Do you like animals?

I can’t remember when was the last time I went to a zoo. I don’t think I was an animal kind of child growing up and I still am not as an adult. But I do think they are cute and would cuddle with a friend’s pet. I do, however, want sweet pea to like animals. Babies and animals just go together, don’t they? She likes those animals in her books and are curious about the dogs we see outside albeit being very cautious in her approaches. So it was high time we took her to the zoo now that she’s over 1 and able to walk with assistance.

Last night, I suddenly decided that instead of the zoo, we’d take her to the petting farm. They have weekend morning on the farm from 8am. An instimate setting, I thought, might help her warm up to the animals better. So there we were, out in the dirty melting snow at 8am, treking on foot and by bus to the much anticipated farm in the city. It turned out to be quite a cozy place, with bunnies, guinea pigs, hens, reptiles, chinchilas, turtles, fish… Forgetting that I wasn’t even an animal person, I got totally excited and immidiately proceeded to bring sweet pea into the bunny house. Oh dear, was I wrong about her! She totally recoiled and started to cry. But they were cute, fluffy bunnies! I showed her how gentle they were by caressing them and letting them feed from my palm. The hubby and I spent 15 patient minutes trying to help her cope with her fear of cute fluffy bunnies. Alas, she did not soften. We had to take her out and try our luck with other animals.

Did she warm up to any of them? Nope. She did find something she liked though: the lock to the bunny house. She fiddled with it insensely and fussed everytime I tried to take her away. It was just high enough that she couldn’t reach it without my carrying her. And it sure wasn’t much fun to carry a heavy toddler fiddling with a dead lock, while all the live fun animals surrounded us. She even got tantrummy when we finally decided she’d played too long with the lock to justify the $25 we paid to have her pet the animals.

It really made me think. Growing up in a city, there’s a lof of things that just don’t come naturally unless the parents make an honest effort. She still doesn’t even like grass since we don’t go to the park often enough. I loved growing up in the outskirt of a city where nature was abundant and I roamed freely with my friends all day long. I would love for her to experience the same joy that comes with befriending nature.

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Let’s talk about… Potty!

Sweet pea just turned one a few weeks ago, so what am I talking about? Potty training? Well, we haven’t really been training her strictly, but we’ve had a potty for her since she was able to sit. During my maternity leave, I noticed that I could read her signs when she had to go, so I started to hold her on top of the toilet whenever I saw the signs. Then once she started to sit pretty well, we got her a potty. I don’t know if you can call potty training, perhaps it’s more like elimination communication as we don’t train her to do it on the potty but train ourselves to catch her signs. We also put her on her potty first thing in the morning, so she’s gotten into a morning poop routine, which does save us from a lot of yucky clean up.

And since we haven’t been doing it so strictly, we did not always catch the signs and she only sometimes “requested” to go. But over the months, I think she’s definitely learned what a potty is for and knows that it feels better to eliminate in a potty than in her diaper.

This past weekend, miracle happened.

First of all, she did not wake up once from 8pm to 7am (perhaps I was in too deep a sleep to hear her cries), which put me in a great mood in the morning. When I picked her up from her crib and tried to give her a sip of water (yes, even with a powerful humidifier, it’s still quite dry that she sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night to demand a sip), she pushed it away and pointed to the door. She either wanted to go to the living room or to the bathroom. I decided for her that she wanted the latter. When I took off her diaper, it was all dry, not a drop (after 11 hours!). The moment she sat down on the potty, the pee shot out at full speed. She proceeded to pee an epic amount! I was so surprised that she knew she really had to go and she actually held it in until she sat on the potty. I was so happy all the hard work had paid off!

It was a one-off thing…

The next night, she woke (me) up twice, woke up before 6am in the morning, and with a full to the brim diaper. Oh well, I guess she ain’t got it after all. I guess we will continue to use the potty in the hopes that one day when she’s able to walk to the potty and take off her pants and diaper all by herself, she will already have been potty trained, naturally.

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Merry Crafty Christmas!

I’ve always been a crafty person, but have been too busy lately to do much. This week-long staycation suddenly put me in the creative mode. First I made a felt wreath, which is still not done so no pictures yet. Then today, I decided our window, decked out in colorful lights, was still too bare. So I went ahead and cut out some snowflakes. I haven’t made those since elementary school so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. But with some guidance online, they turned out quite pretty! Actually, no matter how you cut it, the symmetrical-ness will make it pretty. This is something I’d love to make with my daughter next year. No scissors for her this year though. She can just admire them from a distance 🙂

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Home alone with sweet pea

It’s the end of the year and I’ve got vacation days piled up. With only 5 days to carry over to the next year, I wasn’t about to waste all the rest. So I went ahead and took 1 and half weeks off for staycation with sweet pea.

So far, we’ve been to the library several times and to her music class and hallmark store. It is so great to be able to spend quality time with her all day long. There’s a great exhibition on children’s books going on at the public library and she loves the life-size Goodnight Moon green room. We read that book before bed every night so she’s super familiar with the room, but just not that big. We’ve already been to the exhibition twice and plan on a third time this weekend with the hubby too. I’m very impressed by the library. In fact, I have a renewed respect for this institution and I’m going to make a donation. Right now.

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Next off, I plan to take her to the art farm where she finally gets to see real animals other than those dreadful pigeons that plague our nearby parks. Can’t wait!

Baby’s great escape

Remember that movie back in the 90’s, Baby’s Day Out? When I watched it, I thought gee how is it possible that this baby is so lucky and doesn’t get hurt at all? Well, I wish I could have videotaped whatever went on in the bedroom today, it must have played out just like in that movie…

As I mentioned in the last post, sweet pea has been a bit fussy and tantrummy. So I’m trying to discipline her these days. One of the bigger issues is her naps. She falls asleep instantly at night but will exhaust you to nuts for naps. Today, I let her cry in her crib and left the room. After about 5-10 minutes, I heard the door open and the sound of her cry got louder. I shouted to the hubby, “Don’t go in there! Let her cry!” Then the cry got louder and then some bangs on the door… and there, the hubby emerged with sweet pea in his arms. I was so upset he’d ruined my training session.

“Why did you take her out of the room?”

“I didn’t! When I opened the bathroom door, she was there!”

So there, the little tyrant somehow got out of her crib (of course it’s been lowered), opened the bedroom door, and got to her dad. But how? There’s a chair next to the crib, but she would have to drop into it. This could have ended badly, with her getting injured. But it kind of turned into that movie, except we are the kidnappers who don’t get to see what actually went on in the room that the baby came out unscathed…Image

The most hysteric baby!

ImageSweet pea went in for her 1yr check up yesterday and the moment her charming, experienced, and highly rated pediatrician came into the room, she started crying, hysterically. From around 6 months, we’ve noticed that she disliked the doctor’s office. She does like the waiting area and charms the nurses with her sociable smiles, but once in the exam room she becomes tense and when she’s put on the exam table, she really lets you know how much she hates it.

But yesterday’s behavior was something else. She cried, again hysterically, for the entire time with her doctor and did not stop after he was gone. In fact, she cried the whole way home. The hub and I were thoroughly exhausted by then. Initially, the doc wasn’t bothered at all. He’s an old doctor who’s probably seen hundres of babies, if not more. However, by the end, he said to us “All one-year-olds can be hysterical, but not as extreme as her.” I was in shock! I didn’t think I was raising an extreme case and she normally behaves well. Even if she has a bit of a tantrum sometimes, for example she would, kicking and crying, refuse to get into her stroller, I do not allow her to do whatever she wants and let her control me. How can she become an extreme case!

Is this normal? How much do other kids hate their doctor’s visits? Does it get better? What can I do to prepare for our next visit? Help, wise mothers out there!

Sweet pea’s 1st birthday gift

The little sweet pea turned one. Say what?! I simply cannot believe how much she’s changed. The hub and I went through some old photos yesterday and we were cracking up at the tiny little ball of a being, who’s now blossomed into an active smart toddler.

When I was still pregnant, a friend asked me whether I was making a scrapbook for jr. I said I wanted to but was too busy and lazy. She asked, “you mean you are just lazy?” That pretty much sums up most endeavors I have undertaken, especially journal kind of stuff. I have more than 5 blogs and they are all very short-lived, including one with just one entry. Now, I do think that I have been the best mom I could be to sweet pea, I have even kept a somewhat regular online journal for family members. No, still no scrapbook, but I guess that’s just not me or, dare I say it again, I’m too busy for it!

I do like to do crafty things though, once in a blue moon. Here’s something I made as a birthday gift for sweet pea.Image

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It took a lot of time from this busy mom, but it turned out so nicely I have to say I’m quite proud of it. I got the idea from this blog. I pretty much plagiarized everything because it’s so cool, plus added the fruits and made it in Chinese. I painstakingly drew the fruits using Microsoft’s Fresh Paint. Not too bad for an econ major, eh? Oh, and the wooden blocks, I bought them from Smiling Trees Toys, which is a great wooden toy store I frequent whenever I want to impress. The wood was so beautiful I had a hard time covering it up. In the end, I decided to leave one side bare to show off the natural beauty of the wood.

How’s that for a busy and lazy mom! The dizzy part? She’s having serious sleep regression! More on that later…