Sunday, 19 February 2017

Vaccination and so much love

A (relatively) new baby means going for vaccinations frequently. We just had another one on Monday for both Yu and Yang. This time, I didn't get it wrong - Yang really needed a shot!

Coz he's pretty much uncontrollable at this age, we sent Yang to school and picked him up at 10 am to go to the clinic. He talked non-stop from then - how he was going to see the doctor, describing what he was playing with, being excited about the playground...

"It's like rainbow! It's so colourfuuuul!"


But the moment he saw the doctor, he became shy and his booming voice gave way to a mousey squeak. The PD gave him a lollipop and a sticker which he held up to show me. I asked him to say "thank you" and he said it so softly. I asked him to say again loudly and after staring at the doctor for a while more, he finally used a voice louder than his usual!

I held his hands while the doctor held his left thigh and in went the needle! Yang was watching it and let out a cry - for about half a second. Then he looked up and laughed!! With a tear in his eye!! Goodness, this boy...

Then he went to sit on a chair and it was Yu's turn. "Is DiDi going to cry?" He asked the doctor who actually entertained him! Our doctor has become more chatty over the past 4.5 years... Of course Yu cried and he cried so much! He had two injections and he was so tired. After we left the room, with lots of thank-yous and byebyes from Yang, Yu continued to cry for a while more. Then he had the oral vaccine and cried some more. But he was so tired that once I stuffed him into the Caboo, he fell asleep!

Lunch was at Food for Thought nearby. He dozed off for a few seconds on the way there but we woke him with promises of playground fun. But it rained so he didn't get to go. "It's wet." He chose fish and chips and ate most of it. He finished the juice box and brownie on the way back to school - yup, we sent him back :p

And he came home with a marshmallow on a stick!


Kai came back with his work too :)


There was lots of crying over when to eat the marshmallow. Of course Kai wanted one too so I promised to give him one if he kept quiet while his brothers were trying to sleep.

Kai came back with another V Day work on the day itself - it's for everyone!


V Day was a non-event for Sito and me. I went to Jurong after a mid day nap with Yu coz nothing better to do! And I thought maybe could pick my husband up when I cabbed back but he was working and I ended up taking the train coz it was still early..

I wanted to check out the two TCM clinics in Westgate and JEM to ask about paediatric tuina but it turned out that both didn't offer that at these outlets. So I went shopping and bought sunglasses for the two big boys - Miniso is my new love!! But I still love Daiso la :)

Kai with his winning smile


Yang is irresistibly cute!


Went to Tokyu Hands to get a knife but couldn't find the one I wanted. But I saw a pack of ramen nano blocks and got it for Sito! My laogong loves ramen :)

Eventually got a knife from NTUC. Also bought bamboo chopping boards from Isetan. And I had a drink at Starbucks, sharing two tables with two Japanese girls, and nursed Yu there.

"Why do you keep taking photos?!"


That night, I went into the kids' room in response to Yu's cries and found Kai on the blanket between their beds. I managed to grab Yu but had to get Sito to move Kai so that I could put Yu back later. But before Yu was done nursing, Kai dropped off his bed again! At least this time he gave me some space to get to Yu's bed... Took a photo of him when Yu was down.

How to get him a proper bed when he keeps dropping off *.*


"Wednesday is my cute day!"


Mother helping to carry Yu in the nursing room while I put the Caboo back on


Took the opportunity to walk around AMK after lunch. Wanted to go to Sinma but Yu woke along the way and cried, probably for milk so we went back to AMK Hub nursing room. Then it was a series of shopping there before cabbing home. And then, Yu was just fussy. I tried toys and TV to limited success until it was time for his bath. Bath is always good for Yu, thankfully...

"I like this book so much I want to eat it!"


The hands can and want to push the pacifier teat into his mouth but his tongue rejects it!!


Then he refused to nurse or sleep. So we played a little before his brothers came home and then it was a lot of noise and fussing before he finally fell asleep...

Hence the gym ball in our room the next day


"Envy my upper arm muscles?"


"Love my new tummy time!"


With the gym ball, he can stay on his tummy longer. Usually on the play mat, he would whine after a short while. On the gym ball, my arms complain first :p Not sure if this has a role to play but this morning, Yu flipped to his right onto his tummy on my bed! Next, flip on a hard surface..

And I love bouncing him on it - easier way to get him to sleep! He also likes to sit on it.

Yu looks so... stately!


Papa rocked Yu to sleep today at Mum's place - with no gym ball!


I've been bribing Kai to stay quiet while his brothers sleep, especially now that Yang goes to his bed at 8 pm instead of 7.30 pm - Kai at that age was already sleeping at 8 + and Yang was showing us that he wasn't sleepy enough. One night, I told him about Narnia and the next night, he asked for the story of "the lion and the four boys", which got me stumped for a second :p Then we progressed to watching the movie trailer.

This morning, the full movie!


But we managed to watch only half of it before we had to go. Yang wasn't as interested while Kai couldn't wait for the lion to appear! Just now, Kai was asking me to tell me more of the story. He can now remember the siblings' names and has realised they were two boys and two girls :)

I remember a GP essay question on whether movie or book is better. I think they complement each other. I'm pretty sure my boys will watch movies based on books before they read the books. I hope they will go on to read the books of these movies too. I enjoyed the movie but I enjoyed the book even more!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Spare the rod and spoil the child

So much for "I'm not going to cane my babies!"

Sito handed Yang the first stroke over National Day last year. That was his only use of the cane.

In the past week plus, I have caned Kai and Yang twice each:

1a) Kai jumped off the IKEA cabinet onto Yang's bed, super scary. I've told him to stop but... So one stroke on the leg. He didn't quite see that coming but I didn't hit hard. He looked shocked. He said it hurt.

1b) Kai kept running around at dinner time despite multiple reminders. I told him that the next time he did that, there would be no reminders; I would reach straight for the cane and him. Then he forgot. I had to pretend to miss a couple of times, hitting the table leg, before hitting him gently. When he transgressed again, I pretended quite badly, hitting the floor *.* but he got it and ran back to his seat!

The playful boy who understands and fears the cane


2a) Yang threw an umbrella onto the floor very loudly. This actually didn't warrant caning but I thought, might as well remind him of the pain! So I asked him to choose one hand or I would cane both hands. He started crying but eventually gave me his right hand. I gave him a light stroke.

2b) Yang threw books at Kai this evening. I saw from my room where I was nursing Yu and came out to scold him. This boy doesn't respect his belongings and keeps hurting his brother! Again, I asked him to choose a hand. He gave me his right hand more readily now, without tears. I caned him not too hard but I told him I would use more strength next time. I think the next cane would have to be hard - he seems to no fear the cane as much this time...

The fearless boy who is difficult to discipline


Sigh, I so dread using strength to cane them :(

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Love thy brothers

Kai and Yang have a love-hate relationship.

One day, they were happily holding hands to go down slides together. Another day, they were punching each other and snatching toys from each other.

Yes, Kai has gone from raising his arm but not lowering it to hitting his target. Yang, on the other hand, has never been kind - he will lower his arm once he raises it. He also often rains kicks on Kai just because....nothing! My poor Kai! But when Kai hits Yang, it's 18.2 kg vs. 13.2 kg. My poor Yang!

Both are competing to love Yu though. For now!

Yang showing his truck to Yu


Brothers in school


That was their check-in photo on Saturday. The school implemented the electronic system about the time when Yang went into infant care. But in late November, I suddenly stopped receiving the emails. The school got their vendor to investigate. I even sent an email to Yahoo. Then some time last week, I finally got their check-out emails! For one day! So I decided to just change the email address. Now I'm getting four emails a day. Plenty of cute pictures! :)

Thought I should take a picture coz very soon, they can't fit on this together...


They switched around coz Kai claimed to be the stronger one - he is :p


Their fave stopover on the way home, after the 元宵 dinner yesterday


Yang fell and scraped his knee when he followed Kai up the ledge last Sunday. Yesterday, he still wanted to go up. But it was Kai who fell this time - he didn't scrape his skin as he just stepped into the bushes instead of falling on the ledge. Today, Kai got off the ledge after two steps and Sito convinced Yang to do the same, phew!

Balancing act


I love the Harry Potter photo function on Sito's phone! Sito took one today of little Yang moving his legs front and back while enjoying his fruits and staring up and around. But I can only share a frame here..

Cute boy Yang


So cute but so naughty! Just now at bedtime, he kept blowing raspberries. It was so loud and Yu was sleeping next door. But I had to bear with it coz if I ignore all his bedtime antics, he'll go to sleep. Sure enough, he did. I thanked Kai for keeping quiet and left the room. Tomorrow, naughty boy will be having a vaccination with his little brother - I'll be on febrile fit watch this coming week!

Yu's various expressions

Yu can talk! I mean, he can make sounds for a long time but this week, he started making sounds with consonants, e.g. "ha!" when he laughed out loud and various shouting sounds. I think it's usually at this stage when I start to sing the squawky baby song :)

I didn't manage to capture his words on video. Still not often enough to warrant video standby mode. But I did capture his many expressions in the past week.

The "wth is this?! some pest?" look


Only one of the three to keep sucking on the upper lip when he unlatched!


A bit chao ah beng too :p

Super cute look!


But actually, he was having a poop...

The staring at toy look


The eating toy look


I wanted to give him our old Sophie but she broke upon a wash!


I'm still considering whether I should get a new one...

The "li kua simi" look


Mini beng now pushes one arm out of the Caboo!

The sleep-smiling face on a day when I wanted him to wake!


The "I'm grouchy but I see coz you want me to see" look


Btw, I like that photo. My dear sons, when you see my posts and wonder why Mama is often not in the photos, rest assured that I was with you when these photos were taken - I was the trigger-happy photographer.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Reading

We went to the library at Clementi this morning and got Yu his library card!

Both Kai and Yang received their library card as their first birthday gift. They have not used their card yet. A lack of interest from Kai is one thing. We have also not been going to the library much, oops. But today, I used Yu's card to borrow seven books coz 2016 babies all get a goodie bag for borrowing six books! And did I mention the library card is a special edition too?

The goodie bag - yellow library card at bottom right


The bag which comes with a zip is perfect to use as a library bag. I remember that when I was a kid, we would utilise all five cards to borrow 20 books! Can't remember how many bags we used! Now, each card can borrow eight books! But the loan period remains at three weeks.

Yu reading a book on trucks


After getting his card, I nursed him before reading a book on trucks to him. But I barely snapped the photo before he got all grumpy and rejected the book, refusing to even sit still. So I quickly grabbed some books, redeemed his goodie bag and left. Think we spent more time nursing than reading *.*

This evening, I read a book with dinosaurs to the two at dinner time. They loved it! Then I read a Chinese book 小手不是用来打人的 to Yang - it's clear why I borrowed this book hoho! - while Kai was showering.

Our kiddy bookshelf is at the bottom left side of our desk, with books stored with their binders facing out. But for children, it's better to show the whole front cover. We have no such display shelf but we have a long TV bench so I lined them up for them to discover in the morning :)

Hope they like the surprise bookshelf!


Oh, I read them all just now :p

But I really should go find an age-appropriate book to read. I'm now in the very long queue for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I'm fifth in line; think I started at eighth in November!!

Anyway, hope this first loan of kiddy books from the library would mark a long, regular and frequent relationship between the boys and the library. I started reading at primary two I think. We would make the trek to the AMK library every three weeks and spent the whole morning queueing to return books, looking for books and queueing to borrow them. Back then, the borrowing queue was so long that sometimes I would finish a couple of books in the queue and hurried to grab replacements!

By secondary school, think the system improved to a kiosk instead of a manned counter. CY and I used to go to the library together every two weeks and had KFC after that haha! Can't remember how we decided on KFC already!! But somewhere along the line, we stopped going to the library... But I continued to borrow from NJ library. I think I also borrowed from the Oxford Public Library before - can't remember for sure!!

My working life didn't include many books, unfortunately, until I discovered Overdrive a couple of years back. It's the only way I could fit reading into my life. I can use only one hand, while nursing, while going to work, while eating. I've always been a fiction reader. Or science - I borrowed things like astronomy books way back. But on Overdrive, I also read other works of interest, like Alibaba, which turned out to be very interesting!!

Lately, I haven't been reading much. Yu's nursing sessions are getting really short. And I seem to have never-ending things to do when I'm not busy with Yu! Ok, blogging is one culprit :p Shall try to read more from next week!

Update 10 Feb 2017

Laying out the books in plain sight is useful! The boys pick up the books in the morning and just now :) Hope their interest lasts :)

Three things/incidents:

1) I read a simple Chinese book to Kai this morning and asked him to read it himself, basically reciting from memory. He said he didn't know Chinese so he retold the story in English! *.* Well, at least he understood the story.. Need to motivate him to speak more Mandarin...

2) One part of another book saw a snake saying that he couldn't cover his ears. I asked Kai why. He said coz he didn't have hands, giving me a look that said "isn't it obvious....?"

3) Yang listened to the stories but he was also very interested in the pictures. He asked what this and that were. Just now, he even counted windows in the Chinese book - all the way to 15 in angmoh-accented Mandarin!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Out came the jotter books!

Kai has been learning how to sound and spell short words like jet, pet, mat, fat, cat, dog. He wanted to write so I bought another pack of 10 jotter books, this time with lines. I had him write his own name himself on the cover of his first jotter book.

Kai writing :)


Yang wanted to draw so he took a plain jotter book. I held his hand to write his name on the cover. He couldn't hold a pencil in the correct way so I taught him. But most times he still uses the wrong way of grabbing the pencil like he was going to stab himself *.*

He did very well despite the pencil grip - after drawing what looked like a circle, he told me it was a face or something and proceeded to draw the eyes, nose and a smiling face! I don't think Kai could do that at 2.5yo. I should take a picture of that later...

Then he climbed up to point the letters and pictures to me


Today, Kai took a plain jotter book as well but drew spiders on the bench, cute but argh!


I'm looking forward to more writing and drawing from my boys! :)

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Sleep, potty training, saliva and more

Ok, this is a japalang post...

Just now, I was sitting in the kids' room with Kai and Yang. I started singing Rock-a-Bye Baby when Kai decided that he wanted the Chinese song coz he's a Chinese boy - I was so happy he said that! So I switched to 摇啊摇 but Yang wanted the Enggish (sic) one! So I alternated between the two.

After a while, I remembered the Cantonese song so I sang that, and Kai sang part of a verse with me! I wondered if he remembered it from before coz he used to sing along a bit.. And Yang asked me what's a-ba :)

Kai's sleep pose which I find very sweet


Yang's sleep pose - who's da boss?!


Yu's current sleep pose - with an arm dangling behind!


On 1 February, Kai came back to say "It's February?" Yes, my boy :) He has learnt months of the year but he is still refusing to learn how to read time!

Mum was busy on Friday so we practised divide-and-conquer - I went to get Kai at 3 pm for a surprise ice cream treat and Novi fetched Yang by 6 pm.

Sayang baby didi before eating his ice cream


He wanted to stay there to play with his toys


But we left soon after coz Yu was fussing... And that night, I had the Sad Sleep Story with Yang...

Let's start with Thursday... Yu was sleeping in his bed. When Yang went in for his milk, he went to sayang him, which was lovely except that he woke Yu. It was difficult to set Yu down so I was pissed. As a punishment, I had him sleep on his own instead of having N accompany him. It just so happened that Kai said he wanted to sleep too so the two of them stayed inside.

While I was settling Yu in my room, I heard so much happy noise from the next room, which meant they were not sleeping! When Yu went down, I told his brothers to go bed, cane in hand. Then I sat on the sofa right outside the kids' room with the cane on my lap, watching Kai and Yang on the camera and tapping the door with the cane every time Yang stood up on his bed looking towards the door, which was just about every five seconds.

A few times, both came out saying they wanted water. Couldn't deny them so I promised that the first to fall asleep would get a chocolate the next morning. At first, it looked like I'd just offered a deadweight incentive to the older boy who understood incentives more than his brother did! But when Yang stopped trying to come out, he fell asleep very quickly while Kai was still tossing! Eventually Kai slept.

Yang getting up again!


Kai still tossing after Yang fell asleep


At 9 pm, Yu woke for milk. At the same time, Yang woke and sat on his bed to cry. I was so torn! I needed to feed Yu but I also wanted to sayang Yang! Given how he seemed closer to N, I wanted the opportunity to sayang him to fall on me rather than N. But it was so hard coz Sito was having late nights and I don't let helpers handle infants.. Eventually, he got up to get N into the room, sighs...

So, Friday. I thought Yang managed to fall asleep last night without an adult. So I tried again though I offered myself to sit in with them rather than to not have anyone at all. At first, Yang was ok but after he finished his milk, we began an epic struggle - me sitting behind the door and he crying and pushing/pulling me to try to get out the door to find N. I ended up sitting there crying with him for some time. Then finally, no choice, I let him go out.

I reviewed the past year odd of outsourcing his bedtime to N. Within months, he would rather have N than me accompany him to bed. This means it would take more months for him to let me take him to bed coz he's older now.

So Saturday morning, instead of trying to settle Yu back to sleep, we just got up and had breakfast together; Yu could nap later. Then I dumped Yu with Sito and sent the boys to school - spend more time with them plus reduce their time spent with N. Will send them every morning from now. I had a gathering with G they all but came back earlier than expected and managed to send them to bed for nap time though they ended up not napping; think Yang had a snooze in school already.

So three of us had quiet time until 3 pm while Sito took care of Yu; no point having N take care of Yu coz we would just create a similar problem down the road. I was very tired though; I kept closing my eyes as sleep attempted to overcome me but Yang told me to open them coz he couldn't see me hoho! When Yu was up, I carried him and sat with his brothers outside until it was time to feed. This morning, Yu had a long nap, which allowed me to spend more time with Kai and Yang.

Ziplock bag painting this morning while Yu was sleeping


Evenings will be tough. I'll have to handle Yu coz Mum won't be able to stay late while Sito probably won't be back early. This means I'll continue to outsource Yang to N at bedtime. But I've decided that if Yu can be put in my bed, I'll go sit with Yang and N until he falls asleep. Kai is easier - I can settle Yu before sitting with Kai.

This will be super tough when I start work but I'll take it one step at a time. I remind myself I have a bottle of Yomeishu lying around at home!!

In happier news about Yang, I think he is finally fully potty trained, yeah!! His teacher told us to let him wear underwear to school. Most days, he remain dry. So we switched to underwear at home as well. Day time was mostly fine, though once he pooped in his underwear!!!! Kai came in to tell me Yang pooped on the floor. I went out to find a lump on the floor! And then saw his underwear.... The next time Yang said "my poo poo is coming out!", we wasted no time haha!

As for night, for a long while in January, he was dry when wearing diapers but wetted his bed the moment we switched to underwear! We were washing bedsheets like mad! But around LNY, he finally stayed dry for more than a couple of nights. I think we can call it a success :) The next step is to reach Kai's stage - he can pee standing, get up at night to go pee in the dark and go right back to sleep. We still need Kai to reach his next stage - wipe his poop! - but I'm sure we'll get there...

Now to the littlest one...

Yu has cute fleshy big toes!


I know he was curling his toes now but when he relaxes, the fleshy bit looks the same - pointed! So cute!

I was half lying down; he was napping on my belly *.*


Crying also cute!


Forgot to secure him for a nap so let him hold his mittens!


So handsome!


Legs in the air!


Love his look in this wefie - why are you pulling your PJs?


All curled up :)


He pulled off suddenly while nursing, resulting in a milk spray on my bed


Very strong boy we have here!


The bib from YX and SF that has seen three boys :)


Now bibs are a regular thing when we go out. I suddenly remember someone told me - when Kai started salivating - that once the baby starts salivating crazily, the mother's hair will start to fall out. Well, his saliva and my hair did start to happen at about the same time, about two weeks ago! This third-time postpartum hairfall is epic - so much hair in the shower though my hair is the shortest this time!

Anyway, perhaps it's time to cut Yu's hair? Na said he looks like toilet brush now...!
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