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Zara’s Lantern

September 20, 2005 at 11:42 pm

Moon cake festival came and went. I’m quite impressed with some of the celebration some mums had for their little ones.

Baby Faythe had a good time as mummy really took the effort to prepare see here

Baby Ethylyn had a nice lantern to play with and went for lantern parade see here

What did Zara’s mummy do? **shame**

We don’t normally celebrate such ??? (festival) unless it’s instigated by my eldest sis. This year, since bro & sis-in-law were holidaying in Portugal, and youngest sis was busy with her cafe, eldest sis didn’t organise anything special. However, since this is Zara’s first year, we thought we’ll just get her a lantern, and see if we could bring her some place with lantern show.

Alas, as usual, daddy dilly dally till quite late before we left the house to do lantern shopping. We only have 30mins to shop until our dinner appointment.

We searched for it around Sunway, and managed to find this Chinese medicine shop selling battery operated ones. Zara was sleeping in the car, so we didn’t get her to choose it. After getting the shop owner to show us the few left (it was Saturday, 1 day to the big day, and there was only ~10 left), and ‘demo-ed’ 2 of the short listed ones to see what things the lantern could do (the simple ones are no longer available). One is lantern shaped, with about 5 birds popping out of the lantern, another is a Chinese lion, which turned its head, and walked a few steps when it’s turned on. The lantern shape one is nicer, but very heavy, Zara will not be able to lift it with her small hands. So we chose the latter.

When we were at the restaurant, we took the lantern out for Zara. She was ok with it, gave us a smile and wanted to touch it. Then we turned it on. ??? (Wong Fei Hoong) music started playing, the lion’s eyes flashing red, and its head wobbled left and right. Zara’s started showing some fear, she backed away a bit. When the head wobbling stopped and the lion started walking towards her, she cried! Big tears rolling down. I tried to console and comfort her, and told her there’s nothing to be afraid off, took her hand to touch it. She pulled back her hand, stared at the frightful creature, and more tears rolled down.

We have to put the lion away. **shame**

What about lantern viewing?

It was already time for Zara to go to bed when we finished dinner (~10pm), too late to bring Zara to ???(Tien Hou Temple) to see the lantern show (we assumed there was one there). So, we went back home. **another shame**

As for the lion, after letting Zara see the funnier side of the lion, like the pom poms on its tail and whiskers, and the funny gait the lion has when it’s walking, she’s no longer afraid of it. Still careful when we turned it on, but not afraid any more.

Next year, when Zara can walk and carry her own lantern, we’ll try to be more prepared, and have a better celebration with her. I promise no more shame!

Different stroke for different folks

September 18, 2005 at 11:04 pm

We had dinner tonight with some friends at a Thai Restaurant with Zara.

Zara had her home cooked porridge, while we indulged in the chili laden fare. When dessert was served (water chestnut in coconut milk), one of our friends was carrying Zara on his lap. Our friend just spooned some ice cold coconut milk into Zara’s mouth, and Daddy cautioned his friend, “she can’t take any of THAT!”.

Our friend, looking innocently, asked, “What’s wrong with this?”. Daddy proceeded in telling his friend that Zara is still young, and should not be given unboiled coconut milk (not to mentioned the sugar content in the coconut milk). His friend said we are just too careful, and declared that his girl friend’s nephew is already having Secret Recipe Cheesecake, and he’s one month younger than Zara.

Cheesecake at 9months old? The sugar content in the cake, the possibility of uncooked egg in the cake, what about additive and colouring? Nah, I won’t think of giving such thing to Zara at this age. Of course I didn’t say this out loud, but just said “We have to be careful of what she eats, just in case she may be allergic to certain food and may get tummy upset”.

His friend proceeded to tell us that the boy ate 1/2 a slice of the cheesecake and he is ok. I could only add to say that different people have different parenting style, and for us, this is not ok.

It’s true, different people have their own way of caring for their child, and they have their own Dos and Don’ts in terms of what the child can eat and cannot. For us, in terms of caring for Zara, we follow our child care books, Baby Centre etc etc, which is more of a Western approach. It may not be the best way, but this is the way we know how to care for her, and the method is not baseless.

What is this for?

September 17, 2005 at 6:28 pm

Tried replacing Zara’s thumb with the pacifier today when she was half asleep and sucking on her thumb.

She sucked on in for 30seconds, then found that something was not right, so she spit it out, and put her thumb back into her mouth. I tried one more time, she opened her eyes, took the pacifier out of her mouth with her hand and started examining the object. Her curiousity outweighed her sleepiness.

She sat up, and had a closer look at the pacifier. She knocked it on the table to see what sound it could make, shook it to see if it rattled, then put the handle into the mouth to taste it. I tried to put the teat into her mouth, but she immediately pulled it out, and made further detail inspection of it.

Daddy came by and started giving her some ‘education’ on what the object is for, but she just didn’t seem to get it. When he put the teat in her mouth, she took it out, and smiled, or she just chewed on it for a few seconds and spit it out.

We tried a few more times later, but she still wouldn’t suck on it. I’m not so sure if we could ever replace the thumb with the pacifier. She must have forgotten in the earlier days, when she was a few weeks old, before she could stick her thumb into her mouth, this was something that we gave her to sooth her. Now to her, this is just a toy.

An Addict’s Wound

September 16, 2005 at 6:47 pm

A drug addict does not mind inflicting wounds to himself so that he can have his fix.

My little girl does not mind the wounds she inflicted herself so that she can have her thumbsucking fix.

I was appalled to see that she had been sucking and biting her thumb so hard that there’s actually 2 cuts on the outside of her thumb, and the worse thing is she’s oblivious to this.

She’s a thumbsucker, and her thumb provides her with comfort every time she’s sleepy, bored, hungry, upset so it’s not going to be an easy habbit to change.

I’ll see if I can change her to a pacifier, and offer her the breast every time she needs to comfort herself. Hopefully, the wounds will heal soon. 🙁

Sippy Cup

September 15, 2005 at 6:44 pm

I bought Zara a B Free trainer cup when she was 5 months old. She never fancied the cup. She only took small little sips, or sometimes just merely touched the spout, not taking in any water. She likes being fed water using a spoon instead.

Recently, we have shelved the B Free cup to make way for my Sigg Bottle . She seems to like sipping from the sports bottle top, and she drinks a lot more water now with this bottle.

The girl has taste, she only wants Swiss made bottles. 🙂

Hello Daddy, Where Are You?

September 15, 2005 at 1:12 pm

Daddy is on a business trip and away for almost the whole week.

This morning, while I was having breakfast, Zara reached for my mobile phone and started playing with it. I asked her “Why is Zara holding mummy’s phone? Daddy calling is it?”. She just smiled.

I tooked the phone back and pretended to speak to its mouth piece “Hello, yes, she’s here”. I passed the phone back to Zara, and told her it’s her call, daddy is on the line.

She took it and put it near her ears, and started babbling. Aah, Pa, Ta. When she put the phone back down, I reminded her it’s daddy, she should say hello to him. She took it back up, placed it near her ear, and started babbling again. This went on for a while.

Well, if it’s a real phone call, and she can actually hear the speaker on the phone, she’ll normally push the phone back to me, and smiled sheepishly. I wonder why.

Breastfeeding Journey

September 14, 2005 at 8:46 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zara’s vocabulary

September 12, 2005 at 9:34 pm

After speaking her first comprehensible word on our way to Penang 2 weeks back, Zara added a few more words to her vocabulary.

Aao is for Cat
Bo Bo is for Ball
Boo is for Book
Ka is for Kakak Tuyam
Ta is for Aunty Litha (my bro’s maid)
Up is for Up

She says Papa, Ata, Tati quite often but I can’t figure out what they mean. Tried to get her to call me Mama, but she just won’t say Mama. Maybe she’s confused why I am asking her to call me Mama when that’s what we ask her to call my mum-in-law (intonation is different, and it stands for paternal grandma in Cantonese) as well.

Sometimes, she looks intently at our face when we speak to her, and she moves her mouth, as though trying to mimic us, however, no words came out.

She doesn’t like us to correct her pronunciation. When she says Aao, and daddy replies, “no not Aao, CAT”, she will look away and not say a word any more.

I told Daddy we shouldn’t correct her pronunciation now, but just encourage her by showing we understand what she says. Our reply should be “yes, Cat, Rusty the Cat” (Rusty is the name of our cat) when she says “Aao”. This makes her happier, and more willing to try to speak (even if it’s not comprehensible yet).


September 11, 2005 at 11:22 pm

There’s a funfair/fairground going on in Shah Alam stadium. We missed it last week, so we thought we will bring Zara there in the evening.

The place was packed, from a far, the lights on the gigantic rides flashing. If Zara wasn’t fascinated with the lights (she was looking at them even from the car) I would have asked Daddy to bring us home.

We were charged RM2 per person to enter the funfair. It was one of those funfair, where they put up a few thrill rides (brightly lit up) and lots of (con)games booth with cheap prizes (mainly dusty soft toys). It drew quite a big crowd though, even with the deafening techno music blasting away. One of those places we wouldn’t have gone, if it wasn’t for Zara.

Zara was basically attracted by the lights, the children, and the soft toys hanging from those game booth. We pointed out the soft toys to her, the tall Farrell’s Wheel, the bumper car ride. Then we brought her to the children section where they have spin around cars, and carousel.

The carousel ride was drawing a lot of children (and parents). We were one of them. I paid RM4, and took Zara with me on one of the horse. When the music started, our horse went up & down and around. She was quite indifferent riding on the horse, neither showing any fear, nor excitement.

Right after the ride, with nothing more interesting to see, we left the fair. She was so tired she fell asleep in the sling while we were walking back to the car. That explained why she didn’t feel too excited when we were on the carousel, she must have been too sleepy to enjoy it.

Games Playing on the bed

September 11, 2005 at 5:10 pm

Zara gets real happy when she wakes up and finds one of us in bed with her.

If it was me, she would try to climb up to my body, lay her head on my chest. It’s a bit like giving me a morning hug. When she’s feeling more affectionate, she will give me a kiss, on my lips (I don’t get that ‘lucky’ all the time).

It’s Sunday morning, where we have more time to laze in bed. We played this game : she turned her head towards me, and I said “hello”, she turned her head away, and I said “bye bye”. Here she was trying to turn her head very quick to see if I could catch up with her with my Hellos and Bye Byes.


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