Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Not Goldilocks

I'm 1.63m tall (though my delusional 1.55m mum insists she is taller than me...), so I can't imagine what it'd be like if I came face-to-face with a 1.70m tall dark, furry, pot-bellied bear...

Why the strange fairytale dream?

Well, because my ex-colleague Lillian, came to our house briefly on Sunday evening to say 'Hi & Bye!' to Rosabelle before we adults headed out for dinner, and she gave our girl a 80-cm tall Gund Sugar Bear. Grooowwwwwllll....
When we opened it up for her the next day, Rosabelle kept turning away whenever we wanted to put the bear near her, and would shake her head when we asked her to pat it. It took her a day to warm up before she would go near the bear, and she would keep exclaiming 'Bear bear!' whenever she sees it, pretending to offer the bear whatever it is she's holding (before quickly and cheekily turning away if I lift the bear's paw up to take it from her).
That's her with a very Americanised bear (it's wearing the US flag, what do you think...).
In other news, our girl, aside from now learning how to mimick her farting noises (something that I am highly amused with), has picked up how to pretend to burp. When we ask 'How do you burp?', she will give a resounding 'Gak!' sound, just like how the nanny would mimick her whenever she gives a loud burp. Oh dear, how unlady-like, tsk tsk...

Monday, December 28, 2009

I'd rather go naked than wear fur

To borrow from PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) campaign tagline... our girl grumbled when we attempted to put my faux fur stole around her, haha!
Just now, I also tried to capture a frontal shot of the bump on her head. You can see the slight blue-black swelling and red mark on the left of the picture (her upper right forehead).
In any case, she was rather happy most of the time, and even looked downwards at the scene of the accident when the nanny came back today and questioned her where she fell down and hit herself.

It had certainly taught Mummy a lesson to never let my guard down when watching over a child - very unpredictable!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The FUN before the FALL

Wayne caught some nice photos of Rosabelle toddling around with her walker as she strutted her stuff around the kitchen whilst waiting for me to get ready to head out for lunch together yesterday.
We again headed to Sanlitun Village and had lunch at The Orient Kitchen - the wait staff could recognise us even though we'd brought Rosabelle there only once previously. Hopefully she wasn't too much of a terror to have left such a deep impression, haha!

She likes going up the flight of steps in the restaurant, and looking at the bird/flower motifs on the walls.
This is her chilling out after lunch and finishing off a whole green Zespri kiwi by herself, clap clap!
These days, she has picked up the snake sound, giving a still rather uncertain 'sssss' sound (I hear it's harder for kids to pronounce the 'ssss' sound, so it's a good start!). She will also start dancing once she gets into the car even before Wayne has turned on the engine, and look at Daddy and go 'Huh? Huh?' to get him to turn on her CD of children's songs. At home, if I ask her 'Do you want Mummy to turn on the music for you?', she will also dance to indicate she wants accompanying music (she still can't nod her head yet, though she likes to shake her head and body alot!). She will start dancing even when I am nursing her in the morning/before her nap, to tell me she also wants me to sing to her (favourites are '10 green bottles', '1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive', 'Old MacDonald' - there are 15 animals on the list right now, and who cares if Mr. MacDonald has a safari of lions and elephants on his farm, for kids, anything goes man!). She even grabs my hands to place on her thigh to get me to pat her in tandem!

Now, for THE FALL.

Yesterday, after nursing her and she did not go to sleep, Wayne was doing the dishes whilst I was playing with her on our bed. She likes to walk around on our bed as she has probably figured out it hurts less when she falls! However, I did not watch her closely enough, or should I say, I was too complacent, and did not think to stop her when she ventured too near the edge of the bed. Before I knew it, she had toddled OFF the edge of the bed and hit the floor head/face first before I could reach out to grab her.


I gave a loud 'AAAAH' and there was loud crying, making Wayne run into the room. Our poor girl had a bump on her upper right forehead, and a slight line of blood from where she hit the gap in the wooden tiles. It took about 5 minutes of cajoling and distracting her with looking at items in the fridge before she quietened down. Having no ice pack (too cold to take my frozen EBM) to reduce the swelling, we placed a piece of cold pack strip (for fevers) but it was not sticky enough and did not stay on for long, so we left it as it was and of course did not rub it (should not rub at all).

Poor girl, sorry Mummy did not watch over you properly! People in the yard say kids will definitely have one experience of falling from beds or sofas, but I was thinking that this would never happen in our house since we are rather vigilant...sigh... luckily she did not land awkwardly on her arm/neck or smack her face against her cot... shudder!

Junked treasures

Apart from the invasion of toys in the living room, Rosabelle has a carton box of odds and ends (pamphlets, boxes, bottles, ribbons, packets... basically junk that your karung guni man, or 收破烂, will have a field day about). We whip things out of this 百宝箱 if she starts getting difficult at meal times since they might get all dirty with food and we can then throw them away (unless they can be wiped, or if she really likes them) - I know, we should not let her play and eat at the same time, but whatever...

However, instead of playing with her 'normal' toys these days, she loves to go to the corner and empty/pore through items in the junk box. Having said that, it's also on junk like these that she has practised opening bottles/twisting off bottle caps rather deftly now, moving her hands in opposite directions to get the caps off. She even dips her fingers into the jars and pretends to apply cream on her face as she sees me do that alot, heh!
'Nuff said. (I know I've said this before, but I sure am glad the nanny was the one who packed up the mess, haha...

Toilet Picasso

Very quickly now, within two seconds, what do you see in the below tile art on our bathroom wall?
A. A flower
B. A bad case of blackheads on a face
C. Strange-shaped bananas around a plate of sesame seeds
D. A cat

I am very sure that when Wayne and I ordered the tiles from Boloni, they were meant to be (A) A flower.

However, for slightly more than two weeks now, whenever Rosabelle heads into the bathroom and sees the tiles, she will say (D) '猫猫' (a cat), making the nanny highly confused, and she had to keep correcting Rosabelle to say that it is the shape of a flower.

And then it dawned upon me...

These few days, whenever the windows fog up in the morning, I have been drawing her a picture of a cat using my fingers. So when she wakes up and looks outside, she will either go '狗狗' (as I always used to ask her to look out to see if she can spot any dogs), or call out '猫猫', wanting me to draw my (in)famous cat picture.

So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the cat that my daughter now thinks is reproduced on our toilet wall tiles... (it does look slightly like it, with the spots for eyes/ears, and the petals for ears...).

This picture above is my attempt at crayon doodling, and getting Rosabelle to try and use the crayons to draw, rather than just pinching at them with her nails. I never was an arty-farty person, so pardon the pig-like body on the cat.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Have a corny, arty-farty Christmas!

Rosabelle turned a full 14 months old yesterday on Christmas eve. It not being a religious holiday for Wayne and I, we had a simple dinner of Annie's Pizza at home (and opened a bottle of red wine, which we did not offer Rosabelle, of course). Rosabelle had her usual dinner, though she tried two french fries that we offered her from our table, haha! She seemed to like it, as it's the thick kind of fries that she can hold and easily bite into, but she still seemed most happy with her favourite corn...
Today, seeing that it was blowing winds of 5 to 6 levels since last night (it's an 8 for a typhoon, just so you know...), we could not bring her outdoors, but needed to get out for the nanny to do her routine wipe-floor-with-strong-smelling-Walch job. Off we went to Shin Kong Place again, as it's less than 10 minutes drive from our home, and is a relatively nice and uppity place for us to do a quick 'get-away'.

And uppity it was, as Rosabelle went for her first taste of Russian art! They were having an exhibition of sorts at the gallery area, and I know all Mummies can relate to me when I say the first thing that sprung to my mind when I saw the nicely-carpeted gallery was - nope, not 'Oooh..let's expose our daughter to the fine arts...', but instead 'Oooh, nice and plush carpets - let's get Rosabelle to practise her walking here. If she falls, it won't hurt her as much.' So practical, I know... hahaha...
And walk she did, holding on tightly to Wayne's or my finger, but still being ever-careful and not willing to let go (would rather crawl than walk on her own).

As usual, she spotted a favourite picture of hers - a 'Wa Wa' (or how she would address '叔叔' these days - why does she pronounce it this way, I have simply no idea...), or rather, an old-looking man who looked all grumpy and very non-Christmassy...
Of course, she liked pictures of children, or this 'Ge Ge'...
Look at how Daddy blends into the Christmas mood with his green outfit...
Or me adding some glitter with my bling stockings...
It was just a short excursion as we needed to get back home for Rosabelle's lunch (Wayne and I 'celebrated' Christmas over Singaporean food at Lau Pa Sat restaurant after, heh!), but not before Rosabelle managed to do some 'damage' to the toys display by trampling on the fence - we have evidence to boot...
Hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

When Daddy plays at dress-up

Everybody, meet Pegsabelle Shi, courtesy of Daddy dearest who went slightly overboard in his clothes pegs accessorizing…
Rosabelle did not seem to mind the pegs as she was more focused on taking them out one by one out of the plastic bag. Only after the bag was empty did she attempt to pull the pegs off herself.
She has picked up some pretty hilarious antics of late – whenever she farts, or makes grunting noises that make us ask whether she needs to poo, she will give us a raspberry to mimick farting noises – so very inappropriate if we are within earshot of strangers!

She can also pronounce ‘clock’ pretty clearly now, indicating at the alarm clock at the bed headrest and giving a deliberate deep ‘goo-lock’. Speaking of headrest, she also knows the usual routine of clambering onto the bed when it’s milk time and helping me to prop my pillow up, then patting against it and calling ‘Mama…’ to ask me to rest against it to nurse her – so sweet…

However, she has quite a bad habit of not going to sleep immediately at night after nursing, preferring to roll over and play awhile on the bed with me instead. That’s when she picked up the 'rabbit with its long ears’ trick of pointing at her ears whenever I use that phrase. However, strangely enough, when I start singing the rhyme '小白兔,白又白,两只耳朵竖起来...', she will grimace, knowing that it’s one in the medley of songs the nanny uses to coax her to sleep, and she will shake her head vigorously if the nanny offers to carry her out to go into the usual routine of looking at photos and having her bedtime – haha!

Also, given the barrage of Christmas and Santa Claus decorations around town and our neighbourhood, I’ve taught her to greet ‘Santa Claus Ye Ye!’ whenever she sees one, so you can imagine her calling out ‘Ye Ye!’ almost everywhere she goes these days...

Monday, December 21, 2009

In need of outdoor time

On Friday, we headed to The Place for some indoor walk-around, since it was much too windy to be outdoors.

As usual, Rosabelle enjoyed trodding around, walking from one circle to another (floor lights), and from the small flowers to the big flowers (floor tiles near the escalator).
She also managed to effectively mess up the jigsaw boxes on display at a shop - yikes!
We had fun (at our daughter's expense) making her peek out from behind the penguin figures on display.
And what is a trip to the mall without some kitschy Christmas season photos?
I'm really hoping the winds die down and Rosabelle can enjoy some outdoor fresh air over the next few days - she does not really complain at being indoors, but I still think the outdoor sunshine and surroundings will be a nice change for her.

Of late, other than doing alot of walking, she has begun to demonstrate her sorting skills. Being the kiasu parent, I was wondering to myself if I should be worried that she's not sorting shapes/colours yet, but this week, she proved me wrong by using her jigsaw set in another way. The set consists of 5 different sets of lamb heads, dresses, and shoes, so that you can mix and match it. She actually picked out all the heads and placed them onto the sofa, and did the same thing when I asked her to pick out the shoes. Aiyo... so this is what the books mean when they say kids at this age like to sort. Kids really develop at their own pace and it looks like I shouldn't be the least worried, heh!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Yo, yo, yo!

After donning Wayne's beanie the other day, Rosabelle again chanced on yet another of Wayne's beanie, and indicated to her Daddy that she wanted to don the hat.
Wayne helped her to put it on and she even went walking around the house in it before pulling it off, deciding it was much too hot for indoor wear.
Doesn't she look like she's rapping away here? (Never mind the moo-moo cow suit... it's the pose that matters...)
So much for looking the part.

These days, she likes to always exclaim an airy 'Ahhhh...', complete with an expression of excitement, when we draw the curtains in the morning, as she is probably used to us telling her to welcome the sunshine and nice day with a 'Waaaah!'. Likewise, she will touch the window panes and draw her hands back quickly and clasp them when we ask her to 'feel how cold the windows are'. However, she is quite a good girl when it comes to not touching electrical/hot items - she has even managed to mimick our '不动, 不动' with something that sounds like 'bung, bung, bung' (sounds Korean, if you ask me!) to indicate that she knows certain things are out of bounds.

Heh, so long as she abides by her own rules, as with her increasing mobility, we can't possibly childproof every part of the house.

And we came home to Speedy Gonzales...

On Friday night, Wayne and I came home from our usual date night past 10 pm, thinking that Rosabelle would already be fast asleep. When we stepped into the house, she was still playing on her playmat, clad in her pyjamas.

The nanny had already fed her the EBM more than an hour ago, and had tried to get her to sleep after, but apparently, Rosabelle refused to go to sleep, wanting to go into the living room to play.

So play she did, scooting around on her walker, where Wayne captured hazy pictures of her running around.
These days, she likes having us chase her around, and she will giggle/chuckle happily as she toddles along, at times even breaking into a run, haha! (That's me with my exaggerated "Mummy's going to get you!" run...)

She will walk, then cheekily look back to see if we are chasing her, and then quickly run away as fast as she can, shifting her walker very steadily and quickly. I will at times hide behind the walls/sofa/in the room, and then pop out suddenly, giving her a fright as she will jump, then run away, at times dangerously looking upwards instead of the road ahead as she laughs.

When I am not chasing after her, she will 'Eh, eh, eh!' me, willing me to play with me and run after her. She can at times see where I am hiding and purposely come look for me, then run away again when I pounce out on her. Heh! You can be sure the nanny had a hard time putting her to sleep past midnight that night - Wayne said she seemed to be on steroids and very hyper when he helped to change her diaper after!

How unconventional...

Once a week, the nanny will make chicken dumplings for Rosabelle (which she will happily chomp on). On Friday, I asked her to prepare extra dough for the girl so that she can play with it.

Plasticine, Play Dough, homemade dough...all nice and squishy - should be fun for little fingers, right?

Nope, wrong.

When Rosabelle saw the mass of dough in front of her, she screwed her nose up and did not dare to touch it. Even when Wayne and I tried to attract her by looking/behaving/sounding hyper-excited about the dough by plying it into different shapes, squishing it between our fingers, and using cookie cutter shapes on it, she still did not dare put a finger on it.

Alas...she wanted to only play with the cookie cutters, and in the end pinched a slight bit to attempt to put the dough into her mouth. Oh well, we've cling-wrapped the dough in the fridge, and will take it out on another day for further play. See how bored she looks with the dough in front of her? Just when I thought all kids will like playing with dough, I also assumed Rosabelle will like eating raisins. I wanted to let her try some for breakfast yesterday morning, together with the oatmeal I had made (detracting a little - the nanny's on a two-day break this weekend, thus the lack of postings as we've been busy coping with Rosabelle on our own, and Wayne has a case of the sniffles, so we could only order lunch in instead of going out today). Raisins are sweet, and the size serves as nice finger food, so all kids should like it, right? (Further, it's high in iron, as all dried fruits are - but because it's too sweet, I wasn't going to let her eat too much of such stuff anyway...).

Nope, our girl liked taking the raisins out of the small box, then putting them back in again. She even fed me the raisins, but quickly spat them out after trying one. Can't blame her - it looks black and wrinkled, and the texture does taste dubious if you are eating it for the first time.

Looks like this is another food that I'd need to bring to the yard and share with other kids before she will know that it's something good and yummy. This is the tactic I employ, like for example, she has strangely been rejecting her favourite dragon fruit, so I will take out the fruit box and start offering/feeding them to other kids, and she will then clamour for me to feed her. The food probably tastes nicer when shared, I guess!

Friday, December 18, 2009

On diet?

Last week, we spotted the all-too-familiar whitish edges on Rosabelle's upper and lower gums, which can only mean that she is sprouting four new teeth at the same time. Thank goodness she isn't cranky or crying through the night (touch wood!).

So since a few days ago, we've been trying to remember (at times we forget, as it's a new routine...) to clean her teeth and gums with the Combi wet wipe (meant for hands and mouth, and explicitly states that it can be used for teeth/gums). She seems to like it, though I have to make sure my finger is thickly wrapped, as she likes to bite on it. Probably, when all her 12 teeth are out, we'll need to get a toothbrush (and some non-fluoride toothpaste?) for her.

However, the nanny and I have been having a headache with Rosabelle's meals these days, as always the case when she's teething. She does not like to chew, and does not like the spoon, so we can only give her finger foods (but remember, she does not like to chew, so the food bits can't be big/hard) and even allow her to use a straw to drink her soups and pureed foods. Yikes! When the nanny wanted to give her tofu, or any other foods for that matter, Rosabelle will indicate with a mouth-sucking action that she wants the straw, aiyo!

For two days straight, she refused a single mouth of porridge or pork, and seemed to be like she was on a liquid and/or vegetarian diet - sigh! Oh well, at least her spirits and energy levels are up, and she does not go on a hunger strike at every single meal time, so we're really hoping this phase will pass soon.
I read that from the age of one, kids' appetites will actually diminish, and you have to attract them with fun-looking foods. We tried letting her eat dried bean curd (tau kwa) the day before, but she only took one cube and refused to eat another. I figured it's slightly too salty (as it's preserved), so we'll just stick to tofu for her now. She also tried a bit of snake gourd (丝瓜) on the same day, but again, did not like it...or maybe it's the nanny's way of cooking it.

Wayne and I have an issue with the nanny's cooking. It is bad. Seriously. The nanny cooks dinner using Rosabelle's left-over food every Tuesday (when it's grocery day and we buy fresh foods for her for the week), and Wayne and I do not look forward to dinner time. Nowadays, we end up drinking abit of porridge and picking at the foods (vegetables overcooked, cut too big/combination of meats and vegetables don't go together...). Last night was the ultimate - we took only a bit of what she cooked and thereafter sneaked out for a McDonald's supper, bluffing the poor lady that we were meeting a friend!

Oh well, at least Rosabelle is at that stage where she does not need any fancy cooking...yet. But I've advised the nanny to vary the way she cooks things, and even use the cookie cutters I bought to attract Rosabelle with cute shapes of her foods. Hopefully she will take this into consideration, as I get pretty exasperated at times reminding her to do certain things. Like today, I again caught her adding water into a bag of raw chicken meat to defrost it. I'd already told her apart from adding hot water, this is the most wrong and unhygienic way to defrost uncooked meats, as there will be alot of bacteria build-up and it'd lead to food poisoning. I told her to either take it out earlier and put it in the fridge, or if she's in a hurry, to use the microwave defrost function. Grrrrr....

Mister Rosabelle???

When she was younger (and even now), Rosabelle is often mistaken for a boy, due to her *erm* larger-than-average size. With her short hairstyle, and being dressed up sometimes in Simon's hand-me-downs, it's no surprise she gets errorneously addressed as '哥哥' or '弟弟' at times (though I have to grind my teeth and roll my eyes when I get a 'Is that a boy or girl?' question even when she's dressed in pink, in flowers, and has a hair clip - grrrr....).

Today, whilst at Shin Kong, I grabbed a Fisher-Price pamphlet for Rosabelle to look at, as she likes to see pictures of kids. Only upon coming home did I take a close look - the child model on the front page, a boy, actually resembles Rosabelle!

Look at the hair parting, the expression, and of course, the unmistakable single eyelids. Hoho! So now I know what our daughter will look like (i) when at two years old and (ii) if she were a boy. Quite an uncanny resemblance, I must say - even the nanny and Wayne find it hilarious!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quacking business

I got Rosabelle a training toilet seat the other day, an OK Baby duck one from Italy. As expected, she liked the seat very much, and even cried when we carried her up after attempting to 'ssssh, sssssh' her and she did not pee. She kept grabbing at the duck's beak and going 'kwa, kwa, kwa' (duck sound). Later, when we placed her in the bath tub, she kept indicating to the nanny that she wanted the 'kwa, kwa, kwa' to be put into the bath tub for her to play with, aiyo!

These days, to inculcate in her a sense of responsibility, and let her feel like she is lending a helping hand around the house, we let her hold her soiled diaper to throw into the trash bag, after which she will clap to praise herself (regardless of whether the diaper is aimed correctly...). Nowadays, she will want to grab at her diaper right after she is changed, so that she can help bring it to the toilet to throw. Of course, if it's poo, she won't get to even touch the diaper, heh...

Baby steps

We had strong winds in Beijing today (outside temperatures at mid-day was an average of -4 degrees celsius... so not fun), so I couldn't bring Rosabelle on her morning walk today. Instead, we went to Shin Kong Place for some indoor walking. We are actually not really keen to bringing her to enclosed places like supermarkets these days, as the flu (H1N1???) is hanging around, but we figured large malls with vast expanses of space is much better (I think...).

So Rosabelle practised her walking around the shops at Shin Kong Place, looking at the mannequins (and wondering aloud as she looked downwards why there is no '猫猫' at the feet of the mannequins, just like there is one on display at the shop within our estate, haha!). She even went into the Marc Jacobs shop and wanted to climb onto the sofa, tsk tsk!
These days, especially at home, she is learning to pace herself well - I counted more than 30 small steps at one go the other day, atta girl! I took a few videos of her attempts at walking - with one of her falling and whining in one, and another where she gingerly tries to balance herself. She can even make a U-turn when walking, haha...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Beanie Baby

Yesterday, Rosabelle saw Wayne's beanie lying on the sofa, and grabbed at it. She immediately knew that it was meant for the head and put her cheek next to it, indicating she wanted me to place it on her. So, in the warmth of our heated home, our girl actually liked wearing the beanie and allowing me to take photographs of her... so vain!
After that, when Wayne wanted to capture her on his phone to send a MMS to his Dad, she was most uncooperative and kept tugging the beanie off - she was already perspiring under, haha!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Photo Book

Finally! After the Chocolate Box photo shoot at home, and a repeat one in the studio, as well as selecting the various photos for inclusion in the book from these, these, and these, the photo book is finally ready.

Ta dah! They have also touched up some of the photos for us, and I will selecting some for calendar-making, photo books for the grandparents, and for framing up for our walls.