Monthly Archives: March 2010

“Lady, may I have……”

Along with Ally’s recent streak of stubbornness has come a new-found wave of independence. She is showing an interest in ordering her own meals while we’re out and is always ready to help us call for the bill. I’ve been taking this opportunity to teach her the polite way to address service staff and sometimes she really cracks us up.

Me ” Ally, could you please ask the lady for the bill?”

Ally ” Excuse me lady, may I please have the bill?”

The other day we bought her a new Barney plate that she wanted to use immediately at the restaurant. I said to her that we need to get it washed first, so she raises up her hand and says ” Lady, could you please wash my Barney plate?”

Her favourite thing to do is to walk into a food court and order her own meal. Since she can barely reach the counter top, I usually carry her up while she places her order. If she gets stuck halfway I’ll help her out but she gets quite indignant if I do.  A little background info, we hardly if ever, eat at fast food restaurants. But on the rare occasion, Ally likes the french fries from Macdonald’s.  She thinks that Ronald Macdonald IS old Mac Donald so she refers to the french fries as ” Old Mac Donald’s chips”  Anyway, she walks up to the counter and says to the lady serving us ” One small old Mac Donald’s chips please” The dear auntie has no idea what she is saying, thinking that Ally is trying to make small talk with her instead. So she starts asking her questions like how old are you, what’s your name and each time Ally keeps repeating her request. I had to finally intervene since I sensed we would be stuck there for quite a while if I didn’t say anything. Oh well, she did get a free balloon out of it.

Ally is really growing up, it’s hard to imagine that this was the very same girl who would burst into tears the minute a stranger even looked at her.

Old Mac Donald's Chips

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Don’t look back in anger

I did something that I’m not really proud of today. I punished Ally for making a mess of her lunch, she poured her cup of water into her plate of rice and then proceeded to pour the rice back into her cup.  There is no doubt she deserved to be punished, she has been told numerous times that she is not to play with her food in this manner. But I told her off a bit more harshly than I should have. I was battling a cold, Max was crying for my attention and a million things still needed to be done. She kept apologising to me and even quietly put herself down for her nap.

I feel really guilty for taking my anger out on her, hopefully when she wakes up we can have a chat about what happened and I can explain to her why I reacted the way I did.

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The little diva

I’m not sure what has gotten into Ally the past two days, she has turned into one little diva. Once I even caught her stomping her feet as she whined about not getting her way! She does throw the odd tantrum now and then but nothing compared to the real stinkers that she did yesterday. I’m sure the recent events that have happened at home have somehow played a part in her behavior change. I’m hoping that this phase will pass soon if not little madam will soon find herself permanently seated at the naughty corner.


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Great bargains and some ways to save money

When I first had Ally nearly 3 years ago, I was overwhelmed by the amount of baby items sold in shops. Some items looked so abstract that I could never figure out what it was meant for. Through trial and error, we came to realise that not every item is a necessity, not every item needs to be bought brand new. When Max came along we were wiser and a lot more prudent. I would like to share with you some of my personal essentials for babies as well as great bargains that we’ve found.

Wash cloth from Ikea

$5.90 for 10, what's not to love?

Babies make a lot of messes, spit ups, drool….etc These wash cloths are thick enough to wipe up all kinds of spills. They wash well and are always handy to keep in your baby bag for emergencies.


This was my extra pair of hands during the first 3 months, if I had to cook a meal, or take a shower, I knew the children would be safe in their bouncer. Since bouncers have such a short usage period, it’s one item that is worth buying 2nd hand.


It is so tempting to buy clothes for babies. Who doesn’t love shopping for little matching romper sets and booties? But the fact is baby will outgrow their clothes faster than you can imagine especially during the first 3 months. Stock up on some basic essentials and accept any hand me downs that well meaning friends and relatives pass on. Ally was a typical first child, she had matching clothes and shoes right from day 1. Max on the other hand can often be found in his sister’s old T-shirts and has yet to own his own pair of shoes.

Buy quality items

If you’re thinking of having more than one child, it might be wise to invest in quality big ticket items that can be passed down to the next child. Cribs, strollers, high chairs and car seats can add up to a lot but replacing them might just cost you even more. Not sure if baby will like the stroller that you had your eye on? Why not find out if you can rent it for a couple of weeks? Many toy rental places also rent out baby equipment and it might be wise to do a “test run” before splurging on an expensive stroller that baby dislikes being in. Here’s another tip, head straight to the dealer

Stock up on essentials

Keep an eye out for discounts, most big supermarkets usually have monthly discounts for baby essentials like diapers and formula. I remember laughing at couples who use to have trolleys full of diapers, little did I know that I too would soon cross over to the dark side. When stocking up on diapers, be sure to take into account growth spurts. When in doubt, always buy a size bigger so you’re not stuck with bags of diapers that baby can’t fit his bum into.  If you’re stocking up on formula, please take note of expiration dates.

Two for the price of one!

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Innocence is bliss

Lots have been going on at home lately, the children’s daily routine and activities have been disruppted and they have been shuttled back and forth from home to hospital various times. Through it all, they have just taken everything in their stride and have been nothing short of fantastic.

They say ignorance is bliss but in the children’s case, I truly believe innocence is bliss.

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Baby led Weaning

As most of you will know, I have had little success with enticing Pork Chop to take much solid food. He still eats not more than a few tea spoons of anything offered and out of curiosity, I decided to try a different approach.

Not much has been said about baby led weaning , it basically means skipping the runny purees and offering age appropriate food for the child to self feed. With Ally it was a little different, I let her self feed from a very early age but due to her cleft palate, I was always a bit more cautious. Weaning was simple and straight forward, besides one unfortunate incident with a teething biscuit stuck up her cleft. Even with her cleft palate, she managed to figure out a way to eat solids. Now at 32 months, she can feed herself well and is in the process of learning to use chopsticks.

Anyway, I chose to let Max self feed every morning. I don’t have the time, patience or energy to clean up after him 3 times a day. Armed with a bowl of baby cereal, I covered the floor with a mess mat and hoped for the best. He had a ball of a time putting his hands in the bowl, flinging the spoon everywhere, getting cereal in his nose, hair, ears…etc. But I did notice him eating quite a fair bit and after that, he even ate some of the steamed broccoli. It was a positive and extremely messy start.

Granted, baby led weaning is not for everyone. Most of the older generation, including my own mom would frown upon it. I’m going to give it a try and see where it takes us, hopefully this is the solution that I’ve been looking for.

The mess after the cereal

Practising his pincer grasp

One very messy Pork Chop

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Elmo and A Penguin Party

Ally has an extremely vivid imagination. She has been doing a lot of role playing lately and this was what I found in the living room the other day.

Elmo sleeping on his bed at home

She made a “house” for Elmo out of the sofa cushions, I didn’t take a picture of it ‘cos I was too busy trying to prevent Max from destroying her house.  Once she was done with Elmo, she decided to use the yellow blanket as a picnic mat and have a party for her stuffed penguins.

It started off with 2

Everyone knows penguins love cakes

A 3rd penguin decided to gate crash the party

Finally a 4th one joined in

The party ended when Max crawled in and started chewing on the penguins.

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Quick Note

It’s been a really rough week, nothing to do with the children, just lots of unfortunate events that have taken place one after the other. At times like these I’m so glad to have the children close by, they are my source of strength and comfort. Praying for a better week ahead

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Kid’s Run

We have just registered Ally for the Cold Storage Kid’s Run 2010. She is entered in the 800m run race, for children aged 2-4 years old. Honestly I’m not quite sure if she can run the full 800m but it’s just for fun and either Matt or I can help her along the way. It’s going to be held at the same venue as the OCBC Cycle that she participated in earlier this year.  I’m really excited! We’re still deciding if we should enter Pork Chop in the stroller chase…..

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Growing up and ENT

Ally had her regular ENT check up today. She was so mature and grown up about the whole process that its hard to imagine we used to have to hold her down while she screamed and cried throughout the whole check up.

Ally’s first and only set of ear tubes fell out when she was around 1. Since then, she has had to endure regular ENT visits every few months. The first couple of times were difficult, she was so young and it was hard to explain to her why we had to put her through all this.

When we walked into the clinic today, there was a little girl crying hysterically in the waiting area, she must have been about 6 or 7 years old. Ally was very concerned that Jie Jie was so upset. Anyway, Ally had her hearing test down and when she came out, the little girl’s parents were trying to convince her that the ear cleaning wouldn’t hurt. Now I need to stop and explain how the ear cleaning is done.

The child has to sit on a big dentist-like chair, the doctor usually shines a big light/camera in the child’s ear. Now comes the scary part, they swing this big tray of metal instruments around the side of the chair and proceed to pick up whichever scary instrument needed. All this time the child has to be extremely still and facing forward. Since Ally is small, she usually sits on my lap and I distract her with games on my phone. I’ll always tell the nurses to let her start her game before they start bringing out the instruments.

So I could understand why the little girl was crying hysterically and I could also understand the parent’s frustration having gone through the same thing myself. They started off by trying to reason with her, then bribing her with sweets and stickers and finally scaring her with threats. As adults, we know the procedure doesn’t hurt but to a child it can be very daunting. We were the only two patients left in the waiting area so the parents were trying to convince their daughter that if a 2 year old girl could walk into the room so cheerfully and eagerly, then she too could do the same. My heart went out to the family, it’s really stressful trying to deal with these sort of situations. I felt terrible whenever we had to pin Ally down to get procedures done but we didn’t have much of a choice. I’m so glad that she has become accustomed to all these doctor visits and actually looks forward to each one. My little girl has really grown up!

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