’:

How did your little one handle the familiarization days for preschool or kindergarten, being away from the family?

Dancing the streets or how to get a message in paradise

This week I learned that the proverb ‘constant dripping wears away the stone’ is totally true when it comes to the public school system here in paradise.

But first comes first, it started with a street party local style:

1. I already mentioned the ‘Creole Festival’ last week. I would have loved to see more of it, but without the little one in tow. On Saturday however we went to watch ‘Kanmtole’ in town, with the little one. ‘Kanmtole’ are many different traditional dances to creole music and a big part of the local culture. They look a little bit like square-dance with a different music and the steps are different as well. Similar to country dances the changes of steps during the dance is also being announced by a caller. And all took place in the streets, in the center of town.

‘Timan’ was a good sport at the beginning, but got a little bored after a while. He couldn’t run around the way he wanted and he didn’t get the ice-cream he wouldn’t have eaten anyway. Bad Mommy. 😉

But we had fun anyway and followed the parade after the dance.

2. More than a month ago my neighbour told me about a meeting with all the future preschool-parents. Hey, I am one of them. 🙂

But nobody at the school was able to tell me the correct date. Instead they said I should listen to the radio every morning. Eventually, I would hear a message that tells me (and the whole population in paradise) about the date. Please note that we are talking about roughly 30 parents to take part in this meeting. Hmm, I never listen to the radio and certainly not to the shortwave radio messages at 6:15 AM. So once a week I gave the school a quick phone call and all of a sudden, past Wednesday, the head teacher told me: “Wait, wait, ahem, yes, the meeting is tomorrow at 8:30 AM.”

Huh??? Planning the future a little further ahead then the same week is apparently not possible. Oh, well …

But all is good now. I went to this meeting. The school is taking it very seriously, has a proper curriculum and is very focused on frequent interaction with the parents. Maybe they actually wanted me to call them every week. 😉

So next week ‘Timan’ is going to spend three familiarization days in ‘Lakres Bel Eau’. I hope, no, I know, he’s going to have a lot of fun.

3. The Hubs just has to give the tot a crash course in those most important words in Creole. Apparently they focus on good interaction with the fellow students who are already attending preschool. I’m sure he needs to know phrases like “Hey dude, show me where I have to go to make pee pee/poo poo.” or ‘Oh man, that Miss is making us doing funny stuff, I’d rather go outside to play on the slide/kick a ball.”

4. We are all set now. After the meeting the tot and I went to buy a raincoat, a new drinking bottle, new food containers and other important things for this full day preschool-try-out.

5. As usual I let the tot carry some of the bags while we were in town. At home I unpacked them and found a ball. I’ve never seen this ball before, didn’t buy it and certainly didn’t pay for it. ‘Timan’ didn’t even ask me to get it for him. And one more time, I explained my little one that everybody has to ‘give money to the store keeper’ before leaving the shop with the item he wants. This is not the first nor will it be the last time this has happened. Bummer. But hopefully … eventually … the do’s and don’ts are going to sink in.

Have a good weekend everyone. 🙂

For more of those important lessons life is teaching you, head over to ‘Life Ever Since’:

or check out ‘Sunday Funday’ at ‘The Fence’:

Tell me about the secret how you made your little one understand that not everything he sees and wants is to steal grab and put in his bag without telling anyone.

It’s done, one day the preschool will call his name …

… and ‘Timan’s days at home are numbered.

The first step in ‘Timan’s academic career is done. He’s enrolled. To the local ‘Creche’ he will go, starting the end of January 2012.

In paradise Creche is part of the public school system, it’s a mix between preschool and kindergarten and an all day program during 5 days per week, including school meals, starting 8am until around 3pm. That’s 7 hours in one stretch. And two years later my tot will start P1 (first grade in primary school). And he’s going to be young, very young in my opinion. He will be 3 years and 5 month old on his first day in Creche. But things have changed a lot since the time I was a kid. I have no idea how my mom managed to keep up with me 24/7 until I was 5 years old and finally started with kindergarten.

Unfortunately we missed the official dates to sign up ‘Timan’. Mainly because the Mommy was firmly convinced this period was going to start after the school holidays. And guess what? I was wrong, it was during the two month prior to the holidays. I think there was a message on the Radio (on high frequency! I never listen to this) and the local news on TV (must have missed it because of some loud noise – screeching?), and that was it. No letter in the mail, no nothing.

So we had to fill out some paperwork at the Ministry of Education and supply a letter stating the reason why we have missed the dates to sign up. Huh? Because we didn’t know about them. But anyway, it’s done.

In a way I am so happy. Now I can start counting the days. I really need a break from my little one.  Sometimes it’s really tough, with the Hubs at work from early morning, before ‘Timan’ wakes up, until late, when the tot is in bed already. And then there is the thing with the itchy rash, it’s finally getting better bit by bit, the rash is going away, but the itching is still there. For the sake of the both of us, for ‘Timan’s social, academic and language development, for my own peace, a change of location is needed.

On the other hand it shows that my little baby is growing up. Soon the lazy days of morning-snuggles in bed are gone forever. But that’s the way life goes, I guess. And in my heart ‘Timan’ will always stay my little baby boy.

But now I still have almost 5 month to get him ready for those long ‘mommy-less’ days to come. And today already he’s looking as if he’s ready to go, don’t you think so?

Many things ‘Timan’ has accomplished already. He is toilet trained (day and night), knows his colors and shapes, some letters and numbers. But there is a little more I would like to do, to give him a head start, so he can fully concentrate on his social skills, finding new friends, learning the new language Creole, and most of all – play, play, play and have fun. For the next couple of month I’d like to focus on:

  • Finish the alphabet (he knows about half of it already)
  • Reinforce the numbers up to 10 (maybe 20) in Swiss and English. Posters on the wall seems to be a good idea for letters and numbers.
  • Talk to him more often in English (and not Swiss most of the time)
  • Teach him to clean himself properly after the big business and the do’s and don’ts in a public restroom (this is going to be a tough one, he categorically refuses to even enter one).
  • Fine tune his dressing and undressing skills, handling T-shirts for example. The bottom part seems to be a piece of cake.
  • And a couple of weeks before it starts, adjust him to the new wake up and bed times. Luckily they still do naps in Creche and I hope ‘Timan’ keeps napping for a while. For peaceful school holidays to come. 😉

And I, during the time the tot is out of the house, I will go shopping, relaxing on the beach, swimming in the azure ocean, sipping on a glass of wine while watching the clouds go by, maybe even getting a dive done once in a while. Yay, good times are coming. That’s one of the reasons why I’m living here in paradise, right? 🙂

Ok, maybe not. I guess I will shed a tear once in a while when I’m thinking about my little baby boy all alone having fun with his new friends.

What’s your advice for the first steps to prepare your (only) child for preschool?



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Linked up with ‘Sunday Funday’ via ‘The Fence’, hop over and link up your favorite post of the week:

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