Sunday, May 26, 2013

Many Firsts

Pictures speak a thousand words.  Got quite busy with the little one the past few weeks.

A quick update..

Gross Motor Skills:
The little one has finally reached the one year old mark and has started waddling in April and walking in mid May. She loves loves loves LOVES to play with water though I can't say much for bathing.  Started to dislike bathing especially when she has to wash her hair but has completely no problem with a pail of water down her face when she's at the water playground.

Oh and when she is at home, she doesn't walk. She runs. 

Babbles plentiful.  Passed her 14th month and she yaks non stop.  I enjoy chatting with her because she respond, not only with her gibberish language but her eyes, her little shoulder gesture, her flailing hands TALKS!

My heart melts each time my baby calls Mama.  And she calls with so much understanding, knowing that Mama is me, Baba is Geo. She'll look at me, stare awhile and go "Mama" gently...

Disclaimer: Only happened with familiar friends, small groups and family. :) Shyer when she's with unfamiliar faces.

Fine motor skills:
I believe she should be doing pretty well with the FM skills.  I began to expose her to playing with homemade dough and homemade paint.  Can't keep her still for long but at least for 5 minutes, she had fun tearing the dough and stamping her painted hands/feet on the mahjong paper.  She enjoys tearing paper and she ADORES peeling anything she can get her hands on! She stood at a table for 15 mins just peeling the paint off.


Observing other kids play

Love the intense look

First step on her own on 26 April

Trying to find playdates for the little one in the event she becomes the only child. :P

Attending her first church conference

Attended my first Lifegroup, out of home-ground, after the coming of Faith after a year. More confident to handle a crying baby, if she ends up crying.  God is great, she enjoyed Lifegroup and her sleep routine wasn't much affected.

Started Faith at Sunday School. Waiting for the day we can release her completely to the teachers there. :)
Lastly, my bubbly little pumpkin playing with all her might!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Parenting - One Year Old

After one year, I've learnt that:

1. Parenting is an art! One has to multitask, be creative, be fully present.  I had spoken to so many parents in my course of work and I have to admit, I am often, if not always child-focused.  After being a parent, I experienced for myself what it really is like to be one. It is not easy.

Last week, I saw a disheveled looking mother dressed shabbily with her very active son in the train.  Once the son was in the train, he ran to all passengers from one door to another to say Hi to all of them. He came up close to almost everyone and when he returned to his mother, who was leaning against the glass, he ran and hit the glass, scaring an elderly lady sitting down there (as if blocking a blow from him).  Ok, you get the idea how active the son is.

The mother? Well, she was zen.  I believe it's not the first time that she is going through this.  She waited for her son to return to her, got him to sit down while she sits on the floor of the train, whipped out a book and started to teach him.

In the past, honestly, my first thoughts would be probably be why is the mother so relaxed and not doing anything to stop the child or at least attempt to. After that I will probably be assessing the child's behavior.  This time round, I was able to complete empathize the mother and see why all the more she should be relaxed.

2. Babies are like wet non-dripping sponge. They learn, they absorb and they implement! I see Faith mimicking me quite a bit. Only just now, she was 'wiping' her playmat with her hands cos I was wiping it with a cloth. Yesterday, she mimicked my mum folding clothes. I figured then that if I want to inculcate responsibility in her to do household chores, I better set a good example!
3. Amazingly, food will get into Faith's mouth no matter how she plays with it balancing on her tiny fingers. Each time I think it'll drop to the floor, it'll drop into her mouth.

4. No point fighting over meal times. Power struggle will only see the baby winning. 
5. That there's many things I've to learn to let go. I can't be too picky on cleanliness with a baby around especially when it's eating time. Baby throws food. If baby doesn't want to sleep yet, chill. The more anxious I am to get her to sleep, the more she stays awake.  A baby captures the caregivers' emotions more than anybody.

6. Think about the weaning process before starting something.
7. There's plenty of information from Internet, from people, from books, etc. There's a need to discern and slowly cater to the needs of your child. 
8. Baby is getting to know us just as we are getting to know baby. Don't set expectations too high. Allow trial and error. It's ok to fail. Pick things up and tomorrow's a new day!
9. Important to find support. Talk to someone. Balance well between sanity of mum and needs of child. I thank God for friends, for friends I've made over forum pages. So comforting to know that I'm not alone struggling.  Now, I enjoy talking to mummies more than ever before! Hi-Bye friends suddenly become my best friends after we both turn mummies.
10. Marriage. Marriage will be affected inevitably with the coming of a child. Two different people coming together to live one life, to nurture another life. Wow! It's mind blowing honestly. There are days Geo's so tired and when there's no response from him when I talk about Faith, I jump on him and snap real fast, forgetting that he also has to face his daily stresses at work.  There are also positive affection after a child.  We talk more, chat more, discuss more about the future.  Prior to having a child, life was simpler. 

Just yesterday I was sharing with Geo how frustrated I can be with Faith being unpredictable and refusal of food and refusal to sleep unless I carry her.  My concern is something of the future.  I am very worried that she cannot adapt to being in a childcare.  Geo then told me to fight my battles one at a time.  Faith changes from time to time since she's constantly learning so no one can tell how she is like 6-8 months from now.

I thank God for Geo because he is really my moderator.  He moderates and calms me down.  I believe he is also concern for Faith but he just has this innate ability to be calm and I believe this is also how grounded he is in God, believing that ultimately, it's God who will see us through.
11. All these that's been said, all that I've learnt, I still struggle daily. I'm still learning to die to myself daily, to tell myself 'hey, it's ok to fail today. Just don't make same mistake twice!'.

So Lord, unto you I commit myself again.  More of you and less of me.  Teach me to be a parent because You are the best teacher anyone could have!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Shifted and Settled

Yup! Shifted and settled in.

God is good.  He granted us a really cool yet warm weather so there was no rain during the shift.

Faith adapted incredibly well I must say.  She was quite afraid of Spanner, the black Terrier and takes on quite well to Sparkle, the white Maltese.  The fear that she had of Spanner, I must say, scares me quite a bit.  Prior to the shift, I was high strung.  I woke up often at 3 or 4am thinking how can the shift be best planned so that Faith's schedule won't be so affected, thinking how can I help Faith accustom better to the doggies. 

I believe God must have heard those thoughts of mine and His thoughts are higher than mine! Faith adapted really well.  She is already crawling ALONG with them now at Day 5.  Her nap routine is back on track at Day 3 and her nights are a perfect 10 still. 

God knows my portion.  He knows how much I can bear.


Filled & decorated - Happy Faith!
What does a stay home mum do? HEAD FOR SUPERMARKETS!!!!
Jesting around in the car. I think I see some semblance. :P

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Counting down

I'm getting really excited. 4 days more and I am gonna be with my little darling full time. I have to admit this - I am crazy over the little one.  No, I am not idolizing her yet but I am so amazed by her and with God.  How could someone so small, so helpless, so plain stole my heart.  One cry and I run over to her.  I drop all that I am doing and I go to her.  She doesn't come to me.  I go to her.

I can't help but recall the song that pierced right through my heart in the church camp of 2004 when I came back to God (yes, again) - When God Ran (by Philips, Craig and Dean).  How many times had I tried to walk away from His purpose?  How many Whys had I asked Him?  How many times had I disobeyed and disappointed Him?

Yet, in just one cry out to Him, He embraced me in His arms.

Psalms 121, my favorite chapter in Psalms, says

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Many verses in the bible talks about people crying out to God.  The Israelites cried out when they were made slaves.  Jacob cried and wrestled.  Moses cried out so many times.  David.  Almost the whole Psalms, he was crying out.  Jesus, the ultimate lamb, cried out to God in the garden of Gethsemane and God comforted Jesus.  EVEN though, the pain was not relieved of him, Jesus knew that the Lord is watching over him.  The Lord hears his cries.  The Lord has run to him to hug him, to comfort him, to love him.

Likewise, if the little one falls down and cry, knocks her head or bum and cry, wants a hug and cry, I will never hesitate to run to her, pick her up, hug her and repeatedly tell her "I love you darling, I love you, mummy loves you. It's ok, pain pain awhile.. it's ok, ok? Mummy loves you. Mummy really loves you." It just go on repeat mode until she's soothed & smiling.

I guess that's how things are like with God and me? God just whispering "My dear San, I love you. I love you very very very much. How much? So much that I have died for you."

... and for the record, if I am needed to die so that Faith can live, now, I am able to have a tiny weeny glimpse of why God is able to do that. :)

Here's a short clip of my little one saying her Amens. :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

WoooooooOohoooo! 10 months!!

Faith dearest,
Quick one. (These days it has been tough blogging - Tired)
You turn 10 months old yesterday! I hope life has been beautiful to you as much as you have made mine beautiful.  You have nearly tripled your birth weight, PD said that's great news.
U stunned mummy one day when you responded to my Hi & wave with a Hi & a wave. A week later, when I said A-A-A-A-men, you went Ahhhhhh bah, Ahhhhh bah!! Well, worlds apart from sounding like Amen but I knew you were repeating that same word.

You are furniture-walking and crawling away now. With that, welcome into the world of hard knocks!! You had fallen on the buttocks a few times, knock your head once or twice (or maybe more!). Sorry, mummy tried to prevent already but sometimes, you are a tad too active for mummy. Before I could even anticipate, you had a knock already. :)

Sleep-wise has been breezy towards the end of your 9th month, thank God!! These days, we turn off all lights, allow you to flip around with all your might and wa-la! Next thing we know, you are deep in sleep. I'm glad that the bedtime routine we adhered to so tightly is well rewarded!

We love you, my darling. :)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Abundance & Joy

2012 has been more than a challenging year to me.  On top of managing a newborn baby, there are also other relationships to manage. Looking at 2012 now with a clearer mind, I can only say that things really could have been better but I do not want to live in the Could haves and Should haves and I wish and If only.

2013 brings about a lot of excitement for me.  The most exciting yet scary excitement is that I am finally going to live out my dream - To be a stay home mom! Honestly, it's exciting because I have no idea how life is going to be like with a baby.  It is also exciting having to manage money even more wisely.  It is also equally exciting to know that come September, I would have to bid this position farewell because my baby is going to go childcare.  As exciting as it sounds, it is also equally scary.

With a baby, many things came to light for me.  Much has surfaced and also resurfaced.  The major thing that resurfaced was my anger, my temper (Don't worry, baby has been very very safe, thank God for a more-than-understanding husband who helps me normalize and gives me space to breathe. :)).  I always knew I had issues with my anger but it has always been very controlled until a baby came along.  Beginning, it had left me helpless, most times.  Many situations also left me feeling very dis-empowered especially when I felt that my role as a mother has been threatened & disrespected.  Whenever my anger got the better of me, shame and guilt always overwhelms me thereafter when I cooled down.  What woke me up like a pail of water splashed over me was when I flared up one day in the presence of Faith.

I cried my way to work.  I cried because I fear that the thing I feared most would happen.  I had always told Geo, told myself, never would I want my child to ever witness the temper and anger that my dad had.  I grew up with a fear.  I do not want my children to grow up with that fear.  That very morning, I dragged myself to work.  It was painful. Thankfully, I was able to speak to someone who gave me very good counsel.  She gave me a listening ear, one who listens without judging, one who simply allowed me to cry my heart, my frustrations, my life out, one who gave me the space to be me.  Once I got myself sorted out (& it was over a few sessions), I felt renewed & refreshed.

I sent 2012 away with much joy & anticipation of what 2013 will bring for me.  Just barely 1/2 month into 2013 and God has impressed upon me so many times the words Joy and Abundance.  I am claiming it with all of my life and I am believing that 2013 would be greater than 2012 (just as 2012 was greater than 2011!). 

I am jotting this down not to share about how terrible I am or how terrible my dad was.  No.  I believe my daddy had raised me in the best he knew how.  I do remember goodness too.  Of how he had provided, of how he had protected, of how he had given his all.  I am jotting this down to remind myself of God's goodness.  When I had thought I had COMPLETELY no open doors, He opened a window for me to escape.  He sent an angel to counsel me.  I am beginning to understand a little deeper of my wedding verse - "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I love how paradoxical the verse is.  I love how minute I am and how great He is.  I love how our marriage is so dependent on Him.

I am also jotting this down to share that there is power in Christian Counseling.  Be open to receive just as it is also equally important to be open to give of self.  The 8 months break to take care of Faith has been very timely.  I had always wanted to take a sabbatical to think about my career.  I am embracing this break like a treasure!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

9 months old

MUCH MUCH MUCH changes happened during the past one month.  Significantly especially after a family trip to Lombok and Batam.  Baby F has learnt that her hands can carry the weight of her bottle and she is holding it into her mouth pretty well! Hmm, except that she does get lazy and just drop it off or completely not want to hold it but we are trying to get her hands on the bottle at every opportunity.  Hands! Hands are also for clapping! Whenever she does something well, we clap & during the trip at Lombok, she learned that she can also clap clap! It's so cute seeing her smile from ear to ear whenever she clap, as if she knows that clapping is good. :)  Early at 8 months, Baby F also managed to pull yourself up and stand on the cot.  Since then, bedtime has been very physical for her (& me or daddy) - It's her exercise time! Sit sit, stand stand.. :)

What melts my heart the most last month was when the little one caught on the lovely act of "Kiss mummy, Kiss mummy!" & of course, kiss daddy, kiss yiyi, kiss xxxx... Very wet, very sloppy, VERY NICE!!!!

It has been 9 months.  I have come to realization that as much as I knew I love children and want children, I have never thought I would be a mother.  I suddenly remember declaring to my best friend's aunt when I was 14 or 15 years old "I will NEVER have children!".  On hindsight now, I think even as youth, I knew that raising a kid is challenging!  Was I fearful of having kids due to physical pain or am I fearful of not knowing how to raise a child?  I guess it is a mixture of both.

I know I am someone who set high expectations on self.  If I want to do something, I want to do it really well.  Else, I'd rather not try.  Of course, over the years, I have allowed the grace of God to flow in as well.  It's tiring and challenging always having high expectations.  Raising a kiddo is no joke truly.  I constantly find myself wondering what food to intro to baby Faith next.  What's the next milestone for her? What is the best toys to buy? She's not reading but biting the book! Is that fine? Just last night, I tried getting Baby F to sleep and all she did was to flip right, flip left, sit up, crawl, flip again with eyes half close! After an hour, I was really frustrated. Then I felt God prompting me to put her back into her own cot (we have been getting her to sleep on our bed because since we returned from our trip, she rejects her cot.).  I asked God "Really? She rejected cot for the past few days, how could it be?" Nonetheless, I tried and Baby F went into deep sleep in less than a minute.

I pondered thereafter "What will happened if I had not followed the prompting?" I would probably have another 30mins to an hour of struggling with a flipping restless baby.  Conclusion: There is great assurance that I am, ultimately, not the main parent for Baby F.  God is there watching over the little one.  As Baby F's earthly mother, I need to be attuned & be sensitive to the prompting of God.

As a first time mummy, I also find it a challenge receiving feedbacks that literally challenges me. I constantly find myself not knowing how to balance between maintaining relationships and taking the feedback with a pinch of salt. Still something that I stuggle a lot. I have learnt to just take the backseat and give a smile and zip my lips. :D

And yes, my baby is having a headache on my behalf! Hee... :)