Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hayley's bob

To make life easier for everyone, papa and I with a heavy heart finally decided to cut her hair.... we had to bribe her with a lollipop :-(

Zac's Update: 2+ month

At 2+ month, I:
  • smile more
  • like to have conversation and eye contact
  • can turn my head in all directions following your every movement
  • like to play with my toys and sometimes enjoy watching TV
  • like to lick my hands and mittens, sometimes I even like to lick my mom's shirt or shoulder
  • can lift up my head for a longer period of time
  • drink 5-6 oz of mummy's milk every 2.5 - 3 hrs, sometimes I demand for more whenever I feel like it
  • have various preference for sleeping method, sometimes I like to be carried and pat at the same time, sometimes I like to be left alone to sleep on my own, sometimes I like to be rocked in the bassinet and sometimes I like to sleep on my parent's thighs
  • can sleep for longer periods at night, 5 (mostly) - 8 (once a blue moon) hours straight
  • developed rashes on my cheeks, Dr Choy (my paediatrician) said I have sensitive skin
I am currently at 6.5kg and had my 2nd Pneumococal jab, 2nd DTP & Polio & Hib jab and my last Rota Virus. I also had my second hair cut (not displayed in any of the photos below). I want to look good for CNY ma :-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hair pulling day

Today is one of those days where Hayley drove papa and I up the wall, the entire day. I've always blogged about her being picky with food, not wanting to eat, being difficult during meal times and today is the day where she displayed all of the above to the max. I would like to share this with all the mummies out there who may be reading my blog and I would certainly like to hear from any of you if I have done anything wrong or if there is a way that I could have done better.

She woke up at 8am this morning and refused milk. Thinking that she may not be hungry 'yet' or probably she didn't have appetite as she's been having runny nose for a week now I thought I would let her be for about 30 mins before asking her again. For the past few days it has been difficult trying to get her to finish a bottle of milk before school. 30 mins later I asked her again and she insisted that she didn't want and said that she was not hungry. She asked me for a slice of cheese. I gave her the cheese and after a few mouths she said it was 'too big' and she couldn't finish it. She has this habit of breaking up some of the cheese into small pieces and then eating only the really tiny ones and kept the big pieces where she would stack them up and eat them real slowly later. I insisted that she finished the cheese and it took her almost 30 mins to finish the small slice of cheese. I also offered her hot dog bun and she took a bite and said she didn't want anymore. I offered her biscuits and milk again about 15 mins later which she refused.

We served her lunch at 12.30pm (soup, fish and egg, ie things she will eat) and I gave her a portion which I think is small for her age but because she didn't seem to have the appetite, I didn't want to force her to eat up a huge portion and risk her throwing up (another bad habit of hers). Half way through the meal she spilled the soup on the table and I smacked her hand once cause I have warned her not to touch the hot soup. She cried, coughed and then threw up a portion of the food. I sent her to the corner. She sat there crying for like 30 mins.

After all the crying, we sent her to nap and she asked for milk. We gave her a bottle of milk. She woke up 2 hours later and for tea time she asked for another slice of cheese. She got her cheese and I offered her biscuits, buns, fruits and yogurt. She wanted yogurt. Gave her the yogurt and after 2 or 3 spoons, she didn't want it. A slice of cheese is all she had for tea time.

We had dinner at 7pm and half way through she complained that there were fish in her mouth and she didn't want fish and spat out whatever is in her mouth. We warned her never to do that again. After a couple more mouths, she again complained about fish in her mouth and spat out another time. This time we raised our voice (we didn't hit her at all) and she began crying and coughing and was about to throw up. We gave her 2 options, either to finish her meal or go to the corner. She said she didn't want to go to the corner but she wasn't touching her food either. After about 5 mins (she wasn't eating) I sent her to the corner. She only had half the bowl of rice. She stood at the corner for about 30 mins, crying.

Before sending her to bed at 9pm, we asked if she would like some milk and she said 'yes, but small small bottle only' indicating that she only wanted a small portion. We made the usual portion and she complained about 'powder' in her milk (lately she often complained that she could taste powder in her milk and would like us to take it out and we have to pretend to go to the kitchen and pour some out to make her happy!) and she finished it and went off to bed.

So for the entire day my almost 3 year old had 1 bowl of rice, 2 bottles of 6oz milk, 2 slices of cheese, a couple spoons of yogurt and 1 bite of the hot dog bun. So what do you think? Can any of you shed some light before we both lose all our hair?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Would you hire a maid?

We just did. Yes we did. We have finally paid our deposit for a Filipino maid and she will be arriving in about 2 weeks. We have been thinking about this decision for weeks and finally decided that we should just go for it. I have always protested against the idea because I dislike having a stranger at home, what if we got a cuckoo one? what if she is crazy? what if she's actually giving me more headaches (like those we always hear about) rather than helping me out? and most importantly will it be safe for my kids to be around a stranger?

Normally people would hire a maid to help with chores at home and to ease the burden of sending too many kids to the babysitter. For us, hiring a maid is actually more costly, something we are prepared to pay in hope of exchanging for quality life with the kids. I am starting to feel the toll on my body having to juggle housework and the kids and I fear to think if I will be able to cope when I need to be back at work in a couple of weeks. My work is no easy peasy stuff, it requires a lot of my attention (even weekends and after hours) and occasionally working late and I certainly do not want to be worried if papa will survive alone with the kids. An extra pair of hands during times like these is all we need. Also, I want to have quality life with my family, time to read to Hayley, time to play with Zac and time spent with papa instead of spending most of my time on folding clothes, washing dishes, sweeping the floor, changing the bedsheets etc.

Hopefully with a good maid, I will be able to free myself from the house chores and actually get to spend some quality time with my loved ones. As papa mostly work from home, he will be able to supervise the maid most of the time. We are also planning to install some CCTVs at home for a peace of mind as he does needs to be out occasionally. Hopefully these will be sufficient.

Even with a maid, Zac will still continue to be at aunty's. I do not trust a stranger with an infant. Call me kiasu, I am just being safe. As for Hayley, we will continue to send her to aunty's after school for a few months while we monitor the maid. We'll judge her performance in a few months and let our instinct tell us if we are comfortable to let her take care of Hayley. Hayley should be old enough by now (we hope) to tell us if the maid is being nasty to her.

With a maid and kids at babysitter's, it means we will need to squeeze our belts tighter each month. Come to think of it, our maid practically gets paid and doesn't have much to do :-). We're a small family with a small house and I'm not letting her touch my kids unless I am at work. Anyway, both papa and I agreed that if we get a good maid, we will enjoy her assistance for 2 years and then decide if we wish to renew her contract. If we didn't get a good one this time around or felt that we didn't like where things are going, we'll just scrap the idea and consider it as a lesson learnt (and have tremendous 'heart pain' for many days to come on the money wasted) and we shall try no more. Like my sister always said (she has an Indo maid by the way), 'You never try you never know. So just give it a try and see if this solution works better for you. Why suffer housework?'.

I really really hope that I will get a good one and I will know how to handle her and I won't treat her 'too' nice (our agent said that is a common mistake with all first time employers) and gave her the impression that she can take me for granted. I always tell myself that maids are humans too and they should be treated with respect. I don't even mind if she wants to sit on the dining table and have dinner with us together. My motto is 'If you treat me well, I will treat you well'.

So now I need to prep up a room for the maid which means more work for me until she arrives :-( and make some adjustments to our home. I am sure I will need a few days or weeks to adapt to having someone new at home with us 24 hours a day. If anyone has any good tips to share on how to be a good employer or how to make the best of your maid, please share :-)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hayley goes to school

The first week of 2011 was a tiring week for me as well as for Hayley. My little baby is finally off to school. Looking at her in her school uniform sort of reminded me how quickly time flies. It was just like days ago that she was still in diapers, crawling and seeking my attention. Today she's all grown up, independent, brave and adventuring a new chapter in her life.

Sending her to school even before she touched 3 was a decision that papa and I made together. Observing how outspoken and outgoing she was, we knew she wanted to have friends and to play with them. Sending her to school will also be much better than her spending lots of time in front of the TV. Moreover, she has been asking about school since she was 2.

It has been a week since she started schooling. I was probably more anxious than her the night before her very first day. Lots of worries came to mind - will she cry - will she be ok on her own - will she drive the teachers up the wall with her activeness - will she dislike school - will she bully her friends or will they bully her etc etc.

The first day
Waking her up in the morning wasn't as bad as I thought. We gave her an alarm clock and taught her how to turn on and off the alarm. We taught her step by step what needed to be done to get to school on time and started reminding her several days earlier.

When we got to school, her first question as soon as we stepped into the gate was 'is this my school?'. Then on I knew she will be ok. Then we taught her where to put her shoes (there is a dedicated spot at the shoe rack with her name on it) and she was able to recognise her own name. She was also required to put her school bag in the same compartment (also with her name on it) and her drinking bottle in a dedicated place.

Then one of the teacher got her a chair and asked her to play blocks with other friends. After observing her for about 15 mins in the classroom, I stepped out and stayed outside until it ends.

After about 30 mins, many other kids started crying. Mine still didn't cry. Some cried for the whole day. Occasionally she would come to the door and check if I was still outside. Upon seeing my face, she happily went back inside to play. Other than playing with everything she could reach in the classroom, she also likes to climb upstairs (it was a double storey house) to see what was up there (classroom for 4 years olds). The teachers told me they have to constantly go up to bring her down or stopped her before she reached the top. I would occasionally peep through the window to see how she was doing and would constantly not find her in her chair. She would either be walking around or playing with other toys or fighting for toys with other kids etc.

At the end of the day I put her in a stranger's car (a dedicated uncle that will be driving her back to the babysitter's after class everyday) and she didn't even complain or cry. She asked me to follow and I told her I will but I will need to drive my own car and she said ok. I trailed uncle's car all the way to make sure she was ok. Upon reaching babysitter's place, she happily jumped out from uncle's car into babysitter's arms. She was happy.

2nd - 4th day
The rest of the days went by similarly and I didn't accompany her anymore. Teachers said she was ok and didn't cry although she did ask for me occasionally. They also said that she was more active compared to other kids, not hyperactive but just active and suggested that I reduce her sugar intake and probably consider changing her formula to something less sweet.

The babysitter also told me she was really tired upon reaching her home everyday and napped for a pretty long time. I guess even energizer bunny will run out of battery :-).

5th day
She didn't sleep well the night before and woke up pretty early and complained to me that she was tired. I asked her to stay home but she insisted on going to school. After taking half a bottle of her milk, she threw up. I asked her again to stay home but she refused. I sent her to school in an empty stomach and a heavy heart.

I went to pick her up as I didn't want her to wait 30 mins for the uncle as I knew she was tired. Teachers said she had runny nose but otherwise she was ok. She didn't have runny nose in the morning :-(. I quickly sent her to the babysitter's and told her to give her lots of rest and fluid.

I guess going to school 5 half days in a row for the first time is very taxing for a 3 year old. Hopefully she will be able to adapt quickly otherwise I will consider reducing her schooling days (hopefully I don't have to). I also knew that she will be getting sick more frequently (heard it from everyone) once she started school but wasn't expecting the bugs to hit her this quickly.

To me, the hardest part about schooling is explaining to her why she won't need to go to school on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays as well as asking her to stay away from Zac whenever she was unwell.