Bunny Gal is 19 months old today and it is always Bunny Dad and Bunny Mum’s intention to start her on ONE enrichment class/playgroup with simple objectives as follows:

  1. improve social skills with adults and other kids
  2. learn to take in instructions
  3. have fun – songs & dances, art & craft
  4. group activities

We do not wish to burden Bunny Gal with various classes or any homework at such a young age.  We also noticed that Bunny Gal tends to learn faster from living examples and via our conversation instead of books or flashcards. She can understand us very well in both English and Mandarin plus recently she will repeat after us whenever we teach her simple words by pointing at the object. In addition, she has been very pro-active nowadays where she will also point at different objects and says “see..” – her way of asking us “What is this?”. This gives us great opportunities to teach her new words!

Back to the enrichment class selection. Basically there are few different approaches in KL market :

Right brain / Flashcards Approach

Using Flashcards to give appropriate brain stimulation to bring out the innate human abilities such as: photographic memory, creativity, perfect pitch in music, multi-languages for language mastery and lightning rapid calculation abilities. Parents are required to carry out proposed course related activities with their kids at home everyday for at least 30 minutes. Examples : Shichida, Heguru and Glenn Doman

Remarks : No doubt that flashcards good learning tools for a reason and Bunny Gal loves to play with the iPad version on and off but we never and do not intend to set a time slot for flashcards on daily basis like some parents do. We just want Bunny Gal to have fun and strictly no homework!

Playgroup / Babygym Approach

Allow kids to have fun, explore, acquire skills, experience success, and build self-esteem through active play experience such as baby gym, songs, etc. Examples : Gymboree and Kizsport

Remarks : Bunny Gal didn’t enjoy the trial class at Kizsport – she was totally lost control and not following the class at all. We also skipped Gymboree as we were rather turned off by their hard sell marketing strategy.

Musical Approach

Introduce and educate kids to the adventure of music then moves at her pace, pausing to engage her interests, nurture her gifts and celebrates her discoveries. Examples : Kindermusik, Musikgarden and Musikhauz

Remarks : Didn’t manage to attend the trial class as planned. Some friends and relatives recommended this approach based on their own experience. A less stressful of learning (vs flashcards based) w/o going wild (playgroup based).

Learning Center Approach

Classes are conducted in a classroom with a collection of activities and materials for kids to explore and play with independently, individually or in groups, or with teacher’s direction. Examples : Julia Gabriel and Lorna Whistorn

Remarks : Julie Gabriel has weekly bilingual Play Club for 18 months till 2.5 years old with a curriculum structured around letters of the alphabet and key Mandarin words, numbers, shapes and colours – all organised in interesting child-centred themes and translated through activities such as indoor and outdoor play, music, art and craft, hands-on pre-science activities, stories, speech, drama and snack. BTW Lorna Whistorn is no longer running classes for kid below 4 years old (unable to renew the licence – not sure why), not an option for us at all.

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Based on the remarks listed above, one can easily figured out that Julia Gabriel is the winner of ” Bunny Enrichment Class Contest”. Bunny Gal had just attended her 1st class on last Saturday and clearly she had lots of fun. Pictures sound louder than words.

Warming up and observing what’s others are doing.

Clapping while yelling “yeah!”

Bunny Gal’s 1st Artwork – maybe Bunny Mum should frame it up!

Guess what’s in the goodie bag?

Everything comes with a price tag… RM1,625 for a start and only good for a 10-week term

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup organic raw cane sugar
4 eggs
1 cup fresh milk
65g butter
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat oven to 175 °C.
2. Heat milk and butter  in a small saucepan until just boiling, then remove from heat and set aside.
3. Beat eggs until foamy, then add sugar. Continue beating on medium-high speed until thick and lemon colored.
4. Add vanilla, reduce mixer speed to medium and add hot milk in a steady stream.
5. Quickly sift in flour and baking powder.
6. Pour into a  round pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean and springy to the touch.

(Adapted from Nannie’s Hot Milk Sponge Cake/AllRecipe.com)


Bunny Mum’s Feedback

This cake gives a milky flavour with moist yet light texture. I have reduced the sugar by 50% from the original recipe yet I still find it a little sweet despite others (including my super healthy conscious Bunny Grandma) told me it’s  just nice. One may replace full cream milk and butter with skim milk and margarine in order to achieve the HiCal Low Fat version of this cake.

Bunny Gal celebrated her BIG ONE some 7 months ago and it’s all Bunny Mum’s fault for taking so long to put up a post to document down such important milestone in Bunny Gal’s life.

Venue : Avanti Italian-American Ristorante, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa
Date :  6 June 2010 (Sunday)
Theme : Winnie The Pooh & Friends

Extended family members and close friends were gather together to sing birthday song for Bunny Gal and showered her with gifts and best wishes.

Centerpiece of this wonderful birthday party



Birthday Gal

Cake Cutting Moment

Birthday Gal and Bunny Mum

Bunny Dad, may I have a sip of Champagne?

Happy Bunny Family

Busy checking out her presents…


Birthday Gal & Her Presents


Trying out her new car

Recently Bunny Dad and Bunny Mum have been bringing Bunny Gal to Kidzsports Playland for her to explore and play. She really love the slide, ball pool and swing at the Toodler Zone. One should witness the big smile on Bunny Gal’s face in order to know how happy she was when she slide down onto the ball pool and on the swing.

Since then, Bunny Dad and Bunny Mum have been contemplating whether to put up a small version of Kidzsports Playland at home so that Bunny Gal can
have access to the Playland anytime. After checking out the 2 brands used by Kidsports (Step 2 and Grow’n Up) as well as the cheaper version sold in Carrefour/Giant, we decided to go for Grow’s Up – value for money without compromising on the quality of the product. Coupled with some other interesting toys sponsored by Bunny GongGong, Bunny Grandma and etc, Bunny Gal is now owning her own Bunny Playland.

Let’s see what she has in her Bunny Playland.

Fiat C500 Electric car
(with functional forward and reverse gear, headlight, reverse light, steering wheel, paddle and horn)


Bouncy Musical Bear

 

Ride-A-Pony

Grow’n Up Slide & Swing Set



Inflatible Toy House

Other than the above, she has a inflatible swimming pool (3ft depth) and many other smaller toys such as educational toys from Vrtech and Leapfrog, kitchen utentils & teapot set from ELC, soft-toys, musical instruments (keyboard and xelophone), Megabloks and etc.

So what’s next?

A bigger store room to store all Bunny Gal’s toys!

Lately Bunny Gal has been very cranky during her meal time. The same Bunny’s song & dance will show up during meal time:

  1. turning her head away after 5-6 spoons of solid;
  2. demand to drink soup non-stop;
  3. struggle to release herself and stand on the highchair – not till we pin her down or give her some toys of her interest; and/or
  4. at time might refuse to sit on the highchair.

This song & dance is only applicable to MAIN MEAL and not snacks like cakes, pastries, breads, puffs, biscuits, etc.

It has been a torture to Bunny PoPo who has to feed her 2 main meals a day, 5 days a week and even Bunny Mum is getting frustrated over it despite only taking care of Bunny Gal over the weekends. Bunny Mum has to bake every weekends, if possible, so that Bunny Gal have homemade snacks to munch.

After a few trials and errors, we noticed that she will eat the same food that she had just rejected earlier on if we leave her with the bowl of food and spoon for self feeding. Despite messy, she will at least “finished” the solid (perhaps 20-30% will end up on the floor or table). I must say that Bunny Gal’s self feeding skill is getting better each day where she does well with spoon and now even with fork. Of course, at time she will cheat by grabbing the food with her hand and put on the spoon before moving it to her mouth. She will even pick up the food dropped on the table and place it back to the bowl – not sure whether it’s a good sign or not. It’s good for not wasting food BUT it’s rather not too hygiene if the table is not clean (not at home). Nowadays beside wiping the highchair with antiseptic wipes, we also clean the table as well whenever we dine out.

Alternatively, we have to feed her with our spoon/fork/chopstick instead of hers. Somehow she feels that we are eating BETTER and more DELICIOUS food than hers.Same theory applies to water/drinks too. Bunny Gal will insist of drinking from our glass (if she sees it) instead of hers. If I pretend to pour some of my drinks into her cup, she will then drink from her cup.

Hmm….really wonder what’s going on in her tiny little bunny brain…

Ingredients

2 baby potatos (diced)
1 tbsp mix brown & white rice
1/2 cup minced beef
1 cup beef broth
1 tomatos (skin & seeds removed, finely chopped)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Pinch of mixed italian herb & pepper

Method

1. Melt unsalted butter over high heat.
2. Stir fry beef, tomatoes and rice for 1 minute.
3. Add beef broth and season with mixed italian herbs and pepper.
4. Simmer over low heat  for 20 minutes or till the rice and potatos are soften to the desired texture.
5. Stir in some cheese after remove from heat.

Ingredients

3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2.5 cups unbleached all-purposes flour
3/4 cup organic raw cane sugar
125g butter (melted)
2 eggs (lightly whisked)
2 tbsp finely shredded orange rind
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder

Method

1. Preheat oven to 175°C.
2. Combine the poppy seeds and 1/4 cup of the milk in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar in a large bowl.
4. Combine butter, eggs, milk, poppy seed mixture, orange rind and juice in a small bowl.
5. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a metal spoon until just combined (do not overmix).
6. Spoon the batter among prepared muffin pans.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.

*recommended for baby above 12 months since it contains poppyseed.

(Adapted from Amanda Kelly/Good Taste – May 2004)

Bunny Mum’s Feedback

Moist and light muffin but the orange flavour is still not strong enough – at least for me. If I ever do it again, I will consider adding 2 tbsp of orange jam into the batter.

Ingredients

1.5 cups applesauce (Heinz apple puree or Gerber applesauce)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 eggs, beaten
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped

(Optional but not recommended for baby below 18mths : 1/2 cup pecans, chopped & 1 tsp ground cinnamon)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a muffin tray.
2. In a small bowl, mix together applesauce, oil and egg.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. (Optional : cinnamon)
4. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture. Stir until just moistened.
5. Fold in cranberries (Optional : pecans).
6. Pour into prepared muffin tray.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

(Adapted from Miss Alix – allrecipes.com)

Bunny Mum’s Feedback

Absolutely yummy. Maybe I should try again using frozen cranberries or blueberries!

Has anyone watched an old movie called “My Father the Hero” before ? It was starred by Gérard Depardieu, Katherine Heigl and Dalton James.

Every father would hope to be regarded by their daughter as the hero. Of course, Bunny Dad is not an exception. Unfortunately, Bunny Gal is way to young to appreciate this hero of hers the way Bunny Dad would like her to be. Instead of regarding him as Hero, she has given him a new role……. My Daddy the Pillow!!!

Bunny Gal has developed a bad habit of waking up in the middle of the night crying for Bunny Dad’s shoulder! Poor Bunny Dad will have to carry her (as shown in the picture above) till she is in deep sleep before he can put her back to her cot. There are many instances where Bunny Dad placed her on her cot, she cried at top of her voice till Bunny Dad rest her on his shoulder.

Bunny Mum always wonder whether she should be happy that she can sleep throughout the night as Bunny Gal will only want Bunny Dad’s shoulder. On the flip side, it also mean that Bunny Mum is ranked below Bunny Dad’s shoulder.

Ingredients

1/2 cups white sugar
250g  mascarpone cheese
250g whipping cream
1  packages ladyfingers
1/2 cup expressor coffee
1/4 cup Kahlua (optional)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Semisweet chocolate curl (optional)

Method

1.  Beat mascarpone and sugar until combined. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold into mascarpone mixture and set aside.
2. Cut the lady fingers into 3 portions and dip into the coffee + kahlua mixture.
3. Quickly remove lady fingers from coffee + kahlua mixture and line it at bottom of a dessert glass.
4. Spoon some mascarpone mixture over the lady fingers.
5. Repeat Step 2 -4 until the glass is about 80% filled.
6. Garnish with cocoa (dusting) and chocolate curls.
7. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.