Thursday, 27 February 2014

Random dreams

I've been having many dreams lately.

Once, I dreamt that ZK is grown and overseas somewhere, and somewhat estranged from me :( I went on a tour to his city of residence - it turned out to be like San Francisco - with a young man of around ZK's age and a bunch of aunties. The young man was helping me locate ZK. When I finally managed to speak with ZK on the phone, he sounded irritated, which saddened me. And during the phone, I realised two things: (1) ZK was Superboy - of course, Sito is my Superman! ^.^ (2) The young man was Spiderman!

Hmmm, two of my favourite superheroes.. Which led me to wonder - and I couldn't tell if I was still dreaming or awake by then - whether the young man represented little baby...

Then on another night, I dreamt of this rundown area - somehow near Thomson but looking nothing like Thomson. It looked more than the city in the dream of the protagonist and his wife in Inception, only with much fewer buildings.

Sito and I were at this building. There was a bridge linking to its mirror image. Same development. We found Kel and D on the other side of the bridge. It turned out that that was their new place and they showed us their toilet roll holder, ya... The holder was a strange contraption that seemed pretty complicated. And there was a hole further up the wall to hold an additional roll.

Then the scene cut to Sito and I at our new place, which turned out to be in the same development but at a corner. And we were looking at our toilet roll holder *.*

I think there were other dreams, but these were the two I still remember now. It's strange that sometimes, I would remember my dreams the moment I wake and forget it later, or that I would forget and suddenly remember it on the way to work. The brain works in inexplicable ways...

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

My poor little active baby

Sometimes on the way to and from work, I'll whip out my phone to look at photos of ZK, photos that I've seen many, many time but could never be tired of. But I wonder how many photos I would take of little baby... JT shared with me that she had very few photos of her second child. She said her first was always at a more adorable stage than the second, especially with toddler talk and all.

Poor little baby :(

I'm already not giving him as much attention as I did his brother at this stage. I didn't speak to him as much, I didn't play Mozart to him as much, I didn't record his growth in my belly very much too.

Besides suffering from my neglect, he also has to take abuse from his elder brother. On Sunday, we came across a cute picture of a little girl laughing with a camel or some camel lookalike. ZK liked it and we had a good time laughing with him sitting on my belly *.* I'll put up the video later.

I'm also not eating as well. I think my cooking was a lot healthier in Evanston - I cooked vegetables by only blanching mostly! And I drank so much milk and ate so much cheese and had so much beef. Well, my gynae is not one for dairy or meat but I'm still worried if I'm getting enough calcium and iron this time. Guess if baby is growing well inside, I should not worry. So far so good - at the detailed scan at TMC last Tuesday, he measured average for most things. He was then 346g - cute :)

He was so active during the scan it was really fun to watch and feel his movements at the same time! Actually I felt him moving a lot that morning. During the scan, I realised that he was moving even when I didn't feel it.


The other night lying besides ZK, I felt movements I didn't feel with ZK - as if baby was doing somersaults inside. And I'm feeling constant movements earlier than with ZK - I started feeling baby very clearly since a couple of weeks ago but I didn't feel ZK very clearly until maybe 22 or 23 weeks.

I'm also very poor thing la.. Just when I thought morning sickness was gone, I felt sick this afternoon from drinking water, argh. Nvm, at least it was only for a short while. But I'm quite unlucky. The demise of morning sickness overlapped with my bad cough. And when I thought I could eat after the cough was gone, ulcers came along. And as the ulcers are finally starting to heal, I bit the inside of my left cheek about six times since Sunday - on the same spot!

And I have still not started on applying stretch mark oil... Hope I don't regret this procrastination!

Friday, 21 February 2014

In partial food coma on the sofa

Much as we love ZK, Sito and I also treasure time spent with each other without him. Especially today, cos we didn't get the chance to speak or even see each other much in this week, him returning late and me sleeping early.

Today, the first time since November, we had a baby free dinner. Well, not exactly cos there's one in my belly! ZK-free dinner than :)

We made the reservation two weeks ago. Today, I left office 20 min earlier and bumped into ZK at the first floor. I gave him a minion bag, a leftover from a work event, which he emptied with mush relish while waiting for the lift. I had put my mouthwash and bonjela etc inside.

Dinner for ZK was fried bee hoon - he had two baby bowls of it! He would have had more but I stopped him in case he overate. Played a little with him and sent him to bed with Y by his side. I got changed and went downstairs.

Sito left office late but got there soon after I did. We were having steamboat buffet at Crystal Jade! Had so much food! Including five baskets of xiaolongbao, i.e. 10 little yummies each :p We were so so full.. Just before we left, I wondered out loud if people would think me fat rather than pregnant when we left the restaurant... Sito said the rest of me was still small, so, ya, pregnant :)

We will probably return before July but we will not order the chicken (too chunky) and the beancurd skin (too salty). Even now, I can still feel the salt on my poor ulcers :( Wrong, vicious ulcers, poor me :(

Our next ZK-free time should be Taipei in mid March :) Really looking forward to it though I feel a little bad leaving ZK behind.. Well, just a little :p After all, he literally dumped me at the door when I dropped him off at childcare yesterday - cos he saw the mantou on the table *.*

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Update on the babies

I'm soooo tired.. Been bringing work home for three nights straight - I'm sooo not used to that since I started on this job. And all for a full-day workshop tomorrow. Yes, my awful Valentine's Day date *.* My most hated words of the month - "presentation" and "facilitation".

On a happier note, and let's start with the big baby, after two evenings of training, today, he was able to drink more of his soup from a little bowl! Still got the front of his shirt wet though. But it was already an improvement - even he knew it cos he was so happy when he managed to drink some soup!

Got the miso soup bowl with cover from Daiso to let him play but it turned out to be very good for his little hands to hold a bowl of soup. Not lest cos he won't break it - he broke an Ikea bowl last month, and this month, one of our two wedding mugs and my make-up mirror which had followed me from AMK suffered the same earth shattering fate.


And he can understand heat and say "hot" recently! I don't quite remember how - was it me who helped me associate that with blowing at food or did he show me? Anyway, on Tuesday when he first used the little bowl, the soup was hot. So I didn't give it to him immediately, telling him that it was hot. He said "hot" and helped to blow at his soup. When it was less hot, he smiled and went on to wet everything...

Even milk. Was it last night or the night before, he wanted more milk after his usual post-dinner 100 ml so we gave him more. He touched it and went "hot"! I really like it when he tells me that, not just cos he can say it but also cos of the look on his face - "it's hot leh.."

And as I type the above, the little baby moved. He may still be moving now but I can't feel it. I think 3 Feb 2014 was when I first felt definite movements. Nowadays, I would be sitting still - it seems to be always when I'm sitting - and suddenly, I would feel this tapping or clicking in the middle towards the cervix. More than once, I was caught off guard cos I was concentrating on something, and I would give a little start. Oh, it's my little one :)

I'm looking really pregnant now. Yesterday on the Circle Line back, a nice lady gave me her seat. When I thanked her just before I reached my station, she said, "It's YOUR seat!" Similarly today on the same line, another nice lady stood up for me and told that I had the right to ask for the seat. And today, I was lucky to have a seat on the North South Line - a Filipino young man offered me his seat - cos I was carrying my laptop and papers for the workshop tmr. I'm usually less lucky on that line..

And speaking of luck, I realised too late that I forgot to buy Toto! And I have no time to do that tmr! Sigh.. Can only dream of $10m...

Friday, 7 February 2014

Infant care news

Last night, I saw an email from school - that the earliest slot for infant care is in December. But my maternity leave will end in mid October! Nightmare..

Then today, another email - that oh, they missed out one slot, from 2 October. Phew!

But the fees have increased - from $1,500 to $1,700!!! Even with subsidy, I have to pay $1,100 plus GST. And combined with ZK's $900 plus GST, it's over $2,000 every month!


And I did some counting, baby will start school at about three months of age, way earlier than ZK who started at five months. I had to check out ZK's photos at three months to reassure myself that he looked strong enough by then, and less fragile than two months. In fact, he was very chubby then! Hopefully, this baby will be like his brother! :)

Anyway, I'm looking at my leave schedule already, heh... At first I thought I'd take all 16 weeks of maternity leave at once. But with baby in infant care from 2 October, I might as well go back to work the following week instead of resting for two more weeks. Then I can take the two weeks later when Sito has mandatory leave over Christmas. And best, I would then start work on a public holiday - one more free day with my babies! Idea!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Holding back

Sometimes I'm paranoid about ZK. I just want to protect him, to keep him from harm. We keep all window grilles locked, even windows with nothing under them in case he decides to push in a chair when no one is looking. We keep him away from the rubbish chute cos that's another "window" in the house and worse cos it's easily accessible with no lock.

But within these limits, we try to give him freedom. He can do anything he likes in a safe zone. He can put (big) things in his mouth, much as I don't like it. He can fall, even though it may hurt - him physically and me in my mind.

And just as I impose limits on ZK, I must impose limits on myself. I must allow him to learn. At this age, he learns mostly by observing and by touch. If he falls and it hurts, he learns to not fall. I must let him fall and not over react. He needs to learn pain but not fear it. He will recover and be stronger.

But I stop at one thing... I remember years ago in Chinese class one day. My teacher told us how she pretended to be not afraid of a cockroach in front of her children so that he would not learn that kind of fear. I don't know if I can do that!!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

LNY weekend!

ZK wishes everyone a happy horse year! :)

Ok, that was the one and only time he's wearing that - save that for his brother two years later :p

We brought him downstairs to walk walk before reunion dinner. He loves the toilet bowl sculpture *.*

Loves washing his hands too..

He also loves making Papa exercise - yes, despite that expression, he was enjoying himself and didn't want to leave!

Finally accepted his angbao during breakfast! But he promptly crumpled it all up. Lucky the money can tahan..

We have a minion in the house! And a busy one at that...

Found our minion in the wardrobe too - so happy cos he had hidden Papa's water bottle and Blackberry behind those clothes! We also found out at night *.*

Grouchy minion in our family shot..

Minion deep in thought..

Minion seems happy!

Minion taking the train..

Sleepy minion...

Sleeping minion... Love that crumpled face :)

Minion loves remote controls...

Love this cute picture of the two kids!

Snacking minion - he had biscuits while we had ice cream ^.^

This was the first LNY that ZK had access to LNY food - he had two egg rolls at Grams' place! He wanted more but two was quite enough... He didn't want much rice though so he had some milk and then some soup and went to bed. We brought Y along so the parents got the chance to eat in peace. The yusheng without fish happened while he was sleeping so we got to lo hei in peace too! Spent a few hours there but he didn't interact much with his peers. hopefully next year he will be more interactive!

Anyway, that was yet another outfit that he would not wear again cos it was already rather short. Ah well, there's always the brother to make better use of it!

The next day, we had to get groceries and brought ZK along. In the lift, we met an elderly Malay uncle who suddenly whipped out an angbao for him! Best, ZK gestured gongxi to him! :)

Went to River Hongbao in the afternoon - the sun was really scorching but thankfully there was a nice breeze. ZK liked the giant Fortune God very much - he kept calling it "yeye"when we said "cai shen ye"!!

We also got some snacks - prawn roll, kebab, pad thai, chin chow and corn potong ice cream. ZK had a little prawn roll by himself, tried the kebab and couldn't wait to have more pad thai and chin chow and ice cream - he seems to be less picky when we eat on the go instead of sitting down!

Papa had a picture taken with the dragons :)

On Sunday, we had day out at Gardens by the Bay with Yan and her family. Just realised we didn't take a group shot! :(

ZK loves touching such things, as usual..

He was very happy in the Flower Dome, running everywhere!

He even walked backwards!

In fact, over the LNY weekend, he took to spinning round and round and walking on tip toe, all the while smiling happily :) Until he fell and knocked his head while spinning *.*

Lion head! Nice furry ball ball...

He suddenly stopped in the middle of nowhere and played with his fingers...

Cloud Forest!

He was so mesmerised by the train... Yup, boy...

Boy was very tired and fell asleep with his pacifier dangling...

When he woke, he became arcade boy!

Back at the lions! This time with 妹妹 :)

There's a new children's gardens so we went to check it out. Found a huge water play area for older kids so we went to the playground for younger kids.

ZK kept staring. We soon found out why - he suddenly reached for her ice cream!!!

Enjoying the slide!

On the bouncing see-saw. He didn't stay there for long. He preferred to climbed onto the platform in the middle of the three bouncing see-saws...

So that's our LNY weekend! It was super tiring but ZK was very happy and high over the weekend so we were very happy too :)

Monday, 3 February 2014

ZK's official daily schedule

I'm very happy to get the circular from school today - it includes his daily schedule!

I already know they sing in school - he's been demanding "heads shoulders knees and toes" almost every day! Now I know why he wants his books before bedtime when he used to reject them. See 3.30 pm :)

7.00 am: Welcoming children, health screening, multi-age integration (all child care kids gather at one house)

8.00 am: Breakfast, assembly time (kids go into their respective classes)

9.00 am: Circle time (see link)

9.30 am: Outdoor activities - motor skills development, environment awareness; water play on Fridays

10.00 am: Refreshment (typically fruits)

10.15 am: English curriculum - language & literacy, numeracy, self & social awareness, aesthetic & creative expression (I've seen ZK's foot prints ^.^)

10.45 am: Chinese curriculum - ditto

11.15 am: Lunch

12.00 pm: Shower time

12.45 pm: Learning corners activities

1.00 pm: Nap time (ZK typically gets real sleepy before that cos he wakes so early)

3.00 pm: Health screening, tea time

3.30 pm: Book appreciation

4.00 pm: Rumble tumble (Mon), indoor activities (Tue), fun with Chinese (Wed), cookery made fun (Thu), groove with me (Fri)

5.00 pm: Learning corners activities (most kids leave by this time)

5.30 pm: Outdoor activities (good, tire them out!)

6.00 pm: Multi-age integration, free choice activities (back at one house to wait for parents)

I also like the emphasis on Chinese - besides daily Chinese lessons, there's also a fun with Chinese on Wednesdays. Chinese is much more difficult to learn. I really don't wish to waste my kids' time and our money on Chinese tuition or enrichment in future! The key is to speak Mandarin to them from young and read Chinese books too. ZK has a lot of angmoh classmates so I won't worry about English at all. In fact, I've been suspecting that he's saying "this is" and "there" when he's pointing to things and replying me on where his pacifier is... Need to test this out..

For now, I'm just happy to know how he's being engaged in school.

The circular also includes the menu which is repeated every four weeks. The cook is a really nice uncle who cooks well. Even the teachers enjoy his food! I'm happy to see the variety and have asked his teachers to alert me if he is picky over certain foods - I hope to offer him similar things at home else he's so picky and usually only wants rice with egg kosong! Although I was pleasantly surprised when he had rice with thinly sliced beef yesterday. Hope it marks an improvement in accepting new tastes!
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