4 month update

We had Jared’s 4 month check up and immunisations today. He was in such a good mood that I felt so bad to subject him to a needle in each thigh. The GP was amazed at how happy he was to be undressed to be measured and weighed – he loves being changed and laughs when I take his arms out of his sleeves as it tickles him. He’s a merry ol soul!

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So, at 4 months and 1 week, Jared weighs 8.43kg and is 68cm long/tall. He’s on the higher end of the charts, which is great but is also why I have to go back to the chiropractor to get my back adjusted because of all the times I’ve done my back while carrying him.

Another thing I learned today was about the shift in the introduction of solids. Back when I had Jacob, we were told that anytime between 4 and 6 months was fine and to just introduce slowly such as give one food for a few days before trying another food, and to hold back on introducing “high-risk” food that cause allergies such as eggs, dairy, peanuts, etc. But now, it’s pretty much start at 4 months on the dot and introduce a number of things one after the other including things like eggs and nuts, as this actually helps in the scheme of reducing the likelihood of allergies.

Hence Jared has been upgraded to the status of “high chair”. He loved sitting in it but I put in a pillow to prop him as he’s still a bit wobbly. We tried some mashed banana with a bit of BM today – he mainly licked it as he still has the tongue thrust reflex, but I reckon he liked the taste nevertheless. I’m sure he’ll get the hang of it soon!

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I may be biased, but Jared is such a delight. He is just happy most of the time unless there is a reason to be unhappy, such as a dirty nappy or his brother sitting on him. I am looking forward to many more of his milestones – some of the main ones we’ve seen of late are being able to roll from front to back (but not the other way round), sitting up for short periods of time, gooing and gaaing, and just most of the other things babies do at his age.

Also, on a closing note, one thing I love about winter is all the rain. Growing up in the tropics, rain never bothered me, and my body is finally acclimatizing to the cold. Rain equals muddy puddles! We went puddle jumping the other day and found the biggest puddle ever (which he eventually fell into, ugh!).

Have a nice week everyone!

Some toddler life lessons…

We’ve had a number of busy days and late nights, including a staff party, an 18th birthday, singing at an old folk’s home, a church games night and 2 bonfires! I’m actually surprised at how well Jacob is taking all this, without his catch up naps too! But I think I’m going to take it easy the next few days to get him back and rested so he doesn’t just explode on me one day!

But over the past few days, we’ve had quite a few funny moments that really encapsulate life with a toddler, and also have reminded me that one can’t be too careful.

One of these lessons is don’t have permanent markers in your house. Just don’t. Even if they’re hidden in a pencil case in the middle stationery drawer in the study behind closed doors. Because your toddler will find it, and he will use it. This is now our wall calendar – thank goodness it actually was down on the table at the time, not on the wall, otherwise the wall would be blue too!

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Jacob also has a knack of colouring in things that he likes. Like in his colouring books, he’ll full on colour the faces of the things he likes, such as Thomas the Tank Engine’s face or all over Elmo. Here he got hold of some junk mail and has expressed a great preference to a certain bakery item – if you read the small print, it’s iced donuts.

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Another lesson (or more like a fact) is that toddlers sometimes don’t intentionally want to be funny, but they just are. At playgroup, we were discussing Australian animals and the craft for the day was to make an emu with a paper plate and ice cream sticks. Jacob worked hard at it with the other kids and when he was done, he said loudly “The flamingo is finished!!!” I think all us grown ups had a bit of a giggle. Here is his flamingo:

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Also, a quiet toddler is usually a toddler who is up to mischief. I was making breakfast for Jacob and things went quiet – I thought he was in his room, but clearly he was in our room and had climbed into the cot. Yes, those are stickers on Jared’s face. Jared didn’t seem too fussed about it…

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But one important lesson I’ve learned is that my world would be a duller place without my toddler. Happy 2 years and 10 months, Jacob – less than 2 months to your birthday now! Can you believe it? And Jared is 4 months old tomorrow – time flies when you’re having fun!

Breaking point.

I wouldn’t call myself the expressive type – it probably will be my downfall one day. I’m just the type of person who just functions until I can function no more. Sometimes it’s worth it, just to get by, and other times I reckon it is just detrimental to my health.

Lately, I reached one of those breaking points- the trigger probably was the whole giving away the dog thing, but really there is so much more going on the background. It’s no mean feat taking care of an almost 3 year old and a 3 month old as well – I’m not going to lie, there are days that I have depended on the TV to gain us all some sanity, and there are nights that I don’t know if I want to go to sleep for the fear that I will see every hour of the night before the morning…

Not to mention my meagre attempt at keeping the house clean (and being thwarted by the toddler every time) as well as external commitments to things like church, work, etc. which I think are good for me, but are also just another thing to add into the plethora of things already going on in my head.

And then there’s the guilt – the guilt of not doing enough for my dog. The guilt of not doing enough for my husband and my children. The guilt of calling myself a Christian but not devoting enough time to building my relationship with God. The guilt of not having a stable career to give my husband an opportunity to be a full-time dad. The guilt of the uncertain future, daunting as much as it is promising. The guilt of not having the courage to do certain things or the wisdom to let go of other things.

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But anyway, that point – it broke last weekend. And thank goodness I had the long weekend to recover, because I think it helped me become functional again. Also, thank goodness for the sunshine, because everything feels better in the sunlight. And I can’t admit I have everything worked out, but I feel that perhaps I am taking small steps in the right direction again.

I suppose I’m trying to give a bit of advice here, though I never listen to my own advice, do I? Don’t let things reach a breaking point. If something is bugging you, don’t just sweep it under the doormat. Talk about it, write about it, sing about it even. Let it come out into the open so that it doesn’t poison your mind and your heart. And then let it go – let it float away, until you feel as light as a feather and can face the next thing life is going to throw at you. And then be at peace, with your decisions and with yourself.

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Anyway, I’m going to pull out this gem from my youth. I used to write songs since a child but perhaps the “darker” songs emerged from as early as 12 years old. I think I was about 14 when I wrote this – I only vaguely remember the melody, but I remember why I wrote it:

look again, am I the one that you know?
look inside, cos I’m the one you don’t understand
look around, it is falling in place
look at me, I am frozen in time

cos it’s hard to breathe
and inside my eyes it’s zero degrees
and I’m looking for the fire, the flame
but it’s gone, blown out, just like you…

and I was afraid this would happen
and I am afraid I can’t control myself
so I didn’t know that it was the breaking point
now my blood is cold and I can’t go on…

now I find, that it isn’t that simple
now I see, what the meaning of sacrifice is
now I know, how unities divide
and now I feel I can no longer survive

cos it’s hard to get by
and in my eyes
I’m frozen in a lie
and I’m looking for the fire, the flame
but it’s gone, blown out, just like you…
but it’s gone, put out, just like you…

and I was afraid this would happen
and I am afraid I cant control myself
so I didn’t know that it was the breaking point
now my blood is cold and I can’t go on…

how long is eternity
can it return my destiny
how long is life going on, going on, going on…

look again, am I the one that you know?
look inside, cos I’m the one you don’t understand
look around, it is falling in place
look at me, I am… going on, going on…

and I was afraid this would happen
and I am afraid I can’t control myself
so I didn’t know that it was the breaking point
now my blood is cold and I cant go on…

and I was afraid this would happen
and I am afraid I can’t control myself
so I didn’t know that it was the breaking point
now my blood is cold and I cant go on…

Here’s to the 14-year-old wisdom of my youth, something I need to call upon time and time again. 🙂 Have a great week!

2016 Bupa Blog Awards

We’ve had a few “downers” of late – I think it’s been a bit of a streak in the last few months or so. We’ve had quite a few kitchen appliances fail on us, like first our microwave oven, then our convection oven, and even our actual oven too – I never knew that oven doors could fall off, but so be it. We’ve also had car troubles, which have already cost plenty, and then a couple of days ago, someone drove into the side of our car and took off. Sigh.

But really, the heaviest thing weighing on my mind is the fact that we are quite seriously rehoming our dog, Skittles. We have thought about it on and off, for a number of reasons, but the main one being that she kept getting out of the house so we put her on a chain while trying to work out some solution, but nothing ever seemed to work. And we did get a dog trainer, but with two kids, a lot of the training was just going right out the window, with only ourselves to blame.

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She is on trial at the moment at a home where she’ll have a companion dog too, as well as a couple of primary-aged kids to play with. I am trying to imagine it in a sense that she’s getting married and will be living on with the in-laws. It’s not confirmed yet, but it sure is looking good. I have considered several times to march over there and get her back, but I really honestly want her to be happy too.

I never imagined I’d be the type of person who would give up my pet. In fact, she doesn’t feel like just a pet – she was my first child; one who I had to toilet train and to set boundaries with and even went to puppy school with. The one who I would have to boot off the sofa time and time again, the one who would nearly yank my arm off every time we took her for a walk, the one who even escaped so often into the neighbour’s garden that they took a picture of her lazing on their deckchair.

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I’m not sure how this will pan out, but I cannot deny this looming sense of loss.

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I know my rant above has nothing to do with the title, but it was one of the “ups” amidst the downs. I got an email saying that my blog was nominated in the 2016 Bupa Blog Awards, which is a real privilege. I don’t know if I’ll win (but I sure would like to) but it did put a smile in my face amidst the storm. You can read more about the blog awards HERE – the next stage will be to cross my fingers and see if I qualify as one of the finalists on the 4th of July. 🙂

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Trendy Thursday

There are times that I get too caught up in the tough parts of toddlerhood that I don’t savour the funny bits enough. Jacob can be an incredibly challenging kid but he is also the most hilarious kid I’ve ever known (I may be biased though).

Here are a couple of funny things he has said to me in the last month or so. For those who have me on Facebook, you might have seen a few of these before, but laugh anyway! XD

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Jacob picks up strange lines/phrases from different things he watches or places he goes. I’m not sure where he got this one from, but he once told me “You break it, you buy it.” And the other day he said “You’d better eat your food before the ducks come.” Hmm…

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We were at Officeworks waiting for printing, so Jacob was drawing a picture. I asked him “What are you drawing?” and he says “It’s a duck. A long duck. Can you see his mouth?” Err.. I guess he must like ducks.

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I’m on my computer typing an email and Jacob comes up to me and hands me a Lego man and motorbike.
Jacob: Mummy, please hold my Lego.
Me: Oh, okay, sure. (Takes it from him)
Jacob: Okay, you play Lego. Now I’ll use your computer. (And he sits in front of me and starts using my computer).

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I admit that I sometimes smack Jacob when he is doing something very naughty or dangerous, and sometimes I warn him “You don’t want me to smack you, do you?”

The other day I told him he wasn’t allowed to do something and he says “Mummy, don’t be naughty. I’m gonna smack you REALLLLY hard! On your bottom!!!” Hmm..

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I don’t keep many of Jacob’s paintings as they are mostly a blur of colours, just like this. But today I asked him “What did you paint?” and he’s like “I painted a smoothie.” Yup, I guess it looks like a smoothie!

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Jacob comes up randomly and says “Mummy, I’m going to break your heart.”
I’m like “Really??”
And I realise he’s got a heart hairclip of mine and has it poised in his hand, ready to snap it.
Yes, my child, you probably will break my heart one day. But I will go on loving you nevertheless.

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On a final note, I have decided to start up a “Trendy Thursday” post where I’ll be posting Jacob’s choice of clothing for the day. I’m trying to get him to choose his clothing more often so he can stay still enough for me to get him dressed!

Today, I simply insisted on a singlet underneath but let him choose the rest. I was almost disappointed by how sensible he was – he opted for a navy undersuit, a grey long sleeved hooded T and jeans. But then, he decided to accessorize by taking my laundry basket sticker off the basket and wearing it like a badge of honour.

Then I gave Jared a bath and naturally, Jacob got completely wet so I let him pick a second outfit. He said he wanted to wear red, and was pretty serious about it – red from head to toe! But then he put on a black monster jumper which actually made it look not too bad. I suppose I’ll have a little fashionista on my hands soon!

Strawberry Picking for three

I was going to post about strawberry picking ages ago but got sidetracked by the blog challenge. Mind you, I really enjoyed the blog challenge and I hope people reading found it interesting, insightful and if anything, mildly entertaining.

Strawberries are a household favourite here – probably more mine and Jacob’s faves, though hubby doesn’t quite mind them too. Now that it’s winter, it’s so hard to get flavoursome strawberries at a decent price here.

The last time I’d been strawberry picking was when Dan and I went to Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. We weren’t even married back then – that’s how long it’s been! It’s really funny because when I first met Daniel, I kept cutting his head off when I took photos of him – and I never actually realised til I looked back on our entire Malaysia trip photo albums! Oops!

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Anyway, this goes back to the last April school holidays – I’d been bugging hubby to take us strawberry picking at Beerenberg, and we tried to head out there at a number of times but something always set us back (either a sick child or sick pregnant woman i.e. me, or sometimes when we were going to go, the patch was closed).

So, it was nearing the end of the season and I was getting desperate. There was one day that we were able to go but then Daniel had a meeting, and I thought, you know what, I’m going to do this anyway!

Hence here I am with a 2 month old baby and a 2.5 year old toddler, tackling the strawberry patch! We headed into the shop to get our punnet and pay – the lady at the counter advised me to put my bag in the car as it’d probably get a bit too tricky to carry a baby, toddler, punnet of strawberries and a handbag too.

The strawberry patch was across a busy road, so naturally, I freaked out and carried Jacob across cos I was too scared he would do his whole “I can’t walk anymore” thing and crumple into a heap in the middle of busy traffic. This is probably the key to my weight loss – carrying bub in the baby carrier (who was about 6.5kg at that time?) and carrying the 13kg toddler.

We got there and Jacob was psyched! I was half afraid that he would pull the entire bush out but he was keen on picking just the strawberries. I was a bit of a QC baddie and kept telling him “No, not that one! Get that BIG one!” And he kept trying to pick green strawberries as well, so I asked him to try one and after that he decided he would stick to the reds.

We filled our entire punnet and crossed back to the shop to get them weighed and paid for. Before that, Jacob found an acorn tree and added a whole lot of acorns into the punnet too so we had to sort that out as well. Then, of course, it was ice cream time! They have their own ice cream maker where they blend fresh strawberries with vanilla ice cream to make fresh and authentic strawberry ice cream- yum! I was going to get it in a cone but realised it would just be way too hard to contain the mess.

All in all, a great outing but next time, I’ll do it with Dan too! And anyone else who wants to join me! The strawberry patch is closed now but come November this year, we will definitely go again! 🙂