Saturday, 30 April 2011

Bottle Rejection

It happened to Jazz, and now it's happening to Jare. He's rejecting the bottle. This is exasperating because I'll not be taking care of his feeds when I go back to work. I need to get him hooked onto the bottle now, or else my Mum will have a hard time coaxing him to drink. Although I believe babies will drink when hunger strikes. The trying process is tough. 
Babies are the most perfect creation in mankind. They are so beautiful and innocent, but why create them to be confused between bottle teats and mummy's boobs? I wonder why. It's really tough to get them switched from one to the other. If we start bottle early, he might reject the boobs and if you begin later, he rejects the bottle. In fact, slightly before he turned one month, I was determined to have a mixture of bottle and boobs feeding. I gave him the bottle much earlier than Jazz, I didn't want to repeat the mistake I had. The fault was probably not enforcing bottle feed everyday. I did it only once every few days. He could be taking bottle well the day before, and reject bottle the next day. So drastic! Although there are many reasons of baby rejecting the bottle, I believe the root problem is bottle teat. We tried from Avent to NUK and to Tommie Tippe, it all didn't help. 
The man is forceful...
Jare is angry. I hope that wasn't his middle finger being pictured.
This evening, to reinforce bottle feeding, I made myself scarce from home, leaving the man to battle with the boy. I brought Jazz together with my Mum to our nearby mall for a stroll. We got home only two hours after the due of Jare's last feed. I was expecting to hear disappointment when I stepped home, but the man updated that he drank! I was so relieved and pleased. Jare usually chooses to scream, cry and sleep over the bottle. Here's what the man did: 
1. On the TV for him to watch 
2. Changed back to NUK latex teat and 
3. Used my nurisng pillow! 
Oh, and maybe with the air-con on so both adult and baby are more cooled during the battle. As much as I contained joy, I'm also managing my expectation. I'm anticipating that this might not be the end of the battle. On some days, at different time of feed, he will still have his preference. I must say NUK latex teat seems the best so far. I applaud its soft teat which seemed to be created just like the mothers' boobs. At least, it worked for both my Js. 
After all, the success recipe is all about trial and error, many of it! Even if it means pouring away those precious untouched expressed milk.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Jazz goes out with Mum

Yesterday, Jazz had her turn to be out with me. Jare was home in mum's care. I brought her out to meet some mummies at Orchard. We took a train there and took a bus home. She was all curious and excited throughout the trip. When we reached the train station, she went, "yay, we're going to take the train." And she went jumping off her feet.

It is seldom that we get to be on trains and buses, because of the comfort of driving. When we were on the train, she was all silent and stunned. The two row of seats were parallel, so passengers were looking at her and she was looking at everyone. Something different from her everyday.

Waiting for the train to arrive
It was a short journey and she behaved relatively well throughout the outing. After lunch at Swensens, she fell asleep. That got me stuck because I was pram-less. I had so much faith in her, hoping she'll get her nap only when we get home, but she failed me. Slept right after lunch on my shoulders. And there I was carrying a big baby around Orchard.

When she woke up, she was delighted by the sight along Orchard road. She went, "So many cars, so many bus...." and went on the sing, "the wheels of the bus go round and round...". We walked to the bus stop and thought we could board any bus, but I told her "No, we have to wait for bus number 65."

Finally, we got home, her first words whenever she enters the door would always be, "ζˆ‘ε›žζ₯δΊ†!" That's if my mum's at home. That evening, she told her Daddy, she went on bus and train.

Other than my aching arms, I thought it was some great moments spent with her. I would love more of such excursions.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Jareth meets friends!

I brought Jareth out for a mummies gathering this afternoon. It was all so fun! My only guilt was to leave Jazz at home, to my mum's care. Well, honestly, I can't handle both kids alone and out. Jazz is still quite a sticky chewy chocolate, she likes to be carried most times. To spare myself from the sufferings, it's a ratio of 1:1 for me.

It's really nice to have such luxury of meeting many mummies while on maternity leave. If only maternity is eternity leave. That would be so Perfect! 
Jare in dark blue

Love the many babies shot

Jare is in the second row, third from his right. A different outfit from the above, because of a major poop he did, staining his romper. Well, in situation like this, we recognise babies by their outfit. 

Jare and mummy
It's usually easy to mingle with friends of the same interest - Mummies! We share tips, jokes and rant about anything under the sun. Nice!


I gave Jazz crayons and paper, asked her to draw and colour whatever she likes. Here's what she did:

A not too bad masterpiece

I got her some blocks and asked her to build whatever she likes. She was stuck and called for my help. So together with my creative juices, we did this:

An elephant!

Pasting eyes for the robot

It was some quality bonding we had. All fun!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Lesson on shapes

I'm pleasantly surprised with the shapes Jazz knows. I guess she learned them in school, I just did the refresher. I used her long time toy as my learning object and she could tell me all the shapes.
Dumping the blocks into the box
Knowing all these shapes

It was a short and easy lesson, because she knows all the shapes!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Two year milestone

Jazz reached her 2 years milestone earlier this month. At times, I'll wonder why her progression is slower than other kids or how come she has yet to master this and that. Typical Singaporean mum? Haha. Just some thoughts when I ever idle. Her Dad always says, "don't focus on what she can't do, focus on what she can do." Well fine, then here I am to make myself feel proud of her achievements and not be too bothered about what she has yet to master. Here's her list of 'cans' 
1. Sing many songs! English and Chinese. Some taught in her school which we don't even know. 
2. Knows her ABC and their sounds 
3. Knows her numbers (1 to 10) 
4. Knows some colours 
5. Knows some shapes 
6. Picks and wears her own clothes. With them in the wrong way at times 
7. Wears her shoes 
8. Feeds herself. Messy though. 
9. Read some books with the help of pictures 
10. navigates my iphone and the apps 
11. Spell BUS, VAN, CAR, CAT and DOG 
Okie, that should be about all. Shall not bring in her greater expertise, tantrums. I'm sure she'll outgrow that. Other than tantrums, I think kids are most adorable at this age. Their cutie little actions make you laugh and smile all the time. Now you know why home is the best place to head to after a long work day.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Excursion to Polliwogs

Apart from the academics, we need to balance it with excursions. While my parents and bro were away for their holiday in Bangkok, which I'm with so much envy, we had our fun without getting on the plane too!

Last Saturday, we went East Coast Park for some dim sum, then brought the kids to Polliwogs. Only Jazz was eligible for play. Little boy just needs milk and sleep. After our dim sum, both Js fell asleep while we were on the way to the indoor playground, and since the kids were sleeping, the mum and dad stopped over for coffee.

Jazz has priority to the stroller because of her weight!

I'll carry the lighter one
Situations like this ever planted the thought of getting a twin stroller! Should I? 
Obstacle course

Grabbing hold of the colourful balls

Wrong demonstration, walking the opposite way of the slide

She got more independent with the indoor playground after her dad followed her through the obstacles. When it was my turn to takeover, I merely watched her play from the outside. Moreover, the place was really crowded on weekends, I was trying to avoid being a big kid, playing in there. I still prefer sitting at the cafe, with Jare sleeping and me conquering pages of young parents magazine. That was luxury to me.

After Polliwogs, she kept pointing to the sea, wanting to see the boats and ships. We then strolled along the beach.
Being very mindful of sand getting into her shoes

And while we were on the sandy beach, the man sat with the 'fruit basket', with Jare in it

It was good fun for everyone, I enjoyed the excursion very much. I thought it really was some quality time spent with the man and the kids. Tiring as it may be, it's definitely much better than being stuck to home. 

Lesson on Numbers

We did numbers last week. I think Jazz doesn't like numbers, she has short attention span when we go through them. Well of course, we have to keep counting to 10 repeatedly, it can be quite a bore. She's good at counting up to 10 in both English and Mandarin, perhaps skipping some numbers at times. Not wanting to neglect our mother tongue, I brought Mandarin into our conversations and lessons. My mum is the sole Mandarin speaker to her, if Jazz conversed in English to her, she would say she doesn't understand. She's the Mandarin tutor, I'm the bilingual
We did counting together
Knowing the sequence and picking the number
Stacking with caution

After the academic, we had some fun on letters and numbers stacko. We stacked as high as we could, and whoever made it fell, loses the game. It's fun!  

Learning is easier if we can bring in songs like the ABC song, number song (once I caught a fish alive) and ten little indian boys. That's how these songs helped her remember the sequences. It's one and a half more week to go before she greets school again. I had better get more quality time out of her home stay.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Lessons of the week

This week, my lesson plan was colours. Jazz is still not very good with her colours, we've been introducing them for a very long time but she's still getting some colours wrong. I know she loves m and m chocolates, and so I've put the chocs to great use. They became my teaching object.

I folded paper boxes and labelled them with the colour's name. Got Jazz to sort out the chocolate according to the colours with a spoon. She needs to practice on spoon coordination too. Although she used her fingers a few times, I voided those sort. Game rules apply. She enjoyed and played the game very well, almost perfect. After she sorted, we feasted on the chocs. She only gets to eat if she picked the right colour, if not, it goes into my mouth. She was a little upset for not getting them right initially, because she doesn't get to eat. Practice makes perfect, she got to eat them as we went on.

Colourful chocs waiting to be sorted

She's enjoying the game. She loves it!

Throughout the week, we did some drawing and colouring as well. I tried to draw simple pictures, asked her to copy, but she couldn't. I wanted to know what is she able and unable at this stage. She is not much into colouring too.

I drew a simple sun, asked her to draw too. She ended up colouring it randomly.

Thinking this book will help reinforce colours, but she has no patient to colour it.

Although I'm not some arty person, we did some art and craft. I was trying to make a sun out of a paper plate. And whatever the outcome, she loves working on it with me. She was so excited when I brought out all the materials. The glue was rather messy on her, but it was difficult to stay clean when it comes to art and craft. So everything was done before bath. She kept singing the Mr Sun song while we were working on it: 

"Oh Mr Sun Sun, Mr golden Sun please shine down on me, Oh Mr Sun Sun, Mr golden Sun hiding behind the tree, these little children are asking you to please come out so we can play with you, Oh Mr Sun Sun, Mr golden sun please shine down on me... "

She loves singing this song, so that inspired me to make a sun!

Our Mr Sun... looks funny eh...

Her Dad came home, she excitedly showed him the sun we did and the man asked, "How come sun got hair." I'm stumped for a reply. "It's art!"

I drew pictures and taught her on colours again

Now, she's getting better with red, blue, green, yellow, brown, black, orange, purple and pink! Thanks to Jare for sleeping well, so that we can work on our lessons.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Dinner at MBS

For the past two weekends, we've been to MBS twice. We were there for dinner on both Sundays. Thanks to my Dad for his great treat. Jazz loves exploring MBS. She loves running through the huge space within the mall, but when it comes to staying still for meals, it's a great challenge. The week before last, we had buffet dinner at Rise and last Sunday, we dined at Cut. Best part about Rise was that they served foie gras and oysters, I had so many portions of it. My permitted food after pregnancy. And the best I could ask for from both Js is to be well behave so that I can enjoy some good food. Well, Jare disrupted my meals with milk feeds and Jazz couldn't sit too long in her high chair. Thank God for my bros and their gf, they entertained Jazz, so I was a little more freed up.

As usual, ignored the staples, went for the sweets.

Sweaty after a run

We dined at CUT the latter week, I've to say the menu is pricey, but the food is of great quality. My family's a bunch of steak lovers, nothing beats to having a good cut beef.
Pricey but great food!

Different grades of cut
MBS really is a nice place to hang out. The weather has been really warm these months, it's so perfect to be hanging out in air-conditioned malls.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Home Preschool

It's almost mid April, about 2 more weeks before Jazz goes back to school. I'm determined to make Jazz's "home stay" more fruitful than just the routines. I've to admit that Jare and the occasional chores are draining my time and energy, it's time I give a little more attention to Jazz by doing activities together. Something comparable to her school days, learn and play.

Last week, I brought her to the playground at our neighbourhood. Playground was her reward for finishing lunch well. It was a short play because Mr sun was scorching hot and I wanted to do this before her bath time. Of all time, I actually brought her there at noon. She really did enjoy and what amazed me was, when I said it's time to go, she did her last few slides, happily held my hand, and walked our way home. Usually, when she's having great fun or interest in something, it takes time to coax her on leaving.

She's getting more independent at playgrounds

Enjoying her play!

After playground, she had pet therapy with Pillow, an activity not available in school. She loves playing with Pillow. And let me tell you, I think I've the best doggie one can ever have. He's ever patient with Jazz. Her play with Pillow is so rough, she would poke his eyes, pull his ears, tail and fur! And Pillow would be just so clam. She wasn't being abusive, she's was merely pointing his features to me, perhaps in a very ungentle way. 

She grew up with Pillow, that made her think that all dogs are friendly. She's never afraid of stray animals or my neighbours' dogs, always stretching her hands to greet them. I must admit I do fear for her at times because I'm not sure how other dogs would react to a little kid. Good thing, doggies around my neighbourhood are rather friendly. 
Got kissed by Pillow

Pillow's tail wagging frantically

Then, I did a little more of academic activity with Jazz. We ran through the upper case of alphabets and their sounds. She's an expert of the ABC song and for being a great fan of leapfrog, letter factory, I've decided to test her. So here, I took her bath toys, laid the 26 letters out in sequence and asked her to take the letter that I've requested. Got about 75% of right answers. I thought she would be 100% right. Her daddy said I'm having a too high expectation of her. But no, I had no expectation at all. She's been watching letter factory for some time, so I thought she would recognise all the letters. 

She was really excited throughout the game. Whenever I applauded her for getting it right, she smiles and eagerly awaits my next test. At the end of the game, I rewarded her with a sweet. She was so happy that she kept asking me to play again. She had fun, I had fun!

In search for the requested letter

Found it!

 Simple moments like these mades me feel so blessed!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Jare at 8 weeks

Little Jare is approaching his 8th week, that's about 2 months. He's becoming more alert, loves looking around when awake. He's beginning to sleep less and starts to coo when you talk to him. He's able to hold his head well for few seconds. He's also putting on some good weight, despite that 200g lost when he was hospitalised. He's getting really heavy each day. His Daddy calls him, "Fat boy." Ohhh, that's mean. But he looks extremely chubby from all the milk I've supplied. Proud cow here...

I've also taken out the most formidable weapon for his day sleep, the sarong! Jazz had a flatter head on her right than left because she preferred sleeping on her right when she was an infant. To not repeat my mistake, I've decided to use the sarong for Jare, hoping he gets a rolly polly head this way. Moreover, he's a boy, it's not possible to grow his hair long to cover that flaw. The sarong also makes taking care of Jare easy for my mum when I get back to work. In the night, he'll be back onto our king bed. 
Little boy in his yao yao. In hope for a good round head

Oh, did I mention he's getting more handsome each day! His face is getting brighter from the disappearing of those baby acnes, cradle cap and rashes.

Love those eyes of his!

Grow strong and grow well Jare!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Terrible Two

It's my first week with the two kiddos at home. My best moments are only when both Js are sleeping, but it's not easy to synchronize this. Most of the time, I would being screaming at the top of my voice at Jazz. Sigh! I've no idea why my frustration towards Jazz has been intolerable these days. Perhaps we're spending more time with each other, so I'm facing more challenges than her school days. I get really upset when she doesn't take her meals. My goal's simple, I just want her to eat well. I would cook her meals everyday, giving her choices, rice, noodle or porridge, and then whip up the food that she loves. It's usually a trial and error, and it can be risky if I try a whole new recipe on her, she's capable of ignoring the food. Some days, she'll finish up her food and some days, I hope food doesn't exist.

Just yesterday, I smacked her all because she didn't want to take lunch, not a single mouth. The thing that amazes me is, when I smacked her, asked her to eat, she said "No." I had this repeated answer despite four smacks. Why? Is she stubborn? Is she not afraid of the smacks? Or is she just too young? I gave up, my mum came to her rescue. I threw her food and my mum showered her while I tried to get some sanity back. Reward system and threats to remove privileges didn't work. I was just exasperated! Someone please tell me that this doesn't just happen to my child. That night, perhaps guilt stricken, I went through the scene and reflected on the situation.

I need to understand that she is unable to express herself as much as the older children are able to, because of her limited vocabulary. I need to understand that she has a mind of her own too. Most importantly, I need to act fast at times, if everything comes near her nap time, she gets extremely cranky because of tiredness. A well rested child is a good child. All these being easy to mention, but when it comes to reality, all I can pray for is that double portion of patience.

Just when I was typing, she woke up from her nap, came to me, hugged me and said,"I love Mummy." Aww, how could I have been so hush on her. Continue....

Today, I tried the positively loving method. Losing only a little coolness during lunch when she asked me to switch between DVDs again and again, but I became nice in a while. Well, whatever, as long as she eats. Throughout, I spoke to her in gentleness, held back my anger and scoldings, and gave lots of praises. Things seemed better this way, a patient heart yields positive outcome. And for not being impatient, I have greater tolerance. The trick is, anticipate her unfinished food before meals, and take her 'No' as an answer. Respecting a kid's decision.

She loves to self feed, but I dislike the mess

'Rat's tail' soup with fishcake, fishballs, spinach and pork

It really isn't easy being parents, having to encounter different challenges at different ages. Unlike maths where we have formulas to decipher problems. Parenting is individual and personal, we do what's best for our kids. That's lots of experiments for me though. Maybe more of science than maths. So who's my next challenge? Jare!!!

The expressions that can suppress my anger

Sometimes, she really is a cutie pie. Last night, her Daddy commented that she might be better off attending school, lessen her scoldings and smacks. I sounded to Jazz, "Do you want to go school?" She said, "No." It's only the first week and school's out of her mind. Prior to that, she would wake up excitedly every morning to get ready for school, regardless who's sending her. I think I'm getting myself into trouble when she goes back next month. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

King Sized Bed

Why you need a king sized bed? So that the whole family can squeeze onto it!

Not forgetting some space for the mummy!

And who loves it the most? It's little Jare who's smiling so widely. He's a nightly 'resident' on the bed, so that it's convenient for me to feed in the night. It's only occasional that Jazz's comes onto the bed, because she's a great master of kungfu kicking. It can be painful and dangerous to be near her when she's sleeping. Which is why, between the two, there needs to be some separation. And I love being surrounded by my darlings!

Little Mummy

Kids are the mirror image of us. They imitate what we do and say, they practically learn well from the adults. My girl did the most comical, yet annoying imitation I've ever seen. Whenever it's time for Jare's milk, I would grab my nursing pillow, put Jare on it and feed. Next moment I freed my pillow, Jazz took it and here's what she did...

Milking her Eeyore

She did exactly what I did! Put the pillow around her and fed Eeyore. She would burp her Eeyore too. Gosh! When I first saw it, I wasn't sure to laugh or to reprimand her. I just asked, "Are you a Mummy? Only Mummy has milk."

Kids really surprise unexpectedly.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Jazz's Birthday - Part III

Final part of Jazz's birthday celebration was done at home. We did a mini party for her and invited my grandparents, aunt, parents and brothers. She loves hanging around with my bros and their girlfriends. That made her party awesome.

It was a party I had planned weeks ago. And when Jare was admitted to the hospital, I thought the party had to be cancelled. Today, I'm just so thankful that Jare is discharged and that we could celebrate Jazz's birthday as a family!

The theme for home party - Mickey, Minnie and friends! 
All ready for party time
These in an adult's party pack... wasabi peas!
Dim sum for dinner and party
Ice-cream cake

Her very cute minnie mouse ears.

Party hats

Jare in mickey wear too!
The guests and their hats

Happy Birthday Jazz!

The special guests!

Uncle bear and auntie Esther surprised us again! They visited Jazz with a minnie mouse pressie, her love! Thank you for that special thought and gesture.

Opening ceremony for pressies...

Her presents! More mice added to her collection

Shoes from daddy, classic minnie from Mummy, Red minnie from Uncle bear and Auntie Esther, clouring book and shirt from jiu jiu and berry jie jie, elephant and flowers from da jiu and Delia jie jie. Grandparents, parents and my auntie did the tradition, they gave ang baos.

My eldest bro and his girlfriend are real comical. They ordered the elephant and flowers to be sent to her school today, but she wasn't in school. It's month of April, so she's no more schooling from today till May. The teacher called to say that Jazz has a delivered gift and asked to send to our home instead. When the gift came, she exclaimed, "elephant, elephant!" It came with a card of love message and a note asking teacher to read the message to Jazz. She wasn't in school, so I read on behalf.

Well, a mini party, but we all had fun. It's time well spent and I would love to have more simple, stress free parties like this. Happy Birthday darling!