Archive for April, 2011

Communication

April 29, 2011

Calvin’s communication skills has improved vastly over the past few weeks. He knows how to use gestures and words to get our attention and attempt to tell us what he wants. I really love the way he grabs our hand to give us some container of food that he wants us to open for him. He will also raise his arms up to indicate he wants to be carried. It’s great to see that satisfied grin on his face that says ‘You got what I meant’.

Even though I’m still worried that he’s a little slow on the development curve, I’m very happy with his progress. Being able to communicate makes him feel so much more like a little boy. In the end, I guess that’s what gives us a deeper connection as humans.

He has really grown so quickly in the past few months especially when I remember that he was just barely able to crawl commando style when he started daycare in January.

While I’m apprehensive about being able to handle life as a stay at home mum abroad, I’m also looking forward to being able to spend time with him when he needs his parents most.

17 Month Update

April 24, 2011

I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit. Calvin has really been changing recently. He is starting to understand how things work and it’s great to see him delighted over simple things like how two cups stack together. Just a quick update on the things he’s been doing. He’s a happy baby recently though also easily frustrated when he realizes that we don’t get what he saying.

  • He understands the action word ‘brush’. He’ll take my hairbrush/comb and run it through his own hair. When I told him to brush his teeth, he took the toothbrush and run it on his hair as well. Ditto to his little baby fork.
  • He learnt to sit down on a little plastic chair.
  • He got a pair of squeaky shoes today and loves them.
  • He enjoys his weekly trip to the Bedok swimming pool.
  • He will hand over a container with food when he wants us to open it for him. Gets really upset if we don’t. If our hands are not facing upwards to receive the box, he will grab one of our hands and flip it the right way.
  • He likes to open and close little containers. It started with this screw top Boon bath toy that can unscrew. He will also hand it over to us if he is unable to open it.
  • Understands and says ‘ba’ = ball, ‘mum mum’ = food, ‘ga ga’ = gai gai/ going out, ‘cup’, ‘pop’, ‘papa’
  • Likes it when I pretend to speak on the phone to him.
  • Squeal delightedly when he sees the opening screen of the BumbleBee DVDs
  • Loves drumming and hammering. Hammering pegs & empty milk container.
  • Likes to open & close drawers
  • Can put balls into a narrow container
  • Imitates what we do. So I’m trying to get him to brush his teeth again.
  • Eating well! Seems to be pretty hungry these past few days. He really enjoys pasta – bolognaise & yogurt garlic. Will kill for grapes and tried golden kiwi for the first time today.
  • Pretty content to be in his stroller. At least it’s being put to good use. Calvin is getting a little too heavy to be carried all the time.
  • Plays chase with his friend Ashton in daycare
  • Very good at climbing stairs & flipping through his board/cloth books. Still crumples the poor abused Maisy books.

Smelling all but the Roses

April 1, 2011

Now that I rationally think about it, I’ve been worrying a lot ever since I gave birth. In fact, I would even say excessively. I wonder if the experience of delivering prematurely has shocked me into having some kind of anxiety disorder. I hesitate to think about mind problems as an illness that you treat, I’d rather think of it is a pervasive behaviorial habit that needs to be broken out out.

Recently, I’ve been feeling more anxious than ever because of the big changes to our lives soon. I think the stress of working + taking care of Calvin (who was again down with a high fever this week, luckily he recovered after one day) is probably adding to my overall anxiety levels.

So one of the suggested ways to alleviate the problem is to write them down for the future so that I can postpone the problem. So what am I worrying about now….

1. Wondering if I’ll be able to handle being a stay at home mom. 

Will I be able to teach Calvin well? Will I be able to take care of Calvin and be a total Martha Stewart…… (I’m hearing resounding ‘No’s in my head. Fine, scrap the martha bit).

2. Will we be able to survive financially on almost no income?

Well, yes we can. It’s just a matter of how much we’ll dip into our savings. That’s the part which gets me worrying about saving money and how I should cook *every single day* and make sure *every* meal is nutritious. And I have to admit I’m a pretty inept cook though at least cooking for Calvin has expanded my capabilities a little 🙂 In my head, even though we don’t have to scrimp and save or live on borrowed money, the idea that I *have* to save is stuck in my head, giving me additional stress when I least need it.

3. Wondering what J will be doing after he completes his PhD

Quite a pointless worry if I may say so myself but I can’t help but think about what kind of jobs he should be working towards i.e. consultancy or academia?

4. Wondering what I’ll do after J completes his PhD and Calvin goes to school

Will I be able to reenter the workforce? Will I want to? What else do I want to do with my life? Should I study? Trade stocks? Volunteer? Start a business? Write a book? I guess I feel worried because by then, it’ll be hard to go back to work and I really don’t think I’m that keen to work in a corporate environment.

5. Is Calvin going to be ok? Is he developmentally slow?

He’s been mostly sick for the past month of so, with only 1 or 2 days in between illnesses. I’ve heard people say it’s normal for kids to fall sick a lot at childcare. I wonder if this will go towards his quota of sicknesses if we take him out of childcare. He’s still not talking and walking and that does give me some general worry at the back of my head though I’ve acknowledged that there’s nothing I can do to propel him forwards. I can only patiently wait for my little sprout to grow up.

Seriously I think my worries are quite pointless but I can’t help but go over the same issues over and over again. I think I definitely need to break out of this. I definitely don’t remember being such a worry wart before childbirth. Maybe it’s really an after effect of the sudden unprepared labor process, making me feel very insecure about life in general and out of control.

On the bright side, I’ve been making concrete plans for myself in the coming year. I’m trying to have some time for myself so I’ll remain sane. I’ve been contemplating becoming a speech language pathologist in the future, so I’m planning to volunteer at the pediatric clinic to see if it’ll really be my cup of tea. My 2nd project will be to have a babysitting exchange with neighbours if possible so we can have a night  or two of couple time a week. It’s a great adventure coming up and it’s really quite exciting even if there’s a lot of logistics to take care of first — which of course will fall into my lap!