Monday, December 31, 2007

Merry Christmas!

After all the Christmas presents were unwrapped, it was time to get changed and visit to in-laws for Christmas wishes. We didn't go to church on Christmas day because we attended the mid night service on Chritsmas Eve and want to make sure that Charlotte had enough rest to the rest of the Christmas Day activities and visits.

I dressed up Charlotte in her new Christmas white color top that we bought for her from Gap Kids. Although the top is slightly bigger (yeah, the kia su mommy bought her a 3T), she looks so "christmas" in that outfit.

She first visited her grandparents (my in-laws) at home and then meet the other grandparents (my parents) and her KooKoo and KimKim (my brothers and SIL) at Maple Gold for Christmas lunch.

She didn't eat much but was having a good time walking up and down the steps. We realized that she is able to take those steps without holding to our hands, and so she was "practising". This is something about Charlotte, when she learns something she will keep doing it until she master it. At home, she goes up and down the stairs without holding on to the handrail or letting us to hold her hands. She says "Myself!" we will have to stay very close to her to make sure that we could catch her in time if she miss a step.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another Visit to PD

My entire family was sick this Christmas (or should I say last Christmas? anyway, I mean 2007). It started with me, had really bad soar throat 2 weeks before Christmas. I recovered from soar throat but it became cough and flu. Then Charlotte got it from me, then Pat and eventually Brenda too.

I took Charlotte to the doctor when I first spotted some symptoms on her. Unfortunately, she did not respond very well to the medicine prescribed to her and her cough was getting worst and with phlegm. On Wednesday night, Dec 26th she had a slight fever and I decided to bring her to Dr. Rama the next morning.

I did the usual preparation with Charlotte, making sure that she knows where we are taking her and she would anticipate the checking from the PD. We arrived at GMC around 10am but we waited until 11.30am. While we were waiting, I told Charlotte Dr. Rama is going to check on her chest, ears and throat. She then said to me "kiss, hand" and showed her hand to me. That was because during her last visit she was such a good girl and Dr. Rama kissed her on her hand and she remembered!

Usually, Dr. Rama will be checking her as she sits on my lap. I don't know what happened that day, Dr. Rama requested Charlotte to lie down on the examination bed. I thought that is going to trigger her to scream and cry again. To my surprise, Charlotte cooperated. She lay down and let Dr. Rama do the checking, on her stomach, listen to her lungs with the stetoscope and checked her ears and throat. Not a sign of concern or discomfort showed on her face.

I then carried her up and let her sat on my lap as Dr. Rama explained and prescribed the medicines. Suddenly, Charlotte said "doc-tor-Ra-ma", slow but very clear! Dr. Rama, the nurse, and Brenda all broke the silence with big laugh! Oh dear, my girl is applying what I thought her!

Dr. Rama prescribed 4 medications, including a 3 days course antibiotic and phlegm relieves. Luckily, feeding medicine is not as difficult as it used to be anymore otherwise I will have big headache to make Charlotte take all these medicines.

Good news is, she has fully recovered now!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Underneath the Mistletoe

Yes, those were Charlotte's Christmas presents. I told Charlotte to put all her presents under the Christmas tree and can only open them on the Christams day. She followed my instruction completely even though she remembers the 1st Christmas present that we bought for her wrapped in the yellow color ToysRUs gift paper. She kept asking for it everyday but we told her she can only open it on Christmas day.

This year, we managed to attend the Christmas Eve Mid Night Service at church too. Charlotte again was very delighted to see the Christmas performance by the Sunday School children and she was also received the blessing from the pastor as I brought her forward during the Holy Communion. We left the church right after the Holy Communion but the next morning my mom told me that Santa Clause came soon after we left. Again, Charlotte missed it.

See how excited was Charlotte when she gets to open up all the presents finally...

I was surprise to see when she picked up a present and started to shake it like how the adults used to do. I never thought her that and wonder how she knew how to do it that way.

She received a wide variety of gifts, such as books, crayons, toys, game set, shoes and dresses. She was very excited and overwhelmed with all the presents received. My guess is, she is going have some level of expectation when comes to Christmas next year. I better start to tell her to be good if she wants more (quality & quantity) presents next year, hee hee!

Merry Christmas Baby!!!

Christmas Carol

We missed the Christmas carol at my parents' place last year because the caroling team only came after 11pm and Charlotte was too young back then to stay up till late night. This year however, the caroling committee managed to arrange for an earlier schedule to the house and Charlotte was able to witness the Christmas carol for the first time!

On Dec 22nd, I dressed her up in red and white jumper that we bought for her from Jusco. It was a perfect Christmas dress and Charlotte looks so adorable in it.

The caroling team came right on time, 10.00pm. The ladies were in white dresses and white shirts/black pants for men. The team also had 2 little "angles" with them (I don't remember we have that before) and they both wore a angle crown (more like a hairband), angle wing (or butterfly wing?) and a wand in their hands. When they were all standing at the doorstep Charlotte was delighted to see them, especially the angles. She kept very quiet, observing and admiring the carolling team throughout the session. I think she has the potential to be in the church choir, just like mommy (hee hee). I joined the caroling when I was 8. I was the youngest in the team because back then the church only allowed >13 years old to participate in the caroling. We didn't have the little angles role back then, and we were expected to remember all the songs (around 15-20 songs) by heart (yeah, I saw them bringing along the song book this time).

The only thing missing this year was the Santa Clause! Where has the Santa gone? I was telling Charlotte that she could see the Santa Clause that night. Although I didn't think that she knows what Santa really is even though we bought her a toy Santa at home. Apparently, the carolling team has been split into 2 to accommodate the number of houses to visit each night. The Santa Clause is following team #1. I am disappointed a little when I knew about the situation, however it could also be a good thing because I was also worried if Charlotte is scared of the Santa just like she is scared of the clown giving out balloons at the mall sometimes. I was prepared to tell the Santa don't come to shake hand with Charlotte when they arrived because I know about the carolling "process" very well. God must have knew about my worries, Amen!

Charlotte was very delighted with the whole carolling "thingy". She even blow kisses to the team when they were in the van prepared to leave for another house. The carolling team wind down the window and all blew kisses back to Charlotte too and shouted Merry Christmas as the van moved away.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Outdoor Fun!

We bought Charlotte a battery operated motorbike back in June this year. She barely had the control of the motorbike back then. She always ran into corners or hitting at the road blocks after short ride.

Pat took out the motorbike last Sunday morning and Charlotte had so much fun riding on it. She is now able to control the direction very well with the handle, lift up her right leg to stop and make U-turn or change direction by pushing and turning the motorbike with her legs.

Inside the house, she is also able to ride from the living room to the kitchen and make u-turn back to the living room without hitting at the wall or corners. Sometimes, she shows a big grin on her face and we can tell she is so proud of herself too :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

So Courteous

Charlotte is learning to apply "sorry", "excuse me" and "thank you" in her daily conversation recently. A few situations I found out recently...

Situation 1
When Charlotte is trying to get pass us through a narrow walk away, she says "excuse me"!

Situation 2
When Charlotte is hit by something or fell down, sometimes she says "sorry". I think that's because we used to say that to her when she's in pain. So she picked it up and apply it that way too (oops...)

Situation 3
Charlotte loves to run at Malls and hypermarkets. When it is so crowded and she kept bumping into people, she kept saying "sorry" to the person in front and turn to another direction and continue running. Like an energizer bunny. The way she says it is so sweet and innocent but with so much pride! Sometimes I could hear people commenting "so clever this girl!"

Situation 4
When you give something to Charlotte, if she is impressed she will say "woh!" but she always forget to say "thank you!" until we reminded her.

I came back from lunch last Tuesday with a big bag of Christmas presents (thanks to the mother from the playgroup). I gave the bag to her and she peeked inside and said "woh!!!" and showed me a big grin. I told her those are her Christmas presents and asked her to put all the presents under the Christmas tree and can only open them on the Christmas Day. She did exactly as I told. I don't think she knows when is Christmas (or what is Christmas) exactly but I guess she just has so much trust in me that I will give it to her one day. So she didn't hesitate at all. Good girl, isn't she? But she forgot to say "thank you" *slap head*

Situation 5
I found that the Coffee Beans is selling packets of very cute mini gingerbread man. Six pieces in a pack, cost RM9.60. I bought one for Charlotte (not that she loves to eat it but it's just kinda cute and also good chance to show her what a gingerbread man cookie is) and she said "woh!!" (as expected) when I gave it to her. I asked her if she wants to eat it and she nodded. So I took out 1piece and gave it to her. It is kinda hard and she couldn't bit it off at first. I told her to bite at the gingerbread man's hand, it has a tinnier structure and should be easier to bit it off. She did it, and gave me a big grin. A short while later, I heard she said "sorry"! Then she went on to bite at the other hand, then again she said sorry after the hand was bitten off. *LOL*

Sick, But So Brave!

When I was out with Pat for lunch yesterday, Brenda called. I knew something must have happened for her to make that call. I picked up the phone and Brenda told me that Charlotte was having fever, 38.1 degree C. I rushed home in 20min and when I checked her again the temperature has gone up to 38.3 degree C. I quickly feed her the PCM and the fever subsided after 40min. She then went for the nap but when she woke up, temperature came back and I also noticed that she was coughing too (I had a terrible soar throat and cough last week, I must have passed it to her). I decided to take her to the PD for early treatment.

As we were getting ready, I told her that I will be taking her to see the doctor as usual. Her respond was nothing else but "NO!" and started to cry. While changing her, I took my time to explain to her the reason I am taking her to the doctor. My last update about her visit to the PD was in Sept when she was due for the JE 2nd jab. She was very good then and I prayed that she will be as good (if not better) this round.

Me: Charlotte is sick, cough cough, so must see doctor
Charlotte: No cry!
Me: Yes, no need to cry. Doctor will just check you and listen to your heartbeat.
Charlotte: Check, check (with her imagination of a stethoscope on her chest)
Me: Yes, doctor can hear your heart beat goes "dup dup"
Charlotte: Poke! (pointed to her arm)
Me: No, no injection today, no poke. Just check check your ear, and check check your mouth. You must say "ah...." and open you mouth for doctor to see, ok?
Charlotte: No!

So we arrived at the Hope Clinic around 6.30pm (I know and have heard so much about Hope at Sg. Ara, but I had no choice as I have a meeting to attend that night and Pat was still in the office) and registered ourselves. Unfortunately, we were told that the doctor will only come at 7pm. I had no choice but to bring Charlotte elsewhere first. I then took a short trip to my SIL place and came back around 7pm.

As we entered the room, Charlotte was very nervous and she held on to Brenda very tightly. I told the doctor what happened and he started with his stethoscope as we expected. Charlotte was anticipating that and she kept very quiet and still until the checking finished. Once the doctor removed the stethoscope, she immediately asked Brenda to take her outside. Unfortunately, the checking was not over. Doctor needed to take her temperature with the digital thermometer. I told Charlotte to look at it, so that she knows what is going to happen. And I told her it will be the same as how I check her at home. So, again she kept very still and let the doctor take her temperature.

We thought all was over by then, and Charlotte was pointing to the door again. But the doctor said everything was fine, lungs are cleared, temperature is within the limit although slightly warm. So he said he needed to check her throat. Luckily, I told Charlotte about this part of the checking too. She wasn't quite cooperate the last time when Dr. Rama wanted to check her throat but it was a surprise this time as she opened up her mouth so wide and hold for quite awhile when she was asked by the doctor.

Finally, the checking was over and everything went so well without even a single struggle. I praised her for being such a brave girl right immediately we came out from the doctor's room. Actually, she did very well too last couple of weeks when we went for her Hepatitis A booster jab (that's how she remembers the "poke" part). Dr. Rama too complimented her for being such a brave girl!

The 2nd challenge was feeding the medicine. It was a nightmare and I was so very worried. But we (Brenda and I) tried to explain it to her as how we told her about visiting to the doctor. Hoping she will be able to accept it. Unfortunately, the 1st feed was still the same as before. We had to hold her down, she struggled and vomited everything. We had repeat the process.

Because her fever come and goes, we had to feed her the PCM around the clock. The process gets easier and better each time as we repeat the same explanation to her. Charlotte is accepting it and taking it very well. The latest "achievement" is when I told her it's time for medicine, she is ok to open her mouth (without us holding her) and let me put the medicine inside the mouth and swallowing the medicine without a single struggle. She will then say "eat cen (medicine), no cry!". Yes, she says "no cry" in a few situations: bowel movement, seeing doctor and taking medicine. We have gone through all, and hopefully she will be consistent in her "self control" discipline.

I am so very proud of her and this also has clearly demonstrated to me that she is no longer a little baby. She understands and she listens to explanation and reason. I should not take assumption of her as a little baby anymore.

I am so very proud of you, my princess!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

It's 2 weeks prior to Christmas. Malls, restaurants and offices are decorated with Christmas tree, Santa Clause, and we can hear Christmas song almost everywhere we go. Christmas shopping is done early this year and what is pending is the wrapping!

Yes, this is the time of the year or the occasion that I enjoy the most. Last year Christmas, Charlotte was just 13 months old and she barely knew what was really happening. This year, she is already 2 and she is very fascinated with the Christmas tree we put up at home. It was very funny to me as I found out Charlotte was stepping her foot repeatedly, but at some kind of rhythm while she was looking at the Christmas tree one evening. So I took a closer look. She stepped her foot and the lights on the Christmas tree turned on coincidently and a short while later, she stepped it again and the light went off. Haha, it was the blinking lights that we put on the Christmas tree! I don't quite prefer to have it blinking, but the one I bought does not allow me to stop the blinking totally. I can only turn the blinking down to a very low speed. So it looks like it is turning on and off at a very low pace, but it is not blinking. Charlotte must have thought that it was some kind of magic when she steps on her foot and the light turns on! It was so funny, unfortunately I didn't manage to capture in a video clip.

She is also very fascinated to see all the big and nicely decorated Christmas tree at the malls. She will ask us to take photos of her in front of the Christmas tree. She says "mile" (smile with the silent 's') and put her two index fingers by her cheeks. That's how we know she wants to take a picture (LOL)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Slide, shooo....

There is something very funny about Charlotte, she associate most of the thing/object with sound (or maybe that's because I use this method to teach her). For example, if I point at a dog and ask her what that is, her response is always "dog, wou wou". If I pointed at an aeroplane and ask her what that is, she'll say "air-plane, fly high high, weeooooo". When it comes to slide, sha says "lide, shoooo"

Lately, she is very into slide. We didn't have a slide at home but she will ask me to curl up my knees to form a V (upside down) shape and pretended that that's a slide. She will sit on my leg and start to slide for quite awhile. I told Pat that it's time to buy her one as I saw a set on Toys"R"Us brochure, but it's expensive. Slide + swing = ~RM4xx.

Then I remember my sister-in-law (Charlotte's KimKim) has a small slide which Charlotte loves to play every time Charlotte goes to her house. It is definitely too small now for all my 3 nephews. So, I decided to ask her if she would give it to Charlotte. The answer was "yes!" of course. In fact, most of Charlotte's toys are pass-downs from my nephews and those are very well kept.

Charlotte has been playing with her new favourite toy for the last 2 nights, she loves it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Water & Sand!

Last week, Pat came back from business trip and decided to bring Charlotte to the beach in the evening. It was Charlotte's first visit to the beach and we wonder if she will enjoy it.

Since our house is quite a distance from the the Penang most famous beaches (Batu Ferringhi), we decided to only bring Charlotte to the nearby fisherman's beach at Teluk Kumbar. When I told Charlotte that we are taking her to the beach she was very excited (as usual) but I doubt she knows what I was talking about. To her, maybe it's just another "kai kai" trip. I told Brenda to prepare her beach spade set and get some clothes for me to change her later. Charlotte then said bye bye to her aunty Brenda and off we went.

She was really excited and jumping with joy when she saw the beach. She start to sing "roll, roll, roll the boat..." (with action too!) when she spotted a fisherman's boat. There were a few people nearby and gave me this smile as if telling me that she is such a clever girl! *proud*

I asked her if she wants to get down and walk on the sand, she replied "yes!". So I took off her shoes but inside me I was doubting if she knows how it feels like. Just as I expected, immediately after her feet touched the sand she clung back on to me and said "no! ak ak (dirty)!". We then brought her closer to the shoreline as the sands are finer there compared to the one she just experience. But nothing's changed, she still didn't want to get down. We tried to distract and convince her with all different things and objects we could spot from the beach, nothing worked out until we took out the spade set. Daddy started to show her how to use the spade set and dig into the sand. Thank goodness, she finally agreed to go down and stand on her own feet.

She started to enjoy the digging and sand castle building. Pat even found a baby crab and showed it to her. We put the baby crab into the bucket and thought Charlotte would be fascinated looking at it but again, we were wrong. She didn't want to have the crab and kept saying "no, throw away!". She just want to enjoy the digging...

While Charlotte was enjoying the digging, one small wave falling in and wet her feet and pants (yes, we were very close by the shoreline). That triggered her and she started to get uncomfortable again. We then had to bring her further up from the shoreline and reassured her that it's safe there.

What's about going to the beach without touching the water and feeling it? Before we head home, we decided to let Charlotte try it again. Pat showed her as he washes his feet by the shoreline. Charlotte found it interesting and decided to try it but was holding on her daddy very tightly. She giggled as Pat carried her and let her feet touched the water but she didn't want to get down, still.

It was only for a very short while and she started to struggle again. She lifted up both of her legs indicating that she has had enough of it. It was a very funny moment and I managed to capture it.

On our way back, I asked her if she wants to go the beach again, she shook her head. I thought maybe she didn't get what I was asking, so I asked again. Same reply. I then asked her if she wants to go to the mall? She nodded and said "Bay Mall" (Quessbay Mall). Well, she did get what I meant, I was the one didn't get her.

''No Cry!''

Charlotte is now potty trained. She is able to tell us every time when she needs to wee-wee or poo-poo. However, this doesn't mean that she has gotten over the phobia of doing the "big business". I can tell when she wants to poo-poo instead of wee-wee even though she said "ng-ng" to indicate that she needs the potty. I can tell by her facial expression. Somehow, she has this concern look when she is about to poo-poo. Mainly because she is not doing the "big business" everyday like most of the toddlers. Usually, both Brenda and I are counting the days if Charlotte has not poo-poo. My limit is 3-4 days, by then I will have to apply the suppository.

Last week, she told me that she wants to "ng-ng" and immediately I know (from her facial expression) that it has to be the "big business". So I brought her the potty and she sat down. I could tell that she is trying to over come her fear of doing bowel movement. She held my hand very tightly and leaned forward on me (yeah, while sitting on the potty). I tried to comfort her and told her that it's really nothing to be afraid of, it will be over before you know it. She tried to hold back her tears and tried to push harder and then he said "no cry!". I was very impressed of her determination of getting the "task" completed.

No too long after that, she clapped her hands and said "sai sai", "no cry!". I know everything was over then, phew! I tell you, it's really a relief knowing it's over and usually it would be a big news to tell everyone in the family.

After I cleaned her up, she wanted to see the "output" and I thought I should show it to her, hopefully she will understand that it's really nothing to be afraid of. So, I showed it to her and she giggles and said "chou chou" (smelly), LOL!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

School Holiday!

Oh well, not that Charlotte is excited about the school holiday but she is definitely very happy with many of her cousins are back from other places and keeping her company.

First, I received a call last week from my nephew Isaiah...

Isaiah: Kor Kor, when are you bring Charlotte here again?
Me: Did you miss Charlotte?
Isaiah: Yes la, bring her her and play la
Me: Ok, but please check with you mommy first
Isaiah: (asking mommy)...yes, mommy says ok
Me: Ok, KorKor bring Charlotte on Wednesday ok?
Isaiah: Yay!!!

I agreed and took Charlotte there last Wednesday and Friday. She was very happy with her KoKo's company even though the KoKos were playing computer games, Nintendo Wii by themselves. She was just happy seeing them shouting and screaming as the game gets more and more exciting.

Last Sunday, we took 6 kids to EQ for swimming. We had children ages from 2 to 14 (MIL has 11 children in total and 8 out of 11 are married with kids. Just imagine when all are back for holiday. The house is always full of people and noise too). Charlotte enjoyed it so much more compared to usual, when it was just mommy and daddy with her in the pool. Also, since she is the youngest in the family everyone is treating her like a princess, with the extra TLCs.

Everybody is in their most stunning swim suit and with the biggest smile posting for the picture...See how my little princess is so proud of being around with all the big brothers and sisters.

No pictures were taken when we were in the pool because both Pat and I were in the pool taking care of the children. Charlotte, of course was in her float but after awhile she learnt that she was the only one in the float and everyone else was free a a bird. She first refused to be pushed, she wantz to kick and move by herself like the rest. She doesn't know that no matter how hard she tried, she is only going in a circle. We had to push her secretly from the back so that she can move forward (ha! ha!). Later, she decided to come out from the float and swim like the rest. So, daddy had to carry her in the pool for about a good 30min before we call it a day.

Luckily getting her out from the pool wasn't very difficult as I thought it would be. I first asked all the big brothers and sisters to get out from the pool, then I know Charlotte would follow. Good strategy? Yes, I learnt too :)

After the clean-up, we spent a short while at the pool side and the kids were having fun playing together.

Later that evening, Charlotte slept from 5.00pm till 7.15pm. I had to wake her up in purpose, otherwise we will have a sleepless night.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Potty Training (Part II)

Part I was posted on Oct 31st and that was about one month after I started to potty train Charlotte. Immediately after that post, I told Brenda to stop wearing diaper for Charlotte during her day naps. To our surprise, it was a big suggest too! No accident happened so far.

Charlotte naps twice a day still, and since we stopped to let her wear diaper we will bring her to wee wee before she goes to bed and immediately after she wakes up from her nap. Initially, we had to quickly bring her the potty because we can tell from her facial expression that she couldn't hold it any longer but slowly this process is getting less tense. She is able to hold a few more seconds while we bring her the potty. She is now diaper free during the day.

In Part I, she wasn't able to tell when she needs to wee wee but she is now able to do so. Although she says "ng ng" to indicate both wee wee and pass motion, she is able to tell us every time she needs the potty. So, we started let her to go to her music class without wearing diaper a couple of weeks back. We also let her go diaper free when we go out on a short trip. We have yet to let her go shopping with us without diaper because of a few reasons: 1. the public toilet hygiene and 2. the toilet location (distance).

Now I get to save more on diaper cost and Charlotte is very happy too (she used to cry and tried to pull down her diaper when we put it on for her). She only took ~2months time to potty train. She is a fast learner, isn't she?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Last One (for this year)

Our little princess turned 2 on Nov 12th, 2007, she gets to cut not 1, not 2 but 3 birthday cakes this year. I got her first birthday cake during the playgroup gathering, that was 1 week before her birthday. We celebrated her 2nd birthday officially on Nov 11th, invited PIL to join for a small party.

Last week, my parents came back from vacation and we celebrated Charlotte's birthday again. Originally, we planned to bring Charlotte to the beach and have dinner at the Sigi's. Unfortunately, I was down with flu and the weather turned cloudy in the late evening. So, we changed the plan and my mom gladly offered us her home cook steamboat buffet treat. I was glad too as having dinner at home makes everything else easy, especially feeding Charlotte.

Since I was down with flu, I was trying to keep my distance from Charlotte. I asked Brenda to take care of Charlotte and I went for a check-up at a nearby clinic. I was prescribed with antibiotics and cough/flu syrup which really puts me to sleep. I woke up around 5.30pm and off I went downstairs to check on Charlotte. She was happily having her bath. She didn't want to get out from the water when I told her it's time to go to MaMa's house but she moved out quickly when I told her that she is going to blow another candle and sing the birthday song again at MaMa's house.

That made the 3rd candle blowing, cake cutting experience for Charlotte. She definitely gets the meaning of "birthday" by now. This time, she did a perfect candle blowing...

Out of 3 cakes (lychee, black forest, chocolate brownie), Charlotte didn't like any of it. There is one common thing on the cake that she loves though, the M&M chocolate! See, how she messy up the cake and herself...

If you asked her how old is she, she'll say: "two, old" and trying to sign 2 with her fingers. Sometimes, she got it right, but sometimes she just simply reply 5 and show all her 5 fingers (easy way out).

I told her that's all for this year, no more "happy birthday" and no more candle blowing until next year. She nod her head as usual, but I wonder if she really understands.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Officially 2

Time flies, my little princess is already 2 years old. How did we celebrate her birthday? It was not anything big or expensive thing we spent on Charlotte's birthday but it was a celebrated with a series of great programs and events.

Let's start with her 1st present, that was a couple of weeks back. It was a double sided art easel from Toys"R"Us that we bought for her. As I blogged about her drawing hobby earlier, Charlotte continues to show her interest in drawing (and started to "decorate" my house furniture too). One side of this easel is a black board and the other side is the white board. The easel set also comes with a pack of magnetic alphabets/numerical characters that you can placed it on the white board side of the easel. Our plan was to only let her open up the present on her birthday but I gave it to her a couple of weeks before her birthday and she has been happily drawing on the white board. I am keeping the chalks and didn't let her know that she could draw on the black board side. I am a little hesitant to let her use the chalks for now. She loves the art easel, and she loves to play the win-loose-or-draw game (well, we draw and she guess of course). It's also my secret weapon to distract her when she is cranky or throwing her tantrum sometimes. Of course, I need to be prepared to draw something that I have never drew it before and that will make her laugh but she wants it over and over again after that (sigh!).

Sunday (Oct 28th), MaMa and KongKong (my parents) bought Charlotte her birthday present to our house. Because they will be away (travel to Beijing) during Charlotte's birthday, they purposely made a trip to downtown and her this...

Charlotte loves her new Beetle, every time she will bring her doll together and pretend to go "kai kai" (LOL). This is also a new hot toy to the rest of the playgroup children, now they don't have to fight for the motorcycle anymore :)

Sunday (Nov 4th), I bought her a small birthday cake and did the candle blowing thingy with her playgroup friends. It was fun to celebrate children's birthday with many kids around. After that night, Charlotte repeats 2 sentences for the rest of the week: "friend friend, come, draw draw" and "blow, blow"...

Saturday morning (Nov 10th), we already planned to bring Charlotte for a new experience - feeding fishes. We took her to the Air Itam Dam after breakfast. We brought along bread and get ready to let her try the new activity. The water at the dam was very full as the result of the recent wet weather. Unfortunately, it was drizzling but we still proceed, with umbrella of course. Charlotte was all excited but she didn't really know what was going to happen. We threw the first piece bread into the water, and waited. There were no respond! Oh dear, where did the fishes gone? Then we threw a few more pieces, and this time we got a big splash from the water! We saw so many big fishes fighting for the food! Then only Charlotte knows what she'll get when the bread is thrown into the water. She wanted to try and so we let her. But the place we stood was quite far from the water, and the pieces of bread that Charlotte threw didn't get to the fish but all got stuck on the slope of grasses. She saw a big tortoise (trust me, really big one) swimming very slowly but getting closer to where we stood. Pat kept trying to throw the bread to the tortoise but it's reaction was so slow and the fishes ate the all bread before it managed to reach the food. Charlotte was very excited and keep shouting "tis, come!" (ha!). We had to end the feeding session real fast because the rain was getting heavier. We decided to bring Charlotte to where we used to stay the next morning.

Sunday morning (Nov 11th) - there is a lake in front of the apartment where we used to stay. The lake is full of fishes, tortoises and sometimes we see iguana too. We took Charlotte there on Sunday morning because we know there she can see the fishes at a real close distance. This time, I brought biscuits instead of bread. Biscuits are heavier and it's easier for Charlotte to throw a bit further to reach the fishes. We found a good spot, see how close we were from the fishes...Daddy had to hold her just in case she got carried away and stepped into the lake.

Last Sunday (Nov 11th), we invited PIL (Parents In Law) to our house for a small celebration. That was her 2nd candle blowing experience and she was already like a pro but still need a bit more practise on the candle blowing action. She clapped her hands during the birthday song, and you can really notice how happy she was. She knew that was especially for her.

The video was not captured to satisfaction, but that's the only memory what we got...

Did you notice that she actually clapped to the birthday song ryhtum correctly? (No? Watch again...)

After cake cutting, Charlotte was really in happy mood. She danced when her daddy played the Andrea Brocelli Live in Las Vegas music DVD. She danced happily by herself, in her beautiful dress that we got her from Gap Kids. That was so princess-like (bias? I know)

We got her another present - a basic play-doh set. It's just a 2 color play-doh set, with several cutting and molding tools and accessories. This is something different from her toy collection, happy birthday baby!

To be continue? You bet!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Little Artists In Action

The playgroup is getting more and more interesting and mommies are getting more creative at the playgroup activities. We had pool & bubbles 2 weeks back and last week we made a little artist session for the little ones.

We were fully equipped for this session. Some of us bought the paint apron for our kid, we have brushes, paint pallets and even made our own edible paints for the kids just to make sure that it is safe for them. It was full of fun and most of all it was very interesting to see our little prince and princess's creativity and preference during the session.

Getting Ready

I have been telling Charlotte that mommy is inviting friends to have a drawing session. She always nod her head and respond "friend friend, come, draw draw". Bryan and Wei Xuan too were very excited and well prepared for the session. I guess their mommies must be telling them the same prior to the session too :)

Wei Xuan was the most tidy little one. Her "work station" was the cleanest, including the paint pallet and brush and her master piece was the nicest among all.

Bryan was the most creative one. His master piece was full with paints and drawings. He even used up Ethan's paper since Ethan was more interested in Simba (ha!). Lucky Simba, I guess he will have more friends now :)

Charlotte on the other hand was the dirtiest. She had all her palms and fingers brushed with paints and her master piece was too abstract for us to be able to interpret :p Hin Lerk and mommy came not long after we started the session but he insisted to go play with the toys in the living room

It's just one week from Charlotte's 2nd birthday. I thought I could make an early celebration for Charlotte with her playgroup friends. So I went to buy another birthday cake (yes, I have ordered one for her actual birthday) in the afternoon. After we bath all of them, it was time for a little candle blowing session.

Charlotte is very familiar with this birthday song and candle blowing thingy as we have been showing her video clips that we took during other people's birthday. She can even sing along the birthday song (well, just a little bit here and there) too. It was also very fun because most of our playgroup children's birthday are around the same time. Some just had their 2nd birthday celebrations, so they were very happy to see that happen again. It was also a good practise and preview for those birthdays coming up soon. This makes all the candle blowing thingy so much more exciting!

It was an unplanned agenda, but I was overwhelmed to receive many birthday gifts from the playgroup. Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Potty Training

I had this thought when Charlotte was 16/17 months old. I have to depend on maid and MIL to make this happen since I am a FTWM. I told Brenda not to let Charlotte wear diaper during day time except when she is taking her nap. I guess I never insisted and soon this instruction was not followed.

I started to have this idea again when I read about the cloth diaper that Ethan is using. Ethan's mommy has converted the disposable diaper to the cloth diaper for a few good reasons (want to know more? read this blog). When I read about that and also went online to checkout the cloth diaper, I was really interested to try on Charlotte too. It is expensive but I thought if I convert now I will be able to safe a little in a long run. I then discussed with Pat. He was alright with the idea but we also thought about potty training.

Charlotte knew how to inform us when she wants to pass motion back then. Although she was (and still is) somehow having phobia of doing the "big business", she tells us only when the "business" is about to start. I then decided to start the potty training again. It was mid Sept. I gave Brenda the same instruction again and this time I insisted.

Of course, as all of us expected Charlotte wet many panties during her diaper free hours. She didn't know how to tell when she is about to wee wee but she will stand very still out of a sudden. It was always too late to bring the potty when we spotted that action. We kept telling her that she must let us know when she wants to wee wee and she always nod her head (without knowing what she is committing). Sometimes, we didn't get any "output" when we put her on the potty even though she sat there for quite awhile.

A couple of weeks later I changed my strategy. I told Brenda instead of waiting for Charlotte to tell when she wants to wee wee, bring her the potty when we think it's about time for her to wee wee. For example, right after she woke up from her sleep, or 1-2hours after feeding. Constantly reminding her with the action of bringing the potty to her to wee wee. It was quite a successful strategy. She only wet 1-2 panties during the day unless we forgot to ask her after a long time.

The real success happened when she finally realized what she is doing or being asked to do by sitting on a potty. One afternoon, she woke up from her nap and I brought the potty to her as usual and told her to wee wee in the potty and I will remove the diaper. She sat down on the potty as what I told her to, but out of a sudden she was curious of what's really happening. She then bend down her body (as she was sitting on the potty) wanted to see what's happening down there. She saw the heavy flow of urine (just woke up from sleep, remember?) went into the potty. BINGO!!!

After that incident, she never failed to wee wee in the potty (of course we continue our strategy which is bringing her the potty proactively). When she is finished, she says "more (no more), f-nish". Also, because she understood the purpose of being asked to sit on a potty she also kind of know how to hold/control her bladder. Her diaper that she wears during the nap (1 to 1.5hour) is hardly wet nowadays. We don't have to clean up the mess and wash many wet panties anymore too. She also understands that she is suppose to pass motion in the potty. She didn't want to do that in her diaper anymore.

From mid Sept until today, it's just a slight over 1 month period. I am very proud with her progress so far. I took her out without diaper on a short trip before, like go to the market and it was ok without any "accident". The challenge now is to teach her to (consistently) tell when she wants to wee wee (she has no problem telling when she wants to pass motion).

My next milestone is to let her nap without diaper and see if she wet her bed during that short 1- 1.5hours nap. I am tracking her progress on potty training because I want to know how long does it take to potty train her :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pool & Bubbles

It has been a long time since the playgroup last met. So I decided to skip dinner with my parents and invite the playgroup last week. It was just Bryan and Wei Xuan, but we had a lot of fun!

Actually, Charlotte was throwing her temper tantrum in the afternoon. I took her to the room and tried to let her nap before the playgroup starts. After 1 hour, she was still quite awake. I pretended that I was already asleep, she played by herself until she got really tired. But she still didn't want to sleep because she knows her friends are coming (I told her in the morning) and kept asking me to go out from the room. I ignored her and continued to pretend to sleep. That's when she got really mad and started to cried. I knew that this was coming, so I didn't make any move and true enough after a short while she fell asleep on my arms. Phew!

It was almost 4.30pm then, so I sneaked out from the room to get things ready. I thought the weather was just nice to put up the pool for the kids. So, I went ahead to pump up the pool and get it filled with water. Just when the pool was half filled, the sky turned cloudy and soon enough it was followed by a heavy down pour. But the pool was already up and it was too late for me to keep it because Charlotte was already awake (yes, it was just a very short nap) and she saw it!

Not long after that, Bryan arrived with his mommy. It was still raining very heavily and we started the play with just the bubbles. I told Brenda to get ready with hot water in case we couldn't stop the kids from getting into the pool. But Bryan and Charlotte were very well behaved. They were fascinated by the pool but didn't really insist to get in. Both of them enjoyed the bubbles.

The sky started to clear up not long after that and the kids realized that it could be more fun to go into the pool! Wei Xuan too arrived and that's when the fun starts!!!

The girls were getting their bubble blowing skill polished...

It was full with fun and laughter until it's time to get them off the pool. Imagine all the struggles and screaming *signh!* Good thing was it was under controlled while the clean-up in process. The kids forgotten about the pool as there was shower and water again. The déjàvu starts when it's time to say goodbye...

Charlotte on the other hand was surpisingly quiet, watching her friends leaving with a heavy heart. After that evening, she remembers the play every time we let her out at the porch. She says "friend friend, come, pom pom" :D

The playgroup is getting more and more interesting, look out for update on the activity that we "planned" ;)