The REAL challenge begins

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Daddy went back to work

The past 10 days have passed by quite easily. Baby Xi Yu is, so far, is an easy to take care of baby (hope she will continue to be, finger-crossed :-)). With my mum and dad around, and hubby also around, taking care of both Hao Re and Xi Yu has not been a problem. Hao Re is still jealous of his little sister sometimes, especially when I breastfeed Xi Yu, probably that takes too much of my time? The other challenge is during night time, as Hao Re only wanted mummy at night. Fortunately he adapted very well, and since Day 2 Xi Yu came back home, Hao Re already accepted daddy to soothe him back to sleep should he wake up in the middle of the night. This is a very good for us, because if he wakes up during the time when I am breastfeeding, I simply can’t cope with two. Day time is not a problem, as he is happily playing with whoever has time to play with him.

Today, daddy returns to work. Besides missing his accompany, I am also (a bit) worry that it would be too tasking for me and my mum to take care of the two little ones. Well, maybe I really shouldn’t think too much, just move on and see how things go. My mum and dad said Hao Re is a very good boy, he is very active and always on the run, but he is also very cooperative and willing to listen to us (of course not always). If, only if, we really can’t cope, we can always send him to the childcare centre. So yes, I should stop worrying and enjoy these precious time with my little ones.

Baby Xi Yu has been a good girl, so far. Drinks milk and sleeps, wakes up and drinks milk. These few days, she wakes up for a longer stretch of time, and when she is awake, she is so alert, that her two eyes rolling left and right, as if scrutinizing her surrounding and trying to follow the voice/noise. Started yesterday, she seems to start adjusting to our day and night time. If she really is doing that, I would be so delighted. Right now, she usually wakes up at 2 – 3am, and is not able to fall deep sleep again until 6 – 7am. Surprisingly I am still energetic despite the lack of sleep and only need a short nap to recharge.

I will definitely miss hubby dearly. I don’t really enjoy staying home without hubby around. Last time round, I almost developed post-natal depression after hubby went back to work. I am sure I won’t be this time round, I promise :-) (besides, I have the super active Hao Re to keep me accompany, no time for me to feel depress). I will do the best that I can for these 2 months, to take care of my 2 beautiful ones, and enjoy the time bonding with them. And I always look forward to the weekend when daddy is at home with us :-)

With this note, yes, I am all prepared for the challenge ahead, bring it on!
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Sharing of my breastfeeding experience

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The opening of a privatize milk factory :-)

I failed to breastfeed for my boy 19 months ago. I was very sad back then initially, feeling that I was not able to provide for my baby. I did read up a lot, attended antenatal classes, and thought I have had sufficient knowledge about breastfeeding. On top of that, the healthcare professionals kept telling me it’s EASY to breastfeed that you are born with it, and as a mum, if you can give birth to a child, there is no reason why I cannot breastfeed. I was brain-washed by them. I was too over-confident and have never thought that I might fail to breastfeed. I insisted to let my boy on total breastfeed when he was born, despite that my mum did advise me to supplement him with water or formula as he was crying a lot. A WRONG DECISION MADE! Being a first time mum, I failed miserably, because of the lack of my milk supply, it led to my boy having very bad dehydration and extremely high jaundice (to the point that his pediatrician was getting ready for a blood transfusion if necessary). My poor baby had to be on drip when he was barely 1 week old. Can you imagine how much it hurt me? I blamed myself for it, for that not only I can’t protect him but to make him suffer. Thanks to my supporting and understanding hubby, I finally got over it and moved on. But after that, I told myself and my close friends that breastfeeding is definitely NOT easy, not at all. At one point, I even told myself I would not attempt for breastfeeding if I get pregnant again. After all, my boy grows up beautifully drinking the formula milk. Having said this, I have never doubted that breastmilk IS the BEST milk for baby.

Fortunately, my mind changed. All thanks to the wonderful world of internet. From one of the forum, I met many fellow mummies, who are all of very kind soul and heart, who are so willing to share their experiences (thanks my dear fellow mummies, if you are reading this J). From there, I learned that actually many of them have successfully breastfed. That did give me a huge lot of confidence. It’s much better and reassuring for me to learn from these “life examples” than reading those theories from books, if you know what I mean. What’s added on and boasted my confidence about breastfeeding is through a dear old friend of mine at KL (yes, it’s you, KM, if you are reading this J), who is a very career minded woman, and not at all prepared for motherhood, but she breastfed successfully, so I thought it must be me who hasn’t tried hard enough.

Now, 19 months later, I gave birth to my lovely girl, baby Xi Yu. I told hubby I would definitely try breastfeeding again, and hubby supported me. Even my mum who was a bit worried (though she didn’t say it but I can sense it) about putting baby on total breastfeeding, she respects my decision and sees me through it.

And yes, as the title said it, I have succeeded!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On the starting point of the second round of breastfeeding, the first thing I did was to have a positive (but not overly positive) mindset. I told myself, breastfeed is doable and it’s proven by many friends and fellow mummies of mine. But on the other hand, I kept reminding myself, breastfeeding is not easy, and one has to be persistence and determined to do it. My take is I will try my best, and will not stubbornly insist on it should I fail again. I am practicing the relax attitude – if I can do it, good, give myself a pat on the back (and claim a gift from hubby, maybe J); if I can’t do it, just let it be, after all, as I said before, my son grows up wonderfully with Enfa milk, doesn’t he?

First thing that made my breastfeeding journey on the right track was that I have a very short and smooth labour this time round. It helped because I have a lot of energy reserved, so I latched on my baby within 30 min after she was born when we were still in the delivery room. Second thing is I have a cooperative baby. She latched on and sucked well from the beginning. After that I just kept latching her on, every 3 hours or so, and she seemed to suck well on it. When baby Xi Yu had to stay an extra night for phototherapy for jaundice, I took it easy, I didn’t insist of breastfeeding, we let her be fed with Enfalac and left her of the care of the nurses, while we have a good rest at home.

When baby Xi Yu finally came home, it’s actually the real starting point of the breastfeeding journey. Her reserve has started to depleted, and so she is depending fully on my breast milk. It’s actually stressful for me because of my first experience, and I still hasn’t gained my confidence. Even hubby has become more cautious, he checked on baby’s pee to make sure it’s not thickening (a sign of dehydration), and he did a good job in supporting me (without him knowing he is actually doing it), I do really appreciate it a lot. Every time she peed it’s a good news for us, as it reassures that baby has taken in some milk. On Day 5, all her meconium (baby poo from her reserve) has gone, and she started to make her own yellowish poo. That’s even a better news, telling us baby is taking in food (breast milk). And I can feel my breast is changing from time to time, empty and full, empty and full (thanks goodness no engorgement so far), signaling I am producing milk and baby is taking the milk. And when milk started to leak out from my nipple, it’s such a wonderful thing to see!

Talking about my dear fellow mummies whom I met on the forum, a huge thank you to you all! I quickly log on to the internet and posted them with tons of stupid questions about breastfeeding whenever I was in doubt. They gave me lots of good and practical advices and share their own experiences with me. That certainly helped me a great deal. I owed them a big one. It’s very precious to have this group of friends though I haven’t met a lot of them J

Now is into Day 8. Baby Xi Yu was admitted yesterday due to high jaundice. We again, take it easy. She was on Enfalac again since I haven’t stored any expressed milk. On the second day, I delivered 5 bottles of breastmilk for baby Xi Yu, and also latched her on once.

Baby Xi Yu came back home this early afternoon. I still haven’t latched her on, as she is a very sleepy baby, we still find it difficult to wake her up for her milk feed and hubby thought it’s better that we bottled feed her the expressed breast milk so that we can monitor how much milk she takes in. When she was at Thomsom the last 2 days, she has been drinking 70 – 85ml of Enfalac every 3 hourly, and that’s a very good intake for a 1 week old baby, and this certainly helped her to clear off the jaundice.

So far so good! I hope that my breastfeeding career can go on for as long as possible, but I will, again, take it easy and see how things would work out, especially after I return to work 2 months later. And I have also prepared myself that I might eventually have to do exclusive pumping eventually. Wish me luck!

To share some of the things/thoughts that I have learnt for the past week:

- When you read the books, most of them are talking about after the milk flow has kicked in. So everything seems and sounds so easy. But less info on what to do in the first few days to have the milk supply started. For this, I strongly recommend to talk to experience mummies, as many of them as possible, since every individual experiences differently, and so you want to learn for many of them, hoping that one of their method works for you. Or consult a lactation specialist if necessary, I haven’t talked to one, but according to my fellow mummies, they did help greatly.

- One has to have perseverance and determination once decided to breastfeed. It doesn’t happen naturally, it’s not like milk will automatically flow in after you give birth. A lot of hard work needed. For first time mummy, it can be very stressful for the first few days, worrying if baby has enough milk or not, until the milk finally flow in. My way of judging this – just press your nipple softly with your fingers, milk will flow out immediately when you press; if milk flow hasn’t started, you need to press very hard and there might be only a tiny drop of milk comes out, and for the latter, you need to work harder to either latch on or pump more frequently. Another way is that you can feel the change in your breast, full and empty, i.e., hard and soft, signaling milk being produced and milk being emptied by your baby.

- Baby has food reserve for about 3 days. If you milk hasn’t started to flow in after 3 days, by Day 4, consult a lactation specialist if you are serious about breastfeeding. Don’t wait and delay it any further.

- Clean your breast before you latch your baby on. Yes, baby will reject your breast if you don’t smell nice. I experienced this myself. My baby rejected my breast though she was crying hungrily for milk. I wondered why. Then I thought I have perspired a lot since it was in the afternoon, so I clean my breast with a clean wet cloth, and after that, she immediately latched on!

- Having a breast pump if very important, for the initial stage at least. Most often than not, a newborn baby is not able to suckle long enough to empty your breast, or she may not want to suckle both sides, or she just doens't wake up to be fed. Emptying both breasts is especially difficult if you have a sleepy baby, and my baby is one. After latch on, I need to pump to empty my breast. For breastfeeding, supply = demand. If you don’t empty your breast, your body won’t produce much milk. Only the breast is empty, then the hormone will send signal for your body to make milk again. My fellow mummies told me a manual/hand pump is better for initializing the milk flow. But an electric one will be very handy, especially if you need to pump more often than latch on due to whatever reason.

- To judge if baby is taking milk, the pediatricians will say monitor if your baby wet 6-8 diapers per day. When they say "wet", they really mean wet diaper, thoroughly, not just a tiny bit of urine on the diaper. We use the nappy for better monitoring. When baby latched on for the first few days, we can tell she peed, but can hardly fell the wetness. When she drinks more, the nappy was wet as in you can feel the wetness immediately when you touch the nappy, like some water has been poured onto the nappy. And monitor the colour of the urine, it should be clear, light yellowish, if the urine turns dark yellow, or pinkish, don't wait, bring him to pediatrician and start to give your baby water, as that's a clear sign of dehydration.

- Engorgement and having lumps are almost inevitable. Don't be afraid, maybe painful but it can be solved. Latch or pump to release it. I haven't tried (and hopefully don't have to) using the cold cabbage method yet, so don't know how efficient is that. Also, crack/sore nipple is almost hard to avoid in the intial stage, get a nipple cream to soothe the pain when it happens.

- Nipple confusion. That's what the books said. For my girl, no problem at all to switch her from nipple to bottle or from bottle to nipple. For medical reason (e.g., when my girl was hospitalised for jaundice, we don't hesitate to let her drink from bottle as fluid intake is crucial at that point) or for spouse involvement, it's okay, for me, to let baby drink from the bottle. My hubby was so delighted when he finally can be involved and fed his little princess a bottle of expressed milk. That's priceless for daddy, similar as direct latching for mummy.

This is what I can remember for now. Purely my personal experience. Wish all mummies have a enjoyable and fulfilling breastfeeding journey!
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Baby Xi Yu arrived to the world on the 21st August 2009

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New addition to the Kam family!!!

As most of you should have known by now the wonderful news of the arrival of baby Xi Yu. Daddy and mummy finally got times to get this blog posted.

Well, let show you some photos first (since most will be only interested in this) followed by the birth experience (usually only mummies are interested to read) :-)

Left top: The first few minutes when Xi Yu was born, after mummy initiated breastfeeding at the delivery ward

Left middle: Gorgor Hao Re met Xi Yu meimei for the very first time!

Left bottom: Baby Xi Yu sleeping soundly in her hospital bed.
Right panel: A series of photos of the Kam family and our first visitors, Uncle John and Auntie Adeline.

Baby Xi Yu at the closer look


Hao Re gorgor attempting to "play" with his meimei


Hao Re enjoying his stay at the room at Thomsom :-)

Comparing baby Xi Yu (left) and baby Hao Re (right) - Do they look alike? Yes? No? A little bit? p/s: yes, that how bad Hao Re jaundice was back then :-(

Baby Xi Yu at Day 5 at home, wide awake and making funny faces to show us


More photos will be uploaded from time to time, stay tune!

And here come the birth experience:-

Waterbag broke at 5.30am on the 21st August 2009. No sign at all the night before. It just broke. Hadn't experience any braxton hicks or contraction pain, nothing. Haven't packed the bag either. Didn't have pad, so used Hao Re's diaper to withhold the leakage, which turned out to be very effecient :-)

Arrived and admitted to the hospital at 6.30am. With Hao Re in tow. I was sent to the observation room straight away while hubby settled with the admission procedure. Put on the CTG, etc. Only dilated 1cm. No contraction, still.

Sent to Delivery Room 5 about half an hour later. Hubby sent Hao Re to childcare, and then came back to keep me accompanied.

Dr Tan came at about 8am. Had me checked. Still not dilating at all, 1cm. She decided immediately that I need to be induced. So was put on drip. The midwife was very positive, she said since it's #2, the labour time should take about half of the #1. I sincerely hoped so. Dr Tan asked if I want any form of pain relief. Well at that time (no contraction yet), I still said no to epidural. Nurse order breakfast for me (egg sandwich and milo)

Contraction kicked in slowly. Not that pain yet but just discomfort. At around 10am, after much consideration, I decided to ask for epidural. I wanted to have a enjoyable birth experience so made use of the pain relief.

After gettting epidural, I was a bit tired. Took a nap while hubby watched tv etc. Woke up at about 12noon, chatted with hubby a little. A nurse came in to check on me. 5cm dilated. Not bad. So I thought maybe another 2-3 hours to go.

Dr Tan came at 1pm. She asked if I was all right. I said yes, just wished baby can come out soon. She kept on asking if I have felt any pressure at the anal. I said yes, actually a few times already. Then she got me checked. To my surprise, she announced, baby is ready, we will get her out NOW!!! Oh gosh, never expected it to be so fast, but I was very happy.

A midwife and a nurse came in to help to get things prepare. Dr Tan was in the room busy preparing also, she didn't even leave the room until baby was out. The midwife monitored my contraction and hubby was by my side holding my hand and gave me encouragement. Push, push, push...... within about 3 contractions and 10 pushes, baby was out! That's a very smooth delivery, won't you agree? That's why I said all thanks to the wonder of epidural!!!

Hubby was sent out of the room. Dr Tan, the midwife and the nurse were busy cleaning baby and me. I was in such a good energetic stage that I chatted and made joke with Dr Tan and the midwife :-)

Baby was sent back to the room for me to initiate breastfeeding. Dr Keoy came in later to check on baby Xi Yu. Everything is well. We were then pushed to the ward, Room 308. Baby was sent to the nursery to bath and to adjust to the temperature.

And that ended the birth experience for baby Xi Yu :-)

Hao Re was at childcare and hubby went to pick him up at about 5pm for him to meet meimei. Then he was sent to one of his infant care teacher's home. This teacher was so kind to help us taking care of Hao Re for 1 night (my parents can't make it on time to Singapore). I felt absolutely ok, except that I still can't get down of the bed. The effect of epidural has over but Dr Tan advised me to rest longer on the bed till the next day. This time round didn't have any side effect of the epidural.

The next day, hubby picked up Hao Re at noon time, and Hao Re stayed with us at the hospital till I was discharged the next day. Hao Re was very good boy, didn't make noise, happily playing with whatever he can get hold of. He was curious with his meimei, but didn't know how to play with her.

I started my breastfeeding. So far so good (finger-crossed). Baby Xi Yu was doing very well too. Slept a lot. Difficult to wake her up for feeding, but guess that's normal for a newborn.

Dr Tan came in at about 9am on Sunday and confirmed that I can be discharged. But unfortunately Dr Keoy said Xi Yu's jaundice level was a bit high and has to stay 1 more night to get the light treatment.

So we went back home to have a good rest. Picked up Xi Yu the next day. My parents also arrived on Monday afternoon. So everything is on the right track.

The Kam family is with 4 members - Hao Re, Xi Yu, Baba and Mama :-)

Till I have time to write the next post. Thank you all for your best wishes :-)
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The naming of 皓日 & 淅瑜

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How and why?


One night, hubby suddenly asked if I have written about how we came up with our kids' names. I told him no, I haven't. He said I must write one as he thinks this is one of the important thing that we shouldn't have missed out. And he requested that I must write it with 充满诗意. But my dear, both of my English and Chinese are not up to that standard, I can only write it the very boring way, as per my usual style. So sorry, hubby, can't meet your request :-)

First about our dear boy, 皓日. We knew he would be born in January. That's winter time. So hubby wanted to have a word that can describe or relate to winter - cool, white snow, etc. With that in mind, I proposed a few words for hubby to choose. And at the end, we both chose 皓.

The meaning of 皓 (hào) 洁白,明亮。例子 - 皓白,皓齿, 皓首穷经,皓月当空

One can also describes the snow as 皓白的雪. So this word is just what we were looking for! Fixed with the middle name. Left with the last name. Hubby then thought we need to give some warmth to the name, so we decided on 日as the last name.

Adding to that, we bought a book that helps us to calculate the number of stroke for the word in order to pick a good name (笔划算命). Hubby was the one who came out with this idea and bought the book, and I didn't object to it, but we took it as having fun than believing in it. Besides the book helped us to get the naming game started somehow. According to the book, the best combination is to have 12 strokes for the middle name and 4 strokes for the last name. A friend of mine shared with me this a website that can also do the 笔划算命, pretty similar to what I have learnt from the book.

Now comes to our little girl. She will be born in late August/early September, and that's autumn time. Again, hubby wanted to have a word to describe this - falling leaf, rainy days, etc. Again, we used the book and decided that her middle name should be of 12 strokes while last name with 14 strokes. Among all the words we considered, we finally decided on 淅 for the middle name.

The meaning of 淅 (xī)〔淅淅〕象声词,形容轻微的风雨声,如“秋风淅淅吹我衣”. 〔淅沥〕象声词,形容雨雪声,落叶声,风声,如“霰淅淅而先集,雪纷糅而遂多”。叠用作“淅淅沥沥”,如“淅淅沥沥下起雨来”。

Isn't this word just perfect for what hubby wanted for? So it's fixed with the middle name. For the last name, since it's a girl, daddy wanted to have something that is a bit but not too feminine. Again, taking the number of strokes in mind, we decided on 瑜.

The meaning of 瑜 (yú) 玉的光泽,喻优点:瑕瑜互见。瑕不掩瑜。

Combining the 2 words together, we interpreted it as a fine and beautiful piece of jade born in the autumn (someone with better English can do a much better interpretation than this :-)).

So, right. This is how we came out with our little ones' name. It took us a while getting used to 皓日 since it's not a common name. Think it's will be the same for 淅瑜, will definitely take us a while to get used to calling her with her name :-)

If you ask, how about thier Christian/English name? We are Buddhist, and so we have no intention to give them a Christian name. So their English name is Hao Re and Xi Yu, directly translated from the Chinese :-)
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Fruits lover

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Hao Re never has enough of fruits

We bought quite some different variety of fruits these 2 days. So Hao Re gets to eat super healthy snack, i.e., fruits, in the evening when we reach home.

For today, he first has 1 large piece of watermelon (not very sweet, but okay), followed by a few raspberries (first time having this, not very interested), then 1 banana (small-ish) and another type of new (expensive) fruit, the Mango-nectarine (not very nice, more like nectarine with a tiny bit of mango taste). He enjoyed it all! We have some other types of fruit in the fridge waiting for him to sample tomorrow :-)

He didn't like watermelon when he was younger, but now, he can finish 1 whole big piece. Same as banana, he didn't want to take his 2nd bite just last week, but today he finished the whole banana. So lesson learnt was that we have to continue offering him different type of fruits (and food), regardless of if he likes it previously or not. His tastebud changes often, and so it's important not to make the assumption that he doesn't like certain fruit/food, not at this age anyway - I have to keep reminding myself.

He was super excited to see the big watermelon. Initially trying to carry it but failed, and so later keep asking us to "cut".......


Like daddy like son! My 2 men enjoying the Mango-Nectarine. Do you think Hao Re STILL looks like daddy, or not?!!


These are back-dated photos. Taken yesterday at the CCK park. Hao Re kept running up the slope, climbed across a few steps, and then slided down the slide, all by himself, and he did it pretty rough. Repeated many times, until the last time he almost fell, and so hubby has to end it by pulling him away from the play area (of course he was not happy, but well.......)
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36 weeks and 5 days

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Another 23 days to EDD......

Left Hao Re with his teachers and friends and the childcare, while me and hubby went to Thomsom for the rountine checkup. It's an hour wait, which was considered okay. We had our breakfast at Thomsom also so making the wait felt shorter.

Today have my blood tested again for the hemoglobin level. Luckily it has now reached to the normal level of >11 (don't remember the unit). A month ago it's slightly lower at 10.8. All thanks to the iron pills that I have been faithfully taking everyday.

Today Dr Tan has also done the Strep B culture test for me to check for any possible infection. Of course there was also the routine scanning. Baby Xi Yu is at reasonably good size at 2.8kg. Baby is at right head-down position. Saw her heartbeat and she moved a bit when Dr was doing the scanning. But it's sad that Dr Tan didn't ask hubby to come to join us duing the scan. She always do, except today, maybe it's a hectic day for her? Dr Tan asked me to monitor baby movement, which should be at least 10 times for a strech of 10 hours. I told her baby still moves pretty regularly but it's gentler than a couple of weeks before. As long as baby moves, it's okay. From now on, the frequency of routine checkup will be once every week till I pop! If baby girl really follows her big brother (born at 37.5 weeks) or even earlier, then it's only a matter of 1 week time...... That's why I keep telling people now - ANYTIME FROM NOW!!!

Hubby went back to office for a short while checking on something. We then went to Chinatown to enjoy the delicious yam paste and other "tang shui". Then, needless to say, we headed to get durians at 717 Highland Centre, again. Not many durians, but hubby still managed to get 2 (which turned out to be pretty dissappointed :-().

After picking up Hao Re from school, we stayed at home the whole day, except went out for dinner at the nearby coffee shop. Hao Re already took his nap at school, so we can't nap with him. Ended we took turns to take a nap, which was nice :-)

Oh yes, Hao Re starts to talk more and more and clearer and clearer. He can now repeat almost anything that we say. And he also remembers quite a lot of words. Think I should note down the first sentence that he can say now is 爸爸一个,妈妈一个,皓皓一个...... guess why he comes out with these sentences? Because we taught him to sing this - 排排坐,吃果果(which he can also say pretty well), and then he continues with pointing to daddy and says 爸爸一个, then pointing to mummy and says 妈妈一个 and to himself and says 皓皓一个. Just now during dinner time, we asked him how about 妹妹。This funny little man actually lifted up my shirt, pointing to my tummy and says 妹妹一个.
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Singapore farm visit

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On the Singapore National Day

A colleugue of hubby highly recommended the D'Kranji Fram Resort, he said his children spent a great time there. So hubby said we should go and take a look since it's not too far away from us.

Well, what should I say........ pretty dissppointed :-( Maybe because we grew up in "kampung" so it doesn't appeal to be a good place for us? Anyway, walked around the place for a while. And Hao Re was happy because he has the ice lollie for the very first time, and he liked it, it was for mummy, but mummy only has the chance to have a few sucks, and the rest all went to Hao Re. Really nothing much to see, though it's good to have some fresh air. But daddy still managed to capture some pretty good photos to show:

The Kam family at the D'Kranji Farm Resort


Just next to this Farm Resort, there is another farm - Bollywood Poison Ivy (if I remembered the name correctly). Well, we thought might as well stopped by, since we don't think we will come back to visit again. A farm is a farm, still didn't exict us in any way. Hao Re did enjoy running around quite a bit. Bought a banana cake made by the farm, and that's delicious!

On our way back, stopped by at the fresh vegetable market at one of the farms at Sungei Tengah (we have been there a few times), and got some vegetables for today and the following week. Hao Re enjoyed "talking" the the birds on display.

Arrived home, quickly fixed the lunch. Hao Re was a bit playful on the dinning table and didn't eat well. So after we finished our lunch, I have to switch on the cartoon, let him watch tv and fed him the lunch. He starts to like meat more than vegetables...... it's not a bad thing, but we must put extra effort to let him continue to liking the vegetables. After lunch, he was very active and happy, shouting, laughing and running around playing with him. Let him play for like 30min or so, then I let him take his nap (way passed his usual nap time already). As expected, he was very tired already, though initially refused to sleep, but managed to coax him to sleep in a short 5min.

After finished writing this, it's time for me to nap also (daddy went to join Hao Re already).

Ta ta!!! No plan for this evening and tomorrow yet. If we do, will keep posted :-)

Happy National Day to all my dear Singaporean friends!!!
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My brave and smart Hao Re :-)

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So proud of my boy!!!

Today (Friday) is another special day that mummy got to bond with Hao Re boy exclusively. Daddy went to work as usual, and mummy and Hao Re stayed at home (his school closed for spring cleaning). Since there was nothing planned, and he was up for the 5-in-1 and Hepatitis A jabs, we went to Dr Keoy's clinic at the Thomsom.

Waited for about an hour, which was normal. Hao Re received his 2 jabs in seconds, and he didn't cry at all, and this made mummy PROUD!!! Dr Keoy then asked a few questions for monitoring Hao Re's development. Everything is well. When we left the room, Hao Re said "Thank Q" to Dr Keoy, how sweet :-)

Went home, feeling a bit tired. Apparently that little boy was even more tired than I was. Had his milk, and knocked off straight away, and slept for 3+ hours! I took a short nap too, until my stomach woke me up for lunch.

The rest of the day was playing with him. He loves puzzles (for now, anyway). See the 2 videos below when he was playing with his animal puzzles. Honestly, we don't know how he could figure out which animal to be put in which slot? But he can do it well and fast, regardless of if I speak in English or Mandarin, and in whatever sequences I give him the animals. He just knows it, and this is mummy very PROUD also (shouldn't I?) :-)

Take 1 - in English
video

Take 2 - in Mandarin
video

Daddy reached home at about 7.30pm, and helped to shower and prepare Hao Re for his bedtime. Later hubby told me he has got something urgent to settle, so need to go to work tomorrow for at least half a day if not longer. Oh well, look like it's going to be another bonding day for mummy and Hao Re again. Am okay with it, just afraid that I might be too tired. It's ok, don't think too much, just take things easily and hope hubby can finish his work asap and come back home to accompany us.

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Our 19 months old toddler

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It's time for the monthly update

Hao Re now weighs very close to 13.0kg!

Last month was indeed a good month for me. Hao Re was back to the independant self, less sticky on me, separation anxiety seemed to be disappeared, didn't fall sick at all, eat well, sleep well, everything just nice. I enjoyed the time with him very much. Hope this month will continue to be this good (I need it this month, since very possible baby Xi Yu will arrive to the world this month).

The next thing I must update is on his language skill - our dear Hao Re can finally talk! He is able to repeat whatever we said or asked him to say, some words accurately, some not, depending on the how difficult to pronounce the words, but at least he knows and is willing to repeat after us, and so I can gladly announce that we have a talking toddler now! He is more bubbly when at home, and not so willing to talk when we are out, even at school, he is more reserve, probably still shy since all his classmates can talk better than him?

Examples of new words that he can say pretty accurately- Thank Q, 谢谢, 早安, 公公, 妹妹, baby, star, No, 包包 (=面包), etc etc, in addition to those he has been talking for long - 爸爸, 妈妈, turtle, duck, etc. He calls himself 皓皓, not able to say 皓日. This morning he surprised us to repeat after us "aligator", that's a 4-syllabus word, though not clearly, but very close, very impressive! He is also learning to count, in Mandarin, he can manage 1, 2, 5 better than 3 and 4. Talking is another interesting stage of the growing up of a toddler. We don't particularly stick to 1 language, it's still a bit "rojak", though we speak to him mainly (99%) in Mandarin, but we still teach him words in English, since he has many books in English, and sometimes just thought of telling him the English words than Chinese (for no particular reason, whatever comes to our mind).

Also accompanied with the development in his language skill, he learns how to sing, and he LOVES music and movement! It's the same observation we have at home and at school by his teachers. He can follow the songs and try to sing and dance to the music. It's absolutely cute! See the video clip below.

Hao Re singing while playing with his music instrument!
video

Other than the speech development, I monitor his other development according to the information on the parentingweekly website:

By month 19

Most toddlers are able to:
- run well - yes, Hao Re can run pretty well since 1-2 months back
- string words together to make phrases - no, not yet, just start to learn talking
- feed self with spoon or fork - yes, pretty good with this
- brush teeth with help - not quite successful yet, but we are desperate to get him like brushing as he has bad breath!
- throw a ball underhand - yes
- “help” with household chores - yes, he loves it, especially sweeping and mopping the floor, and vacumming
Some toddlers are able to:
- say up to 50 words - No, not quite near there, maybe about 20-30 now (well, not bad ya, half way through already)
- form recognizable sentences (two or three words) - no, long way to achieve this
- understand up to 200 words - not sure, maybe not as many as 200 words, but he certainly understands us pretty well
- know when something is incorrect (calling an apple a banana) - yes, to some extend
- take clothes off - no, still need help, but he knows when to lift up his hands/legs

A few toddlers are able to:
- show signs of bladder control - no, we haven't started with this
- brush teeth and wash hands with help - learning
- draw circles and lines - in a messy way, does that count?
- name several parts of his or her body - next thing to teach him. He can recognise almost all parts of his body, but not name.

Some other "advance" skills that he has already managed:

By month 20-22
- imitate new actions (throwing garbage away) - he knows and likes to throw garbage for us
- walk up stairs - no problem at all
- enjoy helping around the house - as above
- start setting small goals (putting a toy in a certain place) - he helps to put toys back to the shelf, especially like to show off this when he is at school
- make structures out of toys or blocks - he starts to make structures with blocks and plays imaginitively
- stack six blocks at a time - oh yes, a lot more than 6 blocks, maybe >20 blocks
- name simple pictures in a book - yes, since he loves books
- walk down stairs with some help - yes, sometimes even without help, but we must watch him carefully
- open and close doors - yes, likes to open and close the wardrobe and soon will be the doors when he is tall enough to reach
- kick a ball forward - oh yes, can do that pretty well already since months ago
- imitate behavior of others - yes, like to follow what we do
- do simple puzzles - yes, just started. Very good with the animal puzzle, wonder if he does the puzzle based on his pictorial memory or looking at the shape or what?
- sing simple songs - yes, his favourite song now is 世上只有妈妈好. He can follow the tune and sing to some of the words accurately, esp 妈妈好

I think I am seriously "addicted" to my dear boy. I couldn't get enough of him. Everything he does looks so cute and funny and interesting to me. Hubby said so too, that I am a bit over-crazy on Hao Re. But honestly, he is really really really a very good boy, I love him to bits!!!

I am just too proud to be his mummy, and I think I should :-)
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A long weekend!

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Lots of stories to tell you about........

Friday
Hubby took leave and I was on mc, as we went to TMC for the routine checkup. Hao Re was sent to the childcare as usual. So today was dedicated for baby Xi Yu (okay, I confess, actually it's more for ourselves :-))

I felt like having a nice English breakfast today. After google-ing, found this Rider Cafe and the Saddle Club off Eng Neo Avenue. Went there for our breakfast after sending Hao Re to his school. It's nice! The food is pretty good with nice greenary surrounding the Cafe. And I couldn't resist to order a cup of decaffeinated coffee (somehow not right not to have coffee to go with my breakfast).

After the hearty-warmy breakfast, we went to Dr WK Tan clinic. Our appointment was actually at 12noon as they said morning slots were too heavily booked, but we still tried our luck and arrived there at about 10am. Surprisingly only needed to wait for about 10-15 min, and it was not crowded at all (how come they kept saying it's heavily booked?).

Anyway, Dr Tan did a scan for our baby as usual. Baby is at 34-35th week, weighing 2.5kg. Dr Tan said she won't have space to turn her position anymore, if she does, then she must be a super-duper-hyper-active baby :-) Everything is well, except that I have gained 2kg in 2 weeks time! And Dr Tan said I have pretty bad water retention on my face (not on my feet or hands though). My blood pressure was still perfect so there was no concern. Just need to cut down on salt intake. Recently have been eating too much outside food, since I have almost stopped cooking and that's where I got higher salt intake. So no choice I have to cook again, will try simple dishes.

Left Dr Tan clinic. And it's still more than half of the day belongs to just the 2 of us! Wanted to watch a movie, but finally decide against it. We went around to have some food, and finally bought 3 durians from 717 (yes, again!) before heading home. After feasting the durians, I took a nice, peaceful nap for about 2 hours! Then it's time to pick up our little prince. Hubby was sick of the outside food also, so I cook simple peanut+minced pork porridge for our dinner, and we enjoyed it very much, and so did Hao Re, he loves chewing on the peanut :-)

Saturday
It turned out to be a busier day than we have planned!

Morning - it's another visit to the Singapore Zoo. This time round we focused on the African track. Not a very good one, as most of the animals (lion, leopard, etc) were either sleeping or hiding under the shed as usual. Difficult to point to Hao Re where the animals are, so not much excitement for him. Though he enjoyed walking/running around.

But there was 1 excitement - we were at the giraffe display when it's their feeding time! So we queued up and fed the giraffe! The giraffes are so lovely, I think they are very beautiful animals. Hao Re didn't scare of the big animal at all, he fed them with carrot and raddish sticks happily. And giraffe does have a very long tougue (a bit yucky, to be honest).



After that, we visited the Fragile Forest for a short while. It's a good place for Hao Re to get close to those animals that he is familiar with, like duck and chicken.

Hao Re didn't sleep well the night before, waking up a few times and kept scratching his body. Could it be another round of eczema coming out? Anyway, he looked very tired already so we proceeded to the Big Splash area. Surprisingly he only wanted to play for a short while and demanded to leave the waterplay area. Think he was really really tired. So we called it a day, and left the Zoo at about noon time.

Needless to say, Hao Re knocked off when we reached after a milk feed. And soon me and hubby also knocked off after having our lunch.

Well, after a nice afternoon nap, all 3 of us were full of energy again! So we decided to go to West Coast Park (not in the initial plan). This time round, we remembered (for the very first time) to bring a ball with us. But then, we forgot our camera, duh! It's such a nice outing at the West Coast Park! This time round, we didn't let Hao Re play with the sand. But let him run on the big field. He was very interested seeing kites flying up in the sky. After hubby finished his jogging, we play the ball with Hao Re.

It's amazed that such a simple thing made him laughed sooooo much - we just threw the ball around and he laughed at each throw! Well, of course we have to be a bit creative, sometimes use of hands, sometimes our feet, and sometimes our head, and sometimes pretend can't catch the ball, sometimes threw the ball high up in the sky, etc. He laughed so much!!! It's a shame that we didn't bring the camera to capture this precious moment.

We spent quite somet time there and then headed to Sushi Tei at the West Coast Plaza for our dinner. Gosh, this little boy ate so much, think he was very hungry and this was his first proper solid meal for the day (yes, this lazy mum to be blamed!). We were glad that he enjoyed the food as much as we did. Went home and he knocked off at the usual 9pm.

Sunday

Today's event only started at 6pm. For the morning and afternoon, we spent the whole day at home. Mummy prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner (daddy was against outside food after Dr Tan said I have water retention). The little fella was happy playing at home, and climbing up and down the chair and sofa.

One funny thing to note was that after feeding him his lunch, we let him watch tv so that we can have our lunch. He looked a bit tired as it's his usual nap time. We checked on him every few minutes and his eyes was closing bit by bit. Just when we finished our lunch, and before doing the cleaning up, we checked on him the last time, and found that he has fell ASLEEP, in the sitting position!!! So cute! I was too quick to carry him, and forgot to take a photo :-) And he napped for 2.5 hours. Left us with a quiet afternoon to spend (but soon daddy dozed off also). Mummy was busy preparing fried rice for today event - picnic at the Botanical Garden, with the outdoor Chinese Orchestra and meet up with some friends and kids!!!

Arrived at the Botanical Garden at 5.30pm. Our friends and thier kids were already there, we were the last family to arrive. These group of friends are mummy's online friend, it's the first time mummy makes friends online, and they are all very nice people, and we all have a common interest - being a mum and caring for our babies :-P

The kids were happy to play with each other, though it took them some times to warm up. Hao Re was the one who warmed up fast. Thanks to mummy who shared the fruits with Hao Re. I didn't prepare anything that we can share (bad!), only brought fried rice for ourselves (selfish!). The concert ran for about 1 hour, and it's a really nice and relaxing evening. Soon after the event ended, we said goodbye to each other as the day was getting dark. Should arrange for more meet up with fellow mummies again!



Again, hubby won't miss the chance to grab some durians from the Dempsey carpark stall (which was pretty famous too). Hao Re demanded for milk, but not able to fall asleep during the car ride. He has a nice bath and that woke him up a bit. He then stayed active for a little later than usual, but I managed to put him to sleep at 9.30pm.

Busy but very nice weekend!
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