Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 34: Ball Pit

Doing the "Stay Home Mum" job all by yourself during the day can be tricky when your child is an active toddler who requires full supervision at all times. I've been blessed the past few weeks as my mum is staying with us and we could take turns looking after Micah while the other does some chores or has a shower, etc. As soon as my mum goes back to Malaysia this Sunday, I will be left all alone again during the day to juggle Micah, chores and getting enough sleep. 

Whenever Micah is awake and active, and I just need a few minutes to go off and do something and be able to leave him someplace safe where I know he can't hurt himself... I would usually place him in the bouncer, or the swing, sitting on his high chair, or even in his cot. Those are the few places I know he can't hurt himself or get into too much mischief unsupervised. We did set up a playpen a few months ago but that almost doesn't work anymore because he could pull himself up to a standing position on those fences and being not fully stable yet he could easily fall over. Plus the playpen does not exactly have the strongest, sturdiest fences so he could also fall on top of those fences.

So recently we discovered we could set up another place where we know he will happily play in and be safe unsupervised for a short period of time. We set up his portacot and created a ball pit. It's pretty cool and he absolutely loves it! The portacot is very steady and no matter how crazy he climbs onto the walls of the portacot to stand up, it will not topple over and the material is fairly solid and does not look like it will tear or anything even if he puts his entire weight on it. Plus the cushion mattress (and the soft plastic balls) means that he can fall over as much as he wants in his ballpit and not get hurt. It is brilliant!

We bought a bag of 105 plastic balls from Baby Bunting for $25. I suppose we could use more balls to fill up the ball pit more but Micah doesn't need them at this stage. He is quite happy to play with whatever he can get his hands on at this stage and is very content. Plus, the fact that it IS a portable cot means that we can set it up anywhere in the house. Very convenient!

BUT like all things and all toys, toddlers can very easily get bored so I'm trying not to let him play in his ball pit too often so he will still find it exciting next week when my mum is gone and I would actually NEED the ball pit to keep him entertained!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kimba's Photography: Home Photography Wannabe

We all know professional photography costs a fortune and many people would actually pay that money because it's emotional buying. How can they resist all those beautiful photos that capture their baby's ultimate cuteness. After all, babies grow up way too quickly so those photos will be cherished for a long, long time. That is how professional photographers make their living. I have nothing against professional photographers, in fact I respect what they do and I believe they work really hard and deserve every cent they earn (although in saying that, I am aware of many photographers that are complete rip offs and totally overcharge their customers) but I am also aware of many honest, reasonable and talented photographers out there.

Unfortunately we cannot afford to pay for a professional photographer, so I've decided to start my own "Home Photography Wannabe" Photo Album on Facebook. Basically, my poor Micah the default model will get all dressed up and be positioned in various "photography settings" I can possibly think of as part of my attempt in trying to recreate what professional photographers do.

I'm just a wannabe... but at least I am saving money and I can take continuous photos throughout his life, not just a once off. Who knows, with practice many years from now the quality of my photos may start to be comparable to those people pay thousands of dollars for....? Just maybe... haha!

The photos in this post are my first attempts. Micah was a little bit tired though, so it was very difficult to get him to smile. The "photo shoot" did not last more than 5 minutes, lol! Oh well, can try again some other day.

And later that day...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 33: The Big Move, Keeping Up with Routine & A Spinning Video... and a LEFTY??!!!

Micah finally in his own bedroom
Last weekend, we finally moved Micah from our bedroom into his own bedroom. If you were wondering why it took us this long to move him, here are some of the reasons:
  • Micah still doesn't sleep through the night, so him being in our bedroom is convenience for late night feeding or resettling. His bedroom is all the way at the other end of the house so it's quite a long way to go in the middle of the night a few times, with eyes half open.
  • We needed to keep his bedroom available for my sister to sleep in while she was here visiting from Malaysia. That was end of June / early July. 
  • His bedroom is the only room in the house without a heating vent, so it is freezing cold. I wanted to wait until winter was over, but the problem is easily resolved by turning the electric heater on just before he goes to bed and that keeps the room warm for a few hours. Then, whenever I have to go in and resettle him, I would turn it on again to "top up" the heat and turn it off again when he falls back to sleep. That seems to work well because the white noise the heater makes actually helps me resettle him quicker. I would never leave the heater on with just him in the room though, even with a timer. Just makes me nervous. Better safe than sorry.
I can probably list a few more so called reasons but really, maybe I have the attachment problem haha! Micah slept perfectly fine the first night, and the nights after. When I say perfectly fine, he still doesn't sleep through the night but seems to be doing just as good if not sometimes a little bit better compared to being in our bedroom... so he doesn't seem to have any issues with us not being there all the time. If anything, I find I'm the one who constantly looks at the baby monitor and missing him! Silly me...

So looks like the "big move" was a huge success. I am adjusting well to sleep walking to his room in the middle of the night, in fact I find it helps me "wake up" before having to deal with him. It's good to have our bedroom back... suddenly our bedroom seems HUGE and without the cot and the change table we just have all that space back and the room looks less cluttered which is a fantastic feeling.

Micah is also at the stage of starting to understand what we tell him (or so we think!) and he knows his name now (he turns his head whenever we say "Micah!") and he is also becoming quite a chatterbox, mumbling a bunch of baby words all the time (we think his first word was a real, solid "Mum".. and he keeps repeating it, sounds so cute and melts my heart!) so I've been trying to encourage a habit of reading to him every night before bedtime as well as to train him to love books. He definitely responds well to us reading to him, he just happily sits still and lets us have a cuddle while we read, and he also shows interest in the different pictures in the books. I just need to make sure we keep up this habit! It is so easy to do things and not be consistent... I know I am guilty of that sometimes especially with meals and sleep routines so I must make sure we stay consistent with what we do so he doesn't get too confused!

Now that my mum is staying with us for a month, our routine involves Micah spending a lot of time with my mum. It is so great for me to have time to myself and time to rest, and we all know how much mum has been helping with chores around the house. I have no idea what will happen when mum goes back to Malaysia... Micah would probably be a little bit upset the first few days, and I will probably experience some kind of withdrawal or fall into mild depression because all of sudden I have to do everything myself again.... sigh, trying not to think about it.

And finally, just a little video of Micah concentrating whilst spinning a toy thing on his jumpy bouncer thing. If you are a parent, you will probably know the feeling of how little things they do just amazes you. I don't remember the first time he started spinning the wheels on the activity table but it was a while ago, and I remember thinking "That is so cool you're doing that, Micah!" I suppose when you're watching your first child grow up and learn new skills, every new thing is an exciting discovery and such a joy to see them all happen for the first time.

And just in case you missed it, here's a video of Micah walking! :)

Hopefully on a chatty day, I can film Micah talking! 

WAITTTTT... before I end this post, I was watching the video of Micah spinning the toy again and noticed how he used his LEFT hand to spin. Does this mean Micah is LEFT-HANDED???!!! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Week 32 (Video): Micah Walking

Micah started pulling himself up on the cot, the activity table and the walker a few weeks ago. Now he basically loves to just stand or kneel whenever he plays with his toys. He has been taking his first steps with assistance for a while now, but here's a little video of him walking using his walker earlier today :-)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 32: The Boy Keeps Growing...

Micah loves standing up during playtime now
I have had people who see Micah maybe once every couple of weeks tell me how much he grows each time they see him. Obviously, it's harder for me to notice it because I see him everyday, but based on the skills he keeps learning seemingly each week, my boy just keeps growing and growing!

His play activities have changed dramatically. He used to love just crawling around from one toy to another, putting everything in his mouth along the way. Now, he just chooses one toy, usually a walker or an activity table, climbs on it and stands up, and just stays there for a while. He loves learning to balance, and he is learning very quickly!!!

Cushions to catch his fall
We can't leave him playing unsupervised anymore because of this, he falls every now and then and we have cushions everywhere to catch him whenever he falls. It's almost as if we need his entire play area to be made of foam if we wanted to let him play unsupervised!

Micah continues to wake up standing up in his cot. Usually with a happy / excited smile on his face... telling me it's time to get out of bed and have a play. I sometimes wonder why we adults don't wake up as enthusiastic as kids do!

Sunday was hubby's birthday and we just had a nice, relaxing day at home with some of his friends. We went to a Biblical Parenting Seminar at church in the morning, had Fish n Chips for lunch out on the decking (there was actually some sun that afternoon), and hubby spent the rest of the day doing what he loves.. spending time with Micah and playing computer games with his friends. 

We continue to love having grandma (my mum) around. It's been so good for me to have breaks during the day to write my blogs, to catch up on some sleep I may have lost during the night if Micah has a bad night, to go out and run errands without the hassle of packing Micah up / messing with his routine, etc. My mum is great. She helps me with the cooking most nights, and does most of the washing up, and she does ALL my laundry. It's also great to just have someone accompany me go shopping, go out for a coffee or watch a movie during the week. Also handy to have a babysitter at home for when hubby and I want to have a night out! Only three more weeks of having mum here, she will miss Micah so much when she goes home!

Okay I need to log off and give Micah a feed and put him down for his afternoon nap now!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Week 31: 7 Months

Happy 7 Months today, my little boy!

If you ever read this blog someday when you are much older, let me tell you that by this age you are already strong enough to stand up supported and taking steps and learning how to walk. You are a happy baby, very generous with your smiles and giggles, but unfortunately still struggling to sleep through the night... but it's okay my little boy, we will get there eventually.

Teeth Count: 6 (3 at bottom, and 3 at the top.. and they are sharp!)

Just a few nights ago while you were busy crying in the middle of the night, somehow you pulled yourself up on your cot while you were searching for me! Such a clever strong boy. You did it again that same night, and again the next night, so we know it wasn't just a fluke.

You also have this weird "cough thing" happening at the moment. We don't know if you're doing fake coughs, or you're genuinely coughing, or if you're mixing coughs with your funny way of laughing... but it's weird buddy... why are you coughing like that??

I know I said I was going to give you total freedom when it comes to Solids and let you feed yourself, but really sweetheart you haven't been eating much when you feed yourself... so guess what, mum's decided to mix the finger foods with some spoon-fed meals, and you are loving it! For the past couple of weeks now, you have been eating Weetbix + Banana for breakfast, and I've just started introducing chicken into your diet, and you had a bowl of Veggie Soup with Bread for lunch yesterday, and you still get to play with your food whenever we give you a piece of fruit for a snack. Currently, your favorite fruits seem to be pears and bananas. Ultimately, you definitely LOVE your Weetbix. You finish your bowl of cereal every single morning! You're a true Aussie Weetbix kid.

Your Ah Kong and Aunty Ruby will be returning back to Malaysia tonight. I am sure they are going to miss you very much. Thankfully, Ah Ma is staying another month to keep me company and also to spend more time with you! You lucky boy... so many people love you :-)

Finally, to end this update - we had lots of fun during bathtime a few nights ago. For some reason, you found mum very funny whenever I do raspberries - and we got it all on film! If you are wondering why you're bathing on the pool table.. well, we don't have a bath stand so the pool table is just the right height and is convenient because I can set up a change mat to dress you straight away right next to the bathtub.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Week 30: Micah's Baptism

To hopefully make up for my previous overtired and lazy post for Week 29, I am going to do a detailed recap of the past week since my parents and sis have been here. My mum's stay has officially been extended! She was leaving on the 9th July with my dad and sis, but now she's not leaving until the 6th of August!! Wooohoooo... I am so happy because it actually makes a huge difference having mum here. Hubby hasn't been in his best shape recently either, due to a sports injury his back muscles have been injured and he has been in pain for the past two weeks, so he hasn't been able to pick Micah up. In a way, it's good timing that all this happens while my parents are here to help me look after Micah during the day. I have been feeling quite relaxed and I've even had time to go swimming, go shopping, do lots of blogging etc with all the extra help I'm getting around the house as well as with Micah!

My boy looking very handsome in his baptism suit, with my mum
Last Sunday, we had Micah's big day finally. Leading up to Micah's baptism - we had to get a lot of things organised: Finish the decking, prepare lunch for 50 people, make sure everything we need for the baptism itself gets sorted out, etc. Everything went really well on the day, we were very pleased. Micah was baptised by his granddad (hubby's dad) so it was very special. It was wonderful to have all our family, as well as most of our friends there to witness this special occasion. 

Unfortunately the weather wasn't great - it was cold and rained most of the day, which was quite annoying because a lot of pressure was put on hubby to finish the decking in time for the baptism (plus we spent the days leading up to it with my family tidying up the backyard) and we ended up not even using the decking! Well, we did use it for a little bit at the start before it rained.... and all the drinks were outside and obviously we needed to cook on the BBQ for the Spit Roast Whole Suckling Pig so I suppose it wasn't a complete waste of effort. Plus it's great now that the decking is at a reasonable state (just need to finish the hand rails now) so we can use it whenever the weather permits.

I was also very anxious leading up to the Baptism Lunch about the Whole Suckling Pig. In the end, it turned out to be a huge, delicious success and as soon as it was ready and I tasted how beautiful it was, all my stress just went away. The pig was perfect. I can now breathe. 

(To read about the Whole Suckling Pig, visit Kimba's Kitchen link here) 

I didn't stress about anything else - our guests all knew each other so they can keep each other entertained, the cleaning up was going to be fine with extra hands to help plus most of the tidying up was just getting rid of plastic plates, cups, and cutlery anyway, I didn't have to worry about Micah - he had lots of people to play with - all I had to do was feed him, lol. Even mum is better at putting him to bed now that I am! Hhmmm.. which may cause a problem when mum goes back to Malaysia... oh nooooo... oh well, I might as well enjoy this little bit of freedom while I can!

My dad serenading Micah ... he is mesmerized!
Now that the baptism is done, we have just been relaxing at home. Micah continues to get a lot of attention from my mum, dad and sis... my parents have been doing a lot of the cooking and cleaning around the house (I know for next child to have my parents here to help AS SOON AS BABY IS BORN and not wait until 7 months later!!), we spent the afternoon at Fountain Gate yesterday shopping, and later this week we should make our way into the city one more time for my parents' to do their souvenir shopping at Queen VIC Market.

Here are some funny random facts... Did You Know?:
  • That chicken wings in Australia is very cheap compared to Malaysia.. Tasman sells them for AUD $1.49/kg which is approx. RM5. Malaysia sells them for at least RM11/kg! Half priced chicken wings in Australia = lots of bingeing on chicken wings, lol.
  • Coles sells a 5kg bag of onions for $5. CostCo sells a 10kg bag of onions for $6.99. We thought that was a great deal... until we saw a 10kg bag of onions at the Fruit and Vegetable Market in Fountain Gate for $1.99!!! $1.99 for a 10kg bag of onions!!! Wish I didn't already have a 10kg bag from CostCo.... but I know now for next time!!!
  • Pears are also half priced in Australia at the moment compared to Malaysia, they are eating lots of pears.
  • Oranges are super cheap too, lol. My dad is a fruit freak - so he bought a massive 3kg bag of oranges from the Fruit and Veg Market for $0.99.
  • Anchovies (Ikan Pusu) is super expensive in Australia. AUD $3.99 for a small packet. In Malaysia, RM2... which is less that AUD $1. But we bought a packet anyway so my mum can cook us "Tempoyak"... hehe.
  • Speaking of Tempoyak, we had some durians on Sunday - again, durians are a rip off here in Australia but it was so funny to watch Micah loving it! He didn't even make a funny face when he first tasted it.. he practically devoured his piece of durian! He is such an Asian kid, lol.
Mmm... yummy durian!