Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October Updates

This month we welcome 1 new model to our childcare centre



Sze Wei joined the centre

Sze Wei is 10 months old. We have a slight feeding problem with her. She refuses to take milk from the bottle as she is totally breast fed and she refuses to eat solid food. She weighs 7.0 kgs.

She cries most of the time because she is hungry and yet she refuses to eat or drink milk.

This is what she does whenever she is offered food. She cries and gags on food that is slightly coarser having been used to baby jar food since she was 6 months old.

I have to start training her as if she was 4 months old. Will keep you updated about her progress and if I can succeed in getting her to enjoy her food.


Update on Sze Wei’s progress

Sze Wei being offered food AND she did not turn away.

I give her baby rice powder mixed with water as for a 4 month old baby.

She voluntarily opens her mouth to accept the food!!!

Initially, when she takes the food into her mouth half of it will come out because her taking food into her mouth and swallowing coordination was very poor. Now she can swallow her food properly so there is minimal spillage.

Every time she takes a mouthful, we get excited and when I say “yeah” she will clap her hands.

I sing her favourite song while she eats so meal time is also fun time. Notice that I said ‘song’? This means I have to sing one song over and over again.

A happy Sze Wei with a full tummy!

She weighs 7.4 kgs now.

How did we manage to get her to enjoy her food?
Log in and go to: Feeding your toddler to find out the technique.
Related article: Baby weaning

My next target is to wean her to home cooked porridge and other types of food which she refuses to eat and either cries or spits it out. Did I mention that she absolutely refuses to drink milk from a bottle? She also refuses to use the sippy cup and even spoon feeding. Milk time is a big battle and so far I can only manage to make her drink 2 ozs each time. Wish me luck!!!


Jeffrey completed his fourth month so it is time to start introducing semi solids. He did not like it at all so we will try again in a couple of week’s time.

Finally, Li Harng standing without support. He can also walk about 5 steps by himself.

Chloe actually started walking in August but I just cannot get her photo. Her favourite pastime is rocking the grill gates.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to our Muslim members and guests.

After the month-long Ramadan fasting, on 13th October Muslims will celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri which is a joyous occasion to be shared with family members and loved ones.

In Malaysia, this is a time of mass exodus out of the city as folks return to their parents’ homes a couple of days before the festival. We call this exodus ‘Balik Kampung’ in Malay. Kuala Lumpur will be very quiet without the usual traffic jam and exhaust fumes and it is a breeze driving through the city during this time.

Usually celebrations will start after the iftar meal (Buka puasa) on the last night of Ramadan. The children play with fireworks throughout the night to usher in Hari Raya. In the morning, traditionally they will visit the mosque for special Aidilfitri prayers all decked up in their new Baju Melayu for the men and Baju Kurung/Kebaya, for the ladies. They then visit the graves of their departed loved ones to remember them and clear the graves of any unwanted overgrowth and place fresh flowers there.

Following these rituals, it is time for everyone to ask for forgiveness from their elders whether they are grandparents, parents, siblings or relatives. They will perform a Salam (Malay equivalent of a handshake, where they clasp the two hands of the elders) and kiss the hands of the elder as a sign of respect and to ask for all wrongs to be forgiven and forgotten. Children and older folks are given little green envelopes that contain duit raya (Malay for money).

As with all festivals in Malaysia the tradition is to have ‘open house’ throughout the day whereby relatives and Non Muslim friends visit each other to join in the celebrations. Guests are served traditional fare of ketupat, lemang, rendang and Malay delicacies. I remember one year I visited 6 friends during the first day of Raya so you can imagine the amount of food I consumed on that day. Anyway, I look forward to visiting my friends again and especially the chicken rendang.

Traditional Chinese festival

The Nine Emperor Gods Festival (Chinese: 九皇爺)

This festival falls on the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It is a festival to celebrate the return of the Nine Emperor Gods. Tien Hou or the Queen of Heaven is believed to be in control of the Books of L ife and Death. Her nine sons are known as the Nine Emperor Gods who are worshipped as patrons of prosperity, wealth and good health in Fujian and Guangdong Provinces in southern China whose inhabitants were experts in magic, spells, and the art of communication with the dead, spirits and Gods. With the emigration of the Fujian ( Hokkien) and Guangdong (Cantonese) people to Southeast Asia and the rest of the world during the last three hundred years, these mystical manifestation of communication between the man and the mysterious divine spread with the Diaspora to other parts of the world.

Worshippers believe that the Nine Emperor Gods visit earth every year on this day for nine days, and during the duration of the visit, the Gods have to be entertained with traditional opera and dances. It is also an occasion to declare one’s religious devotion and piety so that wishes and favours would be granted for the coming year. On the eve of the ninth moon, the supposed birthday of the Nine Emperor Gods , the deities are received by temple elders and devout worshippers with great pomp and ceremony on the banks of a river or seashore as the arrival of the Nine Emperor Gods is believed to be through the waterways. Processions are held from temples to the sea-shore or river to symbolize this belief. Devotees dressed in traditional white, carrying joss sticks and candles await the arrival of their Excellencies.

In order to participate in the prayers and rituals, devotees whether staying at home or in the temple must eat a very strict vegetarian diet for the duration of the festival. This means no dairy products, garlic etc. Every day there will be continuous chanting of prayers and only vegetarians are allowed into the temple compound. A carnival-like atmosphere pervades the temple throughout the nine-day festival. It is believed that there will be rain throughout the 9 days of celebration. So far this year it has been raining every day since the eve of the festival.

The climax of the festival happens at midnight on the ninth day when devotees gather to send the deities back to heaven. Huge candles and joss sticks are lit and the ‘musicians’ will beat the drums and cymbals. A torch of fire representing the Sacred Spirit of the Gods will be carried from the altar and down the embankment of the river or seashore onto a little raft. The crowd kneels again, in deep prayers, while the cymbals crashed. The Taoist priest will make the final chant. Then the brightly lit raft will be released to begin its journey down the river. The devotees will make their final wishes and watch the raft drift towards the open seas.