Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Counting down to 2014

We're back from India! But more on that later.. For now, we're just very, very, very happy to be home :) And it happens to be the last day of the year - we're just in time to welcome the new year in the comfort of our own little nest.

It has been a most trying year, juggling work and family with Sito away half the time, doing a job I have little passion for, managing the day-to-day with bad sleep every night, etc.

But for the past three months, life (at least at home) has become better. With Y around, I have no worries about housework, hot dinner after work every evening, and immediate child care help whenever I feel too tired. It also helps a lot that ZK has started to wake less in the night. But now that we're just back from a holiday, I have to retrain his sleep - he refused to go down after I used the wee wee trick just now.

2013 has really flown by, and I felt that a lot in India when I looked at ZK sleeping next to me - when did he get so big?! He has grown a lot heavier too. It's really challenging carrying him man... Other than baby-related stuff, I don't remember much of the year heh :p

Now that 2014 is on its way, I'm looking forward to a great many things:

1) Turning 34! Sito will be on leave and we may pop out for dinner after the little one goes to bed :)

2) Turning four! Clan Sito's growth target for 2014 :)

3) Better health! I haven't been feeling very good the past couple of months. I know it can only get better. I even dreamt of getting a gym membership while in India! But of course I won't do that. I just hope I can somehow become healthier; getting fitter is a bonus heh!

4) Better husband? Not changing husbands haha! But Sito has shown himself to be a great papa in India, helping a lot with ZK - I wouldn't have survived the trip with an active toddler if not for him :)

5) Better job? Well, I'm not leaving but my job scope will change a little after a re-org. It means more things but it also means busier times ahead. I hope it gets better in all aspects...

So well, here's to a great start to a potentially wonderful new year! :)

Monday, 23 December 2013

On a break...

... from packing!

We started packing clothes last Thursday. Today, we're supposed to pack in the rest, i.e. baby supplies. But after taking out all his stuff to put on the TV bench, I got too overwhelmed to continue *.*

See? Tired already right?? *.*

But I'd better get back on the task soon. Gotta fetch him from school after lunch, shower us all and get to the airport.

Anyway, just to share a precious moment from our life - yesterday, ZK whined longingly when he saw his parents in a bear hug so we took one armpit each and up he came, into a giant family hug :) Though he promptly struggled free!

Clan Sito will be back from India just before 2014! Merry Christmas! :)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A week of Mama's moments

Actually, only a few days la..

Sito started clearing leave this week, and I was on half-day leave for Monday to Wednesday. So on Monday after watching The Desolation of Smaug, we set off to pick ZK up from IFC. On the bus, I suddenly had a stomachache and had to go home to my beloved toilet. So Sito brought ZK home on his own.

At bedtime, I was half dead on the sofa and he came up to sit with me for a while. I asked Sito to bring him to bed cos my stomach wasn't 100% yet. Then this little boy hung on to me and refused to let go - he knew that if he let go, I wouldn't bring him to bed :( It was such a bitter sweet moment!

So I somehow stood up from the sofa with a heavy koala bear hanging on me and brought him to bed. Thankfully, the mama-go-wee-wee thing still worked so I left after a few songs and some talk and lots of kisses.

The stomach upset didn't let up the next morning - third consecutive day! I was beginning to think it was the new probiotics I started taking to toughen up my insides for India.. Anyway, I'm better now.

The next day, Sito and I went to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. On the way to IFC - no stomachache yeah! But we decided that some bubble tea was good so Sito went to get that before meeting us at IFC.

I trailed behind when we left the centre as I was closing the gate. Then ZK said "mama"! We were very excited :)

Oh, another exciting happening - he blew at his rice at dinner that evening. Um, I may not get to blow my own birthday candle next month? :p

Anyway, then this morning, I was trailing behind again as we left home for IFC. Again, he called for me! This boy ah, calls me only when he can't see me :) But but but! At the IFC, we were telling him to say bye bye to me, and he went "ma-ah ma!"

Very happy - he's definitely addressing me now :)

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Take a seat (and a sleep tip!)

We discovered this week that when he says "jit" and points down in front of next to him whenever he's eating or having milk, he's telling us to sit down with him :) In celebration of that, almost all the pictures today show ZK seated..

The first morning when he had bread after milk. He kicked at the table, first with one leg, then with both. Had to move the chair away so that he didn't inadvertently tip himself backwards!

Another morning, he decided to hook one leg on the side of his high chair. I told him to put it down. He did so but repeated his act while smiling at me!! And he changed legs as well *.* Eventually, he even did this:

And this uncle pose..

So terrible.. And I really don't like to see ankles going above knee level! Need to teach properly..

And after a few days of refusing his bib in the morning, he decided that he wanted to play with it. So he stuffed the bread in his mouth to free his hands *.*

He was also refusing his bib for some dinners. But the day he turned 17 months, i.e. 12 December, I turned for a bit and when I turned back, I found that he had grabbed the bib from the chair and anyhow spread it on his chest! So mini grown-up and so cute :)

And one evening, he came home looking like Superman - the teacher must have have a hard time buttoning on his bodysuit before putting on the pants...

Earlier this month, he discovered his buttons and started unbuttoning them one evening. Very soon, he was unbuttoning in the middle of the road..

When he woke and had nothing better to do (and I didn't want to go in yet)

(Time stamp was wrong..)

The past few mornings, he had been waking up at around 6 am and goro-ing in bed, sometimes babbling, sometimes just making a few random sounds as if dreaming. I would just watch him on the camera while dozing in and out of sleep. And today, he didn't stir until almost 7 am woohoo!

I also found a way to get him to sleep on his own! :) So, some time earlier this week, I really needed to pee when he woke in the middle of the night. I patted him a little and decided that I couldn't hold it anymore although he had not gone back to sleep yet. So I told him that Mama gotta go wee wee and left the room. When I was done, I decided to check on him through the camera before going in. Guess what? He was fine! Just rolled for some eight minutes and - all still!

Of course I went back to sleep, AND repeated the trick the next night. Finally on 12 December, yes, the day he turned 17 months, I was in the room with him after dinner, and thought, why not try it for his bed time? And it worked!! And it has been working since then! Ok, so it's only been a three evenings, but it's a big improvement for us - first of all, he seems to fall asleep more quickly without someone next to him; and I get to wash up early and have more rest!

It's quite amazing actually. Just a couple of weeks ago, I told him that he should go to sleep and I would go out. I said goodnight to him and he waved at me. But I barely reached the door when he started to whine. When I tried to sit further away from his bed, he crawled off his bed to lie in my lap instead. I was thinking I might have to sit next to him for quite some months more.. But now he doesn't whine when I leave the room if I say I want to go wee wee. He may make some objections like Friday night - he shook his head when I said I wanted to go wee wee. It took a few tries but I got out eventually.

Maybe he forgets that when I go wee wee, I should return? If so, I'd better enjoy this period before he becomes more aware!

But he still needs his pacifier for bed time. Last Sunday, for some reason, I forgot about his pacifier. We were in bed and he kept pointing to the door, going "goot goot" or something. It took me more than a few seconds to realise he wanted his joot joot! Ah well, one evil at a time...

This was last Sunday at Mum's place - I love this picture! The light from behind took away part of his shoulders in the picture, making his head look especially big and adorable :) That's a foot stool but he loves to sit on it so that's where we put on his shoes for him.

He had a good time that afternoon - he had human see-saw! Look at him - so relaxed on AhYe's legs:

Papa's see-saw was not as enjoyable!

Looking like a busy businessman, on the phone, on his armchair kiddy chair. And gesturing some more!

His $2 Daiso chair broke last Saturday when he pounced on Mum while she was on it so Mum got him a new chair. This chair squeaks when he gets on but only when he puts his butt far in. It also squeaks when he gets off. At first he was wondering where that sound came from!

Not seated but his chair is in the picture! My hardworking baby decided to sweep the floor today while Kakak went downstairs to buy top-up card *.*

Went to cut his hair just now. Stripped him down to his diapers! And he watched his first five minutes of Barney - well, at least that kept him real still!

Pretty aunty who likes him a lot wasn't around today so we didn't get discount - paid $17 instead of $10 for the haircut!

He was very quiet on the bus to Plaza Sing but on the train back, he was all over the place! This was a rare second:

We bought him a new pair of shoes last Saturday. Took the chance to stay out a bit later to catch the Christmas lighting in town too :) But he wasn't interested *.* So today, we also didn't bother, just came straight home after the haircut.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Hilarious morning

ZK was babbling a lot at the dining table today - since last Thursday, I've been giving him some solid food after his morning milk feed.

Today, we ran out of bread so I gave him a cracker which he didn't like. So I thought of his baby biscuits which came in pairs. After he hastily finished the first one, of course he wanted the other one..

mf: Say "more".

ZK signed "more".

mf: Say "please".

ZK signed "please". As as I handed him the biscuit..

mf: Say "thank you".

ZK signed "thank you" with one hand as he took the biscuit with the other.

And he bit into it happily. And with food in his mouth, he launched into a lecture.

mf: He must be complaining, "Made me do so much just for a biscuit!"

Y and I had a good laugh over this. But he continued to lecture!

Y: "Kakak laughing so much, I don't like!"

More laughter ensued and he wouldn't let up!

Y: "Mama laughing so much, I also don't like!"

But I bet he must be wondering, what are these two laughing about?!


Anyway, here's a video from Sunday when he sounded like he was lecturing someone - on the phone:

Monday, 9 December 2013

My little ZK

The teachers at IFC often told me how ZK fought with other babies in school. Actually, fighting is probably the wrong term; he is just rough. He pulled at a younger girl, causing her to fall. He's also quite a tyrant. He made an older girl downstairs cry when he took her toy away. When an older boy came up to the infant room one Saturday, he chased him around the room.

But there's always a hierarchy in life and it's no different at the baby stage. Sophia, just two days younger but 5kg heavier (!), would pull at him and of course he would lose! The girl is 50% heavier!

I like to hear such stories from the teachers. I like to hear how he "wins". I also like to hear how he "loses". I think he needs to understand he's not always going to win. 有赢有输嘛。Especially now that he's the only child, it's even more important for him to know that the universe doesn't revolve around him.

I often see and hear parents refer to their child as the prince or princess, or some other revered titles. I think it's unhealthy. It creates an impression that everyone bows to the child, which shouldn't be the case. Perhaps I'm being extreme, and sensible children will understand and not be spoilt, but looking at teenagers these days, I can't help but worry.

That's why I always call ZK by name or my baby. He's the world to me and I'll make sure he understands that without growing up thinking that the world revolves around him.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

My only exercise this year

There's something about stepping out on the streets in the wee hours of the morning. And there's something to be said when early departures to some relaxing vacation first comes to mind instead of staggering out of a club at the end of a wild night :p

Well, that Sunday, it was neither.

Source: H

Yes, I joined the StanChart Ekiden race!

Woke at an unearthly hour of 3.35 am, wrapped a blueberry muffin in a kitchen towel and left the house.

The air was crisp and the streets were quite quiet. The MRT station was deserted...

And the electronic sign reminded me that the station was not usually open at that time..

I took the lift to change to the East West Line. And realised what a joke it would be if I got trapped *.*

Then at the top, I realised I didn't even check if the escalator was working *.* Well, so far, only the ones on the EWL station were.

The Circle Line was pretty empty but the EWL had about 50% seats taken! Later, I heard from SQ that the North South Line from city to Orchard was packed like a weekday! This marathon thing is quite popular hur...

I stepped out from an exit of Raffles Place MRT. Strange to walk in the city at 5 am. And there were people. And many of them wore the same tee.

Eventually found the Promontory and waited for less than 10 min to board the bus towards Point 3. There were limited seats obviously but this girl with eyeliner* had a bottle on the seat next to her. At times like this, ask and it shall be given. Inconsiderate idiot.

* I cannot fault her eyeliner. After all, I put in blusher and concealer :p

Found colleague H at Point 3. Chatted and looked at (her) whatsapp as team members posted pictures. Our preceding runners arrived at 650 am. We took a picture to submit to office as proof and off we went!

Source: K, I believe...

H jogged while I walked. I kept about 100 m behind her until she had to go to the toilet. I ended up arriving at point 4 a minute before she did.

I didn't know 6.5 km was so long! My stretch was in East Coast Park. I passed by some trees etc before I reached the chalet, some shops and then the restaurant area. When I passed by a drain, I thought I must have cycled through here before, many years back!

Took a sip of water at the second water station I passed by. And my next drop of liquid was after the changeover at point 4.

Source: J, I believe..

I managed to get to point 4 in an hour and two minutes (or 1:02:27.4 as indicated on my stop watch :p) - not bad for walking! But we took some time getting to the shuttle pick-up point and waiting for our turn. By the time we got off the shuttle at the MRT exit opposite Capitol, we had finished for an hour.

It took a detour to the Padang before we eventually met a few others for breakfast at Macs at Raffles City. I was too tired and left while some of them waited for the last runners of our teams to return.

Had to have Sito massage my shins. Soon, I found my arms hurting too. I was so broken!!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Another perspective

Just read this and I have something to say.

Credit to him, the author is saying that the privileged should be more aware that their family circumstances have given them more opportunities than they imagine and that they should also be aware that the less privileged may not have such opportunities not because of their own doing but because well, they're not privileged.

I'm not privileged. And I can't agree with all that he says. Because I think that - and I have witnessed around me that - some people really do not know how to make good decisions, some people really are just lazy or plain stupid.

The author can say his piece because he's privileged; I can say my piece because I'm not. Neither is wrong :)

I count myself lucky to be here despite all odds. My children will not be privileged. But they will have a better head-start than I've ever had. And that's good enough for me. I hope that's good enough for them.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Precious moments with ZK

Is anyone missing ZK? :p More photos!

He has learnt to belt himself up. But he can't release the catch. We do this MANY times after each dinner *.*

Restaurants also have ideas to entertain children. And this idea currently doesn't work well on him - he destroyed the crayon instead!

My super cool baby!!!

We put on his new car seat the day we went to celebrate Papa's birthday. He was checking on the various compartments of the car seat...

The car seat has two toy compartments and a cup holder which is mostly used for toys.. So he can play with toys and put them back! This toy got him wound up..

That morning, I brought him to the bathroom basin and we brushed our teeth together :) But he's still resisting it most of the time..

Pinky hold!

Source: Teacher D

That was taken in school, probably due snack time.. And talk about school - he used to come to me immediately when I went to pick him up in the evening. Lately, he decides that he wants to show me what he can do - and what he can do now is to shout and run around at the same time!

Yet another cool expression - I was trying to catch him sitting on the ledge behind and reading but he kept standing up!

More photos from the camera..

He sat up in bed in the middle of the night.

Usually, he would be "singing" and I would need to pop in to put him back in bed. But this morning, he sat up for a while at 5 am and went back to bed without fuss!

Other times, he would really sing. Just two weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to hear him hum some baby tune as he was trying to sleep in the evening :) And he has been singing on and off since then, and not necessarily in bed :)

He was sound asleep in the middle of the night but Meh Meh was winking at the camera.

He decided the floor blanket was more comfy than his bed in the middle of the night.

Legs off the bed in the middle of the night and Meh Meh had been thrown off. (Time stamp is wrong; it should have been 4 am...)

A precious moment when Papa put the little one in bed cos Mama wasn't feeling well.

Another precious moment.. Yesterday just before dinner, ZK wanted to watch the flashcard DVD. Sito set it up for him and sat next to him at his order.

Apparently, on Friday when IFC was closed and I had to be away for lunch, ZK asked Mum to bring him to the laptop and he pushed the DVD in himself!

Other happenings:

He pushed an older boy away from "his" toy at the library two Saturdays ago *.*

Last week, when I told him that that was his last raisin, he kept putting it into his mouth and spitting it out *.*

Just now, he discovered that he could pull the buttons of his PJs apart and kept doing it *.*

Hmmm, why are all these happenings marked with this *.* face?! Gaaar! My little boy, 小淘气!(超强吸收力!)
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