Saturday, August 21, 2010

Backtrack SG: All in a Day

Gosh, where do I begin? A month's worth of Singapore entries (with many interesting outing/anecdotes to share) and close to two months overdue. There are at least 11 entries, going by how I sorted out my photos, so here goes all or nothing! (This first one is a long post and might seem all over the place as it has alot of summaries about anything and everything...)

On 2 June, we took the afternoon flight from Beijing into Singapore, reaching there at 9:30am at night. Marianne and my brother-in-law were there to pick us up (Simon was down with a fever - Rosabelle touched his head a few days after and pronounced it 'hot'), and Rosabelle was a tad shy at first, taking time to warm up quickly to the both of them. By the time I unpacked and had a wonderful home-cooked supper, it was close to 1:45 am... ZZZZZ....

The next day, I brought her down together with the kids - we go downstairs for a walk very often as it's more windy downstairs.
She likes to do the choo-choo train action (hanging onto behind one of the kids, or walking in front as the train driver...).
That's them catching some swimming pool breeze on the deck chairs.
And that's her looking very hot and sweaty at the playground - maybe that's what excerbated her slight heat rash at the hip/lower back area, and I had to apply powder as well as hydrocortisone to clear it up. She also developed some rash around the neck, which I'm not too sure was caused/worsened by J&J powder as I've read how harmful J&J products can be...
On 4 June, I brought her for a swim downstairs myself. I knew that it would not be too long before she caught something from Simon, and wanted to quickly let her enjoy the water (and a pose in the car float) before she became flu-ey, haha...

And so I jinxed myself into thinking that way as true enough, she was slightly flu-ey for a few days from 11 June (even having thick nasal mucus a few days later), as both Simon and Marianne were having alternating fevers. As usual, I did not give her any medicines and she could recover well on her own. When Marianne was sick, she went cold turkey at home as Simon stayed with us, so Rosabelle did not see Marianne for quite a few days. When the older girl recovered and came to our house one morning, Rosabelle shrieked, ran towards her and hugged her tightly - so cute!
At home, she liked to play with Barney and can say its name, even singing part of the 'I love you...' song, heh! Of course, being in Singapore, we get rainy days (hell, there was even a flash flood on 16 June flooding parts of Orchard Road - Beijing even had flights cancelled because of the rains), and on days like these, I once brought her down into the car and sat inside as we watched my Dad wash it from outside, haha... (and she will then request to go to 'Dua Yi house').
We (or rather she forced us into it!) have a routine of going out after her nap, and even after dinner time at night. There was once when she cried wanting to go out, and was placated when Simon suggested we go for a drive, wanting both Po Po and Gong Gong to go, knowing that just having me around was useless since I could not drive, heh! She would at times wail when she sees my sis' family driving off in the car without her at night, and we finally had to let her sit in it for a drive around the porch before she came home happy.

Simon is gamely smiling here, but he wasn't too happy nor comfortable when Rosabelle kept wanting to sit on his lap and give me a 'hug tight tight' action as she folded her arms around herself tightly...
On 3 June, she had a fall and hit her cheek against my mother's bedframe, making her howl for awhile (and leaving a red mark for a few days after). On 4 June, she caught her fingers in the shower room door (despite me warning her not to leave her fingers there, so that taught her good and proper...). On the same day, after pooing in the toilet, she probably still had some more poo, and as I was packing up in the toilet, I had Simon shout out, 'Yi yi! Aiyo! Rosie bang sai all over! Eeeee!' and ran into the bedroom to see poo all over her legs and the floor as I had yet to put on her diapers, ewwww......The trouble ensued that day when she fell in the living room and hit the left side of her forehead, aiyo!

She gets up to all kinds of antics around the house, looking at and pretending to 'pray Buddha' at our altar, calling the Kuan Yin 奶奶... that's her doing her yoga pose on cue in the bottom right of the below collage.
In Singapore, Rosabelle started saying words like bolster (we brought it back and she now likes hugging the bolster, especially for feeds), drive, 'copter, plane (loads of army helicopters and jet planes flying over our area as we live near the airbase, so it can get really loud and woke her from her nap once), train, guava, camel, 熊, clown (the McDonald guy...), 云吞, handle, Marianne, Gideon, Daniel, (these are quite hard to pronounce), princess, Snow White (till this day, when she sees Snow White, she will go 'Marianne家!'), medicine, injection, playground, ice cream, spouting phrases like 'knock head' (as she pretends to knock her head on the bed frame), 'yoga pose', 'blow nose', 'contact list', 'There you are!', 'Dua Yi,快来!', '帮妈妈' (probably picked up then from the 收南瓜song where the boy 帮奶奶收南瓜), started counting from one to five, and go '八、九、十' (she has since progressed and can count from 1 till 10 in both English and Chinese now), '弟弟crying, Dua Yi 抱抱', '妈妈, 快点' when I was in the toilet. She also picked up and/or started singing songs like Do Re Mi (sounded more like 'Dua Baby', or Big Baby, the way she first said it) and Ding Dong Bell.

My darling girl was very sweet - I was reading a health magazine and unwittingly discovered that I had developed a fungal infection on my fourth right toe (blackened at one part - thought it was a bruise but it did not hurt and did not fade), and realised that part of the nail was tearing out at the base. Ewww! Must be some unsanitary nail parlour I went to... Luckily my mum had at hand some clotrimizole ointment that I was putting twice a day (for at least a month after I came back to Beijing even), and every time Rosabelle saw me with the cotton bud, she will go, 'Mummy so poor thing, painful' (and also exclaimed 'Poor Dua Yi' as my sis was applying medicine on her own in-growing toenail), and request for me to also pretend to use the cotton bud to dab her toes as she walked out and declared to all and sundry that her toes were also painful.

It wasn't the end for me - on 12 June, my mum bought some roti pr
ata and curry for breakfast, and after eating it, I had a short bout of diarrhea and threw up. Thank goodness my system rejected the bad food almost immediately or I would have been down and marred my own holiday in Singapore over some lousy Indian curry!

She would also come with me into the toilet at times, put her hands on my shoulder and make 'ssssh, ssssh' noises to help me pee, haha!
There was once when I was showing her our family portraits at each of our graduations and of course there was younger-looking me, so our clever girl remarked, '大妈妈, 小妈妈' as she compared... haha!

I miss having the luxury and fortune of a good public library when I am in Beijing. The library is just less than 10 minutes' walk from our place, and I went there twice whilst in Singapore (13 June and 20 June) to borrow books for her as she ran all over the place picking up books she liked as well. She has some favourites that she can remember to this day - one about the fireman (she can relate the story of the fireman on the phone, then running to save the 叔叔 stuck in the water, and make a grunting sound as she pretended to pull her own leg out), and another about different animals knocking on the door to attend a boy's birthday (she will go, 'Knock knock, come in. Cat come in, dog come in, elephant come in. Happy birthday to you.' and then proceed to blow imaginary candles out).
I also borrowed helpful books like Top Tips for Fussy Eaters by Gina Ford, and another lovely book Babies in the Rain by Jeff Johnson. Up to the point that I was waiting to go to the airport as we were departing Singapore, I still could not finish the latter book, but will sure pick up on it the next time I'm back.
There are days when we will go to my sis' house in Kembangan, and visit the parks nearby. On 5 June, I brought her to the park myself and met with a VERY talkative girl Erica, so talkative that normally so-talkative me gave up on entertaining her and rolled my eyes at her every comment/question (very irritating leh!). She's about 5 years old, and actually cried when Rosabelle was going to go home. My girl was really sweet, running back on her own accord to hug Erica, then walking back towards me before waving bye bye.

Since my sis' house has a huge backyard, I made use of it to let Rosabelle play with water and cups/scoops after her afternoon nap that day. However, the hot Singapore sun, coupled with her just waking up, might have caused her to feel slightly feverish after. Hmmm... that spelt the end of water play for me/her...

This is her playing shy below when queuing up to receive a present (chocolate) from my sis' father-in-law, Uncle Michael, as he rewards all the kids with treats for singing well in church. When we were there on 19 June, she snatched Daniel's (my sis' brother-in-law's son, who's a week younger) toy and made him cry, and even vied for a bicycle with an older boy. However, she loved playing around the kids as they have so many cousins.
She would steal the oranges and/or apples from Simon and Marianne, making the older kids very happy since they do not like/appreciate the fruits anyway. However, at that point, she did not really know how to chew the hard apples, and I will find bits of spat-out apples on the floor a few days later...
She enjoys the different tropical fruits in Singapore and will go wandering around the house with a bowl of fruit in hand.
Feeding times were very trying at times as she would not eat, or get so distracted that she would not concentrate on the foods. (Or maybe it's because her upper incisors were coming out at that time...) My tactic was to give her adequate warnings, then proceed to eat up my own meal as she cried/howled in the high chair, wanting me to feed her. I could only tell her that 'Mummy has already warned you that if you're not eating, I am going to eat first, so please wait for me to finish up before I feed you.' That worked, as well as the fact that if she cried, I pushed her away to the side to face the wall or window as she knew that her crying was not going to garner any attention from me (though she would be quite happy and even start singing in the chair sometimes...). She would then say sorry after some time and hug me to placate me.

Bad thing is I always had to hide all the tidbits and other forbidden fruits from her whilst at the dinner table (they are all displayed there), and after she tried the Honey Stars once (she goes 'Twinkle, twinkle' when she wants them), she kept asking for them, sigh... It's hard for the Toh kids as they have to hide their treats from her whilst enjoying them in secret. However, she sets good examples for them by eating a variety of foods and fruits, even feeding Simon his first taste of corn and starfruit! There was once my sis was calling the kids to start dinner and screamed at them to keep their toys - Rosabelle was the only one to start packing things into the box and obey her, haha!

It was quite tiring for me at times in Singapore as my family already has their hands full with the older sick children, and with the young Gideon. I even have to take my bath together with her as she watched me from the tub (and wash my hair early in the mornings when she wakes up - there was once I was still rinsing my hair when she woke up, and I went in to see her ready to climb down from the bed), just so she does not cry being away from me. There was once she snatched my shower away from me, and stood up to cry when I took it back, refusing to heed my warning to ask her to sit down - I had to ask my mum to carry her out, bawling away.

I was at my wit's end on 24 June when Simon took over from me and amazingly made her finish the whole bowl of food - haha!
So there, abrupt end to long post as I go prepare my next post. Ta!

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