Sunday, 27 January 2019

A weekend with little of Papa

I must pat myself on the back for this. Sito was overseas Thursday to Saturday. So I decided to proceed with Saturday programming all on my own.

It took one escalator ride for me to threaten to go home coz Yang was going against the direction of the escalator and Yu refused to let me hold his hand. I told them to behave or we would go home. Yet, at the second escalator, they continued to disregard safety. Kai was just going ahead on his own but Yang followed him and Yu wanted in too.

I was ready to go home but they were so sad so I roped in Kai to help. At the next escalator, Kai watched over Yang while Yu let me hold his hand.

And so we made our way to Pang Sua Park Connector, where Yu went with his class a week ago, to find big fat caterpillars! Yes, again! And this time, there were more of them!

Can you see the caterpillar that Kai is pointing to?

Yu asked to be carried to look at the caterpillars and when he got near, he said "scared" and patted his chest. Awww... We ran about for a while and stopped at a few trees to examine the caterpillars. But I thought I felt a drop of rain and they were starting to find it boring so we turned back. Along the way, Yu wanted me to carry him. He told me it was raining, no walk walk :p Oops, I had said that to him before. So I told him yes, but he could walk in the rain when he turns three :p

And they decided they needed a rest on the way back

Walking with kids is always slow, with all the random to and fro and dilly-dallying. So by the time we got through the MRT station, it was time for dinner!

Kai confidently told me to take the first escalator as that would lead to Macs. I never took that but I thought he was right. We landed near the pasar malam and walked across to Macs.

We found a seat but it was impossible to keep them there while I was buying food! I don't know how many times all of us were not at the seat! Thanks for tissue chope culture haha! But ours was a pack of wet wipe. Not to mention that our baby bag was hanging off a chair. (But strangely, three young ladies placed a used tray on our table when we went chasing after a runaway Yu! I put it back on their table which has a hot flask.)

And then Yu refused to eat more than two bites of his first burger. That's it - back to nuggets for him next time! But Kai had the rest of that burger, never mind his fear of saliva!

Yang and Yu were supposed to have ice cream. Kai lost his chance at ice cream by then but he managed to convince Yang to share with him. But he had a stomachache so he decided to go home first. It was when I was checking the camera for him that I found Sito in bed - he was home earlier than expected! But he was also unwell.

Today, N was off. So while Kai and Yang had their swimming lesson, which thankfully didn't end in tears, I brought Yu to the BPP playground when he had much fun!

His fave slide - he invited me up but I was too big :p

He also took peeks at the group exercising to K-pop - photo from two weeks ago when we first went there

He helped me buy a bun for Kai's little bites

I carried him half the way in case we were late for the end of the swimming lesson, coz I thought Sito was resting at home. But I found him there waiting for the kids so I went back first. Shortly after, Sito came back with Yang who wanted to poop. Kai came back much later coz he was promised some game after his lesson.

And then I carted the kids off to Mum's place in a taxi coz Sito wanted to stay home. Managed ok there except that Yu wanted me to be with him at mealtimes. I even took a little nap - too tired...

My monkeys on the taxi back

Lucky for me, the boys all slept quite quickly. Kai is in his own room. Yang dozed off while I was with Yu. Yu stayed quiet after his milk, which was rare coz usually he would jump off Yang's bed multiple times. I'm not complaining :p

Another water issue, seriously?!

The night of 30 Oct, I was sitting on Yu's bed when I felt something wet. I found the bottom of his mattress wet on one part. I thought some drinking water was spilled there so I wiped it up and didn't think much about it until I kept feeling more wetness. Then I found water seeping up from the parquet! Even the bottom of the curtain was wet!

Some water even seeped up near the middle of the room under Yang's bed!

It rained quite hard in the day. So I asked N whether she closed the window. Yes, she said. Though I knew she would say that even if she didn't. Anyway, it was obvious that there must be a lot of water underneath for it to seep up. The next morning, water continued to seep up. I took pictures, placed a piece of tissue over the wettest spot which was the one near Yu's mattress and left the house.

Dark water lines on the parquet nearest the windows

Found water marks on the wall the day after we returned from Taiwan. Super sian!!!!

Pretty light on 11 Nov

Grew by 12 Nov

Found worse spots behind the curtain on 12 Nov!

Emailed the management office the next day and the guy asked me to put in a defects form. The contractor came over to look at the area on Tuesday, 13 Nov. They said the window was leaking. Huh?? Anyway, on Saturday, 17 Nov, they brought more people to fix the window. They took out the small pane and waterproofed the side that sounded hollow.

That night onwards, the kids slept in Kai's room instead

They were coming to fix the parquet on Monday but I thought that was too fast and told them to hold. I wanted to monitor the situation further before touching the parquet. And true enough, the water spots continued to grow! :(

The day after the works and a week later

I happened to telecommute on Monday, 26 Nov, due to a bad cough so I met the contractors. They found the window sides hollow and decided to pull off another pane to check. They did this on Friday, 30 Nov.

Then this happened over the 1-2 Dec weekend!!

They fixed it on Monday using longer nails but I doubt it would hold - shall see how...

Anyway, back to the water issue. So I monitored for over a week and thought it looked no worse; in fact, it might have improved?? So I called them.

They came to do the floor on 13 Dec. I happened to be home as I was on PM leave. They told me that the colour would look different coz they couldn't do the whole room as warranty was over. Sito said ok not to do if that was the case but I did a quick check with the supervisor who told his staff to do the whole room! It would be troublesome - have to shift the bed out - but it would be pretty and probably less to explain when selling??

The work was eventually done on 31 Dec. How untimely given that it was half day for the boys. I had to loiter downstairs with them while N cleaned up. And when we opened the door on 2 Jan, I found the floor so rough, so unlike the last time when they did Kai's floor! Supervisor came to have a look on 3 Jan and said it was normal coz new and I didn't feel that at TOP coz I was wearing shoes. But when they did Kai's room, it didn't feel like that too! So pissed about it...

I asked the supervisor to get the parquet guys to call me. When I didn't hear from him, I decided I should just write in to the developer. At most I get my own professionals in and seek reimbursement from them!

Thankfully, the developer called back the next working day. She couldn't do reimbursement but she promised to get this sorted out. So on Wednesday, 16 Jan, the contractor brought the parquet guys in for a joint inspection when I was home. The boss said it was probably the coating that was different. His staff came the very next day to re-coat it.

I checked on Friday morning when Sito sent Kai as I had a retreat that day. Thankfully it was like the other rooms! But there was a scratch. Supervisor said that could be redeemed. That night, Sito shifted the bed in from the living room - finally!!

The scratch, less than 1 cm but I felt it the moment I stepped in

They came in quickly on Monday to touch up the floor and paint the wall with the water stains. The touch-up was great but the yellow stains on the wall shone through the new paint. Looks like a couple more coats on those spots are necessary. Must remember to do that this week - last week before LNY!

Just so glad this is finally over...

Sunday, 20 January 2019

A weekend with no nap

Coz I spent this weekend doing lots of little things around the house in between spending time with the family. LNY is just round the corner and I have standards to upkeep, ok... And Kai made me repeat Christmas lunch for dinner today, tiring..

Video-ed Kai and various domino formations during quiet time yesterday

(And every day, Kai: When are my dominos coming? Huuuuh, so long?!)

Later, N and I sat down in the living room with the three kids playing around us, trying to pick out broken and/or forgotten toys to dump. We had a whole bag full! And during dinner, I passed a bag of old clothes to a fellow mummy living in BPP - happy!

Look at baby Yang trying to scale new heights in our non-kid friendly playground!

After dinner at Hans, Sito took Kai and Yu back first coz Yang was still eating his burger. So after that, we took a little walk and ended up at a booth to do some hongbao craft. Just nice it was a set of three hongbaos - one for each boy! Yang painstakingly glued on the words while I set them. Then we wrote their names and stuck fluffy balls on them. I forgot to take pictures and just now I saw only one of them lying around!

This morning, I brought only Kai to the hawker centre for breakfast! The other two had started snacking on CNY goodies early in the morning so I didn't want to bring them only to have them not eat! And Kai really needed some outdoor time - we walked back instead of taking the bus, and he played a bit at the BPP playground too. He agreed to leave only coz we had to wake Sito up in time for swimming lesson :p

But little Yang started crying halfway into swimming lesson. Later, when Sito, Yu and I came back to their end of the pool, he came crying to me saying he wanted to go home. Poor boy. He thought it was too cold!

Wrapped my poor sobbing boy with two towels :(

We had scheduled swimming lessons to be 10.30 am and 4.30 pm on alternate Sundays. But the coach found it confusing so we had to stay with 10.30 am so that we could still go to Mum's place. It is a tad colder in the morning compared to the afternoon, especially with it being quite windy around here. Gonna give it another week and see how - will remind the boys to stay in the water instead of going in and out.

Happier later playing on the keyboard :)

Don't know if it's the crying or the fighting with his brothers (hoho!) but Yang almost dozed off on the sofa right after dinner, during which he was quite quiet. But once he had a shower, he was all awake again!!

Love this shot of Sito smiling at Yu :)

They just sat there for a while at first coz it was cold. Sito was hoping Yu wouldn't jump in else he would have to go after him! Well, our little commanding officer went in after all - Papa, come!

Random - my flowy shorts were flying in the wind!

Only my feet 见得了人 coz no nap. Just put on a mask to remedy the 39yo face..

This afternoon, we again sat in the living room, this time packing out little knick-knacks like screws, batteries, chargers and earphones. I dumped what I could. No, I didn't think about whether they sparked joy. It was more like, do we need four ear pieces in the box Sito and I both have one each in our work bag?? No.

Oh, we finally moved Yang's bed back to his room on Friday night. That's why I could pack up things in the living room!

So the three of them slept in Yang's room last night. It was moving the routine from one room to the other. But tonight, Kai is sleeping in his room coz I mandate it so when the next day is a school day - he needs to sleep without being disturbed by his noisy brothers. And it turned out that with them not altogether, they quieten down pretty quickly!

The last time they consistently slept separately like this was before the bee incident in May and before we had to shift Kai's bed out to do his floor. Now that Yang's floor is almost done, and we're coming to our one-year anniversary staying here (!), hope the dust of moving house can really be settled soon!

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Yang's recent work

Yang brought back a worksheet last week. They were doing a book about fathers so the worksheet was to be done with Sito.

I printed a photo of them from their day out in December, and googled with Sito to translate his job etc. Then last Thursday morning while I was sending Kai to school, Sito work early to do the worksheet with Yang.

Yang thanked him for helping with his worksheet!

The super darling posing with a grouchy face

That night when I didn't do work, I tidied up the shelf and found the old Gruffalo school project we did together some time ago. He brought it back to school for a show-and-tell and brought it back home.

It came with a little note:

I do think it is so funny too :)

We finally bought a keyboard over last weekend and it arrived on Wednesday. I let Kai play with it but his attention shifted pretty quickly!

When Yang came back, I let him practise solfege and playing a single note - the latter came with a little tune and I forgot! Luckily for me, the moment he put his little fingers on the keys, he started singing the tune himself :) Then, he wanted to watch TV *.*

Two weeks of primary school!

Just like that, two full weeks of primary school had flown by.

My birthday was the first time I sent Kai to school on 960. He complained. He whined. I should have been more confident about not missing the stop and sat on the upper deck instead coz that was what we did from the next day and the amount of whining reduced drastically!

It was also the first time I wasn't there to pick him up from the school bus. I had to check on him from the camera. I noticed he was at the dining table a long time...

Turned out he dragged N to buy chicken wings with money he saved from previous days!

He had to ask someone for directions to his classroom that day.

The next day, when I was walking him into the school, he shook off my hand suddenly. Why? Silent. Coz other boys aren't holding hands? Ya.. Awww - can you hear my heart break??

But he let me hold his hands again on subsequent days. Think he is still a baby at heart :)

3 days of 960, he "thinks he knows the way" so I stopped further away...

Yesterday, I asked him whether he wanted to go in by the bridge. He said ok. But he backed out a few steps in. As we walked into the school compound again, he decided that he would go by the slope instead of the transport centre. His steps were a little uncertain but he pushed on. Later, he told me he found his classroom but he was afraid he might stray into the secondary block coz he was not supposed to go there.

I'm very proud of him :)

10 Jan marked the first day he had some proper food - pizza - for recess. Achievement unlocked!! When he came home, he bought ice cream from Macs. Gosh..

He had been saving money to buy dominos. He even told him he passed by a shop selling dominos haha! So I eventually got him a small set. Every day, he asked me when it would be delivered *.*

Friday, 11 Jan, he lost his watch. It hasn't been found yet. Oh well!

Life went back to normal this week. He even had homework which he did on his own accord in the afternoon! It was just colouring but good attitude!

He also got his first spelling lists. I asked him if he wanted to score or fail. He wanted to score. But he also said he was lazy! Somehow yesterday he agreed to look at the first list for a while. And then I tested him.

7/8 - great for a first spelling!

He got 8/8 by the second test. And today, he got it all correct too. Really gotta use his competitiveness to motivate him!

Today I found him eating in front of the TV

Turned out that N's friend bought him a big bag of candies when they met at the supermarket and by dinner time when I learnt about it, he had finished almost everything! I had to lay down strict rules to N. With all the junk he's been having in school, he might just become unhealthily fat, grrr...

Friday, 18 January 2019

Pre-date night date night

I want to remember this. So I wrote this on my phone late Wednesday night. Or super early Thursday?

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

At 8.38 am, the boys were quiet. I thought, great, soon I could resume work. The next thing I knew, it was 10.26 pm!

First shock - I dozed off and for so long!

Second shock - Sito isn’t back yet? He started so early today coz he sent Kai to school while I was working from home!

He cane home just after I texted him. I decided it was too late to start work. Anyway I was tired after an intensive day.

I ended up clearing the pile of documents on my desk and tray while Sito was in the shower. Later, we had a little chat about uni life. So nice :)

Yu came in around midnight. He slept between us, with my left arm as pillow.

Sito was playing mobile games. I poked his foot with mine.

mf: My toes are flirting with yours.

Sito: 这样也可以?!

mf: No choice

Sito: *Laughs*


Tuesday, 8 January 2019

39 is a beautiful number

Coz 13 is a prime number and I like 3 - totally random!

Anyway, happy birthday to me! :) I had quite a splendid day - I mean, no accidents! :p

Celebrated birthday with the family a week ago on New Year's day. We got there early hoping to visit a couple of churches around Chijmes but Yang and Yu fell asleep in the car so we ended up just roaming Chijmes.

Kai found a few spiral staircases

Yang woke and dashed off, leaving us and a sleeping baby

Then baby woke too

Our trio!

The sofa behind our seats was great for kids while we set up

Spot the baby!

Who's stronger?!

With my loved ones :)

I took leave today as usual, except that there happened to be a meeting this morning. So for the first time in many years, I worked on my birthday.

But I had a surprise from the team!

That was like 15 min before the meeting so we saved the cake to eat tomorrow. I tied up some loose ends and left after the meeting woohoo!

First was lunch with CY at AMK. CY and I used to sing this song 19岁的最后一天 by 伊能静 when we were kids. This morning after getting coffee, I had a sudden panic that I forgot to sing this song yesterday! Then hold on, I should sing this just before 40, not 39! And need to change to 39岁的最后一天 :p I must remember coz I forgot on my 19岁的最后一天!

I was early and walked around the mall - it has changed so much! Bought some LNY goodies and went to sit at the restaurant. Ended up taking a micro nap, too tired *.*

Lunch was good. The last time we met, we had six kids between us. This time, we had a proper conversation!

After she went back to work, I had a haircut at a salon there, one with a Japanese name playing Korean pop...

Just a trim

Went home via CCK. The journey was interesting - plenty of greenery and some industrial parts totally unfamiliar to this city dweller! Dropped my bags and checked Kai's bag before going for some quick shopping and a back massage downstairs - I badly needed that!

Halfway through bedtime routine, I felt that I needed to eat cake on my birthday so I texted Sito to bring back a slice.

He got me a whole cake!

It's a panda!

First, we knifed the panda, then we carved out some cheek meat :p

So there, simple day. Looking forward to my big FOUR next! :)

Update 18 Jan

I had a surprise celebration at YX's place on 11 Jan!

I showed Yang a photo of just me and A, and teased him: Hey, Mama has another boy leh. He took a look, then stared at me out of the corner of his eye and " Mama, issit you were at another person's house?"

Mama 0, Yang 100 :p

Got this from Sito today!

He ordered one for me and one for Jiejie. I took it as my birthday present anyway :)

Transport to and from school

I'm glad my kids are used to waking up early. It used to be super early, like 4 plus for Yu and 5 plus for Kai and Yang. After Taiwan, somehow they got up later, but it became normal - 6 plus! So I was a bit sad that Kai had to wake at 5 plus again. Luckily, he took to it quite well.

Coz the school bus must send the kids in before 7 am, Kai got there very early, about 6.45 am. Assembly is at 7.40 am! Considering that kids should preferably go to class by 7.25 am before proceeding for assembly so they don't have to climb to assembly with their bags, it's still a good 40 min of waiting time, time that could be spent sleeping.

I totally enjoy reaching office before 7 am though, like I did on the third day of school. But I constantly worry about the kids not sleeping enough.

Hence I did a trial this morning. Or rather, yesterday morning. (Side note: Happy birthday to me! :p)

After sending Kai up the school bus, I went home and did some work until his brothers woke. I checked the bus times and left at 6.30 am to catch the next public bus to school. It's quite convenient, just across the road from my block.

While it took me under 30 min on the first two days of school, it took me 50 mins this time, thanks to the horrendous traffic at a total of six schools right after the highway exit! That was longer than the 45 min by school bus, but it would save 30-40 min of sleep time. I also recced the MRT way but didn't like it coz it was a 10-min walk along a busy road with cars whizzing by.

So we discussed and I texted the person-in-charge. She got back to me only at night but good news, we ditch the morning school bus from this morning! I will send Kai to school, watch him go in and take the same bus to change to MRT to get to office.

Now, I just hope there is no meltdown when he wakes tomorrow to this piece of news!

Monday, 7 January 2019

Baby Yu is "big boy"

For the third consecutive day, Yu did not nurse in the evening. I told him that he is now a big boy, so there can be no more 妈妈奶奶 - though he still insists on latching on in the middle of the night and the morning. This evening, I reminded him about it and he asked, "Big boy?" Yes, my baby, big boy :) I pointed to his bottle and said he could have 爸爸奶奶 :p

I have been telling him for a while to say "bye bye 奶奶" and unlatch; sometimes he did but most times he continued suckling and shook his head. He's really quite heavy to be leaning on my chest for long stretches of time. I even considered putting something bitter on me to wean him off but decided to be gentle about it. Nonetheless, now that he understands that he can't have 奶奶 in the evening, I feel a little sad...

But big boy is good right?

Big enough to boss me around - he put me in charge of the ball

While he went splashing happily with Papa

He also gave food he didn't want to shared food with DaGeGe

Like XiaoGeGe, he took off his shoes

Like his brothers, he must climb up the slide

Those shoes belonged to Kai or Yang. They were lightly worn so Yu took them. He didn't seem to like his proper shoes but I really don't like him to wear his slippers coz he kept losing one or the other and had to go back for it!

Also big enough to watch YouTube Kids on a phone

Grow to be a big boy, but remain my baby, ok? :)

How's school?

So the third day of school went well enough without me around. He found his way to his classroom with an older boy's help. He found his buddy Russell (or his buddy found him?) and told him he wanted to buy Milo and actually bought it, happy to get change for his $2 so that he could one day play tikam without me knowing!

No, I'm not kidding, coz when N met him downstairs, he told her he wanted to go and buy things! Luckily N insisted on bringing him up.. Oh, and he got his bus home despite the temporary change in bus and driver (wth on the third day of school?!) coz "it was still 5C".

And he started peeing in school :)

Today went well except that I forgot his maths textbook :p And he lost his wallet! He somehow broke the chain (!) and didn't know where he dropped it. Luckily the bus driver called me just before he came up and told me it was in his bus.

I happened to be working from home today as there were no meetings. So I witnessed once again his royal laziness. He didn't take off his socks. He rolled on the floor instead of having lunch. He didn't want to unpack and pack his schoolbag. This was mostly the fault of a bit of blutack from the boy next to him on the bus - he loves bluetack! But to my disgust, it turned out to be a bit of chewing gum that Kai chewed on! When he spit it out, the boy told him he spit it out too soon, hoho!!!

Gave him an old activity book to occupy him. Sito bought quite a bit of those years back but this boy wasn't too interested. Now he can read some and should be able to do. He went to the book and whined a little.

Then he got to this activity of counting the number of people in the picture and asked me why the answer was wrong - it said 5 when he got 6. I asked him to show me the 6 and realised he had counted the unseen driver of a tractor!!! I told him that he must explain his answer but it was sheer torture for both of us to get him to write "I also counted the person driving the tractor"!!

Just told Sito about the tractor driver, and he said Kai might not fare well in ambiguous test questions. He would need to learn to clarify the question or else just take it at face value. Ah well...

There was a major meltdown when he learnt that N was cooking rice for dinner. He had wanted fried rice. Gosh, I almost went mad. Took him very long to calm down. Then he asked to go out to play. So at 5 pm, I packed my laptop and went down with him and his scooter.

Working in the reading room while he scooted around

At one point, he ditched his scooter to play at the playground. Then he needed a drink so he went up on his own to get a drink. When he came back, two younger boys scooted back behind him so the three of them played together! When we left, Kai said bye bye to them.

N didn't use the stroller for Yu today coz he didn't want. I was apprehensive and got Kai to go fetch his brothers with me, coz he can help with bags.

Like how he went to find Sito in the crazy Aston queue and brought the bag up to the playground

What a disaster. Yu decided that I should either carry him or let him run freely - no handholding. Kai dropped both bags on me and went ahead with Yang, chatting. Based on later conversation, it seemed that he was telling him about his buddy - so cute!

I was chasing Yu about in the mall and suddenly, Yang appeared besides me, crying! He had been a "lost boy"! I was quite pissed with Kai until I saw him at the concierge - he looked worried. He even asked if Yang was a "lost boy" and said sorry to him. Awww.. Turned out that they both went into a shop and somehow, they lost sight of each other. Kai even asked someone in the shop whether he had seen his brother. Awww...

Well I guess the trip had a good ending. It started well too. Whenever I asked Kai about school, he couldn't tell me anything except "I forgot" or "I don't know"! But on our way to child care, I asked him about friends and he gave me five names, mostly seated around him going by their names - all Ss and Ts coz it's alphabetical by IC name, not surname. I was glad to hear that :) But turned out I was late in the game as Sito had already asked and got two names out of him.

Hope he gets into the swing of things and can tell me more about his day :)
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