Friday, December 30, 2011

Nineteen Going On Twenty (Four)!

Frappy is just doing (and saying) too many new things that I have (to try my best) to jot them down here. She is nineteen months old now and is every bit a sweet pea!

Frappy says:
Kap – duck
Bop – frog
Mamiii - mom
Papa - dad
Popo – grandma
G’ng g’ng – grandpa (it’s this really weird but funny nasal sound she makes)
Diu diu – her uncle my brother
Jie jie – generally that’s how she’d address girls
Kaka – kakak
Kar – car
Ball – ball
Hai – hi/hello
Babai – bye bye
Xie xie – mandarin for thank you.
Vou vou – dog (used to call them dogs, but picked up the baby language – wou wou – for dog from somewhere and is stuck now. But instead of the common -w- sound, Frappy does it the mat salleh way – vou vou. Zzz.)
Nen nen – banana (can you believe it?! -.-)
Ees – please

Frappy does:
When getting ready to shower, she’d pick up and place the stool and her shower gel on the floor, before squatting down on her own and make the shhh sound (if that’s not obvious for you then I erm, let’s just forget it lah) and brush her own teeth with the toothbrush.

When eating (meals or snacks), she’d clasps her hands, bows her head, and sometimes shuts her eyes to say grace. These days, she’s picked up the habit of holding out her arms to hold the persons on both her sides’ hands when saying grace. It’s pretty darn cute when she seems so serious about it. Oh and when we are praying, she’d also bow and nod her head in agreement. Haha!

She enjoys waving hellos and goodbyes to everyone (known or unknown); while doing that she’d say haiii enthusiastically, and babaiii forlornly. Going to the hospital or strolling in our neighbourhood feels like doctor’s rounds for us (she being the doctor), given the way she greets and chats with everyone in sight. And she does it with utmost empathy for that matter. Like, seriously.

Whenever she picks up something with handles (bags, baskets, etc), she’d start dragging it in her arm towards the door while turning back intermittently to say babaiiii.

According to Jason, on a few occasions when he plays ball with her, she was able to catch the ball accurately.

When Oli sleeps, Frappy would ask us (by making the sound) to shhhh, and placing a finger in front of her lips.

She still loves dancing! You should see how she’d drop everything she’s doing when she hears a catchy tune and just stands up and dance! Upbeat, vigorous moves for rap, girly twirls for slower beats. It really taught me to just live in the moment.

Taught her how to do ballet twirls (with both hands above the head!) and she loves it! She'd twirl for ages, and I regret for teaching her because I need to keep humming that whatsitsname classical piece and it gets boring.

She still nods as a sign of thank you, but she’d say xie xie. I guess it’s easier to pronounce.

She’s learned her body parts! She can point to her fingers, toes, mouth, eyes, cheeks, forehead, chin, ears, nose, and tummy.

Sometimes I suspect she can understand complex sentences, just like an adult. When I ask her to “step on mommy’s feet” (to move and dance), immediately she would do so although that was the first time I gave such instruction. Or when I ask her to go pick something that she wants to wear after shower, she would go straight to her drawer and pull out something.

When asked if she wants milk, she’d go running looking for her bottle and bring it to me, flash me the biggest smile, nod her head, and scoot over to lie down on the couch and wait for her milk.

Needs to be independant now, by wanting to do everything on her own. Sometimes the power struggle goes on, like, when out, she wants to walk and explore the place on her own, which is dangerous, and when we insist to hold her hand, she'd fight to free herself, and she's unable to do so, she'd sit/squat on the spot refused to budge. So it gets tiring to bring her out. I definitely want to get that toddler leash and harness thing. Don't care lah what people think. Her safety is above all things.

Still loves Barney, and is pretty good in imitating lots of dance moves. The cool thing is, she remembers the sequence of the steps, and would do it even before the move takes place. And due to my divided attention for Oli, she entertains herself with a lot more cartoon time now :( which she enjoys (only certain cartoons like Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, and Aladdin. But not Snow White HAHA!). She learned how to play with her hair shyly from Mulan! And Bob the Builder does a good job in lulling her to sleep HAHAHA! My fav CD to play when I want her to nap.

Loves talking on the phone like a real aunty. Always requests me to dial for papa, popo, diu diu and goes to a corner to talk. -.-

Oh! She knows how to give shoulder massage AND asks for a massage.

She likes helping out. When she sees me sweeping, she’d go pick a broom; when she sees me hanging out clothes, she’d sit by and help hand me the hangers and pegs, and when I’m done, she’d push the laundry basket all the way back to the kitchen; when I bring in the clothes, she’d stand by the door to help me bring in the clothes (a piece at a time, of course); she’d pick up a random piece of cloth and start wiping the table; cool things like these.

She’s a darn good actress. She’s learned how to be shy by tilting her head just slightly lower to the side and twirl her fingers; how to be angry and acting all stubborn; how to be sad and how to burst out in tears by hanging her head low covering her face with hands, shaking her head dramatically when she’s got a scolding; and the list goes on quite a bit, and most of the time, she doesn’t mean any of them, she’s just acting out, trying her boundaries, because seconds later, she’d burst out laughing and give you the biggest hug.

That’s all I can remember now. Any more you’d fall asleep too, assuming you read this far. Haha. Oklah, check back later kthxbai!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

About Oli. And Then Some.

Few days ago, Oli turned 3 months old. It was bittersweet for me because looking back, not too long ago, Frappy was 3 months old, too! And it was all so new, so sweet, and so exciting for us. I remember how I would carry her in my arms for hours on end and would find all the reasons just so that she could sleep on the bed with me. And now, look at her, a big girl who’d knock on the door gently and calls out to me ever so sweetly to get her after she wakes up from her naps in the room, instead of crying because she wakes up alone.

Well of course not that we are not excited about Oli or that Oli is not as sweet, far from that! It's just things are kinda different the second time around. Jason is busier at work with higher goals and expectations to meet; I get all tired out caring for 2 girls on my own whose age gap is so close and by the feeling of getting trapped with no escape route in the house with housework (and that doesn’t even include house cleaning!) all day long, I mean, what about my dreams? My plans? My career? And to think it’s gonna be like this for the next 20 years. Dear Lord, it’s just, exhausting, really.

Sometimes, I feel terribly guilty secretly, that I haven’t love Oli enough, that I haven’t spent enough time with her doing nothing, just basking in each other’s presence, that I don’t breastfeed her as much as I did with Frappy, that I hardly sleep with her on the bed, that I don’t take a million pictures of her every day, that I’m not as tender loving as I did with the firstborn simply because I don’t have the luxury of time to take things slowly, that I feel so stressed out at times and thus, she doesn’t get a 100% of her mama in the most patient ways, that sometimes I wish and hope my mom would take her and the sister away from me so that I can sit down and breathe for awhile. And I don’t dare voicing these sentiments out loud. For fear of what, I don’t know; being judged for such a horrible mother? Being look down upon? Feeling guiltier if the response was neutral instead of full-on supportive? Yeah, maybe. I mean, mothers the world over is doing this every day, so why do I have to be such a big baby about it, right?

But of course, I know full well that these are the ups and downs of life. I suppose it’s the same in most other situations each individual is in; it’s just something one goes through every day in different settings. So yeah, I complain, but I’m not all depressed and dying don’t worry (although Jason would beg to differ!) haha. I have meant to write about Oli’s growth progress in this post, but somehow side tracked and here we are. Ah well.

For the record, Oli is a total sweetheart (when it’s not her sleeping time, to which she’d become this crying screaming monster -_-). In fact, I’ve never met any other babies who are as responsive as Oli at this tender age. Right from the first month, she’s been gurgling when talked to, smile even! And then by second month, she’d demand to be carried/sit upright. When you put her down and hold her like you would a newborn in your arms, she’d pushed her head up with all her might. I suspect her eyesight is pretty focused too, because she’s never go cross-eyed, and can respond with an excited chuckle even if I was calling out to her from quite a distance away. And at the age of 2 months old, she’s gotten way chattier than when she was in her first month.

Now at 3 months old, she’s practically a smiling machine! Every time one of us turns to her, she’d flash us a sunny smile, and that just makes everything OK again. And she’d gurgle, and babble, and gibber all day through, be it on her own or when talked to. She gets cranky when left alone too long. When she's on her tummy, she can stick her head up like bobble head dog haha!

She now drinks 4oz of milk every 3 hours plus minus; goes to bed by 7pm, wakes up for a feed around 12am, and then sleeps through till about 6/7am. With Frappy, we never used a pacifier, but now Oli does. Some say it's a bad habit to start, some say it's good. I'm not sure, but I guess in different situations bad things can be helpful and vice versa; and in this sense, it helps me in putting her to sleep rather effortlessly, without having to lie down with her and pat her forever. So yes, for the convenience of the mother, Oli is started on a pacifier.

Just the other day – the first day after she turned 3 months old – I was pleasantly shocked to hear her laughed! A hearty, vigorous laugh that lasted a few seconds each time, and that’s because I tickled her lightly on the cheeks! I was taken aback because firstly, I thought it was Frappy and Frappy wasn’t in the room with us then, so I was like, who the heck just laughed like Frappy?! Come out right now!!! Zzz. I know. And secondly, I never knew young babies can respond to such stimulus and wouah, laugh! OK, maybe I was just plain ignorant and actually all babies do laugh like that, but hey, nobody told me! I actually caught the laughing act on camera and it amazes me endlessly every time I watch it.

Last time, with just one baby, Frappy went to bed according to our schedules – she got to go out with us everywhere – as a result, she’s very accustomed to noisy environment and would sleep through most everywhere. In came Oli and this practice goes down the drain because going out with two babies is more tiring than fun for us parents, one because Frappy is at this toddler age where you need to constantly keep an eye on her, and she's so friendly?! What if she follows some indon lady and never come back? T__T plus Oli is fussier with her sleeping and milk time, everything has to be on the dot. So end up, I began to need the comfort of being at home and I shy away from outings. Going out makes me jittery, for I don’t know when Frappy will misbehave (and I can’t calm her by letting her watch her Barney videos in the safe confinement of her cot), and I don’t know when Oli will start screaming (because she’s overtired and by then, there’s just no way you can calm her down without you breaking down in the public). I begin to need familiar routines.

So there, who says being a second time parent is a piece of cake? Haha! OK, so at least not for me. The only cake-like experience is I don’t get too paranoid as compared to the first baby, i.e oh dear she’s gonna die because she’s not finishing her milk 2 times in a row! Oh no, she’s gonna grow worms in her tummy because I only rinse her bottles with just hot water during night feeds instead of sterilizing it in the sterilizer! I think I better go check on her again (for the 104th time in 5 minutes), what if she gets this SID or the bed sheet mysteriously wraps her up and choke her to death?! You know, stuff like that.

Alright, so all these aside – my stress level, the endless housework, the getting trapped at home the whole day everyday – I am, no doubt, honestly, extremely thankful for a newborn as cheerful as Oli, and a toddler as friendly and loving as Frappy. Really. I won’t say it’s all worth it, because that’s not how I’m feeling right now and it’s cliché, but it is something I will continue doing, to nurture and raise these 2 girls as best as I can simply because I love them, instead of say, send them to babysitters so that I can go out and bring in my share of dough; and I know, it’s a responsibility God has bestowed upon me and that He’s grace will definitely see me through this season of life.

Haha. So much for a report on Oli’s growth progress! But yeah, at 3 months old, how much do you expect a baby to be able to do? Anyway I can’t wait for her to grow a little older so that I’ll have more things to brag about in this space :D Until then, here we go with the bottle washing again! :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Signs

You know the terrible twos? I think it’s hitting me already. Maybe it’s the teething, maybe it’s the frustration of unable to express herself and getting what she wants, Frappy wants me to be where she wants me to be, doing what she wants me to do, like, NAO! MOM! NAO! DROP EVERYTHING (living, i.e baby Oli or dead) AND COME TO ME NAO! Walao, srsly. Zzz.

Most days, by 3pm, we’d both be worn out by each other and ready to call it a day, but the problem is, it’s only three pee em! Bedtime’s still a long way to go. T_T Being the drama queen that she is, sometime’s when she doesn’t get what she wants (after all the sweet mommeees and pleaseeees), she’d squat down, cover her face (peeping from between her chubby fingers), and fake cry. And when she sees that I’m not responding, she’d come over to me, tap my knee, go back to her original spot, cover face, and start fake crying again. -___-‘

I don’t know to cry or to laugh. Usually I’d do both. I do impress myself so. Ha!

My drama princess #1 (let's not even start on the #2)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

When Nose Pump Is Out Of Reach

Frappy caught a cold and though she is not too fussy and still cheerful, the runny nose does bother her especially when she sleeps. And being the awesome mother that I am, I always, always forget to buy a baby nose pump for times like this /stabself

Maybe it’s the maternal erm, creativity (? Haha!) that was triggered by the sight of a suffering child who couldn’t sleep and breathe and lie down, my head just went LIGHT BULB a la Gru and I dug out this baby:

Plastic Syringe
And it works just as well (but OBVIOUSLY please be careful when you poke that thing into your baby’s nose, because the head is so slim, unlike a nose pump's which is specially designed for the shape of a baby’s nose, like, you don't know it already. Don't go and cucuk and hurt an already suffering child and come blame me ok T_T)!

Now, really, nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing glob and globs of mucous being sucked out. /happymamamode. Oh wait, /undohappymamamode, cause I just remembered how Oli is at risk to the virus, being a baby and all, and so exposed to Frappy! T___T Story of my life. T___T