Monday, April 27, 2009

What did you get up to in 48 hours?

It was a long weekend for us all!

On Friday evening, my ex-colleagues swung by to visit us. I have not met these folks since I left on my maternity leave last September, and some of them have since left, are leaving, or in some cases, are returning to the company. It was good to see familiar faces again, and Rosabelle also had a good time looking and playing with them all. There were super strong winds from evening time, but we went out for dinner with them anyway (thank goodness for the convenience of our own car!). It was my ex-colleague Li San’s last day, as she’s heading back to Malaysia, but during photo-taking time, Rosabelle instead stole the limelight and was the ‘backdrop’ for many of the photos. Pity my camera ran out of battery, so I only have a few photos taken…

That night, maybe due to seeing too many faces and having so much fun, she again slept only at 2:30am! And the next day, at around 9-plus in the morning, some silly neighbour upstairs decided to do some mini construction and started hammering away. When Wayne went upstairs to look around to ask them to stop, they started drilling away! Poor Rosabelle was woken up and grouchy – I had to resort to turning her on her side and using a towel to cover her other ear to pat her back to sleep. Wayne could not find out the source of the noise, but heard somebody else asking them to stop the din. Good.

Rosabelle then woke up close to 11am, and we had to rush for her 11:30am vaccination appointment at Amcare (the same place I did my pre-natal checks). Given it was a new place, she seemed in pretty high spirits, smiling and at times shrieking away. She is now 8.7kg, officially over triple her birth weight, and grew longer to 69.5cm.

We saw the doctor, an old lady in her sixties, I guess, who did not really leave a good impression on us (we requested for another doctor on the next visit). In fact, she costs three times more than a normal doctor as she is supposed to be a specialist. When we told her about the ringworm problem on her cheek, she deduced it was a mouth problem and said we should go to a specialist. When we told her about the purplish red spots on her shin that faded, she also said we can go to a specialist the next time it happens. In fact, her assistant seemed to know more than she does and she was asking her questions instead. However, she cleared Rosabelle’s heart murmurs (the doctor in KKH heard sounds the last two visits and asked that we follow-up here), and had Rosabelle do blood tests to check her blood and to see if she is deficient in anything.

Sweet Rosabelle did not shed a single tear when they pricked and drew three straws of blood from her finger for the tests – she was probably too distracted by the nurses around her and was even playing. How brave!

We then waited at the rest area for the test results (where father and daughter watched TV, as you can see…), and then saw the doctor again.

Turns out her haemoglobin level of 8.9 is lower than the usual 11.0, and the doctor deduced it must have caused the spots on her shin due to clotting issues. It actually isn’t as serious as it sounds, but she suggested I take more dark-colored foods like liver, black fungus etc, and start feeding Rosabelle egg yolk, date water etc.

Even though the tests to see vitamin/minerals deficiency will be out only in 3 days, they prescribed Vitamin A/D, and calcium for her, as they said children in China are not as exposed to sunshine as kids in Singapore, thus it’s necessary (turns out my brother-in-law thinks it’s not needed as they get everything from mother’s milk, and the nanny also said it’s a way for the hospital to make money off us – she says in worse case scenarios, the additional calcium will make her bones harder and she will not grow as much, heh!). Anyway, Wayne and I have decided that since she’s well, and we are going to start weaning her, we won’t give her these supplements (nanny said some babies even react adversely and vomit) – so it’s a case of don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.

She then received her Hepatitis B #3, and meningococcal #1 jabs, two nurses each jabbed her on one side of the thigh, and she cried for only like 5 seconds before stopping and getting up to laugh and shriek again – even the nurses were amused that she was so smiley about it all. An older kid was bawling her lungs out even before the jab!

Wayne and I then went to Wish restaurant just across the road for a late lunch. It’s a lovely place that I intend to bring my family to when they are here, and they gave us a lovely cordoned-off corner where Rosabelle actually took a nap at. She was at first intrigued by the paintings on the chairs, and played in her pram for awhile before falling asleep.
Seeing that she was sound asleep, Wayne then went on his own to make enquiries at the immigration department about her citizenship (turns out he needs to return to Zhengzhou to cancel her China citizenship for her – how troublesome).

Throughout the 1 hour 15 minutes she was asleep, I was reading magazines and OD-ing on red dates tea (haha, to quickly make up for the haemoglobin!).

After we left, we fetched his parents home and cleaned her up (she could not bathe due to the vaccination) and as we have a routine of washing her hands every time she comes back from outside, she started shrieking and getting all excited again when she saw Wayne washing his own hands. I deduced that it must be because she knew it was her turn to wash hands…haha!

We took a short rest before going out for dinner and Rosabelle was hilarious – when Nainai carried her at the start of dinner, she suddenly fell asleep again sitting on Nainai’s lap, and we put her in her pram for her one hour nap – enough for us adults to finish our dinner in peace. What a ‘considerate’ girl! Even Yeye and Nainai said Rosabelle is easy to take care of (很好带), and she cries only when hungry, or when she is cranky from being over-tired.

That night, maybe because of the vaccination, she amazingly slept ‘early’ at 11 am, and awoke only at 11:30am the next day! Wayne and I brought her out for lunch at Grandma’s Kitchen, and after playing awhile, she again took a 30-minute power nap and let us eat our lunch (how nice)!

The previous nanny told us about a wholesale place selling children’s clothing (官批), and we decided to pay this place a visit – it’s not as messy/crowded as the wholesale market near the zoo (动批), and we managed to get some sweet-looking pants, socks, and cap for her. We also got a huge floor mat for her to practise crawling on in future. Thinking she was tired, I thought of heading home for her to rest whilst Wayne met his parents for dinner. However, she woke up all alert after a 15-minute power nap and we all headed out together.

Wayne’s dad recommended a place near the apartment they are renting, and it turns out they make vegetarian food (totally vegetarian – they don’t even use garlic!). I think his dad did not really enjoy the food (though he kept psyching himself that vegetarian food is healthy), and kept raving about the great duck from dinner the night before, so we’re going back tonight, their last night in Beijing before they head home later.

Pity we did not get a good family photo as the waitress did not capture the shots properly….

By the time dinner was over, Rosabelle was hungry and I fed her, so Wayne took the chance to go to the supermarket near our place to get some stuff (this always happens – if she’s sleeping and/or feeding, I will then stay on in the car with Rosabelle whilst Wayne runs the errands) before we headed home. A solid 8 hours out, and I told Wayne Rosabelle kept looking for ‘excuses’ not to go home by either sleeping or feeding (heh!)… and the poor Ayi was long waiting and prepared with all Rosabelle’s bathing equipment. Not sure what got into her, but she started bawling once Ayi started bathing it, and refused to stop crying until I fed her. Thinking she’d had a long day, we were amazed that she only fell asleep at 12 midnight.

Told you it was a long weekend. Phew!

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