Category Archives: Uncategorized

03Dec/17

Drama Camp with Sharifah Sofia

Children need to exhaust their energy, explore their imaginations and unleash their potential.

Expand your child’s creativity through skillful play.

A 4-day Drama camp with Sharifah Sofia – curated for your child to have an amazing time while learning to listen, follow directions, remember, focus, accomplish objectives, take turns, work with others, compromise, perform in front of an audience and use the imagination.

Camp is limited to 15 children (3-6yrs old).

Contact +60126102369 to book your space.

 

 

25Jan/16

How old should a child start reading?

Are you wondering if your child is “on time” when it comes to reading? Here are the language milestones your child should reach at each age:

CHILDREN AGES 0-3:
•Imitate some of the sounds and rhythms adults use when they speak
• Begin to associate frequent words with their meanings
• Recognize some books by their covers
• Pretend to read books and handle them correctly
• Produce some scribbles that resemble writing Continue reading

13Jan/16

20 Ways to Raise Your Childs Self-Esteem

In this day and age of survival (for the average human being), too much time has been spent on wor​​king in order to support the family and bring some financial stability. Unfortunately for many of us, this financial stability has become profoundly difficult to a point where we barely ever have much time to spend with our children.. We are either in the office, at a meeting, on the road (in the horrid traffic) or on our phone working unpaid overtime.

This comes to a point where many of us parents tend to work so much that we never really spend enough time with our children. We are not very capable to be there for our children through the good and the bad in their lives. The very sad thing, is that many of us rely on others to do that for us; maids, our parents, day care centres , etc.. but what our children really need is for us to be there for them even for a while.. To be their cheerleader, their teacher, their friend and their confidence. There is nothing a children would want more than to know that you would rather be with them (than your phone)..

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Self-esteem isn’t really something you are born with, it is developed over time by learning how others perceive them. Children won’t really think much of themselves if negativity is always thrown at them. Praise and encouragement however enables your child to develop a sense of pride that will sustain them forever. Now, we’re not talking about ego here, we’re talking about self esteem.

Our job as a parent is to let our children know just how remarkable they are no matter what talent and ability they have.. this makes them different from others and they need to learn how to develop that..

A child who is brought up and grows up with self-esteem will have the ability to go out into the world with the confidence to try new things, accept the ‘different’ ideas of others and believe that they can do just about anything if they put their mind to it..
I mean, isn’t that what parenting is really about? Guidance.

Here’s just a few of infinite tips you could try with your children to raise their self-esteem…

1. Tell your child you love him/her at least once a day.
2. Take your child’s feelings seriously.
3. Let your child know that it’s ok to make mistakes. Then tell them about some mistakes of your own.
4. Always laugh at your child’s jokes (even when they don’t make sense)
5. Praise your child’s every little (and big) effort.
6. Encourage your child to ask questions. If you don’t know the answer, look it up together.
7. Always tell your child that can’t isn’t a real word, we always CAN if we put our mind to it.
8. Always, always talk out your disagreements. If you go mad or give her the silent treatment, you’d be sure to get the exact same when she grows up.
9. Never, ever let your child go to bed angry. Work things out, give hugs and kisses and let her know you love her.
10. Keep your child’s every secret. This develops trust between parent and child.
11. Make a feelings chart. Have your child put his picture next to his current feeling (of the day) and talk about that feeling, ask why he is feeling that way.
12. Spend a little time sitting down to draw and colour with her.
13. Teach your child to recycle. Caring for the earth is the way of the future.
14. Make blank cards for your child to decorate for birthdays, get well soon card or even a “just because” card..
15. Bake bread, or even a cake together.
16. Put together a cookbook of your childs favourite snacks and meals. Make sure you make them every once in a while too.
17. Instead of asking your child how school went, try asking her what her 3 best things she did today. You’d be surprised with the answers you get.
18. Share a banana split with each other.
19. Stay up late together, snuggle under some covers, have popcorn and watch a movie of your childs choice.
20. Splash in rain puddles together.

 

What other things would you do to help raise your childs self-esteem?

30Sep/15

Good Night Bed Mites!!

Ok…. Big EEEWWWWW… To know that the average bed has about 10,000 mites and 2MILLIONS mite droppings is DISTURBING!! That alone has made me feel super grossed out to go to sleep at night!!

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TOTALLY GROSSED OUT!!

Dust mites are only 0.3-0.5mm small making it almost impossible to see with the naked eye. They love warm and humid environment making Malaysia one of the most perfect countries for mites to reside. Mites can breed and feed on dead skin cells AND can live up to 2 months!! A single mite can produce 20 droppings a day AND LAY 100 eggs in its life time. So imagine having 10,000 mites laying up to 100 eggs in the span of 2 MONTHS!!! Eeeewwwwww!!!! In a mere 3g of dust, there are about 4,000 dead mites!!

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Mite feaces and droppings are strong allergens and can trigger allergies like asthma especially in children. As clean as we try to be especially when we have children, most times, it’s hard to get rid of mites as these little critters have clawed feet which grip onto bedding or fabrics when tried to be removed. We can always hoover and whack our beds, carpets and sofa’s as hard as we can but these little things just won’t budge.

Mites are known to cause allergies including asthma. Now that I know this, a little advice to parents whom want to reuse their old baby cots and mattresses, this would be one of the best ways to properly clean the usage of the past and allow new baby sleep on a old mattress with a brand new feel of CLEAN! Though I opted on getting a new mattress as it was WAY before the new SHARP invention was introduced.

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SHARP had done so much research on finding the most effective way to eliminate mites by breeding more than 5,000 mites (eeewwww) and experimenting the best way to eliminate these harmful critters… The conclusion was that any normal vacuuming couldn’t do the trick hence, SHARP had invented the new Mite Catcher with Heat Cyclone! Heated air between 40-60 degrees is blown onto the bedding which forces the mites release their grip off the fabric are are the brushed out with the vibrating power brush with centrifugal separation cyclone that sucks the mites out. The vacuum then incinerates (muuuaaahhahaha!!) them in the cyclone and bye bye mites, hello clean bed…

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The new SHARP Mite Catcher is a whole new innovation as it is the first of its kind. Seems to me that this could be better than a steam cleaner as steam cleaners may kill germs and mites, but they don’t really suck em out so good would they?

For more information on the all new Mite Catcher, check out these links!!

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuaWTDA0TXw

Malaysia Website: https://www.sharp.com.my

Global website: www.sharp-world.com

Official FB page: https://www.facebook.com/SharpPlasmaclusterMalaysia

 

17Sep/15

HAZE – Protect You and your Baby

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image from cnn.com

The haze has been a huge problem for us over the years and it doesn’t seem to get better. Air pollutants can cause terrible health problems and affect our bodies especially babies and the elderly in numerous ways.

  • NOSE – when inhaling polluted air, particles and chemicals irritate the nose which causes the mucus to flush out these particles. The more mucus produced, our nasal passage ways becomes blocked and the nose swells. This reaction is more intense to those who have allergies.
  • AIRWAYS/LUNGS – The particles inhaled may inflame the airways as they travel down into the lungs causing the lungs to also be inflamed. The airways and lungs then produce phlegm to try get rid of these particles causing the airways to spasm to provoke a cough to discharge the particles and phlegm.
  • SKIN – Those whom suffer from eczema may find it very itchy and inflamed. Using moisturiser 3-4 times a day can help protect the skin.
  • EYES – These hazardous particles can cause burning sensations, irritate the eyes causing them to tear to lean itself and also inflames the eyes causing conjunctiva. During times like these, avoid wearing contact lenses. Use preservative-free lubricants every hour or so to remove allergens.
  • HEART – When the nose and airways are inflamed, the body reacts under pressure and the heart starts pumping faster. The body also releases chemicals which make blood clot more easily. High blood pressure and the formation of blood clots can cause a heat attack, stroke or heart failure

For babies who are in general good health, the effects of the haze are usually mild and can be treated pretty easily.

  • The haze may irritate baby’s nose, throat, airways, skin and eyes.
  • Some babies may develop skin rashes.
  • Your baby may experience sneezing, a runny nose, eye irritation, and dry throat and cough.

If your baby has a history of respiratory problems, sinusitis and/or skin allergies, she may be more vulnerable during the haze period. For example, if your baby has asthma, the symptoms may be more severe than usual.

In all cases, if air quality reaches critical levels, fine particles found in the haze can also penetrate deep into baby’s lungs.

Here are a few points on how to protect yourself and your children from the haze.

Stay indoors
The best thing you can do to protect your baby is to keep her at home. Keep all doors and windows shut. Many families in Malaysia have invested in air cleaners or purifiers to improve indoor air quality. Others use a humidifier to dampen down the particulates; the additional moisture can also help reduce respiratory irritation.

You could play some fun indoor games with your baby or toddler so you both wont get cabin fever.

Breastfeed
Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to protect your baby’s health. As long as she’s breastfeeding, she’s getting your antibodies and your natural immunities. Breastfed babies generally have milder symptoms when it comes to the common ailments such as colds and flu.

You can still breastfeed even when you’re feeling generally unwell or have a fever, just remember to mask up just in case.

Don’t smoke and stay away from smokers
Make sure you keep your baby and yourself well away from smokers. If you or your husband are smokers, there’s no time like the present to quit.

Practise good hygiene
Make sure everyone washes their hands and faces as soon as they step indoors. You may even want to change baby’s clothes or even give her a bath.

Now that the preventions have been summed out, we can never be too careful and at times, our children will be affected by the haze. Here are a few guidelines to treat health problems caused or made worse by the haze.

Mild sneezing, runny nose, dry throat and dry cough
Children under a year old should not be given cold or cough medication. Always check with your family doctor or paediatrician to find out what is suitable for your baby, according to his age and weight.
Ensure your baby gets plenty of rest and liquids, including breastmilk or formula, water, soups and juices.
Increase the amount of vitamin C-rich fresh fruit and vegetable juices gets. If you are breastfeeding, increase your intake of these foods, and your baby will benefit.
If he develops a fever, give him paracetamol suspension under a doctor’s direction.

Breathlessness or asthma
Asthma in most children is a reaction to a trigger, and the haze is always a likely suspect. The haze can make asthma worse, so if your baby is wheezing or breathless, consult your doctor immediately.

Eye irritation
Apply a few drops of saline solution (available at most pharmacies) to help relieve irritation. Some mothers believe that a few drops of breastmilk are just as effective.

These tips can help you and your older children stay more comfortable during the haze.

  • If you or your husband, or older children wear contact lenses, stop wearing them and go back to using glasses for a while until the haze subsides.
  • Symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, dry throat and cough can be relieved with cold tablets or cough mixture. You can buy them at major pharmacies, but always consult your family doctor or paediatrician before giving medicine to your children.
  • When the Air Pollution Index exceeds 150 (in the “Unhealthy” range), wear a mask. Masks that are certified grade N95 are able to keep out fine particulate matter. Change your mask when it becomes soiled or distorted. Standard surgical masks do not provide enough protection from haze particles. Those with respiratory ailments should consult their doctor before using a respirator mask.
21Jun/15

Dengue Fever

I had recently lost a friend who was battling dengue and it seemed only natural that I write about it.

Of course like all my other articles, I research information (or just copy and paste.. heh) and also ask from doctor friends for medical advice. This write up, however, comes from the heart. Many of the articles here are posted just after something happens to me, my girls, people I know, when i’m asked questions or seek advice and/or when situations become a topic of discussion. Posts are written to bring up awareness to the public on how serious (or not serious) they can be.

When it comes to viruses and sickness, we always think that it would never happen to us until it actually happens. Personally, I have always been the type who opts for natural remedies before seeking medical help and I will still do so but when it comes to more serious illnesses, I will be sure to see a professional.

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Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. It is an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows a benign course with symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen glands (lymphadenopathy), and rash. The presence (the “dengue triad”) of fever, rash, and headache (and other pains) is particularly characteristic of dengue. Other signs of dengue fever include bleeding gums, severe pain behind the eyes, and red palms and soles.

Dengue (pronounced deng-gay) strikes people with low levels of immunity. Because it is caused by one of four serotypes of virus, it is possible to get dengue fever multiple times. However, an attack of dengue produces immunity for a lifetime to that particular serotype to which the patient was exposed.

Victims of dengue often have contortions due to the intense joint and muscle pain, hence the name breakbone fever.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a more severe form of the viral illness. Manifestations include headache, fever, rash, and evidence of hemorrhage in the body. Petechiae (small red or purple blisters under the skin), bleeding in the nose or gums, black stools, or easy bruising are all possible signs of hemorrhage. This form of dengue fever can be life-threatening and can progress to the most severe form of the illness, dengue shock syndrome.

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Many people, especially children and teens, may experience no signs or symptoms during a mild case of dengue fever. When symptoms do occur, they usually begin four to 10 days after you are bitten by an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of dengue fever most commonly include:

  • Fever, as high as 106 F (41 C)
  • Headaches
  • Muscle, bone and joint pain
  • Pain behind your eyes

You might also experience:

  • Widespread rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rarely, minor bleeding from your gums or nose

Most people recover within a week or so. In some cases, symptoms worsen and can become life-threatening. Blood vessels often become damaged and leaky. And the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your bloodstream drops. This can cause:

  • Bleeding from your nose and mouth
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Bleeding under the skin, which might look like bruising
  • Problems with your lungs, liver and heart

Factors that put you at greater risk of developing dengue fever or a more severe form of the disease include:

  • Living or traveling in tropical areas. Being in tropical and subtropical areas increases your risk of exposure to the virus that causes dengue fever. Especially high-risk areas are Southeast Asia, the western Pacific islands, Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Prior infection with a dengue fever virus. Previous infection with a dengue fever virus increases your risk of having severe symptoms if you’re infected again.

If severe, dengue fever can damage the lungs, liver or heart. Blood pressure can drop to dangerous levels, causing shock and, in some cases, death.

Diagnosing dengue fever can be difficult, because its signs and symptoms can be easily confused with those of other diseases — such as malaria, leptospirosis and typhoid fever.

Your doctor will likely ask about your medical and travel history. Be sure to describe international trips in detail, including the countries you visited and the dates, as well as any contact you may have had with mosquitoes.

Certain laboratory tests can detect evidence of the dengue viruses, but test results usually come back too late to help direct treatment decisions

No specific treatment for dengue fever exists. Your doctor may recommend that you drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration from vomiting and high fever. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can alleviate pain and reduce fever. Avoid pain relievers that can increase bleeding complications — such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, others).

If you have severe dengue fever, you may need:

  • Supportive care in a hospital
  • Intravenous (IV) fluid and electrolyte replacement
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Transfusion to replace blood loss

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Rest in peace dear friend. May you be placed amongst the righteous in the hereafter. #syarified

12Jun/15

Stranger Danger: Useful Tips

It’s funny how you could be at some random place and someone starts taking pictures of a child just because they are “cute”.. I find that rather odd and discomforting. My sister, who has 2 mixed full blown American blood girls, is baffled how people can just approach her daughter and stroke her blonde hair and look deep into her blue eyes. Some even approach her eldest daughter asking to take pictures with her because she’s so pretty. That’s really flattering but to many people, it’s just plain dodgy.

Us Malaysians can be/are very friendly. It’s great how friendly people can be and honestly, it’s really uplifting. The only problem many people have is that we tend to get a little too friendly, like the above mentioned.

For me, I usually don’t say much about it as my line of industry requires the picture taking, the hand shaking, the smiling, etc, etc.

Question is, how friendly is too friendly?

From a flyer I had just recently picked up at PPBM, there were some great tips and insights.

The following are some very useful tips you could use to protect your child from stranger danger including a couple of tips of my own…

  • Establish a close and open relationship with your child at an early age, this will make it easier for them to ask you for help and builder their self-esteem.
  • Empower your child with honest and factual information about their body and let them know what is and isn’t appropriate touching.
  • Teach your child what everyone’s private areas (covered by their swimsuit) are just for themselves and no one should try touch them.
  • Most child abuse and abduction cases are by someone the child knows – teach your child to say NO if they ever feel uncomfortable around anyone.
  • Never force a child to hug or kiss a relative if they don’t want to. it’s ok to say no if they feel uncomfortable, they don’t need to be polite.
  • Establish a “no secrets” rule in your family, especially if something makes your child feel nervous, scared or they don’t have that “uh-oh” feeling.
  • give your child the names (and phone numbers) of at least 3 trusted adults ho they can always confide in, especially if you’re not available.
  • Teach your children to never go anywhere with an adult they don’t know, and if they become lost, go to a mother with children or to STOP and yell for help.
  • Never leave your child with a person you don’t trust.
  • Create a secret password between you and your children. if ever a stranger approaches your child, have your child ask the stranger for the password.

Educating your child to be wary of strangers at a very young age is always best. Personally, I try to remind my daughter on the do’s and don’ts before we get out of the car to carry on our day. Another thing I try to do is teach her how to protect herself if ever, God forbid, anything happened to her and that’s to kick punch and hit the person in between the legs, bite as hard as she can and even poke the persons eyes, not to forget, scream! I also remind her never to approach people who give sweets or who are walking their pets.

03Jun/15

Telur Goreng – PLANTA – Fried Egg

Frying an egg could be either the easiest or the hardest thing for a person to cook. As a teenager growing up, frying an egg was one of the most exciting things EVER!! Especially when its the perfect fried egg, crispy on the sides and oh so oozy yolk in the middle (or senget a bit to the side). Even when frying the simplest egg we try to get creative (like maggi la kan), add salt, mayonnaise, a bit of dill, chopped garlic.. you name it! I’ve tried frying an egg so many ways…

UNTIL…….. TADDAAAAAAAAA….

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Yummy was never this easy…

Smells so good.. Taste so amazing.. You’ll never know till you’ve tried it! That time has come…. and that time….. is…. NOW!

Why not you give a PLANTA fried egg a try… let me know how it goes..

29May/15

Oh My Love!!!

Just a few days ago while dropping Ariana off to school, a mummy was dropping of her little one (probably about 2yrs old) and he was screaming and crying his head off. I suppose his mummy was late and just kissed him and had the caretaker hang on to him as she walked off. I always knew that it was tough for a parent to leave their children while they go to work, but seeing that just made me sad and put a whole new light and have more respect to full time working parents.

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Last night, I had to get ready for rehearsals. I’m currently working on a play for Joanna Bessey. It’s been a while since I’ve actually done some work besides teaching, so I’m really excited. But last night was the most difficult time I have EVER had to face.

Just as I served the girls their dinner, I told Ariana that I had to go to work later on and that her Grandad was gonna lie down with her before she goes to sleep. I usually sleep with her because I’ve weaned Ameera off night time feeds so now it’s just become a habit to sleep with Ariana. Anyways, Ariana was cool me going to work. So as I finished off making some homemade coconut oil, I unstrapped Ameera from her chair and took her to bed. Breastfed her for a while then put her in the cot. I don’t usually wait for Ameera to fall asleep as she is pretty good at self soothing.

After putting Ameera to bed, I prepped my stuff to wear for later then suddenly Ariana came upstairs crying. “What’s wrong?”, i asked. “I don’t want you to go to work all the time”, she replied. I told her that I was only going to be a couple of hours and that, as usual, when she wakes up i’ll be lying down right next to her. She refused and kept on crying. I started to get annoyed coz if she woke Ameera up, then that’ll be twice the battle and I’d be late for my rehearsals.

Bare in mind, Ariana hasn’t acted like this for a20150508_212431 VERY long time. I think the last time she had acted this way about me going to work was when i first started teaching at the Enfiniti Academy back in July last year. She had just turned 3 at the time.

“I don’t want to you work. you will leave me all day and I will miss you all day.” I just get real sad when she starts talking like that and yes, Ariana can be a bit drama at times. So I explain to her that, “mummy needs to go to work so I can pay for your school, buy you ice-cream, take you and Ameera to the bird park… If mummy doesn’t work, we can’t do all these things.”.. She looked at me with tears streaming down her eyes and said, “OK.”

So… Ariana went down stairs and I hurried into the bathroom. As I’m having a shower, I hear a knock on the door. “Come in!”, I said but nothing came from the other side. Then there’s knocking again. I turn the shower off (maklumlah water pressure is crap.. have the bising shower pump la kan) and ask her to come in. Ariana suddenly says something. I couldn’t hear clearly because she had her mouth right at the edge off the door. Then suddenly, I see a RM1 note being slid through the side of the door. “Baby, come inside my love.. I can’t hear you.” She opens the door.

“Is that for me?”, I said referring to the RM1. “Yeah mummy. Here I give you some money so you can come sleep with me, you don’t have to go to work.” My heart melted!! I wanted to cry. “Awww.. Thank you my love.. I would take you if I could sweetheart but I can’t”, I said.

Daaaahhhh mula daahh…. “I wanna go with you, mummy!! I wanna go!!! Bring me please!! Take me to your work!!!”

I’m all dressed and ready to go. She gets her shoes on hoping that I will bring her. “Sayang, you can’t come. I’m sorry.” She screams and cries. I sit her down on my lap and remind her that I will be coming home. That there is no way in the world that I would ever leave her. I reminded her that every time I go to work or go out in general that I will always come home. That I’m always by her side when she wakes up in the morning. She continues crying but I had no more time to console her so I whipped my tudung on, grabbed my keys and went out.

Before you know it, Ariana runs right past me, opens the car door, jumps in and closes the door behind her. I say that I was gonna take Grandads car. She flips! Screaming, crying, reaching out for me from inside the car. I open her door and she jumps out. I then hurry into the drivers side, she chases me and as she tries to open my door, I lock it. I put the window down a little to remind Ariana once again that I wasn’t going to be long and that I loved her very much. She grabs onto the window. My dad then comes to intervene and holds on to Ariana, releasing her hands from the car. I drive out. I see her run to the front sliding door screaming for me and as I drive along the side, there she is hanging from the grills of the side sliding doors. All I can hear is, “MUMMMYYYYYY!!!!!”

As I drive on, that huge boulder of guilt slammed on me. I started to cry a bit. I hated the fact that I had to go through all that. I hated the fact that there were other mummies that have to go through far more worse than I had just gone through, even worse; on a daily basis. I hated it. But alas, this may not be the last time this happens as the play stages in July and there will be more bedtimes without mummy.

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I don’t work a 9-5 job, I am a part-timer. Most times when I am working is when Ariana is in school. Ameera does cause a struggle at times but I’m usually gone only a couple hours a day. When I’m lucky, I usually bring the girls along when i have events and flexible jobs.. For that, I am truly blessed..

To all you full-time working mummies out there. I salute you! I admire your struggle. I admire your strength. Here’s to a better future for our children. He’s to a better future for all of us, inshaAllah.