Monday, April 27, 2009

4 Months at Clover

Tristan has been in School for four months already, here's quick update on how's school so far.

So far so good :) the school kept up their promises and I must say they did a good job at that. Thanks to the committed Directress Chaz Yee and her team of teachers at school.

Environment: Overall Clover offers a good learning environment with just enough numbers. Not too many and special attention from the low teacher student ratio is very good. I like how they mingle the older and younger group in some of the sessions so the young ones can learn from the older ones and the older ones can help and lead the younger ones. Place is well kept and clean,well ventilated.

His progress: His fine motor skills has improved, in terms of colouring, pouring, cutting, glue-ing things. And gross motor skills such as throwing and catching ball has improved too. He learns some alphabet and numbers but teacher says sometimes he seems to know it but sometimes not sure if he knows or not. So we are yet to confirm if he can recognise numbers and some alphabets. He's starting to speak some chinese words randomly and seem to be able to understand when people speak to him. But everytime when I start speaking to hi in Mandarin, he look at me and say "Mummy..." with a weird look. I noticed he will start speaking pretty fluent chinese under stress. e.g. like the last hair cut at the saloon, he screamed " Wo Bu Yao"- (I dont want) & "Pa Pa" (scared)

One small thing : I wish there's more update on my child's progress from the teachers. I noticed that pick up time is the best time to ask the teacher how has he been in school. But if no ask, no update. So parents have to take a more active role to ask. But there's a 3 monthly (1 term) report on Tristan progress which is great. I see his work in school improving and can see his work progress. He is more attentive to things around him and he loves singing all the songs he learnt. (apparently he used to not participate in class, but he observes and learns and then sing to me when he is home :) depends on his mood I guess.

There's a show and tell session once a week, that helps him to stand up and speak up, public speaking. He use to be quite shy and whispers to teacher and but now he can talk more, sometimes is good sentences.

So far no complains, and Tristan loves going to school.And the things they do there is different and well thought of with special attention to what activity helps in e.g. motor skill, language, social...etc... I enjoyed the 'birthday walk' he had on his birthday few weeks ago.

See Photo on right.

I'm going to sit in and observe the school in action one of these days. Stay tuned :)

My favourite book on Montessori :)

How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin

Like any DK published books, this book is well illustrated, to the point and easy to read. It covers all areas enough for a person who has little or no knowledge on this subject. For people like me who is not much of a reader,( I can never get through big fat thick books!) it's great, I enjoyed it so much that I borrowed from the library again.. and hhmm maybe I might end up buying one for my own collection of books :)
It has great simple ideas where you can incorporate in your daily life with your child, things to do to stimulate their senses and games: they call it "purposeful" play, where they learn so much through simple non-competitive games.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We're no longer 3 but four !

Wow time flies when you have 2 kids! The last I wrote was before I gave birth. Well that explains my life for the past few months!

Dont ask me why I'm awake at 4am in the morning... heheh.. suddenly remembered I had a blog and miss blogging :)

Well being a mother to number 2 is somewhat different, chaotic sometimes, blissful at other times. It's back to sleepless nights, endless feeding and changing diaper sessions, learning to multi-task parenting 2 ->e.g. breastfeeding and chasing after a toddler who just peed in his pants and running all over the place with his wet pants!

Many things happened and changed the way I looked at things.
Back to when I gave birth to Trevor... -> I prayed and thank God that Trevor came naturally on Sunday 21st Dec 2009, 3.45KG, instead of being induced, overdue by 5days. My labour was shorter, but I felt it was more intensed. It started at 8am with some 'stomachache' and was admitted at 10am. 2pm baby was out! This time round I kinda know what to expect and could focus and did a better job at relaxing during the contractions. Probably explains the shorter labour. I didnt take the 'gas' as I didnt want the nausea feeling, so I was awake and conscious the whole time, therefore i could feel everything. Dont know whether good or not:) The last time I was 'high' on gas so didnt exactly remembered what when on. But I'm just happy the labour was over!

After Labour
After breastfeeding Tristan for 26mths, I thought.. should be no problem with no.2. I'm a breastfeeding counsellor so should set a good example, total breast milk all the way! And so I thought...
Every baby is unique, so is every labour and every breastfeeding experience.
I didnt prepare any nursing cream as I thought nipple should be 'season' already but I was wrong. The first feed was good, Trevor latch on pretty well and sucks very strongly. But hhmmm.. he is a hourly feeder! I was super tired and nipple sore like crazy. I was paranoid and keep asking Chris to check on baby make sure he was not fed formula as it may compromise the success of breastfeeding. So I was bit stressed up and exhausted, couldn't rest properly. The next day the Pediatrician came in and was concerned that Trevor has not peed or poo since birth. I cant remember the exact words but he said something like this: it is great that I choose to breastfeed, but I need to exercise balance and put baby's health as priority. He said it in a very nice way that I didnt feel that I was reprimanded for insisting on Total breast milk. I thought about it, worried for baby + sore nipples + every hour feed + super exhausted... I decided to top up with formula. Fill with guilt, but I knew I had to make a decision there and then.
I continue to feed directly and top up with some formula after every feed for about 3 days until the milk came in. I was surprised that this time round I have engorgement and too much milk. (didnt know too much milk will be a problem too)
-> that's a whole new story and topic..
On the 4th day, I'm happy and lucky that I manage to switch back to total breast feeding without nipple confusion and other problems. And I'm still happily breastfeeding now. :)

Thinking about it now, I realized that there are ideals and sometimes we give ourselves a hard time for trying to match these ideals and forget about our priorities and what is more important. I learnt that in life we have to strike a balance in everything and my view of things changed. I admit I was paranoid and went the other way of 'blaming' formula companies and their unethical marketing for being the cause of many lives in 3rd world countries. I was angry with formula for a while. I'm not saying that I forgive their act, it's still unacceptable but I have come to terms with it. It has changed the way I counsel as a breastfeeding counselor. Every effort that a mother makes to breastfeed is great and should be praised and encouraged. No mother should be made to feel bad that when they have failed. I'm sure the decision made under different circumstances has been thought about and is not easy. However amount of breastmilk that a mother manage to give is good for the baby.

Of course I still stand by that knowledge gives strength and together with will power and perserverance, every mother can succeed in breastfeeding. My role is to encourage and provide information so that mothers can breastfeed successfully and breastfeed longer.

Here's part 1 of my life after Trevor's born... will write again on
1) Tristan's reaction to new baby brother
2) Tristan going to school
3) Tristan entering toddlerhood
4) Our first holiday to Port Dickson as a family of four
5) Changes in our family dynamics
6) Managing 2 + Business (MummyHugs) + Studies (Kindermusik)! (or so I try)
7) How's Trevor different from Tristan.
-> Trevor growing big and fast. He seems to do everything faster than Tristan :)

Stay tuned.


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