Saturday, August 27, 2011

Maddie Jane's new cover

After 3 months, she finally released another cover :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD)

Last Friday, there's a student who was reported with HFMD in Michelle's daycare and that student is from the same class as Michelle. From the note that the teacher put in the communication packet to parents, it sounds like that particular student didn't even come on Friday but I tried to read up more about it online and found that the incubation period of the virus is 3-7 days so your child might be infected already but the symptoms are not showing.

I kept on hoping that Michelle won't get any rashes etc, but my worse fear came true on Sunday night! First I saw a small ulcer at the tip of her tongue, and then when I changed her diaper, I saw some rashes on her butt :(

So we didn't bring her in on Monday to daycare but instead we went to her PD but the doctor can't really confirm if it's HFMD. The location of the ulcer on the mouth can be because she accidentally bit it. There's also no rash or blister on her throat like what usually happens in HFMD cases.

So..... WFH..... quarantined at home.... keep on monitoring.... :(

I noticed that I've been complaining a lot about "motherhood" in general, all the constant worrying so here's on the lighter note - something that I posted in my FB status message the other day:

The joy of motherhood: Huge lizard hiding in our house somewhere and making scary noises. I faked a cry and Michelle quickly rushed to my side and gave me a hug and patted my head to comfort me. When did she learn to be so sweet like this!! :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Michelle's Second & Third Weeks in Playgroup

SECOND WEEK

We went to Desaru, Johor for the National Day holiday so we skipped Monday & Tuesday for the second week. We also agreed that since I have been taking leaves and working from home for the first week, my husband should take over for the 2nd week so he dropped him there in the morning (while I wait in the car) and picked her up around 3PM. Surprisingly, nap time wasn't a problem for Michelle. I was quite worried about it because my friend told me that her daughter didn't want to sleep at daycare for 2 weeks.

There was tears on the 2nd week but she wasn't as resistant (read: trying to climb all over us) when he tried to pass her to the teacher. She reluctantly agree to be carried by the teacher while waving bye bye and sobbing at the same time. However, when he picked her up, she always appeared to be cheery and in good mood.

Weekend of 2nd week was really hard and emotionally draining for me. First, I was so pissed off that my husband had to work on Saturday when we were actually planning to bring Michelle for vaccination. So I was kind of moody and somehow Michelle was exceptionally naughtier and clingier than ever. The teacher warned about her being more clingy because of being sent to daycare, but she didn't mention anything about naughtier. In short, whatever I told her not to do, she'll purposely do it for e.g. swinging the hanging mirror, pouring her food from her bowl to the table, etc.

On one occasion, my nerve got the better of me and I just hit the back of her hand so hard that I can see my own finger mark there! I feel so bad afterwards that I just kept hugging her and crying at the same time. My poor baby.... :(

These 2 weeks have also made me think about my friends who are full-time moms. Basically they face their children day and night and most of them do not have helper. I also think since they are not working, their husband will expect to be "let-off" from the parenting duty. I wonder how they keep sane when the children are misbehaving or refusing to listen!

Sunday was much better though. I guess crying can really clear your mind, and even though it's never my intention to hit her, I don't think I want to do it ever again. I think if you hit a child, you'll get used to it and when you realize that hitting doesn't work, you'll hit harder which can get really bad. Patience is a virtue (that I don't have!).

On Sunday, we wanted to go out but when we were trying to change Michelle's clothes, she resisted. It seems that she taught we were going to send her to daycare so she refused to wear clothes. But after much persuasion (wear new shoes and perfume.. she's vain!), she was fine to wear her go-out clothes. So we went to Vivo, managed to have a good dinner and go on the Sentosa Boardwalk and had a good time there to de-stress and unwind. Michelle also seems to be back to normal and not as naughty as before :)

THIRD WEEK

We are attempting to send Michelle to daycare full-day for the third week. I carried her on Monday to the daycare and while she hugged me tight when walking to the center, she didn't cry when I passed her to her form teacher. When I picked her up around 6PM, another teacher told me that Michelle didn't cry at all that day :)

It seems that things are getting easier for her, perhaps she meets more friends and gets to do more activities now. I was fretting over nothing in the office! :)

I also dropped her at daycare on Tuesday and I'm pretty convinced that she doesn't like her Chinese teacher because when she came to take Michelle, she quickly hugged me and tried to climb all over me again but when another teacher came to take her, she was fine to go to that teacher. I'm not sure if that's because the teacher bullied her or was it just because the teacher doesn't speak English or maybe she sounds fierce? Anyway, when I picked her up around 6PM, she was all ready to go back. I brought her back to my office (which is walking distance but can be quite a killer when you are carrying a bag which feels like 10kg and a toddler about 12kg!!) because we were going for Korean dinner with my colleagues.

Dinner went fine, she behaved really well except for the few times she poured her drinks to her plate and then put her rice to her cup. Haha actually I thought that was fine because she was just playing there on her own and didn't make a lot of fuss but my single colleagues must have been scared of babies now LOL :)

We took cab home and when we were at the lift landing, I realized that I left my keys in the office!!! *CRY* So we went to the nearby playground and waited for my husband to come back which was around an hour. I think Michelle was happy that I forgot my keys though... she got to play at the playground and even bought ice cream :)

Wednesday also went fine, dropped her in the morning (no cry) and picked her up around 6PM. This time round, I tried to take the bus to go from my office to daycare but it seems like there's no bus from the bus stop near my office to somewhere near the building so I have to walk to the bus stop after Capital Tower which is about 5 mins walk and then stop at the next bus stop. We were also going to have dinner with my colleagues so we have to go back to my office and this time round I'm smarter than the day before, I took CAB!!! :D

Dinner went fine in the beginning but Michelle started to get bored so she refused to sit in the high chair and insisted on walking around in the restaurant, which is of course not a good thing. I just got so fed up but I know that scolding or shouting at her will just encourage that behavior. I think one of my colleagues just didn't get it why I'm not scolding her. Oh well... I think I should stop bringing her out on my outings with my colleagues, or at least reduce the frequency.


Throwing tantrum...

I wish my husband can start coming home from work earlier. Right now his definition of early is 9PM (yeah I know WTH right...) and even when I complain to him that it's too stressful to me to juggle my work, cleaning up after Michelle, and dealing with her mess all the time so I need him to also do his 50% part, or at least be there when just need some time to cool off. When he had to worked late (as in 5-6AM on some days) and weekends due to warehouse move, his boss gave him bonus. How I wished that he could tell his boss on his face: "I'm not really short in cash, just give me a month off."

On Thursday, I dropped Michelle at day care again and she was fine to go to her teacher, albeit reluctantly. At least she doesn't cry anymore when I dropped her in the morning. It's really heartbreaking when she cries because she doesn't want to be left there. Every time she does that, I feel like taking the day off and just bring her home. And I didn't have to figure out which bus to take or walk there under the sun because my husband can pick us up! YAY! So he picked me up in my office then we both went to daycare and I picked Michelle up while he waited in the car. We then went for dinner near our house, but he had to go back to work because of some issues in the office.

I think when I'm in good mood, Michelle's mood also seems to be better as in she'll cry less and not throw temper. She happily oblige with me when I asked her if she wants to color and watch Hi-5 on TV. She even forced herself to stay awake watching Hi-5 while I folded her laundry. I hope I can be as calm like that everyday, I know I'm really not a patient person...

On Friday when I dropped her at daycare, one of the friendliest teacher there came out to greet us and to take Michelle in. I really like this teacher as she's always perky and I think she's really good with children (maybe that's the benefit of being young). I think Michelle also likes her because she happily went to her and even smiled when she was waving bye-bye. That was the first time I don't feel bad for leaving her there.

My husband was supposed to pick us up at around 6, but come 5:30 there's still no needs from him. It was so hard to call him as his line was engaged every time I tried to call, and there's no reply from text message. Sooooooo irritating! And when we finally talked, I asked him why didn't he let me know earlier if he was going to be late, his reply was "I forgot..." At the end, I walked to the daycare and took cab to a mall near our house to settle dinner with my sister and her husband. I really feel like a single parent!! Every day I'm the one responsible to make sure somebody remembers to pick her up, pack her school bag, wash her bottles, wash her clothes, get her ready for school, etc! Every morning when I wake up (an hour earlier at least!) I feel like as if I've just got beaten up!!

And then of course he HAD TO work again on Saturday AND Sunday! And he didn't even bring the stroller home (it was left in his car) so it was really hard for me to go out with Michelle. At the end, his friend brought back the stroller for us but by then it was quite late (after dinner) so we just walked for a short while to buy groceries. On Sunday, I managed to almost finish Michelle's quilted blanket. Actually it can be used already buy I want to quilt the panels more. Final result in another blog post soon because I need to go out to buy quilting thread! :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Iljimae

Another nice Korean drama. I just happened to find it online and started watching it and then I realized that I actually have the DVD!!

The story is about this young boy who witnessed his dad getting murdered. He ended up living as someone else's son and when he grew up, he became a robber like Robin Hood in order to find his dad's murderer.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Michelle's First Week in Playgroup

Day 1
Mom's tears level: 4/5
Michelle's tears level: 0.5/5

We reached there around 9AM and there were a few other kids "checking-in" there. I think for first-days, they have teachers especially assigned to the kid to make sure the kids can settle in well. So Michelle's teacher helped to take off her shoes, put them in her designated pigeon hole, and then started to bring her in. Michelle didn't even say bye to me! She was so curious looking at all the stuff inside there, and she didn't even realize that we were gone. I asked the teacher what time is good to pick her up, she suggested around 12PM. When we went down to carpark, tears started rolling and I was contemplating bringing her back (that's like about 2 minutes after I dropped her). And going to the office with red eyes... not so cool... and quite unglam too!!

So 12PM come.... When I reached there, she didn't want to leave as she was playing Thomas the Train with her new friend.... bleh.... she even cried when I carried her because she still wanted to play slide.... OMG....


Survived first day of daycare - yay!

Day 2
Mom's tears level: 4/5
Michelle's tears level: 4/5

We reached the center about 9:30AM and most of the kids have already checked-in. There was this Chinese speaking teacher (who can't speak English) who greeted us and she took over Michelle from me. So while I was talking to another teacher (an English speaking one), to tell her what time I'll be picking Michelle up today, the Chinese speaking teacher was standing next to me. When I turned to look at Michelle, I saw her crying silently and was trying to reach to me so I quickly hold her again. I think I heard the Chinese teacher saying to the other teacher "She shouldn't take her back as this will make her even harder to adjust" something like that lah... wah lao can she don't be so heartless?! If she's crying and I was just trying to comfort her, what's wrong with that? It's not that she's a crybaby or anything. I know that she was anxious because she knew that I'll be leaving her again there. Once I pointed to the slide, she was fine. So I passed Michelle back to the teacher and she was OK from then... I picked her up at 1PM and she was still playing the slide. Her form teacher said that she didn't eat much for lunch. So we went to the Google cafe and ate there afterwards :)

Day 3
Mom's tears level: 3.5/5
Michelle's tears level: 5/5

I prepped her this morning and told her "Let's be strong today and not cry at all ok!" She seemed to understand what I was talking about. I carried her down the stairs (the center entrance is at B1) and once she saw the gate, she froze and started hugging me. I told her to press the bell (something that she likes to do - press the bell, press the button for the lift, etc) and she refused and kept on pointing to the stairs asking me to bring her away from there. She started crying when I entered the center (at the waiting area), and when I tried to take off her shoes, she cried even louder (this is tough!!!!). So I sat down with her on the chair and told her that it's going to be OK, point to the slide (didn't work this time) and promised to pick her up at 1PM. I was asking her teacher perhaps it's better if I play with her for a while so she can settle in then I quickly sneak out but the teacher said actually it's better to just firmly say bye and then come back again later.

I called the center around 10AM and was told that she's not crying anymore. Once the assembly starts (singing & dancing together), she was fine. I hope tomorrow will be better... :)

I picked her up at 1PM and this time round she wasn't so indifferent when she saw me. She ran towards me but still refusing to leave, she was just happy to let me wait for her playing the slide.

Day 4
Mom's tears level: 0/5
Michelle's tears level: 0/5

We skipped playgroup today!! Yay! :p

I was feeling so exhausted in the morning. I woke up but just couldn't do anything and I can feel my flu slowly creeping back in, so I told my boss that I'm taking sick leave and Michelle can stay at home with me :)

Day 5
Mom's tears level: 0/5
Michelle's tears level: 1/5

I got Andrew to drop Michelle off at the center while I waited in the car. Either Michelle is already getting the hang of going to "school" or she forgot about it because she didn't cry when Andrew dropped her in the beginning. She only started to cry when Andrew was waving bye bye to her, but she wasn't crying violently or trying to run back to him. Or perhaps with daddy, it's not so emotional? Heck... next time he should be the one doing the dropping-off!

I picked her up at 1PM and as usual she didn't want to leave because there's still more things to play at the center. After more coaxing, she's finally OK to leave. See you next week!

Conclusion
  • The week ended pretty well for Michelle who has never been taken care of by a stranger before. I think it helps that she's always around my friends, my mom's friends, etc because now she's not scared of strangers at all.
  • Perhaps there's a lot of sacrifice to be stay at home mum (career, income, etc), but having to work and also care for your own kid is really tiring. And it's also heart breaking when they are crying and trying to reach you while their teacher carried them away.
  • The last and best part of this week: It's fun to WFH half day with Michelle at home because I get to be fed snacks while working on tickets :D

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