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Friday, March 31, 2017

March Update

Spring is here! 

The insomnia streak has been broken! Praise the Lord! Such relief despite my days still being peppered with sleepless nights here and there.

We celebrated our second Mother's Day together. The little darling was so coy when he passed me 'his gift'. He is starting to enjoy being cuddled and held more too which is so lovely. Thanks to Papa for such a thoughtful gesture and the gift of wonderful gadgets for photography.

Callum really loves kicking the ball around with us in the park (although lately he has started hugging the ball around rather than kicking it!). He particularly enjoys being held while we shoot balls into the basketball hoops. We're really thankful for the abundance of beautiful parks in our neighbourhood. Life-saving for us with this super active toddler. Callum has been having a ball running after dogs and watching geese, pigeons and swans.

I've been playing the piano more again lately. Without fail, Callum always requests to come 'up' so we play Chopsticks and Twinkle Twinkle together.

 This boy is quite fearless in his quest for adventures. He loves trying to do big boy things.

We did a little rearrangement of our furniture in preparation for the big move. Got some wonderful organisers for the little guy's books and toys.

Callum has begun to string 3 words together like 'Papa, Mama, a Ball!' and 'Airplane Down!' We try to add as much as we can remember to his Tree of Talking. What fun! He also refers to cream as 'mee' and now requests for it. He puts some on himself and us, it's really adorable. He started to climb up the stool in the kitchen in the past month and can request to come 'down'. 

He has also learned his numbers 1-10 and can spot them on a clock. However, he can only say '1,2,3,4' and '8'.

In our bids to prepare him for the imminent long haul flights, we have been playing with Little Jumbo, a tiny plane which zips around on a book. He has learned to point out London, Malaysia and Australia on the book's map.
He thoroughly enjoys spotting the little tiny ducks in the phonics series of books and we also discovered his fascinating knack for identifying his wooden puzzles upside down. No idea how he does that!

The other day, the road outside our apartment was being re-tarred. I got really excited and so did Callum watching people tar the road. The bright yellow vests worn by the workmen and the old road being chipped off and spewed high up the air into the truck was truly a fascinating sight.

He enjoys the routine of brushing his teeth before sleep and when he wakes. He also learned how to feed himself unassisted. There is still the occasional dump of a spoonful on the floor but it's such a joy to watch him smile proudly when he is able to feed himself. He is currently obsessed with clementines and enjoys other fruits too. He calls 'strawberries'-'beh-bins'.

The biggest unexpected joy yet in this month was how fast he took to the potty like Pirate Pete! (the book we've been reading to him about learning to go potty). We started reading to him a for a few times then we tried him on the potty and within 2 days he started asking for potty when he wanted to do a number 2. We couldn't believe our ears! Yeay!!!! No soiled diapers for 2 weeks now!

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!