Kids Experiment: Magic Balloon

This experiment uses gas made from yeast to blow up a balloon.

Luke is so fascinated about science lately that he would study insanely about viruses and bacteria, thanks to Sid the Science Kid, and many more science program for kids.

Alas, this is the right time to teach him how things works that he’ll actually get, understand and participate in.

Materials:

* 1 packet of yeast

*warm water

*sugar

*teaspoon

*clear plastic bottle

*balloon

Anyway here are the steps for the experiment.

1. Pour the dried yeast into the plastic bottle.

2. Add some warm water to the bottle. (Upon getting moist/ wet the yeast is activated)

Then add a teaspoon of sugar and swirl the bottle around.

3. Place the balloon over the mouth of the bottle so that it is covered and there are no leaks.

4. Place the bottle and balloon on a warm windowsill or keep the bottle in a bowl with warm water.

5. Watch the balloon “magically” blow up.
FYI:

This seems like a great trick but it id not really magic. By adding sugar and warmth to the yeast, the yeast, which is a plant, grows and produces a gas called carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide in the bottle rises and fills up the balloon.

The sugar serves as food for the yeast.

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On raving kids

My four year old boy has been constantly raving, like there’s no tomorrow. His little body is filled with unlimited energy that i have yet to find the source. However, recently he is slightly calmer than usual since implementing the crafts time and treats board. Is it really getting better because in few months time he’s gonna be five? FIVE! How fast time goes when you are really busy, Oh yes dammit I am busy tending on every needs, tantrums, rants, crankiness and tears. But with sorrow comes laughter and happiness.

Then I knew its too good to be true when the why’s made their way back,, the too much talking, the attitude and the temper. My boy, answers back when I try to tell him off and weasels his way out when he feels he is in trouble. How easy it was when he was a baby, when all he could do was eat..sleep..and..poop. But with the doom and gloom of parenting comes good days too. He is interested in various things, especially MATH, which almighty creator I’m really bad at. He understands the concept of more than and less than which is so cool. He is also interested in science and we are introducing The neverhood which he is so keen in learning, he is so fascinated in solving every puzzle in it. 

I remember before the school breaks for their kerstvakantie (christmas break) they were asked to bring a toy in school, he could have chosen his robot or his car, or his trains but no! my boy chose his little microscope so he can show everybody how it works and to discover things in the garden. Boy i’m so glad i’m raising a potential geek.

I like all his innocent questions and convictions that every child in the area is his friend, and that they describe him in school as friendly and nice. But I feel sometimes I say too much NO to him that sometimes he just shuts off and there goes the temper, I am trying my very best to go easy on him but he was in a phase where he would ignore potential unbeneficial things and just do otherwise. These days, the raving died down a bit, I see more focus and less nagging. Let’s see, it’s still early days.

My 14 almost 15 months old toddler has a mind of her own, she climbs, climbs, climbs and climbs some more. You’ll think than once she falls she’ll learn but NO she never does, and does it again. My poor wee heart it leaps everytime I see her on top of the couch or on top of the goddamn slide (excuses for my potty mouth). But hey learning, it’s all part of it.

She recently discovered the art of tantruming, almighty father it is starting so early that I cannot even prepare for what’s to come. I am just starting to pick myself up and re energise myself from all the tantruming her brother had and now THIS?! What kind of sorcery is this? I cannot get my head around it just yet.

I’ve noticed that she is starting to talk and imitate sounds such as AJ when she is really pissed off me. Like when she wakes up in the morning instead of saying MOM im up she says AJ, AJ,, AAAAAAAJJJJJ! what a rude little girl, SMH..

She started saying dad, dada, yuya (for kuya, or big brother, in filipino), caaaar, papa(food), dodo(milk), mamam(water), nana(banana), AJ for when I’m in trouble, mom, mmmma(oma), tetek(to call for chickens, i blame Luke for this) and so much more. I cannot believe that she is so expressive of her feelings that she feels the need to tantrum and rave everytime. But you know, parenting we all have bad days and good days, these days are meh.

While some people kept on asking and comparing A to other kids, why she hasn’t started walkng yet, well kids has their own pace and at the moment she is more interested in talking and not walking. She is currently intersted in building Lego blocks, playing with trucks and trying to cook his dolls. She is trying to build up her self confidence which is really good and she is working hard to perfect the art of tantruming. 

So people before you say anything about my children, please please put yourselves on my shoe and welcome to my world.

And p.s to the person wwho kept calling my children names such as half breeds etc. Well these are the prettiest half breeds I know so before you say derogatory remarks about my children gosh I’m just lucky you are not the parents of these lovelies. 😀

Copycat IKEA meatballs

I was stucked in a rut. I run out of dinner ideas mainly because I have been so lazy tweaking and developing recipes, but today my son wanted meatballs. Well I was planning to make the salisbury steak but I found out I run out of mushrooms! And because I was too lazy to go to the market on Wednesday I didn’t top up my weekly supply of veggies and fruits. It horrifies me when I see my kitchen and fridge bare, because on Asian standards the kitchen must have tons of food because you know we like our food too much, we make food for 10 instead of four just in case there are unannounced visits. 

So I made the meatballs, even my fussy boy was so excited to devour it, he loves helping me in the kitchen mainly because he can lick the spoon at his heart’s content.

Anyway here is the recipe 🙂

  • For the meatballs 
  • 3 slices bread or 1/2C breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef (80:20)
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

CREAMY BEEF GRAVY

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (regular black pepper is fine too, but you’ll see the tiny specs on the sauce)


Instructions:



  1. 1. In the bowl of your stand mixer add the milk to the slices of bread.
  2. 2. Melt the butter in a pan and add the minced yellow onions.
  3. 3. Cook them on medium low heat until translucent but not browned.
  4. 4. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. 5. In your bowl with the milk soaked bread add the rest of the meatball ingredients including the cooked onions, but only 2 tablespoons of the butter.
  6. 6. Mix it on low until the bread is broken apart and the meat is combined with the ingredients (using the stand mixer and not your hands helps keep the mixture cold and tender).
  7. 7. Using a meatballer or your hands or ice cream scoop, scoop them into balls about the size of a ping pong ball.
  8. 8. Freeze on a cookie sheet if possible.
  9. 9. If cooking immediately, add the rest of your butter to your skillet and cook on medium high on all sides for a total of 4-5 minutes.
  10. 10. Remove the meatballs from the pan.




Or if using breadcrumbs:

  • Melt the butter in a pan and add the minced yellow onions.
  • Cook the onions on medium low heat until translucent but not browned.
  • Remove from the pan and let it cool.
  • In the bowl put the ground meat, followed by the spices, then the breadcrumbs, milk and eggs
  • Mix them together thoroughly 
  • and follow steps 7 to 10.



TO MAKE THE GRAVY:

  • Add the butter to the pan, then add the flour and whisk until combined on medium heat.
  • Cook the flour 1-2 minutes or until it just starts to brown a bit.
  • Add in the beef stock and whisk well until combined.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and whisk together.
  • Add the meatballs back in and coat with the gravy until it is thickened, another 3-5 minutes
  • Top with parsley (optional)


Notes:

You can sub the meat to 50:50 pork:beef, or only beef

Add some ligonberry jam, steamed veggies


You can also serve it with rice, mashed potatoes or just veggies

Not getting into the circle

It’s hard. It’s goddamn hard to break into the circle, believe me I tried, it didn’t work, so I gave up and it’s the best decision ever. 

I always have this positive outlook  that after a while I will be mom-dating again, ah well..that failed. The Dutch circle is damn hard to break. If you don’t speak dutch then butt the hell out, well for my experience that is. 

But it makes me happy because I can learn a new hobby, have quiet times, and learn to love what I have and it works. I run and it feels good. I learn new things and that’s great. I don’t have to go through the stress of forcing my way in the mommy’s circle in school. 

I don’t have to prove people anything. I am just happy to get on with my life and that’s about it. It’s hard to communicate to people who assume the worse in you such as ‘she’s not trying hard enough to learn the language look’ with that il respond baby steps darling, baby steps. I cannot run before I can walk can I?. But in reality, if I say Hoi, Hallo, hoe gaat het, I just get a grunt or a look and a look away. Jesus miserable horses whatever is wrong with just responding back, can we not be merry at times? Such miserable crazy people, so I gave up.

I am one of those moms who waits quietly in one corner and say hello even without getting responses, because I don’t need responses. I am just happy to look at these moms having friends and love on my boy.

It’s sad though because if I cannot get in these circle that means no playdates for my boy but it doesn’t matter he seems thriving enough in school and that’s the main thing. 

I just don’t understand how difficult it is, but yeah one step at a time. One day I’m going to learn dutch properly and everything will be a breeze..maybe, just maybe. 

#Eva the Adventurer

Eva was written to support a very important cause and to help fund a cure for NKH (non- ketotic hyperglycinemia), it is a rare  and terminal metabolic disorder. The book was written by our good friend Elly Gedye which has a whopping 32 translations, 32!!!

By buying this book you are not only helping fund a cure but you are also making a difference. This book of all things is the most amazing book, no gender stereotyping and the child (Eva) can do whatever she imagines. It is fun for children and it is a fun read for adults too. Eva while pretending to play with her toys is imagining something out of this world. Its amazing how Elly portrayed the pretend play on the other page and coincides that page with another page with the child’s imagination. Elly is a proper genius making this book, because by making a toy the children grows out of it, but this book grows with the child and maybe we just really prefer books?. And as a friend (we met through my husband, whose Elly’s friend really, but I fell in love with her and her little family, they are awesome, right?) we are super proud of Elly, what do they say? It takes a smart person to solve a complex problem but a genius to solve a simple one. Elly and Sam are both. They are trying to solve a complex problem by fundraising and a genius for making a simple but extraordinary book.

The book also has easter eggs, such as the bus page, it says MGH that is Kai’s name (Mikaere Grant Hulance) and the numbers is his birthday. The destination of the bus is the place where the person lives (as for the dutch version that is, that is just a theory).  Anyway, some versions are not that perfect but two heads are better than one right? We spot a problem we tell her, one version is not better than the other. If the translation is not that perfect pardon me, but the English version is surely. But everything will be perfect in time 🙂

If you are interested, I hope you will and you are, the book is available in:

Amazon
I will also include the link:

http://booksforwednesdays.com/

https://www.amazon.de/gp/aw/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?k=eva+the+adventurer

And you can also follow :

http://www.teammikaere.com/

for blog updates, donations and lovely photos of Kai

we fell in love with him and you will too, that’s for sure

Happy birthday sweet pea.

October 12, 2017

Wageningen, NL


It’s been a year!


To my itty bitty darling,

I cannot believe it’s been a year already, from the moment you were born you held a valuable place in our hearts especially kuya’s. How protective is he of you,  how crazy and how much he loves you, NO words can explain it. As for me a year since you were born has been the shortest and longest year thus far. In this year I have learned how to love a human being, a tiny tiny human being with the strongest impact and depth I have yet figured out. The moment they took you out of mommy’s belly until the moment we heard your furious crying (they woke you up) it clicked to us that you were the missing piece to complete the family puzzle.

The first few months were the toughest I was completely drained from all sorts of energy from breastfeeding to running around like a headless chicken sorting out kuya’s needs, your needs and the chores. But in every bump we encountered we managed to bounce back. And there it goes it became easier from then on.


With all these new chapters and milestones it must so happened that I love you more and I am loving you differently. It’s not that you are a delicate and not because you are a girl, but you are my last baby, in every firsts  it will also be mommy’s lasts. I feel confident that as you grow our relationship and bond will flourish even more, NO matter how much challenges that gets in our way, nobody can tear us all apart, you have mommy, daddy and kuya and we got your back forever. Life will throw us a lot of challenges that’s for sure, but our love, my love will only become bigger as you develop your personality and character,  as you grow to become the person you are to be someday, I grow with you too.


As you get bigger and become more aware of your surroundings, you explore everything and notice even the smallest detail you see. I hate it when you fall down and hit your face or head on something, but then I secretly kinda love it. . . not because you’re hurt but because I know that I’ll just get to hold you and cuddle you for a long time as you calm down. You don’t always slow down much, you are always on the go.


You are such a happy girl and have a smile that lights up the room.
We often say you smile with your eyes, it’s contagious.
You’re an easy go lucky baby but at the same time you know exactly what you want.
One of the best things about you is the love you give.

From your smiles to your hugs and kisses and best of all cuddles.
I can’t get enough of you.
You, my child are also FUNNY!
You are very aware of this.
You make crazy noises and when we laugh, you keep doing them.
You love attention and once you have it, you know how to keep it.
Then you laugh right along with us.
This is the case everywhere we go.

I hope that as you grow you also maintain to light up the room like the sky filled with stars.

We love you to the moon and back. Here’s to many more.

Happy 1st Birthday

Love x

Mom, Dad and Kuya


https://youtu.be/gZ1Trwaywms

Lukie @ 4

June 14, 2017

Dorking, Surrey
4 years old!

Dear Lukie,


As I sit down to write your  birthday letter this year I am struck by something that makes me both excited and a bit sad at the same time–you are no longer a baby. How time flies, I feel like I just held you in my arms yesterday, so Diddy and sweet. 4 years later I am starting to see that you have grown fearfully and wonderfully, you are a unique person starting to reclaim your independence and develop your own personality. I am proud of you as always.

Now that you’ve grown, I see and hear you more and more each passing day- it is you that makes you my Lukie. You are super outgoing, confident, friendly, brave, strong, adventurous, hardworking and loving. I am very grateful that despite the hardships and struggles of our daily lives I get to watch you grow into you each day.

This has been a significantly big year for you, you have adapted to all the changes, challenges and adventures that we threw at you, there have been lots of them and there will be more to come my lieveling 😘. From having your baby sister in October which wasn’t easy for you but you dealt with it like a rock star, to travelling and moving about. I am super proud of you for handling everything like a pro, In every new place, situation, challenges and milestones you embraced the changes and carried on with confidence, just to remind you we will always be few steps behind you but we will always be there to catch you when you fall and to guide you in every step of the way. You were quick to make new friends and explore the surroundings around you. I am sure that these things will always be a part of your life.

In about a month and a bit we will be moving to a completely different place, different country, different people, different language- everything will be different, this then will be your new abode, 3rd house in 4 years! Everyday I feel you when you tell me how you’ll miss calling out your friends and aunties in the neighbourhood,  you spend most of everyday playing in the garden calling out Leon or granny, walking to the forests nearby, cycling and racing with your friends on your bicycles and inviting friends over for play dates (your best friend is Leon, and you two play at each others houses, mostly at Leon’s everyday).

When you aren’t playing outside, you enjoy singing, reading books, playing and building with your mega bloks. You enjoy pretend play and you will give us names, for the moment daddy is Norman Price the naughty boy from Fireman Sam, you kept calling me Elvis because I dance and sing a lot to cheer you up and you call your beautiful sister Station Officer Steele maybe because she is a teeny bit bossy.

You play football although you aren’t really a ball person but for the sake of playing you kick the ball with dad, you used to be so obsessed with them that you even take a ball with you as you nap. You love riding your bike especially now that you can do it without stabilisers,  you went for it on the slopes in the skate park with your balance bike, I cannot believe you’ve grown a lot and that you can do all these things, that’s a lot of things learned in just a year.

You even adopted mommy’s baby Elmo and sleeps with you every night, you hug him ever so tightly especially when you get scared. Elmo has become your friend and your clown protector. At this stage you still move to our bedroom just for the sake of getting cuddles at night which I like.


And, as far as protectors go, you are starting to be quite a good one yourself! You love your little sister so much and, when you aren’t trying to wrestle her or steal her toys, you are very caring toward her. You insist on being the one to go get Ash up from her nap every day. I stand outside the door when you go in to get her and I love listening to you greet her with “Good morning, Bussy!”. I hope that this bond and love you have for each other stays the same as time goes by.

Lukie, my boy, it has been a joy watching you grow and change and mature this year. I am so pleased with the boy that you are, and I can’t wait to see the man who you become some day.

Today is your birthday and that your future would be as bright and magnificent as your little 4-year old dreams. That you would continue to grow into YOU with the joy that comes with it.

Lukie, you are no longer a baby. What you are is a gift, a blessing, a privilege. You are no longer a baby, but as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be. Thank you for letting me be your mommy.

I love you most!

Mommy

P.s : Daddy and Ash loves you too, not only this much but to infinity and beyond.