Friday, August 24, 2007

First Time to Penang Hill

It's a school holidays this week and many of Charlotte's cousins are back to Penang. Christopher and Rachel are back and of course Kimberly, Emily, Samantha, and Joyce are visiting to Ah Ma's house more often this week. Charlotte is very happy and excited with all the cousins and Koo-Koo around.

Last night, Rachel's mommy suggested to go to Penang Hill and have dinner (steamboat) at the Bellevue Hotel. Both Pat and I went home early to get ready and we arrived at the foot hill around 6.00pm. There, Charlotte was very excited to see the pigeons up close and personal...

We then took the 6.30pm cable car and headed straight to Bellevue Hotel for the steamboat dinner. It was a very extraordinary experience for us (we didn't know there is a restaurant serving steamboat at Penang Hill, and apparently it has been there for a long long time). The steamboat is set out side of the restaurant, over looking the city view. It was spectacular especially when all the city lights were lighted up later in the evening. It also has a big garden where Charlotte enjoyed running around while we were having dinner.

The steamboat is using the traditional charcoal method and it took a long time to boil. Charlotte was hungry and she couldn't wait for the dish to cook but started to scoop and feed herself with just white rice. I brought along Charlotte's feeding bowl (with the suction on the bottom) and it helps to hold down the bowl while she's eating. She was half full when the dishes were finally cooked. I gave her a few fish balls and tou foo, cut into small pieces and let her use the fork to feed herself (key learning from the recent KL trip). I learned something new about Charlotte this trip too - As I was trying to feed her the soup with my spoon she rejected it and Brenda told me that she wants to drink from the bowl! So I believed it, I brought the bowl closer to Charlotte and she drank it like an expert and finished it without getting her dress wet! Though she didn't have much but at least something to last her until her bed time "nen nen".

We took the 9.00pm cable car down. Charlotte had her "nen nen" on the way back and she was already in dreamland by the time we reached home.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Short Trip To KL

We decided to spend the weekend in KL last week taking the advantage of Pat's business trip arrangement. We drove down to KL on Saturday morning and our original plan was to depart early in the morning so that we will have more time in KL. Of all days, Charlotte chose to sleep in that morning! She usually wakes up in less than 15min if no one is sleeping beside her. Everyone woke up early and we were all busy packing and getting ready. We didn't keep to extraordinary light foot steps or talking in low volume because we want Charlotte to wake up so that we can get her ready too. However, she was very sound asleep even though I kept her bedroom door opened. It was about 8.30am when we have done all our packing but Charlotte was still asleep! I had no choice but to wake her up. So I went to her room and sat down beside her. She woke up and smile at me, then pointed to her pig pillow and bolster and said "pig pig"!

Here was my conversation with her:

me: do you want to go kai kai?
Charlotte: (nod her head) pig pig, bring

me: huh? you want to bring pig pig?
Charlotte: (nod her head again)

me: bring 1 only? (and I take the bolster)
Charlotte: (point to the pillow) pig pig

me: you want to bring both?
Charlotte: (nod again)

Then I gave her milk and bath her, it was about 9.30am when we finally depart. Since I'm not bringing Brenda I had to drop her to my mother's house at Paya Terubong. So, we went to Paya Terubong and only official finally depart for KL at about 10.30am. *sigh*
I bought Charlotte a mini "char siew pao" and a small piece of "koh kuih" (nonya kuih) from the Air Itam market. She finished the whole char siew pao and half of the koh kuih! She slept for awhile along the way and had her milk again when we were about reaching KL. Both Pat and I were very hungry and we decided to go straight to IKEA and have lunch there.

IKEA was having a big sales and it was the 2nd last day before the promotion ends. It was so crowded and the parking is full everywhere! We were so very hungry and after driving 2 circles around IKEA and no single parking lot was spotted, Pat decided to park illegally as we saw there was a perfect space right in front of the IKEA entrance :p

We went straight to the IKEA restaurant on the 1st floor but that place was full of people and it was a long queue at the food counters. While waiting...

Daddy: Charlotte, give daddy a kiss please?
Charlotte: (kissed daddy...)

We waited for about 15min in the line and we ordered the family menu which consist of
- 20 pcs meat balls
- 2 bowls of fries
- 4 pcs chicken nuggets
-4 jelly jelly pudding
- 4 drinks

Yes, it was a lot and I warned Pat that we might not be able to finish everything and don't count on Charlotte to help because she just had milk. We then found ourselves a comfortable seat around the children's corner and Charlotte went on to explore the play area. The first thing she said when she saw the children's corner was "wow!" and this was something we found out about a month back, her new expression when she is impressed :)

Of course, my immediate task was to feed Charlotte even though I was starved. Any additional solid she takes is always a bonus to me :) She did eat quite a bit (2 pcs chicken nuggets, 1 meat ball, some fries and to my surprise we actually finished everything except the jelly (it tasted like coloring...)
We then headed for shopping at IKEA but Charlotte fell asleep (her 2nd nap of the day was stretched a little) before we finished our shopping. Luckily we didn't really have a shopping list for IKEA, so we browsed through everything rather quickly and only bought a few things.

Then we drove straight to the Traders Hotel at Ampang (next to/behind KLCC). It was about 6pm by then and we were stuck in a jam for a bit. I gave Charlotte milk again as I anticipated late dinner. Charlotte woke up when we were about to arrive at the hotel. She was refreshed and charged and was very excited when we arrived at the hotel.

Charlotte got attracted by the nicely designed bathroom, she went checked out the bathtub and told me "pom pom"! Funny thing I noticed was Traders Hotel gave out lollipop as a welcome gift instead of flowers (Isn't it a business hotel? They gave out lollipop for business travellers :p). The lollipop is placed on a towel in the bathroom, but Charlotte showed no interest on it at all :)

We had a quick clean-up and unpacked before we headed to KLCC for dinner and call it a day. One bonus staying at the Traders Hotel was they have buggy service to transport their customer to/from KLCC. Charlotte got very excited sitting in the buggy and she kept waving to the people on the side walk along the way :D

The next day, we went to explore the park right next to the hotel as we noticed the children playground from our room located at the 16th floor. It is the Taman KLCC and it has a big children playground, jogging tracks, "public swimming pool" (pool like we have at Youth Park in Penang) where children play in the water from the waterfall (eeeeeeewe....). Of course for a paranoid mother like me I did not allow her to play there but I could tell from Charlotte's eyes that she envy those children playing there ...

We then went to have lunch at the famous Ampang Yong Tau Foo. It was so crowded and I thought it was a bad idea because it is difficult to handle Charlotte at warm and crowded places like that. The original store that we wanted to go was really packed and we had to change plan to the one next door. We managed to get a place and quickly ordered our food to minimize the risk of getting Charlotte annoyed. I was praying quietly inside for Charlotte to take at least a little bit of the Yong Tau Foo otherwise, she will miss her solid for lunch. My prayer was answered! she loved the fish balls (quite a big one) and ate 2 fish balls in total. I cut it into small pieces and let her used the fork to feed herself. I think she was more excited to use the fork than the food actually.

We spent the rest of the day at KLCC again.

(good idea to keep children entertained at Isetan children's floor)

(our last buggy ride)

Charlotte and I flew back on Sunday night on MH1166 at 9.00pm. The flight was delayed until 9.30pm before it took off and Charlotte fell asleep right after took off. She slept all the way, woke up for only a short while when Brenda carried her over when we arrived at Penang airport.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fun Time At Kim Kim Place

Charlotte sometimes goes to her Kim Kim house especially when her grandma has some other commitments. She loves to go to her Kim Kim house because

reason 1: she has 3 body guards (her cousins Solomon, Isaiah and Abraham) there to play with her and keep her entertained.

reason 2: her Kim Kim has boxes and boxes of toys in the house and at the garden outside of the house and she allows Charlotte to play with all of it. Imagine, neighbours thought it's nursery when they first moved in because of those Little Tikes Play House, Slides, bicycles, Drawing Board and etc at the garden...

reason 3: she gets to eat junk food :p

For me, I love to send her to my sister-in-law too because:

reason 1: Charlotte drinks the most amount of milk whenever she is there. She loves to drink milk together with her KoKo Abraham. Two of them will lie down side by side, and drink together. Of course, Abraham KoKo has to drink slower then he normally does otherwise Charlotte will stop when he finishes his.

reason 2: my sister-in-law is a SAHM and her youngest son Abraham is only 6years old. I have high confidence in her expertise and experience in raising kids. So, I'm less worried when Charlotte is there.

reason 3: my sister-in-law loves Charlotte very much and treats her like a queen in the house and her KoKo all have to give in to her per their mommy's instructions (heh!)

Kids Learn Fast!

We bought Charlotte a train set (Thomas & Friends) a couple of months back because we noticed that she was very fascinated by the set that her cousin Christopher has when we visited him in May. She loves to play with the train but not on the track. She likes to ask us to let the train run in between her legs. This is how she asks - first she pointed to the train to ask us to turn it on for her. Then, she will stand with both legs wide apart and point to us to let the train go between her legs :D

She used to have 1 remote controllable car, it was a model car of Smart for 2 that we bought it from ToysRUs but that only lasted for 1 month. We didn't throw it away since it was quite expensive but Charlotte wanted us to turn it on every time she sees it. We tried to explain it to her that it's already broken but she couldn't understand and made a lot of fuss. So, we decided to buy her a new one. We went to TESCO a few weeks back and saw there was a kiosk selling all the remote control model cars and so we got her one with lights on the wheels when it is turned on.

Some time last week, she sat very quietly by herself and was flipping around with her car. I didn't know what she was trying to do and so I observed it. She turned the car upside down, looked for the red button and turned the car on! Just like how we always do when she asked us to turn on the car for her. But she is still learning to use the controller unit. I then asked her to turn on the train set because I was very curious to know if she knows how to do that. She did it too!! I'm really impressed by how fast kids pick up new learning.

Just last night, she did that again and I managed to capture a short video clips of both...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Progress at Kindermusic

Charlotte started her music lesson at the kindermusik 5 months back. She started as a very shy and closed little girl but her progress is rather significant...

During the initial lessons, most of the time she just lying down facing the wall or hiding behind me all the time, ignoring all the happenings around her. We thought it was a mistake signing her up at such an early age but the teacher kept telling us to be patient. She said she has seen many kids started out this way and they did just fine in time. They need time to observe and to get themselves comfortable with the environment and making friends with others, especially for the only child of the family.

We use the "lead by example" strategy to encourage Charlotte to participate. So, sometimes it is very tiring jumping and running around especially after a long day at work however we saw great improvement from each lesson. She is also learning many other disciplines and skills besides music like sharing and letting go of an instrument when it is time to return. The teacher will give out musical instruments to each of them and to the parent too but it is only for 3-5min. They will have to return it to the teacher and move on to the next activity. I was very worried that Charlotte will throw her tantrum when we asked her to return the instruments because she probably hasn't have enough of it for that short 3-5min but to our surprise she behaved rather well in this area. She walked up to the teacher and put the instrument back into the box gently. The teacher always praise Charlotte because she never throw the instruments when returning it :)

One big challenge is to make Charlotte hold hands with other kids when it comes to a circle activity. Charlotte didn't like to hold hands with others and I had to carry her with me in the parent circle while other kids were holding hands running and dancing with the music in the children circle. Maybe she has yet to master her coordination skills and this activity could be dangerous for her. I realized Charlotte is very conscious of her safety when we were in KL with her cousin Christopher few months back. Once, she was sitting in Christopher's stroller and Christopher was trying to push her around in the house. She totally didn't like the idea and only allowed adults to push her. She finally agreed to hold hands with other kids and did the activity together 3 lessons back! That's when we realized that she has developed more confidence in making her steps too!

At the end of every class, the teacher will sing a goodbye song and that's when all the kids will go and give teacher a goodbye hug. The teacher will then give out a good boy/girl sticker to the children. Charlotte refused to hug the teacher but just a waive of goodbye from far. We tried to bribe her with the sticker but obviously that didn't work out. The teacher fully understood Charlotte's behaviour and patiently waited at the end of every class, hoping Charlotte will eventually run towards her and give her a goodbye hug just like all the other kids did. Finally, Charlotte gave her precious hug to her teacher tonight and she was the first one ran towards the teacher when I told her it's time to say goodbye!!! Both the teacher and myself were very very happy to see this :D

Monday, August 6, 2007

A Battle Half Won

Another tough battle with Charlotte tonight simply because we were trying to feed her the medicine the doctor precribed. I took her to another round of visit this morning since she didn't really respond to the medicines given on Friday by Dr Jessica. She had fever again last night around 2.15am and she couldn't sleep very well throughout the night due to the blocked nose and cough. Instead of 3 bottles of medicines, we came back with 1 additional bottle of antibiotic (sob! sob!).

Brenda told me that it took her 1 hour to finish feeding Charlotte all the medicines in the afternoon. We had to do that again after dinner, but before her bed time nen nen. Since daddy is not around, obviously mommy had to play that creative distraction part. Luckily, I have 2 new Baby Einstein DVDs from Joyce and Jin Miin. However, it only managed to distract Charlotte for the first 2 bottles of med. No major struggle and no throwing up too. Unfortunately, she got smarter when it came to the third bottle and that was when the battle started. She struggled, screamed and cried! She held me very tightly with all her tears, sweat and the mucus from her nose all over her face. I could almost hear her said "please mommy, no more medicine, please!". My heart broke seeing her suffering like that, I felt so helpless but had to continue the process.

We finally got all over it about 1 hour later, I could see she was really tired with all that struggling, screaming and fighting over the medicines. She fell asleep in my arm while I was feeding her milk later. I carried her to her room and gave her a big kissed on the forehead. Thank God that her fever had broke too.

I'm praying that she will be better tomorrow morning and be her cheerful self again.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Busy Weekend

Charlotte was supposed to take her 1st JE jab with Ethan last Friday but when I went to pick up Charlotte from my SIL (sister-in-law) place she told me that Charlotte has developed cough and slight fever. My heart sunk when I heard that because first it has been quite some time since Charlotte's last visit to PD due to sickness, secondly we had appointment with Ethan and Dr. Jessica on the JE jab. We proceeded to GMC per planned but for her cough and fever instead of jab. Dr. Jessica told us that it was probably due to viral infection :(

Charlotte is very difficult to feed when comes to food. This includes medicine if I didn't mentioned this in the picky eater post. She will struggle, cry and throw-up almost 99% of the time when it comes to medicine. Dr. Jessica proscribed 3 medicines for her this time, Rhinathiol for cough, Poralamine for running nose and Panadol for fever. Luckily Brenda is very good at handling Charlotte and we all play different role when comes to medicine time. Daddy is responsible to creatively create distractions to quickly divert Charlotte's attention after the medicine is pumped into her mouth, otherwise she will soon throwing it up. Of course I want to make sure that the dosage is correct so I am responsible to prepare the medicine. Brenda is responsible to feed Charlotte (the toughest part) and I am helping her to hold down Charlotte at the same time. Sounds like a battle? You bet.

There were a couple of prearranged agenda for the weekends, Beatrice (one of my very first motherhood friends) was back from Ipoh with Ryan and Reese and we were suppose to meet up for lunch on Saturday. Unfortunately, I had to go without Charlotte as I was worried that it's contagious to Ryan and his 3 months old baby sister, Reese. Joyce and I were also talking about swimming on Sunday since many couldn't make it for the play group this week. Obviously we had to cancel that.

Charlotte is still coughing and has developed running nose since last night. Her fever is mild but it comes and goes with no consistent pattern, that worries me the most.

It was a very tiring and busy weekend, all revolves around medicine and food. Charlotte is already a picky eater and it is harder for me to feed her food/milk when she is sick. She rejected all solid for the last 2 days and only took 2-4oz of milk for every 3 hours lag. She is definitely loosing weight. Daddy is away again and I pray that Charlotte will be alright by the time daddy is back.