Friday, March 31, 2006

She's Getting Vain

I worked from home today. While working, I heard Zara fussing in our room. I went over to have a look. Tuyam picked the below set of clothes for Zara to wear after her morning shower.

Me : What happened? Zara : Don't Want! Me : Don't Want what? Zara : *Point to the clothes* Don't want Me : You don't want this baju (Malay : Clothes), then what Zara wants to wear? Zara : *smile* Sessy Tothes Me : *don't believe my ears* Zara wants what? Zara : *smile* Sessy Tothes Me : Sexy clothes? Zara : *pointed to another set of clothes Tuyam has selected for her* Sessy Tothes. Tuyam : Yeah la. Dia tak mahu itu, dia mahu sexy sexy punya (Malay : Yeah, she doesn't want that, she wants something sexy) And so, a set of 'sexy clothes' she has! She's happy now! Hmm.. I wonder if this has got anything to do with King's Wife.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I brought Zara to see another Paed today (I didn't say we're going to see a Doctor, but told Zara we're going to get an uncle to check her). A very old and experienced doctor highly recommended by a friend.

When I told him about my worry. He just laughed, and said parents nowadays worry too much. After checking Zara thoroughly (felt her head, her back, and the routine check of ear, throat, teeth) and asking Zara to do a few things (helped him turn on the thermometer, gave him high five, shook his hand, played pat a cake), he said Zara can understand him very well, and her overall development looks fine.

He then proceeded to say that the raised ridge is formed by the 2 front skull bones fusing (I think the bones are called metopic suture). It won't do her any harm. I asked him if it would eventually go away, and he said very likely it won't, and will be there even in her adult life, but it shouldn't get any bigger.

This kind of makes me feel better.

By the way, thanks to all your kind words left in my last post. Really appreciate the support you have given, it's kind of like having a group of friends standing by you. Thank you!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Another Visit To The Dr

I just come to realise that Zara has this little raised ridge (about 1cm long) right in the middle of her skull where her hair line is. I don't know when it started to be there, but 2 weeks ago, I could feel that very tiny little bump (feels like touching a tooth pick covered under a blanket), and it got me worried. I wanted to slap myself for not bringing this up during the last visit to the Paed. After worrying for another week, I thought I'd bring her to the Dr to have a look. When I told Zara we were going to see the Dr, she immediately whined, "Don't want. Doh-tuh." She probably remembered the injection she got. She was as usual very cheerful while waiting for the Dr, playing with the toys in the waiting room. When it was her turn, she dragged me away from the door leading to the Dr's clinic, and put up a fight when the Dr wanted to feel the bump and measure the circumference of her head. The Dr told me this could have been caused by the fusing of the bones in her skull, since she's developing normally, and the measurement of her head is within normal range, I should not be worried but I do have to monitor her to see if there's any abnormal behaviour or if the bump size increase. How could I not worry? Even after seeing him, I'm still worried! I don't like to think about anything which can 'possibly' happen, or which needs monitoring. ~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~ On a lighter note, I asked Zara if she wanted to play with a Dr set I bought before Christmas. Me : Zara want to play Dr Dr? Zara : Don't wang. Pay. Doh-tuh Doh-tuh Me : *showed her the set* See, so many things for Zara to play. Zara can pretend to check Mr Blue to see if Mr Blue is sick sick. Zara : Don't wang. Me : Why Zara don't want? Zara : Sked sked (Scared) ~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~ For those of you who understand Chinese, click here for a meaningful song which is dedicated to all parents, I could really relate to it now, after being a mum for 16months.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Night chat with Zara

These days, if Zara didn't fall asleep after she'd taken her milk, we would lie in bed, and in her limited vocabulary, we'll chi-chat. Her long sentences are normally punctuated with lots of pauses. Me : Zara lie down with mummy Zara : Lie down. Toss Eyes. (Close eyes) She saw the room light was still on. Zara : *pointed to the light* sitch off, light (She said Switch off, instead of just off!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Me : Zara likes Kidzsports? Zara : *giggled* Spots! Yike (like)! Me : What can Zara do in Kidsports? Zara : Pay (Play). Me : What can Zara play in Kidzports? Zara : Many ball balls! Throw away! Jump! Me : Remember the big slide? Zara : Member. *extended her arms out* BiiiiG side! Me : Remember the tunnel? Zara : *pat her chest* tuh-nuh, sked sked (scared) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Me : How mummy call Zara when mummy come home from work? Zara : Ter Ger (Little Girl)! Me : How daddy call Zara then? Zara : Ger ger (Girl Girl). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Me : Zara, how the jie jie in the Sound of Music sing already? Zara : Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Me : *I hum the beginning tune* Zara sing some more Zara : *singing out of tune* Ah-deeoh ah-deeoh (Adios, Adios) Me : Remember the small jiejie (Chinese: big sister)? Zara : Member Me : Zara sing like the small jie jie Zara : Sun, seep (sleep), *wave her hands* good bye, good bye. (Actual : The sun has gone to bed, so must I) (The song Von Trapps kids sang to the guests before going to bed) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The other day, she hugged me and said, "Af yoo" (Love You, something I say to her very often). I love these moments!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Weekend Park Fun

On Saturday evening, Daddy & I brought Zara to the another park which is about 500m away from our regular park. It was so quiet, we shared the whole place with another family with 3 boys. The main play area is shaped like a ship, so we told Zara this is the "Ship Park". I made a mistake by asking Zara to slide down the 'tunnel slide' (below) on her own; she had a fright and didn't want to attempt it again, even when I said I would go with her. On Sunday, we brought her to Kidzsports, One Utama after lunch. When we arrived, she was running towards the pool of balls shouting happily! This time, we made sure we brought along our socks, so we can both be in the play area to take care of Zara. My fault for getting her to slide down the tunnel slide the day before; unlike the last trip where she was happily exploring everything; this round, she seemed to be very afraid to go on the big slide or climbed up the rubber steps. When we had to crawl over tunnels, she refused to get in. Kept saying, "Don't want. Sked sked (Scared), tuh-ner (tunnel)." I had to coax her many times, telling her this is not THAT slide, and I'll be with her, before she agreed and moved just slightly forward.

Her favourite is still the pools of balls.

After Kidzport, we went to Dragon-I for dinner. Zara shared the chives and shrimp ramen with me, and she loved it! Zara got restless half way through, so Daddy brought Zara to look at the Shanghai si-fu making dumplings. One of the si-fu gave a piece of dough to Zara. That kept her occupied for a while, she rolled it around like a piece of play dough.

I had to say, the dough is so elastic and soft, it did not stick to my hands or crumble when I roll it into a thin bracelet for Zara. No wonder the ramen is so nice, and the Shanghai dumpling so famous. Unfortunately we don't take pork, or there would be even more dishes to enjoy.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Toilet Business

MIL : Zara still wearing diaper during day time? Me : Yes MIL : Aiyo, let her wear her panties without diaper la. Tell her to let you know when she wants to pee or poo Me : *smiled and shrugged* She reminds me again and again that her kids were toilet trained from a very young age, and I waited too long to train Zara (MILs are always quick to point out your shortcomings). Hmm, I listen to the expert, and I won't push Zara as long as she's not ready. We tried several time to get Zara to sit on the potty, she played with it, stepped on it, walked around carrying it. She'll freeze and say, "Poo Poo." when she's about to poo. If we asked her to sit on the potty, she would say "Don't want. Skat skat". I don't know why. Because the 2 of us are inseparable at home, she likes to follow me to the toilet and have seen me used the toilet bowl. I told her, "This is big people's potty. Next time Zara become big jie-jie, Zara can use this potty." She normally helps me flush after I'd finished using the toilet. "Fus (Flush)." She would observe closely to see whatever that's being flushed away, "see-see (pee) no more!" One day, while we were in the toilet, she pointed to the toilet bowl. Zara : "Poo poo." Me : "Zara wants to use big people's potty to poo poo?" Zara : "wang" I placed her on the toilet bowl, held on to her and started coaxing her with sound effect. After a few moments of trying, she just said, "No more!" and wanted to get down. My maid said she did that again last week. I guess when she's ready, she'll do it, according to her schedule.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Cough & Sniffles

On Tuesday night, after sharing an ice cream with Samantha che-che, Zara started coughing, the 2nd time Zara she had cough and flu since she was born (touch wood). Although it wasn't serious, since I didn't have any medication at home, I took her to see the Paed on Thursday morning. I told her, "Mummy bring Zara go see Dr to take Medicine ok?". She started repeating, "Meh-ee-sen" At the hospital, she was happily running about, playing with the toys and slides at the waiting area. When it was her turn, she let the Dr checked her without a fuss. I also accepted the Dr's recommendation of a new vaccination called Pnemocococcal vaccination (for protection against bacterial meningitis, septicaemia and pneumonia). It was when he administered the vaccination that Zara cried. "Bum bum pain pain" She cried and complained. However, she still tearily waved and uttered, "Bye-bye" to the Dr when we were leaving.

1st attempt of feeding Zara the medicine was a breeze. She didn't know what it tasted, and opened her mouth smilingly. In the night, it was a different story. "Don't want, don't want meh-ee-sen".

The mention of 'medicine' made her go all teary; 2 pairs of hands needed to feed her 2.5ml of the syrup (the 3rd pair snapping away on the camera); after swallowing the medicine, she started bawling.

After a nursing directly for a while, she had the happy look again, aaaaah.. She's getting better already, thank goodness!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

School Meme/Tag - Stripping bare

Zara's leng jie-jie (Chinese: beautiful big sister) Helen tagged me again, she said because she larfu me and she wants to know more about me. Can I not oblige? I had to dig very deep inside my memory for this, and make this such a long post though.. Zzzzzz How many schools did I go to?

(I'm 3rd from right)

2 kindergartens in Kuantan : ~ St Thomas where my mum was a teacher. ~ And then later, another Catholic church kindergarten (forgotten the name) where my mum was the principal. I went to kindergarten really young since mum was working there. I just tagged along, had some fun, learnt some singing and dancing. Going to school this early, did not make my IQ higher, but definitely built my confidence, especially performing on stage. I was the solo singer, the princess in most of the concerts, and the youngest performer in a dance we did for the Menteri Besar of Pahang (Stage fright? What is that?). 2 primary schools : ~ SRJK(C) Yoke Hua 育华小学 in Kajang for the first 3 years. Here is where my foundation was built, under the care of my maternal grandma. My confidence was further boosted by doing well in school story telling competition and singing contest. Ahh.. those were the nicer days.

Standard 4. When I asked Zara who this is, she said, "jiejie (Chinese: Older sister)"

~ SRJL(C) Kuen Cheng 2 坤成小学二校. When I was standard 4, my father pulled some strings and I got into this school (one of the best Chinese school during that time). I was placed in the last class (students were distributed to difference classes based on results, but I was transferred, my academic records didn't count). I could not speak a word of Cantonese (main language spoken in KL), was laughed at by my class mates. My teachers thought I was stupid because I came from a rural school. I remembered the English teacher in my Standard 4 class was shocked one day when I said, "I didn't bring my book" in class. Her jaw dropped, "You mean you speak English?" And then back home, my siblings called me a communist because they went to good English schools, while I attended a Chinese school, and my spoken English was not as good as theirs. This was where my confidence was crushed. I still did well in school (from all my grandma's training to be independent and self motivated), but I no longer has the confidence, more so in public. Secondary school : Kuen Cheng Girls' High School 坤成女中 My father gave me a choice when I finished my Standard 6 if I wanted to switch to an English school, but I chose to stay on. Teaching medium for all subject was in Chinese, and some English was used for Maths and Chemistry. We only have 1 Malay subject, but on the years we had to sit for our SRP and SPM papers, extra Science, History, Geography lessons were conducted in Malay. If you don't meet a certain aggregate mark for that academic year, you have to be retained for a year. It's very taxing (long school hours), lots of pressure, strict rules (no hair perming; no jewelry wearing; hair length must be less than 2 inches below the ears; no novels other than those approved by the school, Mangga or cassettes allowed in school; nobody can be spotted in malls or cinemas in school uniforms etc etc), but I survived the 6 years there. After Form 5, my dad wanted to send me to Taiwan to further my studies. Stupid me has fallen in love with a cock eyed, hopeless man. I shelved the idea, but opted to do A-levels in Kolej Damansara Utama. The jerk joined me as well, just to watch over me (like standing outside my class room to see if I was talking to any guys). He got me to skip classes with him, and then hung out in snooker parlours instead. My A-levels result was the worst result in all the examinations I'd sat for throughout my life. I got 2Ds and an F. I then worked in an English Language Centre which used computers to teach preschoolers. I was hooked on those 286boxes. I broke up with the jerk, my dad then was keen to send me off to Australia to join my brother. And guess what, I fell in love again, and decided to stay for the man (Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!). So with my interest in computers, I enrolled myself into ICL to do a Diploma In Computer Studies part time (with NCC thrown in). After 1 1/2 year of slaving, I used another 1 1/2 year to complete my Higher Diploma in Software Engineering in APIIT part time. I was then going out with my hubby. Unlike those other selfish men, he encouraged me to further my studies. So after I got my Higher Dip, I packed my bags, and went to Staffordshire University England, for a year, to do my degree in Computing Science. I could have gotten a degree at age 22, but because of my stupidity, I got mine when I was 28. Was I the studious nerd, or the last minute hero? I don't believe I was studious, but I was discipline enough to do some studying on and off, and then topped it off with last minute 'burning the midnight oil'. Was I the class 'taiko' (big bully) or the teachers' pet? None. I was too timid to be the taiko, and was not outstanding enough to be the teacher's pet. What was the biggest rule I broke in school? Perming my hair after I got my SRP results. I got a black mark in my report card, a WARNING or 缺点. (Actually I brought cassettes and novels to school to exchange with my mates and stuck them under the chair with masking tape to avoid being caught by the prefect, but I never got caught). Three subjects I enjoyed 1. English - always did very well in school probably because we spoke English at home 2. Biology - I love learning about the anatomy of animals especially the reproductive organs 3. Programming - Oooh, I just love doing coding, but if you ask me to do now, sorry mate, no can do

Three teachers that inspired me None, don't believe any teachers have inspired me (those male teachers whom I spent lots of time drooling over day dreaming about don't count). If there's one, it would have been my maternal grandma, teaching me, coaching me during my first 3 years of primary education, laying very solid foundation for me. Even when I was in England, she was still 'coaching me', telling me, "if you cannot take it there, come home ok? Ah Ma will pay for everything."

Who should I tag?? Hmm.. 1. King's Wife ~ I know a lot of 'wolves' out there would like to know about her past after she post her wedding photo) 2. Seng Kor (I'm doing this for Siao Char Bor, Jomel and Siaolin's SIL) ~ The hunk bare all. 3. Egghead ~ I wonder how you can write in Chinese and English so well, can share your academic background so I make sure Zara walk the same path?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Carrot And Stick

I try to be a good mum, I really try. I prefer not to use any physiccal force but to reason with her, but I'm also impatient and short temper. On occasions when Zara pushed me to the limits, and refused to heed my warnings, I will slap her thighs, her buttocks or her hand. Here are 2 common situations which I will use physical force : 1) She soils her diaper and while I'm changing her, she tosses and turns, and reaches her hands out to touch her buttocks. 1st warming, "No Zara! Dirty! Zara cannot touch!" If she still reached out to touch her buttock or wriggle about, I'll issue the 2nd warning. I point my pointer at her "NO! Mummy beat beat!". And then if she still doesn't listen, I'll slap her thigh. That would make her cry and stay still. 2) When she endanger herself like trying to put the gum ball into her mouth. After 2 warnings are issued ("No Zara, after you choke on the ball!" followed by a "Stop It! Don't be silly! Mummy beat beat huh?!"), PIAK, my palm will land on her hand or buttocks after I take the ball away from her. If you asked the little girl "If Zara yai-yai (Chinese: naughty, but a milder form), what will mummy do?" She'll reply, "Beeat!" and then clap her hands together! Lately, I'd devised another way of 'punishing' her. So far, I'd placed her 3 times in the naughty corner, where I'd put her facing the wall at the corner of the room. Nobody was allowed to console her even if she got upset, for a minute or 2, and then I'd pick her up and tell her what she did wrong. No physical punishment, but that seems to work better. Now when she's misbehaving, I'd only had to threaten her with, "Zara want to go to naughty corner?". She would reply "Don wan!" and then pull her act together or at least try to. Every time after I'd punished her, she would want me to carry and comfort her or else she would bawl. I'm not all evil, I reward her generously too. When she does something clever or good, I applaud, praise her, lift her high up, kiss her, hug her, make a big fuss out of it, makes her feel kembang (Malay : ego expanded). Now whenever she does something clever, she would clap her hands and shout, "Bah-Vo (Bravo, thanks to Sound of Music)". I get the signal when she does that, and will clap furiously too, and will elbow Tuyam and Daddy to do the same. Do you punish your kids, even a toddler? And who do you reward them?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Zara's 16th Month

Woh, another month has just gone by, and Zara the 'baby' is now 16th month old. This is another post to capture her development. ~ Weight unknown, probably about 9Kg? 8.5Kg (updated 23/3/06, measured in Hospital) ~ Height : 78.5cm (taken with her standing leaning against a wall at home) ~ 2 2nd molars (left top and bottom) have sprouted, the other right two are sprouting Dexterity : Sometimes she does a skip like run. She still prefers to be carried than walking. Started feeding herself with fork (we have to help her poke the food with the fork). Drinking with a straw like a pro, even blowing bubbles. Opening and closing bottle tops. Language : Very amazed to see how she's progress in this area. Started being able to pronounce the K sound (used to be Tatak, Ah Tong, now it's Kakak and Ah Kong etc) Able to use words and phrases to describe what she wants, what she's doing and how she feels : Rest Tai-yet (tired) Shy Shy Don't yike (like) Toh (throw) Away Close eyes So Many Larf you (not sure if she knows the meaning, but she says 'larf you' back when I said "I love you" to her) Give some Very fast in learning new songs. Knows most of her body parts, even arm pit (ah-pit), back side (beh-sigh), bum (bum bum), button (belly button) and chin. Able to pick her book and name the main character in the book, Joe-Joe (From Joe Joe's Revenge), Mehsi (from Maisy's Bath Time), Spider (from Miss Spider Tea Party). Able to request for the songs she wants, bee-go (Bingo), Doh-nuh (Old Mc Donald), chuh-den (songs sung by children), sheep (baa-baa black sheep), etc. Memory : She's able to recollect some of the things she'd experienced and tell me back like Feed Zhu-zhu, eat bed (Feeding bread to Zhu-zhu, my friend's dog the other day); Bug, mummy step step step, sked sked (I spotted a cockroach in the toilet, got a fright and was jumping around, which Zara saw) Able to tell whose house we're going when she see the scenery around, esp King's Wife's, my dad's and my in-laws' place Feeding / Food : Still loves fish, and now always asks for vegetable (she says "Vege") from our table. Still, taking 3 solids meals, 3 to 4 (depending if she woke up early in the morning for some sip of milk) breast milk feed (3~4oz) + 1 formula feed (~5oz) a day. In between she snacks on biscuits and fruits. Emotions : She still loves King's Wife's daughter Samantha the most. A very happy and good girl, the only problem I have with her is during meal times when she can't sit still to eat.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Weekend This & That

Zara suddenly wanted to be a baby again. Funny little girl. After her bath on Saturday morning : Zara : Baby! Oo-Weh Ooh-Weh *immiated baby crying*. Me : Are you baby or jiejie? Zara : Baby. Mummy cayee (Carry) *stretched her arm out* I carried her by placing an arm around her back, and let her sit on my hip. Zara : Don't want. Me : But you want mummy to carry right? Zara : Cayee! (Carry) *she moved her head and wanted to lay it on my other arm* Me : Oh.. I craddled her, let her lay on the nooks of my arms, just like a baby. Me : Happy? Zara : Happy. Me : Who's baby? Zara : *pointed her chest* Za-ah (Zara). ~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Saturday afternoon, a contractor went out with Daddy to the hardware shop to buy some stuff to help us with our rat problem in the house (yes, we have some residence rats who do tap dancing everynight on our roof). When they came back, Zara got excited : Zara : Daddy! Me : Yeah. Go say Hi to Daddy. Zara walked to the door, stood for a while (and probably found out there's another person with Daddy), turned back. Me : Why? Go say Hi to Daddy ma. Zara : *grinned* Shy shy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Daddy went for a haircut near my Dad's place (where we used to live). Immediately we turned into the residential area, Zara said, "Ah Kong (Chinese : maternal grandfather)!" Me : Yes, we are near Ah Kong's house Zara : Ah Kong, house! *stretched her arm out* Ah Kong, cayee (Carry) Me : Ah Kong not here. Zara : *turned and face me* Mummy cayee! We called my father, and arranged for him to have dinner with us, so that Zara can see him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Near my dad's place, we saw the ERL train passing by. Told Zara it was a train. She got very excited and kept pointing and repeated, "Tain! Tain!" We thought we'd give her a treat. After Daddy's haircut, we went and parked our car at Tun Sambattan station, and took Zara on a monorail ride. We went to Berjaya Time Square, visited the Borders Bookshop (which Zara likes a lot, especially the children's section), then took the monorail back to Tun Sambattan. Daddy carried Zara all the way on the monorail ride, he pointed to her the Klang river, the buildings, we passed, the roads below. When we got out of the station: Zara : More more! Tain! Me : Finished already. Now we go and see Ah Kong ok? Zara : K. Me : "Zara happy?" Zara : Happy! Tain!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My Pretty Baju

There was a little package sent to me on Thursday, my very first post addressed to me! When Kakak opened it, out came 2 beautiful dresses! Since Kakak do not know much English, I used simple words like, "Wear baju (Malay: Clothes)" to tell her I want to wear those beautiful dresses! Kaka put one on for one, and then the other, I love them so much. I twirled around, turning turning turning turning, until my head started spinning, and Kakak had to hold me still so that I don't fall. She then took the clothes off from me even though I held on to the hem. I wanted to tell her "Please don't take it off, I want to wear it for the rest of the day" but I think Kakak won't understand such complex English. On Friday, mummy worked from home. Yippie! During lunch time, Mummy took out those dresses again, she told me these are from Aunty Jesslyn, who had personally sewn them for me. I went "Wah" upon hearing that. She asked Kakak to put them on for me, and she went to take out the mean looking camera. Ah, who cares about the camera, the dresses are lovely. "Pretty Baju" I told them. Again, I turned round and round and round. I thought it looked like some ballet moves, but mummy said, "Stop turning Zara, you look like you are mabuk (Malay: Drunk)!" The dress is so comfortable; the baby doll one has beautiful lace at the hem, and an embroidered top. And it's the same colour as Mr Blue! I was enjoying walking about, playing with my glass pebbles when mummy started asking me to do all the faces I know how to pull, and put the mean looking camera near my face. I had to quickly follow her instructions, or she won't put away the mean thing.

Ah.. I was exhausted after all these, I went to my pram, announced, "tired, lie down, rest" and hope mummy will leave me alone in my beautiful dress. Thank you Aunty Jesslyn, for such lovely dresses. Next time if I have chocolate and sweets, I'll share with Wien jiejie and Lyon ok? HUG HUG! *MUAK*

PS Aunty Jesslyn, too bad I can't go to the post office myself, or else, I can send Lyon and Wien jie-jie those boring, err I mean interesting, Sesame Streets, Bob The Builder VCDs mummy is 'forcing' me to watch.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Crime Scene Jigsaw and Back Home

I was invited to go to a blog meet organised by Lin Peh, sponsored by 9393. My SIL, King's Wife, was Lin Peh's favourite Si-lai (Cantonese : desperate Housewife) for this month, so I was given the honor to accompany her to this meeting. We had dinner down in KL, in a private room. Sounds very fishy isn't it (If I was going on my own, I would definitely chicken out, knowing what the Yamade King is capable of). Lin Peh, Wingz and May were already there when Seng Kor, King's Wife and I arrived together. Followed by GBYeow, KL Podcast, Siao Cha Bor and then Cock-a-doodle (who did a Lin Peh's jig trying to convince us he was Lin Peh, but his moustache was a dead give away). 9394 was the last, and had a tough time guessing who was who. Every body was warming up to each other, joking, laughing; when I whipped out my camera, fingers started pointing, "No photos! We agreed!" (Er, Did I?). Agreeing not to offend some people who prefer to remain anonymous, I'll just post some jigsaw pieces here. Is the smiling eyes nicer, or the smiling moustache? "*Sob Sob* King's Wife isn't anything like what I thought she'd look like!" Straight to the meet after the bank heist. Hands-a-roaming. Fishing buddies' hugs ala Broke Back Mountain. I think there's just too much Cantonese swearing here, I'd better call backup. I need to capture evidence here. I had a good time, laughing until my ribs hurt; if you read their blogs, you know what a bunch of funny people these folks are. However, at the back of my mind I was worrying about Zara at home, as this was the very first time I went out without Zara in the night. Now back home : My plan was to stay over at King's Wife together with Zara and Tuyam; Zara will have my nieces to play with, and will not miss me so much. But Daddy called me at 5pm telling me he'll miss Zara and would like to pick them up from King's Wife after work. I reminded him, "This means you have to look after her, give her her night feed, tuck her to bed. You sure you can do it?" "Of course I can" so Daddy claimed. (updated by Tuyam) Daddy said he would watch over Zara while Tuyam was busy at the kitchen. Instead, Daddy read his newspaper, and Zara was walking about, playing on her own. Then she whined, and ran to Tuyam. Tuyam found white sticky stuff in Zara's mouth, and had to dig them out. Apparently Zara had gotten hold of my niece's glue stick, and bitten half the glue out. (Daddy -20points) Daddy said he would feed Zara. His feeding technique, "Zara, nah, Daddy drink 1 sip (from the bottle), you drink 1 sip ok?" Daddy pretended to suck on the bottle, and then passed on to Zara. Zara found it too hilarious and giggled, only air went in to her stomach, no milk. Tuyam took over the bottle, and coaxed Zara to drink, while Daddy went to have his bath. (Daddy +2points for entertaining Zara, -10points for not being able to feed Zara) Daddy tried to tuck Zara in, Zara whined and asked for mummy. Daddy passed the responsibility to Tuyam, and went to read his books while Tuyam patted Zara, calmed Zara down, and finally had Zara drifted off to sleep. (Daddy -20points). And what did he say? He will LOOK AFTER ZARA, GIVE ZARA HER NIGHT FEED, TUCK ZARA TO BED. *sigh* (Read here, here, here, here, here, here and here for more photos and posts about the meet)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sound of Music

Since last Thursday, every night after dinner, we put on The Sound of Music, and show Zara 3 clips from the movie (thanks to DVD scene select) : 1) Maria teaching the Little Von Trapps to sing Do Re Mi 2) The puppet show put on by the Little Von Trapps 3) The Little Von Trapps bidding goodnight to the guests in their father's dinner party She loves it! Keeps asking for more (replay) after each song is sung (the below pix show her concentrating on the show) On Saturday, while on our way to Ipoh, she started singing the last word of the Do-re-mi song with me. This is how we sing together : Me : Doe a deer, a female Zara : Deer Me : Ray, a drop of golden Zara : Sun Me : Me, a name I call my Zara : Sef (Self) Me : Far, a long long way to Zara : Run Me : Sew, a needle pulling Zara : Dat (Thread) Me : La, a note to follow Zara : So Me : Tea, I drink with jam and Zara : Bed (Bread) Me : That will bring us back to Zara : DO And then she'll clap her hands upon completion of the song. Still a long way from Luke Von Trapp, but both Daddy and I were extremely surprised that she had actually learnt up the last words in 2 days. She also likes to hum the tune sung during the puppet play, but it goes something like this : Zara : *mumble mumble* eh- Hoo Hoo Last night, when I told her it's time for bed, she pointed to the TV set and said, "Put! Put! Bye Bye! Seep!" Haha.. she wanted me to play her Clip #3. After that song, she took my hand pointed upstairs, and said, "Go Seep!" See, I'm happy taking a rest from Barney!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Faces of Zara

There are expressions or faces I can ask Zara to make, and there are some which have to come naturally. Here is how she looks when I ask her to:
LAUGH LIKE A HIPPO (showing her teeth) SMILE LIKE THE MOON (crescent) DO HER POPEYE FACE And I like this the best, DO HER CUTE CUTE FACE
These are faces which I cannot get her to act out, but have to come naturally.
And best of all,SMILING HAPPILY

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ipoh Bloggers Unveiled

So a lot of people are interested in knowing how Helen, Helen's husband, Samm, Sengkor, King's Wife look like. I'll do every one a favour and put up their photo here... Helen, Samm, plesae don't kill me ok? There was this warning I read some where, when you see or face a person for a long period of time, you will slowly look alike.. I guess it happened in our Ipoh meet, 3~4hours later, this is how every body looks like.

From left to right : Helen's husband, Helen, King's Wife, Samm, Me, Sengkor.

King's Wife and Seng kor will also be posting the photos taken by them in their sites... go check out if you are interested.

Thanks to Sengkor for his photoshop skill (see, he's not just soft spoken, has a nice bod, he's good in photoshop too)


Russ, our cat, went under the dining table to sleep Zara : *pointing to Russ* Uss, Seep. (Russ, sleep) She then tried pulling down the big cushion which she uses for her afternoon nap from the sofa. When she couldn't, she laid her head on the cushion. Zara : Seep (Sleep) Tuyam helped her laid the cushion down. Zara : *reached her hand to Tuyam* Ah Boo (Mr Blue) Tuyam gave her Mr Blue, and she laid down and tried to nap. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After our walk in the town centre in Ipoh at noon, Zara was getting tired. Zara : *lean back on her car seat* Lie down Zara : toss eyes (Close eyes) Zara : Seep (Sleep) And she tried to nap; after a while, Zara : *open her eyes, pointed at the lamp in the car* Daddy, off. Off light. Haha, she thought the glaring sun can be turned off like a lamp. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I stayed in the study to complete my work and got Daddy to watch over Zara in the night. Daddy and Zara were happily entertaining each other. When Daddy joined Zara's cot to our bed and then wanted to change Zara to her pajamas. The little one suddenly realised it's time for bed, and mummy was not with her. She started crying and pointed to the direction of the study, "Mummy! Mummy!" Then went and banged on the bed room door! Exasperated, Daddy brought her out to look for me, "She doesn't want me ah!" Every night, only I could get her to sleep, she can be happily playing with whoever, but when it's bed time, mummy has to be the one next to her. I wonder how she'll cope if I have to travel because of work. Not that there's plans laid out yet.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Wedding, Beansprouts and Friends

Over the weekend, we drove up to Ipoh for a friend's wedding. It was a simple affair in a local restaurant. The bride, Liew, did not even wear a gown for her wedding, but just a simple dress. Daddy said, "Which is perfectly fine". I said, "But you only get to be a bride once in a life time, I would at least want a gown." But then, Liew is a simple, down to earth person; which is why Daddy is very fond of her, and which is also why he didn't mind driving all the way up for her wedding. Zara was cranky the whole night. Probably because she only napped for 1hr the whole day. Daddy and I had to take turns to bring her out for walks. Not that there's much to walk about or see, but she was happier than being seated for a long 4hrs.

Clockwise : The bride and groom; Zara finally fulfilled her wish, sitting on a motorbike; Zara didn't want to sit on Daddy's lap (see Daddy's frown?); Jesse, my friend's 8mth old, sat through the dinner without a single whine

We spent the night in Ipoh, and the following morning after breakfast in the hotel, we went to town for a walkabout. Both Daddy and I always like visiting local markets, so when we saw a building with a sign reading Pasar Besar Ipoh (Malay: Ipoh Big Market), we quickly parked our car and headed there. I just love markets, not the filth, but it's always interesting to look at the local produce. We saw a fish monger selling about 10 different types of prawns (very reasonably priced), we would have bought some if we had a big ice box. We bought a bell shaped pumpkin which we do not get in KL (not the imported butter squash, but locally grown). And then the sight of a lady selling beansprout really caught my interest (I actually walked back to the car to get the camera to take the below shots). Ipoh is famous for beansprouts, and it's no wonder you get 'specialists' only selling beansprouts in the market. Big plastic barrels used to sprout the beans (they looked like huge alfafa sprouts) were next to the stall. I didn't see how they were harvested but I saw the stall owner washed the sprout in a cement cylinder (I don't know what that thing is called) and scooped up the amount customers wanted into bags. She was a good sport, and told me I was welcome to take her photos.

What is a visit to Ipoh without meeting up with the local bloggers? King's Wife even drove up with Seng Kor for a day trip to join the fun. It was a small and intimate meeting. We had lunch with Helen and Hubby, Samm and Gordon, followed by coffee.

With a smaller crowd, and so much time, you get to have a more decent conversation, and able get to know each other better. I'm not supposed to review too much here, but I must say they do live up to the personalities they portray in their blogs. *grin* (Note : Seng Kor did go to the toilet, but I'm not sure if it was to do what Helen mentioned here)

Again, Zara fussed a lot, while sweet little Gordon, spent the whole time seated and amusing himself with tissues and toothpicks. *Sigh*

Clockwise : Daddy keeping an eye on Zara in a local coffee place while I ran back to the market to photograph the beansprout lady; Walking in the town centre; Zara couldn't sit still, while Gordon didn't even fuss throughout.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Feeling Sentimental

This morning, Zara was still sleeping while I went to the study to start up my PC. I was in the midst of chatting with a good friend in the US, when I heard a faint, "Mummy, Mummy!" coming from the bed room. Zara has awaken, she was just sitting on the bed, rubbing her eyes, calling out for me. She didn't cry a bit (which she usually does when she wakes up and see me not at her side), and greeted me with a squeal and a big big smile. This is one of those days when I look at Zara and thought, "Woh! She's grown so much already!". I went through her earlier photos, videos and was filled with a sense of achievement, happiness, and also a tinge of despair. Look at her now, from a helpless new born, she's now walking, talking, demanding. But she's growing up so fast, I haven't spent enough time with her, and soon, she's no longer be the little toddler she is now. I'm going to miss her baby-ness. Here is a video I was amusing myself with, taken when she was 9mths +, still cruising. Look at the chubs, and the wobbly gait. And these, the foot prints I took when she was a new born, vs the foot print I took 2 weeks back. Soft tiny new born's feet, vs strong walking toddler's feet.

Do you feel your kids are growing up too fast before you? (Ok Ok.. just for general appeal, for those without kids, do you feel technology moving too fast before you.)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Mummy's curse

I met up with 3 very close ex-classmates on Tuesday night and brought along Zara and Tuyam. While we had dinner, Zara was playing with Zhu-Zhu, the schnauzer, one of my friend brought along. Zara fed her bread, patted her, and followed her, calling "Joe Joe!" "Dog Dog!" after her. Tuyam then noticed that Zara has some rashes and swelling on the back of her palms. Zara must be like me, allergy to animals saliva. When my skin touches animal saliva, it'll get itchy all over; if the rash has just been developed, normally just rinsing it with soapy water will get rid of it. It will get worse if I don't take immediate action. I quickly got Tuyam to wash her hands, and true enough, soon after that, the red patches and swelling were gone. Since she has this allergy, we stopped her from playing with the dog. My friend took out a box full of her son's toys and Zara was happily kept busy by the goodies she found. I'm an animal lover, at one point, I had 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 kittens, 2 guinea pigs. Dogs and cats were stray whom I brought home (hid in the boot when my mum wasn't looking and innocently said I don't know how it got there). Cared for lovingly by my mum (whom although strict, has never scolded me from bringing stray home) and me. Back then, I always had rashes all over me, but I was ignorant of the cause, and it didn't' bother me. When I was older, I realise the cause of the rashes and itch, and I started being more careful with animals. After handling any animals, I have to immediately wash my hands. No co-sleeping with animals which I used to do. This helps. Looks like the 'curse' now had landed on Zara as well, whom also seems to love animal a lot. Isn't it ironic?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Our Park / Play ground

In my line of work, I can work from home since most of the 'customers' I deal with are out of Malaysia and all 'dealings' are done through IM, emails or phone calls; which means I can actually work from anywhere as long as I can connect to the network and have a phone with me. I still go to the office, to make use of the facilities (printers, stationary), and also to catch up on local office gossips; and I feel to have Zara stationed in King's Wife's place, helps her development too because she gets to play with King's Wife's children, and not just stuck with Tuyam. On days I work from home, I'll lock myself in the study above, and Zara will be playing, napping, watching TV downstairs with Tuyam. At 6pm sharp, Tuyam will hand over the shift to me so that she can prepare dinner. This is the time which I enjoy most, especially when it's not raining. Zara and I will walk to the nearby park, where I'll just let her run in the field, pick up anything from the ground to examine (since she hasn't taken her bath yet, she's free to get dirty) while I chat with other parents. I'll give her a helping hand when she wants to go on the see-saw, slide and the swing. This is probably the only reason why it's nice to be living in this residential area in the suburb, roads are wide, cars are few, and there are 2 parks within walking distant shared among 200 houses. She always have lots of fun there, and the good thing is when it's time to go, she normally doesn't kick a fuss. I'll give her some time to say bye bye to everything; "Bye bye slide", "Bye bye sing (swing)", "Bye Bye park" etc etc. Then we'll walk back home for her bath.

Clockwise : She wanted to go on another kid's buggie, and when I said she had to ask the kid for permission, she changed and said, "touch" (seen here using her foot to 'touch'); "Down!"; Not even 2 seconds, she wanted to go on another different ride; Walking down the slope (which leads to the slide);

"High" "High!"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Zara's Moment

Zara's trying to use more and more words to express herself, her pronunciation is not perfect and sometimes it takes a trained ear to know what she's saying. When trying to pronounce a difficult word, she always brightens up when we understand her. My MIL always says to her "only your mummy understands what you say". I guess it's people like myself and Tuyam who can make out what she says most of the time because we spends the most time with her. Here are some of Zara's talking moments, very straight forward. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brought her to the bookshop the other day, when she stepped in, she looked around smiling, and said, "Many Books!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Put a Sesame Street VCD on for her Zara : *took a glance* Don't want (we pretended we didn't hear that) Zara : *shook her head* Don't want Zara : *pointed to the TV* Off. Don't want. Tuyam : What you want? Zara : Barney! (but of course) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She likes playing this game Me : Zara is a girl or a boy? Zara : Boy! *looked at me with a cheeky smile* Me : *pretended to be shocked* BOY?? Oh No! Zara : Ger! *giggled* ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And this, really warmed Daddy's heart. Me: Zara love Daddy? Zara : Larf Then she continues : Many Many

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Sunday Morning At Kids Sports

We stayed home on Saturday because Daddy was suffering from jetlag and was sleeping most of the time. On Sunday, he thought he would make it up to Zara by bringing her to the Shah Alam Lake Garden (*roll eyes* men really know how to have fun huh?). There really isn't much in that park, except a big dirty grass field. I told him it would have been better to just bring Zara to the football field near our house. I suggested Kids Sports instead, since lots of blogging mums have given very good feedback about that place (see, mums know how to have fun more *grin*). So we went to 1 Utama at about 10am, before the crowd started pouring in. We had breakfast, and then brought Zara to see the fishes at the Rainforest section, and finally headed to Kids Sports. I went in with Zara while Daddy stayed outside. Zara was ecstatic! Especially with the slide right at the entrance, where she could slide right into a pool of plastic balls!! She spent most of her time there, rolling in them, jumping into them, tossing the balls etc. I brought her to the bigger play area, with all the slopes to climb, and tunnels to crawl. I was like a commando, crawling around the place with her on all fours, helping her on more difficult maneuver. It was fun, I have to say, even for me, but I suffered a back ache and sore knees later from all the bending and crawling.

1hr after the intense activity, while we were climbing up the rubber steps to go on the big slide, Zara just refused to move, laid down midway, started sucking her thumb and chanted, "milk milk!" (below photo). Even with much persuasion, she still refused to budge. I had to half drag half carry her up, slide down the slide, and then give her her milk fix.

Of course after the milk fix, she was all charged up and went on to climb, jump, crawl, slide, with a very tired and hungry mummy dragging behind.

Zara really enjoyed herself. Later, when we asked her did she like Kids Sports, her face went blank; but when I said, "Neh, the place with lots of ball-balls", she brightened up and replied, "Ball Balls!" "Many!" "Throw!" "Step!" "Jump!" in her disjointed sentence.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Daddy's Home

After more than 2 weeks, Daddy finally came home yesterday. I'd been preparing Zara for his arrival, telling her Daddy was coming home, asking her to shout "Daddy" loud loud, and give Daddy a big "BOO" with her monster face when Daddy arrives. I even made her practice a few times to see if she knew what she was supposed to do. It was dinner time and I was having a tough time feeding her the fish we cooked (freshwater fish with very strong 'earthy' taste). She spit out every mouth full I gave her, and said "Don't Want" (her favourite word now). I had to resort to opening a bottle of baby food, and still progress of feeding her was slow, as she was refusing to open her mouth. When a car stopped at the front gate, she got all excited, and kept pointing outside and claimed, "Daddy. Daddy." I brought her out to greet Daddy. All the earlier practices gone wasted; the minute Daddy held her at the gate, she just laid her head on his shoulder, not calling him, not looking at him, but just stayed there, holding on to Daddy. It took us a while to persuade her to let Daddy put her down (all the time she just refused to lift her head up from his shoulder). After which, I told her to show how clever she was to Daddy by finishing her food, and she cooperated, opening her mouth wide while I spooned her the food from the bottle, eager to impress Daddy. The little one sure miss Daddy, in her own ways. Daddy bought me a Bree bag (a wee bit too big for me I would say, but then, I shouldn't complain), and 2 pairs of slip ons from the Birkenstock company. Zara didn't have any apparels but Daddy bought her some biscuits. Here's Zara checking out the bag. And then, trying on the slip ons.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Tricycle and Lotion

We have been staying on and off at King's Wife's place while Daddy is away. Every morning, when I carry Zara downstairs, she'll be shouting, "Tatak! Batitel!" (Kakak, Bicycle) from the stair case. She loves to ride on the tricycle that King's Wife's Kids used to own. She can't reach the paddles yet, so Tuyam has to push her around. She'll put her feet up, and request, "Tatak, Push" (Kakak, Push) I bought a Barbie Tricycle for her for Christmas, but this is so much bigger, she couldn't even reach the ground when mounted; she will just push it around in the house, and also use the storage space under the seat to store her little treasures. ~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~ After seeing us applying moisturiser on our faces, and lotion on our body, she started imitating us. When she's in the room, she'll ask for a bottle of lotion, and start pretending to apply on herself too. I worry for the day when she knows how to unscrew bottle tops, and start opening any kinds of bottles and apply all sort of things on herself. Yikes!