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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Walking Outside!

Last night Elyssa had her first experience walking outside, with shoes !!! She's been walking a lot in the house but whenever we're been out recently, we keep forgetting to bring her shoes. What to do.... forgetful mummy.

She absolutely loved her first walking experience in Tesco. She kept walking up and down the aisles while occasionally stopping to look and happily point at things. She certainly got a lot of attention from other shoppers and sales personnel!

I think the other person more excited than her was ME. Ha hah..... I got such an absolute thrill seing her walk around on her own. Afterall, she's usually "stuck" to someone, either being carried or being pushed in the stroller/shopping trolley. (And yes, I felt that familiar little tug in my heart which happens whenever I have a "oh, my princess is growing up so fast" moment. Gosh, at this rate, I'm going to have SERIOUS problems of letting go when she goes off to college or gets married next time! )

Ooops, ok, back to the walking. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera yesterday. So after dinner today, we went to Giant equipped with my old Olympus. Here are some photos taken just now.

Walking around @ Giant -

"Which pair of shoes should I pick?"

" I just love walking around! "

" Wah, this looks interesting"

Some other photos taken the same evening.

@ Nearby playground -

@ Nearby Shoplots -

@ Giant again. Well, she's not walking here but I just loved the way she clapped her hands when the car moved up and down :)

" If I clap, mummy will bring me here more often"

Oh, she absolutely HATES it if I hold her hand when she's walking. So I have to watch her carefully and bear with her protests for the times when I need to hold her hand. I think I'll need to look around for a harness/leash soon.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dr Seuss's books

Elyssa has a small collection of Dr Seuss's books.

This was the first set we got for her. It's a collection of 6 hardcover books@ RM49.90 with an additional 15% discount. We wanted to get another box set after that, but we found out that even the paperback version (also 6 books in a box set) was already RM99.90. We finally realised there was a pricing error. The set that we bought should have been RM149.90 instead of RM49.90!! :)

Next, we got her another 2 hardcover books with "hardpages" (can't think of the proper word) so she could turn the pages freely without us being worried that she'll tear the pages.

Then hubby saw this giant book and bought for her. It was a few days before her first birthday, so it was considered her birthday present-

So, that's her collection so far. The whole Dr Seuss craze came from hubby. He said he had one Dr Seuss book when he was a kid and he just loved it. I was a bit sceptical since there are some strange characters in the books. Hubby insisted that they were good for imagination. I felt it was better to get the basics right first. Like knowing what are dogs and cats first, before going to creatures like a "seven hump Wump" (from the One Fish, 2 Fish book)
For now, it's still ok since Elyssa likes to look at the pictures and listen to the rhyming words. And hubby doesn't complain so much if it's Dr Seuss when I occasionally ask him to take over the bed time reading session. (b4 this, it was like.... wat????? I have to read 3 Little pigs AGAIN???? ha hahh...)
Some photos of Elyssa with her Dr Seuss book -


Age-appropriate comment aside, I must say that some of the stories are very good.
For example, here are some excerpts from "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"
Today is your day
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!
You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.

You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

.... headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place.
For people just waiting
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow
Everyone is just waiting
That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape
all the waiting and staying
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing

On and on you will hike
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.

A very good life lesson indeed! A good reminder about taking charge of our own lives and not allowing ourselves to be stuck in the "Waiting Place". Also that life is not always easy and we shouldn't give up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sleep Trouble

In my last post, I wrote about how easy it was when it comes to feeding Elyssa. I do count my lucky stars since I know that feeding can be a big problem for other mummies. But I guess we all have our own problems. My main headache is getting Elyssa to sleep.

These days, I need to spend 1.5 to 2 hours every night just to make her sleep! It can get really frustrating. I normally take her upstairs around 9 plus, turn on light music, let her wind down a little, let her drink her milk then switch off the lights. At this stage, she'll usually rub her eyes which is a sign that she's sleepy. Unfortunately sleep doesn't come easy. Instead of lying down, she'll sit up and play with my belly button. If I try to put her into a lying position, she'll cry. If I try to cover my belly button, she'll cry. So I just lie down next to her pretending to be asleep while she continue to play, play, play with my belly button.

She'll do that until she gets really tired and then plop herself to a lying position. Once she's in a lying position, I'll either pat her while saying "shhhh shhh shhhh" or continue to pretend to sleep. Quite often, after 5 minutes of patting, she'll almost drift off to dreamland but then suddenly SIT up again. If I'm lucky, she'll lie down soon after, but if not, she'll start the belly button routine again. Aaarghhh!!!!

That long grandmother story above is just "Phase 1" of the sleeping process. There's actually 2 more phases.
Phase 2 - Once she falls asleep, I need to delicately extricate myself away from her. Half the time, she wakes up. If she does, I need to "get back into position" and pat her back to sleep.
Phase 3 - Once I successfully extricate myself, I still need to transfer her to the baby cot. (She fell off the bed last month, so I don't want another incident). This used to be an ok phase but for the past few weeks, she woke up again almost every single time. Aaarghhhh!!!

So every night, I go through Phase 1, 2 and 3 godness how many times. Once, after I failed to complete Phase 3 twice (with multiple attempts at Phase 1 and Phase 2), I got so frustrated that I decided to let her cry in the baby cot. My goodness.... she stood up immediately and started screaming away. Scream, scream, scream for ages. She even stomped her feet so much until her pants dropped down!!

*SIGH*, some days I wish I can just spike her milk to make her sleep. The days that hubby tried to help, she screamed the moment I leave the room. So I have to be the one to go through the process every night.

Sleeping has been a regular problem with Elyssa (with various degrees of difficulty), but I do hope that this very difficult phase will pass soon.

Monday, May 11, 2009

1 Year, 1 Month Old

It's already 1 month past her first birthday!

About her-

1. Weight : 10.4kg

New food introduced : egg, avocado, few spoonfuls of ice-cream

2. Feeding her is an absolute joy. I feel like the best cook in the world....ha hahh. She automatically opens up her mouth really wide when the spoon goes near her mouth.

3. Still a greedy gal. Two days ago, hubby and I had the plain "flower buns" at Esquire Kitchen. I gave her half of the bun so she could quietly eat the bun while we had our dinner. She did eat quietly for a while but once the bun was small enough, she stuffed the whole thing in her mouth. It was really quite funny. Her cheeks were bulging, part of the bun was hanging out of her mouth AND at the same time she reached her little hands out to grab another piece of bun on my plate !!!!

Looked as if I was starving the poor girl. And that was after she had her bowl of porridge!

4. She knows who she can "bully". With her "ah mah", she can happily play away on her own. With her "ah kong", she'll whined to be carried but can play on her own after being carried for a short while. With me, totally gone case. Most of the time, I have to either carry her or sit down and play with her.
When she's sleepy but cranky, only "ah mah" can make her sleep. With everyone else, she'll just scream and struggle in the spring cot. When she struggles like that, she reminds me of a fish that just got caught in a fishing net!

5. She doesn't want to sit in her car seat these days. She'll just scream and scream like no tomorrow. I know that theoretically, if I just ignore her screams she'll eventually know that she has to sit no matter what. But after a few minutes of her screaming on top of her lungs, hubby and I often feel like screaming ourselves and we give in. :( I make sure I hold on tightly to her when she's on my lap though.

6. She loves walking up & down the house and climbing up the sofa. Good exercise for her :)

7. Ok, ok, I know that item 1 and 2 above is about food, but I can't resist another food related comment. This incident happened last night. While we were all chatting away and having dinner, Elyssa and Justin were playing by walking round and round the dining table. After a while, there was a silence and when we looked up, we saw Justin HAPPILY giving biscuits to Elyssa from a biscuit container and Elyssa HAPPILY munching away. I wished I had my camera to capture the moment.....she was so busy munching with crumbs all over her mouth while holding on tight to a biscuit in EACH hand. Ha hahh...... I think if we didn't do anything, the giving-and-receiving biscuit activity would have continued for a long time since they were both clearly enjoying it so much.

Trial Class - Gymboree

Over the weekend, I sent Elyssa for a trial class at Gymboree. I figured she would enjoy the class since she has been more mobile lately and likes climbing up and down the sofa.

The result? Half the time, she clinged on to me and didn't participate in the activities. When I tried, she cried a little so I let her "stick" to me. (cannot even sit on the mat but must sit on my lap!!) She did look interested in the activities though, which I take as a good sign.

Well, her behaviour was not entirely surprising since she hasn't been with so many kids her own age before. In the class that day, there were 7 kids around the same age. Besides Elyssa, there was also another boy trying out the class for the first time. When I chatted with his mum, she said that he has been attending Tumble Tots for a few months. That could explain why the boy was feeling more at home than Elyssa.

Here's a photo taken right after the class. If only she can sit so quietly on her own at home. Ha hahh!!

Overall, I was happy with the class. It was quite interactive, there was sufficient time for the kids to socialise and I found the equipment nicer and newer than the Tumble Tots in Subang Parade.

I ended up signing for the class. Fee info-

Annual Membership Fee : RM 150
Programe Fee : RM 420

The programe fee is for 12 classes to finish in 12 weeks. Since the trial class is free with any sign-up, that works out to RM32 per class. (or RM44 if I factor in the membership fee)

Hopefully, Elyssa will get more involved in the class activities and socialise with the other kids next time!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

She's Walking !

In her 12 month old update, I wrote that Elyssa could walk about 6-7 steps before sitting down. Since then, she has been walking a little bit more and more, but was still crawling most of time.

Early this week, there was a sudden a big improvement. It was as if she just discovered that she loved walking !! My father said she hardly crawled the whole day yesterday. She's actually pretty steady on her legs too.

I'm still not quite used to her coming towards me on two rather than on four. *Sigh*, one implication of this is that she's officially a toddler rather than a baby. As with any new milestone reached, there's the feeling of happiness (and yes -pride as well!) but there's also the little tinge of sadness that she's growing up so fast.

Here's a short clip of her walking, which hubby managed to take last night. *need to turn off volume due to the background chatter*

Way to go Elyssa!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Short Holiday - Putrajaya

2 weeks before the Labour Day long weekend, hubby and I were cracking our heads about where to go for a short getaway. As usual, the top criteria was somewhere not too crowded (hubby just hates crowds) and preferably not too far away. Melaka, Kuantan, PD, Genting, Camerons etc etc...... how? how? We went through the usual list, but knew that these places would be crowded due to the long weekend.

In the end, we finally thought of some place that fit our specification - relaxing weekend getaway at Shangri-La Putrajaya! Heh hehh..... close enough, minus the crowd. Perfect!
So on Friday morning, we headed off to Putrajaya after a nice dim sum brunch. We didn't do much in the 2 days, as the agenda was to just rest and relax.
Some photos taken on Day 1:
Elyssa was very happy when we got to the room -

Some photos taken on Day 2 -

The corporate rate package that I took didn't include breakfast, so hubby bought some roti canai which we had by the pool.

Swimsuit Catwalk

Thumbs Up!

This was actually a free & easy trip for us. For the first time, we travelled without her bath tub and sterilizer. Also, the first time without any food planning. For her meals, we basically ordered white rice for her, added some hot water and added some pieces of chicken/egg/vege from what we ate (rinse a little with water/tea to get rid of any sauces). Easy peasy! Very convenient indeed for travelling.

I also reflected on what she ate for our previous holidays -

1) Kuantan @ 3 mths : Elyssa was still fully on milk
2) Clearwater, Batu Gajah @ 6 mths+ : At that time, Elyssa started her solids already but for the holiday, we gave her milk only.
3) Melaka @ 8 mths : Milk and instant cereal.
4) Cameron Highlands @ 11 mths : We stayed in an apartment, so I brought along a pot to cook her porridge.
5) Clearwater, Batu Gajah @ 11 mths : I brought along a slow cooker to cook her porridge.
6) Penang @ 11 mths : Milk and instant cereal. On one of the days, our friend in Penang very kindly made her porridge for lunch and dinner.

Hmm... just realised that the Putrajaya trip was Elyssa's 7th holiday. Quite a lot for someone who has just turned one!