March 2009


This entry is dedicated to Nur Aliyah aka Lya, my beautiful niece who celebrated her birthday on March 6th 2009. Semoga comel selalu, panjang umur dan murah rezeki. Kalau boleh tu, mintak la hadiah adik baru daripada mama dan bapak, ya Lya??  Sekurang-kurangnya ada juga teman kamu untuk bermain nanti…

Congratulations to the proud parents (Mohd Sophian & Ani Darwina) who celebrated their kid’s first ever birthday. Thanks to the advancement of mobile technology, I am able to share this picture with you people out there. Cute girl, eh? Yiyi is very sure the baby brother or sister (kalau ada!) will be as charming as her.

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Ani & Pian, respond! Respond!

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Iris in basket

We went to Teck Kong Departmental Store last month and I decided to place her in the basket while I do my shopping. Iris seemed happy that the items that her mummy about to purchase were placed around her in the basket.  We had heads turning alright but I am pretty sure those mothers who had trouble carrying their kids in their arms will soon adopt this idea of mine.  It was spontaneous, fun for Iris and most important of all, mummy can shop comfortably.  I am lucky that she is still at the stage where she watches and not trying to grab everything in front of her.  It was a new experience for both of us and we are so going back to that store!

The normal temperature of a human body is 37 degree. So what happen when it goes beyond that? One will get feverish and feels really uncomfortable. When a baby gets sick, the mother will become restless as well. Iris was feverish two days ago. Her temperature went up and down, especially after she was given medicine and sponged.

When she got sick for the first time, I was really panicked. I know how to apply sponging but wasn’t really sure about the procedure. Should I use warm water or tap water? Should I let her shirt on or she should be naked? Should the fan be turned on and if yes, will she get too cold that might cause her to get flu? Lots of questions and you tend to be extra concern as not to make the situation worse. Fortunately Kathy (my dear doctor friend) came to the rescue.  Basically the room must be as airy, cover her with a piece of cloth while sponging and make sure areas like the neck and armpit are exposed and sponged thoroughly.  If there is no cooling pads for the forehead, it is necessary to sponge also the entire head.  I cut several hankies into 4, so that I can place them nicely at the bend of her limbs. That will help to reduce the heat faster.  Sponging, coupled with medicine, will put her at ease sooner.

But last nite, I could not rely on sponging and paracetamol alone as her temperature escalated to 38.5 degree even after the two procedures.  And she started to whine, an indication of discomfort.  I called Yuwana for help and soon enough, she drove us to the clinic.  It was 7:30pm and it was drizzling. Iris was quiet, perhaps wondering “where on earth we are going in the dark?” or “yay! Roaming!”.

She was quiet also the when we walked into the clinic. There were not many people and we took a seat nearest to the doctor’s room. Apparently this girl loves to be outside meeting people. A few minutes later, she started chattering to Yuwana, looked around with interest, bouncing up and down and even called out to someone who just stepped into the clinic. She was happy alright and very active. I started to think that both of us may looked sicker than  her. True enough, her heat subside. I guess the medication and the sponging took effect on our way to the clinic.

Dr. Morni was delighted to her (or she was elated to meet the doctor?) and commented that she is a big girl now. She was sitting on my lap during the consultation and the doctor’s expensive thermometer recorded her body temperature at 36.2 degree.  During the short examination, she “chatted” with the doctor, tried to grab his stethoscope and hold the doctor’s arms. She didn’t look sick at all! Nevertheless, the doctor was happy to entertain her.We left the clinic with more supply of medicine, but I forgotten to ask for more cooling pads.  We are down to our last piece.

Apparently the teething process may cause slight fever. I suspect there was various factor contributing to her condition. It could be the change of temperature during her stay at Sri Aman.  Perhaps she was too tired. Maybe she takes after mummy, who tend to fall sick whenever she gets too exhausted.  However lately, I notice that I don’t fall sick easily ever since I had Iris. Could it be my pregnancy actually helped in building up my body resistance?

At home, her temperature went up again and this time it was her head that was heating up slowly. This called for sponging and Paracetamol again. I had no problem making her swallow her medicine although she was resisting eagerly. And because of her constant struggle, we had to sponge her entire head enough to control the temperature and enough to comfort her to sleep.  I checked on her temperature occasionally, and the reading was within the normal range.

Later that night, she woke up for her feedings and I remember what the doctor said. The ability to suckle is a strong sign to indicate if the baby is feeling well or not. Even when the baby is sick, if she maintains her fluid intake, she will be fine. So far, Iris is progressing along that line and her mother is getting better at handling the situation. She is less panicky now.

Mummy is lucky that she has her reliable friends around who are willing to come to assist whenever needed.

This entry is dedicated to Yuwana Podin aka Yiyi (auntie in Mandarin) and Katijar Bibi (Aunt Kathy). Thank you both for your assistance. It really helps when someone else is present at that material time and to know that you are not alone is a great relief.

Thanks again, both. I really appreciate it.

After letting my daughter stay over with my parents for three weeks last year, it is only appropriate to spend some time with her Pak Nek and Mak Nek in Sri Aman. After all, she is the youngest grandchild and the only granddaughter in the family. Even then her Mak Nek always mistakenly addressed her as “Bujang”.  Fair enough because all her grandkids before this are male.

After several trips, I am getting better at estimating the items that need to be carried for a two nights stay. During the first visit, I brought along detergent, insect repellent, the hammock frame, 3 pails, one full basket of her clothes and another basket for her bottles and milk powder.  Her belongings + mummy’s anxiety really stuffed the car with loads.  I was pretty sure even a cat will find it difficult to maneuver in the car. Now that she is relying on her walker to move about, we added it into the list but gradually eliminating other less useful stuff like the hammock frame that usually occupies  significant space in the short car.

We stopped over at Serian for lunch at Sofeabon and she sat on daddy’s lap. Having a baby with us always draw attention, either other people will look and smile or they will offer to carry her for a while. And being Iris, she loves to smile and responds to others. Most of the time she will be grinning ear to ear showing her two tiny teeth at the lower jaw.  Well, there was this girl at the shop that wanted to hold her so we let her, of course we were observing her like an eagle. Soon  she started to joke around with her other waitress friends in the shop and tried to kick them while carrying Iris.  Our baby was restless and we imagined the worst.  What if she fall?  The scene could be ugly.

Dean immediately went over and took Iris from her. He was pissed off. I was too.  Should anything happen to my girl, I’d definitely punch her and throw her into the middle of the busy street.  If only…  See, maternal instinct can be very dangerous.  So, don’t even think of messing with us mothers!

She slept all the way to Sri Aman and when we reached kampung (located next to the town centre), she was quite pleasant. She didn’t cry nor she was terrified, unlike her second visit there. She was shy at first, and cling on to me like a baby koala but she warmed up fast enough to let her Mak Nek and Usu carried her.  In fact, she managed to communicate with her Uda, who usually pay no heed to others.

The house is so much larger than our home in Samarahan, so she had plenty of space to roam.  She drinks and sleeps better this time.  Previously she refused to feed and she slept with her fists clenched, to me that was a sign of stress. That time we had to shorten our stay from two nights to one night only. I recall her face was beaming once she was brought into the car, knowing that she will be leaving the unpleasant environment.  This time around, she was more adaptive mainly because there was so much lesser people in the house compared to the previous visit.  You can tell that she was comfortable when you hear her laugh and babble in the house.

Iris and Mak Nek

We finally had to head home.  We left Sri Aman on Monday afternoon. The weather was really hot during the first half of the journey and it was raining heavily all the way from Serian and up. We reached home safely and her daddy took a short rest before driving back to Sri Aman that same evening.  So, it was back to me and Iris again. That night she slept much earlier.  Her sleep was peaceful, no interruption.  Finally she is back in her own bed with much comfort.

As for mummy, she was content as well.  The journey was fruitful, she was happy meeting with her parents in law and was able to see how much joy brought by that little melon during her short stay with them.

Same time next week, both of us will be on our way to the airport as Iris is scheduled to meet her other set of grandparents. This time she will be staying with Popo and Datuk in Miri, while mummy is off to KK for her research assignment.  But first, Iris will need to recover from her feverish condition.

Well, that is another stoy to tell.

Until the next post.

When I woke up this morning, I could vividly hear “blahbaba baa bla babaa babaaa baaaaba…” in the cozy ambiance of the bedroom.  Yep, that little girl has started to utter words that she herself can register the meaning.  She babbles a lot throughout the day, guess she is fascinated with the hitherto abilities of her vocal.  No more screaming on top of her lungs that involves the only  “A” note.  She is gradually adding consonants into her “speeches”.  Although we couldn’t comprehend what she was trying to say, it was music to our ears.  It is anytime better than listening to her demanding cries.

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On top of that, we have developed a sign language that both of us agreed on.  When she smacks her lips, it means she wants solid food.  Well, that is only one thing, but at least we are communicating.  However, it is also important to talk to her frequently as if she is an adult.  No infant languages as this is the time when her brain absorbs words fastest.  At the moment, I try to instill our mother tongue (Cantonese) into her daily conversation and hopefully one day she will master the command of that language.

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Ahh…. I can imagine us communicating in Cantonese, with a blurred daddy at one side.  Nothing peculiar as that was what  exactly experienced by my dad.  Although his Cantonese is worse than rotten, he does understand a few words enough to reinforce mom’s command/demand when we paid her no heed.

p/s: Hiak Fan – eat rice | Cheng Liong – take bath | Fai Chui – faster!

Today I am here at Putrajaya, scheduled for a meeting later in the morning (it is now 2:41am). I have completed my slides for the presentation, which I doubt can be delivered in 20 minutes time. Anyway, I foresee the most difficult part of the presentation is requesting for more time to beef up the report. I’ll be jumping with joy if they granted an extra one month as the final report was due end of last month and I still need to tie-up loose ends here and there. And I am mentally drained!

I called home earlier today and something new cropped up.  Iris cried when she heard my voice over the phone.  Poor kid. She comprehends better now.  She is more expressive, she has grown up!

Wake up, Lina!  She is only 8 months old!  She won’t know that much!

Or is she?

I’ll check on her tomorrow.