Friday, 27 January 2017

Bye bye monkey year!

We seem to take a lot more photos recently - good! Perhaps I should try to blog (at least) every Sunday night to capture their moments :) For now, let's do this at the close of the lunar year...

Let's start from where we left off - last Sunday at Mum's place...

Dr Kai Kai looks all grown up!


Couldn't help taking a picture while changing my baby!


Wearing a bib for the first time - drooling too much!


Kai concentrating on colouring a dinosaur


So well done!


He kept saying he was tired and couldn't finish it, coz he used very strong strokes; the lighter strokes were Mum's as she responded to his call for help.

Yang also scribbled while Kai was colouring


In LS's words, their souls being sucked up by TV!


Unfortunately, Yu's soul, too, was being sucked up by TV *.*


The kids fighting for 杨枝甘露


We made Kai learn to say 甜品 and 杨枝甘露 so that he could have it :p

Pulling on one and looking at another


"I can turn!"


See the birthmark below his left elbow? It's shaped like a heart. Yang also has birthmarks but they are near his bum so I didn't notice until lately, oops!

My big baby having some fun before school


Brought Yu out for breakfast with Mum yesterday after she helped to send the kids to school


At my third and last baby, I finally learnt the proper way to sling him upright! It's very snug compared to previous attempts. But this sling has small rings so it's harder to adjust. Will try it with my other sling with bigger rings soon...

Love this pic - Mum looks so blissful carrying Yu!


I want such a photo too but unfortunately, I'm usually the one welding the camera. Ahem, Sito, time to make even better use of your iPhone 7+ with 128GB! :p

Random shot of my dear Sito having chocolate cookie with milk for supper :)


Got Sito to show the boys how to wash themselves last weekend. Took a photo of the two boys looking at their papa, with Kai's head strategically blocking Sito... Yang is still too young but Kai is able to wash himself, just not too clean at the moment. Will also need the shower to be lowered for him. When we move house...

Yang started pulling at his clothes


Tummy time on Mama - so cute!!!!


Old teething toy is new to him!


Yang was all ready for the LNY celebrations in school!


Kai was wearing the same top but refused to take a photo. While N took Yang to school, I took a video of Kai singing 财神到 - he's been singing that lately. Later in the afternoon, the principal sent me a video of his class singing and dancing to the song! But actually, this isn't the best song for kids right, what with 买马票 in the lyrics *.*

Papa trying to put Yu down - he failed, then I failed, but we tried!


It was difficult trying to let Yu sleep while his brothers were tearing the house down. But somehow, I managed to carry Yu to sleep while Sito took a nap and the boys were playing with N - the last bit wasn't ideal but oh well... We were supposed to get to Mum's place at 6 pm so we set off at 5 + for the playground.

Happy Yang going down this slide for the nth time


Pretending to sleep!


Sito watching Kai play with his classmates


Kai spotted three kids - twin girls and a boy - when we got to the playground. The girls are his classmates while the boy seems to be their neighbour but the four of them got along so well! They were playing at the pull-up bars before playing some running game. This Kai was like the ringleader, changing games to his whim! And at one point, one of the twins was rooting for him to win against her sister!

The boys in matching tops! 


Silly Yang decided to give his nua pose... There's a huge rooster on the top but I'm not about to let them make a one-in-twelve-years appearance so the rooster will rear its head every year for some time!!

Reunion dinner was very filling! And it was very fast haha! What to do, three kids under five *.* Everyone ate together except Yu whom N was taking care of. Next year, Yu will be able to sit at the table :)

Saturday-out protocol applied when we got home - N showered while Sito showered the two bigger boys. But this time, Sito showered the two together - it was messy and he decided he wouldn't shower them together anymore! Then it was my turn to shower.

As I wetted my hair, my tummy started to rumble... By the time I was done, it was taking all I could to keep it in!!! Managed to run to the toilet in time, phew! I had this nagging tummy ache since last Wednesday - it's finally gone, just in time to be out with the old and smelly hoho!!

So here we are, at the close of the lunar year of the monkey. It was a good year with Kai and Yang growing so much and we being blessed with a bouncy Yu. Looking forward to more from the kiddos in the coming year!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Another light bulb moment!

Yu was fussing a lot before a nap. He was refusing to be carried in a cradle hold on my right arm so I switched arms - and he went quiet and fell asleep!

The perfect nap is on the bed, not on me!


Yes, it might be a fluke. Maybe he preferred my left boob to my right - which is true; he often rejects my right probably due to more forceful letdown - but he didn't want to nurse today. Maybe it just so happened that he got real tired as I changed arms. But then I recalled at least a couple more times when he was more settled in my left arm than in my right. This worked again at bedtime.

Whatever the reason, if he can sleep in my left arm, I'll use that arm to carry him. It's way better than holding him upright which hurts my back like mad.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Light bulb moment!!!!

I had an important revelation on Yu's sleep just now!!!

Ok, background #1. I usually shower Yu at 5.30 pm and make him sleep by 6 pm. But this is not always successful. Many times, either Yu would not sleep or he sleeps but wakes when his brothers come back about 6.30 pm, which means I'll rock and/or nurse him for quite a while until he sleeps, usually by 8 pm-ish. Sometimes, Mum helps to carry him while I discipline the playful brothers and have dinner myself. So sometimes I smell Mum's perfume on Yu.

Background #2. The past few evenings were crap. My memory goes as far back as Monday when Yu would not sleep until almost 10 pm. In fact, I was so tired that it was Sito who rocked him to sleep when he came back. Yesterday, he woke when his brothers came back but managed to drift off amid the din, though he woke again soon and didn't sleep until past 8 pm.

Background #3. Yu usually wakes every two hours, as I mentioned previously. But last night, when he was making noise after nursing at 2.30 am and I brought him to our bed, he slept all the way to 5.50 am. In fact, whenever he slept for four hours, it was always in our bed.

So, back to the revelation... I was holding a sleeping Yu in my arms, sitting in the kids' room. It was all dark as we switched off everything; all the kids and N were in the room, and Sito wasn't home yet. Kai and Yang were relatively quiet.

In the absence of light and sound, other senses were heightened. I was scratching my face and I smelled Mum's perfume on my hands. It's normal to smell it on Yu but to smell it on my hands means it rubbed off from Mum to Yu to me. And if it can rub off from Yu to me, it can rub off from Yu to his bedsheet, which doesn't carry my scent as it's too small for me to sleep there with him. And, Yu doesn't spit up milk much, at least not on his pyjamas coz we don't play much after his shower so there is no milk milk smell on him.

The above led to one big question: is he waking frequently coz he's missing my milk milk smell??

So when Yang fell asleep, I put Yu down on his bed, and took off my bra and put it next to his head, inside out!!! :p

Peacefully napping on me this afternoon - for two hours!


Just did some googling. Mummy scent can alert a baby or sooth a baby. I think Yang is the alerted type - even today, he would suddenly wake after I go in to check on them! - and Kai and Yu are the soothed type. Great if having my scent can sooth Yu to sleep longer! But this kind of foils my plan to wear my perfume for LNY - don't want the new scent to confuse Yu! Guess I shall have to smell like milk on 大年初一!

Update at 10.30 pm

Yu woke at 10 pm when Yang woke and cried. That was 2.5 hours since last feed. Need to monitor him more but main point of this update is that, I realised I have other smells too! Today, I used a sample cream on my belly instead of my usual postpartum ginger cream. When I opened up my top to nurse Yu just now, I could smell the cream! Argh, it doesn't dissipate quickly unlike the ginger cream!

Gotta be more careful about what I put on myself if I want to monitor Yu's sleep influencers - my apple cider vinegar toner has a very strong smell which dissipates very quickly; my serum smells like orange and dissipates more quickly than the vinegar; my other lotions are scentless; my lip balm smells like peppermint but it dissipates quickly; my shower gel smells strong but dissipates shortly after; my shampoo smell lingers but I tie my hair back when I'm with Yu. My clothes won't smell like detergent if I wear them two days after they're washed.

Update 26 Jan 2017 at 11.30 pm

After my update last night, Yu slept for three hours in his bed followed by another three in mine. I was so hopeful that my scent helped! But this evening, I put a wet bra - wet with milk leh - next to him and he woke in two hours. Super sian... Just what could buy me more continuous sleep??

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The post of randoms

It has been a while since I posted random stuff. Sharing some photos and thoughts since Yu arrived:

A beautiful blue outside


Was on the floor of our room with Yu the other day and looked up. Ok, our window is kind of tinted but it was still pretty.

The view from the same window, standing up, on another sunny day


I always like our views. Will miss this when we are gone... But I can't wait to go!! Perhaps more on that later...

Did some spring cleaning lately. It's not really due to LNY but I've been dying to clean out the house...

One night, I was trying on my old shorts while Kai was playing with his robots on my bed.

mf: I can't wear these anymore. I'm fat :(
Kai: Let me help you...

So my helpful boy first attempted to pull the button to the button hole, failing which, he tried to push in my belly!!! And then...

Kai: Can't... Can I zip it?
mf: Nope, you don't zip it before you button it..
Kai: Ok *bored, back to robots*

Another night, I passed a stack of clothing to Sito.

mf: Put them into three piles: will wear, dump, memorabilia. PS: I'll clear all our memorabilia at some point too.
Sito: Ok... This, can wear...
mf: Nononono.. Not can you wear but will you wear?
Sito: :(
mf: *laogong so cute!!*
Sito: Ok, dump!

For some memorable stuff that we're not keeping, we took pictures and dumped, e.g.:

Sito's tee for his pro bono do in Nicaragua


His class tee, which he wore as a pyjamas top in Evanston!


I also threw out my OBS tee - looks big but I'm bigger *.*


A well-worn tee from Jo; also, I'm too big for it


Besides dumping clothes, I also rearranged our clothes. Now, Sito has one full row and the boys have another full row in the same two doors. I have another two doors to myself that includes space for extra hangers, a safe and our new Mi Smart Scale. The last two doors are for folded clothes - using, to be used (after breastfeeding, after moving house etc). My wardrobe looks so much neater now!

Also tried to clear the toys. Bought a box to store Lego blocks and realised we need two more - for more Lego blocks and also the Duplo - and n more of varied sizes to contain the six parts of Sito's Devastator.

The Devastator box is falling apart


Last night and today, I cleared the fridge and pantry cabinets. Some food ended up in the bin, some in my belly :p Finished up a pack of gyozas in the freezer; hope to clean up the freezer a bit more to store my milk!

We cleared our desk a few weeks ago, including a huge stack of namecards, stationery and computer installation discs etc. Many things were thrown but The namecard holder has been saved - I'll bring to my office in April.

Found the namecard of my orthodontist in Oxford!


After some serious consideration, I decided to keep my old compass!


Now, heading outside...

Bought TOTO on my own for the first time in my life! 


I was wondering if anyone would stop me for carrying a minor (Yu) into the outlet... (No, I didn't win a cent!)

CW's Christmas gift exchange treasure! 


Used to eat loads of these from the NJ staff lounge when I was doing relief teaching there - I have no doubt they contributed to my stellar 6kg gain in 1999. I can no longer go back to JC weight but I can certainly aim for 1999 weight!

A vending machine with dragonfruit juice and the fruit - won't the dropping bruise the fruit?!


Hope to gather more random pictures soon!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The cute trio in the week before LNY

We seem to be taking lots of pictures recently! The boys seem to change a little every day. If I don't take enough pictures or record enough notes here, I feel like I'll forget their developments very quickly - yup, bird brain now...

Sito and I used to say that Kai and Yang knew that they were cute, hence the knowing look they gave us when we cooed at them. But yesterday, as I sat there looking at Yu, I thought, perhaps they just knew that their parents would always respond to them; it's got nothing to do with cuteness. Still, they are cute la, very cute!

Three main reasons babies are so cute:

1) Their arms are so short they barely reach the top of their head!


2) Fleshy and succulent little hand! Love 'em fat :p


Two fat faces here - don't love one of them much...


Though I must say that my face is already less round compared to the first few days or weeks... I'm almost back to pre-Yu weight. Still a long way to go...

3) They are my babies!!! :)))))

Yu had little tummy time compared to his brothers. With Kai, the mat was always on the floor except during the weekly cleaning. With Yang, Y cleaned the floor every day but the mat remained mostly on the ground. Now N tends to clear the floor the whole day and I couldn't bother to change her routine lest she messes up another *.*

Anyway, so I tried to give him some tummy time on the gym in the morning after he wakes but it's hot in the kiddy room as we turn the aircon off once there's daylight. Then I shifted half the mat to my room so that he could be on the floor more.

Tummy time on the gym


Tummy time on the mat - with "friends"!


Rotated!


Just on Monday, he was lying at the edge of his mattress and turned to the left - he dropped face down on the mat beneath. Kai saw the whole thing and had a good laugh!! Well, he just might flip way sooner than his brothers. Sito suspects he might start walking earlier as well. What to do, our last baby is just so physically fit, physically fit, physically, physically, physically fit! :p

His sleep is still erratic. On 2 Jan, he slept for about four hours straight after sunset but then he went back to two-hourly feeds at night after two nights. And he's very "timely" - 11.20 pm, 1.30 am, 3.25 am... His naps are even more erratic. These days he's been giving me a lot lasting 20+ minutes. On good - and rare - days, he gets two hours.

When I forgot to put mittens on and it was cold...


Usually he naps all swaddled up


Tuesday, he napped in the stroller with a fist in the air


He's been nursing erratically too. Sometimes he can suck for 30 minutes; sometimes, two minutes. I have been pumping quite a bit in the day coz he wasn't drinking much.

Cute lips after nursing


Happy after nursing

He can hold his bottle somewhat but cannot/refuse to suck!


No choice, can't force coz he's the big boss :p


Big boss has his mama scrub him down in a big bath tub


Big boss also must be burped - love his sitting pose!


Today, I put him on the top of a shelf in school


Let's not neglect the older boys! Kai always wants me and Sito to be with him at bedtime (one after the other); Yang still doesn't want us at bedtime! Eh, can balance a bit more or not??

Happily going through a goodie bag from Kai's classmate


So happy to see them playing together!


They found a tear in the present which they were using as a prop for their police station game, and thought they saw a Tobot :p I tried to hold them back but the tear got bigger and I could stop them no longer... After tearing the box apart, they ran to Sito and woke him :p

"It's Tobot!"


So happy with the Tritan!


Kai could dismantle the Tritan very quickly; I couldn't *.*


Sick? Fear not - Dr Yang Yang is here for you!


Why are you so cute?!


Yu was the obliging patient


After the Doc has left, the big brother came sayang-ing


He's really such a good big brother :)


But this Kai is so whiny!! Tuesday evening, he bullied Yang when they got home, spat saliva at the dining table area, messed up his dinner which he didn't want and again spat saliva near the shower door. For that, Sito confiscated one of the Tritan cars for the night. He cried madly saying that he couldn't wait for the next day. It's just like how he wanted to shower first but Yang had already showered so he simply couldn't be first that day and yet he still cried wanting to be the first to shower. Makes my blood boil!

That night, I also started to speak more Mandarin to Kai. I think I have to. We had a curriculum talk in school today. Yang was better in Chinese than Kai. The Chinese teachers encouraged them and also me to speak more Mandarin at home. Yes, Ma'am, I will!

It's going to be LNY very soon. I hope that the boys will continue to grow in their affection for one another in the coming year. And speak more Mandarin :p

Update 24 Jan 2017

I forgot to mention something very significant - on 14 January, Sito brought the two older boys to the playground on his own again. This time, he also brought them both across the road to have a drink; last time N was around to help. Achievement unlocked! :) Perhaps a few tries; later or as they grow older, Sito could also pack food back with the two (or even three?!) of them? :)
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