Friday, November 20, 2009

First Flight

After 4 months of staying and living in Geelong, Kimi would visit Sydney to take part in celebrating Enzo’s 1st birthday. Enzo is hubby’s first cousin and, in fact, Kimi’s uncle. Yes, blood relations can be confusing at times.

I booked our flight early and chose the early flights as usual to maximise our stay. I was excited for Kimi. I know he would be delighted to see a big version of Jayjay the jet plane. However, I saw too many crying babies that the thought of Kimi having difficulty with air pressure also worried me. I shoved the thought away and packed our bags early than usual as this is the first flight I’ll be travelling with a toddler in tow. I packed Kimi’s stuff in my carry on bag to make sure that I got everything he would need – including banana, apple, nuts, raisins, biscuits, and milk to make him eat and chew and release the pressure on his ears and books to pre-occupy him during the waiting time and the 1.5 hour-flight.

On the day, I woke him a little before 4 am just enough time to dress up before the Avalon airport shuttle picked us up. Good enough he woke up in a good mood. He rarely wakes up in a bad mood anyway so it was not really a problem. He stayed awake during the entire wait for boarding, amusing other passengers beside us especially the elder couple a few seats away.

As expected, he was ecstatic to see the Jetstar plane. He was repetitively saying “Jayjay” and “airplane” until we reached our seat. After all the passengers were seated, Kimi started to wind down. Tatay (dad) was preparing the nuts when Kimi positioned himself comfortably on my lap hugging me to sleep. In no less than 2 minutes, he was already in wonderland and woke up 20 minutes before touch down. Upon waking up, he looked at the window and pointed to the beach below saying "water" and "beach" alternately, non-stop, until he got the attention of the passenger next to us. He also marvelled at some of the clouds and mountains. How wonderful it was to see a curious and excited toddler -- both eyes beaming.

Overall, it was a hassle free flight apart from the difficulty of carrying Kimi and some luggages. Kimi was a cooperative travel companion. I guess he sensed it’s not the best place and time to throw a tantrum.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Christmas Train Express

We were surprised to see a package sitting outside our door. It was for Kimi from Nonno and Nonna!

When we opened it, Kimi was so happy to see a train. It was a Christmas train express big enough to occupy our entire living room. We quickly bought a nice Christmas tree and colourful decors to complement the Christmas train.

Within a week, Che, Kimi and I were able to buy everything we need. We stayed up late to finish decorating and see the lights and train at work. If you notice, there was no ornament at the bottom. It was part of child-proofing the house. The glittery things can easily be swallowed by a very mobile toddler. We still need more Christmas tree ornaments though. I plan to add a couple of really beautiful ones each year as a Christmas tradition. And note, buy extra ornaments nearer to Christmas as the prices are heavily discounted as what I have observed.

Word Spurt

I was really worried with Kimi's speech development when he was 18 months old. He can only say 3 clear words then - Nanay, Tatay, and dede (milk). I even had him checked by his GP so we can get a referral to have a hearing test or to see a paediatrician if needed. She assured me that he is okay and didn't seem to have any hearing problem. But since I insisted, she sent a request for a hearing test appointment at the audiology department of the public hospital.

I made some research and found out that babies who are exposed to more than 1 language tend to speak a bit late. But it was still advised that best time to teach a kid another language is through exposure to the language since they are born. We continued with what we do to improve his language acquisition. We spoke to him slowly and emphasised the letter sounds and the words. We read to him his books especially the shape book which is his favourite at that time. We put him in family day care once a week since he was 20 months for social interaction. We still speak to him at home in 2 languages: Filipino (primarily) and English (as translation). His family day carer speaks to him in English together with the other kids in care.

And, at 21 months, his words increased dramatically that I got lost in counting the number of words he could speak both in Filipino and in English.

NB: This was long overdue.