Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Is my little girl an early talker?

I receive weekly email updates from Babycentre on the development phases of my toddler and according to the update, a 14th month and 3 weeks old is suppose to master a couple of favourite words, read on..

"Ball, dog and bye may be your child's favorite — and only — words at this point, though some early talkers may have as many as 20 words in their vocabulary. Maybe she uses the words at the right time for the right things, or maybe she says "dog" when she sees other furry animals with tails. Don't be discouraged — that's an indication that she's learning to group things together. Just say the correct word in a matter-of-fact tone ("That's a horse, honey; horses are bigger than dogs"), and she'll soon pick it up."

From 14 months old my little one can say about 15-20 words. Hmm...let me think. The obvious ones which she pronounced perfectly are: bear, dog, cat, car, ball, bird, shoe, clap, nose, jump, keys

The 'not so accurate' ones are: hour (flower), atee (aunty), ark (duck), ish (fish), nana (banana), aks go (let's go)

And of course she has her all time favourites such as papa, mama, mum mum (food), gai gai (go out), popo (grandma), ceh ceh (sister), kor kor (brother).

Is that an indication that she's an early talker? :-)

Monday, April 27, 2009

THE GOOD: Well behaved

Last weekend we organised a family dinner at a restaurant near my mom's place. We had a big table as there were 8 of us and the little ones were placed in baby chairs. Little Caitlyn could not sit still. Despite us bribing her with food she just refused to sit down and kept on climbing and standing up on the baby chair. My sister then gave her a plastic bowl and spoon to play with and that only kept her still for a couple of mins before she starting getting bored. In the end the maid, my brother in law and my sis had to take turns to carry her.

My little girl on the other hand sat still in the chair the entire time. Of course I had to bribe her with food. I gave her biscuits and she sat quietly while enjoying her bicsuit. The papa and me managed to finish our dinner in peace :-)

This shows that every child is different. They have both the good and the ugly sides. As long as we have the patience to guide and nurture, they will surely grow up to be good!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

THE UGLY: She threw tantrums, bit and smack others, who taught her?

My little girl have started showing the ugly side at just 14 months old. She threw tantrums, bit and smack others!

The tantrums
The first time was when we were in Genting and we let her walkabout and she headed towards the escalator. The papa quickly grabbed her by the armpit and at that very moment, she refused to stand up, sat on the floor and stamp her legs against the floor in protest!

The second incident happened yesterday when we were having lunch at a restaurant. We saw a dog and showed it to her. She love dogs. After a while we told her to go and she refused and again sat on the floor (the very oily floor) and stamp both her legs while shouting in protest!

I smack her buttocks slightly and thankfully she stopped immediately without much fuss.

She bites
She also started biting people lately. Not sure if she's aware that she's hurting people or maybe she thinks she's just playing. Anyway, it isn't fun to get bitten as she's got 4 solid teeth. So far I know she did it on me and the poor little boy at the babysitter's and each time she does it, I will tell her its wrong and smack her.

The first time when she bit me was when I asked her to kiss me on the cheek. She kissed and then followed by an unexpected bite :-(

She smacks
She also started smacking me on the hands and face lately. The papa says she's bullying me. Have not heard complaints from the babysitter about her bullying the little boy there though. Again she may not realise that what she did was wrong and she may think that she's just playing with me.

I honestly do not know where she learnt all the above from. The boy at the babysitter doesn't do them (according to the babysitter but I am not sure if that's true) and there is no one else at home for her to learn from. I really wonder. It could be from the TV but I am rather careful with what she watches at home but again I can't control what she watches at the babysitter's. My sister said she could have picked up all these to stay competitive at the babysitter's and to attract attention. Her eldest daughter doesn't behave like that but her youngest behaves just the same. Could it be rivalry?

I hope they are just temporary as she continues to learn what is right and wrong and I will not hesitate to smack her to make sure she knows. I have also asked the babysitter to co-operate by doing the same and I hope she will as I do not want to have a spoilt brat.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

She finally found a cuddly

My little girl finally found her cuddly. Introducing her little Russ dog :-)

Communicating with her dog

Having quiet moment with her dog on the way up to Genting

We found this dog (well she found it) when we were strolling in Jusco, Sunway Pyramid some weeks back. She made the 'wow wow' sound out of a sudden and pointed towards the dog. I took it up and passed it to her. She hugged it so tightly that I know I have to buy it. I checked the price tag and it was RM79.90 with 50% discount :-). I bought it immediately. Then I realised the dog is also a hand puppet. There is a place where you can slide your hand in to move the mouth and it will bark out 3 nursery rhymes - Old McDonald, My Fairlady and Are You Sleeping. Isn't that cool and all for only RM39.95 and it operates using AA batteries. What a good deal :-)

Hayley was very much attached to her dog. She will do everything with the dog - sleep with it, play with it, kiss it, bite it, ride on it, pull the tail etc. My biggest mistake was not buying 2 of the same. And since we only have 1, I am not allowing her to bring it to the babysitter and she is very happy to see her dog when she comes home every evening.

I hope the dog can last me a few months or at least until I can find a replacement. As it is beige in colour, I have to clean it quite frequently too :-(

A weekend getaway to Genting Highlands

After successfully completing the office move 2 Fridays ago, I decided to take the next Friday off (last Friday) and head up to Genting with the family for a 2 days 1 night trip to beat the weekend crowd. We've been wanting to take Hayley up to enjoy the cool weather for a while but have been postponing it for various reasons. We booked a night at the Awana special deluxe room for RM226 (online booking) that comes with 2 breakfasts.

We chose Awana because a friend recently went and highly recommended it for families with kids. Read it here. I have been wanting to bring Hayley to a place with cool weather and a nice pool and after reading her recommendations, I was sold :-).

View taken from our balcony

Our room that comes with a baby cot

Hayley showing the papa the swimming kois found at the garden

The weather up in Awana was great, it was just nice. Of course it was slightly colder up in Genting. The journey up and down was pretty easy. We strapped Hayley into the car seat and she was extremely obedient for the 1.5 hour journey both ways. As this was considered her first long trip away being strapped in a car seat, we were concerned at first. But she made us proud. She either napped or stared at the sceneries outside the window. No fuss, nothing. After witnessing this, the papa even suggested going to Penang (4 hours drive) next :-)

While in Genting, we took Hayley on the carousel ride in the indoor theme park at the First World Hotel. We paid RM8 for the ride. She was scared at first but warmed up pretty quickly. We wanted to take her on other rides but we think she is a little too young for the rest of it. Nevertheless, she enjoyed looking at the trains, the gondolas and all the blinking lights surrounding her. We've never seen her this excited and happy. We even let her roam free and walkabout with us trailing behind. For some weird reasons, she likes to pick up weird objects (aka rubbish) from the floor and like to head towards escalators. She also likes to befriends other babies or kids which is great. Then, we had lunch at Burger Kings and as expected the meal set cost twice as much up in Genting. We paid RM19.73 for a mushroom swiss single set that comes with a drink and an upgrade to onion rings! After lunch I relaxed with Hayley at Starbucks while the papa made a quick visit to Uncle Lim :-). He won a few hundred bucks so this was considered a sponsored trip. Thanks Uncle Lim!

Photo above: Her right hand holding the gear aka changing it

Photo below: both hands on the wheel with the do not disturb me look

In the afternoon we brought Hayley back to the hotel for a nap and a dip in the pool. The water was heated so it was nice and warm. We stayed in the jacuzzi for about 10 mins as we do not want her to catch a cold for playing too long.

At night we went for Bak Kut Teh at Gohtong Jaya. Don't remember the name of the restaurant, it was a big one right in the middle. It wasn't good. Not recommended. It cost RM27 for 2 pax and the total came up to about RM34 plus drinks etc.

With papa in matching colours :-)
Flirting with the workers at the bak kut teh place

The next morning we had breakfast at the Rajawali Restaurant. The scenery was breathtaking, overseeing the entire golf course. It was nice and fresh to see plenty of greens for a change :-). After breakfast we took Hayley again to the pool for another quick dip. She enjoyed playing 'catch the bubbles' in the warm jacuzzi :-). She took a nap after the work out until it was time to check out.

When we checked out later in the day I suddenly came down with a fever. I must have caught a cold myself when I brought Hayley to the pool (twice). I was trying to wrap and dry her up quickly that I must have neglected myself. I was down with fever for 3 days and was on sick leave up till Tuesday :-(. I have been sick a lot since having Hayley. I used to fall sick once or twice a year but now it was happening almost every 2 months. I am so sick of being sick.. sigh...

But overall we enjoyed the trip very much and looking forward to planning the next one. The hardest part for me was leaving the cool weather behind and came home to the extremely hot KL. It felt like an oven on Saturday the moment we opened the car door when we reached home :-(

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My girl the mummy protector

Yesterday night the papa was playing around with me pinching my thighs. Hayley was standing nearby watching the TV. I pretended to cry. Hayley turned to look at the papa and walked over to me and pushed the papa's hand away while showing him a stern face. She was only 14 months old and she already started protecting me! The papa reached out a couple of times to test her and she did it repeatedly until the papa stopped pinching me. I was dead proud, grinning from ear to ear.

After about 30 mins, I repeated the same thing to the papa and he pretended to be in pain but she wasn't responding. That made me a happy mom (I know it sounds selfish but can't help it LAH :-))

I remember reading about a similar story on Life As a Mummy's blog back in February and I wrote her a comment saying that 'Aiyoh... melt melt melt' and deep down I was waiting for this day to come. Finally the day has come and indeed I melted ....

Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm finally here in Mid Valley

Last Friday we moved office. From the busy Golden Triangle to Mid Valley City. We wanted to find a location which would be convenient for all of us (we're a small team so that's important) and yet still close to our clients in town. We decided to give Mid Valley a try. We moved in to a service centre for a couple of months and if we like the place, we'll source for a permanent office.

Today was the first official day being in the new office and I am truly enjoying it. Traffic this morning was great. I would normally spend 1.5 hours in traffic each morning but today, it took me half the time! I got to the office at 8.10am, never thought it would be possible :-)

Although food is slightly more expensive here, but there were many other things that we can shout about. Parking were aplenty when you come this early (RM6 per day), the mall has got everything you need from Carrefour, Jusco, post office, locksmith, clinic, IT shops etc... Now I can even shop for groceries during my lunch hour instead of Saturday morning and I can also replenish stuff for Hayley at any day, couldn't ask for more :-)

I am waiting to leave office today to time the journey. Hopefully it would be half the usual time as well.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

8 year old stole bread and ended up with his hands crushed

Received an email from a friend today on the above. An 8 year old boy in Iran was caught stealing bread in a market and the capital punishment is that he will lose his hand. They will crush his hand under a truck!

The email came with photos of the boy's hand (left) being placed under the tyre and then photos of the tyre rolling over it, the boy crying and another adult holding him down. I just hate things like this. I know I have written a few blogs in the last couple of days about things like this which upsets me but I just can't help it. I am not even going to post the photos here as I do not want to upset anyone else but I just need to get it out of my system. It disturbs me terribly and I just hate the feeling of not being able to do anything.

What kind of a punishment is this???? Do we need to go that far to punish an 8 year old hungry kid who might not even know that what he did was wrong????

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cute effects from Photo Funia

I came to know about Photo Funia recently from a friend. I just love the effects and the best thing about it is - IT's FREE!
If you wish to be a celebrity and imagined having your posters on the streets or on magazine covers, it can now become a reality :-).

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hayley's first year

My proudest achievement todate : MY LITTLE GIRL :-)

It is amazing to see her growing and learning everyday. I am also growing and learning to be a better mum every passing day :-)

I could still remember the day she arrived. Been wanting to write about that day for a very long time but have been lazy cause it will not be a short post. I told myself that I have to write it someday so that Hayley can read it (and know what I have to go through to bring her into this world) when she is older. I guess today is the day, I suddenly felt inspired to write hehehe

Hayley was born on Valentine's Day in 2008 . This is how it all happened......

I woke up feeling wet and found myself having slight bleeding. I quickly got myself ready and woke the hubby. We grabbed the bag and rushed to the hospital. One thing which I remembered clearly was how afraid I was at that time, upon realising that today will finally be THE day. My legs were shaking non stop, could not even walk properly, yes I was that frightened.

Checked into the labour ward, put on the hospital's gown and was told to lie on the bed. Hubby went to do the registration. Nurses came in and out of the room, checked the contractions, insert their fingers to me (I was 2.5cm dilated), shaved me, explained the procedures etc. While I was lying on the bed, my legs were still shaking. Nurses thought I was cold and brought me some blankets. I told them I was terrified and not cold :-). I continued to lie on the bed, hubby comfortably sitting on the sofa next to my bed and nurses continued to walk in and out doing the routine stuff. There was no pain, not yet.

Dr Goh arrived (my gynae) and said the baby's head was not yet engaged. I could feel his fingers inside me pushing deep trying to feel the head. It was uncomfortable and slightly painful. He then broke the water bag and said there were some traces of Meconium. He told me there was no need to worry yet. I could then feel warm water flowing out but I could not see anything. Dr Goh then instructed the nurses to put me on drips. He briefly explained that hopefully it would encourage the baby to engage.

Nurse A came with the needle and inserted it into my left arm. 30 mins later the area where the needle was got swollen. Nurse A took it out and explained that my veins were too thin. She tried again on the same hand but different vein. Another 30 mins and again it got swollen. Now my left hand was twice the size of my right hand. Nurse A then called Nurse B. Nurse B came and said this would be the last try, if it doesn't work, they will have to try something else (not sure what that something else would be). This time Nurse B inserted the needle into my left hand. Deep down I was cursing 'great, now I am paralysed'. I used to be terrified of needles but after this incident, I just want them to get over with it quickly.

Guess what, 30 mins later, it didn't work yet again! I was really frustrated. This time they brought in the medical officer and he inserted the needle again into my right hand where my wrist was. Finally it worked and I was charged for his time (saw it on my bill when I checked out).

The pain begins....

At first it was every 20 mins, then 10 mins, then 5 mins and finally it was every minute. The pain lasted for about 40 - 50 seconds which left me with about 10 seconds to breathe before it starts again. I wasn't sure what level of pain that was cause I was not hooked on to any machines. The nurses would come in every 15 mins and put their hands on my tummy and then stare at the clock (I think they are counting the frequency of the contractions). At that time, I felt really helpless. I couldn't clench, cause both my hands were swollen. I couldn't hold on to anything! I also had this back pain that comes with the contractions. I didn't have back pain during pregnancy and not sure why it came out of a sudden. I could bear with the contractions but I could not with the back pain. It was really really irritating, felt like my back bone was going to break into 2.

Dr Goh came to check on me again. Again he inserted his finger into me and still could not feel the head. This time he told me we can't wait any longer and I have to go for a c-sec immediately. Things happened very quickly and I was still in shock upon hearing the word 'c-sec'. I have always thought that I would deliver naturally and without epidural just like everyone in my family. I didn't know what to say or do. I remember telling my husband to call my mom and my sis and tell them I am going for surgery. While I was still in pain, the nurses started preparing me for surgery. One of them gave me something to drink (don't know what it was) and told me to remove everything except the gown. They then inserted the urine catheter into me, that part I hate the most. In less than 10 mins I was wheeled into the waiting room. At the waiting room, the anasthetician came and asked me what I want, GA or epidural. I asked her to explain the differences and honestly I was lost. I didn't know which to choose as I was caught off guard and hubby wasn't with me and I was in pain. I told them I was terrified and in pain and they then asked me to go for GA. I vaguely remembered that GA would have lesser risks as epidural would means injecting into the spine. I obliged and signed some papers with my swollen hand (even till today, I still can't understand why they won't ask hubby to sign). And only after the surgery that I was told that if I opted for GA, hubby couldn't witness the birth. If I knew earlier, I would have opted for epidural, sigh.

I was still wide awake when they wheeled me into the operation theatre. I saw bright lights (just like in the movies), several doctors, nurses and they were all very busy doing various things. Next moment I saw the anasthetician's face and she said she is going to put me to sleep right now. 2 seconds later I was out.....

I woke up in a daze and in great pain. I could hear the nurses calling my name repeatedly. Mdm Tan, Mdm Tan, wake up, wake up. I wanted to ask her to shut up (I am not that old, don't call me Madam) but I was too weak to speak. I tried to open my eyes but they were extremely heavy. I then realised that I was still in the waiting room. The nurses then wheeled me back to the normal ward. I saw hubby, my sister and her boyfriend outside the waiting room. I wasn't sure of the time, still trying to remember what happened. I remember asking hubby if baby was alright, if she had 10 perfect fingers and toes and he said yes :-)

They then transferred me from one bed to another and it was painful. As they have no single or double bedded rooms at that time, I was wheeled into a 3 bedded room. About an hour later, I finally saw my little girl :-)

The night time was the toughest on me. As hubby could not stay with me I had to look after myself and the baby. My gynae encouraged breast feeding from the start and the moment Hayley was sent to me, she stayed with me and only taken away for bathing, vaccinations and some health routine checks. Hubby stayed with me until as late as he could but eventually he had to leave. Before he leaves, he would place Hayley on my arms (left arm) right under my armpit. By doing so, I could (hopefully) feed her easily everytime she cries as I couldn't move myself. This we hope would reduce the chances of me pressing the HELP button especially in the middle of the night. That didn't work very well. I ended up with very sore nipples, a hungry baby, agitated neighbours who didn't manage to sleep because they were awaken by Hayley's cries and a very tired and stressed me. I had to press the bell each time I needed to switch breasts. But still both nipples ended up being sore and they were bleeding.

Day 2

Happy to see hubby arriving early in the morning to take over Hayley while I catch some sleep. I also hate it when the nurses had to come in every 2 - 3 hours to do their routine check of heart beat and temperature. I also hate the morning sponge bath which took place at 6am! The day passed very slowly and painfully. Friends and family came to visit.

Day 3

The urine catherer and drip was finally removed. It was the best moment of my life, I felt free again. Nurses asked me to inform them when I pass gas, found that funny at first when I didn't know the actual reason. I was also asked to get down from the bed for a walk and to urinate on my own. Getting down from the bed onto the chair seems like mission impossible. If given a choice, I wouldn't want to move at all. As I was not taking any painkillers, the pain was unbearable. When I finally sat on the chair next to the bed, I was trying to find ways to get back onto the bed. I sat on the chair for almost an hour, gaining courage and strength to get back onto the bed. My legs were very weak, they didn't felt like mine. Thankfully hubby arrived and as he was helping me, I suddely felt light headed and fainted. I fell onto the bed (thank God). I woke up 5 hours later. Nurses said it was normal as I had lost lots of blood.

I passed gas on day 3, urinated although I couldn't feel the urge to go. I felt like the whole system has gone haywire. I have no control of what was going on inside me. Later in the afternoon I tried walking again and made a few rounds in the room. I have to say they were not easy. Hubby also had to help me to the toilet :-) and he had to do the things he never imagined he would do.. hahaha. While I walk with my hands supporting the wound, hubby helped with the door etc. I reminded myself not to cough or sneeze as that would bring tears to my eyes.

Day 4

I was finally allowed to go home. It took me 30 mins from the ward to the car park (usually 10 mins). I was walking that slow. I was happy to go home. I will be going back to my mom's as she would be helping with the confinement.

2 weeks later

I was back in the hospital with an infection. I was bleeding heavily (c-sec patients should not have heavy menstrual after labour). I stayed for another 3 days 2 nights and was given the strongest antibiotic and of course the most expensive. Again I was on drips. I had to discard the expressed breast milk. Those 3 days were the toughest for me and hubby. He had to run to several places a day. Back home to make sure everything was ok, back to my mom's to see the baby, back to his work and then to the hospital to accompany me. I felt helpless and awful and missed my baby terribly. I took the 3 days to rest and catch up with sleep.

I was not sure what causes the infection, was it the hospital/equipments, the doctors/nurses or was it me? Later I found out that infections post c-sec was common in that hospital (a GP told me), wish I had known earlier. With the amount we paid for the labour and the treatment of the infection, I could have given birth to 20 kids (for the same price) if I had mine in Putrajaya Hospital :-).

I really love being a mum and I love my baby unconditionally but I really hate the process, the confinement and the labour. When friends visited me at the hospital and asked if I would plan for a second one after going through all that, I told them a stern NO. I really meant it at that time. Could not imagine myself going through all that again.

Now, several months later, I was already thinking of junior no 2 ~ lol. But for the 2nd one I will make sure I choose a different hospital, a different gynae, get myself a confinement lady (the experience with my mom wasn't great) and I must insist on a single room!