Chomp Chomp

My little munchkin is totally into putting stuff in her mouth these days. She likes to feel different textures with her tongue. Whatever is small enough to get into her mouth also suffer hearty chomps between her gums.

I bought this chain of rings intending to use them to hook up toys to her stroller. It was only when I got home that I realised they also double up as a teether. This is currently her No. 1 favourite toy/teether. Dangle it in front of her and she will, with great intensity, reach out to grab it with both hands and shove it into her mouth.

She also often holds it close to her when she sleeps!

My little big girl

Chinese New Year is around the corner. I recall days of long past where the older rellies will comment year after year about how fast I seem to grow. As a kid, I used to find those repeated comments really strange. As a mother now, I finally understand. My baby is growing up so fast! Almost a tad too fast it seems!

Funny hats

A large mirror and a variety of hats makes for one fun session!
(Idea modified from Babycentre's)
Gratitude Post:- A gift of this large mirror that now adds a nice dimension to playtime
- All the gifts of hats for Bubbles! She has many - from the hand-made, to sporty, to girly ones

Carpal Tunnel no fun

I have been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

This explains the hand and finger numbness I have been feeling off and on for the last few years.

In the past 2 weeks, this numbness has become much worse. I wake up in the mornings unable to clench my fists, and often feel tingling numbness on my fingers. My hands and wrists feel weak throughout the day. I also realise now why I have been clumsily dropping things more often, most notably dropping (and breaking) a ceramic spoon at friend's place.

Sadly the doc took one look at my hands and say that I already have some muscle degeneration, which means that I have been having this problem for sometime (and not during my pregnancy). He has prescribed some Vitamin B complex for me, but says that I should consider surgery at some point because that is the only thing that could help.

I pray I don't ever drop my baby!

[Oops, I just realised that my last entry didn't have a Gratitude Post. I also didn't want to write this entry at first because the numbness on my hands just made me not want to type. But some interesting things happened today, and I can only say, Praise God!]

Gratitude Post:
- Bubbles and I saw an adorable little squirrel scampering on a tree during our daily morning walk. It was a lovely shared experience for the both of us
- 2 yellow birds also flew past, showing flashes of brillant yellow against the leafy greens

Thighs to the rescue

Bubbles is now into standing up.

Yes, my baby, who only recently learnt to flip, constantly wants to stand.

It is funny how I take a while these days to get her to sit, as she will straighten out her legs and refuse to be put down. Put her feet on the ground and she's happy as a lark.

The thing that really cracks me up though, is when she tries to get out of her Bumbo seat. Yup, my baby tries to do that. She will fling her arms backwards, straighten and push her legs forwards, and actually manages to lift her butt upwards.

Fortunately, her (very) chubby thighs get stuck at the leg openings of the seat. (They get stuck when I put her in the seat too, so I always have to force the opening apart.) The little Bubs will not give up when that happens, and will earnestly push herself upwards again and again, putting her butt down to rest at intervals.

I'll usually go rescue her when that happens.

Hurray for chubbs!

Hair Flattening Exercise

I recently bought a little baby hairbrush from The Body Shop. After bath time one day, we decided on a new look for Bubbles! Heh heh heh. She had absolutely NO IDEA why we were giggling our heads off!

Flat Hair courtesy of grandma and mummy!

What are you laughing about, Mummy??

But of course, her 'new look' lasted all of 3 minutes before her hair dried and you know, her Gatsby hair came right back. Just like this:
Gratitude Post:
- Joy and laughter in the family
- Bubbles did her first full flip today!

Homemade Wantons

Gratitude Post:
- Helpful colleagues who helped me with taping cardboard boxes, packing, and lugging stuff from my office cubicle to my car boot. And also colleagues who have loan me space in their cubicles to keep stuff. Rent free!
- A good time hanging out with a girlfriend last night at Clarke Quay. (Possible because of a cooperative baby and a loving husband who is a pro at doing night feeds and putting baby to sleep)

My Baby's Wardrobe

One of the fun things about having a baby is getting double (or more) of your personal quota of presents! After all a baby at Bubbles' age does not care much for prettily wrapped gifts, or new clothes.

I for one, enjoy opening up gifts, so I have been having a whale of a time the last few months, ripping open presents for Bubbles. Roboman doesn't care much for this whole gift thing though, especially if the gifts are clothes. Men.

My aunt came by today with a HUGE vacuum sealed bag of Old Navy clothes for Bubbles! (Vacuum packing was essential to ensure enough room in her luggage for her own stuff.)

Wow wow wow.

We have a skirt, pants, dresses, camis, tanks, tees, and even a little zip-front hoodie! It was like opening up a whole little girl's wardrobe!

I love them all and am touched by the thought and effort that went into this.

Now, does this mean I am no longer entitled to clothes shop for my baby this year? ;)

Gratitude Post:
- A wonderful, generous Aunt
- A steady stream of visitors from loved ones since Bubbles' arrival into our lives

Shelling out for friends

I have a dear friend whom I call Mango (yes Mango - the fruit and not the shop), who has a truly hospitable spirit.

A SAHM with no help save for occasional ones from the grandmas and a family friend, she is in my eyes a fantastic mother and domestic goddess. Even my mum is impressed.

Mango always has a cheerful disposition (Roboman can always guess when I am on the phone with her because he'll hear her laughter in the background), and is an ever patient and conscientious mother. Her little son gets a variety of homecooked food including healthy soups (everyday!), and a plethora of fresh fruits. She also manages to keep her house in a ready-for-guests condition and always has an open door policy. In fact, it was at her place (and on her bed) that I napped once when pregnant and feeling the onslaught of morning sickness.

During Christmas, she bought and prettily wrapped gifts for everyone from kids to adults, and baked cookies and chocolate crisps for each family.

Recently, we were invited to Mango's place for a shellfish dinner. She had 3 young families over, and we all took turns to eat/mind the kids. It was most interesting for me because I've never eaten some of the stuff that was on the table. We didn't even know what some of them were called! But they were all very tasty. We also walloped winter melon soup, fish curry and a refreshingly cold chin chow dessert.

I think even Bubbles felt the warmth of the hospitality shown - she was cheery throughout dinner, drank her milk readily and cooed her goodbyes.

Gratitude Post:
Friendships that last through changes in our lives

4 months check

Bubbles at 4 months:
7.22kg, 64cm

My baby went for her 4 months PD check yesterday, and received her 2nd 5-in-1 jab. All's good. My mum was feeling heartpain that I haven't been giving her a numbing patch, but when she saw how Bubbles reacted, she realised why.

The little Bub was once again angry when I tried to put her to my breast for the jab. When the needle went in, she yelled a little, and stopped completely once I carried her up in a sitting position!

Other than that act of bravado (which her father claims is due to HIS genes), we're thankful that she's well. Doc says she's very strong from the various pulls and positions she put Bubbles through. I expressed my concern that she has not yet been flipping very much (she only did so once without assistance) but the Doc laughed and said it is fine, since she has a lot of mass to move! heh.

- Availability of nursing rooms in many shopping malls in Singapore
- My life experiences, both good and bad, have presented to me opportunities to help others when needed.

Gratitude Posts

I've been having ongoing conversations with a friend that has resulted in many insights and encouragement for me.

One of the things I have decided to do based one of our discussions is to start writing Gratitude Posts.

Some time ago, I used to write thanksgivings on my blog - to remind myself of the blessings that I have received. I intended to do so everyday, but that kind of got too tedious and ultimately I stopped writing, which was a pity. (Does that sound familiar?)

I have now decided to start again in a smaller, more achievable way: A Gratitude Post at the end of each blog entry.

It is exciting because I now anticipate good things that come my way and am learning to be sensitive to them (as opposed to taking things for granted, as I do pretty often). I am well aware that there will be days (probably many) where I will be too tired, too discouraged, too pissed off with people to feel an ounce of gratitude - but I also know for a fact that in the midst of shite there will always be nuggets of gold to notice and uncover.

I hope my dear readers, that you will be encouraged by this new addition to my blog! And do remind me if I forget to do this!

Gratitude Post:
- I am a mother of a happy and healthy 4-month-old today
- My neighbours are done with their renovation hacking. I can hear the birds chirping outside.

Baby Safe Toys

Yesterday, Bubbles was shaking this rattle when one of its ends burst open, spraying out little balls!

Thankfully my mum was around to witness the incident so she quickly removed from Bubbles the rattle, broken parts and the innards that fell out.

We shudder to think what could have happened if no one was around to watch Bubbles, and if she had cut herself on the sharp edges or swallowed the hard plastic balls. In fact, the balls just missed shooting into her mouth. She's at the stage where she likes to feel things with her lips and tongue, and would most certainly have popped any of the rattle parts in her mouth if left to her own devices.

Sadly, this rattle came as a set with other interesting sound making objects. I'm not going to let her play with any of them from now on, and would be throwing away the whole set (which is one of her 1st-month celebration gifts). It is 'Made in China" and while practically everything is these days, I'll be more careful about selecting toys that are well-made and baby safe!

Passport to the World

Bubbles is going on her first flight out of the country soon!

Over a few days, I tried very hard to take a passport worthy photo of her.

I tell you, taking a serious photo of a baby is HARD! Many humans had to clap hands, shake noisy objects or wave colourful things above my head to make her look towards the camera. Almost all the time though, Bubbles had thoughts of her own, preferring to put her hand in her mouth, talk a lot (hence open mouths), be overly mersmerised by the said waving objects, or create funny expressions (including a pouty Enough with that black object already, Mummy!).

Many times, I was too quick to try to capture her brief glances at the camera that I failed to set the camera properly, resulting in photos either too blurry or with too much shadows.

So I now have about 60 photos of NON-Passport worthy photos of Bubbles. Here's a sample of them:
Just when I was about to give up, she finally did this:

Not perfect, but at least a drool-less, looking-straight-at-the-camera with a happy expression photo.

Hopefully the authorities approve this! Please do!

A new start

The last 2 weeks were filled with many gatherings of family and friends, lots of good food, and quiet times for reflection, prayer and thanksgiving.

Today is the start of the work year for most people. The fact that I am not yet back at work is a prayer answered :) I am still in awe of how things have turned out the way it has, and I promise myself to make good use of the time I now have.

I haven't made specific New Year resolutions this year, but I begin 2010 with lots of thanksgiving in my heart, excitement for the future, and determination to have my priorities right. This means that computer time surely has to decrease, as I seek to make more time for God, for Roboman, for Bubbles, my family and friends. And of course more time for myself.

I don't aim to be the perfect wife, mother and daughter, but I hope, with God's guidance that I can be the best I have been gifted to be.

So dear readers and friends - I leave you now with photos of a beautiful plush toy and gorgeous blanket that a dear friend single-handedly sewed for Bubbles.

May your work year be as enjoyable as it is for me watching Bubbles grow!

Happy New Year, World

A decade has passed.
In with a brand new one!

May you have a lovely year ahead,
one full of fulfillment and abundant blessings.

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson