Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Baby Bible Christmas Storybook by Robin Currie and Constanza Basaluzzo

I have a houseful of children's books but I don't have many children's books on Christianity.

To tell the truth, I'm not a very religious person - I try to attend Sunday mass as best as I can, I know how to recite the entire Rosary, I love singing a lot of the hymns (and other more modern creations) and I do believe in doing good. That's it.

Actually, my father did a great job bringing us up on the Catholic because he'd tell us stories from the bible when I was small and he also bought a set of comic books, which helped to relate the Old Testament and the New Testament in an easy-to-understand format.

I think I know almost every character in the Bible. Except for the minor ones with complicated Jewish names, of course ;-)

Our kids are still too little to understand the major concepts of our Catholic faith - my son knows we go to church every Sunday (he even insists on it when Sunday comes around), he knows that it's "Jesus" up there on the crucifix and that we say our bedtime prayers to him.

He kind of knows that Heaven is up there but I'm not sure if he grasps the concept fully yet. If there's one thing my son understands fully about our faith, it's CHRISTMAS. Now that he knows the months of the year, the days of the week and dates, he knows important dates like his birthday and of course, Christmas - all for the presents and partying, what else?

For our family, Christmas is a simple tradition of gathering together, eating my Mum's roast beef, which evolved to roast chicken when cholesterol levels started escalating, going for Christmas midnight mass and of course, the opening of presents on Christmas morning besides the crazy fun he has with his cousins.

Now that Christmas is beginning to become materialistic for him, The Baby Bible Christmas Storybook (The Baby Bible Series) (The Baby Bible Series) showed up at just the right time! My sister gave the book to me several days before Christmas and the little tike immediately asked me to read it to him.

Here's the blurb: ***** Introduce your little one to the Christmas story! Combine your favourite Bible stories with actions and hand motions, and your baby begins to learn the story of Christmas! Each fun-filled passage includes: Bright, colorful pictures Simple prayers that help children talk to their heavenly Father Suggested actions and sounds that bring the stories to life *****

The Christmas story begins with "Mary's Secret" with a picture of the angel Gabriel (minus his wings) talking to an ecstatic Mary. I really like the simple sentence structure e.g. "The angel told Mary a special secret. Mary will have a baby. The baby will be God's son, Jesus. Mary was glad to be a mommy to Jesus." as my son could follow and understand the storyline without difficulty.

Since it's a "Baby Bible", instructions for hand actions accompany each line e.g. the gesture of "Shh!", "Pretend to rock a baby" and "Smile a big smile" for the Mary becoming a mommy part. I didn't use any hand gestures because I was a) too tired! and b) reading to a hyper-active preschooler who I wanted to calm down. Gestures would just get him going again, if you know what I mean.

Each "chapter" includes the reference to the respective passages in the Bible, which are useful for adults who might want to read about the Christmas story in the Bible themselves. Robin Currie and Constanza Basaluzzo did a good job re-telling the story of Mary, Joseph and Jesus for little children because my little boy was driven to the "adventure" behind the birth of Jesus e.g. A Long Trip, No Room! Run! Where is the King?

The accompanying illustrations could be a bit more vivid since children these days are so Disney- and Nickelodeon-oriented despite EVERY parent's (especially me!) arduous attempts to reduce its influences. Then again, maybe the artist is doing a good thing introducing simple art forms instead of following the crowd of super-colourful illustrations?

Also, I note that the illustrator went for the Renaissance image of angels looking like ordinary people on earth - I personally prefer the Medieval image of angels with their halos and their wings. ;-) In any case, I really appreciate The Baby Bible Christmas Storybook (The Baby Bible Series) especially the last chapter, which bridges the past experience of the first Christian family in Nazareth with the reader's present, own individual situation i.e. Our Christmas.

A typical family Christmas is shown and my little boy recognized it instantly - grandparents sitting cosily, kids checking out presents under the Christmas tree and my favourite, a father and a daughter singing carols from a songbook.

I also love the last page, which had one of my favourite pictures from the Bible: Jesus surrounded by little children and that famous line of "Let the little children come to me..." although I feel that the writer could have gone for a simpler version kids could understand.

A big thank you to the illustrator for a brown-skinned family - most of my children's books are almost all white-skinned, blonde and blue-eyed! For a first book in its series, I think that the writer and the illustrator did a good job and I look forward to the other books in the series.

I certainly hope that the images would include more diversity especially as more and more Christians around the world are less and less Caucasian and more black, Hispanic and Asian.

Monday, 14 June 2010

She is 7 months old…

Checking the 7 - 12 months old milestone chart on BabyCenter , she can:
  1. Sit without support momentarily but she's still quite shaky. I think her brother was more steady. Because of this, she can only sit on her own comfortable in smaller-sized highchairs e.g. IKEA's Antilop.
  2. Drag objects towards herself - she's especially fast when she sees her big brother's toys LOL And he'll come yelling, "Bu ke yi! Bu ke yi! Zhe ge bu shi hao chi de dong xi!" (No! No! These are not delicious things to eat!). She's getting dangerous because today, she wanted to pull the wires off the DVD player and she gave a good hard last yank when she saw Hubby coming towards her! We need to look into serious baby-proofing around the place.
  3. Lunge forward - She can move around in circles in the blink of an eye and she moves backwards mostly. And she'll get stuck under the sofa or under any low-lying furniture and starts to yell!
  4. Jabbers or combines syllables -

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Shellfish and skin allergy again

I have been really busy (what else is new?) the past 2 weeks mainly with spring cleaning the apartment, packing away newborn clothing, selling off baby stuff I didn't need and also shopping for food for my 6 month old :D

Not to mention the regular errands like running to the bank, running to the post office, running to meet up with old friends, running to pump petrol (or calling up the car insurance agent when the engine wouldn't start!) and of course, doing a bit of work.

All this running around, diaper duty and waking up at nights made me lose 6 kgs over a course of 3 months. Am I happy or what? Of course I am, especially as I can fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans and most of my tops again ;-)

Unfortunately, all that happiness made me forget that I was a breastfeeding Mum with kids who have eczema and food allergies. Remember my earlier post on the girl's reaction to Mummy having sushi?

Last week, I had ONE moment of weakness (or forgetfulness) and I thought I'd have char koay teow (stir fried rice noodles with prawns, egg and cockles) for breakfast and decided to just eat the miserly 2-3 tiny cockles...

Now, I don't like cockles and I usually ask the hawker to hold them. I have no idea what happened to me that morning - guess I was just too tired or hot. Yesterday morning, I noticed a familiar sign of eczema on my little girl's smooth forehead and started racking my brains:
"Is the babysitter cooking Chinese porridge with scallops?" "Is it the Stage 2 milk formula she just started with?" "Did I eat clams recently?"
While interrogating the babysitter on what she was cooking each day for the little girl, I was mentally (and physically counting out the days on my fingers) running through my meals the past few days.

EUREKA! The eczema was due to the breast milk I'd frozen on Friday and fed to the little girl on Monday. And yup, Friday was the darn day I ate those darn cockles.

Sheesh... Luckily, it was just one tiny spot of eczema but still it stood out. It wasn't as bad as the baby acne breakout she experienced a few months back when I even *contemplated* looking for acne body wash lotions just to see her baby smooth skin again.

Don't you think this Mummy needs some spa treatments or shopping sprees just to relax and breathe again?

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Dress You Up in My Love

Remember this song by Madonna? Now that she is 6.2 kg (yippee!!!) and will be starting solids soon (yeah!!! back to the kitchen, Mummy!) I am happy today :D

The little 'angel' is looking rosier and prettier by the day - putting a lot of pressure on Mummy to look more like her mother and less like her maid LOL

She still gives us a lot of trouble in the evenings when she comes home - she wants Mummy ONLY. And the boy wants Mummy ONLY. So, Mummy has to speed-bathe the boy and then take on the girl -_-

She's been rolling and rolling all over the bed that I've had to buy a bed guard and block the other end with stacked pillows. Looking at her speed-roll, I believe she's going to be EVEN MORE ACTIVE than the boy! Seriously!

God help us with these two little monsters. Looking at his pretty daughter (who can turn on the charm now), Hubby has only this say,
"She's going to a Convent school!"
Hahahahaha. Little does he know that Convent schoolgirls are "bad-der", don't you think? ;-)

Anyway, it's really fun to dress her up because she looks really pretty! And she loves the camera or at least, she's used to Mummy snapping, snapping, snapping away LOL

Most importantly, I thank God that she's a healthy baby. That both my babies are healthy. That everyone is healthy.

Why am I suddenly jabbering on about health? My whole family was down with the WORST case of food poisoning last week that we had a fever, diarrhea and vomiting - my Mum and I even blacked out once!

I was sooooooo drained and weak, I had to get one of them to accompany me to drop the kids off and call the teachers etc to come to the car to take them. Terrible, right?

Thank God that's over. We're so paranoid about eating salads served in restaurants now. It has to be the salad because the boy doesn't eat greens and was luckily spared. Can't imagine if he got it too.

Interestingly, Hubby didn't feel a thing - or even if he did, he told me he's so busy at work, he wouldn't even know he is sick. Men.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Shiny, glittery lovelies! The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Since I started selling used children's books, I've come across many, many cute books and one of them is "The Rainbow Fish" series by Marcus Pfister, which is about a little fish who learns about friendship and sharing.

I like this series of books because each book comes with shiny, foil paper that just entices kids to get more involved in the act of reading by touching and feeling the pages of the book.

Now that I've started reading to the baby girl, I find that she is also attracted by the shiny, glittery pages :D

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

4 months old, girl!

Hi! I have been under a mountain of papers as I'm finishing up on some work...

Anyway, taking a moment's pause to blog about my baby girl. I can't believe that she's 4 months already.

Here are the updates:

She sleeps through the night! Yup, I think she started doing that since she was 3 months old but I'd wake her up at 11 pm for a last feed. Then, she'd wake at 3 am and later, at 7 pm (because she's so skinny).

But once her weight went past 5 kg, I relaxed and just wake her up at 11 pm before I turn in for the night.

She's got another 1.5 months to go before starting solids! I'm really excited because I can't wait to try out those frozen vege cubes I didn't manage to make for the boy when I was a full-time working Mum. Got the covered ice cube trays all ready already LOL

Also, I'm hoping that she'll plump up then. Currently, she's on a ratio of 40:60 combination of formula (Similac) and breastfeeding. I've been so, so, so tied up with daily life and work that I've not pumped as much as I should. Thus, I try to breastfeed her direct as much as I can.

Let me show you why I'm "a bit" obsessed with her weight. The photos below show my two kids wearing the same blue shirt:

I'm so used to caring for a big, big baby that I really struggled with my little sweetpea. EVERYONE keeps stressing to me that it's OK because she's a girl.

But it doesn't help whenever I carry her, I get questions like:
"Is she a newborn?" (She's already 2 months old!)

"Oh...she's very thin, huh?" (I guess they think the FAT Mummy got all the nutrition)

"Are you feeding her enough?" (Yes, I have. Do you think that I'd starve my own child???)
I cannot agree with newspaper reports that Malaysians are no longer a "caring society" - I have many, many, many aunties (young and old) looking out for this little baby!

Even though I'm rattled by their remarks, I *try* to be patient because they only speak out because they are concerned over the baby. And I think it's good for Malaysia that we still have "busybody" people like that :D

I'm determined to continue breastfeeding her until she's 6 months old and hopefully for a year. I can't put her on 100% formula because she's allergic to quite a number of brands (Enfalac HA, Lactogen).

It's been such a headache switching brands but we think she's OK with Similac...

She's very naughty. Yup, that's true because she's choosy over the people she will look at or even let carry! Somehow, she doesn't like Grandma in the evenings --- she turns her head the other way when I show her Grandma. Naughty or not?

And she SCREAMS and SCREAMS and SCREAMS when she's a) hungry and b) sleepy for bed at 7.30 pm. I have to be with her in the bedroom then and stay until she sleeps soundly by 8.00 pm.

Of course, as I need to give her brother his evening bath, I'll let her loll around the bed with a round rattle fitted like a bangle on her little hand. She'll be OK for about 5 minutes as I rush through the boy's bath LOL

She loves ping-pong. Strange but true but she got really excited when I showed her a father and son playing ping-pong at our apartment. She'd flap her hands, kick her legs and squeal really loudly like a cheerleader! Embarrassing...

She's just as active as her brother BUT she's more talkative. Yup, I'm looking at another cheeky monkey I'll have to chase around later :P She's quite a chat partner - very cute because she'll look at you with a smile and make comments as she holds her hands together. Kind of like Queen Elizabeth! (no disrespect intended)

She loves her brother! If you know how active, loud and rough my son can be, you can imagine the many, many, many times I've had to yell at him to stop, get off the bed or get out of the room.

Sigh, he's now SLIGHTLY better but I still need to watch him. He'll lie down next to her and let her grip his finger. She responds well by holding on to it as tightly as can with her lips pursed as he pulls it away again and again and again :D

He'll also shake a rattle at her when she cries. And usually, she keeps quiet and perks up whenever he enters the room. The hero-worship has begun!

And the brother? He complained that:
"She always sleep, sleep, sleep! I want to play with him (her)."
But he'll snuggle next to me and allow me to read a book to both of them. She's always entertained both by the reading session and her brother's excited and noisy reactions.

The funniest moment has to be when he was fiddling with a contractor's measuring tape and decided he wanted to measure how long she is!

And the little girl doesn't mind since her big brother is playing with her. Everyone agrees that she's gonna be a tall girl.

She has sensitive skin. She's another sweaty baby and she seems to be even more sensitive to heat than her brother because she's gets really cranky when she's hot, especially now with El Nino...

Now, she's got a heat rash around her neck, which I sometimes apply "bedak sejuk" to cool her down. She sleeps really soundly if the room temperature's set at 27 deg C

She's such a diva! :D

Thursday, 18 February 2010

An allergy attack

We were at the beach with my in-laws. Though he only told me later but Hubby started feeling unwell on Sunday. I noticed the itchy, reddish rash on his neck, which he dismissed as his sensitive skin's reaction to sun and sweat.

That evening, he said he felt feverish because he (a hot and sweaty man) felt cold while swimming in the pool with the boy. I couldn't feel a temperature but mother-in-law gave him 2 Panadols and a vitamin C tablet as he asked for them. He went to bed with the baby.

On Monday, we stayed indoors and tried not to go crazy with the super excited boy who will NOT follow mother-in-law to their room. I was busy with the baby and managed to put her to sleep (she's a very alert and active baby!!!) Hubby said he'll be fine with her and dozed off.

I bundled everyone else in the car and hunted for lunch. Thank God for a nasi kandar restaurant so the boy could have his staples of rice, fish and eggs (He had a light, lousy dinner of mushroom soup and baked cheese rice).

We came back to see the baby in Hubby's arms - he'd just given her a formula feed :D (a huge achievement for someone who's antsy around his delicate little girl)

Hubby was ravenous and tucked into his chicken kurma, sotong curry and long beans. We actually went to bed after lunch though the girl kept me awake for a while...

Luckily, I could sleep at least an hour or I would have collapsed! (If you are a breastfeeding Mother with 2 young kids or more, you'll get the picture)

Since the boy insisted on going to the beach ("I want to dig sand! I want play sand toys!") and Hubby, who promised him a beach weekend took him down in the evening though he felt feverish. We told him to stay out of the water.

They enjoyed a nice hour on the beach while mother-in-law and I chatted with the girl snoozing soundly on my shoulder or lap :D

We decided to order room service again though Hubby wanted to take his parents out for a nice Chinese dinner but seeing his condition, we didn't think so!

After helping to dress the boy after his bath, cleaning up baby's poop, giving her a top-to-toe, breastfeeding, settling her down to sleep and packing up our stuff, the in-laws had finished dinner and I went out of the room to take mine. It was almost 10 pm!

On Tuesday, I know his rash is definitely NOT his sensitive skin's reaction (why are men and boys such obstinate creatures???) coz he looked like he has the measles. He piled all the luggage in the car, mother-in-law cradled the baby, the boy buckled into the front and I drove as fast (and as safely) as I could to the airport i.e. 45 minutes away?

Dropping them off and promising mother-in-law that I WILL call to give her updates and father-in-law that I WILL be a responsible wife, I then drove home to leave the baby with my mother.

We went to our regular clinic (closed!!!) but I remember seeing another one we went to during our uni days and was thankful they were open.

We are thankful that Malaysia has Indians, Malays, Chinese and other races who can work when we each go off on Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali, Vasakhi, Gawai and other cultural holidays.

The nice lady doctor gently advised Hubby about his blood pressure (of course, he thinks she's another nag...) and suggested that we go straight to the hospital. He was admitted immediately and given Dextrose drips.

The facilities and service in this hospital suck big time (pardon my lingo) but the nursing and support staff is nice and helpful.

Then, his IV drip DRIPPED and BLED. Instead of causing a scene with the staff nurse who had come to fix it the first time (and further agitating my husband), I went out to the nurses' station and insisted that they re-fix it.

I cannot stand surgical procedures (and I have been a pin cushion many, many times) so I told Hubby I'll take the boy down to the cafeteria for lunch. I was relieved to that they set up the IV neatly on his other hand...

After leaving him with a bag of his clothes, toiletries and some water, the boy and I went home. I was in time to breastfeed the baby and then tried to make BOTH sleep so I could sleep too. No chance...

In the evening, after breastfeeding the girl, I took the boy to see his father. His fever had dropped and he was actually enjoying some TV.

On Wednesday, I had to bring the girl for her 3rd month check-up and second booster jab of Hib etc. She is as brave as her brother - just a wail and she quietened down to sleep (since I'd breastfed her just before) after I ssssshhhhhhhed and kissed her :D

I gave her the 2.5 ml of paractemol since she developed a slight fever during the first jab. Managed to catch up on sleep while the two slept.
Thought I could breastfeed her again before taking the boy to the hospital but I was just too tired! (had just given the the boy and myself a bath)

Hubby's fever subsided and so did the rash on his arms. However, he had a stuffy nose and his face looked puffy. He'd requested for his laptop but I didn't think it's wise to leave the HEAVY equipment there.

I asked the nurses to give him a fresh set of bedsheets, which were stinky with sweat. Then, his fever started to rise and he asked for the blankets. Dinner arrived and he finished only half his meal before popping the paracetamol again.

Though he wanted to sleep, I gently insisted that I give him a wipedown and helped him into a new t-shirt and track pants. Not easy ok caring for a grouchy man (who'd rather be playing wii now)!

After kissing him goodbye, I stopped at the nurses' station and told them he wanted some throat lozenges. They said they needed the doctor's permission - I asked if I could just get him Strepsils and they said that's OK. I told them he's demanded for them so they called the doctor immediately.

I asked them to look in on him since his fever is back and will call periodically to check on him. At home, I breastfed the baby and told Grandma she had to feed the boy his dinner as I was exhausted.

I updated mother-in-law that it's possibly dengue fever (blood tests still show NIL for dengue and chikungunya). She said that she'll drop father-in-law home first before flying in next week to support me. I felt that's best because we definitely can't take care of TWO men (the little man will be in the kindy)!!!

The worst isn't over because the nurses told me that the white platelets are monitored closely - if they drop drastically towards the end of the fever, bleeding/haemorraging may occur...

I can only boil cooling barley water for him, feed him fruits for vitamin C and give him a liquid multivitamin to boost his immune system. Since mother-in-law can only come by Wednesday (though they can both come ASAP), I hope that I'll be able to support him.

In the end, it was a major allergy attack so the man's been advised to avoid shellfish, eggs, oranges and other possible allergens.

I'm worried now about my boy because he has sensitive skin and is allergic to
- generic paracetamol (strange but true!)
- shellfish (esp clams which he love...)

And that's how we spent Chinese New Year...

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Going to the Babysitter

"Men make plans but God decides"
I remember a saying like that, which shows how unpredictable life can be. I was all happy when the confinement lady said that she'd stay on as a helper (and cook). For the past two months, I had been hunting high and low for a domestic helper (not stay-in as there is NO room at our place already) and got rejected about 6 times that I gave up. Since she's coming in 2 weeks' time, we all gritted our teeth and got down to do all the work that's needed as best as we could. One morning at the market, she called my Mum and said,
"Please tell your daughter I'm sorry. I'm so busy with Chinese New Year preparations because my children are coming home - I don't think I can help her. I will help her to look for a helper."
She was our last hope. Both of us were puzzled at her change of mind (I guess she's hoping I was that desperate that I'd offer the confinement rate again!). I called her to confirm this - I was even too tired to get angry with her. And I resigned myself to the fact that I will have to remain a full-time "stay-at-home Mother" for a few more months. Then, Giddy Tigress sent me an excited email about a babysitter her babysitter recommended! I personally prefer a daycare center but I thought I'd give her a chance. She turned out to be a gentle and youthful-looking 55 year old lady (whose husband goes to the market and cooks - wow!). After a visit and an interview, I decided to try her out. At least I'd have a back-up in case I need it and if I needed to attend meetings etc, I'd be assured of my baby being taken good care of. However, when it came to packing her things, I felt so, so, so sad! It was even worse when I brought her to the babysitter's place and talked to her about her habits etc :-( The babysitter could sense my sadness and she tried to cheer me up saying that my baby was going to be with her for about 6 hours. I was still going to have her at night and weekends. Still, it's hard to part with this little cutie who flashes a big smile, squawks knowingly and kicks her arms and legs excitedly when she knows she's going to be breastfed... I was quite teary when I left her place but I told myself I had to be strong. My challenge now will be to be able to pump out enough breast milk for her to drink! (She had to take formula which is a mix of Enfalac and Lactogen completely today. I'm worried she's allergic like her brother because her poo seems runny) I had a stressful morning dropping off one kid after another because the preschooler wasn't happy his sister is going to Auntie's place. He'd actually asked me quietly in the car,
"What are you doing with the baby?"
When we reach the kindy, he REFUSED to get down from the car because he wanted to go to the Auntie's house too. Aargh! I was so stressed because the baby started crying because the car was stationary. The kindy teacher had to help haul the boy (crying) out of the car sigh, sigh sigh. In the evening, I had to rush the preschooler through his romp in the playground because the traffic was building up and the girl's feeding time was coming up. It was *stressful* (again!) that I even followed a few cars in creating an illegal queue because an annoying and irrelevant traffic light was causing an unnecessary jam. The baby was crying because she was tired out from the new routine - the poor dear hardly slept at the babysitter's. Luckily, I could adjust my driver's seat as back as I could to coax the pacifier into her mouth. A lady in the car next to me smiled sympathetically and allowed me to go first. I swear I was all ready to get down and fight if ANYONE dared to dilly-dally on the road! When she got home, I quickly breastfed her but she still refused to settle down. I thought she's still hungry and made up some formula but she rejected it. I guess she's too tired and got ready to put her to bed - my Mum still wanted to keep her in the hall to play! After a very fierce yelling session, she managed to put her to sleep while I fed the preschooler his dinner. I was really lucky today because I could get home quick enough without both kids having a total meltdown. But I don't think I'll be lucky every day. For now, I'll drop off and pick up each child individually. That way, my Mum can help the little one settle down at home earlier and I can give the bigger one the attention he still needs. I'll need to do this for the next few months until she's bigger and adjusts to the new routine and new babysitter. Then, I'll bring her home earlier and she can also join in the brother's romps in the playground :-) What brand of formula milk is good nowadays? I have a feeling she's allergic to Lactogen but she doesn't seem to like Enfalac. I wonder if I should go back to Similac which she took at the hospital? Have you walked down the formula milk aisle in the supermarket recently? The number of brands is enough to make my head spin, not to mention the exorbitant prices!!!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Franklin Wants a Pet, Franklin's Secret Club, Franklin Helps Out and Franklin's Neighbourhood

I've never head of Franklin the Tortoise but my boy picked these books out at a secondhand children's book sale:
We were really lucky to find this set of 4 books and although he doesn't really read them that often, he wants me to keep them on his bookshelf. you think he's building up his own little "to be read" (TBR) list? ;-)

William Wegman's 123

One of the fun parts of browsing through a used bookstore is that you never know what you'll find. I thought I'd seen all kinds of children's books - well, until I stumbled upon William Wegman's "123". Almost everyone knows about the famous photographer from New Zealand, Anne Geddes and her baby portraits but have you ever heard of William Wegman and his dogs? I think I picked up this book because of its "123", thinking that it's got high quality photos for the kids to read while learning their number. Actually, it turned out to be a book where dogs are arranged to form shapes of numbers! Can you see them in the book cover below?
I love dogs but this??? All I can say is that you can't help but smile when you see William Wegman's collection of books and calendars:

Thursday, 21 January 2010

How to entertain a 2 month old baby

Now that our girl is 2 months old, she spends quite a bit of time staying awake. In fact, she's very, very active and alert (already noted by ob-gyn at Week 23) Besides breastfeeding, taking a morning bath and an evening wipe-down, there is little else in routine tasks to keep her entertained! At first, I didn't know what to do with her and I realize that I'm such a lousy stay-at-home-Mother LOL Her Grandma is more patient with her but I need to give my mum a bit of rest too. Since the confinement lady left, this Mother has had to think of ways to entertain her baby girl. Here's what I do: 1. Prop her up on my knees and talk to her. She loves to see the leaves moving on the trees, the sky and any birds chirping outside the bedroom window. 2. Sing some nursery rhymes. On good days, she'll allow action songs e.g. "If You're Happy", "I'm a Little Teapot" and "Hokey-Pokey". On other days, she just wants the American Idol. Or I'll just sing anything that comes into my head! 3. Take her out to check the mailbox or say hello to some neighbours! Of course, her beautiful big eyes make people smile. And she smiles back :-) 4. Put her in her cot and turn on the Winnie-the-Pooh mobile.She loves watching the mobile gently turn around and will watch Winnie the Pooh "chase" his honey pot around for some time. I just *love* the mobile because it was handed to me by one of my aunts who had used it with her 3 kids. Even my son used to love it when he was a baby. Sigh. 5. Babywearing!!! Once, I put her in the Mothercare 2-way carrier and walked around the block but since she hasn't got strong head control yet, it's not very fun looking at Mum's chest... I prefer the sling because she is more comfortable cradled in my arms. She'd also fall asleep easily especially when I've walked around a bit outdoors in the morning sun with a cool breeze :D 6. Lecture her as she sits in her bouncer. We can actually have a "dialogue" because she'll respond (with cute smiles) when I grumble, "Why won't you sleep?", "Aren't you tired? I'm VERY tired ok. We are all very tired!" or "What do you want NOW?" 7. Read aloud from some of her brother's books. She seems to like Thomas the Tank Engine too (it could be his smiley face) that her brother is getting worried Baby wants to play with his trains too LOL 8. Let her cry propped up on a pillow. Ok, this is NOT recommended but I was really tired last night when she still refused to sleep at 9.30 pm! FYI, I DID NOT let her cry and scream her lungs out. I just let her lie there and only picked her up when her coos ---> loud sighs ---> squawks ("Ow! Ow!") ---> louder squawks ---> crying. To her credit, my daughter is way, way, way better than my son because she can still sleep if she's in my arms and a roomful of people are chatting, eating or watching TV. As a baby, her brother could only sleep in TOTAL SILENCE. While I'm still *a bit* stressed entertaining her during the day, I'm starting to see this as a blessing in disguise because she shows signs (like her brother) of sleeping through the night. Her last feed is at 10 pm, then she wakes up at 2.30/3.00 am and finally, at 6.30 am. If the trend goes on, this means Mum will be able to get her beauty sleep soon. How about you? How do you entertain your cheeky baby?