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Bible Verse of the Day

October 2013

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My kids have a truly affectionate bond with my parents, i.e. their maternal grandparents.  Ethan and Hannah especially are very much attached to Ah Ma and Ah Kong from Ipoh.  When Ah Ma comes for a visit on her own, Ethan and Hannah will have to make a most *difficult* decision on who would get to sleep together with Ah Ma.

However, this time around, Ah Ma and Ah Kong both came for a short visit.  Ethan and Hannah were naturally very excited.  They had lots of things to talk and discuss with Ah Ma and Ah Kong, lots of games to play, including question games and spelling games.  Even then, Hannah would sometimes ask if she could take a short nap with Ah Kong in the afternoons.

Yes, such is their fondness for Ah Ma and Ah Kong, whom I’m sure love and adore them to bits too. :)

Ethan and Hannah would make interesting remarks like, “Mmmmm….now the room smells like Ah Ma and Ah Kong!  NICE!”

Ethan can even independently follow Ah Kong and Ah Ma around without me being around now.  He loves tagging along when they have their breakfast at the coffee shop and doesn’t even mind taking a walk back home with them.  Of course, Ah Ma tells me that Ethan’s pace is getting a little too fast now!  Haha….

Emma is still very attached to me though, but there are some signs that she would grow fond of Ah Ma and Ah Kong soon too.

Here’s to more happy times ahead with Ah Ma and Ah Kong! 😀

Scrap Credits
Blessed QP from Dana’s Footprint Digital Design

Weight

Turns out I had been wrong all along.  At about a week past her 6th month mark, we took Emma for her well-child checkup and she was only 7.1 kilos then.  She should be maybe about 7.5 kilos now, I suppose.

Height/Length

About 61 cm at her 6th month checkup, so perhaps about 63 cm now?

Teeth

2 bottom incisors.

Motor Skills

  • Emma can now roll around and move in circles.  She can also inch her way around, and sometimes when she is on her tummy, we can see her lift her butt ever so slightly to move forward.  Sometimes she moves backwards this same way too though.
  • Emma can sit unsupported for a few minutes now.  She still tumbles over and loses her balance though, so she still needs constant supervision.
  • She can hold objects (like a rattle) and loves to suck on them.
  • She loves to “pretend” she can stand when we hold her by the hands.
  • I can “almost” give Emma a bath all by myself now, since she can sit unsupported for longer periods of time.
  • She has a very strong grip and can hold objects very tightly, including our hands, fingers and my hair (and Hannah’s hair).

Communication and Social Skills

  • Says “Mum Mum Mum” and “Ma Ma…” a lot, mostly when she wants Mommy or milk.
  • She loves to smile, even at total strangers.  The catch is that she needs to be held by Mommy.
  • She is very dependent on me and sticks to me like a stamp to a letter.
  • She loves her siblings’ antics and always giggles when she looks at them.
  • She loves Bananas in Pyjamas.
  • Her favorite place in the world is at home!

Others

  • I’ve started using a range of non-steroidal moisturizing creams and balms on Emma, in the fervent hope that her eczema will heal.  I’m also keeping her legs and hands pretty much covered all the time to prevent scratching.  I hope to review this range of products if/when it truly works.
  • I put her to bed on her back, but she inadvertently always rolls over and sleeps in a crouching manner with her butt up.  I wonder if it’s okay…hmmmm…

Food and Feeding

Her diet is mostly 100% on Mommy’s milk, although she has tried several types of food thus far, albeit in small quantities.  She sucks and nibbles on the following:

  • Steamed carrot sticks
  • Soft steamed rice (I’ve only given her red rice so far)
  • Banana (she will hold the banana and nibble on it)
  • Apple slices
  • Pear slices
  • Cucumber chips

She’s still learning to feed herself, and she loves to hold a spoon, even a spoon without any food in it.  I’m still going slow on her solids because she has yet to completely heal from her eczema and I’m afraid introducing too many different types of new food might make her eczema flare up again.

God With Us

Unlike when we had Hannah, we had not come to a firm decision on what we would name our third miracle when we were expecting her.  As soon as we knew it was going to be a girl, there were a few names we were tossing around.

Well, we knew we wanted a name from the Bible, or at least derived from a Biblical context.  However, some of the names, although sounded all right, just didn’t strike the right chord with either Pete or me.  To be honest, the name “Emma” was “not approved” by Pete earlier on for whatever reason, I do not know.  Subsequently, Hannah began naming her soft toys and her bear happened to be named Emma.  So when we started considering “Emma” again, we had to ask Hannah’s “permission” to have her sister share the same name as her bear.  It was a back and forth decision that continued for weeks, and in the end Hannah agreed to change her bear’s name to Olivia if we choose Emma for her sister’s name.  Well, we did…but Hannah’s bear is still Emma to this date. LOL

Anyway, back to Emma. Emma is a name that carries the meaning “Universal, whole or complete”.  It is also considered a Biblical name because it is a name derived from Emmanuel, which means “God With Us”.

Next comes the tricky part of choosing the Chinese name.  Once again, I requested for help from a friend of mine to help in determining the number of strokes which are suitable, and she confirmed that it would be the same as for Hannah the previous time, which meant that based on Pete’s surname, Chua (蔡Cài), there were 4 stroke combinations that would be a good match for the 2nd and 3rd Chinese character for Emma’s name:

  • 7 + 18
  • 18 + 7
  • 8 + 17
  • 18 + 7

We didn’t really restrict ourselves to having some form of common character for both our girls so our options were wide open.  However, upon doing some research, we limited ourselves to the stroke count above and also to the criteria that Emma’s name had to contain the “grass” radical (艹), given that she would be born in the year of the serpent/snake, according to the Chinese Zodiac.

I gravitated towards the Chinese character Xǐ (禧), from Hannah’s Chinese name because I really liked its meaning: Joy.  Then I stumbled on this character Yún (芸), and since it fits the stroke count and the radical criteria, I enlisted the help of a few friends to help me look up the meaning.  I found several meanings myself so I was a bit confused.  Turns out this character has several meanings on its own, depending on whether it was used traditionally or in its modern form.  One of its meanings is “To see”.

The combination of Yún(芸) and Xǐ (禧) (8 + 17 strokes) therefore meant “To see Joy”. What a beautiful meaningful name for a beautiful baby girl! :)

We are also very pleased that both our girls have a common Chinese character in their names but they are also unique names on their own, with the position of the Chinese character Xǐ (禧) switched.

So her full name is thus Emma Chua Yun Xi (蔡 芸  ~ Cài Yún ), which carries the meaning God with Us, To See Joy.

Additional trivia with regards to our kids’ names: they are all in a way complementing or completing each other, however you want to look at it.

  • Ethan has 5 letters, Hannah has 6 letters and Emma has 4 letters; each one unique and special.
  • Ethan and Emma share the same first name initials.
  • Hannah rhymes with Emma.

For the past couple of weeks, sleeping at night has been a whirlwind of inconsistency and disturbance.  Emma would wake up crying and kicking, unable to fall back to sleep even after being breastfed.  I’ve had to carry and rock her and sometimes bring her outside to our living room and eventually she would fall asleep.  By the time I’d realized it, it would be close to dawn and almost time for me to wake up (normally).

Initially I thought it was attributed to her 6th month growth spurt, but just last week, as she was sucking on my finger, I felt a rough edge on her bottom gum.  Upon closer inspection, I realized that…yes, our girl has cut her first teeth!  We can definitely see her 2 bottom incisors peeking out from her gums, and finally that’s when it all made sense!

Here’s a quick photo I took of her today…if you zoom in really closely, you can see the incisors :)

I’m excited for my baby girl, but in the same vein…*yawn* I’m yearning for more sleep!

(By the way, October seems to be a favorite month for all my kids to start teething:  Ethan’s first teeth & Hannah’s first teeth)