Friday, October 30, 2009

Megawatt smile

Today, Rosabelle picked up a most useful 'trick' - when I ask her 'How do you smile?', or 'Show Mummy your beautiful smile', she will flash this cheeky 见牙不见眼 smile, which makes us all can't help but smile back in return.

Good, hopefully she can keep up this 'smile on demand' trick as we have booked a photo shoot at home next Wednesday morning with the same folks from Chocolate Box Photo who did Rachel's portfolio. It's to commemorate Rosabelle's coming of age.

Say cheese now...

Prelude to that first step!

Just now, after her dinner and bath, Rosabelle amazed all of us by practising her 'self-stands'. She has been leaning a lot on us/things for support when standing, but of late, we can see that she’s trying to stand up on her own.

I captured a video of her trying to stand (albeit with some 'support' from Wayne’s legs), where she cheekily ended each standing action with pats on her own head. She continued like this for at least 10 times – atta girl!

How scruffy, tsk tsk...

I have given up trying to clean the nice pair of Mothercare shoes I got for Rosabelle in Singapore.

With her wanting to get on the ground and learn to walk, or cruise against other kids’ strollers (and grazing her pants/shoes against the wheels), I’ve learnt to resign to the fact that she will wear out her shoes a mile a minute, and there are already holes in this nice pair. Sob…

Note to self: Get more pairs of hardy shoes on our next shopping trip.


Yesterday, on our evening rounds, Rosabelle was pushing along a lightweight stroller (those kinds you use for dollies), and I had to support her to ensure that the light stroller did not flip up. However, unfortunately, she still lost her balance and her two palms still landed on the floor when she fell. I thought it would be ok but she did cry for all of 5 seconds (highly peculiar as she does not fuss easily) before being cajoled and wanted to continue pushing, so I checked her palms to see if they were grazed. Nope.

And then I saw that the ring finger on her left hand was bleeding, slightly grazed, and I used a wet wipe to clean the wound – not so much as a whimper from our brave girl. But it did look rather painful/smarting to me, and today, when I saw that it was still slightly reddish/swollen, before she went to bed at night, I put some zam bak ointment I got in Singapore on the wound.

Poor thing, Mummy will watch you even more closely in future, my dear girl. Good thing is she’s not making any fuss over it, not crying when we wipe her hands/bathe her/wash her.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snuggly fashion

As the weather turns more chilly by the day, and before we can welcome heating in the home (starts on 15 Nov, so we have a portable electricity-run heating plate that we switch on when Rosabelle bathes nowadays), we are bundling Rosabelle up more, be it indoors or outdoors.

This is what she's wearing nowadays during meal-times, a bib shirt that has a waterproof flap behind the chest area, and keeps her warm and importantly, not wet, when she has food accidents. We have to rotate two of these to ensure she dons a dry bib for each meal.
Then, there's her classic bunny look as she sports a blue bunny vest, courtesy of another mummy in the yard who gave it to her for a birthday present. The poms poms are uber cute, but distracting, and even at times dangerous as they can get caught in things on her escapades in the yard, yikes!
Then, as we are always told in China, little children must keep their bellies (and feet) warm, so we got her a few high-waisted (and I mean really high-waisted) pants from the wholesale place the other day - it looks like a tight corset on her, but is really comfy - I wish they made these for adults too, haha!
That's her today in an Okaidi sweater top and a made-for-export-to-Japan vest (reversible).
Showing off her 'I'm one!' trick...
Her pat-on-chest 'I'm here' when asked 'Where is Yue Yue?' trick...
Her bring-hand-to-ear when asked to make a phone call trick...
These mornings, I taught her to raise both hands upwards to 'streetccch' her body, and she is able to do a mean copycat action nowadays, haha!

She has really been in high spirits and looks more rosy lately, which augurs well for us all. On Monday, she went for her Japanese encephilitis jab, as well as had a review of her anemia problem. From the hemoglobin levels checked by the local hospital, it's moving upwards, and is in fact in the normal category (112), so the doctor at Amcare suggested she take another month of current dosage of iron supplements still, and we can then review the situation next month when her pneumococcal booster is due.

(The doctor at the local hospital showed us results the week before, saying Rosabelle is deficient in zinc, and diagnosed supplements, which we are not going to give her - such minerals in the body differ from time to time, and she is otherwise eating well, and the Amcare results did not show such deficiency, so I really do not want to start pumping her with loads of unatural substances - I just need to make sure that she gets her fair share of dairy products like cheese, and meats like prawn, and not take them at the same time as her iron supplements, as they will then compete for absorption within her body - something has got to give.)

So...great! She has been eating her meals and all fruits pretty well, even wanting to eat the Ayi's take-out rice the other day. She now weighs a full 10 kg, and measures 77 cm (she was 2.74 kg, and 48 cm at birth). Go, go girl!

Monday, October 26, 2009

On this special day...

On Rosabelle's actual birthday on 24 October, it was the nanny's off-day since it was a Saturday, so Wayne and I were left to take care of her meals and make the day a special one for her. She had a different breakfast (not the usual egg) of avocado with soya bean milk, as well as left-over pandan cake from the day before.

Then, it was time to go out on her morning walk, and she was happy to go into her tricycle, dancing along happily to the music from it, pressing the button whenever I ask her to 'play some music'.
After the usual rounds and meeting her friends in the yard, she came up for her lunch, and amazingly, she ate very well and quickly, not having to hold/play with things, finishing her meal within half an hour. Our girl has really grown bigger and more sensible, eating her foods well, eh? Well, it gave her more time to play with Daddy dearest, and she likes to nestle her head into Wayne's neck and pat/love him...everybody go 'Awwwww'...
After waking up from her afternoon nap, I nursed her for awhile, and she actually again fell asleep, waking up only 30 minutes later at 5:45pm. It was too late to prepare her dinner, and it being a special day, we decided to bring her out to eat, so there she is, waiting happily and expectantly for her birthday dinner celebration.
We needed to choose somewhere clean and quiet, so we brought her to Prima Taste/Swensen's restaurant off Sanlitun (we'd been there without her before), offering Singapore food.
This is our very good girl seated in the high chair, and I think she was hungry, as she shouted very loudly and quickly 'Mamamamamama' when the food arrived.
I purposely ordered food she could pinch bites off - fish and chips (removed the fried/breaded portion from the fish), mushroom chicken burger (took the chicken, steamed broccoli and carrot, and roasted potato, as well as almost all of one side of the burger bread), Hainanese chicken, and steamed cai xin. I 'rinsed' both chicken in a bowl of hot water first to remove any excess sauce/oil, and brought along a pair of food scissors to cut the food into small pieces for her.
She actually enjoyed the dinner very much, eating big spoonfuls very quickly! Hmmm... must be the novelty of new surroundings and new types of foods. I tasted her leftovers after she was done, and the tastes weren't very strong, so it's not as if she ate alot/quickly just because of the salt etc.
We also gave her her favourite mango (brought it along) after her meal, and took a family shot as well.
She looks so matured propping her chin on the palm! And she also 'performed' very well, indicating to the waitresses 'one' when asked her age, patting her chest when asked where she is, pretending to make a call when asked to, and pointing out her nose and eyes. So hilarious, but Wayne and I swear that overnight, our girl seems to be more sensible and aware of what we ask her to say or do...
Given the success and fun of this birthday dinner outside, Wayne and I have decided that once a week, on the nanny's off day, we will bring Rosabelle for an outside meal to let her try/experience new things, but we'll probably make it lunch instead of dinner, as it's a hectic rush to feed her the iron supplement, get her bathed and ready for sleep by the time we get back.

After a year of age, I'm keen to slowly open her to new foods/tastes as well, so bon appetito, my girl, and hope you enjoyed the simple birthday dinner we planned for you!

Party: Fun stuff!

This is the last of my posts on the birthday party we organized for Rosabelle last Friday, 23 October. Very fittingly as well, since this will capture the fun on-goings of the day.

Being an anal PR person, I'm into run-downs, into schedules, into predictability, but you can oh so throw all these to the wind when it comes to having a children's party. The only thing certain was I invited the guests to come after 10:30am - RSVPs? Unthinkable. So at one point, I was shuddering to think what if nobody came, and poor Rosabelle was all decked up and looking at only the Ayi, Wayne and I.

And I only knew I had two major things on the agenda (apart from playing and eating, of course) - the cake cutting, and the selection of coming of age item (抓周). What time were these going to take place? I had no idea at all, everything was going to be play by ear. What time was the party going to end? Again, no idea at all - who can predict children's temperaments and sleeping times? (The last batch left at 1 pm.) Only thing I was glad about was there were no major accidents/incidents - i.e. kids pooing/peeing all over, kids falling and hurting themselves, kids fighting and squabbling, food/water knocking over (I purposely chose mineral water only, no messy cups - and chose the finger foods and children's snacks very carefully - nothing messy like seaweed or crumbly biscuits, haha!)...phew!

When I saw that most of the guests had eaten at least one round of food, out came the cake - a cute Hello Kitty face! Rosabelle was quite enchanted with the cake face, and kept pointing at/wanting to touch it.
When we all sang Happy Birthday to her (in Chinese, of course), she waved and even clapped happily, hehe!
It was hard to get a good family shot as there were two cameras and we were not all looking together at the same time - this is as good as it gets! And I helped her to symbolically cut the cake before we brought it aside for cutting up to give to the guests.
Qi Qi was devouring bits of the cream from the cake whilst on the side...
so Wayne quickly cut the fruit cake up to give to everybody.
I threw all caution to the wind (I asked for the bakery to put less sugar though) and let the birthday girl enjoy a slice of her birthday cake as well (didn't let her eat the cream though) - she liked it and finished 1.5 slices!
After the cake cutting, there was more playing and pigging out, and when I saw there was a lull in atmosphere, woo hoo, out came the second program on the agenda - the picking of items! I did my research beforehand and prepared a selection of objects - all of which she must never have seen before - to represent various careers. For example, dictionary - educational, shoes - explorer, golf glove - sports related, thermometer - medical, calculator - financial, ladle - food & beverage, seal - government-related, car/money - possession of car/money, highlighter - art, spool of thread - fashion, comb/lipstick/mirror - beauty related, thumb drive - technology, music DVD - entertainment, measuring tape - engineering, pen - literary...
So Wayne laid out all the items whilst I carried her away, and maybe it was because of the position I placed her in, but she first saw the calculator and immediately grabbed it. We gave her some more time to look around, as she must go away with this item for it to be counted.
She was also rather curious about other items like the ladle...
but quickly laid it down, only for Fei Fei to grab it and put the huge spoon into his mouth, washing it in his saliva, haha!
She also briefly picked up the seal, thumb drive, measuring tape, jigsaw car, and the pen. All this while, it was tough on the other kids (and their guardians) who could not reach out to touch the objects no matter how interesting they looked to them.
In the end, our girl still decided that she liked the calculator best.
It was hilarious how happy she was holding on to it, bouncing up and down and dancing, lifting it up high and screaming, as if announcing to everybody that 'This is it! I got what I wanted!'
She even went down on her knees and started to kiss and 'love' the calculator! It was very obvious that she had chosen the calculator.
So...what does this tell us? It tells us that she's going to be a player in the financial world, maybe? And supposedly that she's a very logical person. long as she does not become a loanshark, haha!
The guests had fun (I hope so?) at the party, and very importantly, it helped mark the special milestone of the coming of age for our darling Rosabelle. It was fun, and tiring, planning and preparing for this simple party with all the various errands, liaison, and self-made decoration etc, and I know she won't really remember this, but at least we have nice photos to remember this by, and hey, it's still the talk of the town for other other mummies in the yard who still thank us for a well-organized and fun party! *beam*

Party: Guests & Gifts

The night before, when Rosabelle woke up from her sleep and I slowly cajoled her to sleep, I told her that she has to sleep early as the next day will be a big day when all her friends come to celebrate her birthday, and in her slumber-y state, she indicated her finger up to point 'one', haha!

So, meet the hostest with the mostest - not me, but Ms. Rosabelle Shi, as she always eagerly and warmly welcomed her friends into our home on party day. One of the first few to arrive (technically, Mai Dou and his mum came at 10:20am, but Rosabelle and I were still getting changed and I had to ask them to come awhile later, haha!), was Qian Qian, a 33-month-old girl, who is big sister to a boy Wan Wan (who didn't come), born a fortnight earlier than Rosabelle.
And the birthday belle posed for pics with the usual gang like Fei Fei, Wang He, Wen Wen, and Jia Jia.
Guests did their sign-in and also read each others' well wishes for Rosabelle.
Chaos started to prevail with more and more kids arriving. At its most crowded, there were 15 kids (apart from Rosabelle) and their guardians, so technically, we found out that our house can hold up to about 35 persons (not all adults, of course), and still have breathing room. Some of the other kids like Gao Yiwei and Han zhu actually came to the corridor, saw the slew of strollers parked outside the house, and heard the noise from inside, and did not dare to come in (haha!), but they very nicely brought gifts the next day. Some of the other guardians plain forgot about the party, tsk tsk...looks like I must remind, and remind, and remind, in future.
Slowly and surely, others like Yu zi, Zhao Zhao, Tian Tian, Mai Dou, Guo Guo, Qi qi, and Bao Bao all arrived.
They all had a whale of a time playing with (and fighting over) Rosabelle's toys I laid out (of course, I selected those that were more durable so that they could withstand the 'torture' by countless little hands...).
Many guardians told me that their kids actually managed to stay awake and excited during the party, even though it was their nap time. A few of them actually went into deep sleep once they reached the lobby of my house, or had deep sleep during their afternoon nap time. Haha, looks like the trick is to tire them all out man! Luckily, other than Tian Tian who cried awhile upon coming into a commotion-filled home (he wasn't used to so many people/noise), the other kids were all used to the mayhem that ensued, and it helped that we all knew each other and the kids were playing with familiar folks.
Rosabelle did a bit of showing off as she toddled steadily with the walker and paraded her frock.
She also got down and dirty by crawling all over to play with her toys. It really is more fun and interesting to play with toys when there are other kids around, eh?
She even let some of the other mummies carry her, heh!
This is a classic gesture of Rosabelle these days, where she will bury her whole head and use her arms to grab somebody else when we ask her to 'love' whoever. So much so that A-man's mum had to ask me to help pull Rosabelle away as she was a little too over-enthusiastic in pulling A-man towards her.
Love is in the air that day, I tell you...
A rare mummies with babies shot, where unfortunately Rosabelle blinked (the other shot had her hand raised and blocking Qi Qi on her right).
Most of the guests came bearing gifts (I really wasn't expecting them to bring anything since it was a simple party)... though some, like this plush toy below, was obviously recycled, with glue on the front of the toy (the tag had probably already dropped off eons ago)...well, it's the thought that counts, huh? And this is her haul of the day! Toys, books, cards, clothing... and of course, not forgetting the many angpows she got from my family members in advance when we were back in Singapore in September.
The Winnie the Pooh tricycle is given by her godparents, Vanessa and Timothy (thanks, thanks!), and she absolutely loves it, pressing the buttons and dancing to the music, using it as a walker by pushing it from the back, and she wants to sit in it even when at home. Of course, the bike attracts alot of attention when we are out, and many other kids want to play with/ride in it, so I have to tell Rosabelle to share her bike with others - she is so far quite ok with it, though I at times will cringe if a dirty-looking kid with germ-infested hands touch it. That is why I am armed with a wet wipe to quickly swipe any part clean before Rosabelle sits back in it (the other day, one of the boys, with buttocks exposed, sat on it - can dieeee.....).
Here she is, happy on her bike, and she is learning to say 'car' alot these days, even waking up from her long afternoon nap just now by saying 'car' when she opened her eyes. She thinks her tricycle is a car, and goes 'vroom vroom', coupled with the action of waving hands. When she crawls around the house, or goes toddling on her walker, and passes by the tricycle parked next to her stroller, she will inadvertently be drawn to it, heh!
Thank you to one and all who made Rosabelle's birthday so happy and memorable!