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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Update

February came and gone!

Seems especially quick because I've been suffering with a very sudden but severe bout of onset insomnia. Praise God that I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

We celebrated Chinese New Year with some hotpot and yeesang with some dear friends. The little man has also started wanting to participate in the cleaning of the home.

C loves Horniman Museum so much that he knows exactly where his favourites are located. If asked, he will bring you on a tour to see the fox and badger at one end, the dodo bird and okapi at the other!

Then he will zig-zag his way back to the ostrich eggs and owls. He looks forward to seeing the giant walrus so much (which he calls 'boh-coo') that one night at 2am he sat up and called out 'Mor-ning! Boh-Coo!' It also snowed a little more and C learned to say the word '-noooo' (snow). He has also been enjoying chasing and popping bubbles very much.

Celebrated my birthday with a lovely cake from a Chinese bakery which makes fluffy cakes with the lightest cream. C thoroughly enjoyed having that. He has been spending time on the big kids slide too. No fear here. He now refers to slides as 'Whee!'

He has also been enjoying kicking balls lately that papa got him a new big blue football to play with. He runs so fast and can kick the ball pretty well. Possible career in the future? He will have to learn where the goal is and how to pass the ball to others first! We have to chase after him in parks because he speeds off like a little puppy off a leash. The little daredevil almost jumped into the lake after seeing a dog swim in it. 

We've been having lots of fun ourselves too. I blew the biggest bubble in my life ever. C laughs so much when we play peekaboo at the door. He also enjoyed banging on papa's makeshift drumkit (aka a pair of chopsticks and tiffins).

We have started teaching him some wonderful songs composed by my mother-in-law years ago when she led the children church. These are beautifully drawn and preserved so we have copies of them posted around the house. It's a great way to teach him to say new words because he always fills in the blanks in the song. The loveliest thing happened the other morning when we were in the car together. He was in the back seat when I decided to sing the songs and he filled in my pauses with words we didn't even know he knew. He said 'God', 'Happy', 'Pray'!

Our fellow church member asked C to help in putting the bibles on the chairs and he did it! So proud of him. He also loves asking for the 'Bible!' and looking for Papa when he is playing the guitar for the service.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Update

T'was a snowy and cold January

Callum managed to come upclose and touch a brown and black grizzly bear in the Natural History Museum. Since then, he refers to bears as 'boh-coo!' That was his favourite word for the week after we returned from Oxford.

It was 'Mama! Boh-Coo! Mama! Boh-Coo!' for a while.

He loves museums now. He goes to the one nearby our house with a giant walrus which he also refers to as 'boh-coo'.

Callum and I definitely bonded some over this trip. It would have been fantastic if he wasn't ill for most of it. Despite the horrid virus, we managed to survive staying in a 5 bedroom house (split over 5 floors!) but came back and succumbed to the virus ourselves. It was a very tough few weeks to weather especially with our childminder having a week off and both of us falling sick simultaneously.

It's fascinating watching Callum grow. He has been able to listen to a series of instructions now. Eg: pick up that book and put it back on the shelf or in the box. Just a few days ago, I was still very sick and he came into the room and said 'Up' (his way of asking me to carry him). He surprised me by being able to follow my instructions to grab a book off the table which was well above his height and then sit down and flip through it by himself. His ability of reaching high up on his tippy toes and grabbing his water bottle, books and putting them back is amazing to watch.

He has added new words to his vocabulary. He can say 'a car', ' a bus', 'airplane', 'book', 'birdie' for starters. He has been enjoying exclaiming too. He goes 'A Ball! A Balllll! A BALLL!' He also still doing the 'rrrr' tongue flips and says 'rrrrrr.....aba!' (for rainbow). Cheeky boy as always, giggling and laughing away. Without fail, he giggles when we press the button of the giggling Gingerbread Man book. We also got him a ukelele due to his fascination with the guitar ('dee-teh' as he says it). Now he always brings it to me for some reason. He won't let me go around without it. He also refers to stars as 'tee-teh'. Yogurt is 'ah-gurt' which this little boy can eat buckets of. He adds in new babbling words every few days. Latest one is 'don-don-don'. He says 'morning' too everyday. We would say Good..... then he goes 'mor-nay'. He says 'Amen' too as 'Mennnnn'. He can say 'more' for more food and responds with 'mmm...' when we talk seriously to him about something. He started saying 'am-bah/ am-bang' for ambulance and umbrella. Adding new words every week! We are collecting the new words he has learned and adding it to a word-tree his childminder has given us a week ago.

He has also loves to climb on chairs lately. Very strong and active boy. He learned how to move forward on his tricycle which made us very proud. He runs really fast too. Our home is filled with pitter patter of little feet zooming all around.

The biggest reward so far is that he has learned to walk by himself into his room for a nap. We have been giving him 10 min, 5 min signals before naptime. When naptime comes, we tell him it's naptime now and off he goes by himself into the room to stand by the cot. What a lovely boy. He is also able to stay by himself in the room come bedtime without much fuss. It's such a joy watching him learn new things and expressing himself in new ways.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Seven Sisters, East Sussex

We woke up one morning and it was such a bright and sunny day that we decided to take a spur of the moment trip to the Seven Sisters.

It was the first time in a long time that we have been out in nature, away from London. It was so lovely and refreshing, albeit in 5°C weather. Peaceful and tranquil.

Driving out from the cliffs, we spotted a close with the most whimsical-looking trees. We had never seen anything like that before. Almost makes you feel like a giant just looking at it. 

En route to Brighton

We had the best burgers in the UK at Burger Brothers in Brighton. Simply delicious gourmet burgers in a small shop.

 Took a leisurely stroll after a late lunch and headed back to London. Wonderful day trip!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Callum is Thirteen Months Old

Another month has gone by. 
I wonder how long we should refer to the ages in months. I have started just saying that he is One. 
Our little man was very brave in his first year immunisations. Four jabs in total, two in one thigh, one on the other and one on the arm. On that visit to the doctor, he learned what a skylight was. He also learned where the noticeboard and fan was in the reception. The skylight proved a very useful distraction during his jabs.  

Our family was hit by wave after wave of colds due to the change of season. I first caught a cold off someone then passed it on. After we recovered, my husband caught fresher's flu off his students in class then passed it to us. After that, poor C had a fever from his immunisations. Thankfully, we made it through and are left with some residual coughing. We enjoyed giving C many cuddles (he is usually way too active to cuddle) and he just laid on us the entire time he had the fever. We watched amazing fireworks from our apartment for the first time as a family on Guy Fawkes Night. It was such a special experience. We turned off all the lights, sat down and cuddled C while we watched the sky light up with beautiful patterns.

 We picked out a book from a charity shop which had beautiful illustrations of the moon and the night sky. C loves looking at the moon but hadn't really taken to the book yet. On a particular day, I almost lost my voice from the cold. The raspy voice made for a captivating narration! Since then, C has been so taken with the book.

The children centres are amazing. We managed to go to the Toy Library and borrowed a tent for C to play with.

C loves soft play and tunnels as well.

We visited the children's library and found some books which C really likes. What a great resource!

Our big boy has also made his transition to the toddler carseat and he loves it! For the first time, he was silent throughout the journey! We love this seat too because it swivels to the door. Saves us so much backache and time. Highly recommend the swivel carseats.

We got him a little tricycle. He still hasn't figured out how to propel himself forward. He walks backward then gets off and turns the tricycle onto its side and plays with the wheels instead! He has started pushing the tricycle while crawling then just yesterday he started pushing it while walking. I tie a rope around the front and pull him around on a ride. 

He is getting stronger on his feet every day. Walking further and even trying to run before he can walk perfectly! Typical Callum! He beams proudly every time he walks towards us. He has been working hard on his U-turns midwalk and change in direction. He practices it by walking towards one of us and deliberately turning around at the last minute before reaching us with a cheeky grin. Then he walks to the other person and does the same.

He has been enjoying his time at the childminder's too. Now that he is more steady on his feet, he does this hilarious thing where he climbs onto and stands on our legs every time we play the piano.

Celebrated his buddy's birthday just a few weeks after his own!

I was sure that this year we would not be able to put up the Christmas tree because he would yank the tree or ornaments down and potentially hurt himself. However, after some persuasion from the husband, I decided to give it a try. I asked C to help me with the ornaments. His face and expression when he first saw the ornaments were priceless! I showed them to him and explained each one. I asked him where I should put them: 'Up' or 'Down'. Involving him in the process was so much fun. We took our own sweet time with each ornament. He even has his own special handpainted glass ornament, a gift from a neighbour when he was born. I tell him 'That's Callum's. That is a special one! We have to be gentle with this one!' 

Now, when he comes near to the tree, he will say 'maaaaaaaaaaaa' and point to the ornaments. I take one down and tell him about it and pass it to him. He takes it, looks at it then holds it out away from him towards the tree. I take it back from him and hang it back. We repeat this with a few more ornaments within reach until he is satisfied then he goes along his way. :) No chewing or ripping apart the tree! He even got to learn new words: 'snowflake', 'bauble', 'ornament', 'Christmas tree', 'big star on top', 'rocking horse', 'bell', 'pinecone', 'red and gold', 'tinsel', 'twinkle lights', 'shiny'..... So much fun. When we saw a Christmas tree in the grocery shop, we played spot the 'big star on top' and all the other objects he has learned.

We had a lovely surprise one evening when we were sitting down having a quiet dinner. Suddenly, the intercom buzzed and came a message, 'Delivery from Malaysia'. Lo and behold, my sister-in-law popped up and gave us all quite the shock. C broke into tears briefly from my exclamation. Haha. A belated birthday gift from Suk Suk and Sen Sen! 

Happy 13 Months, Callum!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Callum is One Year Old

So much has happened in the past month!

My dear boy is starting to learn his phonics. Never too early, I'm told. My mother-in-law had a brilliant idea of using Callum's formula lids to write the alphabets on. She also said that children can see better with blue and red ink. We have now started him off on 'a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'g', 'l', 'm', 'o', 'p', and 't'. His attention span varies but on a good day, he makes a real attempt at making the sounds! He can do a,b,c,d,e and m. He is also able to pick out the alphabets and hand them to us correctly half the time so far. When we first started, he was less than keen. He only wanted to gnaw on the lids. But very quickly, after 2-3 days, he now looks forward to it. Whenever I take the container out, he bounces excitedly. How interesting it is to teach and parent in faith.

He also babbles in 'm' and says 'mueh, mueh' alot. I've been teaching him about the moon, stars, sun, night and day. I also try to speak Mandarin to him. He has some hand-me-down French books which are his favourite books! He goes straight for them every single time.

'mmmmmm' = moon which he loves to say.

Update: He has now moved on to 'G' in his babbles! He goes 'Guh! guh! Guh!' incessantly. It's so cute the way he scrounges his nose when he says it.

We decided one day to teach him how to draw on the Ipad. He really enjoys trying to draw the letter 't'. He struggles with the horizontal line but babbles so much when we draw.

We have been taking him out to play groups, music and adventure sessions. He had his first time on a slide and crawling in a tunnel.

He also found the screws that hold up the dining table. It's his latest discovery. Naturally, everytime he stands there playing with the screws, I say 'That's a screw!'
One day, while flipping through his book of animals, I decided it was time to introduce the squirrel. The moment I said 'squirrel', he turned to look at the table! Every time since, he has been doing that. Come to think of it, the two words really do sound similar!

Each time he experiences something new, he has this gleam in his eye and an excited smile. It's so precious. He also started playing Peekaboo with us all by himself. One day he just crawled to the curtains and peeked out from behind it saying 'Ah Booooo'. I'm so glad that I caught one of those moments on camera below.

He understands so much now and is able to pick a book and bring it to us when he wants us to read to him. He does it so much that I am getting breathless from reading. He tries very hard to crawl to us book in hand. After we take the book from him, he bounces excitedly on his knees and claps his hands. It's really cute.

Callum has started wanting to be close to us. He holds on to us more and stays very close by. He leans his head on us which makes us so happy and he gets upset when we leave the room.

He enjoys trips to the park even now when it's getting colder. He is also a very social baby.

C posing with his 'Welcome to the World' picture at Great Aunt Jessie's.

He really enjoys it when I sing to him so I've been adding new songs to the repertoire. Mostly songs from children church, nursery rhymes and wonderful songs that my mother-in-law has taught me.

He caught his first flu, two weeks shy of turning a year old! What a feat I must say. He has not fallen sick a single time since birth, bar his eczema. No fevers or colds. Despite that, he was still mostly a cheery boy. One day, he was a bit down and I decided to sit him on my lap and look through his latest photobook with him. I told him about this precious red book and how special it was. As I flipped the page, he saw a photo of his grandparents. His finger immediately went to grandpa's face and he made squealing noises while touching grandpa's face over and over again. He then did the same with grandma. It was such a touching moment!

He is definitely teething as well. He chomps down on both of us like a lion cub, grunting most earnestly. He has bitten us everywhere on our arms and legs. Poor boy. He doesn't like any teething toys and prefers the flesh, just like his mummy! (I'm told the love for biting runs in my family)

He also started walking! One night, he was just game on trying. He had been standing on his own here and there through the day. He hasn't really walked much since that night, as most things go with this boy. He tends to shoot straight into doing something amazing then not do it for a while. He was so pleased with himself when he took his first independent steps. He was squealing in excitement.

We also decided not to send him to daycare after we started seeing some things we didn't like about it. We found a childminder instead. Hopefully, it will be a wonderful experience for him.

Happy Birthday my darling!

You are such a joy and a wonderful boy. Your smile is the sweetest thing to behold! Your laughter is infectious and the best medicine to anyone who hears it. We love you so much and we cannot wait to see what you will be up to next. 

God bless you, my love, and may His grace and mercy follow you all the days of your life, my bright sun, Zhen Wei.