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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}}

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You grow up too fast May 21, 2010

Posted by chrislsx in {dear baby} journal.
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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.

LO’s first conversation and shots January 29, 2010

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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.

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

Posted by chrislsx in {dear baby} journal.
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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!

xoxoxo,
Mommy

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

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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.

Love,
Mommy and Daddy

Maternity Photoshoot November 16, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in pregnancy update, {dear baby} journal.
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I took the opportunity to capture the wonderful moment of my life of expecting my little baby when a friend of mine recommended her friend who is a photographer. These pictures were captured when I was in my week 35. My belly has grown quite a bit since then (it’s now 38 weeks!!)

Thanks to Emma from Emma McIntyre Photography who is based in Toronto for the beautiful shots!

{dear baby} In the beginning… November 4, 2009

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Hi baby,

Today, mommy has decided to let you know how it all started… how you came along in our lives.

Mommy went home to Malaysia to celebrate Chinese New Year in January of 2009. Mommy went home alone this time because daddy had to work and we only had enough Avion points (RBC’s credit card points that we used to redeem the air ticket) for one. Mommy’s grandpa (dad’s side) was also not feeling too well, so what better time to go home to see him if not now. Mommy also knew that her workplace morale was running low due to job cuts, she was worried that she might lose all her vacation days if she didn’t take them before being cut. Mommy was paranoid about losing her job because she was merely a contract worker.

Mommy came back to Canada on the night of Valentine’s Day (Feb 14, which was a Saturday) and daddy picked her up at the Toronto Pearson Int’l Airport with a special meal… Lick’s Nature Burger, LOL! A good veggie burger was hard to find in Malaysia and mommy was gone for about a month. We drove back to Windsor on the same night.

Mommy got her period the next Saturday (Feb 21, 2009) and that is the date that the doctors ask for when they need to figure out when you are due. We don’t really know when you were conceived, but mommy lost her job at the end of February. Mommy tried to take it with stride, and hoped for something better to come a long. A month later, daddy also lost his job at National Bank of Canada. We were very, very sad. Mommy was a wreck and her emotions were tumultuous.

At this point, mommy’s period was about 1 week overdue and she was worried. She took a home pregnancy test and it came out negative. Two weeks later, mommy thought that we should go to the walk-in clinic on Huron Church Rd. in Windsor to confirm the pregnancy test because mommy’s boobs were hurting and it wasn’t the normal kind of hurt prior to her period. She was also getting tired easily.  Daddy was with mommy at the clinic and the nurse was not very kind to us because we showed up to take a pregnancy test. She said that we were wasting government’s money while we could have just done the test at home. Anyway, we did the test, and the doctor came to see us after mommy gave a urine sample. He asked if we took a test at home, and we said yes. He asked what it told us, and we said, it was negative. He told us that his test came back positive, and that was when we knew that you were part of our lives. Mommy and daddy could not wait to share the news with our families when we got home, and we told mommy’s parents first since we could not get a hold of daddy’s parents. Everyone was very happy to hear the good news. A test not much later revealed to us that you were 5 weeks old in mommy’s womb.

Meanwhile, mommy did not how know to react to the news. Mommy had no idea how things will be down the road for us and was very upset that things were not going the way that she wanted before you were to come along. Mommy and daddy were both unemployed and renting an apartment in Windsor, and we had to decide fast on a plan. Jobs were scarce in the Windsor-Detroit area, so we decided to move to Toronto. Daddy asked his parents if we could move in with them and they said OK.

Mommy really wanted a house and have everything in its place in her life before you come along so that she could give you the best of the best. All these changes were too much for her to handle and she cried constantly because she felt sorry and irresponsible for bringing you into this world before she had a chance to make sure that everything is perfect for you.

At this point, mommy’s cooking club friend, Jillian who is a psychologist mentioned that the Children’s House Montessori kindergarten might be looking for a kid’s yoga teacher. One of her patients goes to that school and apparently the yoga teacher had just left for Australia. Mommy went to ask about the position, and was offered the job right away. Mommy used to teach yoga before she broke her arm mountain biking with daddy. Mommy will tell you about that another time… Mommy would teach yoga to kids aged 2 and a half to 6 years old about 3 days a week, for a total of about 6 hours a week. It didn’t pay much, but at least we had money for gas to get around town and some food.

Mommy actually started teaching kids yoga before she knew that you were in her tummy. Mommy would come home after teaching 2+ hours of kids yoga and be wiped out. Daddy would sometimes cook lunch for us, and there were days that mommy could not stand the smell of garlic, even from the front door of the apartment. Daddy had not even cooked the garlic yet and it was just chopped garlic and it would make mommy very nauseas. Mommy did not have much of an appetite for anything except for noodles initially. There was one night while we were still in Windsor, and mommy had a sudden craving for spring rolls. It was 1a.m. and mommy asked daddy to go and find her some spring rolls 😛 One night, mommy wanted a cherry danish and daddy had walk to 2 different Tim Horton’s to look for it. He wasn’t able to find one and came home with a half-drunk cup of not-so-hot hot chocolate instead. Of course that didn’t cut it and mommy was not happy.

Anyway, mommy and daddy were busy packing for our move to Toronto. We made the move in a few trips, with the majority of the things moved with a rented U-Haul and the help of daddy’s dad on May 29th. After the big move, mommy and daddy had to go back to Windsor to clean up the apartment because our landlord was a very meticulous man. We finally settled in at grandma and grandpa’s place in Toronto on June 6th.

Mommy had a job interview on June 1st with Moneris Solutions as a Learning Designer. Mommy really needed this job in order to qualify for maternity unemployment benefits in Canada. All the years that mommy had worked in Detroit could not count towards the hours worked needed to receive that benefit despite having paid all the Canadian taxes. Anyway, mommy thought that the interview went fine, and a few days later, mommy was offered the job. Mommy was elated despite the fact that it was only for 6 months on contract with no benefits. It didn’t matter because it would count towards the hours needed for the unemployment pay, which is 400 full time hours.

Mommy should also mention that she was very worried about her belly showing at the interview because she might not be able to get the job if the prospective employer knew that she was pregnant with you. Mommy was about 4 months pregnant at that time. Mommy did not intend to lie, but we needed the money. Mommy began work on June 15th and soon cleared up the situation with her boss, who did not see an issue with the pregnancy, although mommy would not be able to complete the 6 months gig with them before you make an appearance.

So mommy went to work via the subway and since daddy did not have a job yet, he would take mommy to the Finch subway station every morning so that she didn’t have to wait for the bus at the shelter. That’s basically what happens about 5 days a week for a few months until recently, when daddy finally got a job at the same building as mommy. Mommy will write about that next time.

Mommy still doesn’t know what to make of what happened to her and daddy in the past few months while you sat in mommy’s womb growing healthily. Mommy has been lucky is so many ways, despite being given the biggest blow in life when she lost her job. At least daddy was always around whenever we would go to see Dr. Tai to see how you were progressing, and he was always around to drive mommy anywhere she wants to go. Mommy’s emotional state was so fragile that if daddy weren’t around all these while, she would probably have gone cuckoo.

Anyway, it’s past midnight now and we should really get some rest.

Love you!

Muacks xoxoxoxo