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Archive for the ‘milestones’ Category

This greedy little girl has eaten roti prata!

Really, I caved cos she was just so persistent! She utterly refused to eat her own breakfast and kept pointing at my prata and asking for it “DER!!”

The third kid…anything goes huh?
SONY DSC

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Ellery has learned to ride a 2 wheeler! Yay!

He has been using the Strider for a long time now and is good at balancing. Transitioning him to a pedal bike took quite a bit of coaxing though. Ellery didn’t want to ride on two wheels using the old rusty bicycle that was given to Asher when he was smaller. Ellery kept thinking he couldn’t balance even though he clearly should be able to.

I decided that we needed to get him a new bike. The other bike was too small for Ellery anyway. We went to the bike shop together and got him a bike that, as a bonus, had a basket!  It is a feature he has asked for on many occasions. He also got to choose the colour. We brought it home, and the next day went to the nearby garden to try it.

Success!

He could do it! He was so pleased with himself. From saying he couldn’t ride a two wheeler, he started to say how fun cycling was. I hope he continues to discover the joy of achieving what he thought he couldn’t achieve at first.

Off he goes!

Off he goes!

Playing

Enjoying the playground with his little sister

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Alyssa 10 Months

She’s started crawling good and proper now. She’s pulling up at the cot and wherever there’s anything to grab. She’s also able to sit back down, though occasionally she topples over, so we still need to watch her like a hawk. She needs close supervision when playing because she stuffs everything into her mouth. Sometimes she stuffs things in without us noticing because the boys call away my attention, and we only realise when she coughs. Thankfully it’s not been anything that chokes her! Small things like bits of tissue paper, paper, or plastic wrappers from a mineral water bottle. We need to be much more vigilant with her, something we are not used to since neither of the boys were like that.

She’s entered the phase where she doesn’t want to sit still, so changing diapers can be a real challenge. She’s squirming, flipping, crawling away. I think we’ve gotta move to pull-ups soon.

Here is Alyssa with Je M’appelle for the growth comparison, but Je M’appelle has been usurped by another bear! It’s a cuddly bear my aunt gave me a few years ago that I pulled out of one of our boxes (yes, I’m still not done unpacking) and Alyssa grabbed for herself. She gives air kisses to it! She’s learnt how to make kissing sounds, so she’ll look at the bear, smile, and air kiss it.

Hard to keep still

Je M’appelle being usurped by another bear

Speaking of air kisses, it’s so cute to see/hear her make the kissing sound, and she does as it a sign of affection. Her other sign of affection is to give you a big, sloppy kiss. Almost like she’s eating you up. She likes snuggling her head into my neck/shoulder too.

She is trés greedy. She always wants something from the main table now and we usually let her have it. Bits of bread, grains of rice, bits of veg. She is soooo unbelievably greedy. “DER!!” She’ll loudly exclaim while pointing at our food (and simultaneously avoiding the spoon with baby food).

She does this when she gets very excited by something

She does this when she gets very excited by something

Super happy baby!

Super happy baby!

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My little girl is growing!

This last month has seen her do quite a few new things. She’s started sitting up on her own, can creep forward on her belly (with some combination of stretching and butt lifting), and she’s now progressed to trying to crawl forward, though not very successfully. Getting there.

Getting to sitting position from all fours

Getting to sitting position from all fours

Starting to move forward on her knees

Starting to move forward on her knees

She’s also got 2 teeth! On the day she turned 9 months she only had one tooth, but two days ago the second tooth erupted.

She’s developed her pincer grasp and now loves feeding herself, to the point that I often struggle to feed her porridge. She doesn’t want to eat from the spoon! So I resort to putting fingerfood on the table, and stuffing the spoon in her mouth when she opens it to eat the fingerfood she’s feeding herself. Some might say I could try to let her self-feed the porridge, but I can’t bear the thought of the mess!

Like Ellery, she likes savoury food. And they currently share the same favourite breakfast food- cheese toast! If her main course is too sweet, she doesn’t eat that much of it. I discovered this through observing her preferences on ready-made meals (yep…3rd kid eats ready-made meals when we go out sometimes). The sweetish flavours (the kind sweetened with a lot of fruit), she barely touches, but the more savoury concoctions she eats quite a lot of. The exception is when it’s fresh fruit, especially blueberries, apples, pears, and bananas.

I’ve stopped feeding her baby cereal because she almost always rejects that. Guess she thinks she’s all grown up now. In fact, the other day she managed to gnaw through half a peach with her one tiny tooth stub. Goodness. I was so amazed by that feat.

Self-feeding

Self-feeding

Slowly making her way through the peach

Slowly making her way through the peach

She’s getting more vocal. She started to make noises that have all the intonations of proper speech, but are made up entirely of nonsense. It’s really cute to see her point at something and say meaningfully, “ahbangngngngmagemawada!” “Mmm, yes!” I’d reply.

The one word she’s got down pat is “der!” (there). She sometimes uses it correctly, like when you ask her a ‘where’ question, but she doesn’t point in the correct direction hahaha. “Where’s the cat?” “der!” (pointing at the sky). The only time she gets it right is when it comes to Asher and Ellery. “Where is Kor Kor?” She’ll look around first, then point at them while wearing a big smile and saying in an excited, high-pitched tone, “DER!” She loves her brothers, that’s for sure :)

She still falls sleeps between 7 to 730pm, and I’m very grateful for that. I didn’t sleep train her. She just fell into this routine on her own. So I find that I’m now able to have a bit of time with just the boys before they go to bed.

Another rite of passage she has gone through – falling off the bed. All three of them have done it now. Ellery still holds the record for the most falls off the bed, but let’s hope none of them add to their count. It happened in the middle of the night. I suddenly woke to a thud. I had nursed her to sleep and didn’t pad the space between her and the edge of the bed enough. I woke to find her sprawled on the floor. I’m so very grateful that she didn’t land awkwardly and injure herself. Having said that, I must confess that it didn’t bother me that much. I picked her up, saw she was ok, could still say something, and put her back to bed and went back to sleep myself. I remember freaking out the first time Asher fell off the bed. Fast forward 6 years, look at me now.

She’s been a real darling and I’m very grateful for her!

Much taller now

Much taller now

Can't get her to sit still anymore

Can’t get her to sit still anymore

Feel the lurrvvee

Feel the lurrvvee

Taking up more space on the sofa now

Taking up more space on the sofa now

And not staying still! Trying to pull to standing

And not staying still! Trying to pull to standing

Flexible girl

Flexible girl

Can't wait for the day she can start ballet!

Can’t wait for the day she can start ballet!

Very grabby

Very grabby

Hi!

Hi!

Enjoying a swing ride

Enjoying a swing ride

Big love from Asher

Big love from Asher

Bye!

Bye!

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It has finally arrived. Asher is in primary school!

Actually, I thought I’d feel more awed and emotional about it, but surprisingly it’s been ok. Maybe I’m becoming less emotional and sentimental? I thought I’d get emotional about his K2 graduation too, but I didn’t. Maybe there’s just been so many things going on that this became just one of many things, rather than the BIG thing.

Anyway, perhaps it rubbed off or something, but Asher has adjusted pretty well to primary school too. He mentioned a few days before starting that he was excited and a bit nervous. But he was calm on the first day, and has been enjoying his time so far.

As he’s in the afternoon session, on the morning of his first day we all went for a quick walk to East Coast Park to chill out. For lunch I arranged for a surprise of beef noodles. We had eaten a fabulous bowl of beef noodles one morning in Hong Kong and he’s been asking for it every since. He happily slurped up every bit of it before changing and heading down to wait for the school bus.

Enjoying his beef noddles

Enjoying his beef noddles

I wondered how’d he take to the new school bus, worrying a little that he’d not want to get on it. But when the bus came he just flipped me a wave and called over his shoulder, “Bye! See you later!” I guess he knew we would be meeting him in school. But still.

While waiting for the bus

While waiting for the bus

Off to school, no sweat

Off to school, no sweat

In the end we didn’t get a chance to see him before the briefing, but met him at  recess time. I had to convince him to buy something from the ‘proper’ food stalls rather than the snack stall. When we came for the pre-orientation in December he had bought some biscuits from the snack stall, so he assumed that’s where he’d get his food from. I told him he shouldn’t buy things from the snack stall too often, and he replied matter-of-factly, “But I haven’t gone there too often”. Har har. I wasn’t about to let him get away with snacks on day 1.

In the end he bought a bao (chinese bun with filling), and has been eating bao every single day since! But that’s better than biscuits and other snacks.

His current favourite stall

His current favourite stall

It’s not his second week of school. Most days he has been very good about getting ready (even if he needs a bit of nagging to get moving), but there was one morning where he said he wished he could stay home, mainly because he wanted to keep on playing. So we have tried to fit in more play time on the weekend, and I keep reminding him that when he gets home he should quickly do his work so that he’s free to play. Afternoon sessions can be a real pain in this sense, because all the free time is split into two. There isn’t a nice long stretch of free time, instead there’s just a bit in the morning, and a bit in the evening provided his homework is done.

Overall, I’m very grateful that Asher has adjusted well so far. I’m praying that when the homework starts (he’s had none so far) he’ll still enjoy school all the same!

 

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Ellery started school on 2 Jan at a new kindergarten. Previously both boys were at a childcare centre, so moving to a kindergaten was a big change for us. First, the hours are much shorter, so it’s much more challenging for me now. The class size is also bigger. There’s actually a uniform where previously the kids wore anything they wanted to school.

We ended up at this school largely because there were no spaces in any other preschool. It suited us because it was in the afternoon (when Asher would also be in school), it was much much more affordable than a childcare, not too far, and apparently had a good curriculum. It’s supposedly a sought after school, so I was surprised there was a vacancy on the day I enquired.

We’ve been prepping Ellery for the change for the last few months and he was quite excited to start school. The first day went well, though I found it strange that when he entered class my usually chatty Ellery suddenly became muted. I managed to coax a smile out of him for this photo, but he stopped smiling after I took the picture.

When we first arrived

When we first arrived

From the second day onwards I noticed that he continued to become very muted when he reached class. It’s very unusual and I still don’t know why that happens. It got worse as he started pulling me away when we reached, hiding behind a pillar outside the school building, flopping on the floor inside, and refusing to join the rest of the class. Maybe it’s him adjusting to the new environment. But it worried (and still worries) me a lot, because I’ve never seen him behave this way before. Ellery has been to two schools prior to this and at both schools I didn’t see such behaviour.

Then last week I got a shock when the Mandarin teacher claimed that the teachers there do not communicate regularly with parents, and she expressed surprise that at their previous school the teachers communicated often with us. This arose because I had simply asked how Ellery was that day given his reluctance to join the class in the morning. Jon and I agreed to talk to the teachers in the hope that we can work together to help Ellery settle. So I was really not expecting this type of response. We got so worried at this that we immediately started looking for alternative schools.

I managed to talk to the main teacher this week though and she assured me a little bit. She said that she was open to communicating with parents, and that I could raise any concerns I had with her. It was a good thing she didn’t try to defend what the other teacher said, but instead said she’d be worried if she was told something similar.

So now I have one teacher saying one thing, and the other teacher saying another thing. The main teacher said to give it 3 weeks to see how Ellery settles as it could be an adjustment thing. We’ll see.

On his part, Ellery leaves school happy. He likes the playground there and we always hang around for a bit before leaving the school premises. As a church kindergarten he also has worship time and he tells me about how they all worshipped God. It’s nice to see him talking about God and singing a new worship song he learnt in school.

I’m torn. Not sure what to do.
I suppose for now observe what happens in school while I continue looking around for better alternatives, if any.

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How time flies. Alyssa’s already 8 months old! In the midst of all the chaos of moving, I completely forgot to take a picture of Alyssa with Je M’appelle the bear when she was 7 months old.

Skipping one, here she is now! I remembered it late in the day, so I took the photo in a dim room because I didn’t want to get her too awake. But still, she got all excited anyway.

A bit too chirpy before bed

A bit too chirpy before bed

I'm not going to sleep mummy!!!

I’m not going to sleep mummy!!!

I’ve really been losing track of her milestones. Someone told me that at 8 months their kid could get to sitting position on her own and was crawling already. Alyssa isn’t. I don’t even know what she should be doing! People think that with the 3rd you know everything. On the contrary, with the 3rd you just don’t have the time to remember.

So I’m not sure if I’m carrying her too much (she gets whisked about all the time and doesn’t get to play much) but I’ve since been trying to put her on her tummy more. Just a few days ago started trying to lift her butt while on her belly. That’s a start! But she complains when she’s been on her belly for a little while. Slowly slowly she’ll get there :)

She’s been babbling more now, and it’s so adorable! I have no idea what she’s saying, it’s just a whole lot of nonsense syllables.

I’ve also discovered who makes her laugh the most. Asher and Ellery! She finds them soooo amusing. Sometimes it’s peekaboo. Sometimes it’s just random things they do that she’ll chuckle endlessly over. I find that very sweet and can’t wait for her to start being able to crawl and walk to chase them, and talk to them. Ok…I think that last sentance is one I’m going to regret when it actually happens haha. But for now, yes, that is what I hope.

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