Monday, March 31, 2008

Jesse's New Game

Jesse has learnt a new game recently. Jesse sleeps next to daddy most of the time. Everytime she wakes up in the morning, she will play with daddy's face and smile. After that, she will climb over daddy to get over to mummy.

When daddy plays with Jesse before she clings on to mummy, Jesse will smile and stare at daddy sitting on daddy's tummy. She finds it very interesting to look at daddy's reaction when she makes this naughty smile, and (before you know it) grabs daddy's glasses off his face.

Even when daddy carries her or hugs her, she will open her arms wide (not to hug daddy) but to grab daddy's glasses. The only way she doesn't grab daddy's glasses is when daddy carries her and hugs her tight.

Daddy carrying our Little Princess, Jesse (Hugging her tight)

Mummy Is Guilty....

When we shifted to Jerudong, we asked Samuel to sleep at his own room. During that time, he was 2 years 11 months old, while Jesse was only 6 months old. Since she was fully on breast milk and I'm not good at latching her, I will wake up twice to pump, ie. 1 am and 5 am. She usually wakes up 3 times a night. And because she does not drink a lot during night, I only wake up twice to pump for her 3 times demand.

As mentioned in one of the previous postings, Samuel still drinks at night when we shifted. Most of the time daddy have to keep on walking in and out of the rooms. Both of us are really drained out. After 4 months, I decided to take control of his drinking habit.

Daddy was not really supportive of me. He feels that we should allow him to drink as long as he requested. Stopping him from drinking at night only benefits us and not the child. I feel that stopping him from drinking at night benefits everyone. Samuel can have better sleep without waking and its also better for his teeth.

Despite the disagreements from daddy, I am willing to take up the challenge on weaning him. It was not easy. There were a few occassions that made me feel bad about the whole trainning.

When I started the training, I requested Samuel to sleep through and not to wake up to ask for milk. I have to keep reminding him that he is not allowed to come to our room and have to sleep through the night.

Throughout the training, there were a few times he woke up in the middle of the night and he sat infront of our room. As I have told him not to wake us, he sat quietly outside our room. I only realised he was outside our room when I woke up to pump milk. We have no idea how long he has been there.

I then brought him back to his room and asked him to sleep, he dare not say anything but just to stare at his milk powder and his milk bottle. I do not know what to do but just pretend nothing happened. I really felt so bad.....

There was one occassion he woke up in the middle of the night requesting daddy to sleep with him. Both of us were very surprised as he normally doesn't want daddy to sleep with him. To avoid Jesse from waking up, daddy agreed to sleep with him. When mummy left both of them in the room, mummy over heard Samuel requesting milk from daddy. Mummy then walked to his room. Samuel quickly lay down and requested mummy to go to sleep. Right after mummy left, again he requested for milk. Mummy goes in again and Samuel looked at mummy crying.

It really hurts me to see him cry for milk. I gave in and daddy made milk for him. He then requested mummy to sleep with him. He doesn't want daddy after the milk hehehe....

We kept reminding him before bed that he is taking the last bottle of milk (We ran out of milk). We will go buy it again the next day and he can not wake up to ask for milk.

It took about 2 weeks to completely stop him from drinking. Within that 2 weeks, there were certain days he wakes up for milk twice, some days once and few days none. During the training, not only it tortured Samuel, it also torturesd me. I feel tortured not because I have to wake up to make milk for him, but because of the guilt.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Our Little Princess

Before we even realise it, our Little Princess, Jesse has grown so much. It seems like yesterday that Jesse was just a new born baby. Look at her now, she's walking everywhere, eating, watching tv and doing so many things.

The most recent photo of Jesse
Looking at her adorable smile, daddy and mummy's heart melts everytime she does that :)

Jesse's newfound toy

Jesse has been discovering new things that she likes. We recently found out that she loves to drink Marigold Yogurt Drink (Passionfruit and Pear). She smiles everytime she drinks it.

Mummy likes to give Jesse fruits and to our surprise, Jesse loves to eat fruits. Today she ate Pear (Green ones).

Mummy feeding Jesse green pear in the TV room

Samuel @ 44 months

Samuel turns 44 months old a couple of days ago. I can’t imagine how times flies. In a blink of eye he will be 4. I will briefly update on his physical and mental development.

- height = 104.5 cm
- weight = 15.9 kg
- started to pick up on appetite; 1 morning snack and 2 meals (lunch & dinner)
- drinks 3 times a day; 8oz in the morning, 6oz after lunch, 8oz before bedtime
- love to read, write, draw, colour and tracing
- good at tracing, able to write 1-9 and most alphabeth
- can draw but most of the time, no one knows what he is drawing
- love to create stories and names
- fear of loud noises/sounds –eg. balloon burst, flash toilet, drilling sound etc..
- can be nice at times and can also be unkind to Jesse
- likes to imitate what Jesse does
- loves to sing and play music
- prefers mummy than daddy

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Samuel Fell Down

Since the arrival of our new maid, Samuel has been taking her as a joke. (literally) Everything she says, he will laugh. Even when she scolds him, he laughs at her too. It is as though she looks like a clown every time.

Today when we came home, Samuel, Jesse and the maid was in the TV room (usual place for them). The maid looked after Jesse while Samuel ran around, jumped everywhere, screamed like there's no tomorrow. The maid continuously told him to stop, which made it worse. He screamed and laughed even louder. Daddy couldn't take it anymore and told him to stop. Samuel stopped for a while, and went running again. This time in circles (like there's no tomorrow). Again the maid told him to stop, but he ran even faster (in circles).

Finally, he fell down. Flat on his face and started crying. Daddy went to see him, he continued to cry. He went to manja mummy, and continued crying. He was in pain.

He fell flat on his face and hit his lower lip against his tooth and his upper tooth against the floor.

He is alright, just have a loose tooth and a slight bleed on the lower lip.

Samuel Crying

Samuel's Slight Bleeding Lower Lip

Friday, March 28, 2008

Samuel Loves Flash Cards

Daddy flashing the cards to Samuel
Samuel flashing the cards to Mummy

We have been teaching Samuel to read by using Glenn Doman method when he was about 6 months old. Both of us are very hardworking, trying to DIY the Glenn Doman English word flashcards and Maths cards.

We decided to get the Glenn Doman cards when he was about 1 as we managed to get some discounts. We bought 4 different sets - English, Mandarin, Maths and Encybits.

When we first started, he likes to play. But that did not last for too long. After few months, we stopped as he doesn't have much interest. We started again few months later, but with a different set of flashcards. We bought those small flashcards with pictures. Word at one side and picture on the other side. He loves playing with the cards and after a month he was able to recognise the set of words. Then we started to buy few different set of cards. But when I was about to deliver Jesse, we stopped playing with him.

About a month ago, mummy digged out the Glenn Doman flashcards again. We tried to flash the single word cards again and he loves it very much. We flashed the words to him before he goes to bed. A couple of nights ago, Samuel has completed the single words. We tried the couplets, phases and sentences and he was able to read it pretty well. He can recognise most of the single words that form the couplets, phases and sentences. It is amazing and we are really happy that he loves to read.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hong Kong Trip Day 4

In the morning, daddy and mummy went out for last minute shopping in Causeway Bay. Daddy took a photo from the view of our hotel room.

A View of Tsim Sha Tsui from our hotel room

In the afternoon, we took a taxi to The Disney Hollywood Hotel. Samuel was still asleep when we reached the hotel. We were so impressed that everything in the hotel resembles Mickey Mouse.

Family in the Disney Hollywood Hotel Room

When Samuel woke up in the hotel, he was so impressed that everything was filled with Mickey Mouse. We immediately went to take the shuttle bus to Disneyland. Yay! :)

Family photo taken at the Mickey Mouse Surfing Fountain

Family Photo at the entrance of Disneyland

Family photo with Pluto and Goofy

We waited at the queue to take photo with Mickey and Minnie but to our dissapointment, they closed the queue and asked us to return the following day. Samuel almost cried when he couldn't even greet Mickey and Minnie.

Samuel's cheeky smile at the entrance of Sleeping Beauty's Castle

After that, we went for some rides.

Samuel in a Carousel (Merry-Go-Round)

Samuel and mummy sitting on Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Late evening, we saw another Mickey and Minnie mascot. Immediately, we queue to take photos.

Samuel and mummy with Mickey Mouse

Samuel, mummy and Minnie Mouse

Family with Winnie the Pooh (Jesse's favourite)

Daddy and Jesse with the view of the Lighted Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Snowing in Disneyland

Samuel in our hotel room

Mummy at the Disney Hollywood Shop

Mummy and Mickey in Disney Hotel

Mummy in Disney Hotel Lobby with a big Christmas Tree

Mummy in the garden of Disney Hotel

Daddy at Disney Hotel

We were all tired after walking the whole day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Samuel Sleeps On His Own

Samuel has been sleeping on his own 1 month before he turns 3. It has been 9 months he sleeps on his room. We are very glad and happy that he is able to sleep on his own every night.

We decided to let him sleep by himself before we shifted to the new house. We painted his room blue, 2 tones. Before we shifted, we brought him to the house every weekend and keep reminding him of his new blue room.

Every night, we bring him to his room at 9ish. He will request for stories before his milk. Before he sleeps, we will brush his teeth and say a prayer. Then we will just leave him alone in his room. Usually within 5-10m he will dose off.

He adapts it very well and be able to sleep on his own except when it is raining heavily. He will cry and shout for mummy. Mummy will accompany him to sleep when he is afraid or when he is sick as mummy needs to monitor him.

His room is just next to our room and both the room's doors are not closed every night. He has been very good by sleeping on his own without anyone sleeping next to him BUT he used to wake up for milk. He wakes up not once or twice. Sometimes up to 4-5x a night. He will either shout for milk or to pee. During those days, most of the time daddy have to wake up middle of the nights to either feed him milk or to bring him to toilet.

Besides looking after Jesse, who is also used to waking up 3-4 x a night, mummy and daddy have to look after Samuel who is sleeping next door and keep drinking non stop. This was when both of them have made daddy and mummy extremely tired.

Since we shifted to this house, mummy notices everyone in the family fall sick easily. I think the main reason was because we were lack of sleep. This is when mummy decided to wean off Samuel on drinking at night. After 2 weeks of "trainning" he stops drinking. Now everyone of us are happy. Samuel sleeps through. Daddy no longer need to go to his room to make milk except if he wants to pee. Mummy can also have good sleep. Yipee....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jesse's Favourite Toy

Winnie The Pooh Toy

Jesse pulling Winnie's ears
Jesse hugging Winnie

Among all the toys, this Winnie the Pooh is Jesse's favourite. It is not really a soft toy. Only the head is soft. Winnie can talk and will walk when he hears sound. Daddy bought this in Hong Kong as her Christmas gift.

She loves to carry him by pulling his ears. We find her very cute when she hugs and kiss Winnie the Pooh. Besides mummy, she is also very manja with Winnie :-)

Our Maids - Part IV

Nowadays it is very difficult to get maid in Brunei. What more if we would like to get a good maid. We have contacted 6 agents to look for a maid. Thank God we started looking for the maid in December.

Again we are back to the question - Fillipino or Indonesian? We decided we will not go for Cambodian as we heard that they are rough with children. When I first contacted the agents, none of them have any bio data. Most of them recommended Indonesian. So, we decided to go for Indonesian. I gave them my phone no and requested them to call me once they have bio data, but none of them contacted me.

Two weeks later, I called some of the agents. There are some bio datas with some of the agents but they are like hot cakes! No wonder none of the agents call me. Since the process takes at least 1 month and it seems like alot of my friends have difficulties in looking for a maid, I have to make sure I follow up very closely with them.

A week later, 2 of the agents faxed a few biodata for us to view. We received about 5 biodatas to choose from. But out of the 5, 4 of them don't have experience in looking after children. One of them was recommended by the Indonesian agent for family with young children, although she doesn't has experience in taking care of children.

We decided to go for our current maid because:

1. She has experience in looking after the children
2. She has 7 years working experience as a domestic helper - 2 years in Singapore; 5 years in KL
3. She is a Christian and most of the others are Muslim - In Brunei, non Muslims are not allowed to hire Muslim maid (but usually the agent will not declare them as Muslim)
4. Besides Malay, she can speak simple English and Chinese (Mandarin and Hokkein)

From her biodata, she looks like a capable person as she served 5 adults and 3 children when she was working in KL. The only thing our concern at that time is she looks older than her age. Shes 35 but looks more like 45. Before we confirmed her, we interviewed her through yahoo and we would be able to see through a webcam. From the webcam, she doesn't look as old as her photo.
We interviewed her for about 20m and we decided to take her as she understands us pretty well.

Before they could process, we need to cancel our previous maid permit. With that they need a flight ticket for my previous maid. After cancelling her permit, she can only stay for another month and the process of applying a new maid takes 1 month, if the agent is good. We are so worried about the timing.

Agent fee for applying an Indonesian maid has increased from B$450 to B$850. Almost double! Before they process, we paid B$850 and when the maid arrives, we paid another B$1,700 being her advance salary of 7.5 months. Paying $1,700 is the most expensive advance among all the other agents.

I called the agent after 2 weeks, to check on the process. She told me there's no feedback from the Indonesian agent and she has been following up with them. If the whole process takes 1 month, and upon her arrival the agent here will sent her for 1 week training. It also means that I will not have her on time, ie. when my maid left.

Our initial plan was to get a temporary maid from the agent, as we thought the maid will not arrive on time. It was then later we found out that those temp maids are rejected maids. The other reason is we are afraid Samuel and Jesse will feel insecure everytime we change maids.

3 days before our maid left, the agent called. We were so glad that the maid is finally here, but she will be sent for 1 week traning. I told her to check with her trainer during the training and I will call her back 3 days later.

3 days later ie. the day my previous maid is leaving, she called me. She asked if i want her on that day. She told me so far, she is ok. She understands what they requested her to do and she is also a cheerful person. After discussion with daddy, we decided to take her on that day.

When we were in the agent's office, there were few other maids. While we were there, one of the maids was being interviewed. She was a problematic, rejected maid. She said that she doesn't like being scolded. And she was very rude when she talks. No wonder she has changed 5 bosses in the past few months.

The agent brief our maid again on the rules and regulations, before we bring her home. We are really glad that she came on time. Jesse has fever and diahrrea for 6 days after the previous maid left. While recovering, daddy is down with flu. Eventhough, I have prepared to be a full time mother without maid for 2 weeks, I don't think I can managed without a maid. God knows what is best for us.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Jesse Extra "Manja" With Mummy

Jesse has been very clingy and "manja" with mummy since our previous maid left. And for the past 2 weeks, she prefers mummy than daddy. She refuses daddy to carry her if mummy is around. She will scream and hug mummy real tight if daddy tries to carry her. Mummy is enjoying the extra "manja" of her before she turns to daddy again.... :p

Hong Kong Trip Day 3

Today, Daddy and Mummy brought Samuel & Jesse to sit on a Tram. We had a tram ride from Causeway Bay to Happy Valley (Near Uncle Loke's place).

Samuel and the Tram

When we reached Happy Valley, Uncle Loke brought us to have a regular breakfast in a typical Hong Kong coffee shop. We had the famous "Po Lo Pau" it was simply delicious :)

Uncle Loke and Samuel in a Typical Hong Kong Coffeeshop

After having breakfast, Uncle Loke has to take a flight to Shanghai. We went on by ourselves to the International Financial Centre (IFC). It is the tallest building in Hong Kong with lots of shopping :)

Samuel and Mummy at a fountain at IFC

Samuel Posing at some Christmas Deco in IFC

Samuel and a huge Christmas Tree in IFC

Samuel and Mummy Shopping in IFC

We went on a tram ride again back to our hotel. We stayed in the hotel to rest while Mummy went shopping. Daddy stayed back to look after Jesse and Samuel in the hotel.

Daddy went to look for mummy and they both came back with lots and lots of shopping bags. But this is not the end of our shopping spree.... LOL

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Toys All Over The House

Dining Room

Living room

Living room

Play room
Playroom Wardrobe


Children's TV room

Need I say more?
There are more toys in Samuel's room, Daddy & Mummy's room and toilets.

Samuel & Jesse, if you are reading this one day, please remember that mummy & daddy are very blessed! So are the two of you. Please remember to thank God everyday for all the blessings!

Giant Is Here

Giant is finally here. The opening was yesterday, 22-03-2008. Initially we plan to go there. Daddy passed by the highway leading to Giant yesterday at 930am and it was jammed. There were cars parked all the way from the highway. At least 2-3km to Giant! I think they have nothing to do and willing to walk all the way to Giant from highway. But I decided to change plan since I do not want to stress myself caught in the jam.

This morning, while going to church, we passed by the highway and the road leading to Giant was as cleared. We were abit surprise. Never thought 2nd day already cleared. LOL.

After church, we send the children back to take some rest while daddy and mummy head to Giant. Hehehe... The queue was there but not as bad as yesterday. We managed to find a parking within 10m after 15m of jammed.

It was packed. We felt that we were in KL. But we do not need to wait to make payment. There are at least 60 payment counters. First time in my life I have seen so many payment terminals.

Happy Easter

This morning, the family was in church. Daddy was leading worship during this very special day.

Three days ago was Good Friday. It commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. Easter day is the resurrection of Jesus from the death.

After the easter service, we had our lunch in church.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hong Kong Trip - Day 2

The next morning, daddy friend's, Loke, brought us to eat dim sum. Initially, we thought in order to have dim sum in the morning, we might need to be in a long queue to get a table/seat... but to our surprise, the moment we went to the restaurant, we got a table.. just perfect :)

Besides the comfort of a nice restaurant (they have a huge aquarium with lots of big fishes - Samuel's favourite), we noticed that we were the youngest customers in the whole restaurant. hehe. Most of the customers looks like grandpas and grandmas.

The dim sum was good. Thanks, Uncle Loke.

Daddy and Uncle Loke

After our good dim sum, Uncle Loke brought us Times Square to see lots of Christmas Trees. Uncle Loke had to go to work.

We went to a very special place called "Ocean Park". It was so exciting. Daddy and Mummy took lots of photos. We took photo with a Dolphin, Shark and Turtle. There were lots of hot air balloons too. Daddy did not allow us to go up a big big hot air balloon because it goes up very very high.

Mummy & Samuel at Ocean Park

Family Photo With Shark Mascot

Mummy & Samuel on Panda rides

After we sat on the train, we went to a carousel (merry-go-round). There were lots and lots of pandas. We sat on the pandas that goes round and round.

Samuel got a chance to play with slides and bouncers and lots of other rides with Daddy and Mummy.

We finally went up on a hot air balloon (fairy's wheel) hehe. :) Mummy was scared.

Daddy and Samuel went on a very scary ride. "The Frog Hopper" Samuel was laughing on the ride.

Daddy and Mummy brought Samuel and Jesse to see panda in an aquarium. There were 4 pandas.

We had to take a cable car to go to the other side of Ocean Park. It was scary... :p

We saw Sealions at the Pacific Pier, Ocean Park.

Jesse in the cable car

Daddy & Jesse at Pacific Pier

Samuel & Sealion

Daddy and Mummy brought us into a big big room that has many many aquariums. The place is so big that i can not find the way to the last aquarium. Samuel finds this place a little too big that it actually never ends, he almost fell asleep while we walked all the way to the end of the underwater world... :)

After that, we were all tired we went back to our hotel, Park Lane Hotel in Causeway Bay. Showered, refreshed and rested, we then went to the bus station to look for Uncle Loke.

Uncle Loke brought us into a double decker bus! Yay! We went upstairs of the double decker bus and we went to Victoria Peak. It was so cold there.

Daddy, Mummy, Samuel & Jesse at Sky Tower

We went to the Peak Tower and all the way to the top, the Sky Tower. There we could see the night view of Hong Kong. There, Samuel and Mummy took a photo of a Santa Claus too.

Samuel posing in front of christmas tree & santa

After that, we visited The Madame Tussauds, took some photos and here is where we had some fun. Samuel has his first wax hand figure made here in Madame Tussauds. We, Daddy Mummy Samuel and Jesse also made a 3D crystal of our family. It was awesome!

Daddy & Bruce Lee

Mummy & Kelly Chen

3D Family Photo

Samuel's wax fingers

Uncle Loke then brought us to a very nice chinese restaurant and we ate a special dish that was highly recommended by Uncle Loke. It was very tasty. Thanks Uncle Loke.

While we were eating, we saw a very long queue outside the restaurant. It seems the road downhill has been closed due to a fallen tree. Everyone has to take the tram down.

We took the tram downhill and took a taxi back to the hotel. :)

4 of Us