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Last day of holiday August 31, 2005

Posted by Zara's Mama in trips, Zara.

Since it’s the last day of our holiday, in the morning, we just lazed about in the hotel.

Zara got bolder with the waves, trying to walk closer to the water, and not afraid even when a higher wave wet her thighs. I was holding her hands all the time, ready to lift her up if the wave looked too menacing.

It’s a public holiday today, and therefore there were more guests, making the pool area very noisy. The hotel has a very nice garden, with very old and big trees and away from the crowd. A few big hammocks were available, and I always like lying on one. I took one with Zara and immediately she laid her head on my chest, and started sucking a thumb, a contented look on her face (and mine).

We checked out at 12pm, and started our long journey back home. More singing, and entertaining Zara on that long drive.

When we arrived, she was actually quite happy to be home. She was suddenly bursting with energy, and was crawling here and there, making lots of noises, and when we put her in her walker because we had to unpack, she was just walking very fast, and knocking on every thing.

When I tried to nurse her before tucking her to bed, she was becoming quite naughty. She bit on my nipple, and shouted AIK! I think she wanted to play more, and didn’t want to settle down yet. I tried a few more times, and she did the same thing followed by more AIKs ! I was very upset, as though she was rejecting me.

I have to wrap my arms tightly around her, cuddle her, and tell her it’s getting late, and she should stop being naughty. She was making her scolding sound all the time AIK! AIK!

Eventually, she calmed down, and laid her head on my shoulder. I nursed her again, and this time she didn’t bite. While stroking her head, I told her never to bite again. Not sure if she understood or heard me, but she drifted off to sleep after a while.

It was a good holiday, and with a kid, it will never be the same carefree, rough it out type again. Even after a long journey, her needs have to be met first before we could rest or unpack.


Genuine Horsie Ride August 30, 2005

Posted by Zara's Mama in trips, Zara.

After breakfast we went for a stroll at the beach. There were a few people who approached us and asked if we wanted to hire their jet ski or beach bike. There was also a lady who asked if we wanted to have a massage or reflexology done. All these didn’t interest us.

A scrawny man dragging a horse towards us attracted my attention instead. Zara loves the Baby Einstein Old McDonald video. I thought this is a good time to introduce her to a horse. I asked how much it’ll cost for us to ride on it. RM30 was the price. The man said our whole family could ride on the horse together. That would cripple the horse maybe, I thought.

I was keen in riding the horse with Zara, and asked Daddy if it was ok for him. He wasn’t keen at all, saying what if Zara is allergic to the horse, will it be dangerous etc etc. Well, we won’t know if Zara was allergic to horses if we didn’t try it out, and I checked with the scrawny man if it was safe. He assured us it will be, and that the horse will go real slow. I then agreed to his price for a ride with Zara.

He helped me up the horse, then daddy passed Zara to me. I made very sure Zara was sitting comfortably (or she might move around complaining later), and I had my arms around Zara’s waist. Daddy had to go back to the room to get the cash as we didn’t have any on us.

The horse started trotting as the man dragged it. We were going slowly, but it was still quite bumpy up on the horse. I told Zara this is a horse, and sang bits of the Old Mc Donald song to her. She squealed a little, tried to pull the horse’ mane, and also touched its coat of rough short hair near the saddle. She was comfortable, and not afraid to be so high up.

After about 10mins trotting at the beach, the man took us back to our hotel. We had to wait for another 15mins for daddy . The horse was getting impatient, and was thumping the sand with its hoof, and then bit off the attap roof of a nearby shed. The man scolded the horse, and then slapped its forehead.

Upon seeing this aggression, Zara too started scolded the horse. “AIK!” “AIK!” she shouted, and then pulled its mane. I have to tell her not to do it, instead I told her to ‘sayang’ (pat lovingly) the horse.

Eventually, daddy arrived with the money (apparently, he also went back to the room to take his bath causing the delay). After dismounting from the horse, we got Zara to thank the horse, and pat or ‘sayang’ it again. She did that gently, and I was very pleased.

At the beach & meeting the monkeys August 29, 2005

Posted by Zara's Mama in trips, Zara.
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We spent the morning at the beach after breakfast.

Zara had been to the beach at Kuantan before, but she was probably too young to know how to appreciate it (by touching the sand, kicking waves, walking on the shore). This time, I put her on a towel, and tried to build some sand castle (more like sand blocks) near her for her to topple.

She was very curious about the sand, first time touching it. After examining it a bit by feeling the texture and looking at it, she put some into the mouth to taste. Ugh! I was too slow to stop her, and it was quite hard to try to dig out whatever that she has already placed in her mouth. Luckily, the amount was as much as her thumb and index finger (pincer grip) could hold, so it wasn’t that much actually.

She didn’t like crawling on the sand, I think the sand was a bit too abrasive for her knees, so after venturing out of the towel for a while, she crawled back in.

We then spent some time walking along the shoreline, some how Zara was a bit weary every time the waves licked her feet, and she tried to walk away from it. I tried to get rid of her fear by asking her to kick the wave every time it’s approaching or make it sound like fun stepping on waves, and after a while, she started feeling more comfortable.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in Komtar, because it was raining cats & dogs the whole time.

In the evening, we were lucky that the sky had cleared, so we could bring Zara to the Botanical Garden just as we planned.

We walked the loop, meeting some monkeys on the way. She was enjoying herself, excited over the monkeys, and the bouncing in the baby sling when daddy did a slow jog.

The botanical garden is just such a great place to go, and I must say, it is so well kept. Compared to our Lake Gardens in KL, this is heavenly.

Penang, here we come! August 28, 2005

Posted by Zara's Mama in development, language, trips, Zara.
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After stuffing the whole car with Zara’s things (1 bag of toys and books for the journey, another bag for the stay; 1 bag of baby food; half a suit case full of diapers, clothes, bibs, wash cloth etc.; the gigantic pram; her survival bag; her infant carrier), and the little space left with our bags of clothes, we were finally leaving KL for Penang.

Zara sat in the infant carrier and was with me at the back seat. The drive was a long one, with me playing some of her toys with her, singing to her, reading to her and she napped a bit here and there. We took her to Kuantan when she was 1 month +, and back then she slept more, so the journey was not so bad.

In the beginning, she was quite happy to be in her seat, but after more than 2 hours, she started getting a bit restless. When we reached Ipoh, she was raising her arms, and shouting “UP!”, “UP!”. Her very first word, spoken out of frustration!! She repeated this until she was picked up from her seat.

We broke for late lunch in Ipoh and then spent some time walking about there. When we were about to leave Ipoh, Zara protested and refused to be strapped back to her seat. I have to almost force her down, while explaining to her the car is going to move soon, so she must be in her seat. She was very upset, and after strapping her up, she sucked her thumb, and closed her face with the other hand, and went to sleep.

Bukit Mertajam was our next destination. We didn’t have problem getting to St Anne’s Church as we got very good directions given to us by a patrol station attendant.

Zara was glad it was another stop. She was so happy when we got down the car. In St Anne’s Church, I gave my thanks. Zara was standing next to me, looking around, attracted by the flickering light of the candles, calmed by the serenity of the church surrounding.

Daddy too gave his thanks, and then we left the old church building, and walked about in the big compound. There was the chiming of the church bell (indicating a sunset mass was about to begin), followed by singing of the choir from the church. It was such a nice setting but it was time for us to leave for Penang.

It was another 1hr drive, to get us to Penang and to our hotel. I booked the Lone Pine Hotel in Batu Feringi from the internet. It’s a charming small hotel.

I booked the cheapest room and was surprised that we got such a beautiful room. We actually have a little private garden all to ourselves (see pic). The room was spacious with dark wood furniture. I also got the hotel to send in a little cot for Zara, but it will just be used as a play pan, as the bed is large enough to fit all 3 of us. My only complain is that there was a lot of sand on the floor, I have to sweep the place myself, before I was willing to let Zara walk or crawl on it.

The rest of the evening, we spent having a stroll at the beach, have a very nice nonya dinner, and then because Zara slept so much in the car and was still very energetic when we got back after dinner (and also because of the lure for cheap DVDs), we went DVD shopping just outside of the hotel. RM10 for 4 DVDs, where else can you get such a great deal?

Self Feeding August 27, 2005

Posted by Zara's Mama in development, parenting, Zara.
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Zara is finding some interest in self feeding these days. She tries to reach for the spoon every time I feed her (which is only during the w/end). I give her the spoon topped with her mushy food and let her feed herself occasionally (when I was in the mood and didn’t mind cleaning up the mess). She is quite good at aiming and putting the spoon into her mouth, although it always ends up at the corner of the mounth. She just bites on the spoon, and releases it with still a lot of food on the curve of the spoon.

I have to remind myself that it’s ok for her to mess things up sometimes, and let her have more practice with feeding herself, so that she can actually get to feed herself sooner.

Giving thanks to St Anne August 26, 2005

Posted by Zara's Mama in notable, pregnancy, Zara.
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Because I had a miscarriage in my first pregnancy, when I was pregnant with Zara the 2nd time, I was very worried I will loose her as well.

In the early days of the 2nd pregnancy, we were up north for a family holiday, and therefore my dad, who is a very dedicated Catholic, insisted that we make a trip to St. Anne Church in Bukit Mertajam, so I could ask for blessings there.

I said the sincerest prayers there last May, wishing that the baby I was carrying will be strong and healthy. 6months later, I was blessed with Zara. We have then, planned for a trip back to St Anne with Zara to give thanks.

The trip finally materialised, and we plan to take few days off next week during the Indepencance day holidays, so we could go up north with Zara, for a holiday, as well as to give thanks to St Anne.

Swimming August 24, 2005

Posted by Zara's Mama in notable, Zara.

We got Aunty Ping Ping’s package few days back, and today, Zara got a chance to put on her All American swim suit. The weather is good, so I thought I’ll bring her for a dip in the pool together with my nephews.

She just looks so cute in the 2 piece swim suit, and the matching hood.

She had so much fun kicking and waving her arms in the water. A few times, she shook her head to try to shake off the float, but it was securely fastened with 2 pieces of velcro. The float is one of the best Chinese creation! I have to remember to thank Ma Xin Ah Yi who got this for her from Beijing again.

She didn’t do her poo in the morning, and the whole time we were in the pool, I was worried she was going to contaminate the pool. Phew, luckily she didn’t.

The Monkey God And His Apprentice August 24, 2005

Posted by Zara's Mama in Zara.

This week the kids are staying home as it’s the school holiday.

Norman ko-ko was monkeying around with the broom stick pretending to be Monkey God, he was jumping around and using the broom stick to hit anything that he spotted, shouting “Hike! Aike!” while the imaginary villains got hit.

Zara was napping in another room, and when she heard all commotions, she wanted to be part of it. She stuck her head out of the room and saw the prancing Monkey God and got excited. She crawled towards Norman ko-ko and tried to reach for the stick.

She was happy just to be able to hold on to the stick and be part of the action. The Monkey God has just found his apprentice.

Happier Mood August 23, 2005

Posted by Zara's Mama in Zara.

The last 2 days have been good, Zara is in a more cheerful mood and is willing to be in the company of kakak and Aunty Elizebeth.

She still refused to let Elizebeth bath her, but besides this, she’s alright. Playing happily, ‘talking’, and eating well too.

This makes every body less stressful too, and I’m able to be away from her without feeling guilty (of her crying or fretting).

9 month old August 22, 2005

Posted by Zara's Mama in development, Zara.
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Zara has turned 9mth old yesterday. A summary of her development at this stage:

She weighs 7.33Kg
She’s 72cm tall
She has 4 teeth (2 upper and 2 lower)

Mobility :
Sitting – she sits well, and able to pull herself to a sitting position from crawling or while lying down.
Crawling – she’s able to crawl, preferring the tummy on the floor method than tummy lifted off the floor.
Cruising – She’s able to bring herself up to a standing position while grabbing on to something, cruise around furniture confidently, sit herself down from standing position (still need some fine tuning, as now she’s just plonking herself down)

Language :
Understanding – simple phrases/words like sit down, NO NO, STOP, stand up, clap your hands, say(wave) bye bye, stamp your feet, kick, come (to mummy or daddy), biscuit, mum-mum, drink water, give me five.
She likes people to read to her, and follow our finger when we point out the words to her while reading.
She also enjoys listening to songs sung to her, if it’s a recording of songs, she prefers children doing the singing.

Speaking – She babbles in more than 1 syllable and sound, but no mama or dada or mummum yet. Most frequent sound she makes is “Ek!” (for calling some one), or Ah-ta (don’t know what this means), “Aaaaa” (probably singing).

Communication (w/out words) – she tells me she’s hungry by leaning on me and sucking her thumb. She rubs her eyes when she’s sleepy. She likes to copy people’s facial expression, like pouting her lips for kissing, sticking out her tongue, opening and closing her mouth like she’s eating.

Hands coordination :
She can clap her hands, wave bye bye, open and close her hands (doing twinkle twinkle little star, nowadays, her bye bye seems to be done in this manner too) pick up small pieces of bread or biscuit to put in her mouth (still perfecting her pincher grip).

Feeding :
She’s on 2 solid meals (probably eating about 2 to 3 table spoons of food), 5 feeds of breast milk, and snack on some biscuits a day.

Preferences :
She’s started having preferences on who she wants to be with, where she wants to be, what to eat (if we give her something she doesn’t like, she’ll just purse her lips and if we forced feed her, she’ll make the Urk vomit sound).

Emotions :
She has very developed tear glands, when she cries, big droplet of tears roll down the cheek, a very pitiful sight.
She knows how to complain by making noises or whining. Sometimes stiffening her legs in protest.
When she’s happy, she makes happy noises, “Aaagh!”
She smiles a lot when she’s in a good mood.
She is a thumb sucker, and normally can pacify herself or get herself to sleep sucking her thumb.

Overall, she’s a happy and healthy baby.

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