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She’s Getting Vain March 31, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in development, parenting, Zara.

I worked from home today. While working, I heard Zara fussing in our room. I went over to have a look.

Tuyam picked the below set of clothes for Zara to wear after her morning shower.

Me : What happened?
Zara : Don’t Want!
Me : Don’t Want what?
Zara : *Point to the clothes* Don’t want
Me : You don’t want this baju (Malay : Clothes), then what Zara wants to wear?
Zara : *smile* Sessy Tothes
Me : *don’t believe my ears* Zara wants what?
Zara : *smile* Sessy Tothes
Me : Sexy clothes?
Zara : *pointed to another set of clothes Tuyam has selected for her* Sessy Tothes.
Tuyam : Yeah la. Dia tak mahu itu, dia mahu sexy sexy punya (Malay : Yeah, she doesn’t want that, she wants something sexy)

And so, a set of ‘sexy clothes’ she has! She’s happy now!

Hmm.. I wonder if this has got anything to do with King’s Wife.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I brought Zara to see another Paed today (I didn’t say we’re going to see a Doctor, but told Zara we’re going to get an uncle to check her). A very old and experienced doctor highly recommended by a friend.

When I told him about my worry. He just laughed, and said parents nowadays worry too much. After checking Zara thoroughly (felt her head, her back, and the routine check of ear, throat, teeth) and asking Zara to do a few things (helped him turn on the thermometer, gave him high five, shook his hand, played pat a cake), he said Zara can understand him very well, and her overall development looks fine.

He then proceeded to say that the raised ridge is formed by the 2 front skull bones fusing (I think the bones are called metopic suture). It won’t do her any harm. I asked him if it would eventually go away, and he said very likely it won’t, and will be there even in her adult life, but it shouldn’t get any bigger.

This kind of makes me feel better.

By the way, thanks to all your kind words left in my last post. Really appreciate the support you have given, it’s kind of like having a group of friends standing by you. Thank you!


Another Visit To The Dr March 30, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in language, parenting, Zara.

I just come to realise that Zara has this little raised ridge (about 1cm long) right in the middle of her skull where her hair line is. I don’t know when it started to be there, but 2 weeks ago, I could feel that very tiny little bump (feels like touching a tooth pick covered under a blanket), and it got me worried.

I wanted to slap myself for not bringing this up during the last visit to the Paed. After worrying for another week, I thought I’d bring her to the Dr to have a look.

When I told Zara we were going to see the Dr, she immediately whined, “Don’t want. Doh-tuh.” She probably remembered the injection she got.

She was as usual very cheerful while waiting for the Dr, playing with the toys in the waiting room. When it was her turn, she dragged me away from the door leading to the Dr’s clinic, and put up a fight when the Dr wanted to feel the bump and measure the circumference of her head.

The Dr told me this could have been caused by the fusing of the bones in her skull, since she’s developing normally, and the measurement of her head is within normal range, I should not be worried but I do have to monitor her to see if there’s any abnormal behaviour or if the bump size increase.

How could I not worry? Even after seeing him, I’m still worried! I don’t like to think about anything which can ‘possibly’ happen, or which needs monitoring.

~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~

On a lighter note, I asked Zara if she wanted to play with a Dr set I bought before Christmas.
Me : Zara want to play Dr Dr?
Zara : Don’t wang. Pay. Doh-tuh Doh-tuh
Me : *showed her the set* See, so many things for Zara to play. Zara can pretend to check Mr Blue to see if Mr Blue is sick sick.
Zara : Don’t wang.
Me : Why Zara don’t want?
Zara : Sked sked (Scared)

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For those of you who understand Chinese, click here for a meaningful song which is dedicated to all parents, I could really relate to it now, after being a mum for 16months.

Night chat with Zara March 29, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in development, language, parenting, Zara.

These days, if Zara didn’t fall asleep after she’d taken her milk, we would lie in bed, and in her limited vocabulary, we’ll chi-chat. Her long sentences are normally punctuated with lots of pauses.

Me : Zara lie down with mummy
Zara : Lie down. Toss Eyes. (Close eyes)
She saw the room light was still on.
Zara : *pointed to the light* sitch off, light (She said Switch off, instead of just off!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Me : Zara likes Kidzsports?
Zara : *giggled* Spots! Yike (like)!
Me : What can Zara do in Kidsports?
Zara : Pay (Play).
Me : What can Zara play in Kidzports?
Zara : Many ball balls! Throw away! Jump!
Me : Remember the big slide?
Zara : Member. *extended her arms out* BiiiiG side!
Me : Remember the tunnel?
Zara : *pat her chest* tuh-nuh, sked sked (scared)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Me : How mummy call Zara when mummy come home from work?
Zara : Ter Ger (Little Girl)!
Me : How daddy call Zara then?
Zara : Ger ger (Girl Girl).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Me : Zara, how the jie jie in the Sound of Music sing already?
Zara : Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Me : *I hum the beginning tune* Zara sing some more
Zara : *singing out of tune* Ah-deeoh ah-deeoh (Adios, Adios)
Me : Remember the small jiejie (Chinese: big sister)?
Zara : Member
Me : Zara sing like the small jie jie
Zara : Sun, seep (sleep), *wave her hands* good bye, good bye. (Actual : The sun has gone to bed, so must I)
(The song Von Trapps kids sang to the guests before going to bed)

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The other day, she hugged me and said, “Af yoo” (Love You, something I say to her very often).

I love these moments!

Weekend Park Fun March 28, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in Zara.

On Saturday evening, Daddy & I brought Zara to the another park which is about 500m away from our regular park. It was so quiet, we shared the whole place with another family with 3 boys. The main play area is shaped like a ship, so we told Zara this is the “Ship Park”.

I made a mistake by asking Zara to slide down the ‘tunnel slide’ (below) on her own; she had a fright and didn’t want to attempt it again, even when I said I would go with her.

On Sunday, we brought her to Kidzsports, One Utama after lunch. When we arrived, she was running towards the pool of balls shouting happily! This time, we made sure we brought along our socks, so we can both be in the play area to take care of Zara.

My fault for getting her to slide down the tunnel slide the day before; unlike the last trip where she was happily exploring everything; this round, she seemed to be very afraid to go on the big slide or climbed up the rubber steps. When we had to crawl over tunnels, she refused to get in. Kept saying, “Don’t want. Sked sked (Scared), tuh-ner (tunnel).” I had to coax her many times, telling her this is not THAT slide, and I’ll be with her, before she agreed and moved just slightly forward.

Her favourite is still the pools of balls.

After Kidzport, we went to Dragon-I for dinner. Zara shared the chives and shrimp ramen with me, and she loved it! Zara got restless half way through, so Daddy brought Zara to look at the Shanghai si-fu making dumplings. One of the si-fu gave a piece of dough to Zara. That kept her occupied for a while, she rolled it around like a piece of play dough.

I had to say, the dough is so elastic and soft, it did not stick to my hands or crumble when I roll it into a thin bracelet for Zara. No wonder the ramen is so nice, and the Shanghai dumpling so famous. Unfortunately we don’t take pork, or there would be even more dishes to enjoy.

Toilet Business March 27, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in bitching, parenting, Zara.

MIL : Zara still wearing diaper during day time?
Me : Yes
MIL : Aiyo, let her wear her panties without diaper la. Tell her to let you know when she wants to pee or poo
Me : *smiled and shrugged*
She reminds me again and again that her kids were toilet trained from a very young age, and I waited too long to train Zara (MILs are always quick to point out your shortcomings).
Hmm, I listen to the expert, and I won’t push Zara as long as she’s not ready.

We tried several time to get Zara to sit on the potty, she played with it, stepped on it, walked around carrying it. She’ll freeze and say, “Poo Poo.” when she’s about to poo. If we asked her to sit on the potty, she would say “Don’t want. Skat skat”. I don’t know why.

Because the 2 of us are inseparable at home, she likes to follow me to the toilet and have seen me used the toilet bowl. I told her, “This is big people’s potty. Next time Zara become big jie-jie, Zara can use this potty.” She normally helps me flush after I’d finished using the toilet. “Fus (Flush).” She would observe closely to see whatever that’s being flushed away, “see-see (pee) no more!”

One day, while we were in the toilet, she pointed to the toilet bowl.
Zara : “Poo poo.”
Me : “Zara wants to use big people’s potty to poo poo?”
Zara : “wang”
I placed her on the toilet bowl, held on to her and started coaxing her with sound effect.
After a few moments of trying, she just said, “No more!” and wanted to get down.

My maid said she did that again last week.

I guess when she’s ready, she’ll do it, according to her schedule.

Cough & Sniffles March 25, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in Zara.

On Tuesday night, after sharing an ice cream with Samantha che-che, Zara started coughing, the 2nd time Zara she had cough and flu since she was born (touch wood).

Although it wasn’t serious, since I didn’t have any medication at home, I took her to see the Paed on Thursday morning. I told her, “Mummy bring Zara go see Dr to take Medicine ok?”. She started repeating, “Meh-ee-sen”

At the hospital, she was happily running about, playing with the toys and slides at the waiting area.

When it was her turn, she let the Dr checked her without a fuss. I also accepted the Dr’s recommendation of a new vaccination called Pnemocococcal vaccination (for protection against bacterial meningitis, septicaemia and pneumonia). It was when he administered the vaccination that Zara cried. “Bum bum pain pain” She cried and complained. However, she still tearily waved and uttered, “Bye-bye” to the Dr when we were leaving.

1st attempt of feeding Zara the medicine was a breeze. She didn’t know what it tasted, and opened her mouth smilingly. In the night, it was a different story. “Don’t want, don’t want meh-ee-sen”.

The mention of ‘medicine’ made her go all teary; 2 pairs of hands needed to feed her 2.5ml of the syrup (the 3rd pair snapping away on the camera); after swallowing the medicine, she started bawling.

After a nursing directly for a while, she had the happy look again, aaaaah..
She’s getting better already, thank goodness!

School Meme/Tag – Stripping bare March 23, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in myself.

Zara’s leng jie-jie (Chinese: beautiful big sister) Helen tagged me again, she said because she larfu me and she wants to know more about me. Can I not oblige? I had to dig very deep inside my memory for this, and make this such a long post though.. ZzzzzzHow many schools did I go to?

(I’m 3rd from right)

2 kindergartens in Kuantan :
~ St Thomas where my mum was a teacher.
~ And then later, another Catholic church kindergarten (forgotten the name) where my mum was the principal.
I went to kindergarten really young since mum was working there. I just tagged along, had some fun, learnt some singing and dancing. Going to school this early, did not make my IQ higher, but definitely built my confidence, especially performing on stage. I was the solo singer, the princess in most of the concerts, and the youngest performer in a dance we did for the Menteri Besar of Pahang (Stage fright? What is that?).

2 primary schools :
~ SRJK(C) Yoke Hua 育华小学 in Kajang for the first 3 years. Here is where my foundation was built, under the care of my maternal grandma. My confidence was further boosted by doing well in school story telling competition and singing contest. Ahh.. those were the nicer days.

Standard 4. When I asked Zara who this is, she said, “jiejie (Chinese: Older sister)”

~ SRJL(C) Kuen Cheng 2 坤成小学二校. When I was standard 4, my father pulled some strings and I got into this school (one of the best Chinese school during that time). I was placed in the last class (students were distributed to difference classes based on results, but I was transferred, my academic records didn’t count). I could not speak a word of Cantonese (main language spoken in KL), was laughed at by my class mates. My teachers thought I was stupid because I came from a rural school.
I remembered the English teacher in my Standard 4 class was shocked one day when I said, “I didn’t bring my book” in class. Her jaw dropped, “You mean you speak English?”
And then back home, my siblings called me a communist because they went to good English schools, while I attended a Chinese school, and my spoken English was not as good as theirs.
This was where my confidence was crushed. I still did well in school (from all my grandma’s training to be independent and self motivated), but I no longer has the confidence, more so in public.

Secondary school : Kuen Cheng Girls’ High School 坤成女中
My father gave me a choice when I finished my Standard 6 if I wanted to switch to an English school, but I chose to stay on.
Teaching medium for all subject was in Chinese, and some English was used for Maths and Chemistry. We only have 1 Malay subject, but on the years we had to sit for our SRP and SPM papers, extra Science, History, Geography lessons were conducted in Malay. If you don’t meet a certain aggregate mark for that academic year, you have to be retained for a year.
It’s very taxing (long school hours), lots of pressure, strict rules (no hair perming; no jewelry wearing; hair length must be less than 2 inches below the ears; no novels other than those approved by the school, Mangga or cassettes allowed in school; nobody can be spotted in malls or cinemas in school uniforms etc etc), but I survived the 6 years there.

After Form 5, my dad wanted to send me to Taiwan to further my studies. Stupid me has fallen in love with a cock eyed, hopeless man. I shelved the idea, but opted to do A-levels in Kolej Damansara Utama. The jerk joined me as well, just to watch over me (like standing outside my class room to see if I was talking to any guys). He got me to skip classes with him, and then hung out in snooker parlours instead. My A-levels result was the worst result in all the examinations I’d sat for throughout my life. I got 2Ds and an F.

I then worked in an English Language Centre which used computers to teach preschoolers. I was hooked on those 286boxes. I broke up with the jerk, my dad then was keen to send me off to Australia to join my brother. And guess what, I fell in love again, and decided to stay for the man (Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!). So with my interest in computers, I enrolled myself into ICL to do a Diploma In Computer Studies part time (with NCC thrown in). After 1 1/2 year of slaving, I used another 1 1/2 year to complete my Higher Diploma in Software Engineering in APIIT part time.

I was then going out with my hubby. Unlike those other selfish men, he encouraged me to further my studies. So after I got my Higher Dip, I packed my bags, and went to Staffordshire University England, for a year, to do my degree in Computing Science.

I could have gotten a degree at age 22, but because of my stupidity, I got mine when I was 28.

Was I the studious nerd, or the last minute hero?
I don’t believe I was studious, but I was discipline enough to do some studying on and off, and then topped it off with last minute ‘burning the midnight oil’.

Was I the class ‘taiko’ (big bully) or the teachers’ pet?
None. I was too timid to be the taiko, and was not outstanding enough to be the teacher’s pet.

What was the biggest rule I broke in school?
Perming my hair after I got my SRP results. I got a black mark in my report card, a WARNING or 缺点. (Actually I brought cassettes and novels to school to exchange with my mates and stuck them under the chair with masking tape to avoid being caught by the prefect, but I never got caught).

Three subjects I enjoyed
1. English – always did very well in school probably because we spoke English at home
2. Biology – I love learning about the anatomy of animals especially the reproductive organs
3. Programming – Oooh, I just love doing coding, but if you ask me to do now, sorry mate, no can do

Three teachers that inspired me
None, don’t believe any teachers have inspired me (those male teachers whom I spent lots of time drooling over day dreaming about don’t count). If there’s one, it would have been my maternal grandma, teaching me, coaching me during my first 3 years of primary education, laying very solid foundation for me. Even when I was in England, she was still ‘coaching me’, telling me, “if you cannot take it there, come home ok? Ah Ma will pay for everything.”

Who should I tag?? Hmm..
1. King’s Wife ~ I know a lot of ‘wolves’ out there would like to know about her past after she post her wedding photo)
2. Seng Kor (I’m doing this for Siao Char Bor, Jomel and Siaolin’s SIL) ~ The hunk bare all.
3. Egghead ~ I wonder how you can write in Chinese and English so well, can share your academic background so I make sure Zara walk the same path?

Carrot And Stick March 22, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in myself, parenting.

I try to be a good mum, I really try. I prefer not to use any physiccal force but to reason with her, but I’m also impatient and short temper. On occasions when Zara pushed me to the limits, and refused to heed my warnings, I will slap her thighs, her buttocks or her hand.

Here are 2 common situations which I will use physical force :
1) She soils her diaper and while I’m changing her, she tosses and turns, and reaches her hands out to touch her buttocks. 1st warming, “No Zara! Dirty! Zara cannot touch!”
If she still reached out to touch her buttock or wriggle about, I’ll issue the 2nd warning. I point my pointer at her “NO! Mummy beat beat!”. And then if she still doesn’t listen, I’ll slap her thigh. That would make her cry and stay still.

2) When she endanger herself like trying to put the gum ball into her mouth. After 2 warnings are issued (“No Zara, after you choke on the ball!” followed by a “Stop It! Don’t be silly! Mummy beat beat huh?!”), PIAK, my palm will land on her hand or buttocks after I take the ball away from her.

If you asked the little girl “If Zara yai-yai (Chinese: naughty, but a milder form), what will mummy do?” She’ll reply, “Beeat!” and then clap her hands together!

Lately, I’d devised another way of ‘punishing’ her. So far, I’d placed her 3 times in the naughty corner, where I’d put her facing the wall at the corner of the room. Nobody was allowed to console her even if she got upset, for a minute or 2, and then I’d pick her up and tell her what she did wrong. No physical punishment, but that seems to work better.

Now when she’s misbehaving, I’d only had to threaten her with, “Zara want to go to naughty corner?”. She would reply “Don wan!” and then pull her act together or at least try to.

Every time after I’d punished her, she would want me to carry and comfort her or else she would bawl.

I’m not all evil, I reward her generously too. When she does something clever or good, I applaud, praise her, lift her high up, kiss her, hug her, make a big fuss out of it, makes her feel kembang (Malay : ego expanded).

Now whenever she does something clever, she would clap her hands and shout, “Bah-Vo (Bravo, thanks to Sound of Music)”. I get the signal when she does that, and will clap furiously too, and will elbow Tuyam and Daddy to do the same.

Do you punish your kids, even a toddler? And who do you reward them?

Zara’s 16th Month March 21, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in development, language, Zara.

Woh, another month has just gone by, and Zara the ‘baby’ is now 16th month old. This is another post to capture her development.

~ Weight unknown, probably about 9Kg? 8.5Kg (updated 23/3/06, measured in Hospital)
~ Height : 78.5cm (taken with her standing leaning against a wall at home)
~ 2 2nd molars (left top and bottom) have sprouted, the other right two are sprouting

Dexterity :
Sometimes she does a skip like run.
She still prefers to be carried than walking.
Started feeding herself with fork (we have to help her poke the food with the fork).
Drinking with a straw like a pro, even blowing bubbles.
Opening and closing bottle tops.

Language :
Very amazed to see how she’s progress in this area. Started being able to pronounce the K sound (used to be Tatak, Ah Tong, now it’s Kakak and Ah Kong etc)

Able to use words and phrases to describe what she wants, what she’s doing and how she feels :
Tai-yet (tired)
Shy Shy
Don’t yike (like)
Toh (throw) Away
Close eyes
So Many
Larf you (not sure if she knows the meaning, but she says ‘larf you’ back when I said “I love you” to her)
Give some

Very fast in learning new songs.

Knows most of her body parts, even arm pit (ah-pit), back side (beh-sigh), bum (bum bum), button (belly button) and chin.

Able to pick her book and name the main character in the book, Joe-Joe (From Joe Joe’s Revenge), Mehsi (from Maisy’s Bath Time), Spider (from Miss Spider Tea Party).

Able to request for the songs she wants, bee-go (Bingo), Doh-nuh (Old Mc Donald), chuh-den (songs sung by children), sheep (baa-baa black sheep), etc.

Memory :
She’s able to recollect some of the things she’d experienced and tell me back like Feed Zhu-zhu, eat bed (Feeding bread to Zhu-zhu, my friend’s dog the other day); Bug, mummy step step step, sked sked (I spotted a cockroach in the toilet, got a fright and was jumping around, which Zara saw)

Able to tell whose house we’re going when she see the scenery around, esp King’s Wife’s, my dad’s and my in-laws’ place

Feeding / Food :
Still loves fish, and now always asks for vegetable (she says “Vege“) from our table.

Still, taking 3 solids meals, 3 to 4 (depending if she woke up early in the morning for some sip of milk) breast milk feed (3~4oz) + 1 formula feed (~5oz) a day. In between she snacks on biscuits and fruits.

Emotions :
She still loves King’s Wife’s daughter Samantha the most.

A very happy and good girl, the only problem I have with her is during meal times when she can’t sit still to eat.

Weekend This & That March 20, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in language, Zara.

Zara suddenly wanted to be a baby again. Funny little girl. After her bath on Saturday morning :
Zara : Baby! Oo-Weh Ooh-Weh *immiated baby crying*.
Me : Are you baby or jiejie?
Zara : Baby. Mummy cayee (Carry) *stretched her arm out*
I carried her by placing an arm around her back, and let her sit on my hip.
Zara : Don’t want.
Me : But you want mummy to carry right?
Zara : Cayee! (Carry) *she moved her head and wanted to lay it on my other arm*
Me : Oh..
I craddled her, let her lay on the nooks of my arms, just like a baby.
Me : Happy?
Zara : Happy.
Me : Who’s baby?
Zara : *pointed her chest* Za-ah (Zara).

~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday afternoon, a contractor went out with Daddy to the hardware shop to buy some stuff to help us with our rat problem in the house (yes, we have some residence rats who do tap dancing everynight on our roof). When they came back, Zara got excited :
Zara : Daddy!
Me : Yeah. Go say Hi to Daddy.
Zara walked to the door, stood for a while (and probably found out there’s another person with Daddy), turned back.
Me : Why? Go say Hi to Daddy ma.
Zara : *grinned* Shy shy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Daddy went for a haircut near my Dad’s place (where we used to live). Immediately we turned into the residential area, Zara said, “Ah Kong (Chinese : maternal grandfather)!”
Me : Yes, we are near Ah Kong’s house
Zara : Ah Kong, house! *stretched her arm out* Ah Kong, cayee (Carry)
Me : Ah Kong not here.
Zara : *turned and face me* Mummy cayee!
We called my father, and arranged for him to have dinner with us, so that Zara can see him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Near my dad’s place, we saw the ERL train passing by. Told Zara it was a train. She got very excited and kept pointing and repeated, “Tain! Tain!”
We thought we’d give her a treat. After Daddy’s haircut, we went and parked our car at Tun Sambattan station, and took Zara on a monorail ride. We went to Berjaya Time Square, visited the Borders Bookshop (which Zara likes a lot, especially the children’s section), then took the monorail back to Tun Sambattan.
Daddy carried Zara all the way on the monorail ride, he pointed to her the Klang river, the buildings, we passed, the roads below.
When we got out of the station:
Zara : More more! Tain!
Me : Finished already. Now we go and see Ah Kong ok?
Zara : K.
Me : “Zara happy?”
Zara : Happy! Tain!

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