Countdown to Joash's 6th Birthday

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Countdown to Jayna's 5th Birthday

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Countdown to Jaide's Birthday

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Countdown to Joram's Birthday

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

High on something?

Oh yes... babies have moods. Tonight, Joash was in the mood for screaming. As we walked from our dinner location to our home, Joash kept screaming at the passers-by. I didn't know whether to be embarrassed by his unadulterated rudeness or to be intrigued by his boundless energy. Perhaps he is like me, getting high whenever it is way past bedtime... Ah well, we'll never know for sure.

The Real Thing... Finally!

Hip hip, hurray! Joash made it to the real swimming pool today! Too bad Joshua had to teach a course or else it would have been even more enjoyable.

I could see God's hand in allowing us to swim in the real pool today. Earlier this morning, I read the weather forecast and it predicted rain in the late morning. I wanted to bring Joash there in the afternoon since the water would have absorbed all the heat throughout the morning so that it would not be too cold for him. But if it were to rain, the water would definitely be cold even if the rain were to stop in the afternoon. So my Mum-in-law and I prayed for it be bright and sunny and that God would hold off the rain till we returned home. It sure doesn't take a genius to figure out that God answered our prayers! Praise God!

You can't imagine the amount of stuff I needed to bring for this short swimming trip. Three bagful of them!!! If not for the stroller, there was absolutely no way I could have walked three streets to reach my destination. And of course, many thanks to a churchmate for letting us use her condo's swimming pool. The water there is far cleaner than the public one just a few block away from my home. Plus, there was hardly anyone else... *Huge grin*

Joash: I'm a water baby!

Joash: Ahhhh... What's better than a nice bottle of milk after a swim...

Jaclyn: Where is my cutsie little fuzzy bunny?
Joash: Bunny!?! Where, where?

Joash: Hey, what am I supposed to do?
Am I supposed to jump like in the jumperoo?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Calling for hand-me-down toys

I've been to many homes with child(ren) and I can't help but notice Joash's "poverty" when it comes to toys. As compared to his contemporaries, Joash's room is ridiculously spartan. All his toys can fit into one small IKEA box! Being in a bit financial fix now, I can scant afford to buy extra toys for him (we are barely sufficient, thanks to my 7 toys system). Even renting is too costly for us at the moment.

So if there are any kind souls out there with unwanted toys which are still in good condition to donate, please let me know. I will really appreciate it. Thanks so much! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Big boy now

Joash: See! I can stand instead of sit at the walker!

Joash: Mummy says I must put on the safety belt when we take the taxi...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gone are the days...

Gone are the days when Joash would be right where I left him after letting him play by himself. He is so mobile now, he can even chase after me! Though we have great fun playing cat and mouse, I do miss the times when he was more manageable. So, to pander to my sense of nostalgia, here's a video of him just before he became mobile.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wrestling with God

"Oh no...," I muttered under my breath.

I just knew that this will eventually happen. As I looked up from talking to Joash, I saw the couple whom I had been trying to avoid ever since I starting visiting this church. Every time I bumped into them in church, I'd been afraid to approach them out of sensitivity towards the wife. But this time, I had no where to hide.

Long was our history born out of unfortunate timing, unspeakable circumstances and grave misunderstanding due to tragic romantic entanglement. Even though what I really wanted to do was to go to them and catch up with dear old friends, I forced myself to give them a wide berth and make myself scarce. "Oh Lord, how I wish my husband were here with me..."

Few months ago.

"God, I can't take this anymore. I've been spiritually dying and I really can't give out of an empty heart!" The cruel weight of depression threatened to bring me down into a dark abyss.

For more than a year, I tried extremely hard to fit into my husband's church. It was so tough to even have simple fellowship because I was the only one belonging to this particular station in life: that of a young homemaker with a baby. It took so much out of me to even participate in church activities. Even as I strove to serve in the worship ministry, I was constantly missing my own previous church which I had been attending since I accepted Christ. Oh! The familiar friends and thriving ministry I left behind...

"My daughter, you know that your place is with your husband," God reminded me.

"Yes, I know. Then, why is it so hard for me to even hear an entire sermon and worship in fullness? I keep having to go out of the sanctuary to care for Joash and miss out on the service? The baby room is so cut off from everything else and I'm always alone..."

"You know, dear child, it is possible to care for your baby and participate in service at the same time." His gentle voice assured me.

"Really? How? I can't possibly ask the whole church to spend money and invest so much effort just for me," I spluttered in embarrassment. After what seemed like an eternity, God answered.

"Not in your husband's church, my beloved," God's fatherly smile gave me hope. "In that church. I've sent you many friends to invite you over before. The infrastructure is already in place there."

I nearly choked. "That church!?! But there are people in that church who would prefer not to see me again. And why there? There is another church just down the street. Isn't it more convenient to go there instead? What's more, Joshua isn't going to go over despite liking that church very much cos he is very loyal and obligated to his own church."

"You go ahead of him to prepare the way... It is a good place for your family to be built up spiritually. You will be greatly challenged there and you'll grow tremendously."

"But didn't you say that my place is with my husband? I'm scared to go there alone..."

"Would it help that your best friend is there now?" There was a twinkle in God's eyes.

"She is? Are you sure? What's she doing there? That church is so far from her home!" I could not hide the incredulous crescendo in my voice.

"Also, do you remember how your husband reacted the two times when I wanted him to change job? He needs time and a great impetus before deciding to come out his comfort zone. You have to be the trigger for him to consider beyond the status quo."

Running out of arguments, I started grasping at straws. "I really don't know, God... What would people in my husband's church think? I've never changed church purely because I could not fit in," I pouted, remembering those times when I faced seemingly insurmountable challenges in my old church and still chose to remain there.

"It is for the sake of your family. Do you care more about what others think or what I tell you is the right thing to do?"

I didn't say anything because I already knew the answer.

Months later

God was right. I can now listen to the entire sermon and be challenged in my walk with Him when I come to this new church. As I see Joash crawling around excitedly making new friends in the baby room, I feel extremely comforted. God has even granted me a new friend here quickly, a fellow stay-at-home mum living very near me. Furthermore, a family in Christ has also been graciously picking me up for church in my husband's stead.

Yet, without my husband, it is just impossible for me to participate fully in the ministry of this new church due to divided loyalties.

"God, why are you still not asking Joshua to come over with me to the new church? It's been so many months... I feel so uncomfortable with this arrangement."

God smiles enigmatically. "My timing is perfect and in all things I work for the good of those who love me."

"I know that... but Joshua and I had argued many times about this issue and there was even one time, I unintentionally screamed at baby Joash in my anger when he cried while we were arguing!" Tears stream down my cheeks uncontrollably as I remember the shocked, frightened look on my dear son's face. I have never raised my voice at him since he was born no matter how frustrated he made me with his fussiness, refusal to sleep and incessantly crying. What's more, the first time I shouted at him during the quarrel, it wasn't even his fault! I struggle valiantly to quieten my quivering sobs as I look into God's merciful face.

"My daughter, this is a crucible experience to surface the impurities you still have in your heart so that I can burn them away for you. Moreover, now that you know you still have a long way to go in being molded into my image, you can continue walking with me in humility."

"But Lord," I plead. "When will this struggle end? How long do I have to wait till Joshua hears from you whether to stay or to go?"

"Do remember that no matter what he decides ultimately, it is still your place to submit to him, the head of the household, and go wherever he chooses. He is the one who will face the judgement seat in the end to account for the decisions he has made with regard to his family."

I nod my head. "I know you answer prayers with 'Yes', 'No' or 'Wait'. I guess this is 'Wait' then..."

God simply gives me a gentle pat on the shoulder.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


So soon after learning to pull himself up to stand, Joash is now cruising along the toddler bed! Such growth in him definitely brings delight to me but at the same time, it brings greater challenge. He is getting so easily bored. I have to bring him out frequently for walks to prevent him from getting fussy.

Oh oh... Did I just hear something? He is fussing again now, going "nah nah nah nah..." to get my attention. Got to go!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Joshua's First Father's Day

I'm afraid there wasn't any pictures of the process like those of Mother's Day. Only the final product... Wanna guess why? It seriously took BOTH of us to get those footprints lah! Joash was so excited while I was putting poster color on his feet that Joshua had to hold onto his hands to prevent him from touching them. His left hand "kena" a bit of it though but it was easily washed off. (Thank God!)

Joash kept grinning at me and making super cute noises while I made the prints. I wonder if he was ticklish... Naahhhh! (Anyone who has ever tried making him laugh by pure tickling, very quickly, realise that it just can't be done. Heh heh) Well then, I sure hope that Joshua likes this gift that is uniquely from Joash... of course with my help. *wink*

Saturday, June 14, 2008

ARRESTED for assault

The said criminal has finally been apprehended and put behind bars after months of excruciating investigation and pursuit. The sentence of life imprisonment with parole has been passed on 12 May 08. For more information on the case, pls refer to Section 29.11.

Another Pool Experience

Yes, Sir! Ready for Operation Diving, Sir!

Torpedo spotted. Enemy approach. Mayday, mayday... *alarms blaring*

Deploying frogman. Over and out.

This mission is making me hungry... Have a break, have a duckie!

This time round, Joash was sooooo very engrossed in playing in the pool that he simply refused to look up for his picture to be taken no matter what I did. *sob sob* Feel so rejected... Since he liked it so much, I'm really looking forward to bringing him to the REAL swimming pool in a fortnight's time with his Godma. Yippee!!!

Pulling up to stand

Since when did he start to do this? *shock*

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just wanna make u smile

Joash discovered the secret way to make me laugh. When I put him on my tummy with my knees up, he will jump up and down as if he is galloping on a horse (not that he knows what a horse is...) Since I'm ticklish at my sides, his actions will make me involuntarily laugh out loud. Each time I laugh during his sterling performance, he will look sooooo happy and give me the "bo-gay" (toothless) grin.

No wonder, Jesus wants us to have the faith of a child. Do we love to make our Father in heaven smile and laugh? Are we constantly motivated to do the things He would be pleased with? I only know that I have much to learn from Joash in this respect.

Playing favorites

I notice that Joash knows which toys he likes and will stay faithful to them for a long time. He prefers the soccer ball to the basketball; loves the red tortoise; wants the rubber duckies infinitely more than the plastic ones... you get the drift. If he happens to pick up a toy that he does not really like, he'll take it, bang it against the floor a few times, drop it and look around for his favorites. As for the one that he loves, he'll lick it, chew it, bang it, transfer it from one hand to the other, inspect it, push it around and do all sorts of stuff with it. Even if the toy rolls out of reach, Joash will chase after it. Talk about single-mindedness.

If you are one of those moms who are pulling hair out thinking about all the money you have to spend to get new toys to interest him cos he is bored with his old ones pretty soon, never fear. I have a trick up my sleeve since the days of old when I helped my own mum take care of the kids she used to babysit. It has proven to be very useful even with Joash.

1) Divide the existing toys into groups of 7.
2) Each group should have at least one toy the baby loves and the rest can be of varying interest to him
3) Let him play with only one group of 7 at any given time.
4) Allow him to play with the same 7 toys as many days as you can before he becomes very bored with them (The time frame will be diff for diff child)
5) Give him the next batch, wash the old batch and keep them from sight.
6) Keep rotating the groups of toys being dished out to him.

This way, he will always think that the toys are new as he would have forgotten about them after some time has passed. By the time he can remember the toys from weeks ago, it is about time you upgrade the toys anyway cos he would have outgrown the old ones.

Like I said, Joash will still pick the same favorite even after many rounds of rotation... Absolutely incredible.

Doing without

Yupz! Joash has no need for the trainers anymore as he has graduated to holding the bottle itself. He actually had already been doing without them for quite a while even though I still gave him the bottle with the trainers attached. But then, I just wanna play it safe, in case he pushes the bottle around for fun. Looks like I should have had more faith in him... :P

This is the way...

This is the way we brush our teeth
Brush our teeth, brush our teeth.
This is the way we brush our teeth
Last thing in the evening.

Joash has grown bored of the teether I had been giving him since months ago to keep him occupied during bath time and has shown enormous interest in the tray with all the nappy rash cream, baby oil, wet wipes, cotton buds, clothes, diapers etc. I've been thinking of getting a new toy to distract him but what can I get?

One day, I was browsing around at Tom and Stef when I chanced upon a baby dental hygiene set with 3 different tips. The body itself is a rattle. I figured it will kill two birds with one stone as I was also toying with the idea of getting a toothbrush for him just so that he can get used to putting it into his mouth. (He hates it when I clean his mouth at the end of the day. Screams like he's being tortured all the time) Unfortunately, he seems to prefer sucking the bottom of the toothbrush than biting its tip... Well, at least it keeps his attention off the tray of forbidden "condiments". *smirk*

On the prowl...

Joash has been able to crawl for more than a week but I have not the time to post it. So ta-da! Joash's predatory side revealed... Poor pink mouse *sob*

Sunday, June 8, 2008

New Family Photo

Aiyoh!!! So hard to get Joash to smile at the camera without me behind it... My SIL took so many and in the end, there's only one which looks remotely decent. He was either smiling in the direction of my parents-in-laws who were trying very hard to make him smile (meaning away from the camera lah...) or looking super sotong.

Let's play ball!

No need to go Ikea's play room to play with all those multi-colored balls. Joash has his very own such playpen. *laugh* At first, he was scared of all the balls surrounding him (I've never given him more than 7 toys at the same time so far) but gradually, he got the hang of it and I suspect I'll be busy picking up the balls from all over his room very soon...

Friends of Joash

Goodness... This is a long overdue post about my visit to yet another friend last week. Yeah! One more friend for Joash to play with! Presenting... baby M!

Baby M: Gor Gor Joash, What's that you are eating?
Joash: A donut. You want some?
Doesn't that sound familiar? *wink*

And what did old friends like ZH and Joash do after not seeing each other for a long time? They hugged and kissed each other... on the lips!!! *faint* And yes, they are back at it again: arm wrestling.

Face-off Round 2 *Tink tink tink* Joash verses ZH
Oh yes, that rings a bell too... Get it? Heh heh...
If you still dun understand, check this out: One of my previous posts

Seems like Joash has great fidelity to a single toy for very long time. For some unknown reasons, he took a liking to the plastic donuts, especially the blue one. He licked it, chewed on it, pushed it around and banged it everywhere he went. ZH, though usually not interested in them as reported by his mother, started to find the donut Joash was holding onto very desirable too and started chasing him all over the place to get the donut. To hide from ZH, Joash went under the slide and then later the sarong sling. It's simply hilarious watching them.

Joash sure loves having peers around him. Two days ago, I had a few mothers with their babies at my place. Joash was exceptionally happy. And you know what? After they left, he cried and fussed for almost an hour. He actually missed them! At first I thought it was just coincidence. When we were at church this morning, Joash ignored the other babies in the cry room throughout the worship, but when Baby J (a new friend he played with earlier this week) came in with his mom, he immediately perked up and kept looking at him and even wanted to crawl to him! To top it off, Baby J also looked back at Joash. Wait a sec. Can babies this young recognise one another? Utterly unbelievable! Ah well, he is such a social creature... just like his Dad. He is definitely a chip off the old block!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Almost there

Joash has been crawling around backwards for quite some time now. He could move a few steps forward but will stop midway. Just today, I saw him attempt to crawl forward in a flurry of leg movements to pick up his toy but alas, he could only move a few inches because he was still wearing his PJs and it was too slippery against the floor tile!!! (I was too lazy today to change him out this morning... :P) He looked like those cartoon characters when they "rotate" their legs but for the first few seconds remain at the same spot... Err... Anyone knows what I mean??? heh heh... Looks like I might have to finally let him wear his rompers without his socks to increase the traction between him and the smooth flooring so that he can move more effectively. *grin*

And there I thought that I've had enough surprise for the day when I suddenly witnessed Joash pulling himself to a standing position using the bumbo seat my friend passed to me! Aaarrrgghhhh! I was too slow in getting the camera and Joash was back sitting on the floor when I got back... Pity... Maybe next time.