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Happy Birthday, My little Xuan Xuan… November 28, 2011

Posted by chrislsx in {dear baby} journal.
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My dear Xuan Xuan,

How time flies and you are two today. On the day you were born, you’ve help Mommy grow in ways that she never thought possible (apart from the boob size, hips and expanding waistline, LOL).

Mommy has learned tremendous patience, acceptance, tolerance, understanding, love and compassion, selflessness, extreme multi-tasking under severe sleep deprivation, and much more in two short years.

Thank you for the opportunity to be a child again through your eyes and mini hugs and kisses, for these days are too precious while Mommy can still hold you tight in her arms, kiss your boo-boos away, and tell you that everything is okay when you learn of your new skills and fears.

On this day, Mommy and Daddy wish you good health, great fortune and success in everything that you do in life :)

{{Hugs and kisses x1000000000}}

You grow up too fast May 21, 2010

Posted by chrislsx in {dear baby} journal.

Hey my little baby,

It’s been a while since mommy wrote to you. It had been really hectic and stressful during the past few months, because you were on a nursing strike, and mommy could only feed you when you go to sleep. Anyway, it seems like you’ve snapped out of it and you are achieving major milestones really fast these days. Mommy also had an arm surgery to remove the hardware from her broken left elbow in March, and recovery had been slow, especially since there were  nerve and ligament damages. It made typing with both hands very challenging.

You learned how to sit up a few weeks ago and here you are, sitting unsupported all by yourself. You will be 6 months old next week, and since you had been able to sit up, you are enjoying yourself a lot without mommy by your side. You are now able to reach for the mobile that has been hanging in your crib since you were born, and reaching for your toys left and right easily.

Yesterday, mommy discovered that you have finally sprouted your first tooth, after almost 1 week of lack of sleep for you and us. Your hair is also growing thicker these days, after shedding them for about 2 months. You are also learning to crawl at the moment, and had been able to squirm yourself to sleep occasionally. You also had been sleeping in your crib lately, unless you are not feeling well, and you just want to snuggle up to mommy and daddy.

Mommy can’t help but to realize how quickly you are growing up. Mommy and daddy finally bought a condo for us to call home with the help of your Po Po and Gong Gong. It is a very beautiful loft and we will be making lots of beautiful memories there. Soon, you will have plenty of space to crawl and run around.

Mommy will begin her work full-time with Moneris next month by working from home. Mommy had been very lucky to have such a kind boss. Hopefully, you will be a good girl and won’t bug mommy too much during working hours.

Mommy can’t wait for you to be a little bigger so she can put your hair up in pig tails and cute hair clips, but at the same time we really can’t believe how much you have grown in such a short time. Just yesterday, we went to Congee Wong for dinner and we put you in the high chair, which you gleefully sat in while we fed you a little bit of congee. These days, we had been letting you try some solid food, such as avocado, mango, butternut squash puree, banana, etc. You’re still not too keen on it though, but maybe soon you will happily open your mouth in anticipation for spoonfuls of food.

Maddy’s First Laughters March 16, 2010

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Maddy is getting more and more vocal these days, combining different coos and gaahs when she talks. She is 3 and a half month old now and I had been looking forward to hear her first laughs for quite sometime already. She had squealed in excitement briefly before when I pick her up or when she looks at our black and white lampshade in our room, but finally I found a way to make her laugh and squeal repeatedly and got it on video!

Other things that had been happening includes Mommy is recovering from her arm surgery that took place on March 5 in Windsor. It was a long awaited procedure to remove the hardware in Mommy’s broken elbow due to a mountain biking accident that occurred on July 4th 2008. It was supposed to have been removed last year but Maddy was conceived around the time the surgery was supposed to take place, so we couldn’t risk the surgery during the pregnancy.

Going to Windsor was Maddy’s first road trip. She sat in her brand new Britax “Cowmooflage” car seat which is roomier than her Graco Snugride. Doris came along to help take care of her when I am all wrapped up in bandages and Andy driving 4 hours there and back to Toronto. Poor Maddy cried a lot in the car because we couldn’t hold her while the car was moving. She also hates being strapped in the car seat. Somehow the lack of holding, “starving” and being away from mommy for a few hours while mommy was in the surgery made her more appreciative of mommy and her meals. She no longer fussed at meal time and stopped her random nursing strike. In fact, when we got home that same night she made mommy hold in to sleep in her arms for 2 and a half hours (with one bum arm in bandages) before she was willing to be put down on the bed 😛

Maddy using her fingers February 24, 2010

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So lately, despite all the breastfeeding challenges (nursing strike, cluster feedings at night, sleeping at 4am), Maddy has been on a roll with the discovery of her toes and fingers. Her finger/hand sucking habit had increased tremendously in the past few weeks, and we took it as a sign that she is discovering her fingers. She is 5 days short of 3 months currently.

Seeing that she had been reaching out to things around her with her hand, I thought that we should look for some sort of a rattle that she can wrap her tiny little fingers around and light enough for her to lift. We took a trip to ToysRus on Sunday and found Learning Curve’s GrabApple. This will be her first non-plush toy. She seem to take instant liking for this toy and we managed to capture her early moments with it. It is also a teething toy for her down the road. Check out the video… oh, as you can see she is slumped over quite a bit here, but that’s because this is her “I gotta do my biz” pose. You will hear her go in the video. She needs to be sat up like this every morning so that she can pass her motion and that’s what I do with her every morning…

Since she is able to hold her head quite steadily, we also put her in the Bumbo seat when we were at the store. She did very well in it, and we are looking to buy a pre-loved one since we read that most babies will only use it for 3 months and then it will be too small for them. When we put her in the Bumbo at the store, we got many looks from other parents who are pretty much amazed at how little/young she is but is able to sit on her own. Well, I think the Bumbo’s design has to take some credit also, but as Maddy’s parents we already knew that she has a strong neck because she was able to lift her head within minutes after she was born 😛 We think that she will be able to use her hands to play with toys more when she sits in the Bumbo, and hopefully that will give mommy’s and daddy’s wrists a rest from holding her.

Maddy Discovering Her Toes & Nursing Strike February 22, 2010

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Time is flying by so fast and Maddy is almost 3 month old now. She has achieved so much and yet I haven’t had the time to record it down here. Just lately, she’s been discovering her toes and we have it captured on video.

She has also been crying a lot lately, and is sort of on a nursing strike. I’m not sure why she would cry at the boob and arch her body away from me when I feed her. I read that this can sometimes happen at about 3 month old when the baby is easily distracted and therefore hates being put down to nurse (I nurse her laying down in bed, handsfree :P). She only cries at the boob and rejects it when she is nursed while awake, so I have to be very aware of when she is sleepy so that I can sneak the boob up to her and she will eat then. Otherwise, I have to walk and nurse at the same time and it is killing my wrists. When she is awake while nursing, she wants to be looking around so I have to pace up and down the room so that she can change her view while eating. Talk about a demanding baby! It also creates a bad latch so milk drips on the floor and creates a mess.

My mom seems to think that she might have been scared, perhaps due to loud noises from the TV. Winter Olympics has begun and the household is watching it often and there had been lots of loud cheers for the Canadian team. Unfortunately, this is not good for the baby as she is startled too often when she is spending time downstairs near the TV (which I absolutely hates, I think she’s way too young to be near a TV).

So, yesterday we bought Eu Yan Sang’s Bao Ying Dan or Bo Ying Compound, which has been trusted by many Chinese parents over the years. This medicine isn’t cheap! We paid CAD$24 for the box, which comes with 6 capsules of the medicine. Anyway, we hope that this medicine can calm her nerves and she is able to rest better at night and her nighttime crying would stop and hopefully eat better during the day. We gave half a capsule to her mixed with 2ml of water in a feeding spoon and she gave us a disgusted look when she took the medicine because it is bitter. She fussed a little but we managed to give it to her anyway. She slept better last night, and I was able to calm her down she cried in her sleep and fed her. We’ll be giving her more of the medicine for 2 more days and monitor her progress.

R.I.P. Yeh Yeh February 3, 2010

Posted by chrislsx in family.

Today is a sad day. Buddha said that birth, old age, sickness and death are inevitable. Amidst our joy of welcoming Xuan Xuan into our lives, another one passes on, eliminating its generation from the family tree.

My paternal grandfather (yeh yeh in Cantonese) passed away today at 3:40pm Malaysian time. I am sad and guilty at the same time because even though I grew up with my paternal grandparents when I was little, they were uneducated when they left China many years ago before World War I. They did not have proper documentations so we don’t even really know how old they are. I think we do know their Chinese birth dates though… I have to admit that when I was younger, I did not care much about getting to know my grandparents. The interest in knowing my roots only blossomed after I left to study overseas. By that time, I didn’t have much time to spend with them… and they were getting old, sick and forgetful already.

From what I have gathered from my parents and my brief conversations with my grandparents (luckily I am able to converse in Cantonese, or else I wouldn’t even be able to communicate with them), my yeh yeh was a very sociable person. He loved to mingle with his friends at the corner kopitiam (coffee shop) and market. He had friends everywhere he went. He was also a great cook. Along with my mah mah (paternal grandmother, who passed away September 2007 shortly after my wedding), they used to work for a British doctor commissioned to Malaysia (then Malaya) at Jalan Stonor. My yeh yeh was a cook and my mah mah was a nanny. It was during their time serving the British family that they learned how to cook Western food.

I do know that our hometown in China is in the town of Shun De, in the city of Guangzhou. It is famous for its sheong pei lai or “double skin milk”. I have been there once in my life, but did not get to meet any relatives there though.

Unfortunately, his character was not without flaw. He wasn’t a dedicated father nor husband. He had many jobs during his life and wasn’t able to provide much for his family. I was told that he sold noodles and drove a taxi, among other odd jobs. He wasn’t much into saving his money, and my grandmother was the one who worked very hard and scoured every penny she could find to raise the kids.

Nonetheless, I was his first grandchild and I was told that he loved me dearly when I was a baby and when I was a toddler, he used to take me to the wantan mee stall at the end of the main road of Jalan Terung off Jalan Peel, where our squatter house used to be before the government tore it down to make way for new condominiums. I also have fond memories of spending my afternoons after I stayed back after school as a school kid at my grandparents while waiting for my dad to pick me up around 4pm after he got off work. I looked forward to the simple lunches that we would make for me if he knew that I was going there after school. Some of my favourites were (this was before my family became vegetarians) tau see yu (black bean fish) and choy gon tong (dried vegetable soup). He also made the best stuffed roast goose that I can remember for the more elaborate family dinners. He also knew that I loved Chinese tea and he always had a pot brewed for me at his house whenever I would go visit them.

The last few years of his life was unfortunately quite sad. After my mah mah‘s passing, his health deteriorated. They used to live with my parents until it became a full time job to care for my yeh yeh, and my parents arranged for him to live at a senior care facility, where they had people who are dedicated to meet all his daily needs, from meals to going to the bathroom. My dad would take him out quite often to get his favourite food since he refused to dine at our house because he was not fond of vegetarian food. We used to control his diet because of his diabetes and high blood pressure, but knowing that his time with us would be short, we had decided that he should be allowed to consume to his heart’s content.

During my last trip home to Malaysia for Chinese New Year in 2009, I tried to pry into his brain to get to know him better. But alas, his memories were all scrambled and his facts were all over the place. He barely remembered me, and his heart pined for his grandson, other granddaughter and my uncle. He also often wondered where his money went and tears would roll down his cheeks ever so often whenever he asked for them. There was nothing that my family could do for him since it seemed like we weren’t his favourite for reasons unknown.

Well, here we are now… at the end of his 80 something years’ journey. We are glad that he can finally rest in peace. I only wished that technology would be so great that we can copy our grandparents’ memories before they leave us so that the next generation is able to see the past through their eyes… is that too freaky?

LO’s first conversation and shots January 29, 2010

Posted by chrislsx in {dear baby} journal.
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So I haven’t had much time to do much updates here, but I really gotta get on top of it, especially when it comes to recording my little one’s (LO’s) milestones.

Today, we went to get her first immunization shots at Dr. Hui’s office. She did very well actually, although she did let out a loud cry when the needles went into her thighs. She calmed down right away when I picked her up though. It was a day of accomplishment for me as well, because today is the first day I took her out in the car all by myself, but what a crappy day to do it though. It was very cold and windy today, but Xuan Xuan co-operated when I put her into her winter jacket and car seat. She slept the entire way to the doctor’s office and back while I played classical music on the satellite radio to soothe her.

I am quite positive that Xuan Xuan is a morning person. She is always all smiles when she wakes up, even though it was not her usual waking time this morning. Her first word when she wakes up is usually “goo” these days. We even had our first but brief  “conversation” today. She said something that sounded like “eevre” to me and I replied the same to her. We had this exchange of babbles for quite some time. Cute.

Her new word today was “blueh”. I wonder if she is finally realizing that she could use her tongue to form words since I taught her how to stick her tongue out yesterday. I’ve been teaching her to do that for quite some time now, per Dr. Sear’s book. Apparently 2 month old babies are great imitators.

*update* Xuan Xuan has also expressed interest in mirror reflections lately. When we changed her in the bathroom before bedtime, she reached out to her own image and smiled.

There’s been quite a few milestones achieve by this little “ku mao mao” – crying cat – quite a few of them have been considered advanced for her. I hope to write them down promptly as time and Xuan Xuan allows me to.

Durian Cake January 16, 2010

Posted by chrislsx in in the kitchen.
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There was some frozen durians in the freezer and I made durian cake with it. Check out my notes and recipe on my cooking blog, DinnerLately.

{dear baby} Your first smile… kinda January 8, 2010

Posted by chrislsx in {dear baby} journal.

Hi baby Maddy…

It’s been a while since mommy wrote to you but you were born right on the day that you were due on Nov. 28, 2009 @ 10.44am. Mommy will write more about what happened between then and now, but today’s post is to let you know that yesterday morning after mommy fed you at 5am, you were in the mood to “talk” and you babbled a whole lot.

Your first words were “ah goo” and “heh boo”. Your favourite place on earth so far is the bathroom, because every time we change you in the bathroom, you like to talk to your friend “Mr. Scope” (Scope is a bottle of mouthwash).

Mommy used to look forward to feeding you in the middle of the night, just to catch your sleep grins. You look so beautiful when you smile. Yesterday (Jan 7, 2010) you flashed your first real smile at mommy and mommy was in heaven. You were 1 month and 9 days old. Though it wasn’t a social smile, but it was good enough for mommy because you were awake and responded to mommy’s nonsensical babble with a smile.

After mommy fed you yesterday, you were held on my lap to be burped. Much to mommy’s surprise, you were able to hold your wobbly head up for quite some time.

Xuan Xuan, you are growing up fast. Mommy will miss the midnight and early morning feeding sessions whereby it felt like it is just you and me in the whole wide world. Mommy also can’t wait for you to be a little bit bigger so that we can have a “conversation”.

Till the next time! Love ya!


{dear baby} For my baby… November 19, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in {dear baby} journal.

Madelyn @ 32 weeks gestation period

Dear baby,

You are our love at first sight. You are the most perfect thing in life that we know. We are incredibly honoured that you have chosen us to be your parents. We promise to give you all that we can so that you can be the best that you are and can be. We promise to shower you with unconditional love, affection, and kindness while patiently guide you through every step of your life.

Mommy and daddy love you so much. Mommy had no idea that she could fill her heart with so much love until you came along. Every time mommy and daddy talk to you while you are in mommy’s belly, you would respond to us by squirming and kicking to reassure us that you know who we are in your life. You are truly a precious blessing to us. Nothing else in our lives can quite compare to what you made us feel as parents-to-be.

You will be here soon, in fact, in just a matter of days now. Mommy will miss feeling you inside her belly all the time, but we can’t wait to be able to hold, smell and cuddle you in our arms.

Mommy and Daddy