I think, I can finally safely say that we have resumed a decent amount of normalcy in our lives.
These days, we are attending cell group, church services and other occasional activities,vhaving friends over or visiting friends, organizing family gatherings etc. Oh yes, I think our lives are finally back on track again. Very importantly also, the Husband and I are having more dinner dates again. But of course, when the girls fall sick, we are all thrown into chaos again...
I am so so grateful for what we are having right now. The girls being healthy, the dog minimal itchiness and no UTIs for a good stretch of time.
Arielle is eating well, and generally sleeping well. Well, she still takes a long long time to warm up to something new, fussing excessively and exhibiting loads of resistance along the way ( we think it is part of the very essence of her) and we think it's fine because at least she is over with being uncomfortable about the most basic skills for survival - I.e. drinking milk and eating. So long she is eating okay, I'm cool.
Yup, that's my new motto for parenthood. "Be cool." I said "mine", not "our", because the Husband has being generally cool whereas my alarm bell is always going off. With Anya, my alarm bell was going off around every other fortnight. And when Arielle came, in the first six months, my alarm must have gone off twenty times a day. I was easily a bunch of nerves half the times and there were days when she cried (because she refused to drink milk); I simply sat beside her and cried together. Now, I dare say I'm more zen these days.
Not crawling but choosing to stand and do the occasional bottom-shuffling thing? It's okay, at least she is getting her way around (albeit at a snail's pace of 1m per ten minutes) plus, it's kind of cute watching her doing the shuffling thing.
Banging her head every other minute as she tried cruising in her cot? Oh, with so much hair, I'm sure it is helping to cushion her head.
Waking up every hour in the night because we were out earlier in the day causing her to be over-stimulated? Okay, while I sit with her to ease her back to sleep, I might as well do my QT and finish off that game of 'Word with friends' sent by my mom. So really, it's all in the mind. And what's in our mind that gives us that sense of calm is that, we think the big guy up there made her the way she is for a special reason. Surely, it will work for her (and maybe us, too?) in time to come.
As for Anya, she went through a second (and more intense) phase of Terrible Twos after she recovered from the last bout of sickness. In the last two weeks, we spent a great deal of effort doing "remedial classes on good behavior" with her. That and a handful of time-outs which does the magic of inculcating self-control in her.
On top of that, I tried doing more activities with her. We draw, we read books, we did craftwork we tried coloring (she is not so interested so far), we play lots a of make-believe. I'm the kind of mom who is more particular about her learning her Ps and Qs at this age rather than her ABCs and 123s. That said, whenever I observe that she has taken an interest in learning something (e.g. Shapes, colors, ABCs etc); I will make it a point to come up with activities that incorporated the learning of these stuff. Interestingly,it appears to helped a lot I boosting her confidence so far. Another plus point is that she is less likely to fall into the "I'm-bored-so-I'm-gonna-do-something-naughty" trap when we are occupied in more structured activities.
In addition, we are glad to see her speaking more mandarin recently. To be precise, it's a mish-mash of mandarin-English which is fine for a start, I suppose. On top of that, I think we have successfully put her into Sunday school on her own. That, we thought, is quite an achievement for her, considering 90% of her peers have one parent or domestic helper accompanying them.
Recently, the sisters are getting on like house on fire. Generally, they are happy to be around each other although there is still the occasional hair-tugging (Arielle to Anya) and shoving & shouting (Anya to Arielle). I was especially surprised by Anya's outburst yesterday which showed her love for her "Meimei". We had a pair of couple friends with their two daughters over. At one point, the father was carrying Arielle and teasing his own daughters saying that he is going to bring baby Arielle home. Anya who was nearby, overheard and burst into tears. In between sobs, she was yelling "Cannot bring Arielle home! Arielle stay here!!". I kinda went "awwww...".
Yes, life, although hectic and tiring, is good right now. and we pray it will stay his way for a long long while...