Nugget of joy #12

I was fiddling with my phone after dinner at my in laws’ place. Aly emerged from the kitchen with a slice of pear which she was clutching on to tightly. She loves fruits (as much as she loves bread) and she had been eagerly waiting for my mother in law to cut her some fruits.

I thought she would plonk herself on the floor, make herself comfortable and enjoy her fruit.

Instead, she toddled towards me, her hands outstretched to help her maintain her balance. There was a huge grin on her face. She stopped right in front of me, held the pear to my mouth and offered to let me take a bite of the pear.

It was a really simple act, but this act from my 15 month old toddler made my day (in fact, my week)! It was her way of showing her love for me. It showed that she understood what it meant to share and to give. It meant so so much to me.

I was reminded once again, of how blessed we are to have Aly in our lives and how blessed I am to be able to experience the joy of mothering – something I would not trade for anything else in this world.

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Aly at 15 months

The other day, ys and I were reading Aly’s 7 month update (at random) and it was then when we realised we had forgotten so many details like how she would also “sing-along” with us during nap time and how she once screamed instead of laugh properly. We combed through the videos on our phone, hoping to find one which would help us remember how she was like and why we said these things but we couldn’t find anything. It’s amazing how the human mind works and how we push details out of our minds to make room for fresh details.

A colleague always reminded me, right from the time Aly was born, to take as many videos as I can, and that he wish he had taken more of his daughter. I think I finally understand what he means.

I know I sound like a broken record, but our little girl is growing up too fast.

Here’s her 15 month update:

Feeds: we give her home-cooked meals 99% of the time and there have only been a couple of occasions where we allowed her to have our food as a meal. I’m going to relax this rule a little since she’s bigger now so I think I will be feeding her more of what we eat! She still loves her food though (I’m so glad) and she will choose food over toys anytime!

Speech: (new words in italics) she can say papa, mama, nainai (paternal grandmother), yeye (paternal grandfather), ah ma, teh (I dunno why she replaces ah gong with teh. It’s hilarious!), yi (for ah yi), duck, nana (banana), boo (peak a boo), bor (ball), poo (swimming pool, pull, poo poo, how versatile), per (apple), mum mum (food), tar (star), tee (tree), egg, ah (up), more, bad (bread), wok (walk), ho (hold-when she wants us to hold her hand to walk), bug (bag), hu hu (叔叔-uncle in mandarin), bo (伯伯), mu (伯母), milk, no more, ha-ha (hug hug), bear, ish (fish), mao (猫), book, bow (rainbow), back, bao bao (抱抱 – carry in mandarin), na na (night night), moo (moon), bit (rabbit), ti (hello kitty), lai (light).

Sleep: She still sleeps in her own room but wakes up a couple of times a night. I will go over to pat her when she does and she will fall back to sleep without any problems. She has slept through the night two or three times and I’m hoping that will be the norm rather than the exception soon!

Motor skills: Aly took her first steps last week and is more confident of walking now, although she’s now at the stage where she walks like a mummy. Ys keeps joking about wanting to wrap her up in toilet paper. She generally wants to practise walking rather than be carried. When she’s not confident, she will hold your hand, tug at it and say “walk” (in a commanding manner). She has learnt the concept of “kicking” and will attempt to kick a ball if it is placed in front of her.

Other developments: Aly is very expressive and even though she has not built up her vocabulary base, she is able to express herself through hand gestures and expressions. For example, if she wants to eat something, she will point at the food, then at her mouth. Blinking lights are represented by her opening and closing her fist. She shakes her body and nods her head when she means “yes”.

She is more sociable and interactive now and loves being around people. She loves company and she is happy when she has everyone sitting around her (she will command everyone to sit down by pointing at the person then tapping her finger on the spot next to her), and when everyone is finally seated, she shows her happiness by kicking her legs in excitement.

She is happiest when she has food and when she is on one of those kiddy rides. My dad really indulges her and she gets to ride on kiddy rides at least five times a week! She is always the youngest on those rides but she loves them!

For some reason, she loves pouting her lips and she kisses everyone with that same pout. Without being asked to, she kisses Ys and I good night before bedtime and waves good night. Our hearts turn into goo each time she does that. She is also into hugging everything and will keep asking for more items to hug. More cushions, more pillows, more stuffed toys. Hilarious.

I’m quite amazed by this one – she understands the concept of “I” and “我” (which means “I” in mandarin) and understands that the reflection she sees in the mirror or the girl she sees in pictures / videos is herself. Oh, and she has this funny habit of pointing one finger up when she knows we are taking a picture of her (its like her version of peace),

Here’s a video of her walking like a mummy and doing her version of the peace sign when she caught me filming her.

{Saturday Morning Snapshot} – Weekend Brunch and A Motorcycle

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Ys brought us to Rabbit Carrot Gun for brunch yesterday morning. It’s a charming little cafe along east coast road that I’ve been meaning to check it out for some time! Will get down to doing a review of this cafe in a separate post!

I have loved weekend brunches since before Aly came along and I am glad that we are still make effort to keep such weekend brunches going. Aly is also a huge fan because she gets to eat a bit of scrambled egg and toast (she’s a bread monster).

On top of the food, she was also really excited about this old school motorcycle ride that was placed outside the cafe. It probably has seen better days, bringing lots of joy to young children, whose parents could afford to spare some change for the ride. The motorcycle now stands as a display.

Aly has always loved motorcycles and was naturally ecstatic when we placed her on the bike! She was really pleased and we couldn’t help but snap a picture.

Lovely Saturday morning.

Wee Stories

Aly’s first steps

Today’s the day! Aly took her first steps! And I was around again!

It all started with her being comfortable enough to stand without support and trying to get us to clap each time she manages to do it. Then once, she was standing about a metre away from the coffee table when she decided to take a few steps forward, towards the coffee table, without any help!!

Ever since then, we have been trying to get her to repeat her “stunt”. We are obviously more excited than her!

Standing Tall and Proud

Aly reached another milestone today!! She stood on her own for close to a minute. Yay! And guess what? I was there to witness it, right in front of her, clapping and cheering her on, while she beamed proudly at me. Double yay!

It just happened. One moment she was holding on to her walker, the next moment she let go of her hand. We kept really quiet at the beginning because everytime she realised she was standing on her own, she will collapse into a heap. I attributed it to a confidence issue. But after a while, she was smiling at us and we decided to just clap for her and go “wowwwwww!” This time, she made the decision to bask in the attention and stood still for a really long time (“long time” is to be taken in context).

Good job Aly! I’m so proud of you! 🙂

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Happy Lunar New Year!

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Here’s wishing everyone a happy lunar new year from the pangz!!

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p.s I gave up trying to get a nice picture of Aly smiling. This is her default expression anyway :p I hope she grows out of this soon!

Here comes Aly!

I was at work today when my mum sent me this video clip of Aly walking with the help of a walker

I mentioned previously that she’s still not walking even though she’s cruising comfortably. In fact, we never allowed her to use the walker because she didn’t know how to use it and would often place her weight forward, so she ends up falling forward when the walker rolls forward too quickly.

So I was really happy to receive a message from my mum to say that aly finally can walk steadily with a walker! It was a milestone for her and this means she’s one step closer to walking on her own, without support! She can even walk backwards with the walker! Haha.

My heart was bursting at the seams with pride when I watched the video and feeling really glad that the moment was caught with a camera phone. At the same time though, I felt a little bitter that I wasn’t there to witness that milestone. It’s the usual FTWM guilt.

It reminded me of something I read recently – even though i cannot for the life of me remember where, a line which says “we didn’t give birth to children so other people can raise them”.

Although I’m one of the lucky few who have great support from both sets of grandparents who take turns to look after Aly, some days I do wish that I have more time with her than the usual evenings and weekends. Today was one of those days…

{Thankful Tuesdays} – Bedtime

I have the privilege of putting Aly to bed every night. It has been the case since day one. I pat her to sleep, I nursed her to sleep, and now I sing her a lullaby and lie beside her till she falls asleep.

I have to admit that there were times when I was exhausted, and when I would be rather be in the living room watching tv, or spending some me time reading a magazine, or just lying down in the comfort of my own bed (instead of her mattress). There were times when I also wished I could pass this task to ys when I have to leave my dinner appointments early just so I can be in time to tuck my little one into bed. I am only human.

But I would say these occasions are rare. I do think these thoughts but not often. Most of the time, like tonight, I am grateful for the time I have with Aly before she drifts off to sleep. It is a precious time for me. I sing to her and hold her close for that familiar baby smell, which she is losing bit by bit each day.

It is a bliss to be able to wind down at the end of an exhausting day with someone I love so dearly. Today, I am thankful for this child, for being able to hold her to sleep and for being able to experience this joy.

Linking up with:

Aly’s first picnic at Botanic Gardens

It’s been a long time since Ys and I went for a picnic together. In fact, not since we got married! I guess it’s because it sounds like such a chore, having to prep for the picnic, and the weather in Singapore is either too hot or too rainy for pinics!

About a couple of weeks back though, we thought it would be nice to bring Aly on a picnic. We felt we had been spending too much time at the malls and indoors and wanted to allow her to experience the great outdoors. So last Sunday, we decided it shall be Picnic Day!

Honestly, I learnt that a picnic can be as fuss free as you want it to be! There is no need to prepare a feast for the picnic. For the picnic last Sunday, we put together a simple picnic basket consisting of baby yoghurt and baby biscuits for Aly, cheese sausages and bread (with a bottle of mustard) for Ys and myself, two bottles of ginger ale and a box of strawberries! That was it! It took us maybe only about 20 minutes to put everything together? Throw in a camera, a mat, and a bottle of bubble solution to keep Aly occupied, and we were all ready for Aly’s first picnic! Sounds simple enough, no?

We arrived at the Botanic Gardens at about 9.30am and I was concerned that it was getting a little warm but was quite pleased to find a huge lawn in front of the symphony stage which had a shaded patch. The place was already filled with families with picnic mats, dads and sons with their soccer balls, young couples playing catch with their dogs and groups of friends, by the time we arrived.

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The huge (shaded) grass patch in front of symphony stage

We chose a spot, laid our picnic mat, and started tucking in!

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Aly, pleased with her yoghurt and watching a family play ball

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Aly loves her strawberries

Aly was kept really entertained, just people watching. She was particularly excited about the dogs that were running around the grass patch. Lots of kids were running around and playing freely too, and it’s easy to forget that you’re in Singapore with all that greenery and space.

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Aly made a friend

We had a great time and look forward to more picnics at the Botanic Gardens. Makes for a great (and cheap) family outing! Aly obviously enjoyed herself and was all smiles that morning. Hope you enjoyed your first picnic, dear Aly!

All smiles!

So much fun!

Do you have a favourite picnic spot?