Saturday, December 29, 2007
Well, this morning, I woke up to find out that my son had 'left something behind' too.
We were at The Gardens yesterday. Mid-morning to early afternoon - spent a good 3 hours and a bit there. First visit there for all 3 of us. Must say, I liked it. Much much quieter than the chaos that is KLCC and even OU during the weekends.
This morning, Big Z came to wake me up in an almost urgent but still sleepy tone. "Wake up, Mummy ... I need to mandi now". First thing I thought was ... oh dear ... please please don't tell me you wet your bed. He didn't. So yey. He had already stripped himself and was waiting in the shower cubicle by the time I waddled my way to the bathroom. With eyes still sepet and voice still serak (signs of not being fully awake himself just yet), I gave him his shower. And asked why the rush this morning. It was barely 7:30, and on a Sunday, no less. He replied, "we need to go now ...". Where?? "We need to go to the mall ... Gardens, Mummy". It was too hilarious as there he was, practically forcing his eyes to open wide and stand properly in the shower, but he clearly had bright-and-early plans to hit the mall again this morning. When I asked why we have to go there again today, why the urgency, his reply (as with most of his other replies) was very honest and adamant. His reply, "... becaussseeee..... I left them behind, Mummy. I left the shops behind yesterday. See ... now we need to go Gardens again". *LOL*
There you go! Did it ever occur to you that one could leave shops behind? Almost like we forgot to pack them shops with us when we left the mall yesterday! Haha ...
We aren't making the trip there again today, by the way. We've lunch plans with my parents instead. Let's hope we won't leave any favourite food or something behind today, or tomorrow may see him telling me we need to go back to the restaurant again.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Big Z's story. Once again, yes.
He was in one of his affectionate moods earlier. Hugged and kissed me (the Daddy says to always embrace it all now coz he may just decide he's too much of a man to be hugging and kissing the Mummy once he hits the 7th yr! haha) and then cupped my face and commented on my mole. The one right above my mouth.
Immediately he had to check how he'd match his Mummy. Checked his face for moles he did! He has none on his face, by the way. Wasn't satisfied, so resorted to lifting his shirt up in search of that missing mole. While lifting the shirt up, said "ey ... where is it? where's it gone now?? ... mole's not behaving himself .. it's hiding, Mummy". *LOL*
I was amused. He wasn't quite as amused. Took it pretty seriously. Was finally comforted when he spotted a mole on his tummy. It's not as big and prominent as mine, but that'll do for now. It certainly made his day alright. "There! I found it. There's my mole". And then walked away a happy chap. :-)
On that note, a good weekend to all!
"Mandarin one ... Mandarin two ... Mandarin three ... Mandarin four ..."
Both Mummy and the Big Z were laughing in hysterics for a good 3 to 5 minutes. :-)
Those interested in learning the said-language, I'm guessing you should continue the progression mentioned above. It'll continue as "Mandarin five ... Mandarin six ... and so on". You get the picture, yea? ;-)
But just between you and me, I'd strongly suggest you learn the language thoroughly and correctly, and NOT the way that Big Z has; plenty of sense of humour, zilch in the actual accuray of the language.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
(a) there's still some significant amount of room
(b) someone's proving to be a very active and restless little one
Had my check-up this morning. 2 weeks ago, Baby Z seemed to be on her way down the birth canal, with head already downwards, but not engaged. Today, it's the complete opposite, with head up against my ribs (right side) and legs curled up towards the bottom left of me tummy. At the sight of this, Dr G classified this as a true breech position, but he's not alarming me as upon further check, there are no signs of me going into early labour. Which means, technically, there should be sufficient time for her to turn herself back around. Unless she's pretty small, with still much space in the uterus to somersault every other day or so ... then a breech birth may be in store for me. Eeeek! For now, she weighs 1.8kg, which is apparently a normal weight for this stage of the pregnancy - 33 weeks plus.
On the homefront, I've completed personalized paintings for her lil corner, welcomed in more newbies in the origami paper crane population, got her crib, baby carrier-cum-carseat, stroller, a pack of newborn short onesies and a pack of newborn full-bodysuits. My mum's telling me to start packing my bag for the hospital stay, but packing it now-ish makes me feel like I'll be checking in for my labour stay in the next couple of weeks. I wouldn't want to go into labour so soon. Not just yet. So, the hospital bag packing is still a pending bit of work I would need to get to in due time.
The title at the top of this entry refers to one last Galaxy bar I've got left to indulge in. That'll be my sinful craving at the moment, yes. Tsk tsk tsk . . .
Sunday, December 23, 2007
:: in the car, myself and The Daddy were talking, music wasn't exactly soft, so our voices weren't exactly on the low volume either, Big Z was trying to 'read' his book ::
Big Z: ey Mummy .... can you please talk softly? i can't son-ken-trate!
note: son-ken-trate = concentrate
:: on the sofabed, lying down next to me, kissing my belly ::
Big Z: when Baby Adik comes, you go to your doctor ... and you're not scared anymore Mummy ... yes? you're not scared anymore ... doctor checks your baby, and then I wait for you at Atok's house, yes? that's a good idea, yes?
note: a lot of 'yes' at the end of his sentences, almost to clarify things and give himself the peace of mind on things to come :-)
:: on noticing my belly button is now an 'outie' and not an 'innie' anymore ::
Big Z: why's the baby so fat, Mummy? she push your button out already!! ... (shakes head and says) why ... why ...?
note: yup, my belly button's no longer the deep valley that it used to be .. it's so sticking out there, pretty much has a head-start compared to the rest of my body now! not a pretty sight, i tell ya. but, all part and parcel of being pregnant, right? heavily pregnant, no less!
Oh, on a separate note, I'm starting to think that Big Z could be ambidextrous.
I did observe a while back how he'd swap his spoon from one hand to the other when eating, just as he'd swap his pen or crayon from one hand to the other when writing. But this was some time back, when he was about a year plus, so I didn't think much of it - citing it as just a toddler perfecting his motor skills. But recently, some weeks back, I watched him write his name and only after he'd finished writing it, did I notice he was using his left hand. More often, I see him using his right hand. What was even more surprising, was the fact that his name had never looked so neat as that left-hand's crafty job. Maybe he should use his left hand more when writing and painting then ... it may produce neater pieces of work.
So yea, whadya think? Big Z an ambidextrous maybe?
Both The Daddy and myself are righties. But, my dad is ambidextrous and my brother's a lefty. It could be possible then that Big Z's taking after my dad, yes?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
If all goes well, the whole labour and delivery ordeal would be no more than 5 hours long. That was the experience I had with Big Z. So, any longer than 5 hours, I can't possibly say "I've been there, done that", can I now? Which means, any longer than 5 hours, I'd be a tad bit freaked out.
Maybe I'd write a bit now on my labour and birth story with Big Z.
My due date was the 20th August 2003. On the 19th, I had my scheduled routine check-up. Went in and found out I was already 2cm dialated. Gynae asked if I felt any pain, any contractions, anything different from the norm the previous night. Nope. Didn't feel anything different. He told me I must have a pretty high threshold of pain. So, I was to come in the next morning at 7am, get myself admitted, settle in my room, and then at 8am, my gyane will come check on my progress. That morning, at 8am, he walked in and checked - I was 4cm dialated. Once again, I hadn't felt anything. At about 8:40am, he broke my waterbag. Contractions will speed up once the waterbag's broken, that's the way it goes, right? So, at 9:15am, I was wheeled into the labour ward. Very anxious and excited by now. But still, didnt' feel anything. No pain. Got in the labour ward, and only as I was changing into the hospital gown did the pain suddenly (and finally!) hit me. Jabbing pain it was. It was like being attacked on all sides of your abdomen. With hospital gown on now, I parked myself on the bed and soon, the gynae and nurses came in. My epidural was ordered immediately. But, ticklish me, made it all a wee bit trickier for the anaesthesist to put the epidural in me, as the needle kept tickling me. It took a while longer than necessary (according to him and the nurses). But once in, the epidural worked wonders. Prior to it settling in me and doing its thing in my system, I did feel the contractions - its strong, sharp pain. It's a good thing then that I'm such a ticklish person by nature, as at least, I can say I did feel the physical pain that is labour contractions, and not just immediately resort to painkillers. ;-)
Epidural in and working, I didn't feel any pain anymore. It was just mostly this cold and very-soon-after shivering sensation which I felt the rest of the labour time. Of course, there was the extreme drowsiness too. I slept a good 2 hours or so. I woke up, and was in my chirpiest of mood, very happy indeed, no pain, and basically, no sense of touch at all. Told me to wriggle my toes, I did (or so I thought i did .. nothing moved). Told me to stretch my legs out front, again, I'm certain I did, but in truth, I pretty much folded my right leg in half backwards. Yes, it was an odd sight indeed, but it kept the nurses amused, which in turn left them real sweet and helpful to me throughout the labour. At exactly noon, I was 8cm dialated. By now, I was dozing on and off, but knowing that it was already 8cm, it shouldn't take much longer. At 1pm, I was fully dialated. All of 10cm. The nurses paged for my gyane, who was at the time in some lunch talk, so they were a bit panicky as they could not locate him at first. He finally came up just before 1:15pm (not a long wait, but I suppose at the time, everyone panics! heheh), and I was told to start pushing at 1:15pm. Pushed and pushed I did. Nothing! Yup. The epidural was so strong, I just couldn't feel anything. What I thought was 'push', was in fact just me adjusting my posture. Haha. The nurses had to physically push me down then, just the first couple of times, and then I got the hang of it. Two more pushes, and Big Z was out. All 3.44kg and 51cm of him. At 1:36pm. On Wednesday, the 20th August 2003. He really did come out on his due date. Punctuality at its best here. Hehe.
It's not such a bad birth story then, right? Just over 4 hours in the labour ward. 9am to 1:36pm. So yes, I'm very much hoping and praying for an equally smooth and 'easy' labour and birth with Baby Z now.
My check-up with the gynae yesterday went well. He said baby's growing normally, statistics are all fine and healthy, with a note that Baby Z could possibly be on the big side, hence the aches I'm having now in my lower pelvic area. Baby Z has moved down, ie: head is down, but not enaged yet. Had a peek at her face - very round indeed. I can't help but wonder if she'll inherit my curly hair. I had incredibly curly noodle-y hair as a baby and toddler, but over the years, it kinda sorted itself out to my now-naturally-wavy hair. Something also tells me she'll be tall, after the Daddy. But we shall wait and see. All part of the suspense and surprise of meeting baby for the first time. :-) Gynae pointed out that I'll most likely have a similar sort of labour and birth experience this time round, and even possibly a shorter one (labour time). Seriously?? Well, I sure hope he's right. :-) But I've already speicified and reminded him that I'd like that lil thing called the epidural at hand, in the event I'm all crying and aching in pain. I'm not one of them ninja all au naturel moms - go through it all with NO painkillers at all. No no. Not me. I'll pay extra for comfort and convenience. Epidural it shall be.
8 weeks to go then. As I'm typing this out, I've now a cot in our room, about 4 tops and 1 pants for Baby Z. And that's about it really. We haven't bought her anything yet. The clothes were gifts and the cot's a hand-me-down. I'm now thinking this weekend could be a good time to start going out looking for baby things - namely the baby carrier, the stroller, changing mat and a bathtub. But knowing me, I'll just end up looking, and not buying just yet.
Meanwhile, I've more things to tidy up around the house, not just to make space for new resident at home, but so too to keep me sane and not be drowning in the masses of papers and books and magazines and trains (that'll be Big Z's story) that have taken over the house!
Oh, and just in case you're wondering how I look like now, imagine a penguin or a duck (whichever takes your fancy more). I'm just like them now. Waddling I do so frighteningly well, and walking I have almost forgotten how to! *LOL*
Thursday, December 6, 2007
:: don't be fooled by the photo - am barely managing it all ::
Monday, December 3, 2007
Big Z was just lying down on the bed, mainly talking to himself. And then he wanted to know the equivalent of some Malay words in English.
Started of very promisingly with the Malay word 'ayam'. To which he confidently shouted out 'chicken' as the English equivalent. Yes, very good. And then it pretty much ended there - all promises of a good thing. I offered the next word, 'nasi', to which he enthusiastically offered the word 'goreng'. *LOL*
I couldn't help but laugh, and told him that 'nasi' is rice and that 'goreng' means fried in English. So, after chicken and rice (incidentally, a combination of the two calls for a pretty yummy treat .. hehe), it basically went down hill ...
'gajah' - his reply was "hey ... this is too difficult, Mummy"
'bunga' - his reply was "err ... I don't know laaa"
That sums up Big Z's sense of humour at 4 years old. I'd rather think he was just being super-cheeky and plain lazy really, as opposed to thinking he hasn't quite grasped the 2 languages. Separately, he knows these words and what they mean in each language, but when asked to give the equivalent word in the other language, well, a right answer we do not get.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
But this entry is about another Z. That's right. Baby Z.
The moves that are going on in me these days are happening so often and somewhat rough too. My tummy moves in all direction, I'm pretty convinced Baby Z's an even more active baby than Big Z ever was in my tummy all those 4 yrs plus ago. While Big Z used to only move during the night (but mind you, ALL THROUGH the night though), Baby Z now moves ANYTIME of the day. And pretty much ALL the time really.
Could it also possibly be that Baby Z's cheekier than Big Z was? More playful too? Or could it all just be coincidental?
Typical scenario . . . I feel a fair amount of movement, I let it be for some minutes, until I finally have to see it all properly (ie: lift my top and see and feel the tummy move while Baby Z does her thing). So, I lift my top, put my hands directly on my tummy, and then she freezes. Doesn't move at all. I remove my hands but still have my eyes fixed on the tummy and still, nothing. I then pull my top back down and go about doing what I was previously doing and then ... what do we get?? Another series of active, rough, violent, move-in-all-directions movements from the Baby Z.
This also happens every single time I get the Daddy to come watch her movements. She'll be all rolling about from side to side, or kicking and stretching away, and then the minute the Daddy stands next to me (regardless of him placing his hands on my tummy or not), she stops immediately. It's her little game with us.
I'm trying now to find a sneaky way around getting to actually watch them movements as they happen and not just feel them. Clearly I've got to be real quick and sneaky about it as she seems to master the art of 'hide and seek' rather well, I'd say.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Baby Z! :-)
Surprises, packages, gifts ... don't we all just love them?
Baby Z has just received her first gifts. *big smile here* Has to be said though, it's not a complete surprise of sorts, as just couple days back a mutual friend mentioned I should be receiving a lil something from the said-present-giver sometime soon. Surprise-pooper, ey? But no no, not quite. See, I was meant to know about it so I could make sure I'll be in to receive the package. No one at home to receive it, Mr Postman may just scoot away with the parcel. So, it's a good thing, my mailbox was large enough to hold in the package, as Mr Postman DID come by while I was still out.
:: teeny-weeny pretty lil girly-wear ::
:: the lot with the attached note - thanks so much, Lyn ::
Seems so odd holding and folding baby girl's clothes. It's been all boyish blues for me the past 4 years and a bit, seems almost unreal to have these girl's clothes in the house. *excuse the obvious excitement that is me now*
Monday, November 19, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
all i really want to do is to lie in bed, hot tea by the side, good book in hands, cool aircon air filling up the room and then doze off in good, much-deserved rest. not that much to ask for, right?
but alas ... things to do, places to go, people to meet. but it's all good.
maybe next weekend, i'd be so lucky to indulge in that envisioned weekend-long rest.
on a separate note, Big Z went on another school field trip this morning. this time, it was the National Museum. i don't remember the last time i visited the place - must have been when i was 8 or 9. picked him up from school just now and he was telling me about some cat and bus (was it train?) he saw at the museum. haven't managed to dig out for more stories off him, but he was in good chirpy spirits and said that it was fun going to the museum. for now, that's a much better review than his feedback on the National Zoo - his school trip earlier this year. when i fetched him that day, he came in the car and complained - "the zoo's toilet is so dirty, too dirty, Mummy! ... why why??". wasn't too impressed by the animals either "monkeys were not behaving themselves". hmm.... but isn't that what monkeys do anyhow?
while Big Z and the rest of his schoolmates were at the museum this morning, some moms from the school met over a terribly-long-but-nevertheless-great breakfast session over at D*lish in Bangsar Village I. at many junctures, topics chatted and discussed by us moms sounded very much like one of them momsie-chic-lit books. it was interesting as within our group, we're all pretty different in terms of background and age, yet it all comes down to that common hat we each put on - being a mom! from comparing our kids' bedtime rituals and after-school activities, to the highs and lows of our pregancies and labour-room stories, right down to our (*clears throat*) bedroom episodes post-giving birth, it really was a scene just cut out for moms. throw in any one of the daddies to our kids into the breakfast club, i doubt such detailed stories will see us through a cuppa tea, let alone a whole 3-hour-long breakfast. *LOL*
within the group, there are 3 of us currently expecting. one of them had only just announced to the rest of the group she is in fact pregnant - much to everyone's surprise. (the said-mommy: told you i'd keep it to myself ;-)). and myself and another mom just found out our due dates are pretty much a day or two apart. of course, looking at us together, i look double her size! *LOL* one mentioned it would be great if we're having our babies in the same hospital and possibly even be next door neighbours in the maternity ward as it'll ease the other moms visiting us when we pop. :-)
on that note, i shall leave this entry for now, and go peek on Big Z. i hear lots of moving of things coming from the room. he's been busy building "my a-partners". for the rest of us, that'll be apartments. :-)
have a good weekend!
Monday, November 12, 2007
:: a very shy Baby Z kept covering her face with her hands ::
:: after much nudging by Dr G, she finally moved her hands ... but ever so slightly; these images show both Baby Z and Big Z having the same full lips ... like brother, like sister, ey? ::
Oh, and yes, it's a girl. Yippie!! It's the 5th time the doc has confirmed it, so technically, it should be right, yes? We'd love to think so, as he's told us we're safe to start buying all things pink for the baby now. :-)
Sunday, November 11, 2007
So, story goes like this ...
The year was 1999. I was living on my own in our humble lil square of an apartment in Stamford Brook, London. Loving the independence of being on my own, tending to my own needs, waking up and going to bed at my own time, shopping for groceries that may not necessarily read food to others but to me - cereal is just ideal for all 3 meals in the day - , enjoying morning weekend walks to get the papers and fresh flowers, it was all just lovely.
I was basically your typical foreign student living in a foreign land, attending lectures and classes and then doing a bit of socialising over the weekends. Those who know me from back then will recall that by socialising, it's purely trips to the shops and cafes and the movies. Am no party girl at all. Not the clubbing type either. Have always preferred smaller, more intimate crowds of friends rather than throwing myself all glammed up in some club and/or party scene to be seen and noticed and chatted up. If you like, I was, put simply, a very dull undergrad. *LOL* Which correspondingly explains a lot of things.
I know of some parents who'd remind their kids to slow down in their relationships, to finish their studies first, then only think about being in a relationship. In my case, it got to a point where phonecalls back home were often dotted with queries on who I was dating and more specifically, why was I not dating anyone yet. (!!) It's simple, really. I don't go out as often as I suppose I'm allowed to, I don't talk as much and open up as much as I'm allowed to and I just really did enjoy the time I had to myself. Of course, the longing part of having a decent guy to call your boyfriend, your date and possibly your future life partner was all very appealing too, but I was pretty much accepting the fact that I'll only meet my man after graduating, and possibly through my parents or siblings arranging something for me once back home for good.
But then things took a different route come October '99. It was just over 2 months in my 2nd year at uni when I was entertaining the likes of online chatrooms (something a fair number of M'sian students indulged in over in the UK). They were all petty chats on my part. Until that one night when I ended up chatting with this guy who was studying in Southampton. Let's call him Mr M for now. Turns out he had heard of me before. That got me talking to him longer. I was curious to know how he knew me. Or rather, know of me.
Mr M was flatmates with a male 'cousin' of mine. I knew no male cousin studying in Southampton. Incidentally, I did have a cousin there, but a girl and in her 1st year. Mr M told me my alleged cousin flatmate of his is in his final year there. Hmm . . . He then told me it's my 'cousin' Iskandar. Iskandar? At the time, the ONLY Iskandar I knew was a close friend of my parents. Went on to say he lives in Bangsar. Again, a Bangsar-ian myself, I really couldn't think of any relation of mine by the name of Iskandar. After some 10 minutes or so trying to put a face to this so-called cousin, Mr M (who, incidentally by that time, we had discovered we'd met previously in London through a mutual friend) told me he'd get the said-Iskandar to chat with me. Waited a bit for him to call his flatmate and soon enough I was chatting away to my-apparent-cousin Iskandar. He finally introduced himself as Izmet, anak Uncle Ramli and Auntie Maznah. Aaaahhhhh ... yes. Yup, I DO know you after all, I was thinking. So it turns out, his full name's Izmet Iskandar. I know him as Izmet, but people in Southampton know him as Iskandar. And yes, he'd mentioned me to his flatmate, Mr M, once or twice before, which was how he recognized me almost immediately. (when i asked Izmet later in our relationship why he had mentioned me to Mr M before, he said he had spotted me once in London, when I was talking to his sister, but that he was too shy to approach me ... hehe)
We continued our online chat over the phone. And the phonecall lasted 6 hours! It was somewhat refreshing to chat to a guy I hadn't met in years, but one I knew of since practically forever. See, his dad is related to my mum through marriage. Not the closest of relations, so if anyone of you reading this is shaking your head and thinking how it's all a great big no-no of a union, rest assured, it's all OK. We caught up on each other's lives - what each was studying there in the UK (he was a final year Accounting & Finance student, I was a 2nd year Marketing Communications student) as well as how our respective families are doing. He then mentioned he comes up to his family's London apartment once every 2 weeks to check on things - namely the bills and to water the plants. He suggested we meet the next time he was up in London.
And met up in London we did. Izmet would gladly tell all how I arrived 10 minutes late for our first date. In my defense, I blame it on the District Line - fondly known for it's less-than-punctual services. Date was Italian dinner followed by the movies. Not the most romantic of movie choice though - it was The Sixth Sense. Dinner was great, movie's one of my all-time favourites now (and no, not because it was our date movie). After, he sent me home as it was pretty late at night, and he didn't want me to take the tube on my own. Fair enough. Sent me home, and we both immediately agreed to meet again the next day before he took his train back to Southampton. So, before he left for his apartment, we made arrangements to meet a second time the next day. The next day's 'date was lunch followed by us (boring) students finishing up our respective pieces of assignments before the Monday arrived. We said goodbye late afternoon. I took the tube home, he the train to his uni halls.
It was a good weekend. I could talk to him easily. No doubt, there was that shy streak in me still, but I suppose knowing each other's family since childhood helped a lot too. I knew here's a guy I could trust. Someone I need not go all out to impress as after all, he already knows who I am. Following that first weekend date then, we were on the phone with each other everyday. We'd speak briefly in the mornings before heading to our respective campuses, and then a longer phonecall at night, before going to bed. Our email inboxes were filled up too in between lectures and classes. Seeing how it all seemed to work rightly, we finally decided to 'go official' on the 11th November 1999 - this, 2 weeks after our first phonecall and first weekend date.
Which brings us back to yesterday. Yesterday, the 11th of November 2007. It's been 8 years. We've been together for 8 years now. I told him it feels more like 20 years as on our not-the-greatest-of-days, it's definitley been tiring dealing with each other's neediness and pettiness and fussiness. But, what's marriage without all of the above-said gloriness, huh? *LOL*
Most days though, I'm just real glad I've a certain Iskandar to call my life partner. He's definitely one who keeps me grounded, supports me and cares for me. We aren't romantics at all, but I'm confident of his loyalty towards me. He's a great dad too and my ever-willing-to-but-rarely-prompt assitant around the house. Well, it could be worse really. So yes, am thankful for that online chat, the fact that Mr M remembered my name and quickly called his flatmate Mr Iskandar, the phonecall which followed, the first date, the subsequent phonecalls and the decision to live our lives together.
Just to mark the date, we got engaged on the 11th November 2001. Incidentally, it was my dad's idea we picked that very date as he knew it was a significant date for us. And I'm glad that we did. Not only does it make it easy to remember when we got engaged, but it also brings me down memory lane each year thereon. We got married on the 8th of August 2002. Another nice date, I'd like to think.
Yesterday, to 'celebrate', we had dinner at Mizu in BV (minus the Big Z - left him with my parents and sister). It's nice to just have that one quiet dinner alone. For someone who almost never leaves her son behind, such dinner dates are most welcomed. But, as soon as we picked Z up, I was hugging and kissing him non-stop. Am such a soppy mom, I tell ya!
So. That's my soppy story for today then.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Mummy: where you off to, my sweetie?
Big Z: work! i gotta do my tracks, i really need to do the tracks now, Mummy
'briefcase' in one hand...
essential work equipment in his pyjama pockets...
a very smug and eager boy heading off to work in the morning ... *LOL*
Sunday, November 4, 2007
if you look closely, note that the first 'm' in 'mum' is actually a 'w' - he figured it could well be an 'm' when turned upside down. hehe...
I'm thinking, he must have decided to practice his spelling - he's in that stage of asking me how to spell this and that now, and often his name is always in the 'spelling discussion'. Hehe. Nice to later discover that quietly, the ordinarily-noisy Z does come up with some productive work when left on his own while Mummy busies herself around the house. Sigh ... :-)
Friday, November 2, 2007
Just roughly comparing this pregnancy to the last one, I'd say this is a lot more tiring. Obvious factors are accountable here though - living on our own without a maid (read: i whole-heartedly try with all my might to carry out all household chores on a daily basis), having a 4 year old boy to tend to and ferry to and from school, and the fact that I started this pregnancy much heavier than I did when I carried Big Z. So yes, not hard to conclude here that I'm not a pretty picture at all this time round, have a lot more complaints to make and put simply, a less-nice person I think. Having said that, I'm heaps more active and sleeping less this time round.
Physically, I'm practically ring-less at the moment. At the end of my 4th month, I had to sadly abandon wearing my wedding rings. Yup. That soon into the pregnancy! Gone are my long, crooked, skinny fingers. They're still long and crooked, but with much more fatness wrapping them now. NOT pretty. But this, if you like, is the icing on the cake for me, as what's REALLY NOT pretty are my feet. Puffed, broad, just really plain fat and ugly la! I'm down to just one pair of flatties and sandals - all other shoes of mine are just waiting to meet my feet once again. This is another notable difference in this pregnancy compared to the last one. I wore my rings right till my due date before, and while I couldn't quite fit into the slimmer fit shoes, I could still wear most of them.
For now, the ONLY good physical change my body is going through (besides carrying a baby, that is ;-)), is my graduating to the next cup-size. *GRINS SHYLY* With the last pregnancy, I was your modest A-cupper throughout the pregnancy and even through the whole breastfeeding period (which was an unbelievably long time, mind you). So yes, this time round, I'm a B-cupper - woohoo for me! To many, this is still minute la, but it's the biggest for me, so let me have this teeny-weeny bit of joy while it lasts. *LOL*
Till the next update then ... Have a great weekend all!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I was given a rundown of Z's academic and social progress to date. There were both 'positive positive' and 'negative positive' reports. For this entry, 'positive positive' simply refers to the teacher-says-he's-all-good-hence-no-need-to-worry bits of observation. 'Negative positive' refers to teacher-says-he's-doing-alright-but-should-practice-more-on-these-aspects bits of observation.
Let's do the negative positives first, shall we?
Acacdemically, Z still has a lot of catching up to do in his Language unit; specifically reading. He knows and recognizes the alphabet, but still gets confused with the sounds that they each make. He gets it one day, and the next, he's unsure once again. So yes, while he loves books (much to his request, I still read at least 3 books to him each night before he sleeps), he still can't read on his own. Can't say I'm not worried here, but his teacher has assured me that it isn't such a big problem - she's noted too his keen interest in books and other reading materials, and how he enjoys storytime in school a lot. So, in due time, InsyaAllah, it'll be a case of much practice and then some. I doubt I was a fast learner/reader myself, to be honest. Heck, I only started going to preschool at age 5! So, for now, I'd say Z is doing better than I did at his age. Haha...
note how the 'o' gets smaller and higher as he went along doing this worksheet
Socially, he's often seen to be the quiet one in the group. This is just too-surprising an observation, as he's no doubt, very much the opposite at home! He participates in group activities, enjoys the company of his classmates, but often 'contributes' smiles and laughter, with very little talking thrown in. My concern here is that he may be ignored and, even worse, bullied as a result of being the quiet one. I was constantly compared and questioned as to why I was so shy and quiet in school myself. It wasn't an easy thing for me - mixing with others and shedding my shyness. I suppose Z takes after me when it comes to this. We're quiet outside our home, but much more relaxed at home. Often, we're the obsevers and listeners, rather than those who initiate and contribute most to the conversation. Having said this, the teacher commented he's definitely less shy than was the case earlier part of the year, so, again, hopefully, in due time, and certainly by start of next January, he'll fit in just fine, and not be the shy guy anymore.
Now, for the positive positives then ...
On the academic front, Z is very much a Numbers kid. He seems to be very comfortable with numbers. This, I too have noticed on my own at home when I sit down with him to do some practice work - when given worksheets on number recognition, counting, matching numbers and other puzzles to do with Maths, he seems most relaxed. But I didn't want to conclude my own observation just yet. Hearing his teacher tell me he's at ease with numbers though, just left me with a big grin as it confirmed my own observations. Said the teacher, she isn't at all worried about his understadning of numbers and simple basic Maths that they do at his level now. They've just started learning odd and even numbers, and after slight hesitation, Z was able to grasp the concept. He's sometimes seen to doubt himself when answering, but does give the right answer. Again, a possible spillover case of being shy.
good to see he writes his '8' correctly here; at home, with much humour i suppose(!!), he writes his '8' by drawing 2 circles one above the other, but with a significant gap in between, then draws a line to join them circles as he says "eh mummy, need to join la!". hah ... clown that he is!
Other 2 topics or units they do in school which Z enjoys most are the Practical Life and Culture topics.
Practical Life touches on everyday things and routines one does. Things like the practice of good manners and courtesy, development of motor skills as well as simple everyday tasks like spooning, pouring, putting on your buttoned shirts and shoes. This too, he seems to enjoy doing. Which is just as well, I'm thinking, as I can soon count on him to help me more around the house. ;-) And all the time, be matched with good courteous manner. Sigh . . . A parent will always wish and pray for the best.
Culture, for this semester is on Geography and specifically Malaysia. They do work on the different races, festivals, flags, flowers, fruits as well as some of the notable landmarks we have. Says the teacher, Z shows a keen interest in learning all of this. The other day, driving into Damansara, he spotted the Menara Milenium, and then asked me "is that the Petronas Twin Towers, Mummy?". When I told him it wasn't, he went "oh yea yea ... i forgot ... Petronas Twin Towers has bridge". Hehe. Maybe he should start going for drives around the city with my dad, who'll point out the many buildings - some of them his own designs. One of my all-time fondest childhood memories is of our weekend afternoon drives with my dad showing us his latest project(s) and me imagining myself leaving such a landmark one fine day. Fast forward some 10 years or so, I sadly gave up architecture. But the interest I have for it is still very much there. (but that's another story - excuse the digressing, yea)
how aggressive is that piece of colouring??!
more aggressive colouring and note too how his stripes are all red!
Previous semester, the Culture topic was Zoology, which saw them learning the various groups of animals, their habitats, what they feed on, their basic characteristics and physical attributes. This was concluded with a concert where kids were dancing and singing to diffrent animal songs and an exhibition of thier works (plenty of art and craft work) were on show during the concert open day.
leaving the house for the Open Day
the program and song book
us three at the Open Day - before the concert begun
scenes and various works from the Open Day
On the social front, as mentioned above, Z is the quieter one in the group. While it has it's worrying points, it's also good in that the teacher has said he's definitely not the kind who'd bully or cause any sort of friction or fight among the other kids. (another big sigh of relief here) I would just hate it if my child ends up the bully in the class. Or part of the bullying gang. Nothing worse than having your child cornered for being a baddie of a kid. Any pushing, pinching, punching, tripping, slapping, snatching I see from my child, I'd just tell him off straight away. You never know how he behaves when not in your sight, so when I'm with him, yes, I'm uptight like that, and will constantly remind him to play nicely, not be rough and learn to share. (i have to say though, the sharing part needs more work ... sigh...) Other than this, he's opening up more, but still, possibly a notch up from whispering volume. But teacher says he's getting there.
So. That'll be it then. The report on our Z for now - from Jan this year to October. As per informed by his school/teacher.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Woke up Saturday morning thinking of them Swedish meatballs and cranberry sauce. So, at half-ten, we were on our way to the famed kitchen which makes them meatballs. After a quick stroll through the store, we headed to the cafe. All great hopes to satisfy my meatball cravings were dampen when Mr Hubs came back (Big Z and I were waiting at a table) to say they'll be out of meatballs for 2 months. 2 months??!! Blaaardy hell!
So we left and walked over to Ikano. Settled for Dome's chicken pie, which is huge, yes, but I was super-hungry by then. I didn't have the pastry top which came with the 'pie' though. Darling Z wanted it, so I dearly gave it up for him. After lunch, since Z put on such a good behaviour for us (really, we were real impressed, didn't even say it for fear of jinxing it; instead we spelt it out to each other! haha...), we went up for a browse in the bookstore, a quick running around and sliding fun for him in the playland thingy and his favourite stop in Ikano - the petstore. It was close to 2pm then and we had to rush home as Mr Hubs had a meeting to attend. Spent the rest of the afternoon lazying around at home, watching DVDs.
That night, we finally went to watch the P. Ramlee Musical. Was looking forward to it ever since sis-in-law got throught the auditions and updates us on the musical. And seeing that I've yet watched and attended any of her performances to date, I just HAD to attend this one. And who doesn't like P. Ramlee. Given that it's a young cast telling us his story in as contemporary a manner as possible whilst retaining the core elements of his life's period, I knew it'd be a great treat. Sean Ghazi in the leading role is plenty of added bonus too! ;-)
Without sounding biased, I really thought it was a great show. Was mostly impressed by the endless change of sets on the stage, and the energy evident in all cast members from beginning to end. The songs were good too. And sis-in-law amused us throughout with her performance - not far from how she is at home with us actually. Hehe ... I won't write more on the musical so as not to ruin any elements of surprise for any of you who have yet watched it, but are going to.
Sunday was nephew's birthday party day. Well, late-morning really. Me being the absent-minded preggie self though, was convinced it wasn't gonna start till 4pm. It was only when I was on the phone with my mom, and she asked why we weren't at the party yet, that she told me to hurry up and get to the party! It was quarter-past-11 when I rang her, and the party started at 11. So, getting ready in lightning speed, we got to the party venue at noon. Hmm... not quite lightning speed after all. Shame on us ... shame on me for forgetting party details!
As soon as we got there, the kids were all seated at the table, eating away. Big Z slipped himself in between the other kids (all of them older than him), and didn't seem to stop chewing on anything that was placed on his plate. The boy can really eat! Soon it was musical chairs time, and once again, our Z confidently and readily joined in the group. Mind you, he's NEVER played musical chairs before (I started thinking at that point if I should have introduced the game to him before, as I was fearing how he'd grasp the objective of the game). In true Z style though, he kinda lives on the motto "never give up". It was probably the second round (or third at the most) when he was left without a chair to sit on. Clearly, he was out of the game. But, I think the games-person-dude was kind enough to allow him to continue playing, maybe being the smallest and youngest in the group gave him that bit of an advantage. At the end of the round, music stopped, all kids hurriedly secured their seats, my Z, once again, stood there, wondering what to do as he was chair-less. Again. Music resumed, and he was part of the group another time. Music stopped, he stopped walking and yup, you guessed it, chair-less. At this point, us adults were just amused to see how he won't give up trying to play, but the instant the music stops, he too freezes. Finally, I told Mr Hubs to just take him out of the game - the poor kid. But he was all in good spirits and didn't put up a fuss. He just smiled and laughed along with us. Hehe. And then parked himself right by the rest of the group, some 2 feet away from the fun.
We concluded that he's possibly the kind of child who'd try anything given to him, nevermind if he knows what and/or how to go about with the given thing - in this case, the party game. He'll also join in the rest of the group eating away (he did the same when he was 2 years old at another party - he was in fact, the FIRST to be seated to eat), nevermind that he spends the whole time just chewing away and smiling at all, but not talking to anyone simply coz he doesn't know the rest, except for his cousin the birthday boy. Put simply, birthday parties and him go well together. Excelling at party games though - not quite his thing, but he'll definitely participate.
After the party, we headed home. And stayed home we all did for the rest of the day.
It wasn't the most hectic of our weekends, but it was eventful enough to leave all three of us zombied out by late afternoon. A simple dinner of pasta soup, some bedtime reading and then it was off to bed. At midnight! Yup. You'd think we'd just sleep in early, but no, not us. There's always some emails to reply and other work matters to see to (Mr Hubs), some blog to update and online window shopping to feast on (yours truly) and some trains to arrange and rearrange time and again (Big Z).
It's almost noon now. I should get lunch ready for Big Z, and then I'll be off to fetch him from school. Hope yours was as eventful, if not more eventful weekend than ours. :-)
Friday, October 26, 2007
Ours (story of how Z began attending preschool) goes like this. It was almost entirely my decision to send our child to school at 2 years 4 months. The Daddy (as did the rest of my entire family) did think it was a tad bit early to start him, but I was keen to send him early. Call me selfish, but being a stay-home mom and having a child who clung on to me practically 24/7, I really needed a bit of break. The arrangement worked out great (this, after the first 2 months struggling through separation anxiety though - both for child AND mother) - I had 4 hours in the morning to myself 3 times a week. In return, Z came home recognising numbers and the alphabet. But still clingy. Hmm...
At the start of this year though, we were abruptly informed of his preschool's closure. Frantically, I searched for the best possible preschool for him to attend - he had already missed 2 weeks of the academic year at this point. I walked in and out of practically all the schools in our area and the next neighourhood too. Each time, bearing the same keen interest a parent would normally display when visiting a potential school for their kid. I had almost given up - read: just enrol him in the last school I figure is not-too-bad-a-choice-for-now until I find a better place. And then, almost at the very last minute, I discovered Children's House Montessori. The instant I drove up to the school w Z that one morning, and was graciously welcomed and ushered in for a visit and a chat with the school's principal, I knew I'd be making many more drives up to the school thereon. I'm happy to note that Z has been attending the-said school now since late January this year.
It's a Montessori preschool where he is. The whole of last year while he was in his old preschool, I went through some reads on the Montessori method, as opposed to the other more traditional preschool teaching methods available here. For the longest time, I had concluded (even if just in my mind) that Z will not be suited for a Montessori approach of learning. I thought he'd be the kind of kid to benefit from a more rigid, classroom-like teaching method - think local primary school teacher-to-blackboard-to-pupil-to-paper method. I figured the Montessori approach of having the child conduct their own self-directed learning would not go down well with Z.
Now, closing in on his first year at a Montessori preschool, I have to say, I couldn't be more pleased and happy with our decision to enrol him in the school. Gone are his extremely shy and clingy days that was my Z before. He's now a much more confident child than he ever was, but still, ever the affectionate one too. Most noted as well, is his increase in vocabulary since starting at the Children's House. From a boy who was a typical case of pelat up till the time he started at the school, he now speaks so much (that I wonder each day when he'll want to take a break from all the many chats!), even I'm amazed and pleasantly surprised each time he throws in a new word in his conversation(s) with us.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying he's a genius of a kid, not even in the conversing part - but believe me, when all I used to hear were remarks saying how slow and pelat and difficult a child he was before (the worst was having this lady recommend a speech therapist for Z!!), I'm thankful to note he now gets himself heard and understood accordingly, and remarks saying he's slow and pelat are practically non-existant now. For a parent (more so a first-time parent, I'd think), that's just an incredible change to observe.
I recently came across a short article in the UK parenting magazine Junior. According to a research carried out by a team at the University of Virginia, children who attended Montessori schools fared better, both socially and academically, than those from traditional education backgrounds. Their studies and research found that once at primary-level education, Montessori children were better in both Maths and English. They were also noted to be able to interact, play and cope better with other kids and peers than was the case with the traditional-streamed kids. There was a better understanding of sharing with their peers among Montessori kids, compared to traditional kids who were seen to display more physically rough mannerisms when at play.
Now, just based on the research mentioned above, I'd naturally like to think and definitely hope and pray that my kid(s) will fare well both socially and academically, regardless of their background in education (preschool level). If being in a Montessori does that extra bit in fostering better social habits as well as learning capablilities, all the more better then, as I'm definitely not going to hunt for another school for Z! ;-) We're very happy where he is now, so let's just hope he'll prove the research by the University of Virginia right.
Having said all this, I'm not championing the Montessori method over the traditional and any other teaching methods. I'm just highlighting the fact that as a parent who took the step to enrol her child in a Montessori preschool, I'm happy to note that we've seen positive developments from him since. There are no doubt, child geniuses from traditional education backgrounds too, but it's just interesting to read and then discover yourself how in fact, a certain characteristic, interest and habit may well have fostered simply by default of your child's education background.
On that last note, it'd be great to read about your respective preferences and choice in your child's preschool education, since it's from preschool age that apparently significant characteristics are formed in children.
The start of a new thing. The birth of a new thing. The excitement and enthusiasm thrown into expecting and welcoming a new thing. By 'thing' here, we're referrring to blog.
I've decided to start another blog here. While my other up-and-running blog is all about my love for patterns and art, this one will be about the rest of my life. The part where things are generally left un-patterned, put simply. As much as I plan, map-out and arrange for things to fall into place in a certain way, a certain pattern, a certain routine, has to be said that more often than not, life happens sans pattern. That'll be the case for us (over at Big Lime) at least.
So, this, if you like, is a collection of notes, observations, queries and rantings of my life as a mom who tries to complete each day as best to her ability, possibly without the initial plans and/or patterns to guide her. It's the spontaneity, the rawness and the reality that is, my life as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and a blogger.
Happy reading, y'all. If it gets too laborious for you, just skip this one and click on the next blog.