Car Seat Upgrade

November 24, 2005 at 5:47 pm

Zara’s car seat is long overdue for an upgrade. Although she has not reached the weight limit of her infant carrier (9Kg), she has already exceeded the height limit (72cm) quite a few months back.

Even though we’d bought her a front facing car seat during the mega sales in August, we didn’t replace it immediately because the infant carrier is very portable (easy to install into my car on weekdays, and move to Daddy’s car on weekends) and has a canopy (good for transporting her in and out of the car during rainy days and shield her on sunny days) .

We set ourselves a target, when she turned One, we’ll do the upgrade. Finally, yesterday night, Daddy installed the new car seat into my car (after 30mins of struggling and some swearing).

This morning, when it was time to leave the house, I told Zara “Come on, lets go, we’re going to Ah Kim’s house already” She automatically wobbled towards her infant carrier and wanted to climb into it. We told her, “Zara now big girl already, che-che (big sister) already, no more baby, must sit in BIG car seat now”. It was like a ceremony, 3 of us (Daddy, maid, myself), fussed over her and placed her into her new car seat. And thank God she likes it, and didn’t complain.

Now, while driving to work, she’ll be seated behind me, instead of next to me (like she did when she was in her infant career). I can’t hold her hand or stroke her face while driving any more…. *sob sob*.

Just for the records, this is her in the Infant Carrier in August.
And today, the big girl has been upgraded to her spacious car seat.

Why do I feel as though I’m going to marry her off soon?? *Sensible me talking : I have to get a grip of myself!*

Spanking New Camera

November 18, 2005 at 5:00 pm

After a few months of contemplation, we finally bought a spanking new digital SLR, the Olympus E500.

Why this model? Don’t ask me, I’m not the technical one who will go to the net and compare features and prices. Daddy decided on the model.

We have been using our Pentax Optio 555 since Nov 2003. It has seen us through a few holidays, Zara’s birth, and her 1st year. I have been complaining about the shutter lag of the camera (which is about 1.35sec, very slow for precious moments). Every time when I tried to take a happy shot of Zara, after her smile has disappeared, then only the shot is taken. I had lost a lot of beautiful moments.

Daddy wanted us to upgrade to another camera with improved speed. I wasn’t keen. What’s the point of owning 2 very similar cameras? I told him only if it’s an SLR, or else, we just stick to what we have now. After much research and price comparison, we finally settled for this.

The draw backs of these SLR cameras are that they can’t take Videos and they are too bulky to carry around daily (which I do with my Pentax). So I’ll still rely on my Pentax for day to day shots and videos.

I don’t know much about cameras or photography, I only know how to capture moments. I believe by owning this new toy, I will have to start learning. Daddy gave me 3 days to learn up (the use of the camera), so that I can use this new beauty to capture Zara’s first birthday celebration on Sunday.

Well, Zara was running a temperature yesterday, so I was very busy caring for her. Today, she seemed to have recovered (Dr can’t tell why she got a fever, since she didn’t have any infection or flu). If she remained alright (crossing my finger, for her sake as well as mine), I’ll have today and tomorrow to learn up the features of the camera in preparation for her Sunday’s party.

Signing With Zara

November 15, 2005 at 5:00 pm

Zara signing ‘MORE’ in the attached photo:

I first heard about signing with babies when I was searching for some books in Amazon.com, and stumbled upon books on this topic, so I looked up websites and did some research.

Why do you sign to babies? “It is a fact that infants develop the fine muscles in their hands before they develop those required for speech, so they’re equipped to communicate with you before they can speak“, there are some very good websites who give you some insight to this.

I for one, got very frustrated when I could not understand what Zara was crying or asking for. She was 7 months then. At the period where she could not speak, but already had her demands(by crying).

I went to the ASL (American Sign Language) Site, looked at the video on how to do certain signs, and started signing to Zara. I tried to do the essential one like milk, drink, eat.

It wasn’t easy to let Zara associate the signs with the words, even more difficult because my maid was her main care giver during the day. Although I’d instructed her to sign to Zara when Zara was offered milk, a drink of water or food to eat, I could not ensure she did that since I was not around to check on her. When I signed to Zara during the time I took care of her, she seemed to look at me in amusement, not taking my ‘signing’ seriously.

The initial attempt failed.

As Zara grew older, she’s more firm with her demands, she gets a bit frustrated when none of us are able to tell what she’s saying or asking for. So I tried signing again. This time, I didn’t get my maid to help, because if she did it wrongly, it’ll only confuse Zara more.

I’d used a few signs with her, two of the signs she picked up quickly are more (2 hands come together), and no more (turn the wrist with palm stretched out). Her version of more is pointing her finger to her other palm (like doing dim-choong-choong ???). She tells me she wants more by doing this action, e.g. she wants more bubble blowing, food, reading, singing, etc.

Her signing came to very good use the other night. After breast feeding her from both breast, she pointed her finger to her other palm (she wants more), then pointed to my breast, and turned her wrist with palm stretched out (but I have no more milk), and then started fussing and repeated the gesture (my milk supply reduced because of the time of the month).

I quickly made her 2 additional oz of formula milk. Although she eventually just took a few drips (yes ‘drips’, not even ‘sips’) of milk from the bottle (she only has tasted formula milk on 2 or 3 occasions, so probably not used to the taste), she seemed to be happy that I understood her, and went to sleep blissfully.

I’m still in the midst of introducing more signs to her. Hopefully, it’ll help more with our communications.

Good Buys vs Bad Buys

October 5, 2005 at 6:57 pm

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 Baby Carrier/Sling:

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’ (??/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’ (??/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.

New Toy New Skill

September 3, 2005 at 6:45 pm

Last week I bought her Tiny Love’s Musical Stack & Play™.

Initially, I played with her by puting the rings on our head and doing a jig (I did, she just watched), telling her, “look at mummy’s funny hat”, and then tell her she has one too. She would reach for it, and then take the ring down.

Today, I try to teach her to drop the ball into the Elephant Head (a funnel attached to the top opening of the cone). After a few try, with me demonstrating to her, and guiding her hand with the ball, she managed to drop it. She smiled when she heard the cheearing and music the cone made when the ball touched its base. She did that a few more times successfully.

I thought I would remove the Elephant Head, and try to get her to drop it directly to the top opening of the cone. I just told her “Take the ball and put it in (pointing to the opening)”, and she did it without having to demonstrate to her.

She was very happy, and continued to do a few more times. A few times, she actually looked very serious trying to get it right. When she managed to drop it, besides hearing the cheering and the music from the cone, I too cheered and clapped for her. Making her more eager to repeat.

This is a new skill she’d learnt, dropping things through a small opening. While doing this, she also started being able to ‘give’ me things. I used to have to pry open her hand to take some thing from her or have a tug of war with her. When I demonstrated to her how to drop the ball, I asked her to ‘give mummy the ball’, pointing to the ball she’s holding. After a few rounds, she actually placed the ball in my hands.

I must say this toy is worth the investment, and we haven’t even started on the stacking rings yet.

Giving thanks to St Anne

August 26, 2005 at 10:27 pm

Because I had a miscarriage in my first pregnancy, when I was pregnant with Zara the 2nd time, I was very worried I will loose her as well.

In the early days of the 2nd pregnancy, we were up north for a family holiday, and therefore my dad, who is a very dedicated Catholic, insisted that we make a trip to St. Anne Church in Bukit Mertajam, so I could ask for blessings there.

I said the sincerest prayers there last May, wishing that the baby I was carrying will be strong and healthy. 6months later, I was blessed with Zara. We have then, planned for a trip back to St Anne with Zara to give thanks.

The trip finally materialised, and we plan to take few days off next week during the Indepencance day holidays, so we could go up north with Zara, for a holiday, as well as to give thanks to St Anne.

Swimming

August 24, 2005 at 10:56 pm


We got Aunty Ping Ping’s package few days back, and today, Zara got a chance to put on her All American swim suit. The weather is good, so I thought I’ll bring her for a dip in the pool together with my nephews.

She just looks so cute in the 2 piece swim suit, and the matching hood.

She had so much fun kicking and waving her arms in the water. A few times, she shook her head to try to shake off the float, but it was securely fastened with 2 pieces of velcro. The float is one of the best Chinese creation! I have to remember to thank Ma Xin Ah Yi who got this for her from Beijing again.

She didn’t do her poo in the morning, and the whole time we were in the pool, I was worried she was going to contaminate the pool. Phew, luckily she didn’t.

Leap Frog Baby Tad

August 19, 2005 at 10:11 am

Bought her a Leap Frog singing/talking Hug & Learn® Baby Tad™ Plush yesterday, but it didn’t seem to excite her as much as I would like to. After paying a hefty RM110 for it, I would at least like to see her show some enthusiasm or interest in the toy.

Here she is preferring to suck on her thumb, play with her tube of diaper cream, check out the wet wipes, examine the rubber mat (things she sees and plays with every day), and just not giving the huggable toy any attention.

At this age (coming to 9 months), I’m just not sure what toys to get for her any more. The ones meant for 12mths are too advance for her, while the ones meant for 6mths don’t capture her interest as much.

Maybe I should just let her play with normal house hold things, or just give her an old key board to play with, this could save me some money.

Oral Hygiene

August 2, 2005 at 4:37 pm

The Pigeon Trainer Toothbrush set is a really good buy, with 3 brushes for different stages. We got Zara a set, and she’s currently using the Step 1 brush, it comes with a safety shield which prevents choking.

When we first introduced the tooth brush to her, she bit on it like a teething toy. She didn’t mind us moving the brush around for her, and sometimes she’ll hold it herself.

I’d been carrying her while I brush my teeth lately, and now when we give her her tooth brush, she’ll put it in her mouth, and move the ‘brush’ around, probably trying to imitate my brushing.

She’s ‘brushing’ her gums most of the time, and I have to help her with her 4 pearly whites (she’s corporative all the time, allowing me to move the brush around her teeth).

I also rub Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel on her teeth once in the morning and once just before she goes to bed.

Not sure if it’s the daily brushing and the gel, or babies are just like that, but Zara has no morning breath at all. She always smells good in the morning!

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