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Raising Noemi
Hello!


Hi, I'm Noemi's mom, the one blogging, ambitiously I wanted this blog to be written in 3 languages. But then I figured there was too much work to it, and in the end, I chose English over Mandarin and Italian.

This blog journals how I, as a mother learn to raise a child the peaceful way. Through trial and error, through laughter and tears, through adaptations.

** Reblogs allowed, however saving pictures are not.** Thank you!

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Human Diet
Noemi: *spits food*
Me: Noemi, no spitting please.
Noemi: I don't like vegetables.
Me: But there are lots of nutrients in there.
Noemi: Vegetables are for animals.
Wrong Names?

When it comes to naming cartoon characters, I’m quite happy with the way Noemi names them. Because the names are so basic, they’re almost natural to their original state, hence these characters are not restricted to their, well… characters.

For example, instead of Beauty and the Beast, she calls them Fairy and Monster. Which is perfectly acceptable, because when we strip the story off of these characters, they can very well be what Noemi calls them.

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This looks very much like one of the Disney’s princesses. But because Noemi has not seen any of those, she calls her Fairy.

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Goofy is called, a dog. I’m not bothered to correct her, because she’s right.

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Just as this is a Dolly

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… Dora is Dolly as well. Makes no difference to Noemi.

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And last but not least, this is the Kitty Mouse. It was given by my friend, I call it kitty. Though for some reason it rings with Mickey Mouse (she’s gotten some small share of screen time with the baby sitter). So, even if it’s called a Kitty Mouse, I’m still not bothered to correct her, because this kitty can be whatever Noemi calls it - a Kitty and/or a Mouse.

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The names are all wrong, but I get a daughter who doesn’t eat my brain for buying her Dora or Hello Kitty each time we pass by toy stores.

They must be right about cartoons created for selling products. Hence when we ditch cartoons, we shall be saved from breaking our banks.

So, give your child a big grin and say "Yes sweetheart~~ it’s a dog!" the next time your child calls Goofy a dog. ;)

Milk Please
While taking a shower together, Noemi suckled on me, mimicking the babies she's seen nursing from their mothers.
Me: There's no milk in there, is it?
Noemi: *paused and thought for a while*
Noemi: Put milk inside!
Me: ....
thehullabaloo asked: I love all your little lessons with your daughter. I was wondering if you read a specific book, or just decided this is how you're going to try things?

Thank you for reading! I’d think that most of the time people regard parenting as boring a topic. LOL.

I wish I was this insightful on my own!! LOL.

Having said that I am very much (as you can most probably see!) into respectful/peaceful/mindful parenting. It all started with my self realization on spanking a year ago, then I started following some blogs and pages regarding raising children without punishments.

It wasn’t until I found Janet Lansbury, that I learned about respectful parenting, that we accept kids as a whole, that they are not problems that need constant fixing. It was truly eye opening, because everything that we know about parenting is not the only way, definitely not the best. I spent hours, days, and weeks reading up on this parenting idea that was so new, so weird, and yet made sense to me. 

I must say that this approach is not for everybody, there are a lot of ideas that might seem preposterous to some, so take what resonates with you the best, and leave the rest.

In fact, this type of parenting contradicts in such a great degree to conventional parenting (including to how I was raised), I had to keep reading until the idea became natural to me. And when that happened, I gained insight, it’s as if I have an x-ray vision into my childhood, into why I am the person I am today, i.e. emotionally. Therefore, having this ability is the greatest resource to how I can mindfully parent Noemi.

Other sites/blogs that I really like include Peaceful Parent by Genevieve Simperingham, Aha! Parenting by Dr. Laura Markham, and Positive Parents. All of these sites have Facebook pages/groups that you can follow, those are the places they share their advice, opinions, success stories, and other parenting blogs that share the same perspective.

I haven’t read any books regarding parenting! LOL. But these sites have tons of books for recommendation, so you will find really good ones there.

Hope this helps! :)

"By Yourself Or Do You Need Help?"

… Is the phrase I have been using quite frequently these days. Especially during those resistant moments during meal times, showers and tooth brushing.

As soon as I say, "Are you coming by yourself or do you need help?" She answers with "No need help", gets up and then walk with her own feet.

I still remember the first time I employed this RIE method…

Me: Noemi, it’s time for shower.
Noemi: No! *Runs and hides behind cushions on the sofa*
Me: I know you don’t like showers, but it’s time and you need to have yourself washed so you’d be clean.
Noemi: *Buries her face deeper in to the cushions*
Me: *Deep breath* Okay, looks like you’re having trouble coming by yourself, so I’m going to help you.

I took her hand gently, and walked her towards the bathroom. She was calm and didn’t fight back. Other than well… as soon as we reached the bedroom (where the bathroom is), she ran for the bed and did another round of burying her face between the pillows.

And so I repeated the steps.

I was supposed to thank her for letting me know she needed help, but I’m not sure why I never got to saying that! I guess it’s kind of counter intuitive… I did try though! But man, did that feel kind of awkward… damn this peaceful/respectful parenting… 90% of the time sometimes you have to totally switch yourself upside down in order to follow through.

That’s it, after a few more episodes of the same cycle, Noemi got the clear message that either way she had to come. So she prefers walking on her own, which is the control she gets to have in those moments.

The more I do this, the calmer I become. The urge of yelling and frustration gradually subsides.

The calmer I am, the more she sees she can trust me as a leader. And in return, I get a calmer toddler in the house.

For the past month, this house has been so calm, I could be sailing out of the big terrible two… or… is this the end of it? *Raise one eye brow*

Look at that cheeky face, do you think she’s done with the big two already?

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"Hi Spider, what’s your name?"

- Noemi asked in the friendliest tone, as she approached the spider I pointed out in the bathroom.

Last night was the first time I read this book for Noemi. She woke up this morning asking for the same book, and she’s turned the reading around.

By standard, Noemi’s pronunciation is completely out. She definitely sounds like someone who’s not Chinese trying to read Chinese. But this is only the beginning, so I’ll keep the correction for later, let’s not kill the joy now k? :)

Today, I totally made a mistake by finishing work an hour earlier. I was mindlessly scrolling through my phone when I was on the train heading back home, and then I saw the time, it was 10.51 pm. “Wha?? Wait, do they have daylight saving here??? Why is the time an hour behind??” That was the moment I realized that I had mindlessly walked off work thinking 10.15 pm was 11.15 pm. See, when I looked at my time, I had only seen the minutes, the hour totally seemed non-existent! -.-” I immediately called the manager and apologized for my mindless mistake. Good thing was that he was cool with it, and that I could make it up for my next gig. Things have been eating my brains, I’m telling you.

It’s nice to come home early enough to see my loves awake and kissed them good night (umm, yeah Noemi goes to bed pretty late..). And it’s nice to have that time to sit down quietly and write something down.

This Lunar New Year had been quite a blessing. My family made the impossible, possible. "We’re gonna bring the New Year to you!" said my brother, which they absolutely did. Because Lunar New Year means nothing without family.

Noemi had a nervous attack when she first saw them at the airport. No kisses and hugs were going to draw her close, she was stuck on me, she just did not want anybody else.

It didn’t take her too long to warm up to them, though she constantly needed my approval to be around them, to play with them. That, must have been her natural instinct for protection.

Our house has never been so warm, and I doubt that it will ever get as warm as this; gifts for Noemi, food from home, lots of photos taken, and laughter.

We did the touristy stuff, and I took them for dinner at my work place. Glad that I can finally tick that agenda off my list: treat and serenade my own family in a fine restaurant.

This picture was taken after that dinner. Noemi did not look too happy here, but she was an angel that evening; she stayed seated on the high chair, had an adult sized napkin wrapped around her neck, ate on her own, drank on her own, and didn’t disturb other guests (note: not very much). But, she did kind of have trouble with me singing (or my singing?), "Mamma don’t sing!!" was her order all night.

Even though I had prepared her for their departure, it was still very hard on her. She cried screaming "姨姨 (aunties) ~~~ airplane~~~~", her arms stretched, pulling her body forward as she saw them sped off in a taxi. That scene caused me to tear up quite a bit…

Noemi has not stop asking for them, she expressed that she’s sad when I told her they had left on an airplane, she imitates the little things that grandpa did, she remembers our meeting point…

I am so thankful that they came, and I hope it won’t be too long before we get to see them again.

On another note, I really like my hair short, but my husband prefers otherwise. I tried reasoning that long hair makes me look older and that short hair is so much more manageable! Hmmm… well, let’s see how I’ll feel about this in a couple of months!

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