Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Lurve Gingersnaps!

Over the weekend, Zara and I attended the launch of this fab new mummy-baby clothing store in BSC called Gingersnaps.

Because we'd been to BSC quite a lot over the last week, we did pass the store a couple of times, but seeing as it looked so swanky I had done my utmost best not to peek inside - I didnt think my credit card could handle it.

So when I was invited to the event on Friday, I really was in two minds about it. Eventually, the curiosity got the better of me and I thought to myself... why not? I'm just there to make an appearance; I'm sure I can avoid the temptation.

So... WRONG! And I should have known that was a lousy excuse *wink*

I was pleasantly surprised though - because despite the fact that the baby clothes were so unbelievably cute (and we all know that usually means a hefty price tag), I did manage to walk away with quite a few items for Zara at just under RM100!  (Yes, yes... my willpower, and my credit card succumbed.)

So if you happen to be in Bangsar for some Christmas shopping this week, do pop in to Gingersnaps for a peek - it'll be worth your time, and your kiddo will have the cutest Christmas outfit ever - guaranteed!

Yes, we succumbed!

Zara's Progress Report - 10 Months

Hello World!
It may be a cliche, but never so true as when I realise how quickly time does fly by when you have a baby.

Just like that, 10 months have crept up on us and in 2 days, my Zara will be officially 2 months away from her FIRST birthday! Wow!

Since my last progress report, Zara's skillset has grown by leaps and bounds. I'd like to say her weight has too, but unfortunately - according to Dr Adrian - at just 7.8kg, she is technically underweight for an infant her age *sniff*. This worried me terribly during our last check up, because I was so sure she had at least surpassed the 8kg mark, thanks to her voracious appetite and the fact that she seems pretty happy in general.

Much to our relief, after checking on her motor skills and other milestones, he concluded that though she is underweight, she isn't under-nourished, otherwise her progress would have faltered considerably. Instead, her low weight is most likely due to a high metabolism and lots of activity!

It's true that Zara is a very active and expressive baby. From what we're starting to learn about her, she's:

1) Stubborn, cheeky and a go-getter like Abah
2) Bad tempered, silly and enjoys testing people's limits like Mummy
3) Quite the adventurer, loving her brief 'fact-finding' missions outside the playpen
4) Patient, when she's learning a new skill, like putting a cube in a cup...
5) But Extremely Impatient, when Mummy's not feeding her fast enough
6) A bit of a drama queen, now that she knows that a convincing cry and a few tears will get her attention...
7) Yet, matter-of-fact when it comes to falling over and getting a mouthful of playmat!

Generally speaking, she can also be both a very happy baby and a very grumpy baby - depending on how much sleep she's had! It's not uncommon for us to hear phrases like "I've never seen such a joyful little creature!" and "Oh my, what a little monster you have there!" within a space of just two hours. Thankfully, I've learnt to deal with these moodswings quite well in public, options being:

a) a biscuit
b) a rattle, and if all else fails,
c) The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse "Hot Dog" theme song playing on my mobile phone. 

What on earth did mothers do before technology?! 

Mummy's secret weapon!
Anyway, I've gotten carried away as usual, so...
To cut a long story short,
Here's Zara's progress report!

Gross Motor Skills
Able to crawl well
Can stand on her own without support
Can walk comfortably and for long distances without support
Can squat to pick up things and stand back up
Can hold her own bottle and sippy cup while drinking
Can clap and dance to music
Can wave 'bye bye'
Can make music by banging tins and buckets with a spoon
Can hold up objects (like Elmo) to Mummy to 'sayang' i.e. kiss
Can give objects and take them back
Can climb stairs but still refuses to follow Mummy's lessons on how to get back down 'legs first'
Play Peekaboo

Fine Motor Skills
Can insert objects into cups

Note: Kindly ignore Mummy's overexcited jubilation at the end!

Can pick up tiny objects
Can press buttons that emit noises or lights
Can pick up moving/spinning objects 

Communication Skills
Jargoning - Can verbalise Gaga, Dada, Kaka, Bwah-bwah, Bah-boo, Gah-goo
Can understand 'No' but occasionally ignores it anyway... she sometimes even laughs at me when I say No with my fierce face.

Besides Sesame Beginnings, she now also enjoys Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - will 'talk' and react to the TV, even laugh when she sees something she thinks is funny. 
Loves ntv7 promos - will stop whatever she's doing and walk over to watch.
Will stare at books but shows little reaction
 Loves wheels - she will turn over toycars, toy planes, Mummy's shopping trolley, just to inspect and play with the wheels 
Enjoys car-watching with Ah Kong
Enjoys Malay nursery rhymes with Nanie

Solids - 8 teaspoons cereal + 3 teaspoons bottled food twice a day
Milk: Breastmilk every 3-4hrs + one 8oz bottle of formula as part of her bedtime routine 
Loves food of all textures and flavours - she has yet to reject anything I've fed her.

She especially likes Japanese tofu!
Naps less during the day now as we've been on the go a lot lately, at most she gets 2 hours.
Sleeps from 10pm to 6-7am, and after a feed will sleep on til 9-10am.

Loves blowing bubbles with her saliva
Razzes more than the average baby... and the spit goes quite far too!
Always sneezes exactly three times
Her favourite and silliest expression is what Uncle Farez calls "The Trout", when she purses her bottom lip over her top lip, usually while concentrating
Loves having her nails trimmed and ears cleaned - she will stop whatever she's doing and go a little cross-eyed

None!!! Not ONE!

As any Mummy would be regardless of her child's progress, I'm very proud of Zara and absolutely adore watching her when she's engrossed in something and doesnt realise I'm around. These days though, there's another feeling that comes with peeking at my little girl... and it's fear.

Fear that she will grow up too fast and not want to cuddle Mummy anymore, fear that she will someday realise that Mummy isnt actually very funny at all - just silly - when I'm singing and prancing around, trying to entertain her. 

I recall Zara being 2 months old and how impatient I was about teaching her things. Now I just want to sit back and hope she'll slow down a little and keep wanting Mummy the way she does.

Arent parents the strangest fickle creatures?   

Mummy loves you Zara!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It Ain't Easy...

I'm mad at you, and you better know it Mister!
If your kids are giving you a headache, follow the directions on the aspirin bottle, especially the part that says, "keep away from children."
- Susan Savannah

A child is a curly dimpled lunatic.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes, I need to read funny stuff like this to keep me going during those times when it's really, really hard to be a parent.

Sure, I've written about the many joyous, rewarding occasions when parenting has been mostly bliss. Sometimes I'm pretty good at making it all look like the best walk in the park ever. But of course, the truth is that there are just as many 'down' times as there are 'up' times.

Take these last 24 hours for example.

Abah is stressed. He's been working day and night, day and night for weeks now and is exhausted. His phone rings constantly and there are countless emails to reply. All Abah needs is a good night's sleep and a little peace and quiet.

This would have to be the night that Zara wakes up at 3am screaming her lungs out, and all attempts to comfort her and put her back to sleep are futile. Poor Abah tries to wriggle under the covers to escape the screaming as frantic Mummy tries singing, rocking, patting, feeding, even Quranic verses, to calm the little tyke down. All to no avail. At this point, Zara is writhing, red in the face, mad as heck and making sure as hell that you know it! Abah sighs, grabs his pillow and heads off to the sofa to catch some much needed rest. 

After an hour of this, Mummy is not only exhausted herself, but frustrated and almost in tears because she doesnt know what to do. So she puts Zara in her cot, hides under the covers and lies very still for about 15 minutes. And whaddaya know? Zara stops screaming. Just like that. Mummy peeks into the cot and Zara is fast asleep.

Fast forward to this morning, and Mummy is woken by more screaming. It's like having a nightmare, and waking up to realise it actually isnt a nightmare - it's reality! Abah stumbles back into the room, with a sore neck and looking like crap, to find out what's wrong. Zara has no fever, doesnt seem to have a tummy ache or anything else wrong with her. It's as if she woke up from the wrong side of the bed and has decided today she will give her parents hell.

Believe it or not, she continued screaming all the way til 12pm, stopping only for breakfast and milk, and for now, thank God, a nap.

So yes, there are days when I wonder whether all parents can really be great parents when they are tested to this degree. God knows I try so hard to be the best, most patient Mummy that I can be, but there are times when even I crack and scream back because I'm so lost and tired.

I'm willing to bet that when Zara wakes from her nap in a bit, she'll flash me her sweetest smile ever, and I'll melt and forget all about this morning's episode.

And just like that, the nightmare - the reality - will be the sweetest dream ever.