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Weaning – Thumb Sucking July 28, 2006

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

I’m not sure if we will successfully wean Zara from thumb sucking entirely, but we’re making good progress since 2 weeks ago.

I didn’t want to force her to quit that habit initially, because :
~ I find her very cute sucking her thumb (esp when holding on to Mr Blue)
~ It’s a good way for her to comfort herself esp when she wakes up middle of the night from a bad dream

Then, she was hurting her thumb more and more with all the vigorous sucking, until 2 weeks ago there was actually a 0.5cm cut, which was bleeding a bit. She occasionally complained, “thumb pain pain”. So we thought, maybe it’s time she should stop.

We didn’t plaster her thumb, nor put bitter ointment on her thumb. We just ‘psycho’ her. We told her
~ she’s jie-jie now, it’s not nice to be sucking her thumb
~ to compare her left (which she doesn’t suck) with her right thumb, left one is so smooth and ‘nice’, and the right one is not nice and so rough
~ she’s hurting her thumb because she’s feeling the pain now, and if she continue sucking, her thumb may get broken and I’ll have to shelve her thumb in the cupboard like I did with one of the broken figurine we have in our house (to this, she wailed and cried. Bad mummy!).

We even told her if she shook hands with people, people will say, “oh, such a nice girl, how come your thumb not nice one?”. To which she replied, “Zara shake hand with this hand then (reaching her left hand out)”.

During nap time, and bed time, when she asked for her linen cloth, the breast pad or Mr Blue (all are her comfort objects which are her ‘companions’ during thumb sucking sessions), we reminded her, “Don’t suck thumb yeah. Thumb thumb after broken and pain pain yeah.” She would then said, “Zara hug hug only. No suck suck thumb.”

The first 2 days were tougher, esp during nap time, she would cry, knowing she cannot suck her thumb (but we didn’t refrain her physically, just told her she shouldn’t suck), she even asked me to ‘go upstairs’ (she naps downstairs) and didn’t want me to be next to her. The first time ever she rejected me, because I was the culprit who wanted her to quit.

The next 2 days, she still cried, but she would ask me to sing to her and pat pat her. She would sob, and then eventually drift off to sleep.

Then the following days, she got a bit cunning. She would ‘negotiate’ with us. “Zara eat sweet first.” or “Kakak give Zara choklat”, and then Zara no suck suck thumb.” And she did keep to her promise, after the sweet and chocolate, she would not fuss and go to sleep without the thumb.

In the night, it’s easier, because she’s with me during bed time. I’ll just remind her she shouldn’t suck her thumb, and that she’s promised us. I would hug her while she smells and twists the piece of linen, until she falls asleep.

We gave her lots of praises and encouragement. Praising her that she’s such a big girl, and a good girl, that she listens to us and not suck her thumb. Telling her her thumb is getting nicer and smoother (which is the truth) and no more painful. She would then ask all of us to kiss her thumb and then smile gleefully.

I notice she still sucks her thumb in the middle of the night, unconsciously. However, she used to suck on it for long period of time, but now it was just a few sucks here, and there, and she would pull out her thumb after that. Or when I pull it out, she would not place it back in her mouth like she used to (previously it was like a tug-of-war between the 2 of us).

We told her we would get her a present if she totally stop sucking her thumb. We asked her if she wanted a bicycle as she’s always admiring the bigger kids around our neighborhood riding one. She said, “Zara don’t want bicycle. Zara want paint paint only.” So that’s the deal, when she’s totally weaned off, we’ll bring out the new finger painting set I got Daddy to buy her from Changi Airport recently.

And here she is, finally able to fall asleep without sucking the thumb.


Hickory Dickory Dock July 27, 2006

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

A mouse went into our laundry room, and caused some excitement in the house. We closed up all the windows and the doors, and put Rusty our cat in the room so that he could catch the mouse, and then we watched from the window what Rusty and the mouse were doing.

Here’s what Zara said while watching.
“Kory, Kory, Dock, Mouse went up the clock.”
“Mouse climbed up hang clothes there!” (refering to the coat hanger)
“Mouse climbed up the sky!” (referring to the mouse up on the curtain railing)
Then when she saw Rusty chasing after the mouse, she said, “Wow, Rusty so angry. Catch the mouse like a monkey.”
(In the end, Rusty being fat and lazy, quit after a while. It was Daddy who smacked the mouse with a broom when he got back from work. Zara didn’t see how ferocious Daddy was though, as she was asleep when Daddy murdered the mouse.)

The following day, I asked her, “Where is the mouse now?”
Zara : “Go up to the sky oh-ready (already).” (she last saw the mouse in the curtain railing)
Me : “You want to go and catch the muose?”
Zara : “Don’t want.”
Me : “Why don’t want?”
Zara : “Becauzzzzzzzz (dragging the word while thinking what to say)… Zara scared.”

Daddy Sleep On Sofa July 26, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in language, Zara.

I had a 10pm meeting, and was trying to tuck Zara in before my call.

I asked Daddy to ‘observe’ how I do it, so that he can tuck Zara in in future if I have night call instead of having to always depend on Tuyam. However, since Daddy always excites Zara to the extend of her being alert instead of sleepy, I told Daddy to lay low on the floor, and listen to how I handle her.

While Zara was telling me what she wanted to dream about, we started to hear some snoring. Oh well, this always happens (I mean him falling asleep while caring for Zara, but not the snoring) so I just ignored it, but Zara suddenly kept quiet and listened intently. Daddy must be very tired as he usually doesn’t snore, and it was getting louder.

Zara sat up suddenly, in a frightened voice she said, “Go down stairs! Daddy go downstairs.”
Me : “What happened girl?”
Zara : *with tembling voice* “Daddy go sleep downstairs.”
Me : “Why? Zara scared?”
Zara : *about to cry* “Zara scared scared. Daddy snore snore. So loud.”
So I had to give Daddy a shout and get him to leave the room before he upset Zara further.
After Daddy left, she calmed down and went to sleep.

In the morning, she remembered what happened, and she thought Daddy spent the night on the sofa.
“*pointed my side of the bed* Mummy sleep here”
” *poited to her cot* Zara sleep here”
“Daddy go down stairs sleep on the sofa.”
I asked, “Why Daddy sleep on the sofa?”
Zara :because daddy snore snore like a pig until Zara scared. Oink Oink” (my fault, when I got Daddy to go down stairs the previous night, I told him he was snoring like a pig and frightening Zara)
and continued, “Daddy go downstairs, and then no more sound. Zara no more scared.”

Weekend (lots of) Fun – Photos July 25, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in parenting, pregnancy, trips, Zara.

Weekend mainly is Zara’s time. We try to let her has as much fun as she can.

Saturday – Wall Painting

She wanted to do some painting, but when I prepared her paint and drawing paper, she said “Zara want paint body. Paint face, paint knee”.

So we moved her to the bathroom. Let her do some painting on the bathroom wall, and paint her body. After that, I just washed the wall out and gave her a bath.

Artist at work

Artist and her wall painting.

Sunday – Aquaria, KLCC.

Daddy was contemplating if we should go to the zoo or Aquaria, I suggested Aquaria due to the hot and hazy weather.

It was a good outing for Zara. She was very fascinated with the water creatures, and some of the other animals available on display, e.g. snakes, turtles, tortoise, spiders, frogs, raccoon (yes! There’s even a raccoon). Before the trip, I told her she’ll be seeing sharks, puffer fish, star fish, sea horse. I was a bit disappointed when I couldn’t show her any star fish or sea horses, I felt kind of cheated.

There really isn’t much show cases on colorful sea creatures and coral reefs. The main attraction is the tunnel through the big aquarium with sharks, Murray fish, stingray swimming about and above us. If it wasn’t for Zara, I don’t think we would have ever gone.

Zara was very happy to be in the Aquaria

We spent the most time in the tunnel. Zara kept saying “Shark fly high in the sky” after our visit because many times the sharks swam above us.

More time in the tunnel. And at last, we saw some living corrals, with some colourful clown fishes.

And then I got this as a present from Daddy. A Samsung MP3 player. We were considering an iPod and this, but an iPod costs RM200 more for the same features. So the $ factor decided for us.

Daddy got this for me so that I can play some classical music for the baby in the stomach. With Zara, I used to sit in front of my notebook with earphones stuck to my stomach. This would make me so much more mobile, and I can still move about and play with Zara, while the baby has a dose of his/her classical music.

20th Month Update July 24, 2006

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

Zara is 20mths, 4 more months till she’s 2yrs old.

~ Weight 9.7kg (0.5Kg in a month, yikes!)
~ Height : 81cm
~ No new teeth sprouting. Her 4 Cuspids (canines) are still not fully sprouted.

Dexterity :
Climbing up and down stairs while holding on to the side of the stairs.
Able to feed herself while using a fork.

Language :
~ She can count 1 to 10 now.
~ She’s started reciting the alphabets A to Z, but skipping quite a few letters in between (e.g. a, b, c, d, e, f, g then skip, and go straight to q, r, s.. etc).
~ She’s able to identify and name shapes, e.g. circle, square and triangle
~ She sings and recite the nusery rhymes to herself a lot, and is getting pretty good at it.
~ She even sings part of some Chinese children songs even when she doesn’t speak the languge (through memorising the sounds).
(and lots more which I’d captured in some of the posts)

Feeding and Food:
3 meals and 3 milk feeds a day. Eats a lot of snacks in between, like fruits, biscuit, chocolate, home made ice lollies, nuts, raisins, cheese etc.

Her current favourite junk food is chocolate (she especially loves the dark chocolate with marzipan that Daddy got from Germany), and fruit gummies.

She ‘orders’ her food nowadays, asking for “bread and cheese”, “egg sandwich”, “yogurt”, “pancake” for breakfast.
“noodle”, “porridge”, “fish ball” or just “egg” for lunch
And dinner she knows she always have what we have and she only ask to eat what we’re eating.

Emotions :
A loving girl, not afraid of strangers, but will check for our approval before being ‘friendly’ to one.

She knows being nice is not to be rude, not to say words like stupid, or push people away. She knows being nice is to say thank you, please, sorry when needed.

She loves watching Barney, Richard Scarry, Wheels in The Bus; and watches at least 2 shows a day (her max).

She’s in the midst of being weaned off thumbsucking (oh I’m so going to miss seeing her cute little thumb in her mouth).

Let me brush your teeth July 20, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in parenting, Zara.

Zara is very keen in having nice teeth, we used that to coax her to brush her teeth every night.
“Do you want your teeth to be like Uncle Ah Seng’s?”
Remeber Sengkor‘s chocolate coated teeth, she would always shake her head and walk to the toilet to have her teeth brushed.
She always says, “Zara’s teeth so nice. Zara brush teeth.”

One night, when Zara was playing with Daddy, she spotted Daddy’s teeth.
“Daddy’s teeth not nice! Zara help Daddy brush teeth.”
To see what she would do, we gave her Daddy’s tooth brush, and she started helping Daddy to brush his teeth.
Even telling him, “Daddy, EEEEEE” (so Daddy have to say EEEEEE for her to brush his front teeth).
“Daddy, AAAAAAAA.” (and Daddy said AAAAA so she can reach for his molars)
“Daddy, brush tongue.” (and Daddy stuck his tongue out)

I have to crop the photos. Daddy would have killed me if I showed him opening his mouth wide like a hippo, but you can imagine what he was doing at the other end of the brush.

Cute mistakes she makes July 19, 2006

Posted by Zara's Mama in language, Zara.

Zara speaks a lot, and she’s picking up words from us daily. Being only 20months old, she makes some really cute mistakes.

Sauce is Horse to her.
As in Soya Horse and Chilli Horse. She would say, “Don’t want Chilli Horse. Spicy.”

Anything that has pines, or prickly she gets them mix up.
Porcupine is a Pineapple
Puffer fish is a Pine Cone
Pine Cone is a Porcupine
But a Pineapple is a Pineapple.

She pronunces the BL sound as BR. As in “the light brink brink”.

And when something drops, she says “Opsy Dentally”, fusing the phrase “Opsy Daisy” with “accidentally”.

She calls a biscuit, bis-kot, as how Tuyam pronunces it. Recently I corrected her, and now when she said biskot, she would self correct and mutter, “biscuit, not biskot, biskot is Mayay (Malay)”.

Our Quality Time with Zara July 18, 2006

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

I have stopped going to the office for a while, and have been working from home for the past 1 month.

I take over the caring for Zara from Tuyam at 6:30pm as she has to prepare dinner.

What we’ll do is go to the park together, or have some water fun before she takes her bath. Then we’ll have dinner together at the table (Tuyam will feed her), normally this is when Daddy comes back. After dinner, we’ll watch a video or to do some drawing together.

At about 9pm, I’ll prepare her for bed, and Zara knows her bed time routine.

She has to wash her hands first or she can’t touch or get on the bed.
Then it’s teeth brushing, followed by changing her into her pajamas. I’ll get her to play on her own or get Daddy to watch over her, while I take my night shower.

After that, we let her choose 2 books from her stack which we will read to her.

After reading (up to 3 times a book, sometimes), we’ll just talk about what we read from the book. Sometimes she tries to ‘read’ us the book; sometimes she just talk about the story or book.
Like when we read Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, she would say something like
“Zara like porridge also.”
“Zara don’t like hot poridge, Zara like warm warm one.”
“Zara got Daddy, Mummy, and Zara.”
“Zara like soft soft bed. Can roll here roll there.” etc.
This is a good time to get her talking.

If she’s still full of energy, we’ll do some singing, or else, I’ll make her bottle of milk, turn the lights off and have her drink her milk. This is the time Daddy will say his good night, and leave the room.

After her milk, I’ll kiss her good night, “Good night Zara, sweet dreams.” and she’ll repeat, “Good night mummy, sweet dreams.”

If she didn’t drift off to sleep immediately, she would start telling me what she wants to dream about. I don’t know if she understood what dream is, but she would go ..
“Dream about…Small small cheese. Cold cold, yummy yummy one. Zara like.”
“and then… chocolate. Sweet sweet one! Very yummy. Zara put in the mouth.”
“Dream about… swimming. Zara swim swim with dolphins. Water cold cold. So nice!”
“Dream about.. the zoo. Zara see lion, elephant, giraffe..” etc etc
I’ll just be the facilitaor and prompt her to tell me more, but let her do all the talking.

Sometimes I get too tired, and I’ll drift off to sleep before her. Sometimes, I can hear the last word coming out from her mouth, and the next thing, she’s sound asleep.

This is the quality time we have with her, daily, unless I have a night meeting to attend and Tuyam has to tuck her to bed.

Water Fun – photos July 17, 2006

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

I thought I’d give Zara a change, instead of going to the park in the evening like we always do, on Thursday, we did some painting, and after that, I let her hava a dip in her wading pool.

I painted her stomach for her, and then let her paint the rest of her body. It’s washable paint, and we did that outdoor. So.. no sweat!
I washed the paint off before I let her dip in the pool.. It was a hot day. She absolutely loved it!

On Saturday, we brought her to my sis’ apartment for a dip in the real pool.

Putting on her arm float for her (Her neck float was getting a too small for her already).Being in the big pool is different for her, she can’t touch the ground, so she was clinging on to me.

I managed to let her lie on the water to float for a few seconds without holding on to me. What an achievement for her! Or course, we gave her lots of cheers as well!

I then got Daddy to look after her. Zara was ‘demanding’ Daddy to bring her to the small pool, and then big pool and then small pool …, not being able to make up her mind. “This one not nice, that one nicer, Daddy go there *point to the other pool she wasn’t in*”

I just ignore Daddy’s complaints about Zara making him run around and had a good swim.

I used to swim a lot when I was pregnant with Zara, going to the gym (with pool) at least twice a week to swim for 20mins (non stop). Since we moved and it’s too far for me to go to the gym (and anyway I discontinued my membership), this is the first time I went for a swim after I knew I was pregnant.

I told Daddy we have to go to my sis’ place more often to swim. For the benefit of Zara and myself.

Wawa & Baba Black Sheep July 13, 2006

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

Zara has been calling herself Wawa instead of Zara lately. It must have been the influence of the Chinese song 泥娃娃 (Nu Wawa – Doll of clay). I tried to correct her yesterday.
Me : Zara, what is your name?
Zara : Wawa.
Me : No, not wawa. Your name is ZARA.
Zara : *pointed to her chest* Wawa
Me : You can call yourself Wawa if you want, but your name is ZA-RA!
Zara : *quiet*
Me : Tell mummy again. What is your name?
Zara : Wawa’s name Cookie!
Me : *giggled* Your name is cookie? A biscuit?
Zara : *laughed* Hahaha. Wawa’s name cookie!
Me : Your name is not cookie la. Your name is ZA-RA!
Zara : Hahaha. *repeated after me* Not cookie la. ZA-AH!
Me : Yes. Your name is Zara.
Zara : Not cookie! *giggled*
Nowadays, I could really have a ‘conversation’ with her, and I can see, she has some sense of humour.

She has also started singing quite a fair bit. With all the miss pronunciation, most of the time, we could still make out what song she’s singing. Here’s Zara’s attempt to sing the song Baa Baa Black Sheep.

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