Saturday, 19 May 2018

Baby of the house

I have been very behind in writing about the kids, with moving and related teething issues. Yet, Yu is growing so fast that I must must must document it before he suddenly loses his baby fats!

Somehow, he bit a hole through his night pacifier so I got him to throw it away. Shortly after, he also stopped using a pacifier for his nap at home. Losing the pacifier always seems like a big milestone, sighs..

On his way to throw his pacifier on 18 April - what a significant move!

He's really good in school. Until he discovered the torchlight, he would go straight to the chair to let his teacher check him in. His teacher told me he helped out in school too - when it was time to keep toys, he pointed to the kid who was still playing haha!

He knows the morning routine :)

Nowadays, he is also more willing to go into the stroller. At first, there were days when we had to force him in. It's just so hard to have him walk to school - we tried once. Maybe when he turns two. Will save us time taking the lift too. I think we have to take three lifts before we reach the school building, and then another to get to the school which was the only way up.

Cutie pie wears a cap to school

Very cute naked too haha!

Now we have more space for the bathtub - to rest and to use. They love it but it can be such a pain to use - they want to spend so much time there and I'm afraid they would catch a cold; they all want their turn NOW; it's hard to explain to Kai why he couldn't fit in the bathtub anymore!

We love the space we have now. But there is one problem - we lose the kids sometimes *.* There are so many hiding places! Behind curtains, under the beds, behind the wall on the balcony away from the doors, and the little corner next to my bed. But they make such a cute find!


I was very cutified when I saw him with glasses!


This boy has developed this habit of pooping after his evening shower. He would have milk, then nursed a bit, and suddenly give me THE FACE. Just this week, he said "poo poo" and wanted to head out. The poop hadn't come out so I put him on the potty. But he wanted to go to the shower! His diaper was quite full anyway so I just washed him.

Was going to put on a new diaper in his room when he went "poo poo" again and fussed. I wondered if he had leaked so I checked, and I SAW POOP COMING OUT! I quickly carried him to the potty but he struggled and clang on to his mattress! Couldn't help it anymore - the poop came out with a plop on the floor!!! Some pee leaked out too but thankfully it didn't hit the mattress.

I carried him to wash up while N cleaned up the floor. But he pooped again when I was putting on his pyjamas - this time, it was nua nua! So lucky the one on the floor was not nua nua!!

Couple of days later, he remembered he poo-ed on the floor...

I think he has so much poop - he also used a lot of diapers in school - because he eats a lot.

This boy is the best eater of them three at this moment. For example on one porridge day, Kai ate only the porridge, Yang ate only the meatballs, but Yu ate everything plus some from his brothers!! Sometimes, he also eats his brothers' rice. My xiao feh-fat indeed :)

Stuffing his face with cake

He loves snacks!

He also eats healthily - that's dragonfruit on his face

My feh-fat! Fat face, fat belly!

He also cleans up after eating *swoons*

"I'm going to the market, Mama!"

He doesn't sleep so well though. Still waking a few times a night, and must nurse! And he can be very noisy when nursing. MmmmmMMMM!

Bedtime routine can also be long sometimes. When he first entered playgroup, he was so tired adjusting to the new nap schedule that he slept by 7.30 pm. Nowadays, it's back to 8 pm on most days.

Legs are long enough to reach Yang's bed!

His fave page in the book - bah bah!

We just started reading potty books. I want to get him used to the idea of the potty so that we can do potty training soon!

Though he eats well, he drinks less well - he takes a long time to drink just 120 ml of milk, and sometimes he doesn't finish. But he will nurse so I'm not afraid he's hungry. I'm afraid he won't wean so fast *.* It's quite tiring to nurse at night - sometimes he wants to keep nursing! I have to lie on my side when I prefer to lie on my back. And he's getting so heavy to carry up to nurse in my arms.

Though we have more space overall, each room is smaller than their old room. There is no place to put the camera! So it goes under Yang's bed. I can still see Yu but must make sure Yang's blanket is not blocking...

He found the camera :p

Going to pick up the boys soon. I think Yu might be napping now coz he woke before 5 am today. He might have dozed off while nursing but I didn't know coz I was sleeping :p And I woke again when he disturbed me. Anyway, hope he can nap this afternoon so that we can all nap!

My little feh-fat napping :)

I realise this is the first time I'm taking care of a child of this age myself at night coz I'm finally not pregnant when the previous child is 18 months! It's so fun to see him grow and learn new things. I'm looking forward to the time when he can speak more :)

Our Chinese journey

One year ago, we started sending Kai and Yang for Chinese enrichment. Kai wasn't too keen in the beginning but went on anyway. He likes his teacher and takes part in class activities but still does not speak Mandarin. We "overheard" two of his classmates telling their parents that "he doesn't/can't speak Chinese" and one of them was 100% angmoh *.* Yang was crying for a few sessions before settling in. He seemed to be participating in class when we peeked in but during end-of-term open class, he was not participating, claiming shyness.

Given that we are now much further from Chengzhu, Sito and I scouted for a few Chinese schools in our area. But they are mills! Weekly lessons with no term breaks. Some twice weekly! And it's all words and writing. Where are the stories and role play? We realised Chengzhu is really good at making lessons enjoyable.

From April, we started sending them for Chinese speech and drama enrichment in their preschool. Kai wanted me to cancel it and send him for English speech and drama instead but after the first session, he told me he enjoyed it and not to cancel it. I was so thrilled. Yang, on the other hand, refused to go for the first class, and had to be cajoled into his second with promise of a doughnut. But once in, he enjoyed it.

Kai prefers speech and drama to Chengzhu coz there is no work; Chengzhu is better than the mills we saw but it still has some written work based on the story of the fortnight. Yang hasn't stated a preference but I notice that he has been speaking Mandarin a lot these days. And speech and drama is cheaper too. Seems like it's a no brainer that it's time to switch.

So we did. Did the paper work two Sundays back. This will be their final term.

And I'm glad we made this choice. These two weeks, they boys are really speaking a lot more Mandarin. Kai sang a little rhyme to me. I also walked into his room to find that he had been doing some writing while I was sending Yang to bed.

All from memory

I told Sito about this last night.

Sito: Can he write 奶奶? (coz he found it very different last time!)
mf: Please, he can write 谢谢 lor!!

Anyway, his name has a lot of strokes already. This morning, he was examining Yang's Chinese name on his shoe cubby and asked me how many strokes there were in Yang's "Zhen", which is different from his. He then went around to look at the other shoe cubbies - I think he was examining the Chinese names :)

And Yang is more willing than his brother to use the language. At bedtime, he often goes 我看见月亮,我看见一个星星,我看见巴士!:)

They still speak with each other in English, though the other day, I heard them counting 1-20 in Mandarin. Quite cute :)

The environment is really important. Kai spent the most time in his old school. Now in a majority local school, he's picking up Mandarin so much faster and with less resistance. Yang is definitely using it more. Hope to see and hear more from the two of them! :)

Wet wet wall

Found the wall wet again!

First time was Sunday, 1 April. They took a couple of days to hack and assess, and sealed up by 6 April. Tiling was done on 9 April and the WC was put back on 10 April. I waited for two more weeks until 24 April before putting back the carpentry, during which I flushed every day and opened the tap to let water run - the first time I ran the tap, water splashed over my head coz I didn't know the pressure was so high coming from the pipe! After the carpentry was put back, I waited one more day before using the bathroom.

And less than two weeks later on Sunday, 6 May, the wall was wet again!

And it looked blue *.*

Didn't extend beyond this time though - or maybe I discovered it early??

This time, I wanted a proper assessment before doing any hacking, if necessary. The contractor came and lifted off the paint to check. I got a call to say they suspected condensation. But I didn't want to do it myself this time. Sito spoke with them on Thursday, 10 May, by when they were already applying sealant. By Friday, it was done, and they painted it up on the following Monday or Tuesday.

Just now, I found a shadow of wetness again. It's very frustrating. Maybe, tomorrow, which is Sunday again, I'll find the wall dripping again! Really akan datang...

Sunday, 13 May 2018

New house for one and all

Friday night, Sito and I were at the supermarket when I needed to ask N about the size of the remaining diapers. Then I saw a few scary messages from her. The picture was all dark but I thought it looked like a moth - recall the caterpillars! I had to re-read the text and found "wasp" *.* She said Kai was sleeping on Yu's bed and Yu was very angry hoho! No wonder I saw a bigger mass on Yu's bed through the camera - I thought it was Yu plus pillow/bolster!

Got a scare ourselves when we saw the swarm for ourselves. It was the size of a tissue prata!

I don't recall seeing this - quite hard to miss ya! - when we got home at 6.30 pm when there was still light. Apparently, Kai saw it just before bedtime, hanging off the balcony ledge outside his window. He got scared and went to sleep with his brothers.

A security guard was in the lift with Sito when he went to return the NTUC trolley so he asked him whether other residents complained of bees. So the guard came to have a look and took a picture. That night, Sito also called a pest control company and arranged for them to come by on Saturday morning.

That night, I went over to Kai's room to look at it a few times. Also looked at it from Yang's room whenever Yu woke. Yang had pulled one curtain shut so he wouldn't see the "danger thing". At 4 plus, Kai somehow bought his pillow to his room and then came dashing into my room, hysterical about a black thing outside his window. Consoled him but I don't think he slept after that...

Got a better look when the sun came up - the bees on the brighter part were moving!

Brought the kids to see it in daylight. They were very curious but not as scared.

Later, the swarm started to shift...

All round now...

And at 9.10 am, the swarm disintegrated!

I took an amazing video of it happening. It took less than two minutes so we were quite lucky. And they were flying so fast I saw lines where they went! Can't see lines in video or photo of course. By 10 am, however, a couple of hundreds, I think, formed a little swarm again. This time, there was a small bit on the outer wall facing Yang's room too.

Reforming in process

In the meantime, I got a couple of calls from the management office which had heard from the security guard and was arranging for pest control too, as they had complaints from others about the time when the swarm disintegrated. But it sounded like I would have to pay $200 or so for survey so I told them we had our own.

They came about 10.45 am and took a bit to look at the swarm. It could only be accessed from Kai's window. One guy went to alert the neighhours while we learnt more from the other. Apparently this is common. The bees are trying to find a new nest. They usually get rid of bees in the evening when they are less active. We decided to pay $100 to just do it. They reached out with a can on a stick and gave the area a good spray. We are to monitor for a couple more days in case they come back.

Kai was fearful these two nights at bedtime. I went to check a few times last night. Nope, no bees :)

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Day out with Yan :)

Yan is back! Well, for a few days at least. And we arranged way back to meet up today :)

After a long breakfast at Straits Kitchen

Yes, we started before 9 am and by the time we left, the place was ready for lunch! We took a cab back to BP and sat around at home before heading out to karaoke!

The singing cousins, woohoo!

We thought the last time we sang together might have been 20 years ago *.* I remembered Yan singing a Hokkien song. She remembered Ah Yee singing Teresa Teng and Hokkien songs. What took this reunion so long? It was so fun!!

We started out with older songs. Then the newer ones came out. Then the crazy ones came out. And silly ones too. At one point, I think it must have been after Taylor Swift's Shake It Off, I thought I needed some Jay Zhou/Fang Wenshan to put some brains back into my head :p

Very high!

Even Kai and Yang joined us!

We gave them their current fave, Let It Go. Kai sang along for a while and then ditched the microphone. Yang was just sitting quietly on my lap. Gave them Old MacDonald and then I gave up. Time to fetch Yu and get everyone home!

Welfie before saying byebye to Yan

Hope it wouldn't be too long to our next meeting. And certainly hope the second cousins will get to meet soon too!

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

May Day with caterpillars!

We had such fun today! But first, a little throw back to Friday when school was closed. I had great plans to bring the boys out for breakfast and then to the pond.

Too early for Yakun so we terrorised fruits in NTUC

Yu: I want Milo too!

The short walk

It started drizzling when we got to the pond so we circled the CC a little. We were going to leave after that but the drizzle stopped so we went back to the boardwalk. And then it started drizzling again! Ah well, we left. But at least Kai and Yang saw a couple of tortoises in the pond.

I thought we missed seeing the big caterpillars but as it turned out, the caterpillars I read about online were not at Pang Sua Pond but at the part of Pang Sua Park Connector near their school! And today was the day!

Giant caterpillars the length of my index finger but fatter!

We left the house before 9 am and took a slow walk to the park connector between their school and the post office. A little bit in from the main road, we spotted the first caterpillars. They have blue pads on their feet! I felt so amazed but disgusted at the same time.

Years back in AMK, I walked by scores of these giant caterpillars feasting on the trees along the tracks between the station and my place. Needless to say, giant moths plied that path every night and scared the hell out of me every time they flew too low. Once, I even saw a moth hanging on a tree, seemingly sleeping!

Anyway, we also saw many cocoons. Think there were more cocoons than caterpillars already. One caterpillar was in the midst of spinning its cocoon!

40% done?

A camouflaged cocoon; finger for size

Also spotted some dead caterpillars but here the boys were gazing at some ant *.*

Token picture of the other boys :p

Yu was running about while Kai and Yang were busy searching for more caterpillars and cocoons with me. I carried Kai and Yang to see the caterpillars and cocoon up close. One cocoon was low enough for them to touch. It felt like cardboard. But no idea how hard it was coz I dared not press it. I don't like moths but I'm not killing them.

Time for some chow!

I forgot to get milo for Yu too, oops. But he enjoyed the chee cheong fun, which his brothers didn't like. It was going to rain so no waterplay. Instead, we went to the playground downstairs.

Seesaw time!

Not terribly friendly to my heart, this playground

Then the rain came. We went into the nearest block. Which isn't ours! Ended up buying lunch before cutting through the mall to get to our block.

Sent the boys in for an early nap coz we were due for caking cutting after nap time. Only Kai was up early though. I was on my way out to meet Kel and D for five minutes when Yu woke. So he came with me. He was so shy but when he was offered a Hello Panda cookie, he wasn't shy at all *.*

Happy birthday to AhYe!

We went out for dinner at the Flyer and got back late. Yu went down very quickly. Kai was next after a meltdown - he was supposed to go straight to bed but asked for some time to play in his room. I told him to turn off the light at 8.45 pm. Turned out that that was only a few minutes away and he blew. Yang just came in, demanding to know who closed his room door - I have to leave the door very much open than ajar every night. Hope he's sleeping already.

So there, our May Day. Think it was great to head out early for a stroll and breakfast. Need to do this more often :)
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