"Hopeless mummy, I think I better hang on to the side of the pool. At least it won't try to drown me"
Monday, October 31, 2005
Zara loves the water, be it in her bath, in a shower, or just playing with the running tap. She loves a dip in the pool too. On Sunday, since it wasn't raining in the evening, we brought Zara swimming in my sister's apartment. I wanted to teach Zara how to float, a bit too eager, I say. At one point, I actually took out her float, let go off my hand, and see if she could float, but she just sank, and then when I took her out of the water, she was coughing out water. Daddy, who was taking photos was giving me the killer look "Why did you EVEN do THAT?" I felt so bad afterwards, kept apologising to Zara. Zara was very brave, didn't' even cry, not a tear, just coughed and coughed, and then wanted to get back into the water. *bad mummy* *Her float is a gift from a friend from Beijing. I think it's a very useful float, leaving the kid's hands free to paddle. Can't find it here though. Zara warming up Mummy trying to teach her to lie on the water, and float. But, Zara seemed to be interested in something that's up in the sky. After dipping her in the pool without float and my hands holding on to her, she was still eager to continue. Let's see if I can try to teach her breast stroke. "Mummy, don't let go off your hand"
Friday, October 28, 2005
My half day leave was worthwhile, managed to have some fun with Zara at the mall and at home (King's Wife's home to be specific). Samantha Che-che brought Zara for a walk Samantha Che-che & Zara taking a submarine kiddy ride (Zara's first kiddy ride) Trying to go up a slide (in Anaku). Feeding the baby doll milk with Samantha che-che's guidance
After my health screening yesterday, I took the rest of the day off and went window shopping at The Curve with King's Wife and her girls. After visiting a few baby shops on the 1st floor, I wanted to change Zara's diaper, so I looked around for a baby changing room. Guess what? The disabled toilet is also the baby changing room! I was a bit hesitant to use it, because of all the hoo-hahs recently on the use of disable toilet (see this and this and this). But this is a changing room AND a disabled toilet right? So I'm entitled to use it because IT'S A CHANGING ROOM and I have a baby who needs changing, right? Anyway, I gingerly went in with Zara. But.. wait a minute. Where's the changing table? *look left, look right* There is only a toilet bowl and a sink!! That's all!! Where am I supposed to place the baby? On the toilet bowl or the sink? Or the floor? Since it's squeaky clean and dry. We met the cleaner who happened to be
dozing off nearby. I asked her if there's another changing room with changing table.
Her reply, "Semua pun sama, macam itu" (They are all the same, like that).
I asked again how on earth are we supposed to change the baby if there's no table?
Her reply, "Mana saya tahu?" (How would I know).
Then she added, "Ikea sana la, sana ada tempat." (Go to Ikea, they have it there).
Walk to Ikano (the adjacent mall to The Curve)?? That's quite a distant to walk, especially having to carry a tired baby, push a pram which was loaded with shopping bags.
I ended up giving Zara a change in her pram in the ladies.
Now I wonder what cow sense did the management have for giving you a changing room without changing table, and is it right to have the changing room the same as the disabled toilet?
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I went for a health screening today in SJMC (egghead's post 'inspired' me to quickly went to make an appointment), the company is paying for it (entitled yearly), but I added cancer marker test, and had to fork out RM200+ extra to do it . When I was doing my pepsmear test, the gyny, looking at my age, asked me how many kids I have. Me : "One" Gyny : "How old is your child?" Me : "11 months" Gyny : "Not going for 2nd one?" Me : "Want to, trying" (have to join in the current trend, so many mummies who have babies born in the year of monkey are pregnant) Gyny : "Good, because for your age, you should not wait too long." Me : "I'm still breast feeding, is it ok to try?" Gyny : "11 month old?? So long, better stop already! (aren't medical practitioners supposed to promote breast feeding?). Moreover, if you want to try, you have to, because you may not have eggs released if you are breast feeding." Me : "But WHO advises mothers to breast feed their child till 2yrs old" Gyny : "This is for children in Africa or Cambodia, who are under nourish." yada yada yada.. Hmm.. I'll have to do more research on the fertility and breastfeeding don't mix part. Going to check with my own gyny in Sunway Medical.
Wanted include this photo to the post on co-sleeping, but some how blogspot wasn't allowing it. So here is one pic I wanted to share. This is one way that we co-sleep. Not very comfortable (for my bladder), but I don't mind, anyway, it happens rarely (we mostly sleep like normal people do).
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
I could never relate to parents who co-sleep with their child, and when I learnt that some are still doing that even when the child is primary school going, I hissed under my breath. Before Zara was born, we were doing rooms allocation and decoration plan for our new house, and I have big plans. We will have a separate room for Zara, she will learn how to be independent from day one. When people asked me where Zara was going to sleep when she's born, I said smugly, "In the study room attached to our master bed room." (this was in the old house). For her cot, I purposely looked for a big one which will be able to cater a child up till 3, 4 years of age. I have never planned for what was coming. As it was nearer to my EDD, I told Daddy the study room would be a bit too stuffy, since there's only a small fan, and no aircon, I suggested that the cot be placed in the master bed room. Then Zara was born, such a fragile and dependent little baby. I was always worried about SID (Sudden Infant Death). In her first month, I consciously woke up several times in the night just to check if she was still breathing (we didn't have a confinement lady as stated here). I started bringing her to bed for night feeds, we just laid side by side, she nursed and I could just lie down and watch her (less taxing on my back), or touch her. Several times, I drifting off to sleep half way, and didn't put Zara back into her cot after her feed. Some how, with her sleeping close to me made me rest better (for one, I didn't have to walk to her cot to check). Then it started to become a norm, if she woke up for her night feed, she would sleep with us till the next morning. Zara slept through starting from her 6th week. She would take her last feed at 11pm, then slept for 6 to 7 hours. This mean she would come to our bed, and have her milk at 5 or 6am and stayed till we woke up. Somehow, she started waking up middle of the night again. Sometimes due to night mare, sometimes I think just so she could come to sleep with us. She would wake up at 4am, cried, and when we brought her to our bed, she would snuggle close to us, and went back to sleep (sometimes she would only go back to sleep if I nurse her). Then 4am became 3am, and 3am became 2am. Lately, at around 1am, she will be awake, stands in her cot, and starts shouting for me. She will stop only if she was brought to our bed. In bed, to feel her head resting close to my arm or just being able to reach out and touch her, made me feel peaceful. Sometimes, she would have her arm thrown across ours, in the mornings, Daddy and I would
competecompare notes on whom she clung on most during the night.
When Daddy is out of town, I would normally sleep with her. I found emotionally I am more peaceful with her next to me. I could always go to sleep with a smile, and wake up with a smile. And for Zara, I noticed that if she slept with me the whole night, she would rarely wake up in the middle of the night fussing, she would sleep through 10 solid hours.
I started finding excuses to get her to sleep with us.
"She seems to be having a slight cough, maybe she should come and sleep with us tonight so I can monitor her."
"I'm very tired today, so I don't want to walk to the cot to comfort her if she cried in the middle of the night, can she sleep with us?"
and lately, no more excuses, I just put her in our bed, and said "lets have her sleep in our bed tonight".
Mind you, Daddy and I share a queen size bed; he's a six footer, and I'm nothing close to being petite. We had to move our bodies close to the edge of the bed, and let her occupy the big space in the centre, but Daddy didn't mind, and I love it. So, she's spending more and more nights in our bed.
I now understand why people co-sleep with their child/children, it's really for inner peace, for the child as well as the parents. As for the room we'd allocated to Zara, hmm, I'm not sure when I'll ever be able to let her sleep so far away me.
Now, I'll probably be hissed at since my great plans have failed.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
It must have been me co-sleeping with Zara the last whole week when Daddy wasn't around. She has always cling to me, but has not shown such affection before. Occasion 1(yesterday morning and this morning) : We were in the car as usual, Zara on her car seat in the front passenger seat, and I was driving towards King's Wife's place. Zara : *hand reached out to my side, and look at me* "Uh..." Me : *try to concentrate on the road but threw glances at her* "Yes Zara?" Zara : *still looking at me with her hand reached out to me* "Uh..." Normally, this indicated that she wanted my breast pad. But these 2 occasions, I'd already given her my breast pad earlier. Me : *guess and gave her my hand* "You want mummy's hand?" Zara : *held it and grinned* When I had to withdraw the hand to use both hand to steer, she would start all over again asking for my hand, and only be happy when my hand was in hers Occasion 2 (yesterday night) I had my dinner, and joined Zara in the living room. She was standing holding on to the coffee table while watching her favourite VCD Wheels In The Bus. When I sat next to Zara, she started putting both her arms around me, then laid her head on my shoulder. Me : "Zara don't want to watch Zara's show?" Zara let go of her arm, one hand still held on to my shoulder, and continued looking at the TV. Then, again, she wrapped her arm around me, and laid her head on my shoulder or stick her face close to mine. This was done repeatedly for a few times. My 11yr old niece Alicia saw all these and commented, "Aunty, why does Zara love you so much?" Occasion 3 (this morning) Daddy left for work earlier than usual, maid drying the clothes down stairs. Zara and I were in our room and I wanted to take my morning shower, so I carried Zara to her toys. Me : "Zara, you play with your toy toy here ok? Mummy shower first" I left her (making sure nothing dangerous or non child safe was lying around), left my pile of clothes at the door of the bathroom, went to the bathroom and closed the door (don't want her to get to the toilet bowl) to shower. After 5minutes, I thought I would go and check on her. Dripping wet, I opened the door. Zara was seated on the floor right next to the door, she was holding on to my breast pad (found it from the pile of clothes I left), sucking her thumb, and looked up to give me a smile. Me : "Zara, why don't you go and play with your toys?" Zara crawled towards me, and reached her hand out, wanting me to carry her. Me : "Zara, go play with you toys ok? Mummy will go back to shower already ok?" She sat back down on the floor, I closed the door and went back to finish my shower. When I was done, and opened the toilet door, there she was, in the same position again, holding on to the breast pad, and sucking her thumb. When she saw me coming out, she let go of her thumb, and raised her hands to me, wanting me to carry her. Is she becoming more affectionate or she's just having separation anxiety? I hope it's not the latter.
Monday, October 24, 2005
This happened at at my sister's place, which is a three story town house, yesterday. I was comfortably seated on the
disgustingly sparkling clean kitchen floor; Zara was at the foot of the stair case, just 3, 4 feet away from me, interested in climbing up the stairs (probably to get to the TV room above).
She had both hands on the railing, head looking ahead of the stairs, she lifted one of her feet, just about to make her ascend.
Me : "Zara, please don't go up the stairs"
She placed the lifted foot back on to the floor, and looked at me.
3 seconds later, she lifted one of her feet again, eyes looked ahead, about to place it on the step above.
Me : "Zara, mummy said please don't go up ok?"
She turned to look at me again, placed her foot on the stairs, but her weight was still on the firm foot resting on the kitchen floor.
Me : "Zara, if you go up the stairs, and fall down, mummy will not sayang (comfort) you or kiss kiss you, huh?"
Zara paused and looked at me (trying to challenge me), but started to shift her weight to the foot rested on the step.
Me : * desperate light bulp appeared on top of my head*
*rub eyes* "Uh..uh..uh.. Mummy so sad, Zara doesn't want to listen to mummy. Uh.. uh.." *pretend to cry*
Sister : *just in case my acting was lousy Zara didn't know I was crying* "Oh-O, Zara made mummy cry cry"
I was concentrating on my acting crying, and then suddenly could hear the bell on Zara's anklet tinkling. When I removed my hands from my eyes, she had already (wobbled forward and) reached me, and had her hands hugging around my neck.
Zara : "Pat Pat, Pat Pat"
(Me : *wow, new vocabulary*)
She started patting my back, then leaned her head on my shoulder. Her way of consoling the lying crying mum.
Me : *kiss her cheek* "Thank you. You came back to sayang (console) mummy is it?"
Zara : *still patting me* "Pat Pat, Pat Pat"
Me : "Zara is such a good girl"
Zara : *grinned, looked at me, then leaned her head back on my shoulder*
Aww, you can imagine how I feel the rest of the day, her action was like a cup of hot chocolate with mushmallows on a cold cold day *hands on chin, eyes blinking, lashes flicking*.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Since Daddy was still away for the entire weekend, Zara and I continued to stay at King's Wife's place on Friday night; and then on Saturday, we went to sleep over at my sister's place. Even without Daddy around, Zara still had a lot of fun! Here are some of the moments : Sucking on an ice cream 'stick' - I mean really just the 'stick'. I gave her a small lick of my Magnum ice cream (just a taste, as I think she's not suitable to have ice cream yet for her age), and she got hooked. Kept chasing after me for more. I quickly finished the ice cream and gave her the stick, saying 'NO MORE'. She took the stick and kept sucking on it, I think just trying to suck out whatever flavour that is left there. Samantha che-che reading to her 'Playing' the piano - she entertained us with her own piano concert (she used to just 'bang' on the piano, but I think after seeing her che-ches play the piano and the melodious tune it can produced, she started 'playing' with it, instead of just punching the keys). Playing with mummy's laptop - I was trying to help King's Wife burn her photos onto a CD, and there came Miss Engineer trying to take over the key board (the hair is all 'gelled' up using her own sweat) Visited Tai Kong - visited the oldest person in our family, my maternal grand father. She's now the youngest person in our family but soon will be overtaken in December by my sister's daughter. Playing with her balloon - Bought this from the Buka Puasa Stalls in Shah Alam when I went home from my sister's place. I just have to, when she saw it, she was squealing with joy and kept pointing to the balloons. Daddy, "how much was the balloon?" Me, "RM2" Daddy, "RM2?? Expensive isn't it?" Me, "RM2 for 2 hours of smiles.. Worth it!"
Friday, October 21, 2005
Zara turns 11mth today! Just like her 9th and 10th month summary, this is for her 11th month : Her weight should be between 7.5-8kg (last we saw the PD she was about 7.4+kg, but she feels heavier now). She's 73.5cm tall. Still with only 4 teeth. Mobility : Walking – She’s walking more and further (~5 to 6 feet) without support Climbing – Able to climb up and down furniture (sofa, bed) with ease, however sometimes still get carried away and may loose her footing. Standing – Standing a lot now, unsupported (not more than 30s) Dancing – Started dancing when she hears familiar music or nursery rhymes, dances by stamping her feet (interchange), shakes her head, and rotates herself on the floor. Language : Understanding – understand cause and effect (if you want biscuit, drink water first); choices (you want this CD or this CD); recollection (don’t bite on the soap, remember it was very bitter?); where (where is Rusty? Where is mummy’s nose? Where is the fan? Etc) Loves Reading, nursery rhymes with action and now started watching DVD, VCD on her own. Speaking – her vocabulary has increased, besides these : Mum-mum for asking for food Foo for food Teh for take Poo for put Pad for breast pad Pa-Pai for Bye Bye Paa-ber for bubbles, balloons, soap suds Likes imitating what we say, however, refuses to say mummy or mama. Hands coordination : Likes pointing and pressing buttons (lifts, switches, key board). Can pat her own mouth with her hand to make the ‘wa, wa, wa’ sound Feeding / Food : She's having 3 solid meals a day now. Appetite is getting better, can have half a bowl of porridge on one go. Still on 5 feeds of breast milk (~4oz), and snacks a lot on fruits and biscuits throughout the day. Very fussy eater. Emotions / Preferences : Able to exert her preferences more, and express them. E.g. “Do you want to drink water?” Shakes head violently (Don’t want) “Do you want biscuit?” “Ugh!” with a smile (Want) Not afraid of strangers, but picky with whom can touch and carry her. Gives kisses to her favourite people right on the lips (mummy, and young children). 1 more month and she’ll be 1 years old, how time flies!
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Although I'm pro-breastfeeding, I believe it's a lifestyle choice whether you want to breast feed your baby and how long you want to do it. It is good to get as much information as you can before deciding which path you want to take. On my breast feeding journey, I'd heard encouraging and discouraging words. However, you know someone has little knowledge of breastfeeding when they say such things (people have asked me these questions or say these things to me): 1) You are still breast feeding your baby at 10months? Wow, you must have saved a lot of money from not having to buy milk powder. Yeah right, what about the money I spent on buying - breast pump - extra bottles or disposable bags for storing milk - breast pads - nursing bras My reply : I don't save money that way, but I hope to save money in NOT having to bring my daughter to see a Dr. 2) Can't you stop half way during pumping (milk expression) and come ... (to do whatever) Sure I can, and I will leave 2 wet patches on my blouse My reply : Can you come (and do whatever) next time mid way dumping for peeing? 3) No wonder your baby is so clingy! And so..? My reply : Don't think this has got anything to do with breastfeeding, but more of the time I spend with her. 4) When you go out, isn't it very inconvenient? I don't have to bring 1) hot water 2) sterilised bottle(s) 3) milk powder, and you still need to find a quiet place to feed the baby breast feeding or not. My reply : No, I just bring myself
and lift my blouse up to feed her whenever she's hungry
5) You are feeding your baby directly from the breast? Won't your nipples be elongated?
Yeah right, my nipple has stretched all the way to my waist with all the sucking from Zara.
My reply (to non-virgin women): Your husband/boy friend sucks on your breast during foreplay, did your nipple get stretched?
(to virgin women)or : Then don't let your boy friend or future husband play with your breast, the effect is the same.
(to men): You think your 'thing' will get longer with people sucking on it? Dream on
So, for those who didn't already know, it is very convenient to breast feed (especially night and morning feeds), although it won't save any money immediately, hopefully it will cut down medical expenses in future.
It does not cause any damage to your breast(if done correctly), if it did anything, it would be to increase your cup size by 1 or 2 sizes (which is a good thing, isn't it?).
And yes, Zara clings to me, and I love it.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
By the time I got to King's Wife's place after work yesterday, it was already 8pm. Tuyam gave me the usual daily report of what Zara ate, how many times she pooped, what new tricks she learnt etc. According to her, Zara didn't nap enough. Sure enough, when I carried Zara, she leaned her head on my shoulder, started sucking her thumb (indicating she wants her milk), and occasionally rubbed her eyes (indicating she's sleepy). I quickly had my dinner, took a shower, and then got Zara changed into her pajamas. The minute she got changed, she sleepy bug left her. With a sudden surge of energy, she started bouncing on the bed (a bit like a frog jump), rolling around. She was especially fascinated by the lamp in the room (which we later thought it looked like a pair of breast). Tilted her head, pointed at it, and started giggling. When my nieces walked passed the room and heard the commotion, they came in as well. The slumber party began. The 3 of them were playing on the bed, with Zara as the jester entertaining us. The girls sang nursery rhymes, while Zara tried to do the action or dance. The girls tickled her, she giggled and made funny noises. They were having so much fun, I couldn't help but feel happy seeing them enjoy. (I thought I could get her to sleep early so I can do some work on my notebook!) Eventually, the girls have to go to bed because they have school the following morning. Only when they have left the room that Zara settled down so I could nurse her. It didn't take her long to go to sleep, but when she did, it was already 10:15pm. 45mins later than her normal bed time. She must have been so happy to be sleeping over at King's Wife's place.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Daddy is away in Shanghai, and I decided to spend a few nights with King's wife and my 2 nieces. Their
palace place is very close to the office (if I chose to walk, I could reach the office in 10mins), so staying there means I don't have to leave for the office so early, and I can spend some time with Zara in the morning before going to work.
Today, we both got up at 6:50am. I got up this early because I have a 7am meeting, and when I tried to carry Zara downstairs (so we can keep an eye on her, since everybody is downstairs doing their own chores), she got up as well and refused to go back to sleep.
I nursed her while I was on the phone (thank goodness we don't have video conferencing yet!), when it was my turn to talk, I have to hand Zara to Tuyam. Her whining and complaints didn't escape the ears of my fellow colleagues in other parts of the world though, but people are so used to all kinds of 'noises' in such meetings (for example we heard someone pee-ing into the toilet bowl, followed by the sound of flush in one meeting; and another time we could hear loud snores after 30mins into a conference all the way till the end, apparently that particular audience found the meeting too boring) they just commented "Aw, that's your baby. Sorry you have to work this early" and the yada yada yada continued.
Anyway, the meeting finished half and hour early, so I have ample time. Here are the things I did with her before I went to work:
Helped Tuyam bath and change her
Brought her out to the garden for a walk (she loves King's wife's water feature)
Played and talked to her while she's having her breakfast.
And only then I took my bath and went to work.
Next few days while staying here, I can continue to enjoy these easy mornings.
Monday, October 17, 2005
I have been pretending to cry when Zara does something not to my liking for instance not wanting to eat the food I'd spent a lot of time cooking; pulling my hair; wriggling about when her diaper is changed. I did that a few times to show her that I'm sad or upset. One day last week, when I said, "If Zara yai-yai (naughty), then mummy will cry". She started rubbing her eyes, and made the Uh-Uh-Uh sound, pretending to cry. Wow, such a copy cat, so good in imitating me. She started 'crying' on cue. Asked her, "Show mummy how you cry", she would start rubbing her eyes and 'cry'. After one week of asking her to do this repeatedly to 'entertain' us and family members, she got fed up. She stopped doing it now. When we asked her to show us how she cries, she'll just look some where else. Pretended she didn't hear us. Here is a video capturing her doing this, but she would only do it for a short while, not wanting to repeat her performance.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
We attended the Bloggers' Meet in Kepong yesterday. Zara took her nap a wee bit too late, and the traffic from Shah Alam to Kepong was so bad (not to mention the distant) so we ended up arriving at 8pm, 1 1/2hrs later than the start time. By the time we arrived, most people had already eaten their dinners and had warmed up to each other. We didn't get to move about to talk to most people, since we have to order, eat, feed Zara, entertain Zara, and take photos. Managed to speak or say Hi to some : Egghead, Loc Kee, MSAU, sue, Twinsmom, Jason, Milly, Willwolf I didn't get to say Hi to : 1+2mom, Suzette, peekaboooh, Young Brat. Egghead was the orgniser, but I didn't get to speak to him at all (except asking for directions on the phone). Managed to utter a few words to beautiful J (you are one lucky fella Egghead), and got Zara to shake hands with Little Skywalker. Egghead had already published the detail of the event in his blog. We sat at the same table as Sue, who's pregnant (beautifully, I must enviously say), and still made it ON TIME with Ivan. I went over to introduced myself to MSAU, but I couldn't recall her immediately; after a while when I could link the Panda icon to her blog, then only I know who she was *blush*. Her little girl SQ is such a sociable girl, even reached out to say Hello to Zara and I. I could spot Sweet Sweet immediately when we entered the restaurant. Sweet Sweet is just like her name, such a sweet little girl, sitting quietly together with her parents, Loc Kee and SSM. Willwolf was busy snapping away photos in his SLR. Even Daddy was attracted to his gadget, kept asking me to find out from Willwolf the model of the SLR. The photos turned out to be very nice, the wonders of SLR. Willwolf's
little brother son is quite a lengjai (good looking), and always have this cheeky smile on.
Jason, hmm, such a sweet young man, the kind of guys you will bring home and your parents would approve off. The only thing he's not sweet about is he called us Uncle & Aunty shamelessly. Made us feel like we'd come to a kids' party, and we're so old.
Smilley Milly was very sweet and quiet, she's so good with kids. Zara, who's normally very chosey actually let Milly carry her.
Twinsmum has such friendly personality. Making sure every body was comfortable and aknowledged every body's presence. The twins, Anabelle and Isabelle are such beautiful girls, and nice soft bob they have (I'm always on a look out for nice hair, since Zara has very little).
Our table was next to Suzette & Peekaboo, but I didn't even take the time to say Hi to them. How embarassing. Never mind, there'll always be another time (I hope).
I saw another pair of twins at another table, younger than Twinsmum's twins, later, I was told, she is 1+2mom, another opportunity to introduce myself and befriend a fellow mummy was wasted. *shame on me*
I didn't see Young Brat at all, I think I was mainly attracted by the sights of kids, since he is still a young bachelor (with no kids obvioulsy), I didn't spot him. (Was he the one seated next to Milly?)
The food at Milwaukee Steak Corner was really quite good, and reasonably priced. I didn't expect my Calamari Steak to be 2 huge grilled sotong/squids though, as the ones I'd eaten in US before were actually diced up squid pancake/pattie. Good, but tough, and since we have to entertain Zara, I didn't have the luxury to chew my food slowly. Daddy had grilled Sole, very delicious indeed, and for the price of RM17, worth it!
We'll definitely come again if ever we're around this area.
The highlight of the event was Twinsmum's birthday celebration. The organiser and co-organisers got her a cake, and we all sang her birthday song (although most were too shy and mumbled the song more than singing), saw her 'speechlessly' thanked us, and had a slice of the cake.
This was both Daddy and my first meeting with cyberfriends. We came because we thought Zara would enjoy it, but I think it was too short a time for her to spend with the kids. I think I enjoyed this more, meeting with people whom I'd read their 'diaries', seen their deepest thoughts, laughed at their silliest jokes, and it was nice being able to link up faces with writings style, or a story.
I definitely will go to another one of these bloggers' meet again. Thanks to Egghead again for organising this.
Here are some photos taken (if you find any of your photos offensive, please leave me a comment and I'll remove it):
Sweet Sweet is such a sweet looking child. No wonder already booked by Luke Skywalker.
I can't tell the twins apart, but they are both very cute.
Zara's potential boy friends, Ivan and Luke Skywalker, and their parents.
Siao Qing : "Your hair very nice la, which hairdresser did you go to?"
Zara : "There, that Baldy Locks unisex salon in Kepong Baru"
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Zara has started standing and 'walking' a bit more nowadays since she took her first step a month back. Here is a typical process she follows : 1) she pulls herself up using a piece of furniture, our legs, our hair, or anything she could get her hands on and strong enough to support her 2) she finds her balance 3) check out who or where she can walk to 4) she lets go of her hand (from whatever was supporting her) and she'll raise them above her head 5) finds her balance again 6) trots forward 7) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 .. (depending how well balance she is) into our extended arms, or reach to another piece of furniture, or just *THUD* fall down On one hand, we're so excited about her 'evolution' from an all fours baby towards a walking todler; on the other hand, we're worried about her hurting herself, especially her skull, during this 'transition' phase. How did the other parents handle this transition period? Ma Xin, a friend from Beijing (who happened to have a little girl Zara's age) said she learnt this from one of the baby & parent class she attended: 教小孩子走路，要在她前面保护，而不是后面，尤其要让她知道向前跪而不是向前扑，很多用学步车学走路的孩子都会向前扑，这样容易伤到脸. 在后面保护，则会给宝宝信号，在失去平衡时向后倒. 这样在宝宝一岁多可以自己走路后，如果摔倒，也会下意识的往后倒. 有一种比较‘残忍’的办法，是让她站在床上，在后面推她一下，让她跪在床上，她可能会不高兴，但应该有效 It translates to : When we teach a child to walk, we should protect/guide the child from the front, not the back. We need to teach them when they fall, to fall forward on their knee, and not tumble forward. A lot of babies learning to walk, will plunge forward, this will easily cause injury to the face (or forhead). If we protect the child from the back, we are telling the child it's ok to lean backwards when she lost balance. This will make the child, while walking, to subconciously fall backwards when they do fall. The 'wicked' method would be, to stand the child on the bed, push the child farward, let the child fall knee down on the bed. She may not like it, but should be quite an effective method. So, I'm going to try out this method with Zara. To have a gash on the knee, is better than having a bump on the skull, that's for sure. Any one has any more 'proven' tips?
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Cons of working from home:
- We don't have streamyx at home, so I have to use the
bloodyslow 28kbps line, netmeeting or the application I'm supporting will work like a snail with this speed
- Already, I'm working in isolation (my other team members are scattered all around Asia), not going to the office means I will miss out on local organizations gossips and updates
- I can work in peace in the office (won't have a screaming Zara asking for mummy mid way through a teleconference)
no one in the Malaysia office will know I'm dead if I work from home all the time
Pros of working from home:
- I don't have to travel 30mins (highway all the way) to my sis' or bro's plc to drop Tuyam and Zara, and then another 15mins to the office; then in the evening, do the same. Save patrol, save toll (RM3.60 one way) & most importantly time
- When I start work, I don't have to feel already half tired (from all the driving)
- I get to spend more time with Zara (since time is not used for travelling)
- I can spend all my break time playing with Zara as well as to nurse her (it definitely feels better than using the pump)
- I can check on the food Tuyam feeds Zara
- I can take a nap during lunch time with Zara
- The best part of working from home is able to see Zara popping her head into my home office occasionally with this big big grin.
Don't I love my job for allowing me this flexibility?
I worked from home yesterday because I have back to back meeting starting from 7am (starting work so early is a torture
like asking me to die early early, don't know how egghead does it).
In the evening, I asked Tuyam to chop some iceberg lettuce and abalone mushroom, and then used this to make porridge for Zara. I left her with the instructions and went back to work.
When dinner was served, I scooped out some of Zara's porridge into her bowl (I prefer to feed Zara when I'm around instead of getting the maid to do it). I noticed instead of chopping up the lettuce or mushroom to real small (baby with 4 teeth) bite size, Tuyam has cut the lettuce to long strips, and the mushroom big chunks. Both are not easy to chew. How's the little girl going to manage?
I asked Tuyam, what happened here? She said "tak cukup kecil ke (is it not small enough)?" I told her both are equally difficult to chew, they are not fish or carrots, so these fibrous or rubbery stuff should be chop real finely like we chop up garlic for stirfrying.
Anyway, I scooped smaller pieces of the chopped up vege and mushroom and started feeding Zara, and reminded her to chew.
She took a mouth full, chewed real hard. Started whining, "Errr.." Gave her another mouth, she took it, and whined further. When the 3rd spoon reached her mouth, she pursed her lips, refused to opened again, and just turned her head away from the spoon. This didn't look like her usual shake-head-don't-want-any-more reaction. Let me try again.
I dipped a pair of kitchen scissors into the porridge to try to cut the vege and mushroom into smaller pieces. Then offered it to her, she pursed her lip still, and looked the other way.
We told her, "Zara, you try first, mummy cut up everything smaller already".
The lips are pursed, head to one side.
"Zara, please. You try first"
Still the lips are pursed, but she looked at me
"Zara, really, you look at the spoon, every thing small small already"
Lips still pursed, but she looked at the spoon
"See, mummy didn't bluff you, you try first. Please"
Opened her mouth, took the porridge.
Aaah, she finally accepted the spoon. We continued to feed her, and she continued to eat it, until she was full, she started shaking her head to indicate she didn't want any more.
So, our little critic has come out with her own way of giving different ratings to her food:
4 star : eat, and eat, and eat -- food is really good, right consistency for me, thumbs up to the chef
3 star : eat, eat again, then turned head, pursed lip -- food is good, but not right consistency for me (like this case), please do some thing to correct it.
2 star : eat for a while, then shake head -- food is bearable, but enough is enough.
1 star : 1st bite already shake head -- I hate this please feed this to the cat
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Although I’m a born Catholic, I’m never the real pious type. I went to the church because my parents made me go with them every Sunday. In fact, the last time I went to church for a mass, it was my wedding service, 7 years ago
(My dad always tells me, my mum is turning in her grave because all her daughters have stopped going to church once they got married).
However, I DO believe in God, I try to do things/behave according to His teaching (at least I think I am). Every night, I will join my hands, and say a short ittle prayer before I go to sleep, my prayer goes something like this.
“Thanks for everything.
Please continue to let Zara be strong and healthy;
Protect her from any harm or danger (don’t let her fall, don’t let any bad people come close to her, don’t let her touch accidentally or intentionally any thing dangerous);
Guide me to be a better mother (don’t let me swear in front of her, don’t make me lose my temper with her, be patient with her, provide me with the wisdom to bring her up)"
And then, I’ll ask St Anne (as She'd done during my pregnancy).
“Please continue to guard over Zara”
I have nothing to ask for myself, because if Zara continues to be strong and healthy, and away from harm, I’m already most blessed.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Yesterday, I sms-ed one of my Malay colleague who happened to live in the same residential area as me to see if he knew of the nearest buka puasa (break fast) stall. He told me to head on to the Stadium. After Zara woke from her nap at about 5pm+, we drove there to check out the place. This is the first time I'm glad to be living in Shah Alam (that's the greedy me speaking). The whole Stadium Shah Alam car park has been converted to a wai-sek-guy (greedy street). 3 long rows of stalls, selling all kinds of Malay goodies. The whole place was packed with vendors and customers. You can smell the aroma of satay, percik and grill fish in the air, I could feel the gastric juice in my stomach churning, mouth salivating, seeing the different kinds of food, kueh/cakes, colourful drinks
(a turn-off for me). This is Gastronomic heaven! I just don't know how our Muslim friends could walk in here, and not feel tortured, able to buy these goodies but could only eat this in an hour or so when they break fast.
We bought some raw dates, they were lovely, plum and sweet. We were eating the dates while walking and shopping for more goodies. Zara loved it too, she was taking big bites from my hand. Daddy then reminded that we should respect our Muslim friends, and should not eat here while they have not broken fast yet. I quickly fed Zara the last chunk of the date, and kept the rest for later.
We smelled a very strong whisp of santan (coconut milk) in the air, following the scent, it led us to this stall, with stack of steamer steaming nasi lemak (coconut milk rice). There were lots of people packing their nasi (rice) from the stall, we thought it must be pretty good, so we bought 3 packs as well for dinner.
After that, I had to queue at an ayam percik (barbequeu spiced chicken) stall to get some ayam percik. There were so many people waiting for their order to be fulfilled. Workers fanning away at the many charcoal stoves at the back of the stall, the whole place was smokey but smelled yummy. I asked Daddy to go ahead and bring Zara out of here first since it was too smokey for her, while I waited. I ordered 3 wings, and since many people ordered drumsticks, the first skewer of roasted wings went to me.
That night, we feasted on the nasi lemak and ayam percik (there were really good), while poor Zara had poridge cooked with watercrest soup. We all liked what we had, including Zara.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Zara has always been attracted to oranges. Since I'd read that citrus fruits should not be given to babies below 1yr old as it may cause allergy, I'd never given her oranges before, only the whole unpeel orange for her to play with. And every time when she wanted to put the orange in the mouth, I would stop it, worried about the pesticide and all. Of course, to her, the temptation to bite the fruit is greater if the fruit is forbidden. Today, I thought I'd do her a favour, I cleaned an orange with those plant based vegetable detergent, and passed it to her. She happily took it, and started putting it in her mouth, biting on it (she probably thought how come I didn't stop her from biting this time). The oil from the orange peel must have tasted bitter, she cringed, then whined, even shed some tears, yet, she continued to put it in her mouth for another bite, and another bite. It was real funny to see her doing this, bite, cry, bite, cry. Wicked, I know. Here's a video clip of her with the orange, she probably can't decide if she should give up or take another bite. A love / hate tug of war. click here for video
Friday, October 07, 2005
After dinner Zara crawled to the TV cabinet in my sis' house yesterday. Touched some of the switches Pulled some of the wires Took her Wheels In the Bus VCD Handed me the VCD and said, "put, put, put, put, put", and then kept touching the TV screen. Did she just say "PUT?", or was it just coincidence? We never really taught her this word before, and we always say "Play" for VCD/DVD, never "Put". Anyway, it was time to go home, so I told, "We go home first, mummy will PUT for you at home" Back At Home Told Daddy about what happened ealier. Daddy: Zara mummy said you so clever, you know how to say PUT? Say again. PUT Zara : Put Put Put Put Put (Daddy clapped hands, Zara grinned) Daddy: Zara, say mum, mum, mum, mum, mum Zara : Mum, mum, mum, mum, mum.... (non stop) (wow, in the mood to talk) Daddy: Call Daddy then, Pa Pa Pa Pa Pa Zara : Pa Pa Pa Pa Pa (didn't look like she was directing this to Daddy) (I cannot tahan/stand any more, so I chipped in) Me : Zara, call mummy, Muh-mee, Muh-meee Zara : ...... (grinned) (Maybe too hard to call Mummy, let me try again) Me : Zara, say Mimi, mi-mi Zara : (immediately) Aao, Aao, Aao, Aao Me : Zara, Mummy is not a cat, say Mimi, MI MI Zara : Aao, Aao, Aao, Aao (non stop) Me : *roll eyes* Daddy : *Laugh* I don't know which part of me resembles a cat or a furry animal (which she also uses "AaO" on). Up till today, she still doesn't want to call me. Aigh.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
This Tag is easier, it's from YL : List 10 things that bring you a moment of joy. Tag 5 friends to do the same. Simple things bring me joy, and I count my blessing everyday, especially when I see Zara lie next to me. Still (to complete this tag) here they are : 1. Waking up with Zara next to me 2. Knowing I'd given birth to a healthy Zara, when I see her 3. Sniffing Zara (some how, she smells like a candy) 4. Getting a hug or kiss from Zara, or having her head lean on me 5. Seeing Zara enjoy herself 6. Being close to nature (waterfalls, beach, mountains, woods) 7. Driving along a scenic route in US with a Never Lost GPS 8. Visiting a wet or street market in a foreign country 9. Enjoying a good meal at my own pace (now it has become a rare luxury, as Daddy & I always have to eat fast, so that we can take turns to look after Zara) 10. Cooking a good meal, and seeing friends or Zara enjoying it And I'm going to tag : 1) Seng Kor (what brings you joy besides .....) 2) Dinah 3) Mei 4) Jasmine 5) Jefferene Sue, I'll give you a pass on this. I know being pregnant, you need the rest. :P Egghead, you are busy preparing for the bloggers' meet, I also give you a pass. *curtsy*
(it says 1st here because there's another one coming) Sue tagged me on 23rd September, I have promised to do my 'homework', but found it difficult to come out with 7 of everything. But anyway, here it is: 7 things I plan to do before I die : 1) Visit Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Sahara Dessert, Ayers Rock with Zara & Daddy 2) Read all the books I bought (during those warehouse sales) 3) Watch all the VCDs/DVDs I bought from pasar malam/night market 4) Go Tracking in East Malaysia, track to the Pinacles, and climb Mount Kinabalu again. 5) Spend a month in a beautiful island 6) Take 1 year off work to spend time doing things I want to do 7) Take up an international cooking and baking class (Switzerland if got the $) **wow (*hand slap forehead*), out of the 7 items 5 of them also need a lot of $$$$. :-( 7 things I could do : 1) Learn to be a better mummy 2) Learn to be a patient wife 3) Help some poor and needy (via donation or volunteer work) 4) Not to swear in the presence of Zara 5) Move to a property within a gated community ($ again) 6) Work part time so that I can spend more time with Zara (looks like hard to achieve liao) 7) Find time to work out 7 celebrity crushes: 1) Brad Pitt 2) James Caviezel 3) Jackie Cheung 4) David Tao 5) Lihom 6) Hideki Saijo 西城秀树 (when I was a teenager) 7) Hiroyuki Sanada 真田广之 (when I was a teenager. He looks so old already in Last Samurai) **3, 4, 5 are not really 'crush' but I admire their talent 7 often repeated words/phrase: 1) Shit 2) nia seng 3) celaka 4) I love you (to Zara) 5) bloody 6) aiyoh 7) stupid 7 physical traits I look for in the opposite sex: 1) penetrating eyes 2) tall 3) nice luscious hair 4) good skin 5) big hands 6) nice smile 7) big frame (to protect me) **wa, fits Daddy’s description 7 tags go to : 1) YL (you scratch my back, I scratch your back la, 2nd tag will be yours) 2) Ethylyn’s mama 3) Damien’s mama (sorry hor, need you to do another tag) ….. I’ll spare the rest with the easier tag. If you don't do also never mind la.. but it's nice to know these *SEVENs* from you.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I have waited 6years to have Zara (I'll blog about the 'wait' another time), when we knew she was coming (and 'staying'), we started the shopping spree, clothes, toys, necessities and non-necessities, to prepare for her arrival. The shopping intensified after she was born, and it's still a weekly event. Here are some of the good buys that we'd made, and I'll recommend them if you are shopping around for such items. My views are bias, determined by Zara's willingness to 'use' it, its usability (by us) and Zara's liking for the item (nobody pays me to do this). 1) Baby Bjorn
This was a gift from my sister, being very generous, she bought one of the best in the market. I must say it's worth it, and if I would have to buy it (and pay for it with discount), I would get this same one as well.
Zara started being carried around the Baby Bjorn when she was a week old. It's very comfortable for Zara, as well as for whoever is carrying her. Today, when we go to the wet market or for walks (recently to the zoo), we carry her in this carrier, and she always enjoys it (even if she's in it for a long time).
Suitable for new born up till the baby reaches 10Kg. Babies are carried face in initially and then face out when they can support their head.
If you are looking for a baby carrier, get this (if you have the budget), and if not, try to get a good one. Cheap carrier causes discomfort to both the baby and the person carrying the baby and not to mention the potential danger (of the baby slipping out of the carrier).
2) Tripp Trapp The Chair that grows with the child
I was attracted by the design of the chair when I first saw it in Singapore. Bebehaus in KL carries it, and it's cheaper here too.
The seat and the foot rest is adjustable, so it grows with the child, later, it can be converted to a proper adult chair. It comes in beautiful colours and pretty cushions.
We like the chair because it allows Zara to join us at meal times at the dining table (the chair is w/out a tray, so it can be pushed very close to the table). She normally can sit through the whole meal on this chair (we can't do it in other chairs at restaurants, she gets restless half way through). I believe it's because her feet are comfortably rested on the foot rest, and if she wanted to stand up she can as well (if the chair is adjusted properly, the baby can stand up, but won't be able to climb out of the chair).
This is the most expensive item we got for Zara by far, but we always look at it as an investment, since she can use this chair for many years to come (support up till ~145kg), and it'll be our 'kah-chong' (嫁装/dowry) to her.
3) Lamaze Freddie The Firefly Plush Toy
The Dragonfly (it says it's a firefly, but it looks more like a dragonfly to me) has provided a lot of play hours and fun to Zara. Starting from her 3rd months, this was the toy that we took for shopping trips and dinners since it keeps her happily occupied. She doesn't seem to get tired with it (maybe very soon, she will).
4) Graco Infant Carrier cum Car Seat
It can be any brand, but I think an infant Carrier is much better than immediately getting a car seat. Many a times, Zara fell asleep in the car when we were on our way to lunch or dinner or to visit friends/relatives, all we need is just to bring the carrier down. We didn't have to interrupt her sleep, and she has a comfortable place to sleep on.
Occasionally, we even put her in the carrier to rock her to sleep if she has problem getting to sleep.
5) Baby, Boo! (a photobook)
Zara started appreciating books and giving kisses after we exposed her to this book.
The phrases in the book are simple, and comes with baby photos. This is still one of her favourite books.
And here are the ones which I think are bad buys, and if you are thinking of buying, make sure your little one really likes it or you will use it on her (even if she/he doesnt' like it) before getting it.
**disclaimer: I have nothing against these products, but they are not something my little girl likes; and this may be just her preference which is not shared by others.
1) Baby Einstein DVDs
Much hyped about program developed by Disney. Some titles can be introduced to new borns. An original DVD costs ~RM90/copy, I got the entire set of 18 DVDs from eBay for ~RM200 including postage (I think they must be pirated).
The program teaches baby different body parts, animals, colours etc using story board method (a bit like flash cards), with very soothing (too soothing) classical music played at the back ground.
Maybe Zara isn't Einstein. She is not interested in any of them, she'll be yawning (sometimes even falling asleep half way), or playing with her toys when we put this on for her. She only likes 1 section of the Old Mc Donald disc (~3mins out of the 18x30min= 540mins total DVDs play time, only ~0.5% utilisation) where the song Old Mc Donald is sung.
2) Leap Frog Baby Tad
I got this for Zara after she recovered from her 2 days fever to cheer her up. She showed no interest at all (and still show little interest). It plays 6 nursery rhymes, and I think I could get about 10 original nursery rhyme CDs with the price I paid for this green fella.
3) Molto Baby Chair
Molto is a company that manufacture toys in Spain. The baby chair from them looks and feels like a toy too. Zara is constantly complaining (and want to get out of it) when she's placed in the chair during meal times.
It has an easy to install but difficult to remove tray, making quick exit for the child (with the help of an adult) difficult. When fixed on a dining chair, it does not stay on well and the height adjustment very 'fah hok' (化学/flimsy).
We bought this first, then regretted it, and bought the Tripp Trapp. Now, this is used in my brother's house for her weekday (while I'm at work) feeding. My maid said, most of the time, few minutes into a meal, Zara would be fretting, and she'll end up standing or just sitting on the floor eating.
4) All the crib shoes I bought (before Zara's arrival)
None of them have been or will be worn. When she hasn't started walking, she's left bare footed most of the time; if we go out to an airconditioned place, I put on a pair of socks for her instead.
Now she's started to walk, it'll be too flimsy to support her weight, and too slippery for her to walk around with.
So these pretty little crib shoes are just lying in the cupboard, waiting to be given away on the next full moon invitation I get (kekeke).
5) All the long sleeves dresses, blouses, cardigan I bought (before Zara's arrival)
We always thought babies should be protected from cold (from all the angmoh child care websites and books), not knowing Malaysia's weather is never THAT cold. Zara wore one of the long sleeve cute little blouse on the first night she was home (from hospital) in a fan room (so worried air con would be too cold for her); next morning, she had heat rash all over her back, no thanks to the kiasi parents.
Together with the pretty little crib shoes, waiting to be given away on the next full moon invitation I get (kekeke again).
Phew, luckily not that many regret buys. I try to control my spending now, and only buy things necessary (only if I'm not hit with the next too-good-a-bargain-and-hard-to-resist sales). Hytex Warehouse sales, lets see if I can buy any will-regret-after-paying things.
Monday, October 03, 2005
A colleague who took beautiful photographs for her sons gave me this tip on photography Simple tips of taking good shot of children with any camera is to "GET CLOSER". Moving closer eliminates all the distracting elements in the background and show a more intimate picture of your subject. I took her advice and over the weekend tried to shoot some close up photos of Zara, and yes, the result is amazing. Zara's hand in mine. Our feet. I like the shot Dinah took with Ashley. Here's my version. Zara sucking on her thumb in her cot early Sunday morning. Zara staring at the TV, watching her favourite VCD, Wheels On the Bus Still staring at the TV. Here she is, playing with the toys on her walker.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Both Daddy & I last went to the zoo probably 20-30yrs ago. Having Zara means we have to revisit some of these places we would never go on our own as adults. Before we went, I made a few SMSs to check if my nieces and nephews would like to go with us, however no takers, nieces have full day activities, nephews shopping in KLCC. We arrived at the Zoo about 4:30pm. It just rained, so it was quite cooling and the sun was tucked behind some clouds, a very pleasant day to walk about outdoor. Just after the entrance, there was a miniature horse and an orangutan out with the zoo staffs which we were allowed to pose next to them for photographs. With the horse, Zara was ok, although not daring to stroke it, she didn’t mind taking a photo with it; when I brought her to the Orangutan, and asked her to give the Orangutan ‘five-five’, she just stared and the Orangutan’s palm (which was extended out to receive the ‘five’ by its handler) and its longish fingers for 5seconds, and then turned away crying. We didn’t bring our pram, so Daddy carried her in the carrier throughout. We can see that she likes the birds, Pelicans, and Flamingos at the lake; the primates; the giraffes; she would look at them, and then back at us to smile. I also brought her small animal photo book along, every time we came across an animal which could be found in her book, I flipped and show the page to her. Hopefully, she can relate the 2 later. When we arrived at the section with all the big cats, she started meowing like a cat. Pointed to the panther (which looks very much like our Rusty at home), she said “Aao”. Pointed to the jungle cat, she said, “Aao”. And then it was “Aao, Aao, Aao” non-stop. She got her first fright when we were looking at a huge bull. While we were near the bar, trying to get a closer look, it threatened to charge at us. All of us had a fright; you know you are safe behind the bar, but the menacing bull looked as though it was going to charge out of the bar, to rip us apart with its horn. Daddy took flight with Zara, Zara cried in fear, I too almost dropped the camera. (seen here is daddy fleeing with Zara from the charging bull) The 2nd fright she had was with the Hippopotamus. We were lucky, the hippo decided to emerge from the water when we were at its cell. The animal was extremely huge, dark skin glistening, walking clumsily around. Zara cried seeing such a giant. I tried to pacify her by telling her that the Hippo is not ‘naughty’, so she didn’t have to be afraid off. But nothing could console her; she looked at the harmless beast, and cried in fear. Daddy had to quickly take her away. While I was taking a photo of the Hippo, I could hear Zara’s cry echoing, poor girl. After this fright, we had to bring her to see something she’s familiar with. We brought her to see some local bulls (not as intimidating as the earlier bull) and some wild boars. While pointing out the animals to her, we sang her the Old Mc Donald song, Oink Oink here, moo moo there, and she started being cheerful again, and squealed with delight occasionally. We left the place all in good spirit. It was a nice visit, I think we’ll probably do this again when Zara can walk on her own, and can appreciate the animals better. I believe it will be soon.