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, May 31, 2013

Full Steam Ahead!

Wearing bigger rompers now!

Today is the last day of my so-called "confinement" (I basically flouted every rule in the book!) cos Jaide will be back from infant care and I'll start to cook next week. My schedule will be full again with chores and caring for the younger 2. Joash and Jayna will continue with full day childcare since it'll be too disruptive academically to go back to homeschooling with only 6 months left. Next year, Joash will be in primary school while the 2 girls will attend a regular 3-hours kindergarten. 

I'm really happy to be able to cook again. In fact, the children have been very anxious for me to do so and kept bugging about when I'll resume making their favourite dishes. They are actually counting down to the day! I'm also eager for Jaide to be home since she has picked up a few bad habits these two months at infant care. I sure hope that I can correct the negative behaviour now that she'll not be in the company of unruly children who scream, throw things and refuse to wait. Sigh! Where has my mild mannered, independent and patient darling girl gone?

Yesterday, I brought out bigger clothes for Joram to wash as he has already outgrown the smallest ones. I then noticed that Joash's PJs are getting too tight and short for him too. I also upgraded the girls' clothes not so long ago. Looks like I'll be constantly playing the catch-up game with the kids' physical growth. They're growing up way too fast!

I had spent the last month since I delivered (and was delivered from my pregnancy's sufferings! LOL) setting the household in order and settling Joram's full month celebration. It has been really busy getting things fixed, organised and tidied so that I can finally function at my 100% capacity come Monday. The tap and toilet door are replaced; the children's library is rearranged; the condiments are sorted out (many of them expired while I was preggy); the menu is done; the store room has been re-organised; my wardrobe is updated and most importantly, regular bible study and prayer for myself and the kids are all planned out. Yup! I'm ready to go at maximum speed. *grin*

No more need for disposable utensils!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Simple but Sweet First Month, Joram!

After having so many children, relatives and friends are getting less and less excited about receiving news of our newborn kid! ROFL The first celebration for Joash was so grand that it seemed like a wedding dinner. Then followed by bringing Jayna to visit some of our relatives with gifts. Next came Jaide when we simply sent cupcakes to everyone. This time round, we are following the popular trend to just post Bengawan Solo cake vouchers to others. Totally hassle-free. :P

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

101 Expressions

There have been a few people who mentioned that Jaide is far cuter in person than in the pictures of her on my blog or facebook. They say that the photos do not do her justice. I totally agree. For one, she is so active that it is really challenging to take a nice picture of her in the first place, given the lag time between pressing the button of the camera and the shutter taking the image. Then, of course, there's the problem of her wanting to play with my camera the moment she spots it. 

To capture her cute expressions, I try using the video mode but it is only successful to a certain extent since she will be more reserved in her behaviour when she knows that she's being filmed. The google glasses would sure be helpful in this case! Anyways, I managed to record some of her 101 expressions in the video below.

I guess the reason why she's so expressive is that she is not yet able to speak but she cognitively desires to communicate. To show that she can understand what we are saying to her, she can only rely on her facial expressions and body language. At the moment, she can only say 'bye bye' and 'bear bear' clearly. She can't even call Mummy and Daddy with any sort of accuracy. For now, we'll just enjoy her noisy babblings and infectious laughter. *grin*

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Reflections

My beloved treasures

Having 两个‘好’字 (two boys and two girls) is the best Mother's Day gift I can ever ask for. It is my vision come true! 

It may be tiring and challenging. There may be days when it seems almost impossible to be a good mother with my body growing weary and my patience running thin. I may not always do what I know to be good parenting; I may yell, I may call names, I may spank out of anger and end up apologising to my children and asking them to pray with me. I can only ask God for grace and new mercies every single day.

Yet, I'm honestly thankful to be the one to bring up my children. I absolutely love the way they play together. I marvel at their ingenious creativity. I adore their hugs and kisses and am constantly surprised by their little acts of affection and kindness to me. I enjoy playing all sorts of games with them and look forward to rough-housing with them on my king-size bed at the end of the day after our bathtime. My heart is warmed when they are contrite after wrong-doing and learn from their mistakes. I rejoice with them as they discover new things and I see the sparkle of understanding in their eyes. I am encouraged as they gradually learn to do things for themselves and become responsible in completing their chores or helping out around the house.

I have dreams for them. I wish for them to know God intimately and walk faithfully with Him. I want to see them being missionaries in wherever God has called them to. I pray for them to be men and women of integrity, purity and passion. It doesn't matter to me if they 'succeed' in the eyes of the world for as long as they follow the Lord, they'll have the greatest adventure of their lives.

In the current life-stage of having 4 children under 6 years of age, I find my expectations becoming modest. On Mother's day, while most other families are queueing up to eat at restaurants, I was extremely pleased and contented to eat at a deserted Yakitori cum Oden snack stall and having the cosy little place to ourselves. I was happy that the children ate well and I could nurse Joram in relative privacy at a corner seat. My spirit was at peace as I shopped at Daizo for household things with the baby in the sling while Joshua stayed with the older children at the playground. Small things in life make me glad.

I seek to treasure every moment I have with my precious ones for time will fly by very quickly. In a blink of an eye, there will be no more mouths to be fed at meal times, no more diapers to be changed and no more little hands to hold when I cross the road. I want to love my children as much as I can before they start having other loves in their lives.

I wanna pat little brother!

Me too! See... he is not crying anymore.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Newborn Haircut

Joram was born with more hair than the rest of his siblings. Since he is a boy, I can't simply let the hair grow out like I could for the girls. His 'sideburns' were thick and hair was covering his ears. Those at the back of the neck were also pretty long. If I don't do something about it, someone might start to mistake him for a girl!

I've never attempted to cut the hair of a newborn. The girls were a few months old before I needed to trim their fringe while Joash needed a haircut only when he reached his first birthday. So, in order to do it safely, I decided to trim the hair and shave off his 'sideburns' in the standing bath tub lined with a cushion and a blanket. Using my trusty old nose trimmer, soft-bristle hairbrush and a disposable shaver, I finished the job in 15 min. Joram did cry a little when I did his nape but calmed down when I picked him up to finish up with the shaver.

Depending on his temperament, I may not be able to do this by myself the next time he needs a haircut...

The set-up

All ready for it!

Do you like my new look?


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Class Monitor?

Joash has always been the responsible eldest brother in the family. But that doesn't mean he does not disobey or get into great mischief. It's just that he shows so much maturity on a daily basis and impresses us with his deduction and reasoning skills.

Just today, Joshua heard this really cute story from Joash's teacher:

During nap-time, his teacher asked Joash to make sure that everyone sleeps properly and report to her those who are monkeying around. To her surprise, he took out a piece of paper, wrote the names of his classmates and put a tick beside the names of those who were behaving themselves and marked a cross beside those who were not. Though his spelling of their names left much to be desired, his teacher was quite amused by his initiative.

So, does this means that Joash has it in him to be class monitor material? That we shall see. LOL

Major Teething

Around the same time as when I gave birth to Joram, Jaide was extremely fussy. We kinda chalked it up to adjusting to the new sibling even though she seems very happy to have a little brother to play with and is extremely affectionate towards him. 

However, when I bathed her over the weekend, I discovered that she was cutting teeth. The recent mystery teeth on her upper gums turned out to be the first molars as they fully emerged from the gums. The lower ones came out too, together with the missing left lateral incisor. With so many pearlies sprouting, no wonder she was cranky.

It does seem to me that she is chewing much better now with more teeth. *grin*

Monday, May 6, 2013

My Little Joram

Joram has all the best features Joshua and I have to offer: Nice round head, dignified brows, firm chin, big double-eyelid eyes, proportionately sized nose and mouth, 2 dimples and a full head of wavy jet-black hair. When I first set my eyes on him, I thought that he did not look like anyone else in the family. But as time passes by, I started to spot certain looks and expressions, each resembling different members of the family. Now, I think he looks like everyone! LOL

He is the only child who has the same blood group as mine, while the rest of the kids have Daddy's blood type. This was happy news as it meant that his jaundice level was not as high as the the others.

I had prayed for an intellegent baby and it seemed like God answered my prayers, except that in a particular instance, Joram is too smart for his own good! It happened that my milk did not come in the first 5 days. There wasn't even colostrum. I was very puzzled because usually, colostrum would be available on the second day and I would begin to produce milk on the third. So for the initial 3 days, Joram had nothing to drink despite nursing constantly. By the third day, he realised that there was no 'reward' for his efforts and went on a strike. He refused to suckle at my breast anymore! The moment I brought him close to my nipple, he would bite me. 

He started having orange/red pee, showing signs of dehydration. Thus, we fed him formula and used the breast pump to stimulate milk production. I consulted the breastfeeding hotline, started taking fernugreek and had a friend who graciously came down to do a massage on my chest. Thanks to the prayers of many, my milk finally started coming in on the 5th day. 

However, it is still taking very long for the milk to increase in volume. Joram would nurse for as long as the flow is there for the first 3 min and would refuse to suck any longer. It is almost as if he has decided not to waste his energy. This is so pragmatic of him, unlike the older siblings who all continued to suckle out of basic instinct. Unfortunately, it's counterproductive in this case! Silly boy...

Hopefully, after another week of regular pumping, the milk flow would be established enough for him to be willing to drink via latching on.

Return of the 'po-pia' days

Smiley baby!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Meeting 弟弟 for the 1st time

Yesterday, I discharged from the hospital by myself with Joram on Labor Day. (I did the same years ago with Jayna on my actual birthday!!!) Being a public holiday, my in-laws took the older two to a church carnival while Joshua had to stay home to take care of Jaide and do the household chores.

Thus, the only sibling who saw Joram for the first time was Jaide. As with the previous ones, I intended to ignore the newborn in favor of the older kid when I reached home. I was surprised though when Jaide could not keep her eyes off the squirmy little thing whom I put down on my bed the moment I returned in order to hug and kiss her. She kept looking and pointing to him. When I finally asked her, "Do you want to see 弟弟?" she nodded her head gleefully. She was very sweet and gentle with him and kept wanting to play with him. 

I pray that she will continue to shower love upon him and be a good sister to him in time to come!

Jaide: "I'm going to read to Joram!"

Mummy: "Where's 弟弟?"  Jaide: "There!"