Countdown to Joash's 6th Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Countdown to Jayna's 5th Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Countdown to Jaide's Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Countdown to Joram's Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Friday, July 30, 2010

Gee Baby

Jayna: "Mummy, you dropped your earring!"
When Jayna was born, I saw an MTV of the song "Gee" by Girls Generation. I somehow began to sing the chorus of the catchy song whenever I bounce and sway my baby to the rhythm of the music. After half a year, Jayna instinctively sways whenever I sing it! Watch her sway on demand even when she wasn't paying attention to me.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

3 New Ones

I found a new pearlie white peeking through the top gum a few weeks ago and recently I realised that the right central incisor and lateral incisor have appeared too. To my dismay, they look rather crooked. Let's hope they'll straighten out as more teeth emerge. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sacrificial Love

True love is not based on emotions; It is an act of the will.

Jayna's conception and birth have truly taught me how to love unconditionally. It's a daily struggle but I can see how God keeps reminding me that He can empower me. Enough said about the torture I endured when I was pregnant with her. Raising her isn't any less arduous either.

Back when Joash was a year old, you can see from his schedule that it was an utter joy to take care of him. He could play by himself for quite some time, be contented to wait till I finished my food while playing with toys and was easy to take around so we had fun going out. Crankiness was not frequent. He could fall asleep on his own and do a complete nap, though it was for a mere half an hour, and would wake up smiling. I did not need to make any special effort to be quiet while doing chores cos he could sleep through anything.

However, Jayna is fussy practically ALL the time. I have to perpetually concentrate hundred percent of my attention on her. When she was smaller, I could put her in the sling the whole day and do my chores but now as she is coming to one year of age, it's impossible to carry her for long. She screams bloody murder every time I stand up from her side or leave the room for a few seconds to take something so I've gotten used to bringing her along with me everywhere I go, be it to the toilet or just to throw something away. Even when she's playing with her toys, I have to sit right by her and she would start clamoring for me the moment I turn to read the bible, attempt to pray or do something on the computer.

The shrill sound of her unhappy whine is forever in my ears. I have to strain really hard not to make a single sudden noise and tip-toe around when I cook or do chores while she sleeps, cos that's the only time I have to do anything. She is such a light sleeper that even though her nap time is supposedly 2 hours long, she'll wake up every few minutes due to some random noise such as a bird chirping, our neighbor opening and closing the door or some sound of furniture moving upstairs and I will have to carry her and pat her back to sleep. My nerves are constantly tensed and my ears are always alert to her wail. Many a days, I get so tired of putting her back to bed that I'll simply let her sleep on my chest for the rest of the nap so that I can get some sort of respite.

She also does not take well to being brought out. She can't drink or sleep properly outside and she will not suffer to be in the pram for long. I've long resigned myself to being relatively house-bound cos a trip anywhere will drain me of my energy trying to pacify her the entire way. I'm rather well-known already in the neighborhood super-mart for having to contend with a persistent, shrieking baby whenever I shop for grocery as she'll be irate the moment I take my attention off her to select items and pay for them at the cashier.

It is also very tough to feed her as she hardly takes a proper meal. She drinks her milk in installments and that makes it difficult to gauge whether she is hungry or not especially since she'll cry even when she's not hungry, sleepy, wet or plagued by anything troubling. And boy, does she make her vaguely mysterious sense of dissatisfaction known very audibly.

There are just soooo many times when I fight against flaring up at her especially since I've already spent all my effort to please her and yet she'll continue in her grating shrill voice. Even when Joash made me angry, he would put in his best foot forward to get back into my good books after his tantrum. However my dear princess will complain for a long time to come if I ever were to displease her in the slightest way.

Even Joshua can tell that I am so much more drained and listless after a day of taking care of Jayna then when I was caring for Joash. In fact, even when Joash stays home due to school holidays or illness, I only have to expend a little bit more effort in caring for him too. He is such an understanding and independent boy and will even try to help me by getting things for me and attempt to entertain his sister who is mostly unappreciative of his efforts.

I really do struggle a lot with resentment against my daughter. She has monopolised the tender loving care of the family and is still immensely difficult to please. Joash has already graciously relinquished a lot of the attention that is due him and it seems not to be enough for Jayna. If she were suffering from some chronic illness, I would find it in my heart to take pity upon her and endure her complaints with much fortitude since it wouldn't be her fault for being sick. However, she is perfectly healthy. I can only blame it on her odious personality. Even my mother-in-law chose Joash when we asked her last weekend which of our children she wants to help us with. As my husband crudely puts it, "Jayna sucks the life out of her care-giver!"

I do wonder if she'll grow up grateful of the sacrificial love that has been showered upon her. It would truly be a tragedy if she were to live thinking that the whole world owes it to her. I can only pray that she'll ultimately know God and thus understand eventually that she is truly blessed among children. For many poor babies would thrive on a fraction of the love she's been given and grow plump and happy on the food she's has disdained to eat.

I have to practice a heart of continuous thanksgiving for the small mercies regarding Jayna or I'll never survive being her main caregiver. I need day to day strengthening of my body, emotions and soul in order to face another day with her.

Philippians. 4:4
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"

THIS is how I practice daily rejoicing:
Below is yet another video of Jayna in the little moments of happiness. Whenever she's fussy beyond consolation, I'll bring her out in the pram for a short trip (cos her gladness lasts only a few minutes before she tires of the joy ride) and here's the cute swaying action she does at the beginning. Enjoy. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Few Advances

Since Joash was still under the weather this morning when he woke up, I decided to keep him at home today. A few amazing improvements occurred.

1) While I was changing Jayna's diapers, Joash suddenly said that he wanted to go to the loo. I asked him to go by himself but I completely expected him to call out for help at some point. However, he came back to the room and said, "Finished already." I asked him if he flushed the toilet. He quickly ran back and I could hear the distant sound of flushing. He did it all by himself! Good job! After that, I did not bother accompanying him to the bathroom anymore when he wanted to go.

2) I was busy cooking our meals and Joash asked for me to wipe his nose which was leaking with mucus. I told him to do it himself. He climbed up the kitchen table, took a piece of tissue, came in front of me, wiped his nose and went to dispose of it in the dustbin, all without any prompting! Yet another piece of evidence to show how much he has grown.

3) While all three of us were playing. Jayna used my shoulder to pull to stand. Enraptured by some toy she discovered on the bed I was leaning against, she took her hands off me to examine it. So for a few seconds, Jayna was standing on her own! Both Joash and I noticed and applauded her feat. However, the moment Jayna realised what we were praising her for, her knees buckled and she sat down sheepishly. Great work, my girl!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Spin Again

Now the siblings can even enjoy the spin together!
(One fun video coming right up...)

Next Step to Self-feeding

After drinking from the bottle by herself, Jayna has progressed to eating finger food unassisted at 11 months old! Yay! She has learnt this much faster than her brother who was still playing with the biscuits till he was a year plus. But as usual, her appetite is really small. She starts throwing the food around after only less than 15 Gerber stars...

Watch her in action!

Covenant Family

Officially Covenanters!

As with every step of faith that a believer walks, Satan is not far behind trying to sabotage. Everyone in the family was unwell today. Jayna has yet to recover from her 2 weeks' worth of illness; I caught the flu bug a few days ago; Joash fell sick yesterday and Joshua could feel the symptoms of catching the virus too!

However, since we were all still functional by the grace of God and the prayers of our CG mates, we decided to go and attend the membership acceptance and receive it's symbolic blessing. We were also graced by the lovely presence of those CG mates who came to support us in our decision to join the covenant family. Some of them came specially to the second service just so they could be with us! Thank you all so much! Felt kinda strange to hear people congratulating us though... reminds me of getting married. Heh...

The happiest of us all was Jayna since she's on the road to recovery while the rest of us were just starting out. (Her nose was still running though) She's at the age when she wants to explore so it was a mammoth task to keep her from crawling on the floor! Letting her climb from cushioned seat to seat was the most I could do for her. Many were enthralled by her cute antics. *grin* During the worship, she was thrilled and clapped along as we sang our hearts out to God.

I'm glad that at least one of our kids enjoyed it. Poor Joash was lying on the chair resting the whole time. However, it might have been a blessing in disguise as it would have been tough trying to stop him from running wild in the sanctuary if he were his usual self!

Doesn't she look kinda boyish in this outfit?

Having soooo much fun!

Praying in church?!?!
Talk about a good foundation... :P

May we as a family continue to grow deeper in our intimacy with God and to serve Him faithfully and sacrificially together for the furtherance of His kingdom in this church in the years to come!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Growth Spurt

Playing with the yellow bouncy ball.
Playing with the hairbrush.

Within the month, Jayna has gone from timidly scooting around to full fledge crawling, pulling to stand, cruising and climbing the furniture. The speed in which she learnt to do all these is rather surprising. Unfortunately, she is no less dependent than before. Rather, she is even more demanding with her recent illness cum another round of teething. She wants my hundred percent intimate attention even when she's playing by herself!

Unlike her daring brother, Jayna was afraid to come back down to the floor by herself after pulling to stand. She would hang on till her knees buckled and she'd scream for my help to sit her back down. It was most hilarious to watch. After much encouragement from me, she finally plucked up her courage to try getting down herself by slowly, and I do mean slowly, squatting down. Now, she's getting better at it with much practice, though never nearly as reckless as Joash who simply plonked himself unceremoniously on his diaper-padded derriere in the past.

Here's a video of her recent accomplishments. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Toilet Trained

Finally! Joash is officially toilet trained during the day at 2 yrs 8 months old!

Of course, he does have accidents here and there but it usually happens only when he is too engrossed in doing something and can't bear to leave it behind to go toilet.

I've never pressured Joash into being toilet trained. Since last year, Joash had been able to notice his urge to go but he was not willing to go to the toilet especially for urine. Instead, he hid in a corner to do his business in his diapers instead. He was quite alright with pooping at the toilet with the training seat though. (You know the child-sized dettachable kind that fits onto the regular toilet seat?) So I shelved the idea and waited for him to be ready.

For the past few months, I had been asking him once in a while if he wanted to go toilet despite him still in diapers to test his willingness. When I realised he was willing to go with me to the toilet even when we were outside, I figured that it was about time we try to go without the diaper. So 2 weekends ago, we started letting him wear his underpants. We were pleasantly surprised that he did rather well with the exception of one accident at the end of day. Since then, he has been going diaper-less.

He is now able to go to the toilet, pull down his pants and climb up the toilet seat using a stool by himself. He doesn't even need the training seat anymore. He can also put down the toilet cover and climb up to the button to flush the toilet after use. However, he needs help wearing his pants afterwards.

Granted that many other toddlers have mastered toileting much earlier but I'm still proud of my son for learning to be toilet trained without too much stress on my part. Way to go, Joash!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Exploring the bed

Since I'm going to upgrade Jayna to the toddler bed soon, I'm letting her nap on it and explore it during the day. This is so that she'll lose the novelty of the bed and be less likely to check out the surroundings when she's eventually placed there at night and will go straight to dreamland like the way she does now in the playpen. As with her older brother in the past, she is enamored by the bed rail...

Jayna: "Wow! I can use this to pull to stand too!"

Sneaking a peek through the mesh netting...

Jayna: "What a vantage point!"

IDMC Rompers

Next Sunday, Joshua and I are going to be formally transfered from our previous churches and be accepted as members of Covenant. Yippee!!! We were told to purchase IDMC t-shirts and wear them at the service, so we got them today.

I was pleased that they had children sizes so I bought an S size for Jayna and an M size for Joash. The smallest size that they had was still rather long for Jayna so I altered it into a pair of rompers. I didn't own a sewing machine so I had to do everything by hand which took three times as long a duration to do a such simple task.

Half an hour later, the t-shirt has become the very first (I think...) IDMC rompers! Ta-da! I hope I don't get into trouble with the leadership for multilating their t-shirt! :P

Jayna's rompers (left) and Joash's t-shirt (right)


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pram Garage

All this while, we've always left our pram outside for convenience since we have a flight of three steps at our door. Our corridor gets really wet whenever there's a storm so we have to peg a raincoat over the pram. It's quite a hassle to peg and unpeg the cover whenever we use it so I've been brainstorming for a quick and easy way to provide protection for the pram over the past 1 year.

Finally, I got down to constructing this shed out of waterproof cardboard, scotch-tape and 2 floor tiles to weigh it down while Jayna was taking her afternoon nap. I sure hope it'll weather through the rainstorms and the regular floor cleaning of the corridor done by HDB...

The Front View

The Back View

Martial Arts Training?

This is what Joshua found when he went in to wake Joash up for school in the morning. (One of the rare times when our boy overslept) It makes one wonder how he could sleep in such a position... His legs were dangling over the bed. Must have fallen asleep while playing with his toys. Haha...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Battle of the Wits

This evening, we had our usual weekend dinner with my in-laws at our favourite coffee shop. After the meal, we ordered a different drink for everyone and Joash was not left out, though Jayna was excluded since she is still too young to take sweetened stuff. Grandma finished hers and decided to tease Joash who was still half-way into his cup.

Grandma: "Joash, Grandma has no more to drink. You still have so much..." *hint hint*

For a few seconds, Joash looked as if he was deliberating whether to give some to Grandma when he suddenly realised that he could not bear to part with it.

Joash: "I drink!" (proceeded to take a few big gulps)

We all burst out laughing at that. Seeing the boy's cheeky grin, I decided to join in the fun.

Jaclyn: "Joash, may I have some of your drink?" *open mouth big big*
Joash: (Pointing to my half-filled glass of tea) "Mummy still have."

More laughter ensued. Grandma thought to try again.

Grandma: (pretending to be pitiful) "But Joash, look! I don't have any more to drink."
Joash: "Grandma drink already!"

What a clever boy!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beautiful Eyes

I had prayed before during the pregnancy that Jayna would have her Daddy's gorgeous eyes. So you can imagine my disappointment when she was born with short stubby lashes and single eyelids. The phoenix eyes was a surprise though. So I consoled myself that she is a typical oriental beauty.

Much to my delight, her lashes started growing rather long and curled as time goes by. I had thought that this was as far as God would indulge my frivolous request but what do I know? Jayna recently developed double eyelids, just like her father's! I was absolutely thrilled! She now has such beautiful eyes! Granted, they are not really big but I distinctly remember I didn't ask for big ones. LOL God is so generous to this silly daughter (me) of His...

Anyway, her double eyelids are not stable yet so sometimes, her left eye will revert back to having single eyelid and looks smaller than the right one. Let's hope it'll stablise soon. *double grin*

She moved so much trying to grab my camera
while I was taking the photo that this was the best I could do:
A picture of her half-closed eyes.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Rock N Roll Baby

We decided to let Jayna try this walker cum rocker at Tom and Steph while we waited for the purchase to be done. She seemed to have enjoyed it so much that she protested violently when we took her away after we finished buying the stuff! But I'm pretty sure that if we were to buy it for her, the novelty will wear off within seconds esp when she realises that it's yet another space to confine her in. Haha...

Jayna: "Daddy, this really is nice!"

Jayna: "Look at all these buttons..."

See how much fun she had in the video!

It's Her Turn

Do you remember how Joash enjoyed sitting in the swivel chair while we turned it? Jayna is no less excited about doing the same! In fact, she cries when we try to carry her out of the chair before she has had her fill of the spinning. Check out the video to see what I mean. For Joash's experience, pls click HERE. I would say that he expresses his delight much more exuberantly than his sister. :)