When…

… “Mommies on the bus say ‘i love you, i love you, i love you” comes up in a version of “Wheels of the bus”(first time i’ve heard this line), and babyN suddenly turns to look at me then hug me as she sang along.

This age, antics heart-melting and exasperating at different times of the day.

Two.

And so, you’ve turned 2.

The past year has indeed been a steep learning journey for us. Having to go through multiple transitions, from your diet strike and Mommsy starting work, to you starting school and then weaning.

You’ve emerged a champion.

Wasn’t easy, of course. You are as picky an eater as ever, as stubborn as an elephant who refuses to budge, moody and whiny when you are upset or dont get your way, and exasperatingly difficult when you are sick. 

Sigh. But you have also surprised us with how sensitive and thoughtful you are. 

You get motherly when you see that Mommsy or daddcy has an injury. You hold both our hands and said, “3-together”. You offer your favourite nuts to Gonggong, you hand out balloons to Yeye et al, you help to keep the laundry. And the list goes on..

When you are comfortable in your skin and/or environment, you are bright, chatty, enjoy bobbing and dancing to tunes, break out into songs every now and then, tilt your head in the oh-my-heart manner, smile your beautiful smile, grin and chuckle like how naughty you are.

That’s the side of you that many people dont see, coz you are shy and take awhile to warm up in front of crowds. 

A loveable side of babyN i hope many more people will come to see.

Happy Birthday, my sweet little one. You know we love you loads :)

  

Breastfeeding Mother: March 2014 – January 2016

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I was a breastfeeding mother, and here are the trained qualities that are proofpoints for why this role should be considered in my CV.

Goal-oriented:

  • Able to remain focused in the face of a rocky introduction to the world of parenthood and breastfeeding, and amidst naysayers.
  • Delivered high quality (fluid) results despite the challenge of navigating mental stress and physical obstacles.
  • Thrived in environments that require all the mental strength in the world to calmly manage the high-strung emotions of a hungry youngling, sometimes in view of the watchful public.

Good management skills:

  • Able to plan ahead and streamline processes so as to complete a host of tasks and errands in the shortest amount of time possible, in order to fulfill commitment to (fussy) top management/youngling.
  • Possess analytical skills required to assess situations of need that are specific to youngling and unique to each situation, and allocate resources accordingly.

Efficient Multi-tasker:

  • Substantial experience in providing ‘materials’ to (fussy) top management/youngling while managing meals/phonecalls/housechores/conversations, most times delivered in under 2 minutes.
  • Successfully mastered the art of delivering said ‘materials’ to youngling while walking, at 5 months into my career and in under 3 minutes; an achievement that earns a ‘level-up’ for some babywearing mommies.

Creative problem-solver:

  • Able to generate solutions and resolve complaints from hungry top management/youngling by exercising a variety of fun/laughter-inducing/distraction methods. 
  • Best career moment: Setting up 4D entertainment for said hungry top management/youngling, to buy time while taking a well-deserved/badly needed 5-minute shower.

Reasons for leaving this role:

In search of my true ‘self’ by regaining control over my body; and to recharge my mind, body and soul before the cycle returns. 

References:

Baby N – 90th percentile for 23 months straight and relative clean bill of health, save for the occasional post-vaccination fevers.

A new year

So babyN started school this year, and while she was fine the first couple of days, reality set in and she has begun crying at the entrance to school. Owell.

And after months with a clean bill of health, she has fallen ill just 4 days into school. Ahwell.

It’s been 2 weeks of school, and she has tried to eat papaya and sphagetti, learnt the actions and lyrics to more songs, and is able to express her opinions with words so much better. Swell!

  

Going on 2.

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So it’s been almost 6 months since, and I’m glad to say we are surviving well from the last monumental change, and in fact, approaching  the next monumental change.

And that’s school. For baby N, that is.

She hasn’t quite taken to the “going to school” storybook that I got her, and she hasn’t shown much interest when we tell her about it. So it looks like she ain’t too keen to start school. Fingers crossed she will adapt well…

Since I’ve started work, there has been minimal playdates and hence baby N has become more withdrawn and averse to people and friends she meets. Case in point – We brought baby N to her first “meet the idol” session, ie Peppa Pig live show, and amidst the crowd, she turned on her defensive mode and shrunk into her shell. I hope the experienc of making friends at school wont scar her too much.

Baby N has gradually begun to eat more varieties of “normal” food, although still extremely picky. I seriously doubt she will swallow any of the porridge/bread/oats kind of food school will serve, but I hope she will come to understand soon enough that she needs to eat to survive.

I reckon her language ability, provided she is willing to talk, could be a key survival skill for her. Baby N has begun to sing complete songs and make logical sentences, so it has been a joy conversing with her. I hope she will be open to communicating with her teachers and friends.

Most importantly, I hope her teachers will like her enough so she will feel comfortable at school. 

The first of many parenting challenges will soon dawn upon us. I hope our score card will fill up quite nicely… Just like her Christmas stockings!

Thanks to FB memories, I am reminded of a chubbier baby N attempting to open her present just a short one year ago. How time flies. I wonder what she will look like a year from now…

  

Milestones 

So it’s been two weeks since the “life-changing” change in daily routine for baby N. I guess we have survived quite reasonably so far. And that’s baby N, my mom and me, I’m referring to.

Me – Work has been interesting. The team is made up of smart and easy-going people, so that’s a plus.My mom – Trying to keep up with the endless (frustrating) antics of her granddaughter. 

Baby N – Ban on baby biscuits and puffs is going pretty well for her. She’s been eating more “normal” food and more willing to try new foods, though still picky. She has also learnt to nod her head so that’s been great in terms of communicating with her. Her range of vocabulary has also been increasing exponentially! She turns extremely “sticky” whenever I’m home, so while it gets frustrating, I’ve been trying to remind myself that it won’t be long before she grows more independent. Let’s hope things get better soon!

Ending this post with a “monumental” moment in my life – baby N actually eating fried ebi!
  

And this will be the weekend.

I’ve been meaning to pen something about what’s coming up, but I didn’t want to jinx anything. Baby N has never been the “conventional” baby. 

She screams bloody murder when I attempt to clean her ears, and I thought babies always enjoyed that. She didn’t like french fries when I thought any toddler would. Etc etc. So while it’s always been said that “babies will adapt better than you think they would”, I really don’t know if this will be true for Baby N. 

How long will it take for her to get the groove with this change? When will she begin to eat decent cooked meals?   Will she miss playing with her friends? Will Mommy Heng be bullied? Will this be for the better, for both of us?

I guess we will all have to take things one step at a time, and make this work…

Baby N, you need to remember that Mommy still loves you to the moon and back; and I hope you will grow to understand why Mommy made this move. 

~~~

A short progress report:

– Walking and even running. Some days I spy her trying to bounce/jump. She can walk in water on her own now!

– She’s picking up many words now. From ball, apple, star, flower, thank you, mummum, byebye, baobao (“up” in Mandarin), shoe; to chair, towel, bag, please, sorry, xiexie (“Thank you” in Mandarin), nail, eat, tummy, duckie, balloon, milo, hot hot, berry (for blueberries and strawberries), carry, corn, car car, hold, tv, book, light, tissue, one more, no more, toy, tree, bear bear, dirty, hair, please, bird (although it now sounds more like “baye”), kitty, puppy, bunny, mienbao (“bread” in Mandarin), door, Gaigai (“outing”), sticky, peek-a-boo (although this sounds like “bababoo” now), happy birthday (although it sounds like “happabee” now), truffles (the puppy).

– I’m not quite sure as it sounds so similar to “mommy”, but i think she has begun to say her name!

– Emotionally, I think she’s feeling rather insecure lately. Could be because she’s anxious about the impending change. 

– Diet: still as nonsense as before. Oh, can’t neglect the slight improvement – she ate beehoon and yellow noodles!

– She tried to blow the candle on my cake!

– Still as cheeky, still a (very loud) crybaby, still as playful; and still makes us laugh one moment, cry the next, then sigh in exasperation.

  

Un-un-unbelievable, You blossom like a flower.

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Life after Baby N turned One has been a whirlwind of fun, exhilaration, exhaustion, and exasperation.

Now that she is walking, she is going everywhere  and touching everything. It’s amazing how much she has been observing and internalising, only to reveal the knowledge gradually. 

Just for records:

  • She can climb onto toddler chairs and sit on her own.
  • She can enjoy pouch food on her own.
  • She can hold her own open-cup and drink like us.
  • She has been having conversations with herself or us, complete with hand gestures. Wish i can understand what she is saying!
  • She can say bye-bye, star, ball, mummum, shoes, where, what’s this, this?, and there was once i thought i heard her say “apple”.
  • She can point out star, ball, apple.
  • She can pick up her water bottle when i ask her to, snap the straw open, and drink (if she feels like it).
  • She actions accordingly when i ask her to throw tissue into the dustbin.
  • She can climb and bend her body halfway out and over the playyard fence out of desperation.
  • She can go up and down stairs on her own, whether by ‘crawling’ or holding the vertical rails.
  • She pushes her ‘car’ like it’s a pet. She can get on and off it on her own, with me holding it in place.
  • She is still as picky about food. Chooses her preferred snacks from a plate of “mixed nuts”.
  • She can fork-feed herself, and spoon-feed when she feels like eating whatever’s been served. Other times, she’s just jabbing at her food.
  • She can walk slowly but steadily in water, while pushing her float. Hates being swirled in the pool while lying on her back.

Wonder what more she will surprise us with tomorrow.

  

My baby is a dragon(fruit) slayer

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So Baby N has been on a food strike for two months now. From chomping down cereals and porridge to having none of those. 

For two months, her diet consists of breastmilk (thank goodness), baby puffs, biscuits, pouch/squeezy food (will have none of these for two weeks now), bread (was a good alternative until she got tired of it, save for some occasions), rice/fried rice (depends on her mood and social setting), and fruits. 

And by fruits, I mean specifically dragonfruits. She used to chomp blueberries, apples and pears; but dragonfruit has been a pretty permanent fixture. (Please, I hope i’m not jinxing anything here!)

She can eat almost half a dragonfruit in one seating. Thankfully, the fierce on the outside, mild on the inside fruit is packed with nutrients (Ref Healthbenefitstimes and Fitday). But as with any food, it’s always best to be eaten in moderation. And I am at my wits end.

However I’ve tried, nothing quite gets to her like dragonfruit does. I’ve attempted flourless pumpkin/banana egg pancakes, pumpkin rice crisps, simple steam sweet potatoes, etc. Oftentimes, she turns away even before the spoon/fork gets close to her. I tried letting her feed herself – works at times, but some times like last Wednesday, she (probably with not much ill intention) flips the plate over and onto the floor. Sometimes I take her out for a meal, hoping a change in environment will do wonders. Nah. And the rare times she is happy with something other than dragonfruit, I seize the opportunity to feed her more. And then she gets sick of that.

Help. Though her weight has stayed constant these two months and it is a good weight for her age, I think help is still needed. And I’m running low on patience.

Oh baby. What will I do with you. Gaaah.