Sunday, May 2, 2010

That milestone 18 months

Rosabelle officially turned 1.5 years old last Saturday, 24 April. 一岁半. It's a developmental/growth milestone as we see our girl approaching two years of age.

An expanded vocabulary of late includes 零 (for zero, as she plays with number magnets on the door), pillow (when she props my pillow up for nursing her, or lets her baby doll sleep on its pillow), cat (instead of just 猫猫), frog, goose (or more like 'goo'), balloon (or more like 'boong'), 水 (courtesy of Nai nai), Dump-dump (to stand for Humpty Dumpty), 'cuit (as she can't say 'biscuit', and started clamouring for 'cuit when I told my mother-in-law to eat饼干 - not good for us she's getting effectively bilingual, as we can't talk in code in front of her!), and to my utter happiness, she can now call叔叔, instead of going Wawa - I will solve the mystery of why she calls men Wawa when she grows up... She also knows how to do a 'Oooh oooh oooh' bouncing action when she sees the monkey, as taught by Yours Truly -__-.

We didn't do anything special on that day, as I brought her out on the usual morning walk, and stopped by one of our favourite hang-outs when the weather's bad - a health juice bar with quite alot of kids' toys (though badly maintained, I must add).

See her with the clip (the shape of a man) on her head? That's my clip, one that she always likes me to put on her. So vain, huh?
Wayne used the same clip to do up a 'sparrow's tail' (not ponytail, since it's too skinny and sparse, haha!) for her some time back too...
She has another hairband accessory, courtesy of Aunty Vanessa, who very nicely gave it to her when they visited Beijing last month. Luckily we managed to catch them for lunch with our ex-colleague and HR manager on this whirlwind trip, and they also popped by our place for dinner. Rosabelle, as usual, was her overwhelming self and wanted to kiss and hug poor Rachel till the latter was scared of her. Till this day, Rosabelle remembers Rachel well (wanting to see Rachel's photos in our camera), and goes 'Chel chel' when sitting in her high chair, to indicate that Rachel sat in it for her own dinner, and then she will wave her hands in a way to tell little kids not to cry, as Rachel cried at our place. Next, she will go 'Wawa' as she remembers Uncle Timothy, and go 'giraffe' as she can recall showing him a picture of a giraffe, heh! On the subject of hair, this is a shot of her hair before we left for Singapore in early February - so unruly huh??? And ta-dah! A shot of her with a trimmed fringe in Singapore, courtesy of my Mum, who professed that 'I will just trim a little, slightly above the brows', and was overzealous when correcting the crooked edges, haha! At that point, Rosabelle's fringe was poking into her eyes, so much that she was rubbing them too often, so we needed to 'take a little off the edges'... We had a good laugh as it made her forehead look so broad!
At this stage, Rosabelle is also sprouting her two upper molars, and I can feel them when I wipe them every night with a wet wipe. She knows the routine - after my bath and when I finish putting on my creams, I will wash my hands and tell her, "Mummy's washing my hands now", as she puts whatever she's holding back in its proper place and dashes into the room to grab a wet wipe (and closes it back properly after), then runs to the living room window and sits down as she obediently waits for me to wipe her gnashers.
This is her pretending to do a good job of brushing her teeth - she knows to not put that into her mouth when she is walking/running, and instead places it behind her back - good girl!
After 18 months, she was also due for a few vaccinations - MMR (China's standards - it's 15m in Singapore), DPT/DT/Oral Sabin 1st booster (Singapore's standards - strange that China does not have oral sabine, and their booster is only taken at 4 years of age, so guess I will go back to Singapore for this), and Hepatitis A. As each has to be taken a month apart, we let her take the MMR first on the check-up at Amcare on 26 April. She had fun playing around before we saw the doctor.
There is a similar playhouse at the kindergarten in our compound, and she enjoys going up and down the slides, closing/opening the house door, and seeing the 兔兔painted on the wall. She knows to step on the stone slabs/pavement and avoid the grass when walking from one slide to another, as I hate for her to get her shoes/pants dirty, and tell her to 'not kill the grass, and love the grass as they take a long while to grow out', heh!
That's her looking on in wonder at a 3 year old boy who was wailing, and I really mean wailing, boy who was inconsolable after his vaccination (Rosabelle only cried for all of like 3 seconds).
At this check-up, she weighed 10.7 kg (64th percentile by China standards, 75th percentile by Singapore standards), and measured 84.5 cm (90th pecentile by both China and Singapore standards). Worryingly enough, this was her same weight/height taken in Singapore at the KKH check-up (for her chicken pox vaccination) at 15.5 months on 10 Feb...hmmm... maybe the scales at KKH are more sensitive?

At the check-up in Singapore, I enquired if it's ok to give her meat/eggs/tofu every day (no problem, especially since tofu is well-absorbed by the body), if I needed to supplement with formula milk since I'm still nursing (no need at all), if I needed to brush her teeth (it's ok to just wipe, the toothbrush can come when she can wield it correctly), if she needed salt in her diet (no need excess - just what she's taking now from outside/adult foods), if she could have eczema, since I saw a small rash on the nape of her neck from the hot weather in Singapore, which only cleared up after I applied hydrocortisone 1% (have to monitor, but it's likely since Yours Truly has eczema - arrrghhh! Thank goodness - fingers crossed - nothing else has appeared since).

The paed also prescribed some lactulose liquid (to make the stools more watery) and lignocaine topical jelly for her constipation issue (she was always unwilling to poop, and was going only every 4th day or so, so her stools were hard), but we did not use that in Singapore as by a cosmic turn of events, she had diarrhea for about 3 days after we brought her out for dinner at Everything with Fries (and the salmon looked suspiciously undercooked). Either that or it was because she was drinking bath water from the bottles... but that bout of diarrhea meant we had to can my reunion with the Nanyang Girls, and it went away without any medication - I just cut down her fruits over those days since she was still in otherwise fine condition.

He also advised that we continue monitoring her heart murmur and do a thyroid test if the constipation ensues.

Back in Beijing, the lactulose and lignocaine came in handy as she was unwilling to poo from the pain (with blood even since she was forcing the stools out), so from 9 till 22 March, she was on lignocaine (which we had to almost force-feed her) until her stools are thankfully normal now (goes every alternate day with no crying when passing). She will grab the wet wipes and run to the toilet, going 'Ka ka ka' to indicate she wants the duck potty on the seat, so it's a less messy affair since she does it directly in the bowl now. As for pee, she has a good sense of when she is going to pee, especially after seeing the older girls squat and pee outside, so whenever she needs to go (though she is still using diapers), she will squat and go 'Ssssssh....', asking me and Nai nai to also squat and do the same, haha!

She also had a bout of runny nose (probably from the cold weather after the heating stopped in Beijing), but I did not give her any medication. She does know to grab a wet wipe or tissue and blow her own nose hard, heh!

At this check-up in Beijing, her heart murmur was still there but the paed suggested we just continue monitoring since Rosabelle's growth is on track, and we only need to do a thorough investigation before she starts school. As expected, when asked, she suggested that I supplement her milk feeds with formula since the quality/quantity of my milk will not be as good as before, and it'd be more for psychological reasons to wean her than health problems. I find older folks and Chinese doctors to not be as supportive of extended breastfeeding as in Singapore, but am mindful that I have to start looking for proper milk powder for her, especially after a scary bout of bad food poisoning I had from 13 April.

In the wee hours of 13 April, I started having diarrhea and vomiting, and was knocked-out flat by late morning despite eating charcoal tablets (and of course throwing them up). I suspected it was the white fungus dessert I had at my facial place the day before, since that was the only thing that my family did not eat (they were all fine). In the end, Wayne had to bring me to the hospital and get a glucose drip, and another drip to get rid of the toxins. I spent about 3 hours lying there, and had to take medicine the next few days. Thing is, the anti-toxin drip and medicine rendered my breast milk toxic (i.e. will affect Rosabelle's bones if she took it), and this meant I could only start nursing Rosabelle a week after the last dose of medicine, so out came the milk bottles and my stash of EBM since Aug/Sep last year - thank goodness for those!

For a week, Rosabelle was thankfully quite entertained with the novelty of drinking milk from the bottle, but I had my mother-in-law sleep in the room with Wayne (whilst I slept in her room) so that Rosabelle would not clamour for me when she woke up for her night feeds. I kept behind the scenes all this while so that she would not be puzzled as to why I was not nursing her instead. It wasn't as emotional/bad as I thought it would be, though she would get impatient and scream for milk. In fact, I think I missed the bonding/closeness more than her, and I was thus reluctant to eat the anti-toxin medicine for another day, causing me to still have a slight case of the runs (vomited 8 times and lao-sai for 11 times in all man!), but I was adamant to not delay another day of nursing.

Wayne had to go get a local-brand breast pump for me to express (and throw) the EBM since I had already passed my Medela pump to my sis - not alot of milk as it varies from 30ml to 60ml each time of my thrice-daily expressing. That's why I am afraid that Rosabelle is not getting as much milk as she should, though I've read that it's different when your child nurses as she will be able to suckle better, and your body then reacts better. However, comparing past photos, she's really so much less chubby, and I do not wish to deny her of body fats, haha! So let's see how with the milk powder, especially now that I do not have a back-up of EBM already...

Maybe it was due to the fact that we did not sterilise the bottles well (we only used the steamer once a day, since I'd also passed my sis the Avent steriliser), or that I did not warm up the milk thoroughly enough, but Rosabelle woke up on 15 Apr morning and did not want her breakfast at all, and kept chanting for me to carry her. When I finally did, and patted her on her back, she vomited slightly. Oh dear... after that, she was better and Wayne brought her down for a walk, but in the afternoon, after her nap, I could feel that she was feverish and put on a cold patch for her when it reached 37.9 degrees.
When it reached 39.0 degrees, I started her on 5ml of paracetemol and gave 3 doses in all before it cleared the next afternoon. I was so afraid I had passed my vomiting/diarrhea to her but thank goodness she was all ok after the morning throw-up. According to the Chinese doctor, it could be a case of bad food as the body is then reacting to it by fighting the toxins. Oh well... now we know better.

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