Me and My Sisters

Me and My Sisters

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Great British Circus

During the 2nd day of CNY, we went to watch The Great British Circus as they were in town.

A friend managed to help us get a 20% discount with our bookings, so we went for the VIP seat. We collected the tickets before we went for dinner, as it will be cancelled if collection was not made 45 minutes before the show.

We had a quick dinner at the food court in Aeon Big itself. We're surprised to see so many familiar heritage wall paintings inside there, it seems like we're back in Penang! Can you see the paintings lining up the walls around the mall's ground floor? 

We only took a few pictures as we're in a hurry or we'll be late for the circus. 

Little Penang in Ipoh?

After dinner, we went down to meet some friends at the circus entrance since we collected the tickets for them too. Good thing that they have already queued up so we're the first few in line. Since it's free seating, we got the first row! 

Yao and the girls enjoying some homemade healthy snacks from my friend :)

While waiting for the show to begin, Yao got restless and told me that she's afraid. You see, it's quite dark in the tent, albeit some lightings and air-conditioning to make it more homey. I tried to soothe her but she insisted that she wanted to go back. In the end, I took her out and showed her the posters while explaining to her about the clown, acrobats, etc. 

When it's showtime, I managed to persuade Yao to go back in and she got curious. I must thank the clown for the humourous start. 

Then Yao got mesmerized by the challenging balancing act...

Until Spiderman made an entrance thru the smoke... Yao got scared again.

But she still wanted to peep at Spidey while crying at the same time, LOL! Thank goodness after a while, she calmed down and able to enjoy the rest of the show. The performances were interlaced with funny acts from the clown, so this kept her entertained. Mr Clown also invited the audience to take part in some instances, which made the show more humourous (well, if I'm in their shoes, I might think otherwise!). 

Are the animals real? 

At break time, Sze Yi wanted to have a picture with Spider Man and the bear, so we all went for a group photo. Yao naturally got scared but after some coaxing, she agreed to pose.

 We had to pay RM10 for this, but we got a hardcopy photo in return. They were also willing to help us take a picture with our own camera, so it's a good deal. 

 Sze Yi even managed to get a picture with the clown!

We had another pose while waiting for the show to resume...

The next shows that followed were quite suspenseful, as the acts were quite dangerous. We watched in awe especially the performance by the 3 motorbike riders in a cage. 

More dangerous stunts to follow...

The show ended with a parade from the performers carrying the flags from both countries and the state where this show was performed. 
 The End

After everyone left, we went backstage as Sze Yi was busy looking for the caravans. She has read in Mr Galiano's Circus that the circus people stayed in a caravan, so she wanted to check them out. However, we can't find anything apart from these....

So I told her now we're in a modern world. The circus people no longer stays in a caravan, but a hotel instead ;)

And Yao went back with a big smile, she kept saying, "Mr Funny is so funny... hahaha!"

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Celebrating Ang Pow Festival in School

This year, Sze Yi performed the Hip Hop style Street Dance during their school CNY Ang Pow festival. It's a new experience for her, and she enjoyed it very much.

They just formed the team 1 month in advance, and practice session started just 3 weeks prior to the actual performance. Despite that, the kids performed very well.

Sze Juin didn't want to miss the fun too so she formed her own group and managed to find enough people to make a team 1 week later. Even though they only have 2 weeks to practise, they gave a superb performance as well.
Uptown Funk

Monday, November 30, 2015

Yao's 24th Month Turning Point

It was not long ago that I just did a milestone comparison for Yao with regards to her Jie Jies' at 22 months. Little did I know that once she touched the 24th month, she has continued to amaze me.

When she celebrated her 2nd birthday, I am very proud to announce that Yao could do the following: 
We had a celebration for her 2 days before the actual day

1. Recite A-Z on her own (with a little guidance from us). I must thank my babysitter for teaching her that :)
2. Potty trained during the day time. She can go diaperless even when we went outside for lunch/dinner, and stay dry after a 3 hours nap. However, there are accidents still. 
3. She has weaned off the pacifier! Hurray! Yes, she threw it away into the dustbin herself 7 days prior to her birthday :)

This was 3 days before her birthday, during the mooncake festival 
(As you can see, she's Frozen-crazy

Once entering the 24th month, her development was too fast until I couldn't keep track. From 24th month onwards to just before entering into her 26th month's timeframe, she could do the following now:

1. Recognise her ABC and able to tell the alphabets correctly
2. Can count 1-10 in 3 languages, English, Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia (again, thanks to my babysitter for introducing that to her).
3. What amazes me the most is that she is able to recognise the numbers correctly too (when I pointed to the numbers in the lift, she could say it out correctly in English).
4. She can recognise the colours and say them correctly as well.
5. Yao also started to show interest in the shape sorter and she can put the shapes correctly now. She can even tell the shapes in names (eg circle, oval, etc).
6. She started to show interest in reading and looking at picture books. She can place the stickers nicely on the sticker book albeit still not really within the confined perimeter of the picture yet.
7. She can sing alongside with her Jie Jie on some songs like xiao chao (小草), wo niu de jia (蜗牛的家), Lullaby, etc. Some of her favourite songs (which she still can't really sing in full yet) are the Humpty Dumpty, Mary Have A Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars, etc.
8. I can now declare that Yao is fully potty trained, including the night time. Her diaper is dry even in the morning (oh but accidents do happen at times still). 
9. Yao speaks quite fluently and clearly in both English and Mandarin. However some words are still not clear yet and only I can understand her. She could relate and describe things in sentences quite well. I love some phrases which I don't know where she picked up from..."But I don't know how!", "What the hell!", "Where's Daddy?", "Or Daddy go where?", etc. 
10. Yao is very emotional, she can cry easily. She will cry when we sang songs which sounded sad to her, like "Lullaby or Dodoi Sayang", or the Xiao Bai Chuan (小白船) song. Sometimes I'm not sure if her tears are fake or not, because whenever her Jie Jies wanted to make her cry, they will start singing lullaby to her and she will start crying for them (she's such a good actress!). 

I am still breastfeeding her, but started to introduce Pediasure formula milk (in bottle) as well as warmed up FarmHouse/FarmFresh fresh milk (in cup) for her in her 21st month. By 23rd month, she was taking the Pediasure formula milk more frequently especially at night when she realised I don't have much milk left. But she was on full EBM at the babysitter's house still. When my last frozen EBM bottle was used up right before she turned 26th month, I gave my babysitter 2 bottles of EBM plus 1 serving of Pediasure every day starting on the 30th Nov, where Yao is officially 26th month.
My last frozen EBM (top) and last sets of complete EBM to my babysitter (on 27th Nov)

I normally gave her 5oz EBM per bottle, but since my supply was running low and it took so much time to pump out the required amount to make a bottle, I use shortcut and stopped at 4oz instead. It really takes a lot of effort to squeeze out 1oz at this stage. 

This photo was taken on 4th Oct. Yao basically can drink from the cup without spilling and able to feed herself without much mess by then. 

I started to let Yao take cold stuffs (including fresh milk, vitagen, yakult, ice-cream) when she's 23 months old but it's not that frequent. The first time she sampled a cold drink was when she was 20th month at the Balik Pulau Goat Farm, for the goat milk was chilled. 

17th Oct 2015 - Yao went for her 1st dental checkup. She only can sit for awhile on the dentist chair before insisting to get up, so the dentist checked her teeth with me carrying her. She has been diligently brushing her teeth everyday (yes by herself, and I checked after she's done) so there's no problem with her teeth (yet).  

My little baby is growing up real fast, and it's a joy to watch her everyday, even though she's too mobile for my preference. Anyway, both her Jie Jies adore her, and they have been great babysitters at home, especially when I'm busy with other chores.

And for that, I am grateful for my little blessings :)  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Yao's 22-Months Milestone Check

It's the time of the year again. My little baby is turning 22-months and I'm dreading to write her "accomplishment report" because I know I've not been doing a good job. 

Why do I pick 22? Well, just because I wrote one for SY when she's 22-months and after that I did a comparison for SJ when she reached the same milestone. So now that Yao is 22-months old, I felt compelled to do one for her as well. But oh, just briefly skimming thru her Jie Jies' reports, I can't help feeling a little despair because Yao still couldn't do some of what her Jie Jies could do last time (mostly academic stuffs). Both sisters could already count, but she still needs guidance to do a complete 10. Sigh... I must take full responsibility for this because I have not been paying her the same amount of attention as to her Jie Jies last time... Hmm...but could that also be attributed to Yao's more mobile nature, because she's so much more faster than her sisters when it comes to walking, running, and whatever stunts that's physical. 
My little monkey doing one of her stunts again

Her statistics are very close to her sisters (10.4kg, ~82cm) compared to SY (11kg, 84-85cm) and SJ (~11kg, 79cm). We forgot to get her height measured when we went to see the Paed so I get Daddy to measure her with our own measuring tape.

I think she's got a full set of teeth too, just like her Jie Jies.

What she can do (which either one or both sisters can do at 22months last time):
- Able to feed herself. She could manage it rather well, though at times when she spilled the food, she would inform me so I would clean up the mess.

- She could take out her own shoes, and diapers (not pants yet).

- She loves scribbling, have used all pencil colours, pens and marker pens. Even though we gave her a piece of white paper for her own use, she would sometime try to scribble on her Jie Jies' books or notebooks.

- She is able to recognise different types of fruits and animals, and could point them out accordingly.  She also knows her body parts and could even say them out very clearly.

- I have not given her ice-water yet, but she could take spicy food, much to my amazement. I found out when she asked for the hokkien mee that Daddy was taking. He gave her some of the noodles which she tried and then asked for more.

- She hasn't been listening to a lot of songs. The very limited action songs that I taught her, she did show some actions at various parts. Her most favourite one is the Ring a Ring o' Roses which her sisters taught her, and she loved the fall down part the most.

- Friendly towards strangers, greeted hello to them, and waved bye bye when leaving as if long-time friends.

- She is very helpful and proactive with housework. Last time she would just pass me the wet clothes to be hanged, but now she would insist to carry all the wet laundry to the sofa for hanging, and does not just stop there. She would ask me to pass her the hanger and the clothes peg, so I have to help her put the clothes onto the hanger, and then carry her up so that she could hang it on the railings too. This really slowed down my work a lot, but then there's no stopping her. She is also the official messenger to pass things to her Jie Jie, like when SJ need to get a towel after her bath, or carry fruits from me to her sisters. Daddy and Jie Jies even assign her to throw rubbish for them, and she did it proudly and happily :)

- She is at the age where she just doesn't want to do things our way. Right now, she would resist strongly when I wanted to change her nappy or clothes. She also refused to eat her porridge. When I insist, it would end up with a tug of war, with me being the loser most of the time. She's really strong and doesn't really care if she hurt herself. If I'm not careful, she would have flung herself onto the floor or knocked against something. What's worse is that she could sulk for very long, and no amount of cajoling would comfort her. But at times, she would quickly say sorry and patted me after a struggle :)

- Loves brushing and would ask for her toothbrush when she sees it. However, she bit on the bristles most of the time. I've started applying toothpaste for her once (the MAM edible version), and ever since then, she always asks for it even though I try not to give her too often because she kinds of swallows it!

- She started to show interests in books after she turns 18 months when I brought back loads of board books from Big Bad Wolf, and could even identify and point to the objects in there and tell me what interest her. There's this book (Dear Zoo) which I bought from the Book Depository that I find very good. She loves to lift up the flap to identify each animals and she could tell one from the other. It's also sturdy enough because so far, only 1 of the flaps was partially torn (judging from the force that she used when flipping them).

- Recognising people - When she sees our old photos, she would point to SJ or SY when small and said that's Yao. She could recognise Daddy, Mommy, Jie Jie, Amah, Poh Poh and Gong Gong. She could address nearly all the formalities too by now, from Daddy, Mommy, Jie Jie, Amah, Gong Gong, Po Po, Ji Chik, Sa Chik, Ji Chim, Sa Chim. I think she's still not familiar with Jiu Jiu and Yi Yi because we seldom meet up. She would address the babysitter as Mommy too, and her husband as Daddy even though we tried to correct her a few times. In the end, the babysitter told me that even though she corrected her to call her Aunty, she still insisted to call her Mommy same like her other kids. I guess she doesn't want double standard :)

What she still needs help (but both sisters doesn't):
- Counting: She can count but not the complete 1-10. I know she knows when she auto-count for us, for instance when I asked her to repeat after me when I said 1, 2, 3, she would continue on like 4, and then when I said 5, she would said 6 instead of repeating the same thing. However, it's so difficult to get her to count, because she just refused and ignored me most of the time. Oh, but then Hubby told me he's surprised when he heard her counting 1-10 in Chinese! I never heard that myself, and could never get her to repeat it for me, so that's why I still place her counting under this category.

- Shape sorting: She could only do circle, and need help with the rest. Maybe we bought a rather complicated shape sorter for her when she's 1 year old (yes, we lost Jie Jie's one, which I think is a better choice). This shape sorter has quite similar shapes to begin with, and it's squarish where she has to turn it to different sides for different shapes. I think this is a little hard for her age (lesson learnt for Mommy for being over-ambitious). Her sisters' one was round in shapes, and the shapes are very distinct, like circle, square, star, oval, etc. Yao's one has a semi-circle, then a half-moon-like and oval shape, which I think very closely resemble each other. But then, Yao still can't really put the rectangle, etc all by herself, maybe because she needs to flip to 6 surfaces to find which holes to put it thru. Everytime she played with it, she would just do the circle and then she's stuck.

- She is potty-trainable, and has even showed diaperless record of close to 24 hours. There are many instances when I thought she's potty trained for good, but not long later, accidents happened. Indeed, she's not consistent. At times, she's eager to go to the potty. Then there are times when she refused to tell us. Her babysitter just told me that she's been diaperless for 3 days at her place, but that was during waking hours. She still wears it when sleeping, and it's not dry when she woke up ;()

- I didn't notice her memorizing any songs yet, but then I've not been playing songs for her. I noticed that when her favourite songs of "Let It Go" was going to be played, and she would quickly go to her position to start doing the 'action'. She is a good echo singer, and has powerful voice. Hubby enjoys dueting with her, because she really can sing the last part really well with him. Their favourites is the 小草.

What she is still learning (where one of her sisters already know):
- Like SJ, she still couldn't recognize alphabets yet. Even though her babysitter told me that she could already read, like A for Apple, B for book, etc., I think what the babysitter meant was more like she knows A is for Apple, B is for book. I haven't been doing that with her myself, but I don't think she could recognise the alphabets yet (unlike Sze Yi who could differentiate them at such an early age).

- Identifying colors - this is something that she's yet to master. At times I thought she could identify blue, green and yellow, but she doesn't show consistency yet.

- Doing the sign of cross - she is trainable, can do with guidance but still can't do it by herself.

- DO, RE, MI - she doesn't have a clue what is that! When I tried to teach her (after I learnt that this is one of the appraisal items), she just looks at me with a blur look and refused to participate! (LOL)

- Operating the DVD player - yes, she can operate partially. Better than SJ but not as expert as SY. She knows which button to press for PLAY and STOP but she couldn't change the CD like SY and and operate from scratch.

- Like SJ, she has been to the cinemas about 5 times. But unlike SJ, she couldn't sit still till the movie ends (maybe I didn't feed her pop-corn. SJ could stay in all the time because she was busy with the pop-corns). From all the movies that we have watched so far, she only stayed in for the Minions movie. For the rest of the movies, she would ask me to bring her out during the most important scenes! But I'm still happy because I could still follow the storylines despite so many interruptions.

- Her pronunciation is not that accurate and she tends to only say the last word. But she could get her message across by pulling and pointing. She could say a phrase by now, and her favourite is "Yao loves XXX". We play a game with her, and when she says "Yao loves Daddy!", Daddy will say Yay! When she says "Yao loves Jie Jie", they would say Yay! and the same for me. Over time, Yao would shorten the phrase to "Yao, Daddy! by eating out the "loves".

How she is different from her sisters:
- She can go up the whole flight of stairs like her Jie Jies, but she's much braver than them because she also can come down all by herself. In fact, that's her favourite past time, and she refused to even let Mommy hold her hands!

- She is very very 'ai sui' like her sisters, but I think none of my girls have dared to wear like this outside except at home, but she did! She has gone out shopping with a halloween hat (till all eyes were on us, and I can't help noticing a lot of smiles too), then this princess tiara :)

- If I'm going to rate her stubbornness, I'll give her 9/10. She's very sure of herself, and does not have fear in her dictionary. When going outside, she would not walk with us, refused to let us hold her hands, and would stay behind for such a long time until we all ran out of patience. Even when we're in the lift, with the whole crowd of people waiting inside, she would still take her own sweet time smiling back, but never wanting to get in. I would have to always go out and grab her myself. This including when we're going into the house, she would wander off to the other directions. If I hide and didn't show myself, or pretend to go in and close the gate, she would still stand at her spot, until I go back to find her.

- She's so much more mobile than her Jie Jies. She could run much faster than my fast walking pace!  Climbing and walking are her favourite pastimes. If SJ refused to walk and always wanted me to carry her last time, Yao would struggle to come down and walk by herself. She could even attempt to play her Jie Jie's scooter and is rather natural with her footings. When it comes to racing with her Jie Jies, she was not that far off behind them, as she really can speed!

- Because of her mobile nature, she couldn't sit still in church or functions. I couldn't really bring her to church or shopping or attend any function by myself like during SJ's time. As for SY, I could still handle her even though she talks a lot, but Yao really tests my patience by walking just too much!

- She could go up and down the escalators already! Good thing she lets me hold her hands.

- She's a food lover! She would ask for everything that she sees us eating, so it's rather hard to confine her to her own food after a while. I just gave her organic foods initially, but because of this, I find it rather hard to restrict her diet. She would eat what her Jie Jies eat, and even refused her own porridge or noodles if Jie Jie didn't eat the same thing! I am still having a hard time feeding her the main meals, as she took ages to chew! But if it's outside food, then the process seems so much easier.

- Nap time - it's hard to get her to nap when we're at home (like during the weekends). I wonder where she got all the energy from. During bedtime, she's the last to doze off. I would have to wait until both Jie Jies have fallen asleep before I could make her sleep.

- She is very independent and understand a lot of things by now. She is not as clingy to me as her Jie Jies. I could go out rather openly without her crying for me (provided the Jie Jies are left at home too). Last time, I would have to sneak out during SY or SJ's time. She could even go to sleep without me at times.

- I have a feeling that she nurses more for hunger than for comfort. Maybe she has a pacifier that she could rely on. Once she's full, she even refused the other side. And when she found out that I don't have much milk, she would quickly unlatch and ask me for other types of food, or fresh milk or formula milk. I think she's ready to wean off (once I'm ready myself).  She's flexible to take warmed fresh milk (FarmHouse) in cup, or formula milk (Pediasure) in bottle.

- Yao is an animal lover. She enjoys watching birds, fish, cats and dogs. We can see that she appreciates our trips to the zoo much better than her Jie Jies. She even dares to touch Jojo, which is Ji Chek's pet dog. Unlike her Jie Jies, she could play and chase after Jojo, and even let Jojo licks her hands.

- She doesn't mind water splashing into her eyes, or doesn't scream as much as Sze Yi when I wash her hair. She enjoys playing with water very much.

Indeed, every child is different. However, after having 3 kids, I couldn't help realising that parents' role is really important in helping their kids to accomplish more at such a young age. Most of the time, it is because we didn't give them enough focus. SY seems to know so much at this age, because being the firstborn, she has all our attentions. When it comes to SJ, our attention were split into two, but still more than Yao because SY and SJ's gap are less compared to Yao's with her Jie Jies. We are too busy with the Jie Jies' activities now and thus hardly have time to develop Yao. Furthermore, their activities and development are very different by large compared to Yao. But luckily, we have them as our helper, so the younger ones will pick up things from their sisters instead. Sometimes I'm amazed at how fast they learn things which I didn't teach them myself, because they observe from their siblings and imitate them. Like SJ, she learns to speak much faster and more fluently than SY, where as Yao learns to walk much faster than both Jie Jies. I guess she gets excited when she sees them racing and wants to join in the fun too.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Battling Eczema with Izumio and Super Lutein

SY used to have this little rash at her neck. When it got really itchy, she would scratch it non-stop and it would become worse. My sister gave her some medication, which comprised of Potassium Permanganate to cleanse it, and some creams to apply (Betamethasone and Aqueous). I must confess that I have not been diligently using them on her, partly because it's rather tedious, and partly because the creams contain a very small percentage of steroid. So SY has been having this little rash for quite awhile, maybe more than 6 months, I couldn't really recall. It didn't really bother her too much when she didn't scratch it, and so I didn't do anything to it.

Well, when I started them with these new supplements (Izumio and Super Lutein), I totally forgot about it until ~1 month later. That's when I noticed that the patch was still there, despite claims saying it could heal eczema. I was a little disappointed at that time, because it was just a little rash. Despite it being not too severe, the so-claimed powerful supplements didn't help. Anyway, I took a photo just in case I needed it for comparison later, and continued to gave SY the supplements (sometimes 2 capsules of Super Lutein and 1 pack of Izumio twice a day, sometimes only once a day, and sometimes less than that, no fixed dosage). At times I would sprinkle the leftover drops of Izumio on her neck.

Well, about 1 week ago when I remembered to check on her neck, the rash had disappeared! Just like that! Maybe it takes more time for her, as different people have different body condition. I am more than thrilled!
Super Lutein and Izumio really work!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Creative Toys Ideas for an Active Toddler

Yao is at the age where she just wouldn't sit still. So it takes up a lot of my energy and time entertaining her. I was looking for alternatives to keep her occupied without the television. A friend shared some toys ideas and I find them very creative. I have tried some of them, not all works for my super active toddler but I would like to document them here.

Non-cook playdough with natural colouring (April 2015)
At first I tried the non-cook version, but Yao got curious and tasted it. So ever since then, I opted for the cooked version. If store in air-tight container, it should be able to last for about 1 year.

The red colour is from beetroot, recipe from here

Stickers made from felt (May/June 2015)
I was researching for suitable stickers for ~1 year old plus toddler, but noticed that Yao is still not ready for it. So a friend suggested that I make one from felt instead. However, Yao is not interested in it, only SJ enjoyed playing with them so far. 

Face parts stickers
Shapes stickers

Kumon Lets Sticker and Paste(May/June 2015):
It took awhile for Yao to learn how to peel out the stickers and pasted them accordingly. She tended to paste them on top of each other instead of spreading them out. But over time, she learnt how to paste the stickers at the allocated boxes, even though not exactly inside. She still needed help with peeling the sticker as it will tear. She finished the sticker part in just 2 days, so I kept the book for sometime before introducing her to the 2nd part, which needs to apply glue and paste it herself. I should probably take a picture of her work, but till then, you can refer to here on how it looks like inside.
Taken on one of the nights she refused to sleep!

Colour sorter using pom pom balls (June 2015)
This is considered a hit so far. Yao can play and play with it for a longer period of time without getting bored. Initially, she adhered to the color code. But after a while, she refused to follow. She only likes to insert the pom pom balls into the holes. I love it in the sense that the balls won't fall out by itself, so it reduces the chance of losing the balls when I'm not watching her play. Even both Jie Jies also enjoy playing with this game.

Stacking Tower(June 2015)
This is something that Yao designed on her own. I have no idea where she got the idea. She even put away those containers herself after playing with it!
See how tall the tower can go up to? :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

How to Tell Them Apart

Looking at these pictures, can you tell them apart? All these were taken when they were around 18-21 months timeframe.
SY's pictures were taken when she's about 18-21 months, SJ's were taken during a studio photoshoot when she's ~21 months and Yao's photos were taken recently when she's 19months plus. I personally feel that Yao looks more like SY although there are some similarities to SJ.

SY's at the top left, SJ's at the top and bottom right and Yao's at the bottom left 

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