Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Hello Kitties!

Just about everyone's started to feed LV's love for Kitty. Grandma bought her the kitty foil balloon, and KGB got her the other tiny ("original Japanese ah!") kitty doll for Christmas which she loves so much! She's been carrying it around with her since KGB gave it to her last night. Lucky baby!

Growing vocabulary

It's just amazing to watch a baby grow and learn, and at an amazing rate too.

This morning, LV signed (and said!) "dirty" (I was telling her to stop biting the CD case cos it was "dirty"). Just yesterday, she learned the Sign for "scared/afraid". And also just yesterday, she learned how to say her own name! Her diction is also getting better for "Grandpa" (or "Papa"), "Grandma" (or "Mama").

I hope to be able to find the time to start scrapping these bits of memories soon! So much to document!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Baby won't stop growing up!

I *really* wish time would stand still. This morning, KM commented while watching her sleep, that she's such a big girl now - she's actually started hugging her little teddy bear to sleep. She's certainly a lot more fun now, but oh I wish I could go back to when she first started babbling and saying her signature "yoikoyoikoyoikoyoi!" Now, she can say

Daddy (so clearly too!)
Mummy (though her "m" is more nasal than it should be, sounding almost like "Mah-bee" at times)
NooOooOOooo!!! (very clearly!)

She can also sign


And she has started to string words together to make simple 2-word sentences, like "want more".

So proud of my baby and all she's achieving, but I so do wish time would stand still too. Just for a little while - I haven't had enough of each stage of her life yet!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Every child needs a teddy bear

I've always loved stuffed toys. Having LV just gave me the excuse to accumulate them all over again. In the past year, friends and family have also contributed to LV's small collection. But to think of all the nice, pretty and carefully thought through teddy bears that were bought for her, she's taken to this little one that came in a hamper! Every child needs a favorite bear. Looks like LV might have found hers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Would I get a KidSAFE line?

OK. Day 3 of testing kidSAFE by M1.

As I said in my previous post, the features of the phone aren't much to shout about, but then KM pointed out to me that it's really not that bad, especially if you consider the following:

1. The phone is only $48. *really* For a pretty fine looking phone, $48 really is a steal.

2. The phone is light. Really light. It's 9.9mm thick (just 0.1mm shy of a cm! Heheheh...) and weighs just 95g. With enough things in a kid's bag and pockets to weigh them down, having something light and small is good. I've always been partial to anything light and small anyway, so another tick in the reasons-to-get-it list.

3. The service is free. Nothing's free these days, ya? But this one is. I just checked it out. If you're an existing customer with M1 which I am, whee! You pay $0 for the SIM card (which is needed 'cos the service is tied to the SIM), $0 to activate the service, and $0 for the monthly service. It's expensive enough bringing up children these days. Anything that's fee has my stamp of approval.

4. More cost savings. If I limit my kid's calls to only 40 numbers, I'm also limiting the number of calls (and to where) she can make. Better yet. Calls to me and from me? FREE! I'm liking this more and more. *grin*

So who should get this phone?

Parents? Duh. I hate asking questions just to get a duh response to it. While that may seem the most obvious answer, surely parents aren't the only ones who'd find a use for it. So here's my suggestion:

a. People who want a clear distinction between weekday calls and weekend peace. As with my earlier post, I think this could do for a weekend phone when only your top 40 favourite people are allowed to have access to you and your weekend life. Why not?

b. Teachers, or any other person that wants to get a phone only for work and another to shut the rest of the world out but whose company won't pay for. I'm just thinking here. You don't need to give all 500 of your students your number. Neither would you need to keep an unlimited store of their numbers once they've graduated. Truth is, only a small handful remain friends, yet there are times students would really need your contact, eg. at a camp, on a hike, when exams draw near, times like these. I know some of us really don't mind that our students (or their parents) have our contact number. But I also know and respect colleagues who want to keep a clear distinction between their private and professional lives, and we all have heard of students who pass our numbers around without permission, and then privacy goes down the drain. Not so nice when that happens. KidSAFE takes on another meaning for those of us in this profession then. Heh heh heh... and 40 numbers - just nice to list all the kids in your form class ya?

c. Your new domestic helper. Not that you would see a need to control her calls. Whatever for? She's an adult. But I feel bad whenever I have to call my helper on the mobile, cos phone lines really aren't cheap, and I'm just eating into her phone bill. Having such a phone is then kinda... convenient, and cheap. Besides, if you ever intend to fully provide for your helper's mobile phone line and *if* you *are* paranoid enough about the people she's in touch with, then yeah, well, I guess this is the phone for you too?

d. Schools! Well, actually parents. BUT! If we could make this a school standard, like electronic calculators and school uniforms, it would cut down on unnecessary SMS'g and calls by students while in school. And I honestly feel it keeps them safe from unneccessary MMS advertisements and whatnots that I'm quite sure target students. Besides, having a limit to 40 numbers forces you to be selective about the people you put on your call list and that in itself is a discipline kids (and anyone for that matter) could learn to exercise.

So, would I get it? Yeah. I think I would? LV's not old enough to use a mobile phone yet. But I can see other conveniences connected to this service, and I'm ready to consider it now, if for nothing else, to shut off from the rest of the world I don't want to hear from when the weekend comes. And then, when LV's ready to use a phone, I'll let her have it. She looks like she could be ready to use it in no time though. *grin*

After thought: How about having it as an army phone? But then the phone has a camera. Hmmm...I can foresee many mums wanting one for their son when they enlist though... no? Oh well...

Monday, December 22, 2008

KidSAFE, TelemarketeerSAFE, bothersomephonecallSAFE

OK... So I've been fiddling with the Samsung SGH-E200, which is supposedly the only KidSAFE compatible phone in Singapore (or anywhere else for that matter methinks). I can't say I'm liking the features much at the moment. LV's only 13 months old at the mo', so truly, I'm not looking to get her a mobile phone, though I must say she looks awfully cute running around with one, speaking to imaginary friends. I'm therefore really testing this phone with me in mind, and right now, I'm thinking, this phone is not exactly gonna score high on intuitive use. Here's what's wrong with it:

1. Too many steps to take just to send out one SMS. I have to click on menu, then
> go to "Messages"
> choose "create new message"
> choose "1. text message"
> type message (on a keypad that seems to have very delayed reaction)
> click "options"
> click "send only" or "save and send"
> click on the "to" dialogue box
> choose "phonebook"
> scroll to find number
> tick the checkbox next to the name I want to send the message to
> click "options"
> click "select"
> click "options" again, THEN
> click "send"

I think the sun would have set and risen again by the time any message gets sent out. So if the intention is to discourage kids from SMSg, they sure got it.

2. This darn phone locks when there's like about 7 seconds of inactivity. So, no, you cannot pause to think too long about the composition of your message or the next course of action on your phone before which it you out. Neither can you start on something and put it down for a short while to do something else before coming back to it, so in my books, not a very convenient multi-tasking companion. And it takes about 2-3 seconds to respond to the unlocking function. So far, this phone might just drive me crazy on these 2 functions alone.

3. As with point #1, any navigation through its functions to alter/amend/customise would drive you nuts with the numerous steps which are so counter productive in a day and age where speed is imperative. We're trying to keep communications here kid-safe, not impede it.

4. The phonebook, which is tied to the kidSAFE function, makes no sense at all. Phone numbers can be saved either to the phone memory or SIM card. Only numbers in the SIM card are given access for use to call out or receive calls from. That's all well and good. Presumably then, kids (or whoever else) who might want to save numbers from whoever for later approval could just key the info and save it to the phone memory for transfer into the SIM when approval is given. Right? Wrong. This silly phone, unlike other phones I've used before, does not let you transfer numbers between the phone memory and SIM. So to get the number approved, I have to re-enter the information into the phone and save it (again!), this time into the SIM. Tedious, tedious.

I suppose I *could* get used to using such a feature-intuitiveless phone; its good looks are definitely on its side if you can stand the dumb-blondness of its features. But to heck with the phone for now. I'm more interested in the filtering feature of this service. Seriously, for an adult, if I had to pick only 40 phone numbers to allow calls from (and to, since this goes both ways), who would I add to the line? I'm already trying to filter my 100+ long name list on my other mobile. In today's state of hyperconnectivity, I sometimes (actually frequently so) resent the fact that I can be so easily reached. Sometimes, other than filtering out nuisance calls from random telemarketeers, you just want undisturbed, protected family time. KidSAFE features in this regard, are looking *really* attractive to me at this point as an adult user. I'd seriously consider getting a second "weekendSAFE" phone attached to the same mobile number I usually use, but with this 40-number restriction. Whaddya think, M1?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I got me a new gadget!

Well... I *sorta* got me a new gadget. I was actually lucky enough to get the opportunity to trial M1s new Kidsafe service, a mobile service with parent controls. Basically, with this service, parents can determine up to 40 numbers their kid can make and receive calls and SMSes from. I haven't actually started fiddling around with it much yet, but I'm already thinking maybe it's a good phone for me - no more irritating calls from telemarketers! MUAHAHAHAH!!! Not too bad an idea ah? Or for the hubs - no more irritating phone calls from clients who don't know what it means to stop calling at insane hours of the night and waking the entire household up! Good ah? *grin* Doesn't hurt that the phone (which is tied to the service) looks rather slim and pretty. We'll see how this trial will turn out. I'm serious about using it to restrict irritating calls that I don't want to pick up. Why not, ya?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My daughter's first Hello Kitty doll

For some reason, LV has suddenly taken a real liking to Hello Kitty. I swear, it's not me. Really. I *do* own Hello Kitty things, but it's not like I throw it in her face, 'cos the Hello Kitty items I own are really unobtrusive, like my key ring (which is always in my bag), my bento boxes (which I pack and take to work way before she wakes up), or my Hello Kitty handkerchief from when I was 5 years old, which is folded and kept away in the tie drawer. So why she loves Hello Kitty this much, I do not know. It's cute nevertheless, to see her go, "Kitty! Kitty!" when she sees the cute mouthless cat, and I finally decided after much consideration, to get her her very own Hello Kitty doll. KM reckons this will be her only Hello Kitty doll, because he's quite certain he does not want her room to be filled with nothing but Hello Kitty dolls of different sizes and colours. Well, that's what he thinks now anyway. We'll see. *grin*

Friday, December 12, 2008

She changes everyday

My little angel is growing so quickly! I wish time would just stand still, yet it's so exciting to see all the changes as they come each day.

Her language skills are improving everyday. She understands more Mandarin with each week she spends with her grandparents on daddy's side of the family. She's also beginning to sign a bit more, showing sure evidence that she's been absorbing the language and understanding it better than I thought she would. She's now about to sign "more" during meal times when she's not had enough to eat. Just this evening, she was also signed "no" for the first time when asked if she wanted to continue with her meal! And a couple of nights ago, she signed "yes" when asked if she wanted to go down for an evening walk with us.

She is also learning how to be gentle with the cats, petting them instead of yanking at their fur. And she loves Hello Kitty! No influence from me, I swear! She just does! Seems like her first, repeated word is "Kitty"! Oh my!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Cereal conspiracy

I swear, there's a cereal conspiracy going on at Cold Storage outlets and Cold Storage-linked supermarkets. Each time we find a Post (or any other brand) cereal we like, it goes off the shelf! It has been months since we've seen Fruity Pebbles. Then the Honey Bunches of Oats series disappeared. And now, my Apple Cinnamon Cheerios! Instead, more "First Choice" (Cold Storage housebrand) cereals of similar flavours have been taking their spaces on the shelves at not just Cold Storage outlets, but at Giant and Market Place too! ARGH! "First Choice" certainly ain't my choice and I think I just might have to start shopping at NTUC or Sheng Siong from now to find my cereals. I want my Fruity Pebbles!