Monday, April 30, 2007
Introduced papaya to him today at lunch. Loves it. So far he has only had brown rice, avocado, applesauce (which he dislikes), carrot, pumpkin and banana.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Marcus has been so enthusiastic about his playdoh lately. Want to play with it all day long and would make all sorts of things with his playdoh, all with his imagination now. Yesterday he made black noodles and E asked him if it is squid ink spaghetti, he said yes and proudly offered us. Just asked me if Iwant to eat a piece of white cheese. I said I want yellow cheese, cheddar to be specific, in triangular shape, not white cheese because it is smelly. He laughed. Then asked me if I want to eat black mushroom. I asked if it is portbello mushroom and he said yes. Quickly served me a big piece of black "mushroom". Told him I don't like raw ones, prefer to eat cooked mushroom. He quickly grabbed the piece from my hands, ran to his oven and announced "I am baking the mushroom in the oven". Served it to me a few minutes later and tell me "it is hot because I just cooked it". Before he passed it to me, he mumbled to himself "where is the fork and spoon" but passed the plate of hot mushroom to me anyway. When I asked if I should eat it with my hand, he then said "we need the fork, ok" and fetched me one from his "kitchen". Watched me eat with a giant smile on his face. Then asked me if it is too big, brought me a knife and said "I cut it for you". Used a knife and fork to cut the mushroom to pieces and told me "it is cut up now. you can eat it". Ran off to his chopping board and asked me if I want to eat strawberries (hand holding his red playdoh) or egg. I said scrambled egg, he got excited, said something like it is delicious and proceeded to cook me some. Then held a big piece of yellow dough and passed to me, saying it is "specially for you". Pity it is so close to his bedtime, else we can play like this for the next 4 hours.
Marcus made the waffles (with help from maid) earlier and offered to crocodile as lunch. He claimed crocodile is hungry and wants to eat waffles. The ball shaped dough are "crocodile eggs".
He has been declaring proudly these days the things that he can do on his own, like "I can close the door myself", "I made the waffle (playdoh) MYSELF" with emphasis on the word 'myself'. Haha.
Have been wanting to get Marcus a tricycle for the longest time and yesterday we finally bought it at Carrefour. Paid for it and Marcus watched the staff there put it in another trolley as we arranged for it to be delivered. He got real sad, cried loudly and told papa "uncle took the tricycle away. I want it" Explained it was sent for delivery because it is too big to fit into the taxi, he replied it can fit into the bus, implying we can take the bus instead. So adorable.
Marcus ate it for first time. E bought a piece yesterday, made escalope with it and Marcus had a big slice. The meat looks really nice, but I just can't make myself eat it. Yuck.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Marcus showing Pooky how to draw and scream.
Marcus reading his Mighty Movers book and enjoying the flaps.
Huiling came over to visit yesterday for a few hours and spent almost 3 hours playing with Marcus who warmed up to her so much after just a little while. He invited her to play Playdoh with him and was very insistent that she used playdoh to make him a blue taxi and bus with white wheels, after she has done all the waffles and other breakfast food. He enjoyed her company so much that he even insisted Huiling feeds him lunch. He seems to prefer playing with adults more than children, and would almost always end up showing his toys to other mothers who come over for playdates with their tots instead of playing with the tots themselves.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
After rediscovering his Winnie the Pooh doodling board, Marcus has been spending time stamping on the board a lot. A year ago, he enjoyed stamping and doodling before he could paint and draw, but back then, he was not skilled enough and hands not stable enough to do a perfect stamping. Earlier he showed me how he has improved and could stamp as well as adults, with excellent control of his hand and wrist. I notice that he would erase the whole board of stamps if he decides that one stamp is not done properly. A few times he dragged the dog or car stamp a little, so the shape is not perfect, doesn't resemble the intended shape exactly. He paused, sighed quietly and erased the whole board. Then redo it, the whole time I was just a silent observer, sitting next to him. Perhaps Marcus has a steak of perfectionism in him.
Marcus spent some time drawing on a A4 paper yesterday and when it was finished, showed to me proudly. I asked him to tell me what he drew. He pointed at various parts of the drawing and told me proudly that he drew the ABC song (meaning the letters of the alphabet), a bus, taxi, a flower and a woman. This morning I asked him again and he pointed at the same parts of the drawing and repeated what he said last night. He even added that the woman is the bus driver. Though they don't really resemble the objects he named, he must have really seen them as such in his eyes, since he could take a look at them and name them for me again today.
Here is the scanned copy of his drawing, with the background changed to yellow so we can see his drawing more clearly.
For past few nights, Marcus has been listening to a French learn-the-language CD which E found stashed in his collection, instead of his usual music at bedtime. Surprisingly after just that brief exposure, he could repeat with excellent enunciation some of the simple phrases and words. He even likes it enough to ask for it at bedtime.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I witnessed a daddy making fun of his 3 y.o. boy who was crying inconsolably. While his mum was trying to comfort him by telling him "ok, don't cry. don't cry.", the dad just mimicked his crying and told him "you crybaby. cry over something so small". I remember when my maid first came, she told Marcus not to cry and teased him about his crying too. Very common reaction from most adults but I had to correct her immediately.
I overheard the maid telling Nicholas today "no, don't do that" repeatedly while I was getting ready to take the boys out. I had to go check what was N doing as I just didn't like the idea of my baby being told "no, don't do this or that" at this young age. All he was doing was chewing his pacifier and pulling it a lot and another time, he was rubbing his saliva coated fingers all over his face while he rubbed his eye. Another day, I saw her teasing him with a toy which he was trying to grab. He tried so hard and the moment he was close to getting it, she pulled it away and laughed at him. Yesterday while she was wiping his face with a face cloth, she was teasing him again with the cloth which made him blink a lot. I was so mad and had to tell her off for teasing him.
I had to remind her what to say/not to say/to do/not to do to/with the boys, but I just know that old habits die hard, so I am probably expecting too much that she will remember. It occurred to me that no matter how hard I try, I would have to accept to a certain degree that Nicholas will get to hear a lot of the things that I take pains not to say to Marcus when he was younger since we have a live in maid now, whereas before, I looked after Marcus myself..
Marcus has been mimicking us a lot. He plays peekaboo with Nicholas when he realised Nicholas enjoys it with us. He would hide in a corner of Nicholas's cot and jump up while shouting "peekaboo" which always excites and delight lil nut so much that he starts to wave his outstretched arms and kick his legs a lot which makes him look like he is swimming.
Once I put Nicholas down in bouncer, whispered to him that "you cannot be carried all the time sweetheart" and rushed off to make his milk. When Nicholas continued crying, Marcus looked really concerned at his brother for a while, bent over and whispered "you cannot be carried all the time sweetheart." in the same loving tone as me and gave Nicholas a kiss on his forehead. It made me laugh so hard and also surprised/delighted Nicholas enough to stop him crying. It was so hilarious and sweet to watch.
I always say "hey you are awake, my little sweetheart" whenever I see Nicholas awake from his naps. Yesterday, I saw Marcus saying the same to Nicholas. And for the rest of the day, Marcus kept wanting to rub Nicholas's head, and would touch his cheeks gently and say "aww.. xiao di di".
Friday, April 20, 2007
A typical conversation these days when we are on the bus.
Marcus: mama, there is a long, long bus.
Me: yes, i can see that.
Marcus: There are a lot of people inside. (see another bus passes by) Oh mummy, there is another bus. There are 2 buses!
Me: yes, there are 2 buses.
Marcus: mama, we need to get on that bus (pointing at the long bus). We are getting off this bus now.
Me: no sweetheart, we are not getting off yet. We can't take that bus today, because it will not take us to the place we want to go.
Marcus: alright (sounds disappointed). We will take the long long bus tomorrow. Alright! (sounds perky again)
A few people asked me last week if Marcus is 4 or 5 y.o. after hearing him speak. Some were so surprised when he replied, "I'm 2 years old". I taught him that reply on his 2nd birthday, but deliberately not teach him to say he is two and a half y.o. now so he doesn't have to change that reply every 6 months. I am constantly surprised myself to hear him use good grammer. I wonder if my grammer was anywhere close by the time I was 10. Since he started talking in sentences at 21 months old, he was already using singular/plural nouns and shortly after he turned 2, he started using present/past/future tenses. Whenever I ask him to tell me what he did earlier, he would say "I went... " or "I bought..." or "I drew ... " etc etc.. Few months ago, I noticed he has started using prepositions (e.g. on, off, with, up, above, under, behind, in front, etc etc..) too, and more correct usage than my maid who has been speaking English for over 12 years. We really shouldn't underestimate these little tots.
Vivo Fountain play
Brought the boys to Vivo last week and again Marcus spent 2 hours playing at the playground, got himself all wet playing at the fountain. He had so much fun watching a bunch of St. Nicholas girls splashing each other silly and giggling, he was so tiny standing next to them watching them play. The whole time he looked so amused with a big grin on his face. He didn't know what to do when he got splashed by one of the girls by accident and just looked at his wet shorts with a helpless look though I knew he didn't mind. Then he joined another tot at the other fountain who was also getting himself real wet and when Marcus discovered that that other boy had brought a blue coach into the fountain area, he just wouldn't stay away from him anymore. His motive = get the coach! Haha! He kept following the boy who was holding on to the coach and when he saw me, he exclaimed real loudly 'mama, he has a blue coach!' and instantly I knew what he wanted. He then asked the boy 'can I see your coach please?' but after being repeatedly ignored, Marcus realised he wasn't getting what he wanted. Perhaps to exact some form of revenge or to show his existence, he splashed the boy in the face. The boy just looked a bit shocked, didn't seem to mind and continued playing. Marcus looked so disappointed so I had to cheer him up by suggesting that we go to the toy store to play with the coaches there. Instantly he was ready to get out of the playground, get dressed speedily and hurried me to Toys R Us which he could pronounce.
He spent the next hour playing with the buses at Toys R Us and kept telling me 'we need to buy this bus'. Told me he has '5 money' when I asked him if he has money and would pretend to take it out of his pocket. When I told him that even $5 is not enough to buy that bus, he looked distressed but lit up to my suggestion that he can sell his old toys to earn some money. Said he wanted to sell his old buses to buy this new bus.Then he got all excited thinking that he is going to buy a superlong bus. He carried the big bus still intact in its box and ran from the shelf to the cashier, and before I could stop him, he fell and the box must have scratched his cheek somehow. He looked a little shocked, but picked himself up and continued running towards the cashier. Aww... so I had to buy him that $17 bus though he already has over 40 vehicles of all sorts at home. He was so grateful with the purchase, kept telling me that he wants to play with the bus now. When I asked him if baby brother can play with the bus, he said 'no, only Marcus can play with this bus'. He was so happy with his new bus that he wanted to carry it while sitting in the stroller on the way home. And he fell asleep on the stroller with the big rectangular box in his arms.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Marcus was admiring a sticker he found on one of his books (he stuck it on months ago and forgotten about) while lying in cot after his usual bedtime reading when I walked into his room. Asked me what that sticker is and I said it is a man without body. Actually it is half of an Ultraman, without the body. Then marcus looked at it carefully and commented, 'mama, hmm..this man has no arms and no butt. No arms, how to eat chips!'
Recent few days, he would hold my face out of sudden and want to rub his nose with my nose. An affectionate gesture which I used to do to him when he was really tiny. I do this with Chit-Chit too, so perhaps one day Nicholas will do it back to me, like what Marcus is doing now. It melts my heart and he knows that it makes me happy. So he keeps doing it. He likes it and makes him laugh too. When I say "let's rub noses" while he is in cot at bedtime, he would jump out of bed and poke his little nose in between the bars of the cot and rub it with mine. Then move his face such that his little nose pokes out of the next gap. In between the nose rubbing, he would giggle. Tonight, he said out of sudden, "mama, we NEED to rub nose"
He said to E few days back while lying in his arms, "papa, watch me close my eyes and sleep" and pretend to sleep. Then he said again "papa, watch me open my eyes and play!" and open his eyes and let out a big laugh.
Whenever it rains, Marcus would look out of the window, then with arms in the air, he would exclaim, "it is raining, how to go gai-gai".. and let out a big sigh, slump his shoulders as if very disappointed. Then look at me again and say "mama, we go take bus later, alright! When the rain stops. Alright!"
This afternoon, he said to me while grumpily looked at me carrying Nicholas, "don't carry Chit-Chit, put Chit-chit down. We go take white bus to America". So I explained America is too far, we can't take bus there and besides we can't cross the oceans with bus. Better to take plane. He replied, "We don't need plane, bus is very fast. We go Amercia. Papa is there" i told him before that E was there for work and it is very far away. So after not seeing daddy for 2 days due to his busy schedule, Marcus probably thought papa is away to America.
Marcus loves to be tickled though he is extremely ticklish. Whenever I sit on sofa, he would position himself such that he is sitting behind me, with his legs wide open encircling my hips, and say 'mama, would you squash me please' and when I do, he would laugh and say 'oh my face is so squashed, help!' He would ask 'mama, tickle me please' and whenever I stop, he would ask 'mama, more tickles please'.
He loves to pretend falling down and sometimes he would laugh, but sometimes he says, 'oh marcus falls down.. oh, marcus is dead'.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Last week, I thought I heard Nicholas call "mama", but only that once. :)
Since Chinese New Year, we have been calling Nicholas "chit-chit" a lot. It seems such an appropriate nick for something so cute. Actually it means great grandson in Malay and we found out when grant aunt Jessie told us. E loves it, so it got caught on now and everyone, including Marcus would refer to Nicholas as Chit-chit. He would say to me or daddy, "don't carry Chit-Chit, put Chit-chit down" etc etc. So adorable.
Monday, April 16, 2007
The Big Idea
Your brain and body are evolved for life in 40,000 BC; take care of the hunter gatherer body and mind that you carry in that pin-striped suit.
It begins on the premise that our bodies and minds are adapted to an ancient environment that passed more than 10,000 years ago. We evolved as hunter-gatherers over at least three million years and that lifeway shapes our attributes, behaviors, and capabilities as human beings. It is by understanding the hunter-gatherer adaptation and incorporating the activity and eating patterns of our ancestral lifeway with the findings of the best of modern science that we can live a natural and healthy life in a modern world that is very different from the one in which human beings evolved.
The Evolutionary Fitness Diet is simple and nutritious. You eat nutritionly dense foods, that are low in calories and high in fiber and antioxidants. It will end your carbohydrate cravings and raise your energy level which is depleted by the blood sugar/insulin rebound and high serotonin levels promoted by high calorie foods. The diet is high in natural plant fiber, phenols, flavonoids, and phytochemicals, nature's own cancer-fighting and antioxidant compounds that coevolved with human beings and were always an important part of the hominid diet before the agricultural and industrial revolutions. Also, we are to drop the grains, cereals and bread, as it will shift the Ph balance of your food from acidic (grains contain a lot of phytic acid) toward a more neutral and even slightly alkaline state. This will permit better mineral metabolism, adding density to your skeletal mass; it will also help your kids grow properly.
Probably quite gross to most people but as proud parents, we even took the picture of the first poo M did in his potty. Haha! He told daddy he wanted to poo and sat on potty. :) Even when he was in nappy yesterday to go out briefly with daddy (had to put nappy in case we can't find toilet for 2 hrs), he let daddy know when he wanted to go. Last night, he even said he wanted to wear pants to bed, no need nappy. But we are not ready to try that yet, so put a nappy for him.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Brought the boys to West Coast Park for the first time. Always procrastinate going as it is so far away, but we should have brought Marcus there earlier. Got there at 1030am and it was so hot. But the sight of 5 big playgrounds was promising, except that they are all surrounded by sand. The first time Marcus played with sand was when he was 15 months old at East Coast park and he loved it. Subsequently we took him another time and he had so much fun. However, we didn't follow up with more sand play and 3 months later, he hated sand so much that he actually protested a lot when his toes touched a grain of sand. And today he still disliked the sand on his feet so much that he only played at the playgrounds for about 15 min. Pity we went all the way there. Gotta take him there again and more often until he gets used to sand.
Went IMM later since we were at the west, but it is always a disappointing mall. Rushed home for my spa appointment at Rustic Nirvana and later mani/pedi dappointment while E, the doting dad/hubby, looked after the two babies. Marcus did so well today without nappies the whole day. Could tell us when he wants to pee and hold it in till we reach the toilets. Huge progress there!
I often tell Marcus that he is not allowed to open/close the taxi doors and only adults can do it as it is dangerous for him. He is so used to hearing me tell maid to lock the door when we are inside taxi that these days, he will immediately request "mama, can you lock the door please" when we get into the taxi. Then turned to E who were sitting next to me, "papa, can you lock the door please" and then to the maid who sat in front, "auntie, can you lock the door please"... And whenever our taxi gets close to our condo, Marcus also hear us say "go straight and then U turn back... go straight, turn left here and straight in... go one round to the right", so these days, he would also try to give instructions to the taxi driver. Can't really make out his directions very clearly, but he especially loves the U turn back part and he knows exactly when to give that instruction. :)
Friday, April 13, 2007
Marcus: "mama, baby brother in van. Dies in van."
I: "huh? what do you mean by 'he dies in van'?"
Marcus: "yeah, bus is broken. Car got stuck in taxi."
I: "oh I see. What else happened?"
Marcus: "Coach fell down and crashed into van. Baby brother flies away to tree. Milk fell down."
I don't know whether to laugh or worry. Uh-oh... what a disturbing storyline. I asked him if there are any animals involved, and he replied "oh yes, a taxi!" He knows what animals are, but these days, everything he says has something to do with car or bus or taxi or coach.
We have tried to explain the abstract concept of "death" to him before when he watched Nemo and was concerned about where Nemo's mummy went. We told him she was eaten by the barracuda and she died. Explained in more details what that means. Other times, we also explained that if he were to run onto the roads without holding my hands, he may get knocked down by cars etc etc.. hence die... blah blah ... I wonder if he understood it well enough since it is not an easy concept. But he has talked about it recently and the frequency of it scares me. He also told E recently that "papa is going to die". Hmm...
Got him to pee before we left home at 11am and at noon, hurried him to public toilet at United Sq, chose a relatively clean cubicle in Ladies, pulled his pants down and held him while he stood with legs shoulder width apart. And he peed successfully. He smiled gleefully at me, as if very proud of his achievement and he should! Then he said "mama, I peed in the toilet!" I gave heaps of praises and kissed him on cheeks, showed him how I flushed the toilet and dressed and led him out of the cubicle to wash hands. Reached home at 1pm and immediately he said he wants to pee again. Got him to potty and he gave me a constipated look. He peed a little, tell me "all done" and just as I was about to pull up his pants, I noticed something dropped on his back. Had a look and what a shock! A big piece of poo on the floor! Wahahaha! He only told me he was going to pee, not poo. So I got him to stand to pee, but he didn't know how to stop the poo from coming out. So funny.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Usually after an hour or two of playing with the Thomas trains and other buses, cars etc.. Marcus will always want to bring a few home. I usually get him to decide on his favourite and allow him to buy only one, if any at all. Yesterday, he stood at the Tomy section that has over 100 types of small vehicles, each costing $3.50 and chose for 2 hours!! Each time he sees something he likes, he says "mummy, we buy this one, okay?" 5 minutes later, he sees another and would say the same thing. So after a while, I told to decide on his fav and we will buy that one since mummy only has $3.50. I showed him the 3 $1 coins and a 50 cents coin I have. He just couldn't decide. A few times he decided on the white/blue taxi, or the patrol car, or the fire engine, or ambulance.. and then swiftly changed his mind when something caught his eye. Eventually he chose a boring black Toyota car. Gave him the coins and taught him to count the money, brought him to cashier, and he told her "I want to pay for this car", handed over the coins, and waited for her to put the box/car into the bag.. said his "thank you, bye, see you later" and then walked back with me to his stroller. There he said to me, "mummy bought Marcus this car, it makes Marcus happy". Aww.. it was all worth it. :) And so cheap, only $3.50!!! That is why he has about 12 Tomy vehicles to date...
When we got home, he woke from his brief nap of 30 min.. and was hungry and grumpy. Looked at his black car and then fussed a lot.. Asked him why, he said "I don't like this black car. I want that white/blue taxi at the store!" *faint* Lesson on toddler's decision making.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Problem is where to go now... hmm... Tokyo, Beijing, some islands like Maldives or Seoul... ? Finally we decide on Kyoto. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2158.html
Marcus: Mama, look! A double decker bus. It's red!
Me: yes, I can see that. It is a pretty one.
Marcus: Later we can play with this double decker bus, alright? (nodding his head repeatedly and then walk away without for my reply)
Me: Well Marcus, I don't know how you are going to play with it later. It is still wrapped in its packaging.
Marcus: Mama, we can buy it first. Then open it. Marcus can play later. (I laughed so hard at that!)
Me: Buy it? You have money?
Marcus: Yes! In papa's wallet. (still looking at the bus)... Mama, we go buy now! Now! Alright!!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Nicholas has such a big appetite which certainly pleases me a lot. Today, he ate 4 tablespoons of dry cereal mixed with 150ml of milk and a quarter of avocado. 2 hrs later, he drank another 125ml of milk. Wow! All in that little tummy. :)
I have been rather unenthusiastic in weaning Nicholas, which makes me feel guilty whenever I think of it. Since he started solids 2 weeks ago, I have only introduced brown rice, avocado and pumpkin so far. I should really have introduced more new tastes/food to him by now if I were to follow the 4-day rule. I didn't want to feed him jar food, which means I have to cook/blend fresh ingredients myself. I didn't want maid to touch any of his food/utensils, so I have to do it all myself. With the boys demanding attention and taking turns to nap in the daytime, it is a real challenge getting stuff done. Especially when I get so tired from handling them, it is so easy for weaning to slide into a lesser priority. That being said, I, being the supermum, gotta try harder so my precious lil nut gets to enjoy new tastes. He loves his mush and would make a lot of noise if I can't spoon fast enough. He especially enjoys the organic pumpkin mush I made. That tiny piece was priced at $6. I debated for a while at Tanglin Marketplace whether to buy it or just go for the non-organic one which will cost only $1.30. But in the end, I reminded myself of the resolution I made to feed Nicholas as much organic food as possible. Not that we can't afford the difference, so why stinge? Again, his wonderful papa repeatedly assured me that I can buy whatever organic food for my boys, regardless of price, as long as I think it is worth it. So what is that $4.70 difference for a piece of organic pumpkin which will last Nicholas for a few meals, when we are sending Marcus to SM which cost $1 per min.
Marcus seems to understand the concept of "yesterday, today and tomorrow, now, later, tonight and morning" very well now. He uses them a lot in his conversations with me and in his descriptions.
He is also very fond of saying "we go take bus later, alright? Alright!" He would ask the question and answer with "alright" immediately without a chance for me to reply. Very funny to watch. I realise how much he picks up from me and what I say. He will say "just wait a minute, okaaaay?", "I say WAIT!" (something I say a lot to him when he "pesters" me at an inconvenient moment), "har??" when he didn't hear properly what we say and wanted us to repeat. This last one is not something I am proud of, so we have been trying to teach him to say "pardon?" instead. So far, no progress.
Just yesterday, I realise how often he would say "mama, this... " and "mama, that... ". Whenever we are out, he would point at things and say "mama, look, a cement mixer!", or "mama, look, there is a black bird", or "mama look!, there is a double decker bus" etc etc.. It melts my heart upon that realisation. I must make a BIGGER effort to be EVEN more attentive to him and makes him feel that whenever he says "mama, ..." he has my undivided attention, even though very often it is not the case, as I have to deal with Nicholas at the same time. However, I do make efforts to always answer him whenever he calls me and to answer him in a non-rushed manner.
My little nut negotiates! :) He does that in a matter-of-fact manner when it comes to issues that matter to him, like how often we go out of the house for "gai gai", modes of transport to take and number of pieces of chips (i.e. potato chips) he will get. Sometime he will say to me, "mama we go take bus and taxi later, alright?" to which I may reply, "we can't take bus until daddy comes home, ok?" Then he may say "then we go take train (meaning MRT) and taxi, alright?" After each successful peeing in potty, he knows we promise him chips. I usually will tell him in advance that he will get 2 pieces of chips when he can pee into the potty. He will then reply cheekily with an accompanying cheeky smile, "no, I want 5 chips!". When I say "no sweetie, mummy just said 2 chips", he will then reply "ok, I want 4 chips!" HAHAHA!! It makes me laugh everytime he says that. He is only 2.5 yrs old and already negotiating! I like to think that he has my genes there.. since mummy is a tough negotiator at work. Great potential I say.
I have always wanted to have 3 children, always thought that life would be complete with 3 beautiful children and a wonderful husband. But when baby Nicholas arrived, I was shell shocked at how tough it was to get through the first weeks. I (We actually, since E shares same sentiments) honestly forgot how tough it was with Marcus's first weeks. Some kind of selective memory and amnesia. Hah! I only remember the good times and how easy Marcus was as a baby. Anyway, what doesn't help was in addition to the difficulties in breastfeeding, I also had my guilt feelings towards Marcus for not being able to spend more time with him, and I had to manage my maid instead of having my mum around for my confinment (big difference here is I don't have to tell my mum what to do for confinment meals and she knows exactly what to do with baby and household). Life would be so much easier without the hourly breastfeeding, though it was miles easier to feed Nicholas than Marcus, the constant backaches and lack of sleep. After the first 2 weeks, E and I announced that we will stop at 2. Haha! I even told my mum to remind me of the "hard" times if she ever hears me say we are going to try for #3. Pity, as it means I am destined not to have my own little girl. I always think little gal will be closer to mummies than boys (and as I can see with Marcus now who prefers daddy anytime, it does breaks my heart sometime to think that after years of loving and nurturing them, they will both grow up closer to daddy, want to share their secrets with him and go on trips with him and hate me). Sigh.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Earlier, he said to E "papa, would you lie down please?" as he wanted E to lie on the floor so he could jump on daddy and sit on his face. Haha.. very funny to watch, especially since Marcus would squeal with delight everytime he gets to jump up and down on daddy's tummy. I tried once and it was so painful. No wonder Marcus prefers daddy since he only gets to play rough with him.
Pictures above were taken when Marcus was 22 months old, in July 2006. He still plays this game with papa though he now weighs 12.8kg.
"Discipline - that magic word.
The basic tools of discipline come from knowing your child and helping him feel right. A child who feels right, act right. Because you take the time to get to know your child well, he trusts you and will be easier to discipline. The long term benefit of this approach to discipline is that the groundwork you lay when your child is a baby and that you reinforce during his toddler years, will pay off during his childhood.
William Sears M.D.
And some great discipline pointers:
- consistency drives the point home
- act kindly but firmly when disciplining
- always finish with debriefing and an affirmation of love and acceptance and how precious they are
- stay calm when your child is upset
- disciplining appropriately is the most loving thing you can do for your child
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Stopped potty training with Marcus in the past 2 weeks while he was not well, and only resumed 3 days ago. Have been very successful with Marcus on his potty training these 3 days. He was without a nappy at home, except for nap and bedtime. He was able to let us know when he was going to pee but so far, no poo?? Today, I forgot to put on nappy for him before putting him down for nap and 2 hours later, I panicked when he woke up. But luckily, his pants were dry! Hurray! Got him to the potty immediately and he did a big pee in it. Gave him 5 pieces of chips as rewards. I know that is not a wise move but I reasoned there must be a carrot for him at this stage. Once he can do so consistently, I shall switch the incentive to stickers and hopefully it will work just as well.
Wean off Pacifier
Marcus was never a thumb sucker and in a way, I am relieved by that, though some people warned me repeatedly about how the use of pacifier is worse than the thumb sucking habit and that it will result in ugly teeth, blah blah blah.. But I always maintain that we can remove the pacifier, but not the thumb, so you are MORE dependent on the child to wean himself off.
We introduced the pacifier to Marcus when he was 2 weeks old when we were driven nuts with his crying and being first-time parents, we were repeatedly told that baby has to suck a lot for comfort, so the pacifier will do the job well. By the time he was 4 months old, I stopped bringing the pacifier out with us so he was used to taking the pacifier only before naps/bedtime at home. He doesn't ask for it any other time either. For the past few months, I only gave it to him when he asked for it at bedtime. After the recent 10 days of blocked nose/cold when we didn't give the pacifier to him at all, he didn't seem to miss it. I've just thrown it away, so we can say he is officially WEANED OFF.
Marcus getting some help from Uncle Peter in Jan 2006 (16 months)
Marcus in Aug 2006 (23 months)
Marcus posing with his award-winning building in Jan 2007 (28 months). Entirely his work and creativity!
Marcus working on his fire station. Feb 2007 (29 months)
Thursday, April 5, 2007
I realise I have been saying a lot of "marcus don't do this and that.." the past months which is something I must consciously avoid, unless it is on something very serious. Must be very discouraging and stifling for him. I just realised yesterday that he doesn't seem to be asking as many questions as before now.. I wonder if it is because I've not been asking him as many questions now. Gotta make effort on that.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Marcus started flipping from back-to-tummy at 2 months exactly and tummy-to-back at 3.5 mths. Nicholas flipped from tummy to back at 9 weeks and the other way at 5mths.
At 4mths, Marcus was already trying to flip non-stop everytime I placed him in the bouncer and even tried pulling himself up while lying in it at 5 mths, which worried me so much that I tried him on the walker. But Nicholas still hasn't gotten used to the bouncer enough to want lie down for over 10 min per stretch, compared to Marcus's 30 min, and he just started to try flipping in bouncer.
Not sure if it has to do with this, but Marcus was sleeping on his back right from day 1, whereas Nicholas was placed on tummy soon after he came home from hospital. When mum first suggested placing Marcus on his tummy to calm him down, E and I anxiously rejected the idea as we were first-time parents, so naturally very edgy about any ideas/suggestions that we reckon as dangerous/risky/irrational etc.. but with Nicholas, we are now "experienced" so we gave in to MIL when she suggested. Make sense? Also, Nicholas prefers to be carried upright (leaning on our body) whereas Marcus was easygoing with a cradle position till he was past 5 mths (Nicky hates it), again I think difference lies in confinement help who carried them differently.
Nicholas has a thicker waist, fatter thighs and ankles and probably longer torso compared to Marcus at same age. I know because Nicholas wears lots of Marcus's clothes. Also at 5 mths old, Nicholas weighed 7.1kg compared to Marcus' 6.8kg. So maybe Nicholas would be the chubbier one in future.. hehee
I remember seeing Marcus trying to flip over from back when he was only barely 5 weeks old. He would keep trying everytime I left him on bed. Also he seemed to like lying in bed more than Nicholas and would just look around, coo, appreciate the ceiling and beddings, or just "exercise" while I leave him on bed. Nicholas couldn't tolerate a second in bed till recently when his best record is 20 min stretch in the morning. Once he sees me, he starts fussing till I pick him up and for the rest of the day, will not allow me to put him back into bed even for a second without fussing.
Reading & toys & singing
Marcus used to love books and would quieten down everytime I showed him a book or read to him. He also loved "My Bonnie" so much that it would send him to zzzzz everytime i cuddled and sang it. I realise Nicholas doesn't appreciate books as much (or should I say at all). He doesn't care much in fact.. oh oh.. i wonder if it is because we didn't spend as much time reading to him. Also, he is not keen on toys too.. would only look at them for less than 5 min before started crying and demand to be carried straightaway.
Marcus spent an hr playing in the toy shop while I did grocery shopping. He sneezed so much we had to rush home. Played with Crayola stamping markers and playdoh before nap. Went playground in the evening.
Took the boys to Ang Mo Kio hub via MRT. Thought it would be fun to explore a new mall and just go somewhere new. But it turned out so disappointing. No playground and not even a slide inside the mall, only 1 miserably small toy shop, no Toys R Us but just the usual boring brand name shops. And Nicholas just cried so much wanting to be carried all the time, so it was not fun at all. Boys fell asleep on the way back.
Took cab to Vivo City which pleased Marcus a lot. He kept wanting to take buses but with only maid and me, it is impossible to handle 2 boys and prams on bus and I am also uncomfortable with idea of maid carrying either boy on bus even if we were to travel without the pram/stroller. So had to take MRT or taxi. Marcus spent an hr playing with buses/cars (which are still in packaging) in Toys R Us and another 1.5hr at the playground. Got himself soaking wet from playing with the water jets but he had such fun, smiling all the time so i didn't stop him though we didn't bring any spare trousers for him. Had to take cab back with him wearing a tshirt and nappy, but he didn't seem to mind at all.
Went Botanic Gardens with both boys and it was NM's first trip there. He really took it all in. Could see his little eyes light up. So adorable. Gotta go more often now. Marcus spent lots of time looking at postcards and didn't really explore as much as i was hoping he would but I guess I should just leave to him to decide what he wants to do. Nicholas demanded to be carried (by me only) ALL the time but he seemed to enjoy the sights and sounds so much, I didn't mind carrying andwhispering to him. After that, we walked all the way to Tanglin Mall and then Forum where Marcus played for about an hour in the toy shops, then we headed home. Out for dinner at the Sun with Moon restaurant which looked so fancy, but food was rather average. But it was fun to have Marcus sit at the table and eat with us while maid took Nicholas elsewhere. Reminded me of the fun times before NM arrived when we used to eat out so often, and I am sure Marcus also enjoyed being the only "baby" at the table for that little while as I could see his cheeky smiles all the time and he seemed real happy to have our full attention. But I also feel guilty having such feelings. Took boys to the nearby mall after dinner and Marcus ran so much, so full of beans! Nicholas would laugh and chuckle so much whenever he sees Marcus run away, absolutely hilarious for us to watch. Then we took bus home (really for the boys sake only, else would be taxi for sure). Boys enjoyed the bus ride so much, especially NM. Really long day for all of us, but all's worth it since it was so experiential for the lil ones.
Ed took Marcus for his first ride on a double-decker and sat in the front seat on upper deck, while I took Nicholas down to the pool early morning for a quick stroll. Then it was bonding time with daddy for the rest of the day. Marcus has been talking about his Ducktour experience lately. Been trying to prompt him more to get him to describe but so far, he still won't tell me more, except that it has wheels and can go into water.. and that he likes it and want to go again.
Spent the morning at the Zoo. First trip for Nicholas and he seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, looking at everything with interest. Marcus was more interested in the trams than the animals, though he did pay attention to the swinging monkeys and cheeky Orang Utans. Definitely must go again real soon before our Zoo membership expires.