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Monday, October 31, 2011

The magic word!

She is saying 'Mummy'!!!  *yipppeeeee!*  I'd expected this word only later, judging from what I have heard and from when she started talking.  Then last week she started saying 'Mum-meee'!

When I go down, I say 'Dowwwnnnn'

Let me just document briefly her verbal progress. 

Stage 1:  All animals are 'Dog' and all humans are 'Ah maaaaa'.  The only other word she said is 'eck eck' for dirty. This stage lasted for months.
Stage 2:  'Papa' emerged for hubby, and then 'koko' for big brother and 'kak kak' for the maid. 
Stage 3:  All insects are 'Ant' and all other animals remain 'Dog'.  'Nana' is for all fruits.  It's now 'Jie jie' for big sis and 'kong' for grandfather.  If she sounds like she's about to sneeze and goes 'Ahhhhh AHHHH', she's probably calling Mummy!
Stage 4:  All insects with wings are 'Bee', insects without wings remain 'Ant'.  'Cat' appeared for cats. 

And now.... Mum-meeee!  Heh heh.  The stages besides stage 1 didn't last long.  Other words she picked up along the way, from stage 2 onwards:

Book, up, down, corn, tuu (shoe), pen (open), toto (take photo/camera and also turtle), out, ta (water), baby, kish (fish), chick, cut-cut, drop, throw, war (wash), bra (brush).

She is by no means an early talker but she is picking up speed!  Some words aren't clearly pronounced at all but I am so amused at her baby voice saying the words.  And I melt in the mornings when she brings me my water bottle while calling softly 'Mum-meee'.   :)

Mum-meee...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Daily Weekday Routine

Jo Ern has a pretty structured daily routine. This girl definitely likes law and order in her life.  And within these main activities, she has her sub-routines.  Like if she goes outside to the garden, she MUST go to a particular wall, stand with her back to it and give a cheeky smile.  Slightly OCD, my little girl. :)

Must stand right here for a while

This is currently her typical weekday routine.  On weekends she doesn't go over to her grandparents' place so the routine will be slightly different.  Also we sometimes go out to the mall or for meals.  These aren't too good for her coz she will then skip naps or meals/milk feeds.

8.00+ Wake up. If Mummy is around, play a bit.  Bring waterbottle to Mummy to drink and then drink from her own waterbottle.  Then grab doggie and pet octopus in each hand and come for milk (yes I still breastfeed a bit... plan to stop soon!). If see only Papa, cry or play a bit depending on mood.

8.30 Have a walk outside. Breakfast of oats with Marmite. Get bath from Papa.

9-10 Go over to Ah Mah and Ah Kong's house. Spend some time messing around in the garden.

10.30 Milk and morning nap. After her milk, she will toddle to the kitchen with the bottle and place the bottle at the sink. Then she will toddle over to the mattress. :) Naps can be long, up to 2 hours. 

12.30 Lunch, normally rice with dishes

3.30 Milk and afternoon nap. Naps can again be up to 2 hours. Sometimes she is not able to sleep. Then will get cranky before bedtime at night.

6+ Quick shower

7-7.30 Come back to own house.

8.00 Dinner. After dinner, have fruits.

10.00 Go up to bedroom. Come over to Mummy with doggie and pet octopus in each hand, and demand milk.  Use Papa's backscratcher as a 'tongkat' and drag it around the room. 

10.30 Bedtime.  Yes, she sleeps through the night.

And in between all these activities, PLAY.  Such is the life of a busy toddler. Heh.

I play with my car first, then read this book, then play with my caterpillar, then read the other book...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ah Mah's birthday

Everybody sing...Happy birthday to Ah Mah.

Time flies and it's Ah Mah's birthday again! As usual it is pretty impossible to get a nice photo of everyone. Either someone is moving, someone has his//her eyes closed or someone looks funny.  Baby Erin also started crying halfway through.

We seem to have a new criteria for choosing a makan place now.  That is, having enough space for the kids to run/toddle around in.  This is a bit of a nuisance... half-full restaurants normally either have lousy food, are too expensive or both! Luckily for this round, my bro did manage to find a good place - Crocodile Farm.  Food was nice enough and it wasn't TOO expensive.  Since it was barely half-full, it also fulfilled our new criteria.  The kids sat together with the maids at the next table and we adults had peace and quiet to enjoy our meal. I liked the chilli crab with fried mantao, the egg/fake sharksfin appetiser and black pepper ostrich best.

Anyway the best thing is having a family gathering.  I don't know if it's because I'm getting older, but I'm starting to like these a lot.  Happy birthday to my beloved mother!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Food intake

I caught a big prawn!

Hehe got prawn to eat

Jo Ern still doesn't eat a whole lot.  She likes biscuits but takes VERY long to finish.  Fruits are about the only thing she eats reasonably fast... but I can't fatten her up on fruits.  :)  Overall food intake has definitely improved though.  In hindsight, it was a wrong diagnosis that period when she started rejecting her solids.  I'd been graduating her to chunkier foods at the time, and my maid said her food should be pureed again.  I think that was when she'd wanted to eat 'real' food, food that other people were eating instead of her porridge.  Hmmm then again, at that time she hardly have any teeth so how was she to eat rice and meat??

But she must have books and toys to entertain her at mealtimes.  I think she knows that while eating, she is the Queen!  For me the ends still justify the means. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beginning of independence

Jo Ern is asserting her preferences these days.  If she wants something, she'd cry until she gets it (or is distracted).  If she doesn't want something, she'd scream and scream.  The other day she saw a piece of ginger during dinner and wanted it.  Had to distract her with a toy.  After a while she remembered that piece of ginger and continued to cry for it.  Had to distract her some more.  Hubby said should just give it to her, heh. 

Cutting her nails is a minor ordeal now.  She would scream loudly and wriggle throughout.  When I'm finally done, she'd grab the nailclipper and try to do it herself...

I can do this myself, Mummy no need to do

Maybe the other leg would be easier. Mummy still no need to do

I almost miss the days when she'd lie/sit/stand there while having things done for her! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

First maid

My maid Lina is working out very well indeed, call it first time lucky!  She cooks well, has her own routine of doing housework, does additional tasks without complaining and has genuine affection for Jo Ern.  The last means she takes care of Jo Ern as best as she can and even seeks her out to play when she finishes her chores.

The other day I had to nip out right after lunch.  Lina was feeding Jo Ern her rice (this takes about an hour, no kidding!).  When I came back shortly after, Lina had:

1.  Finished feeding Jo Ern
2.  Finished her own lunch
3.  Cleaned and changed Jo Ern
4.  Wiped the mess Jo Ern made on the high chair and floor
5.  ... and was washing the dishes after setting Jo Ern comfortably up like this:

I have a mat to sit on, a book to read and some toys to play with

Not bad at all!  Having said that, I try NOT to leave Jo Ern alone in the house with the maid.  Hubby says you never know.  He previously had a maid who was good for a year and then disappeared one day.  If I have to be out, hubby tries to be in.  If both of us have to be out, we don't give advance notice to avoid giving Lina a chance to 'arrange' anything... And when we come back, we only relax upon seeing Jo Ern safe and sound.  Hehe.  Paranoid we are when it comes to our precious little girl! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Updates

Just a quick update on what I have been up to.  I had two offers after a week of interviews - a large global company and a small local one.  The former comes with a better package but involves regular concalls with Europe/US, thus the flexi working hours of 7am to 10pm.  Some travel throughout the year would also be necessary to Switzerland and India.  The latter offer has the benefit of the usual 9am to 6pm.  After agonising over the choices, I decided that what I want is going home at the usual time, EVERY day.  And if asked to leave home for a week or two, all I would be thinking would be getting it over and done with.  Decided that at this stage in my life, I should do more of the things I like and avoid those I don't.

So I was to start work 3 Oct at the small local company.  Then last minute the boss called me and said that since the project only starts later, why not I stay home with my baby an additional week and join later?  Grrr so he's already thinking of saving HIMSELF one week of my salary!  Not a good sign at all!  Some more use Jo Ern as an excuse?!  I am not happy!

Anyway I have committed to this path so I might as well walk it a bit and see how it goes.  I have already declined further calls from headhunters and for other interviews. 

And what have I been doing besides attending interviews?  I've been taking the chance to try out some of the long list of recipes on my to-do list, baked a cake and 2 types of cookies, made various types of jelly.  My parents happened to be on holiday in Turkey so I had 1.5 weeks with Jo Ern at home.  With this little one at home, I'm definitely not too free!  She demands to be carrried a lot, she pats the floor asking me to sit and play with her, she plays by herself but messes things up, drops things on herself or falls down hence crying loudly and requiring consoling.  Of course with the maid and her around, I also had to take care of lunch and dinner as well as supervise them.  While it's been nice, the first day my parents are back, I'm packing her off for some 'me' time.  Heheheeee.

I help to rearrange this cupboard ok?

One, two...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Phuket Days 3&4

Day 3

Attended the sales presentation in the morning. Since I wasn’t THAT impressed with Phuket and Mariott in general, decided not to sign up. Had some trouble getting away from the salesguy though as he piled on the pressure. Finally extricated ourselves and the rest of the day was ours to enjoy. First item on the agenda was the swimming pool. Put Jo Ern in her first swimsuit… now, a sexy bikini is totally not my preferred choice of clothing for my little girl (now or in 18 years time!!). It was the only thing in her size and that's the only reason I bought it.

Hmm do I look nice in this?
Water is fun to play with. I wanna stay here and splash!
Mummy: Note parent-approved swimsuit on me
I like Dickson kor-kor coz he plays with me and gives me food!

Lunch was at the club coffee house – nothing great. Jo Ern hardly touched my fried rice nor hubby’s stir-fried soft shell crab.

For dinner SIL wanted a good meal, so we went over to the Mariott hotel. Hmm there was Japanese, Italian, Western… what about Thai food?? Settled for Andaman Grill which was pricy and not great. This is our first time bringing Jo Ern for fine dining. It was NOT a good idea. She was famished and ate lots of the complimentary bread. The main course took time to arrive. She was cranky before half the meal was over. Luckily our waitress was quite taken with her, gave her crayons, coloured something for her and carried her off a while. Later she told me, ‘she’s so lovely!’. I absolutely agree, heh.

Day 4

Enjoyed our complimentary buffet breakfast, then it was back to the villa to pack up. We left our luggage at the storage room and took the shuttle bus to the beach. Gosh it was super windy and the waves were the highest I’ve ever seen on a beach. Suffice to say Jo Ern didn’t enjoy her first visit to a beach at all. I put her down to walk on the sand and she just wanted to be carried.

Hello from a very wind-blown family
 
Don’t like this wind, don’t like!

After a short time at the beach, went over to the hotel. Now I actually preferred this over the vacation club. That is, judging from the pools and landscaping since I didn’t have access to an actual hotel room. Put Jo Ern down to play with water and she didn’t want to leave.

Playing with water is fun!
Want to go back and play with water, wahhh! 
Hehe I get to play with water again

Went to the Coffee Club again for lunch. Oh Jo Ern had such a screaming fit. The other patrons were staring but I couldn’t do anything to stop the screaming. After a while sis-in-law took her for a walk. Luckily she came back in a better mood and had some of my (yummy) pesto chicken pasta.

After lunch it was back to the vacation club for a shower and airport transfer. This time, the flight attendant asked whether I needed an infant seat belt. Well I managed once without, declined this time. Jo Ern had an even worse screaming fit during this flight, sigh. She wanted to wear her shoes herself, screamed when I corrected the sides, screamed when I forcibly put on the shoes, screamed when I took the shoes away, screamed and screamed. Sigh. I guess she was just very tired this day as she missed both her morning and afternoon naps. It’s part and parcel of travelling as it isn’t always possible to stick to routines.

Good thing was the LCCT parking wasn’t too expensive. I think we’ll drive next time too – now that taxi rates have gone up, the cost of driving is actually comparable and it’s so much more convenient. We have parked illegally before at the road side, but that was my old Wira.  Don't want to risk my new car getting stolen or towed away!

Phew, rather tired after this trip. Sis-in-law Winnie and nephew Dickson were good to have along as additional babysitters for Jo Ern! We have another trip to Hanoi soon, just the three of us. Hope that goes ok!