Cookie girl!

This little darling came into my life when she was just 3 months old and I have just been married for 3 months at that time. In fact, she was born on 31 Mar 2003, 5 days before I got married.

This was what she looked like when she first came.

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Scruffy, tiny ball of fur! and I remembered the first night she was home, we left her downstairs in the balcony in her cage and she was crying and whining. We guessed she was missing her mummy and sister. So we took her upstairs into our room for the night, still in her cage and she quietened down.

At 1 year old, she was less scruffy looking! She was a feisty little girl who fancied herself a husky trapped in a maltese’s body. She would attempt to mount other dogs, sometimes even bigger ones just to show her dominance! Imagine my horror! But she was lovely with humans, affectionate and obedient.

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This is one of the few early pictures of me and her! I love to see how young I used to be and how adorable she looks!

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She spent the first 3 years of her life with us enjoying our full attention before the children came. To be honest, I had no plans for children actually. Cookie girl drew out all my maternal instincts and up till this day, I regarded her as my eldest daughter.

We took her to many doggie gatherings for her to socialise!

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Can you spot her?
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We invested time in training her and she can do tricks like bang! (to play dead), roll, hold and so many other tricks so well that she never fails to impress people who saw them. We were hosting care groups at our place during those couple of years and she would always lie down quietly beside me when care groups are going on. Even many years after all those care group days, some members could still remember her fondly.

We brought her out to the beach at Sentosa! She swam, she ran like mad on the beach! What fun she had!
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We took lots of pics of her!

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Enjoyed all her antics! like this poking her head through the railings to spy on happenings downstairs!

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She even went to the cinemas and even to church once with us. That is because she is so quiet that when she is in her doggie bag (which does not look like a doggie bag incidentally) nobody actually knows a doggie is inside. Besides, she is very obedient when it comes to paper training, so we only need to put newspapers on the floor and she would settle her business there!

The first 3 birthdays came and went very fast!

Her second birthday!
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At her fourth birthday, Talia Ann has just been born and is a couple of months old! She adored the baby! Always following her and allowing the baby to sometimes terrorise her!

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Sitting in the pram together with the baby when we go out for our walks.
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Talia Ann walking Cookie girl!
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Then it was her fifth birthday!

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And then the second baby came and I had less and less time for her. Evident by how the number of photos I could find of her dwindling!

I can barely remember her being sick. Her only problem is her skin allergy which is brought on when she eats random food, most particularly human food. She is a foodie and would always paw me when I am at the dining table having my meals! As she grew older, she became more intolerant and sensitive that even some of the foods she used to be able to enjoy would trigger an allergy, like her favourite cheese cake. When she was about 10 years old, she had a particularly bad episode of skin allergy and when I brought her to the vet, I was told that a murmur could be heard in her heart!

I did not realised the seriousness of that and up till now, I still blame myself for not acting on that earlier. 2014 was a bad year for me in terms of my work. In the midst of grappling with work issues, Cookie started gasping/coughing intermittently and it took me a long while before I took her to the vet in July 2014. When I finally did, I was told by the vet that her heart has failed and is very much enlarged. It was a wake up call. She was to be on medication all her life to stay alive but I was hopeful as the vet said that many dogs could go on for quite long on medication even with heart failure. However, on one fateful night on 4 Sep 2014, she started gasping really badly and I took her into the vet late at night, not realising that she would never return home after that!

After the x-ray, the vet told me that her trachea has collapsed and they would try to open her airway but she would need to be in the oxygen tank that night. I left her curled up in the corner of the tank and went home and at 4am that morning, she left us. I could not stop crying for weeks after that. I wished I had not brought her in that night so that she could die in my arms, at home instead of that cold lonely oxygen tank by herself. Even the thought of that right now tears my heart into pieces!

It’s Christmas again and this is the first time in my married life that I am not spending it with her…

Remember our first tree Cookie? which we bought when the baby just came?
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Merry Christmas my Cookie girl! I missed you so much!
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YouTube going 1080p HD

Woof! Woof! I’m excited that starting this week, we will be able to watch 1080p HD videos in full resolution via YouTube. YouTube’s HD mode will add support for viewing videos in 1080p, up from the current maximum output of 720p.

A cheeky little announcement on the YouTube blog states that the site will soon be supporting 1080p HD videos. 
”As resolution of consumer cameras increases, we want to make sure YouTube is the best home on the web to showcase your content.”

Now, what’s the difference?


Standard – 360p

HQ – 480p

HD – 720p

HD – 1080p

Watch the video below to see just how much more snuffly and wet Pennie the Jack Russell’s nose is in HD.

It’s so large, it will destory the layout of the site, but I’m sure daddy won’t mind.



I’ll ask daddy and mummy to post my video in 1080p HD soon.

Woof! woof!
Cookie Girl

Bliss is…

Bliss is when all is quiet
and each little person is otherwise engaged…

and Happiness is
when you know they love cookie girl as much as you…

and Groove is when you can dance even though you still can’t walk!

A morning out at Botanical Gardens

We have not been to the Botanical Gardens for ages, I think the last time we went was when I still needed to ergo Talia. So when Philson’s mummy suggested that as a venue for a Saturday morning’s chill and relax venue, I was more than happy to oblige!

Needless to say, the trike goes wherever the girl goes!

The boy was FASCINATED with the huge kois and tortoises swimming around in the pond at the entrance where we spent around half an hour waiting for Philson’s family to turn up. (just in case we ended up missing each other, the Botanical Gardens isn’t that small you know?)

Mesmerised!

Philson and his family arrived soon after and we slowly trooped over to the Swan Lake before heading towards a large shady picnic spot to veg out.

The usual suspects: Philston the didi

Philson the gorgor!

Talia and Philson are both now at the stage where they can relate and play with each other. So its fun to see how they took turns to blow bubbles.

Blow blow blow!

My little Thaddie boy was not content to just stay on the picnic mat, and must be in the thick of things too. Knowing jolly well how my son is like, this mama already came prepared for him to be in long pants so that he can crawl to his heart’s delight on the grass (ewww!) and mud (double ewww!).

He found himself a little twig and had such fun digging the ground but like I said before, he HAD to dig where the other children were blowing bubbles!

Dig dig dig!

Soon the two older children got tired of blowing bubbles and were led away to feed swans at the lake. The little gardener boy was shifted onto the mat where he continued digging for the next half an hour quietly by himself! The thing about this son of mine is that he can be very fixated and focused when he sets his mind on doing something!

A solitary boy digging away!

Cookie had lots of fun romping around too and were treated to a personal grooming session on the mat when the children were otherwise occupied!

Cookie being groomed!

We left the Gardens at 12.30pm to have lunch at Tanglin Mall, after which the children had fun playing at a toy store before we all finally left at 2.30pm. We reached home at 3pm, put the children to bed by 3.30pm and they all slept until 6.30pm! Can there be a better way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon? I hardly think so!

Bishan Dog Run

One of the reason I so love living in Bishan is the proximity of Bishan Park and all its conveniences including a dog run. If you are not sure what a dog run is, it is simply an enclosed area where dogs can run free. Incidentally I know of only 2 of such dog runs in Singapore, the other one in West Coast.

Before the children came, we would bring cookie to the dog run quite often. We have stopped for a while and recently with the boy a little bigger and the girl immensely interested in dogs, we have been dropping by the dog run a lot more frequently, mostly on a Sunday evening.

Having grown up with cookie, Talia is not afraid of dogs yet still when a really huge Golden or Husky comes really close, she would want to retreat and say “mei mei scared scared!” too.

For the smaller dogs, she loves to go up and pat them! And in the dog run, she would wear herself and us out by running practically after every other dog!

Talia and cookie

Talia and a shihtzu

Talia and a sheltie

After that we will take a nice stroll in Bishan Park and then go off to scout for dinner. There isn’t a better way to spend a Sunday evening!

Animals and nature

There are a couple of things about bringing up children that I hold quite dear to myself. One is to let them grow up with pets in the house. I think teaching them kindness and respect for other living creatures is the first step towards inculcating empathy. When the kids get a bit older, they can even start to learn about responsibility. Now Talia is extremely excited about the tummies of cookie ger and the 3 goldfishes at home. She will take cookie’s food bowl, goes to her food cardboard, open it and start dishing out her kibbles into her bowl. We taught her that cookie should be given 8 spoonfuls and she will dutifully start counting 1,2,3…except she does not have a real concept of counting and will continue to heap until we tell her to stop! After which she would very carefully carry that food dish, at the same time yelling for cookie to “COME EAT” at the top of her voice, over to cookie’s cage, put it inside and then squat there to watch cookie see. As for the goldfishes, she will remember to ask us to feed them every afternoon, demanding to be given the spoon full of food so that she can give them herself. Then she would also squat there and see the fishes eat and exclaiming every now and then “See! the fish mum mum!”

I want her to keep her inborn sense of wonder alive, to be observant and aware of what’s happening around her and to cultivate her love of nature from very young so one of the things we try to do during the weekends is to go to somewhere close to nature. This is the other thing that I believe is important when bringing the kids up, especially when we live in such an urbanized concrete jungle. I have read that children who plays regularly in nature enjoy a heap of benefits. In fact according this White-Hutchinson Group, they listed all these benefits:

* Children with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are better able to concentrate after contact with nature (Taylor et al. 2001).
* Children with views of and contact with nature score higher on tests of concentration and self-discipline. The greener, the better the scores (Wells 2000, Taylor et al. 2002).
* Children who play regularly in natural environments show more advanced motor fitness, including coordination, balance and agility, and they are sick less often (Grahn, et al. 1997, Fjortoft & Sageie 2001).
* When children play in natural environments, their play is more diverse with imaginative and creative play that fosters language and collaborative skills (Moore & Wong 1997, Taylor, et al. 1998, Fjortoft 2000).
* Exposure to natural environments improves children's cognitive development by improving their awareness, reasoning and observational skills (Pyle 2002).
* Nature buffers the impact of life's stresses on children and helps them deal with adversity. The greater the amount of nature exposure, the greater the benefits (Wells & Evans 2003).
* Play in a diverse natural environment reduces or eliminates bullying (Malone & Tranter 2003).
* Nature helps children develop powers of observation and creativity and instills a sense of peace and being at one with the world (Crain 2001).
* Early experiences with the natural world have been positively linked with the development of imagination and the sense of wonder (Cobb 1977, Louv 1991). Wonder is an important motivator for life long learning (Wilson 1997).
* Children who play in nature have more positive feelings about each other (Moore 1996).
* Natural environments stimulate social interaction between children (Moore 1986, Bixler et al. 2002).
* Outdoor environments are important to children's development of independence and autonomy (Bartlett 1996).
* Play in outdoor environments stimulates all aspects of children development more readily than indoor environments (Moore & Wong 1997).
* An affinity to and love of nature, along with a positive environmental ethic, grow out of regular contact with and play in the natural world during early childhood. Children's loss of regular contact with the natural world can result in a biophobic future generation not interested in preserving nature and its diversity (Bunting & Cousins 1985; Chawla 1988; Wilson 1993; Pyle 1993; Chipeniuk 1994; Sobel 1996, 2002 & 2004; Hart 1997; Wilson 1997, Kals et al. 1999; Moore & Cosco 2000; Fisman 2001; Kellert 2002; Bixler et al. 2002; Kals & Ittner 2003; Schultz et al. 2004).

So it does really make sense to make time to even go for a walk in the park or something. Just 2 Saturdays ago, Talia and Philson did a “animal and nature” excursion together at Upper Pierce Reservoir!

Let’s put on our sun hats before we start!

Let’s go!

Let’s hold hands and walk cookie ger!

Walk walk walk walk!

See how nice this place is!

And tomorrow we are going to the beach at Sentosa! *Grins*

Hair! and fur for that matter!

Ahh! now that we are on the topic of hair! Mine’s been dropping horrendously! I can’t even flip my hair without a few strands saying sayonara to my scalp! I wonder how much of this I can withstand before I go completely bald! Sigh! As if dealing with those couple of extra postpartum kilos is not enough!

And for the girl, she was born with a lot of hair! and I really mean a LOT of hair! Dense and slightly curly hair which resembles mine. I guess I would have to set up a lifetime rebonding fund for her already. Last week, I thought I will bring her for a haircut perhaps since her birthday and Christmas are coming and that she is going to start school soon. Her hair has become very long since I only trimmed her fringe and did nothing to the back!

long curly hair at the back!

We went to this little hairdressing place at Suntec called Junior league. The place specially caters to hairdressing services for children with the whole place cluttered with toys, TV screens belting out “wheels on the bus” continuously, cheerful decor and a sticker as reward when the whole deed is done! I guess that’s what made that place so popular and we had to wait about 1 hr for our turn. When it was the girl’s turn, she was so mesmerised by the TV that she scarcely noticed what was being done to her hair! That TV addict! tsk tsk!

I loved how she looked after the haircut but the daddy looked shocked and said she looked dumb! hrmmmpz! I thought she looked like a cute little Japanese girl! Anyhow, I think she feels much better too with the shorter hair!

Ta-Da!

Miss independent!

Now for the boy! That poor boy hardly has much hair! And to make it worse, his hair has been dropping like mine too! I was thinking how strange it is that his sister had so much hair and him like that!

Not fair! how come jiejie got all the hair!

Cheeky boy!

and cookie girl had a trim of her fur too! but we had no time to bring her to her usual groomer Annie at Toa Payoh and went to a pet shop right at our neighbourhood and the cut turned out to be disastrous! My cookie looked like a MONKEY when she came back! arrgh! This is going to be the first and last time she’s going to that groomer! and she is so ugly with that cut I am not going to put up her pics!

Stay!

The little girl so obviously luurves Cookie ger but this doggie is in fact quite scared of the girl sometimes. Well…she plays with Talia when they are chasing the ball but this little girl doesn’t play fair. She grabs the ball and runs away with it, with Cookie chasing behind. And Cookie being an alpha dog doesn’t like to be cuddled by Talia. But this little girl loves to put her arms around Cookie’s neck and squeeze her tight and Cookie would be growling in protest to run away.

For a period of time recently, Talia was specially interested in toes. She inspects all our toes and especially was interested in Cookie’s “toes”, often chasing Cookie around to look at her “toes” or sometimes just pouncing on the sleeping unsuspecting Cookie and grabbing her paws to scrutinise. My poor Cookie! Yet Cookie adores the girl, always wanting to lick her face whenever she gets the chance when Talia was younger. Now she hardly get the chance as the girl is so much taller than her!

and Talia likes to imitate us giving Cookie commands. She picked up STAY as she wants cookie to stay in one position to let her inspect.

“STAY!” ordered Talia, waving her finger at cookie as she walks cockily awayyy…

An impromptu picnic!

The mummies gang decided on an impromptu picnic at Upper Pierce Reservoir again this Saturday morning! The weather was fantastic, cloudy yet windy!

Dee was supposed to come with Prata as breakfast for everyone and cheese and egg sandwiches for the kiddos but she was late again! hehe! so while we waited for her family to come, the children was treated to Pokka sticks by Connie and had some fun playing with bubbles first!

We brought cookie ger along and Isabelle and Nathan had such a good time walking her. Isabelle even nodded emphatically when her mummy asked her does she want to bring cookie ger home! hahaha!

The girl taking a break!

Then the food, I meant Dee and her family arrived! 🙂

Glorious food!

And the girl shamelessly kept a tight grip on the bread much to the chagrin of her mummy!

Doesn’t matter that my mouth is full of bread, better hang on to the bread!

More bubbles time!

I love bubbles!

Somehow the girl fell in love with this exposed tree root and will take breaks now and then there, even Nathan was attracted to go sit there for a while!

Can I sit down please?

Then the mummies thought would it even be possible to try to seat all the toddlers together on the tree root?

My shot was one second late and Philson stood up. I think Dey managed to get a shot of them all seated!

Me me! take a pic of me!

We left for lunch around noon and it was a well spent morning with lots of good food for the kiddos, bubbles chasing, ball kicking and rolling and dog walking!