Saturday, August 26, 2006

Miss Gab and Daddy So Much

I am in Sydney for training right now and it has been a week since I left two most important people in KL. Being weekend right now makes me miss my family even more. It just dawned on me that I am so blessed with a loving husband and wonderful son. What more can I ask for.

I did take the opportunity to visit Featherdale Wildlife Sanctuary and The Rocks flea market, however I would have enjoyed the trip more if Daddy and Gab are with me. I keep thinking to myself how nice if they are here right now and we can do this and that. Featherdale is really great for kids and I can really imagine how 'crazy' Gab will go running about and chasing the animals. I gave Sydney Aquarium a miss because I rather go there with them next time.

Daddy is really great and I am very lucky to have a hands-on husband. The babysitter had her reservation that Daddy could not take care of Gab and offered to take care of him. I was also afraid that Daddy cannot handle stuffs that was usually done by me like cooking and bathing (not because he doesn't want to but because I insist on doing it ;p).

Gab is getting older and it seems that he prefers home more when it comes to sleeping. Like the few occasions when we had family gatherings at Simon's place, he sleeps very lightly and would be awaked when I carried him to the car. And not to mention his excitement when we got back from Phuket. So I really appreciates Daddy for taking care of him and alone. Not a lot of fathers do that and I am so proud of Thomas.

I am counting down the days when I will be back home again. I can't wait to be with my family again. I love you guys.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Mother's Love

Other than God's love for us, mother's love is the best thing given to us.

Do you appreciate your mum's love? Give her a call or a hug today.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Many Stones For A Toddler

It's been very long since we updated this place with our little boy's development and news.

1. Walking - Gab has progressed from "The Mummy" style of walking, i.e. with arms stretched outward or forward, to brisk walking with arms nearly by his sides, squatting, stepping on objects on the floor with one foot, and even dancing! Since he loves going out, now he listens to us obediently when we tell him to wait or sit down by the doorway and wait for his shoes to be worn. Gab occasionally turns to back up on a wall and just stand there, very cute!

2. Dance - He can alternate tapping of his feet whenever he hears music being played, much like how a footballer practises his footing. I guess he learnt to clap, swing his torso and dance on his feet by watching children's songs on TV at the babysitter's.

3. Spoken words - "dog" being his most frequently spoken word, Gab seems to use it to describe many other non-dog objects. He learnt to speak "giraffe" and "egg" immediately after I repeat the words a few times and show the flash cards simultaneously. He can say "mama" and "OK" very well and for the right moment. My boy can make the sound of the cat when he sees the flash card.

4. Hand grab sign - Not to be confused with "milk", he repeatedly opens and closes his outstretched hand and looks at you, and this means that he wants your attention or to come to him.

5. Use fingers for small objects - Gabriel is able to use his first finger to push buttons (alarms, switches), poke and mangle food and fruits, and pick up things on the floor. Can use two fingers to pick food and feed himself.

6. Constructive toys - I have been exposing Gabriel to constructive toys that gets his logic going, such as Lego and shape sorters. Other building blocks just won't do, Lego really has the quality and precision. He can pick up one block, position on top of another block, and tap it in.

7. Brush teeth - This activity is one of his top favourites. Whenever possible in the morning or before bedtime, he will walk to the washroom doorway, sit on a stool and wait for his toddler toothbrush. He would grab the toothbrush, put it into his mouth and mimic us brushing. This is one of the several examples of how he is actively imitating what he sees. The brushing would last for a few minutes and when it comes to rinsing his mouth, he would take a mouthful of water and swallow, dribble, and spit.

8. Real car driving - Gab has changed from standing on his feet to handle the family car wheel to sitting on the seat. Another example of him observing what the adults do and follow them.

9. Feed himself - He loves coming up to me and watch me eat. Given a spoon, he would try to pick up food from the bowl and put it into his mouth. On the first time that I ask him to feed me, he directed the spoon to my mouth very well. He has learnt not to grab at food dishes and bowls, unless it is very interesting.

10. Understands negativity - When Gabriel is about to and has done something wrong, we would scold him and often use "no". We also follow this up with showing love by praise, distraction, reasoning, and giving him alternatives. There was a case at my in laws' place where after we warned him not to touch some dangerous objects, one of his uncles repeatedly warned him and said "no" and "beat beat" too many times. He eventually turned visibly fearful and embarrassed, which we do not believe that it is healthy.

11. Playground slides - At his home playhouse, Gabriel managed to sit on top of the slide prior to going down instead of lying on his tummy to go down. By the way, Step2 is the ultimate playhouse vendor.

12. Climb stairs - He walks up and down stairs like adults, i.e. one foot for each step, but he requires an adult to hold both his arms.

13. Less preference for semi solids - Gabriel's taste buds have changed to favour solid foods such as noodles and rice instead of porridge.

14. Music - He has recently started to take a liking to playing the organ. Combined with his dancing, he is able to play music and dance at the same time!

Mummy has gone to work overseas for almost two weeks since last Sunday morning. Throughout that day Gabriel was quite normal, but he did look slightly anxious in the evening, possibly wondering why he hasn't seen Mummy the whole day and cried slightly more during his night sleep. Compared to the previous 4-day trip when both of us were not with him, I think he is doing better as I'm still around to talk, play and go out with him. I frequently explained to him that Mummy has gone away to work and will be back soon. Fortunately we use Skype for video calls and Gabriel was able to see and hear Mummy full screen. He seemed contented and assured that Mummy is still reachable.

The webcams that I bought for the calls are cheap (RM35), small and sturdy. The best part is that they have infrared capability. Maybe I can set up such cameras (especially wireless network type) as a baby monitor and surveillance points.

Mummy now knows how it feels to be leaving Gabriel behind to go overseas, and it is slightly worse than the parent staying behind. I myself also understand how helpless and burdened to be the only one to take care of him. Fortunately this time we have a maid to help out in the housework while I spend time with Gabriel, unfortunate for Mummy that her trip is the longest. Imagine having to handle two kids, or even four (like my mum)! Most likely when the next time we fly, especially for leisure, we will bring the little boy along. It doesn't matter if he will remember the trips, we want him to feel the experience of travel and family bonding, consciously or subconsciously.

In every family, it is very important to be together and to support one another.

We plan to go to Midvalley Megamall this weekend to see Winnie the Pooh and friends. I think this dude are one of the few characters that are safe for toddlers to relate to, although he does have a gender/name mismatch. Other toy/cartoon characters which I feel are OK are: Bob the Builder, Dora the Explorer, and Sesame Street. Our plan is to allow his to watch TV only from the age of two. My personal favourites are slightly more adult though, like Joe Cartoon and Itchy and Scratchy.

Note to self: more topics to describe: 1. won photo competition in magazine, 2. list of favourites (flash cards, shoes), 3. eczema and cough symptoms and remedies, 4. behaviour with maid.

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