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Happy to see some old faces

August 18, 2005 at 10:27 pm

Zara was so happy when Jenny Ah Kim and Samantha che-che came over for lunch yesterday. She was just clinging on to Samantha and was all smiles! She was touching Samantha, leaning her head on Samantha, and was trying to get Samantha to play with her the whole time.

This morning, I took the day off, and brought Zara over to Jenny’s place. The minute she saw Aunty Litha (the Filipino maid), she was smiling from ear to ear. When she entered the house, she was so happy, she started making happy babbling sounds, and was trying to chat to Litha (the 2 of them always seem to understand each other with their own language).

I could leave her with Litha, and have a peaceful breakfast, and I did not need to carry or pacify her. What a holiday (for me)!

Balls and Key Board

August 15, 2005 at 9:46 pm

She seems to be facinated with balls, be it big or small. Karen’s excercise ball is something we can use to pacify her when she’s crying, and keeps her entertained and forget about whatever she was fretting about.

Here she is trying to figure out what the big ball can do compare to the small one she was playing with (which she used it as a teether even though we kept telling her not to put it in her mouth).

The other thing that excites her is the PC, when she sees someone at the PC, she would try to reach for the key board with all her might (use the human body as a ladder to climb near the key board).

I opened up a photo in her blog and showed it to her, and she got very excited, drolling onto the key board at at the same time hitting the key board furiously.

There’s something about balls and little buttons that babies like.


August 14, 2005 at 12:48 pm

I started singing her the song, “If You’re Happy And You Know it”, 1 week ago.

I used the action “clap your hands”, “wave bye bye”, “give me five”, “kick your legs”, “stamp your feet”. In the beginning, she knew how to do the first 4, and when I stamped my feet, she got attracted to the sound, and looked down to see how I did it. She was quick to learn. After a few rounds of singing, over the weekend, she showed me how she ‘stamp her feet’.

She was holding on the the bed frame doing her usual round of cruising, and when we reached the part “stamp your feet”, she lifted one of her feet up, and stamped her foot. I sang the whole song, and she stamped her feet every time we reached the phrase with the action.

We were so pleased with her, and cheered and lifted her up to praise her. She was pleased with herself too, smiling her cheeky grin.

Now, every time when I sing her the song, she will follow the action phrase and do the action. Sometimes she’s a bit slow, and I have to wait for her a second or two, and repeat the phrase, or tell her “Zara, wave bye bye la”, or “Zara, give mummy five”, and she’ll carry out the action after the reminder.

These few days, she also started mastering opening and closing her hands while we sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. She’s trying to imitate the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” action as well, but I guess that will take a while.

Of all the Baby Einstein DVDs that I bought for her, she likes the Old Mc Donald one the most, and only the bit where the song was sung.

She enjoys children songs a lot, and especially like it if there’s some action bits which she can contribute. Sometimes, she sings too, but I can’t make out what she’s singing. She’ll be ‘aaaaah…. mm baaaa.”, then she’ll open and close her hands, and I guess she’s probably singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Haze and Fretful Baby

August 12, 2005 at 10:51 pm

The whole of Klang Valley was hit with the bad haze (caused by burning of plantation in Sumatra), a layer of smoke enveloping the whole city, visibility was down to 500meters. Every breath taken outdoor caused a choke, and you can feel your lungs working extra hard. This situation caused lots of people with respiratory related illnesses prolong their suffering. Zara was one of the victim. Although she has recovered from her fever, she still has a quite a bad cough and a bit of runny nose.

When we’re in Karen’s place, she is so fretful, and wants to be near me all the time. I guess with me working from home didn’t help much, as the more she knows I’m around, the more she will ‘look’ for me.

Her usual excitement during bath time, had also turned into some kind of torture. The minute she’s taken to the bath room by Elizebeth, her shouting and screaming bout starts. Nothing can consol her. We have to resort to topping and tailing her most of the time.

When we’re back home (we lived in one of the worst hit area), we spent most of our time in our own room, with the aircon (with in-built air filtration and ioniser) on, and if we needed to be in the living room, we have the ironiser turned on full blown, and all the windows shut tight.

It seems the haze is going to be with us for a while until the wind changed directions or the monsoon arrives. We will have to endure more of this till then.

Zara Being Ill

August 11, 2005 at 6:38 pm

It was Zara’s turn to be ill. I had passed on the virus to her, not sure by being near her, or by nursing her.

She started just like me, a cough. We brought her to the Pediatrician on Tuesday. She was still so full of energy, trying to reach and touch all the babies, toddlers, older children in the waiting room. When it was her turn to see the Dr, she marched in (with daddy holding on to her arms helping to support her).

In the middle of Tuesday night, she started running a temperature. I was awaken by her moaning in her sleep, she was as though in some kind of pain. I was worried sick, taking her temperature every 15mins, trying to sponge her or keep a cold towel on her forehead throughout the night.

On Wednesday, I took the day off to look after her at Karen’s place as I need Karen’s maids to help out. Her temperature was a constant 38.3~38.5. She didn’t want to have anything to eat, and didn’t want to have any water. All she wanted was to nurse.

The whole day, she was glued to my breasts. She would be sucking and when I try to sneak off to go to the toilet or go for a munch, she would wake up crying.

Giving her medicine was another big challenge. She would wail and scream when we try to feed her the medicine. She would hold the medicine in her mouth and not swallow it, while screaming on top of her voice until her voice turned horse. When we try to close her mouth to force her to swallow, she screamed even louder with big drops of tears streaming down and face turning all red. After that, she would throw up, milk, medicine and everything else.

My breasts sore, my muscle ache (from all the carrying), my body exhausted (from lack of sleep) and my heart broken (to see her at this state).

I was so glad in the night, her temperature was back to normal. Her fever has gone.

When babies fall ill, mummies suffer more than when they themselves are ill.

Intrigued by the guitar

August 8, 2005 at 10:41 pm

While Tuyam is away for her vacation, I will work from Karen’s place and have Karen’s 2 maids (one Indonesian, and one Filipino) help me look after Zara.

Zara’s first day with Kakak and Aunty wasn’t very exciting, until Nicholas (my 11 year old nephew) came home and started strumming the guitar.

She was intrigued by the guitar. Nicholas ko-ko tried teaching her how to strum the guitar, but she just didn’t understand or know how to ‘strum’ the strings. Instead, she preferred to hit on the wooden casing of the guitar.

Mummies Can’t Be Sick

August 7, 2005 at 7:56 pm

A bad cough crept into my system on Friday, followed with over all body ache. Yesterday, when we sent of Tuyam to the airport, it got worse. I started having a bad headache.

What timing! Here I was sending off my domestic helper cum baby sitter for her 1 month vacation, and the fever, cough virus eagerly came for a visit.

Without a maid, we couldn’t really care for Zara. I got weaker. I continued to nurse her (which I’m not sure if it was such a good idea under such condition), and tried to just watch over her while lying on the bed. Daddy, although is a good play mate, isn’t such a great child carer. We sent an SOS to mum in law. She agreed to help out and would stay a night at our place.

For the rest of the weekends, I laid in bed all the time with a very bad fever, and was vomiting out anything that I ate.

Mum in law was the one caring for Zara for the 2 days, but Zara was fretting a lot. She preferred mummy. Anytime when she was changed in the room, Zara would reach for me. After a feed, she would want to stay for a while near me, leaning her head on my chest, lying next to me playing with my fingers or my pendant.

I dare not give her kisses, worry that I may pass the virus to her, but couldn’t help giving her some cuddles and hugs.

You can’t be sick being a mum, the baby needs you, and nobody can replace you. This is even more true if you are still nursing the baby.

I was glad, I got better at night. Still weak, but my headache and vomiting had stopped. I didn’t know then that the week was going to be a long one…..

Night time ritual

August 6, 2005 at 10:55 am

Her night time ritual consists of changing, playing with her toileteries, trying to climb down of the bed, cruising. Mummy or daddy always have to be near by to watch over her, just in case she falls.

Too excited to sleep

August 5, 2005 at 3:14 pm

Zara has learnt how to crawl, stand up (supported), cruise around furniture, stand and sit herself up within these last 2 weeks.

I think her own achievement has excited herself.

She has been sleeping quite promptly at 9:30pm the last few weeks. After I changed her to her pajamas, she would lie down to nurse, then drift off to sleep; or worse case, she would lie in bed with me, and after a few songs and some patting, she would fall asleep. Her usual routine is 10hrs of sleep in the night, and she takes 2 naps which total up to 2 to 3hrs.

But this week, after we’d come back home, she’s still wide awake, even though I know she’s very tired (since her nap time remain the same, and she is physically more active now). After nursing, she would want to get back down on the ground, do more cruising, practice more standing herself up.

She wouldn’t stop, even if I turned off the lights, and tell her it’s time for bed. She would toss and turn and sit up, and toss and turn and sit up. A few times, to calm her excited self down, I have to lay her on my chest with her tummy against mine, and her head on my chest; or I carry her in my arms and rock her to sleep, that way she’ll drift to sleep in 5mins or so.

We have also raised the bars of her cot as she’s now able to stand herself up. This is what she does now in the morning at 6am when she wants to come over to our bed to nurse, she’ll stand herself up, hanging on to the bars facing my direction, and shouts for me “Aaah.. Eerr” until I come to her.

This is her still up and alert at 11pm wanting to practice more cruising.

Journey to work

August 4, 2005 at 6:10 pm

Zara leaves the house together with me in the morning, and I drop her off in Jenny’s place (before) or Karen’s place (now) together with Tuyam. The journey takes about 25mins (smooth traffic) to 45mins (bad traffic). Here’s she, on a typical day.

Getting into the car, she’s all excited and happy.

Songs and games keep her going.. but not for long

Starts to put thumb in the mouth, indicating she’s tired

Sucking her thumb (she always covers her face either with her own hand or with a piece of muslin cloth/hanky) to sleep.

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