Friday, September 30, 2005

This Morning

This morning, after I'd finished expressing milk for Zara's morning feed, I went upstairs, and found Zara already up, and Daddy entertaining her. I said "Good Morning Little GIRRL" and she gave me this big big smile in return . I swept her into my arms, and asked her to give me a hug, she just leaned herself forward a bit (that's her way of hugging). Then I told her to give me a kiss. Willingly, she placed her mouth on mine, and lingered for a while. I think she was trying to taste my breakfast from my lips. What other nicer way to start a day? To see my little one in good spirit, getting a hug and kiss from her. Nothing beats this, unless she surprised you with her new vocabulary. While I was getting her clothes and toileteries ready, she pulled on my pajamas pants to stand herself up. Then she pointed the flower print on my pants, and said "Puh-wer". I stopped what I was doing, and asked, "What is it?". She pointed to the flower print and said again "Puh-wer". "Yes! Yes girl, this is flower". I beamed. "Puh-wer". She repeated. Then clapped her own hands, aware of her achievement. "Clever girl!" I clapped as well. I swept her up, and gave her another hug. She was smiling and happy. After that I went into the shower with her, and gave her a quick rinse. While in the shower, she pointed to her bathtime books, "boo", and then to the wall tile "Puh-wer" (I had some of those floral tile stickers stuck on a few of the tiles). "Clever girl!" I was really happy. After that, daddy took her out of the toilet to dry and change her. While he was at it, he took the opportunity to get Zara to speak more since she was in the mood. "Diaper" Daddy pointed to the diaper "Ugh!" Zara responded "Powder" Daddy pointed to the powder "...." Zara took the puff to examine it. Fat chance daddy. Maybe there's too many '-er' words for one morning. I notice that Zara likes to surprise us with her capability. She observes when we teach her to do something; or when we speak, she looks at the movement of our mouth. She doesn't like to repeat after us, but takes her time to digest, and then surprise us one day by uttering the words we'd taught her (although pretty limited for now) or do something we'd shown her earlier.

Tempatation - Sales

Already told myself many times Zara has enough clothes (mostly from Reject Shop and FOS), and toys, and I should not buy any more things for her. Was in Bangsar Shopping Centre during lunch just now. Walked passed Mother Care, and saw some racks with 50% discount sign. Hmmm.. hands itchy.

After lunch, quickly went there to have a look. In the 15mins, ended up buying her 1) a set of pants and t-shirt 2) a t-shirt 3) a pack of socks (5 pairs)

All these for ~RM80. Too pretty and good bargain, can't resist. I have to remind myself again, no more buying compulsively.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Zara always have pretty regular bowel movement, once a day is the norm, and occasionally alternate days. I wasn’t alarmed when there was no bowel movement during the weekend, as I thought there may be too much excitement at home (with me looking after her) which caused her to forget to poo. I started worrying when she didn’t have any motion passed by the end of Monday. On Monday evening, I started helping her. I helped her by repeating “Mmm Mmmm” “Mmm Mmmm” while with her. When she’s ready, she would stand up from her sitting position, hold on to the table or me, and work on her stomach muscle to try to pass her motion. We could see her face turning red, her clutches getting stronger, and she’s really trying hard. When her facial muscle relaxed, I checked her diaper, no sign of the poo. We tried again, I massaged her tummy, told her she’s a good girl, and she would have to help herself, then the cycle repeated. She would do it for 4, 5 times, trying very hard, complaining after each time by kicking her feet in agitation and then fretted, sometimes, she even have tears in her eyes. She only managed to successfully release 3 grape size hard stools in total for the whole 5 days; each of her poo attempt more difficult and painful (based on her fretfulness and the amount of tears shed) than the earlier. Yesterday, when she was asleep, I applied some Yuyi Oil on her tummy, and tried to massage her abdomen, and I found out I could actually feel her bulging colon, all hard and stuffed. This morning, I quickly brought her to see her PD. In the waiting room, she was all excited, so many babies and kids around, it’s like she’s in happy land. When it was her turn, she was in good spirit as well, smiling at the Dr and trying to play with the toys on his desk. After asking a few questions like has her diet changed (which is Yes, since she turned 10mth old, she started having porridge instead of pureed fruits and vegetables for dinner, so she’s short of 1 fruit/vege serving per day now), any blood in the stool, the Dr asked me to lay her down to have her examined. Zara was cooperative, laid down quietly, looking at the Dr. The Dr could also feel the bulging colon when he pressed on her abdomen. He then proceeded to probe a finger into Zara. This was when Zara started getting upset. She looked at me, asking for help, tears welling in her eyes. I had to just hold her hands and told her she’s a good girl, and the Dr will be finished in a while. It was found that there’s already very hard stool very close to the anus, so an enema has to be administered. Zara didn’t like it at all, when the Dr stuffed the tablet into her, she started crying. Poor girl, mummy can only hug and kiss and sayang her after Dr was done. He also prescribed some laxative. When we were back out in the waiting room, the enema started working. Zara’s face turned red, trying force the stool out, she whined and cried all the time. Then I could smell something rotten and knew she succeeded. We took her to the changing room to change her diaper, found lumps of hard stools on the soiled diaper. This can’t be 5 days waste, there must be more inside. Ugh! Anyway, this is the end of this episode. From now onwards, we’ll have to make sure she has enough greens and fruits in her diet. I can’t bear to see her kook-si/kek-sai (what’s the equivalent word in English? Just ‘shit’?) like this. Next few days, there’s still the laxative to feed her, it won’t be fun! L Since we were at the PD, her weight and height was taken. She’s actually 73.5cm tall, and weighs 7.44Kg. Light for her height and age (almost below lowest percentile curves). Another thing I need to look into.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Bed Time Routine

Here’s a typical bed time routine Zara has: 9:00pm – wiped her hands and her feet, changed her into pajamas, some struggling on her side, not wanting to have the pajamas top and diaper on. 9:05pm – nursed her in bed 9:25pm – finished nursing she sat up, not wanting to sleep and pointed a stack of books, said "boo! boo!" Read the book Miss Spider’s Tea Party to her, put the book aside once done 9:28pm – she took the book, and sat back on my lap (indicating she wants more). Read the book Miss Spider’s Tea Party to her again, put the book aside once done 9:30pm – she took the book, and sat back on my lap again. Read the book Miss Spider’s Tea Party to her yet again (this time just read the text, no explanation done), she rubbed her eyes midway 9:32pm – laid her down in bed Daddy walked in. She sat up again; “Aah!” greeting daddy. I asked him to tuck her to sleep, while I have my shower. 9:35pm – From the shower, I could hear Zara whining outside, the whining became more and more audible. Toilet door opened, heard Daddy said, “See, mummy is still around, mummy is taking shower.” He slid open the shower screen, Zara’s little head peeked in. “Hello, Little girl, what is it now?” I asked, water running down my face. She gave me a big smile. “Go, go and sleep” I told her. Daddy carried her out, and I could hear her whining again. 9:45pm – Finished shower. Daddy and her sitting on the bed, reading Miss Spider’s Tea Party (!!!) “I just read that to her like 3 times!” I said “Oh, I didn’t know” Daddy said. Obviously, he must have just picked up the first available book on the bed to read to her. Little girl looked at me grinning, 4 teeth showing. 9:50pm – I finished changing. Took over daddy’s shift, laid in bed with Zara, gave her a breast pad and said “go to sleep now.” One hand holding the breast pad, thumb in the mouth, she tried to sleep. I stroke her head and sang some lullaby to her. 9:55pm – She fell asleep. 10:00pm – moved her to her cot, gave her a peck on the cheek, said “good night, mummy loves you”. She opened her eyes groggily for a second, and then drifted off to slumber land. Question: Why is it so difficult for daddies to tuck their kids to sleep? Or is it just Zara’s daddy?

Monday, September 26, 2005

At the hairdresser

Zara has never shaven her hair before, so her hair is the original hair grown since she was conceived (if embroy did have hair), which means, she has very little hair. We'd taken her for a hair cut when she was 1month +, just before Chinese New Year, as her hair was growing a bit long around the nape of her neck, making carrying her a bit difficult (back then she still couldn't support her head, so carrying her means puting a hand around her neck, supporting her head and back at the same time). Yesterday, since I had to go for a haircut anyway, and Zara's hair is growing like some wild bush, we thought we should trim hers as well. Being an active child like she is, I thought we're going to have a tough time sitting her down while the hair dresser gave her a trim. Surprise, Surprise. She sat still, only turned her head a few times to smile at me, or look up to smile at the hair dresser. She had her trim within minutes, and whatever little hair she has looks tidier now. I do hope that the trim will make her hair grows longer or thicker. The hope costs us RM5, not too bad.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Climbing Up and Down the bed

My friend told me if I'm worried that Zara may fall from bed, I might as well teach her how to get down, so she won't fall any more. I took the advice and for the last 1 week plus, have been teaching Zara how to get down from the bed and sofa. I had always warned her to 'stop' when she reached the edge of the bed, so that part was easy. I then have to tell her to turn her body when she's reached almost the edge, and guided her body at the same time. Then I told her to go down 'bum bum first', held her bottom, and guided it, until her feet reached the ground. A training session will go something like this : Put her on the bed "Zara come down, come to mummy" She'll start crawling towards me. When she's about to reach the edge, "Stop! Be careful" She'll stop "Now turn your body" guide her body to turn "Good girl, now bum bum first" guide her buttocks and legs "Now slowly slide down, be careful" When her feet reached the floor, I clapped and cheered for her "Clever girl! Hip Hip Hooray!" A lot of guidance and few close accidents later, she surprised us by perfecting this over the weekend. Here is a video of her doing this. As for climbing up the bed, I never taught her, but fueled by her own interest, she did it anyway.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Mummy's birthday

Mummy's birthday yesterday. Ah Kong, Ah Kim, Samantha che-che, Alicia che-che, Teresa Yi-Yi, Uncle Misai Tan, Daddy, Kakak and I; We all had dinner with her. Funny dinner these big people had. Ate in restaurant, but had to cook their own food I can see them throwing balls, cubes, vege, green strings into this big pot of boiling water. Then they sat back and waited. When a lot of smoke came out from the pot, they used this spoon with net to take out the food, and dipped them into a bowl of something red before putting in their mouth. I don't know what those balls, green strings or the red thing in the bowl were . Because mummy only gave me my porridge And sometimes she scooped out some cubes of bean curd for me. My food must be better, because every time mummy put a spoon of porridge in my mouth, she said "Yum Yum" She let me play with the spoon with net for a while. Before I could drop it on the floor to see how far the spoon will bounce or what noise it could make Daddy quickly took away from me and said, "Don't let her play with that". Since I had nothing to play with, I stood up on my chair to see what I can do standing up. Daddy's mouth gasped, mummy shouted "No No! Sit down! Sit down!" Aw, these adults are such party poopers. They can stand up to play with the big pot of boiling water, but I can't stand up! So I decided to scream and shout, and tried to squeeze some tears out from my tear glands. It must have been a good performance, because people at other tables looked at me in awe And threw glances at our table And to reward me, kakak took me outside the restaurant for a walk After that Teresa Yi Yi took me And then Daddy's turn. Mummy said "You 'yai yai' ah!". Did she like my performance or not? My doubts were clear, as mummy later hugged and kissed me and said she loves me. Happy Birthday Mummy. Next year when I can walk around, I will perform even better. PS. By the way, Daddy didn't wish mummy Happy Birthday, I heard him whispered to mummy some blood very expensive after he saw the bill. I wonder if they had blood just now.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rusty The Cat

Zara loves our cat, Rusty. In fact, 2nd comprehencible word she spoke was Aao, which is the sound that Rusty makes. Cat is Aao (we actually found that she also calls a dog Aao, I think to her, anything furry is an "Aao"). As she's still a baby, she doesn't quite know how to stroke a cat. When she's stroking Rusty, she gets very 'geram' and will actually press on Rusty too hard, or she'll pull some of his hair out in her excitement. Rusty is a very timid and shy cat. Even after being with us for 2 years, he's still very shy with daddy, and only let Tuyam and myself handle him. Because of the way Zara handles him, Rusty is very fearful of Zara Every time the little girl goes near him and goes "Aao!" "Aao!" calling him, he'll try to run into hiding. This is one of the rare moments where I got Rusty to stay put so that Zara can pat him, and I try to teach her to be as gentle as possible. Rusty too have to learn how to accept Zara as one of the family members.

10 month old

Zara has turned 10mth old yesterday. Her month by month development summarised : Her weight should be somewhere high 7kg (haven't been to the PD this month). She's 72.5cm tall Still with only 4 teeth Mobility: Sitting - new in this area is that she's able to rotate herself while seated (doing a pirouette sitting) Crawling - all her crawling starting from this last month was with tummy off the floor. She enjoys the speed she gains by crawling this way Cruising - Expert cruiser now, she use one hand to support herself, and cruises around confidently, at times running around furniture. She's able to pull herself up from sitting position (can do it with just 1 hand) and sits back down with confidence. Walking - Started taking her fist step. The distant she travels from point to point unsupported is getting further Climbing - Started climbing up stairs and furniture (if her feet can reach the height, she tries it). Language : Understanding - getting better in understanding. Able to tell her not to do something dangerous by saying "after pain pain". Can understand long phrases and cause and effect, "if you want milk milk, come to mummy"; "you sit down first, then mummy give you biscuit"; "be careful, after you fall down then pain pain" Reading and listening to songs are still her favourite. Speaking - started saying words which are comprehensible. See this for her vocabulary. Singing - sometimes, like a soprano, she'll be holding her hands, concentrates, and coos for a long minute or two. I think this is her way of singing. Hands coordination : Able to put small things into bigger things. Started giving flying kiss, still trying to perfect the 'blowing' of the kiss. Knows how to give things to others when asked to. Started showing interest in self feeding, still needs a lot of guidance / practice with handling the spoon Feeding : She's still on 2 solid meals (increased to 4, 5 spoons), and started having porridge as one of the meal. 5 feeds of breast milk, and snacks on a few piecess of biscuits a day. Preferences : Able to display her preferences better. She loves mummy most (that's what I think). At reading time, she's able to choose a book from a pile, normally picking out her favourite book (which changes frequently). Emotions : Shakes her head to say "NO" (when given too much food, or when asked to give a kiss but she doesn't want to). Very good in 'scolding' people if she's unhappy, say "AIK" loud and then stare at the person (if her favourite toy is being pried from her hand). Lately, started having this fake laugh, use it whenever she's trying to give the impression that she's enjoying someone's company. Gives kisses to her favourite people right on the lips. She's still a happy and healthy baby.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Zara's Lantern

Moon cake festival came and went. I'm quite impressed with some of the celebration some mums had for their little ones. Baby Faythe had a good time as mummy really took the effort to prepare see here Baby Ethylyn had a nice lantern to play with and went for lantern parade see here What did Zara's mummy do? **shame** We don't normally celebrate such 大日子 (festival) unless it's instigated by my eldest sis. This year, since bro & sis-in-law were holidaying in Portugal, and youngest sis was busy with her cafe, eldest sis didn't organise anything special. However, since this is Zara's first year, we thought we'll just get her a lantern, and see if we could bring her some place with lantern show. Alas, as usual, daddy dilly dally till quite late before we left the house to do lantern shopping. We only have 30mins to shop until our dinner appointment. We searched for it around Sunway, and managed to find this Chinese medicine shop selling battery operated ones. Zara was sleeping in the car, so we didn't get her to choose it. After getting the shop owner to show us the few left (it was Saturday, 1 day to the big day, and there was only ~10 left), and 'demo-ed' 2 of the short listed ones to see what things the lantern could do (the simple ones are no longer available). One is lantern shaped, with about 5 birds popping out of the lantern, another is a Chinese lion, which turned its head, and walked a few steps when it's turned on. The lantern shape one is nicer, but very heavy, Zara will not be able to lift it with her small hands. So we chose the latter. When we were at the restaurant, we took the lantern out for Zara. She was ok with it, gave us a smile and wanted to touch it. Then we turned it on. 黄飞鸿 (Wong Fei Hoong) music started playing, the lion's eyes flashing red, and its head wobbled left and right. Zara's started showing some fear, she backed away a bit. When the head wobbling stopped and the lion started walking towards her, she cried! Big tears rolling down. I tried to console and comfort her, and told her there's nothing to be afraid off, took her hand to touch it. She pulled back her hand, stared at the frightful creature, and more tears rolled down. We have to put the lion away. **shame** What about lantern viewing? It was already time for Zara to go to bed when we finished dinner (~10pm), too late to bring Zara to 天后宫(Tien Hou Temple) to see the lantern show (we assumed there was one there). So, we went back home. **another shame** As for the lion, after letting Zara see the funnier side of the lion, like the pom poms on its tail and whiskers, and the funny gait the lion has when it's walking, she's no longer afraid of it. Still careful when we turned it on, but not afraid any more. Next year, when Zara can walk and carry her own lantern, we'll try to be more prepared, and have a better celebration with her. I promise no more shame!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Different stroke for different folks

We had dinner tonight with some friends at a Thai Restaurant with Zara. Zara had her home cooked porridge, while we indulged in the chili laden fare. When dessert was served (water chestnut in coconut milk), one of our friends was carrying Zara on his lap. Our friend just spooned some ice cold coconut milk into Zara's mouth, and Daddy cautioned his friend, "she can't take any of THAT!". Our friend, looking innocently, asked, "What's wrong with this?". Daddy proceeded in telling his friend that Zara is still young, and should not be given unboiled coconut milk (not to mentioned the sugar content in the coconut milk). His friend said we are just too careful, and declared that his girl friend's nephew is already having Secret Recipe Cheesecake, and he's one month younger than Zara. Cheesecake at 9months old? The sugar content in the cake, the possibility of uncooked egg in the cake, what about additive and colouring? Nah, I won't think of giving such thing to Zara at this age. Of course I didn't say this out loud, but just said "We have to be careful of what she eats, just in case she may be allergic to certain food and may get tummy upset". His friend proceeded to tell us that the boy ate 1/2 a slice of the cheesecake and he is ok. I could only add to say that different people have different parenting style, and for us, this is not ok. It's true, different people have their own way of caring for their child, and they have their own Dos and Don'ts in terms of what the child can eat and cannot. For us, in terms of caring for Zara, we follow our child care books, Baby Centre etc etc, which is more of a Western approach. It may not be the best way, but this is the way we know how to care for her, and the method is not baseless.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

What is this for?

Tried replacing Zara's thumb with the pacifier today when she was half asleep and sucking on her thumb. She sucked on in for 30seconds, then found that something was not right, so she spit it out, and put her thumb back into her mouth. I tried one more time, she opened her eyes, took the pacifier out of her mouth with her hand and started examining the object. Her curiousity outweighed her sleepiness. She sat up, and had a closer look at the pacifier. She knocked it on the table to see what sound it could make, shook it to see if it rattled, then put the handle into the mouth to taste it. I tried to put the teat into her mouth, but she immediately pulled it out, and made further detail inspection of it. Daddy came by and started giving her some 'education' on what the object is for, but she just didn't seem to get it. When he put the teat in her mouth, she took it out, and smiled, or she just chewed on it for a few seconds and spit it out. We tried a few more times later, but she still wouldn't suck on it. I'm not so sure if we could ever replace the thumb with the pacifier. She must have forgotten in the earlier days, when she was a few weeks old, before she could stick her thumb into her mouth, this was something that we gave her to sooth her. Now to her, this is just a toy.

Friday, September 16, 2005

An Addict's Wound

A drug addict does not mind inflicting wounds to himself so that he can have his fix. My little girl does not mind the wounds she inflicted herself so that she can have her thumbsucking fix. I was appalled to see that she had been sucking and biting her thumb so hard that there's actually 2 cuts on the outside of her thumb, and the worse thing is she's oblivious to this. She's a thumbsucker, and her thumb provides her with comfort every time she's sleepy, bored, hungry, upset so it's not going to be an easy habbit to change. I'll see if I can change her to a pacifier, and offer her the breast every time she needs to comfort herself. Hopefully, the wounds will heal soon. :-(

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Sippy Cup

I bought Zara a B Free trainer cup when she was 5 months old. She never fancied the cup. She only took small little sips, or sometimes just merely touched the spout, not taking in any water. She likes being fed water using a spoon instead. Recently, we have shelved the B Free cup to make way for my Sigg Bottle . She seems to like sipping from the sports bottle top, and she drinks a lot more water now with this bottle. The girl has taste, she only wants Swiss made bottles. :-)

Hello Daddy, Where Are You?

Daddy is on a business trip and away for almost the whole week. This morning, while I was having breakfast, Zara reached for my mobile phone and started playing with it. I asked her "Why is Zara holding mummy's phone? Daddy calling is it?". She just smiled. I tooked the phone back and pretended to speak to its mouth piece "Hello, yes, she's here". I passed the phone back to Zara, and told her it's her call, daddy is on the line. She took it and put it near her ears, and started babbling. Aah, Pa, Ta. When she put the phone back down, I reminded her it's daddy, she should say hello to him. She took it back up, placed it near her ear, and started babbling again. This went on for a while. Well, if it's a real phone call, and she can actually hear the speaker on the phone, she'll normally push the phone back to me, and smiled sheepishly. I wonder why.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Breastfeeding Journey

Before Zara was born, I was set to breastfeed her as long as I could. She is coming to 10months old next week, and I'm glad my commitment has not deterred despite the problems I faced from different sources.

I have very good support from the hospital I delivered Zara. The mid wife helped me to latched her on immediately after she was born (right after the mucus has been sucked out from her mouth and nose). Zara was hungrily sucking away. I have to say it was pure bliss, after the hard labour, holding her in my arms, and seeing her suckling.

The first 2 days was tough. After 10hours of labour, all I wanted was to rest, but the little fella had another agenda. She was hungry most of the time, if she's not sleeping, she would be crying and the nurse would bring her to me to be fed. Being a first time mum, not knowing how to position her or handle her, added to the difficulty. Normally the nurse would helped me position, and I would then hold Zara in that same position, not daring to move, afraid she might be uncomfortable or unlatch and then I wouldn't know how to position her back. She would be nursing at 2am, 4am, 6am, 8am, imagine. I was at the brink of giving up, to ask for formula supplement, but I reminded myself about the importance of nursing in the first few moments (to ensure my milk supply is established), the nipple confusion, all the benefit of breast feeding (endless..), and I persisted.

When we were discharged, I was faced with another challenge, the confinement lady we have. Oh, she was so discouraging. First, she asked us to move the cot back to our room (from hers) if I wanted to breastfeed. "It's for your good, you have quicker access to the baby if she needed a feed." she said. Yeah right, it's more for her (to sleep uninterrupted by the cries) than me.

I have very little milk and Zara was hungry and crying all the time. Instead of boiling me soup or advising me what to take to increase milk supply, she summoned Daddy to get a tin of formula to supplement my feed (we did sneak out to get a tin of formula JUST IN CASE). We told her no, no supplement, I wanted to breast feed exclusively. The confinement lady was wailing all the time when Zara was crying for her feed and couldn't get enough. "Oh, poor girl girl, mummy naughty, mummy no milk, my girl girl have to get hungry". "Oh poor girl girl, mummy don't want to give you supplement" Oh, how I wish I could give her a slap and asked her to shut up! How can she be so discouraging and so 三八 (sampat - closes I could translate to is cuckoo)??!!

Because of all the other nuisance she's causing (well, that would be another story), we fired our confinement lady the 2nd day. I continued to breast feed Zara, even though it was still tough (fatigue, sore nipple), and she was still crying most of the time because of hunger, at least I fed her in peace now.

We got the hospital to send us a nurse to teach me how to care for Zara, as well as provide support for breast feeding. This was great. Nurse Chee was very supportive. She told me not to give up even though it's very tiring, and it can only get better. She taught me how to feed Zara lying down, that will give me time to rest or nap while Zara nursed.

My milk supply was established after a few days and Zara was starting to have a routine, feeding every 3hourly. Daddy too helped out by doing the midnight feeds using expressed milk so I got to rest 6hours in a stretch. I was beginning to be more confident about breastfeeding.

Zara stopped waking up middle of the night for feeds when she was 6 weeks old. Daddy still helped me with the early morning feed, allowing me even longer rest time. Things really got better (and another advantage is I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight after 2months).

After 3 months of staying home to care for her, my next problem cropped up. Zara was refusing the bottle, and I had to go back to work. People were offering advice to ask me to switch to formula; she might not take the bottle of breast milk, but she may take formula milk; 3 months of breast feeding is more than enough, I should start formula now; blah blah. Well, I'd gone this far, I won't quit now.

While at work, I continued to express milk. Zara cried, and screamed every time the bottle appeared, we tried spoon feeding her, cup feeding her but she only took a few sips, then repeated her crying bout. She took very little milk while I was at work. When I got back home, she, like an addict, would latch on, and spent an hour or more on the breast, practically sucking me dry.

Then the crying lessened and the drinking (from bottle) increased, eventually, she has this same excited look every time she's hungry and saw the bottle coming. After 1 month, she finally accepted the bottle as another source of nourishment. We crossed another hurdle.

She has a taste of formula when I was away for business trip, and I didn't have enough stocked up for her 1 week feed. I was so worried she'll refuse my milk when I returned. Well, when she saw me, the first thing she wanted to was to have her fix and she took her own sweet time enjoying the breast.

KL is not a very friendly place for nursing mums. Only a few shopping malls have facilities. I try not to go to those places without when I have Zara with me. I am not shy to feed her in the presence of my family, or my female in-laws. Sometimes in public, I have to do it as well, although I try to be as discreet as possible (well, if you asked me why I don't wear nursing clothes, you should come and have a look at what KL has to offer, all the clothes are just so 'aunty' looking). I feel proud, being able to be the source of nourishment to my baby.

I am glad the office has nursing rooms for mums and I have a very supportive manager who will not send me on business trips longer than 1 week (as I'd told him I'll have 'stock' issue). Daddy is also all out to support me.

I feel very contented every time Zara is in my arms nursing, I like stroking her soft hair, kissing her small hands. I like the feel of her head resting on the nook of my elbow. Sometimes she rewards me with a satisfied pouting of her lips or, when she knew how to, a smile after a feed. All these, and a healthy her, makes me want to continue nursing her.

Some people were shocked that at this age, she's still not on any formula milk, and commented good heartedly that I should start switching to make my life easier, but I always tell them breast is best.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Zara's vocabulary

After speaking her first comprehensible word on our way to Penang 2 weeks back, Zara added a few more words to her vocabulary. Aao is for Cat Bo Bo is for Ball Boo is for Book Ka is for Kakak Tuyam Ta is for Aunty Litha (my bro's maid) Up is for Up She says Papa, Ata, Tati quite often but I can't figure out what they mean. Tried to get her to call me Mama, but she just won't say Mama. Maybe she's confused why I am asking her to call me Mama when that's what we ask her to call my mum-in-law (intonation is different, and it stands for paternal grandma in Cantonese) as well. Sometimes, she looks intently at our face when we speak to her, and she moves her mouth, as though trying to mimic us, however, no words came out. She doesn't like us to correct her pronunciation. When she says Aao, and daddy replies, "no not Aao, CAT", she will look away and not say a word any more. I told Daddy we shouldn't correct her pronunciation now, but just encourage her by showing we understand what she says. Our reply should be "yes, Cat, Rusty the Cat" (Rusty is the name of our cat) when she says "Aao". This makes her happier, and more willing to try to speak (even if it's not comprehensible yet).

Sunday, September 11, 2005


There's a funfair/fairground going on in Shah Alam stadium. We missed it last week, so we thought we will bring Zara there in the evening. The place was packed, from a far, the lights on the gigantic rides flashing. If Zara wasn't fascinated with the lights (she was looking at them even from the car) I would have asked Daddy to bring us home. We were charged RM2 per person to enter the funfair. It was one of those funfair, where they put up a few thrill rides (brightly lit up) and lots of (con)games booth with cheap prizes (mainly dusty soft toys). It drew quite a big crowd though, even with the deafening techno music blasting away. One of those places we wouldn't have gone, if it wasn't for Zara. Zara was basically attracted by the lights, the children, and the soft toys hanging from those game booth. We pointed out the soft toys to her, the tall Farrell's Wheel, the bumper car ride. Then we brought her to the children section where they have spin around cars, and carousel. The carousel ride was drawing a lot of children (and parents). We were one of them. I paid RM4, and took Zara with me on one of the horse. When the music started, our horse went up & down and around. She was quite indifferent riding on the horse, neither showing any fear, nor excitement. Right after the ride, with nothing more interesting to see, we left the fair. She was so tired she fell asleep in the sling while we were walking back to the car. That explained why she didn't feel too excited when we were on the carousel, she must have been too sleepy to enjoy it.

Games Playing on the bed

Zara gets real happy when she wakes up and finds one of us in bed with her. If it was me, she would try to climb up to my body, lay her head on my chest. It's a bit like giving me a morning hug. When she's feeling more affectionate, she will give me a kiss, on my lips (I don't get that 'lucky' all the time). It's Sunday morning, where we have more time to laze in bed. We played this game : she turned her head towards me, and I said "hello", she turned her head away, and I said "bye bye". Here she was trying to turn her head very quick to see if I could catch up with her with my Hellos and Bye Byes.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Her first step

Zara took her first step today, at 9months 3 weeks old! She was cruising using our bed frame as support, and I was just sitting on the floor talking to her. She then turned and stood with her back supported by the bed frame looking at me. I extended my arms ready to catch her if she fell. I told her to be careful. The next thing I know, she took 3, 4 quick steps forward, and landed in my arms. I was shocked, and after a second, I realised what she'd done and shouted HOORAY! She had this big smile on her face, and then she started clapping her hands. I guess she knew too that she'd achieved some thing big. I couldn't believe it, so I placed her back on the same spot, with her back rested on the bed frame; I extended my arms, and I said, "Zara, come to mummy". Again, another 3, 4 quick steps forward, and she's back in my arms. I was so happy, and carried her high up, shouting "Hip Hip Hooray!". Zara giggling, and clapping her hands. Daddy heard all the commotion and stuck his head into the room and asked what happened. I got Zara to show us her moves again. And then Tuyam wanted to see it as well. Zara walked again. She was eager to show off her new skill (and so is mummy). We were all very happy to see this achievement, but think it'll be some time more before she could walk about confidently but I may be wrong.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Back to old routine

This whole week Zara has started going back to Jenny Ah Kim's house. So she's back to her old routine, below is the time she spent with me around : 5:30- 6:30am : She stands on her cot and shouts for me (and it goes louder if I tried to ignore it). I will bring her to our bed, place her in between us, nurse her, and we both go back to sleep (daddy seldom wakes up with all these shuffling or shouting). 7:30- 8:00am : Wakes up by the noise we make to prepare ourselves to work. I will be expressing milk while she sits on her high chair to play with things on the dining table. 8:00- 8:30am : Takes her shower either with me or daddy, and either one of us (the one who didn't shower her) will change her 8:45- 9:00am : She leaves the house together with me and Tuyam. On the journey, she'll go back to sleep, or she'll play with some toys or just entertains herself. 9:15- 9:30am : Arrives at Jenny's place. I hug her and give her a kiss, and go to work. (time she spends in Jenny's place under the care of Tuyam) 7:00- 7:30pm : I arrive at Jenny's place. Pick her up, and ask her about her day (she'll just smile and sometimes gives me a hug). 7:3o - 8:30pm : I will have my dinner while either Litha (my bro's maid) or Tuyam looks after her. After dinner, I'll play with her a bit. 8:30 - 9:00pm : Leaves for home. Most of the time, she would have doze of on the 30mins journey 9:00 - 10:00pm : Daddy will come to carry her out from the car when we arrive. While daddy has his packed dinner, I will play with her or read a book to her. Then daddy will help me give her a wipe, change her to pajamas. Sometimes if she's still very energetic, we'll spend more time playing in the room, but most of the time, she would be asking for her last feed. I will nurse her (while daddy goes back down to do whatever he needs to do), and quite often, she'll doze off after her feed. Sometimes, she may still want to play, but I'll turn off all the lights, and lie in bed with her. She will toss and turn, and do all kinds of acrobatic movements on the bed, but I'll just ignore her. Most of the time I'll doze off before she does. Once she's asleep, and I wake up from my 'nap', I'll put her in her cot, tuck her in, and then the rest of the time will be mine.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sleeping & Crying

Just some photos of Zara sleeping and crying (from her younger days till now).. Luckily, she sleeps more than she cries.
She just loves sleeping, and can sleep just about any where.

Here is she, crying when she was just born, her 1st time in the pool.. Nowadays, she cries if she feels pain (from a fall), or if she wants mummy, or sometimes, it's just to get a cuddle.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Happy to see kakak

It's finally time for Tuyam to come back from Indonesia after her 1month holidays. We went to KLIA to pick her up. Zara was feeling a bit bored and dopey after a nap on the 40mins journey. When Tuyam got into the car and said hello to Zara, her face lit up. She started getting excited, kicking her legs, waving her arms, and lifting her head to try to get more glimpses of her kakak pass me (I was seated between the two of them). Then she started making happy noises, occasionally, squealed with laughter while she kept looking at her kakak. When we stopped to have lunch, and Tuyam went to pick Zara up, she happily reached out her hands for her kakak. I was worried originally that she may need some time getting used to Tuyam when Tuyam comes back. Looks like she still remembers her kakak and they just hit off right away. Phew!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Toy New Skill

Last week I bought her Tiny Love's Musical Stack & Play™. Initially, I played with her by puting the rings on our head and doing a jig (I did, she just watched), telling her, "look at mummy's funny hat", and then tell her she has one too. She would reach for it, and then take the ring down. Today, I try to teach her to drop the ball into the Elephant Head (a funnel attached to the top opening of the cone). After a few try, with me demonstrating to her, and guiding her hand with the ball, she managed to drop it. She smiled when she heard the cheearing and music the cone made when the ball touched its base. She did that a few more times successfully. I thought I would remove the Elephant Head, and try to get her to drop it directly to the top opening of the cone. I just told her "Take the ball and put it in (pointing to the opening)", and she did it without having to demonstrate to her. She was very happy, and continued to do a few more times. A few times, she actually looked very serious trying to get it right. When she managed to drop it, besides hearing the cheering and the music from the cone, I too cheered and clapped for her. Making her more eager to repeat. This is a new skill she'd learnt, dropping things through a small opening. While doing this, she also started being able to 'give' me things. I used to have to pry open her hand to take some thing from her or have a tug of war with her. When I demonstrated to her how to drop the ball, I asked her to 'give mummy the ball', pointing to the ball she's holding. After a few rounds, she actually placed the ball in my hands. I must say this toy is worth the investment, and we haven't even started on the stacking rings yet.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Stairs Climbing

Went for lunch at the Tais with Jenny (my sis in law). The last time we were here, Zara just recovered from her fever, and she was clinging to me all the time like a koala. This time, she was eager to explore. While we were chatting in the big hall, Zara climbed up the winding marble stair case. One step at a time, she went. I have to follow her closely, just in case she slipped. She's very good at going up, but didn't know how to come down. She leaned herself over the edge of the step, peeping down, trying to figure out how to get down. I have to help her but she started going up again once I placed her back down on the floor. This is the first time she's climbing stairs, and I guess if given the opportunity, she will want to practice this skill over and over again.