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Her first step

September 10, 2005 at 9:48 pm

Zara took her first step today, at 9months 3 weeks old!

She was cruising using our bed frame as support, and I was just sitting on the floor talking to her. She then turned and stood with her back supported by the bed frame looking at me. I extended my arms ready to catch her if she fell. I told her to be careful. The next thing I know, she took 3, 4 quick steps forward, and landed in my arms.

I was shocked, and after a second, I realised what she’d done and shouted HOORAY! She had this big smile on her face, and then she started clapping her hands. I guess she knew too that she’d achieved some thing big.

I couldn’t believe it, so I placed her back on the same spot, with her back rested on the bed frame; I extended my arms, and I said, “Zara, come to mummy”. Again, another 3, 4 quick steps forward, and she’s back in my arms.

I was so happy, and carried her high up, shouting “Hip Hip Hooray!”. Zara giggling, and clapping her hands.

Daddy heard all the commotion and stuck his head into the room and asked what happened. I got Zara to show us her moves again. And then Tuyam wanted to see it as well. Zara walked again. She was eager to show off her new skill (and so is mummy).

We were all very happy to see this achievement, but think it’ll be some time more before she could walk about confidently but I may be wrong.

Back to old routine

September 9, 2005 at 6:49 pm

This whole week Zara has started going back to Jenny Ah Kim’s house. So she’s back to her old routine, below is the time she spent with me around :

5:30- 6:30am : She stands on her cot and shouts for me (and it goes louder if I tried to ignore it). I will bring her to our bed, place her in between us, nurse her, and we both go back to sleep (daddy seldom wakes up with all these shuffling or shouting).
7:30- 8:00am : Wakes up by the noise we make to prepare ourselves to work. I will be expressing milk while she sits on her high chair to play with things on the dining table.
8:00- 8:30am : Takes her shower either with me or daddy, and either one of us (the one who didn’t shower her) will change her
8:45- 9:00am : She leaves the house together with me and Tuyam. On the journey, she’ll go back to sleep, or she’ll play with some toys or just entertains herself.
9:15- 9:30am : Arrives at Jenny’s place. I hug her and give her a kiss, and go to work.

(time she spends in Jenny’s place under the care of Tuyam)

7:00- 7:30pm : I arrive at Jenny’s place. Pick her up, and ask her about her day (she’ll just smile and sometimes gives me a hug).
7:3o – 8:30pm : I will have my dinner while either Litha (my bro’s maid) or Tuyam looks after her. After dinner, I’ll play with her a bit.
8:30 – 9:00pm : Leaves for home. Most of the time, she would have doze of on the 30mins journey
9:00 – 10:00pm : Daddy will come to carry her out from the car when we arrive. While daddy has his packed dinner, I will play with her or read a book to her. Then daddy will help me give her a wipe, change her to pajamas. Sometimes if she’s still very energetic, we’ll spend more time playing in the room, but most of the time, she would be asking for her last feed.
I will nurse her (while daddy goes back down to do whatever he needs to do), and quite often, she’ll doze off after her feed.
Sometimes, she may still want to play, but I’ll turn off all the lights, and lie in bed with her. She will toss and turn, and do all kinds of acrobatic movements on the bed, but I’ll just ignore her. Most of the time I’ll doze off before she does.
Once she’s asleep, and I wake up from my ‘nap’, I’ll put her in her cot, tuck her in, and then the rest of the time will be mine.

Sleeping & Crying

September 8, 2005 at 6:25 pm

Just some photos of Zara sleeping and crying (from her younger days till now).. Luckily, she sleeps more than she cries.

She just loves sleeping, and can sleep just about any where.

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

Happy to see kakak

September 4, 2005 at 11:40 am

It’s finally time for Tuyam to come back from Indonesia after her 1month holidays.

We went to KLIA to pick her up. Zara was feeling a bit bored and dopey after a nap on the 40mins journey.

When Tuyam got into the car and said hello to Zara, her face lit up. She started getting excited, kicking her legs, waving her arms, and lifting her head to try to get more glimpses of her kakak pass me (I was seated between the two of them). Then she started making happy noises, occasionally, squealed with laughter while she kept looking at her kakak.

When we stopped to have lunch, and Tuyam went to pick Zara up, she happily reached out her hands for her kakak.

I was worried originally that she may need some time getting used to Tuyam when Tuyam comes back. Looks like she still remembers her kakak and they just hit off right away. Phew!

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.

Stairs Climbing

September 1, 2005 at 6:08 pm

Went for lunch at the Tais with Jenny (my sis in law).

The last time we were here, Zara just recovered from her fever, and she was clinging to me all the time like a koala. This time, she was eager to explore.

While we were chatting in the big hall, Zara climbed up the winding marble stair case. One step at a time, she went. I have to follow her closely, just in case she slipped. She’s very good at going up, but didn’t know how to come down. She leaned herself over the edge of the step, peeping down, trying to figure out how to get down. I have to help her but she started going up again once I placed her back down on the floor.

This is the first time she’s climbing stairs, and I guess if given the opportunity, she will want to practice this skill over and over again.

Last day of holiday

August 31, 2005 at 11:36 pm

Since it’s the last day of our holiday, in the morning, we just lazed about in the hotel.

Zara got bolder with the waves, trying to walk closer to the water, and not afraid even when a higher wave wet her thighs. I was holding her hands all the time, ready to lift her up if the wave looked too menacing.

It’s a public holiday today, and therefore there were more guests, making the pool area very noisy. The hotel has a very nice garden, with very old and big trees and away from the crowd. A few big hammocks were available, and I always like lying on one. I took one with Zara and immediately she laid her head on my chest, and started sucking a thumb, a contented look on her face (and mine).

We checked out at 12pm, and started our long journey back home. More singing, and entertaining Zara on that long drive.

When we arrived, she was actually quite happy to be home. She was suddenly bursting with energy, and was crawling here and there, making lots of noises, and when we put her in her walker because we had to unpack, she was just walking very fast, and knocking on every thing.

When I tried to nurse her before tucking her to bed, she was becoming quite naughty. She bit on my nipple, and shouted AIK! I think she wanted to play more, and didn’t want to settle down yet. I tried a few more times, and she did the same thing followed by more AIKs ! I was very upset, as though she was rejecting me.

I have to wrap my arms tightly around her, cuddle her, and tell her it’s getting late, and she should stop being naughty. She was making her scolding sound all the time AIK! AIK!

Eventually, she calmed down, and laid her head on my shoulder. I nursed her again, and this time she didn’t bite. While stroking her head, I told her never to bite again. Not sure if she understood or heard me, but she drifted off to sleep after a while.

It was a good holiday, and with a kid, it will never be the same carefree, rough it out type again. Even after a long journey, her needs have to be met first before we could rest or unpack.

Genuine Horsie Ride

August 30, 2005 at 1:49 pm

After breakfast we went for a stroll at the beach. There were a few people who approached us and asked if we wanted to hire their jet ski or beach bike. There was also a lady who asked if we wanted to have a massage or reflexology done. All these didn’t interest us.

A scrawny man dragging a horse towards us attracted my attention instead. Zara loves the Baby Einstein Old McDonald video. I thought this is a good time to introduce her to a horse. I asked how much it’ll cost for us to ride on it. RM30 was the price. The man said our whole family could ride on the horse together. That would cripple the horse maybe, I thought.

I was keen in riding the horse with Zara, and asked Daddy if it was ok for him. He wasn’t keen at all, saying what if Zara is allergic to the horse, will it be dangerous etc etc. Well, we won’t know if Zara was allergic to horses if we didn’t try it out, and I checked with the scrawny man if it was safe. He assured us it will be, and that the horse will go real slow. I then agreed to his price for a ride with Zara.

He helped me up the horse, then daddy passed Zara to me. I made very sure Zara was sitting comfortably (or she might move around complaining later), and I had my arms around Zara’s waist. Daddy had to go back to the room to get the cash as we didn’t have any on us.

The horse started trotting as the man dragged it. We were going slowly, but it was still quite bumpy up on the horse. I told Zara this is a horse, and sang bits of the Old Mc Donald song to her. She squealed a little, tried to pull the horse’ mane, and also touched its coat of rough short hair near the saddle. She was comfortable, and not afraid to be so high up.

After about 10mins trotting at the beach, the man took us back to our hotel. We had to wait for another 15mins for daddy . The horse was getting impatient, and was thumping the sand with its hoof, and then bit off the attap roof of a nearby shed. The man scolded the horse, and then slapped its forehead.

Upon seeing this aggression, Zara too started scolded the horse. “AIK!” “AIK!” she shouted, and then pulled its mane. I have to tell her not to do it, instead I told her to ‘sayang’ (pat lovingly) the horse.

Eventually, daddy arrived with the money (apparently, he also went back to the room to take his bath causing the delay). After dismounting from the horse, we got Zara to thank the horse, and pat or ‘sayang’ it again. She did that gently, and I was very pleased.

At the beach & meeting the monkeys

August 29, 2005 at 4:24 pm

We spent the morning at the beach after breakfast.

Zara had been to the beach at Kuantan before, but she was probably too young to know how to appreciate it (by touching the sand, kicking waves, walking on the shore). This time, I put her on a towel, and tried to build some sand castle (more like sand blocks) near her for her to topple.

She was very curious about the sand, first time touching it. After examining it a bit by feeling the texture and looking at it, she put some into the mouth to taste. Ugh! I was too slow to stop her, and it was quite hard to try to dig out whatever that she has already placed in her mouth. Luckily, the amount was as much as her thumb and index finger (pincer grip) could hold, so it wasn’t that much actually.

She didn’t like crawling on the sand, I think the sand was a bit too abrasive for her knees, so after venturing out of the towel for a while, she crawled back in.

We then spent some time walking along the shoreline, some how Zara was a bit weary every time the waves licked her feet, and she tried to walk away from it. I tried to get rid of her fear by asking her to kick the wave every time it’s approaching or make it sound like fun stepping on waves, and after a while, she started feeling more comfortable.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in Komtar, because it was raining cats & dogs the whole time.

In the evening, we were lucky that the sky had cleared, so we could bring Zara to the Botanical Garden just as we planned.

We walked the loop, meeting some monkeys on the way. She was enjoying herself, excited over the monkeys, and the bouncing in the baby sling when daddy did a slow jog.

The botanical garden is just such a great place to go, and I must say, it is so well kept. Compared to our Lake Gardens in KL, this is heavenly.

Penang, here we come!

August 28, 2005 at 12:51 pm

After stuffing the whole car with Zara’s things (1 bag of toys and books for the journey, another bag for the stay; 1 bag of baby food; half a suit case full of diapers, clothes, bibs, wash cloth etc.; the gigantic pram; her survival bag; her infant carrier), and the little space left with our bags of clothes, we were finally leaving KL for Penang.

Zara sat in the infant carrier and was with me at the back seat. The drive was a long one, with me playing some of her toys with her, singing to her, reading to her and she napped a bit here and there. We took her to Kuantan when she was 1 month +, and back then she slept more, so the journey was not so bad.

In the beginning, she was quite happy to be in her seat, but after more than 2 hours, she started getting a bit restless. When we reached Ipoh, she was raising her arms, and shouting “UP!”, “UP!”. Her very first word, spoken out of frustration!! She repeated this until she was picked up from her seat.

We broke for late lunch in Ipoh and then spent some time walking about there. When we were about to leave Ipoh, Zara protested and refused to be strapped back to her seat. I have to almost force her down, while explaining to her the car is going to move soon, so she must be in her seat. She was very upset, and after strapping her up, she sucked her thumb, and closed her face with the other hand, and went to sleep.

Bukit Mertajam was our next destination. We didn’t have problem getting to St Anne’s Church as we got very good directions given to us by a patrol station attendant.

Zara was glad it was another stop. She was so happy when we got down the car. In St Anne’s Church, I gave my thanks. Zara was standing next to me, looking around, attracted by the flickering light of the candles, calmed by the serenity of the church surrounding.

Daddy too gave his thanks, and then we left the old church building, and walked about in the big compound. There was the chiming of the church bell (indicating a sunset mass was about to begin), followed by singing of the choir from the church. It was such a nice setting but it was time for us to leave for Penang.

It was another 1hr drive, to get us to Penang and to our hotel. I booked the Lone Pine Hotel in Batu Feringi from the internet. It’s a charming small hotel.

I booked the cheapest room and was surprised that we got such a beautiful room. We actually have a little private garden all to ourselves (see pic). The room was spacious with dark wood furniture. I also got the hotel to send in a little cot for Zara, but it will just be used as a play pan, as the bed is large enough to fit all 3 of us. My only complain is that there was a lot of sand on the floor, I have to sweep the place myself, before I was willing to let Zara walk or crawl on it.

The rest of the evening, we spent having a stroll at the beach, have a very nice nonya dinner, and then because Zara slept so much in the car and was still very energetic when we got back after dinner (and also because of the lure for cheap DVDs), we went DVD shopping just outside of the hotel. RM10 for 4 DVDs, where else can you get such a great deal?

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