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" ;)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Getting Artistic

This picture taken at the Smoke House, Cameron Highlands

Charlotte picks up drawing a few months back and the way she holds a pen at this young age is perfect to me (a little bias comment from mommy, heh heh!). Back then, she was mirely blind scraping with lines but her wrist and fingers control has improved with practise and she is now able to draw circles and some kind of characters of her own :)

Drawing has become one of those activities that she does everyday. We need to make sure to bring along the drawing block and pen for her everywhere we go. She draws at home, she draws in the restaurants, she draws in the car, on a journey, and she draws before her bed time. Drawing can keep her occupied at least half an hour each time and she loves to show off espcially when my camera is focusing on her. The video clip below proves it. She actually knew that the camera was on her and she said "smile" at the end of it :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Taiping Zoo

Continue from Another Vacation - Cameron Highlands!

Thank God that after almost 1.5hours of nap, Charlotte woke up back to her usual self. All of us were so relieved to see this change. As we were passing by the Taiping Zoo sign board along the North South Highway, I asked Pat if we can drop by for awhile and let Charlotte see the real animals and those that she has been seeing from TV programs or books. Pat agreed and we turned to the exit and headed straight to the Taiping Zoo.

It was a very warm afternoon but the zoo was really packed with visitors. We purchased the tickets and we saw a tram waiting as we entered to the zoo. We knew that it would be more fun to go on foot but we were getting tired and the weather was really warm. We then decided that we should take the tram instead of walking a 2.5km journey.

The tram took around 30min only to complete the entire zoo. I had to say the the tour guide (the tram driver) was not very professional as he didn't slow down the tram or pause a little as he introduce the sections. Some of those animals were small in size or dark in color or hidden at a corner were barely visible to us. Out of the entire route, I think we only managed to see 60%-70% of what he introduced and Charlotte probably only managed to catch up with 50% of what we saw or pointed to her.

We wanted to show Charlotte the tigers, lions, zebras, and elephants the most but the tigers and lions were all napping when our tram arrived at that section. Charlotte gets to see the zebras and elephants very clearly and she was really excited and amazed when seeing the real one standing in front of her. Our last stop was at the elephant section and we managed to take a few photos before heading out.

Charlotte name this: Mommy & Baby

Later, she saw another tougher and older one came by and she name this: KongKong, Mommy & Baby (LOL!!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another Vacation - Cameron Highlands!

It was the Raya holidays and I made a couple of plans for this long weekend. First, I arranged a family photo shoot at Shalom on Saturday evening, then we will be heading to Cameron Highlands for a 3D/2N stay. So I woke up on Saturday morning with my mind preoccupied. I want to make sure that I keep Charlotte's meal and nap time on schedule so that she will be refreshed when comes to the photo shoot session. Then, I want to make sure that I make a list for Brenda to prepare for our Cameron Highlands trip, mostly list of things to pack and also food and medicine to bring...but I had to cancel the photo shoot that night because I fell from my house staircase and sprained my ankle :( I didn't want to cancel the Cameron Highlands trip because it will be a total disappointment for my parents as they have been looking forward to spend time with Charlotte. Luckily, my dad brought me to this Chinese "sin seh" and the swell and pain healed almost 80% over night (the treatment process was a very painful experience though). We proceeded with our plan to Cameron Highland the next day!

The apartment we rent was at Tanah Rata, the balcony of the unit that we were staying facing a children play area directly. That was the first and only attraction to Charlotte for our entire stay there. She woke up every morning asking for "slides! slides!". It was also our first time to let her really experience the fun of the slides and she loves it!

We didn't bring along any of Charlotte's favorite movies this trip as we wanted her to enjoy more outdoor activities. So, apart from the play ground we also brought along her motorcycle and bubbles. Bubbles was a good trick to keep her entertained while having her lunch. Also, I am glad that my mom was with us this trip. She planned and did all the cooking for Charlotte. So, Charlotte's meals for that few days were all taken care off without a sweat :)

We arrived at Tanah Rata around 3.00pm and after we got ourselves settled down it was time for Charlotte's 2nd nap of the day. All of us also took a rest and we headed for steamboat dinner at Brinchang. My dad bought 2kg of big fresh prawns especially for that dinner. It was supposed to be a very pleasant dinner experience, cool weather, warm food but it was raining heavily that night and our spirits were dampened a little by the wet weather. The overall experience was not as great as we thought it would be. Also, we planned to shop at the night market after dinner but the rain kept on pouring and we had to cancel that agenda too. So, we went back to the apartment early and call it a night. That night was freezing cold.

The main attraction at Cameron Highlands is it's beautiful agricultural presence. Flowers, vegetables and fruits farms are some of those famous tourist attraction that no one would missed. Our first stop the next morning was visiting to a self pluck strawberry farm. It was Charlotte's first and extraordinary experience as she gets to pluck the strawberries herself.

We ended up spending RM95 on 3 big boxes of strawberries, heh! heh! We then headed back to the apartment because it was Charlotte's nap time again and my mom prepared a simple lunch for everyone. We continue our visit to several more places after lunch, Cactus Farm, Honey Bee Apiary Farm and etc.

I read about the Ye Olde Smokehouse from Pei Sze's blog earlier and Pat and I were very interested to try out the food and experience the environment there. So we took Charlotte to check out the place in the afternoon. It has a very beautiful garden, the dining area looks very cozy with fine decoration. Charlotte had a nice time running around at the garden and we made reservation for dinner that night :)

We were not too worried if Charlotte would behave during dinner because the Smokehouse has a huge garden and a big, long hall to keep her entertained. Also, we had 2 maids (Brenda and my parent's maid) to take care of her. My mom cooked porridge for Charlotte and we brought it along to the Smokehouse. While waiting for our dinner to be served, the maids took Charlotte out playing at garden and also feeding her the porridge. The adults get to enjoy a a little nice quality time together.

Happy Birthday, KongKong!

Yes, it was also my dad's birthday that night and we celebrated it with fine dinner and wine ;)

All went well until the last day. Charlotte woke up at the wrong side of the bed. First, she wanted to go to the play ground but it was drizzling so we didn't allow her to go. Unfortunately, there were a few boys still playing in the rain. Charlotte couldn't understand why she was not allowed to play and that started her temper tantrum. We then distracted her by taking her for a bath. She was for a moment calmed down a little until we took her out from the bathtub. She didn't have enough and wanted to bath longer and wash her hair but the weather was very cold and we had to force her to get up from the bathtub. All that screaming and crying started again. After that, there was nothing we did that meet her "expectation". I brought her down to the play ground when the rain stopped. She pointed to the slides and I brought her there but then she pointed to the swing. So I walked towards the swing. She decided that the swing was no fun when I was about to sit down with her, and she wanted to go to the seesaw. We blew bubbles for her, but she didn't like the idea. We took out the motorcycle but she was not interested either. She kept changing her demand and almost nothing could calm her down. This temper tantrum lasted for 2 hours until she fell asleep in the car on our way back. I was so exhausted and hungry.

We were planning to visit to the tea plantation on our way back and also to get some fresh vegetables but we had to cancel that idea and headed straight home. Deep down I pray that Charlotte will be back to her cheerful mode when she wakes up from her nap.

To be continue...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


How careless was I to have totally forgotten about children deworming until Brenda told me that she saw a tiny white color worm-like creature from Charlotte's backside. When she took a closer look, that "thing" went back inside!!! Luckily we were planning for Charlotte's PD visit for her 2nd JE jab the next day.

I told the PD on duty about this incidence and he said it is the intestinal parasites and it is rather common among young children. He prescribed the Zentel for Charlotte, 5ml to be taken every half yearly. Though Zentel is commonly advised for children above the age of 2, prescription can be given to children between 1 to 2 years old at 10ml at a single doze if necessary. So, I was not very concern over this as the PD only prescription 5ml for Charlotte's case. The doctor also said that the parasites would dissolved and come out in her poo.

Charlotte had her doze of Zentel last Friday and she had her bowel movement on Saturday. It was a little loose than usual and that we were also informed by the PD. I took notice on her poo and there was really nothing, so I thought it is just like what the PD said, dissolved.

As usual, Charlotte didn't have her bowel movement everyday. It has been 4 days since last Saturday and that's the limit I give usually to avoid hard stool. When I went to pick up Charlotte this evening, Brenda told me 2 big news! One, Charlotte "pang sai" already! That's her usual way of telling me, all of us feel relieved every time Charlotte did her, what's the 2nd news?

There was this long worm came out in her poo!!! I got a shocked because I thought it should be dissolved as what the doctor said! Actually, it was only the skin left and the body was dissolved already. According to Brenda and MIL, it was about 4-5inch in length and maybe about 0.5cm in diameter!

I hope it is all cleared now, we only need to administer the next doze in the next 6 months. I also hope that Charlotte's appetite will get better and gain more weight if the intestinal parasites are the root cause of her poor appetite. By the way, the PD guided me to this useful website which they have the most updated children growth chart.

If you have not done deworming to your toddler, you should probably do so by getting the deworming medicine from pharmacy or let your child's PD prescribe one for you.