Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Big Move

I’ve finally done it! I’ve got a new home for my blog. I don’t really like how it looks at the moment, but there’s time enough for customisation. Right now, I’m just happy to be able to get on with updates! Yippie!!

Of course most of you would know, the main highlight these last few weeks is that I’ve delivered!  But the little one just woke from a nap so I need to attend to him first.  Watch this space!  :)

Thursday, 23 December 2010


I think I may never get around to updating everything, so I'll just ramble off some of the things that have been happening in the last couple of weeks.

We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary by running some errands and doing Christmas shopping.  Our aim was to finish all our shopping before I deliver.  It may be an everyday thing for a lot of people, but having a whole day to hang out, just the two of us, is something Jon and I don't get to do that often.  It turned out that our anniversary took on an 'old school' theme by accident.  It started with lunch at Wishbone, a restaurant that's been around since I was a little girl.  My Mum had a cooked food stall opposite, and between plucking tao gay and picking tau suan, my brother and I would hop over to buy ice-cream from Happy Kappy, their dessert arm. 

Dinner was at Shashlik, a Russian restaurant at Far East Shopping Centre.  It's a place with special meaning for us cos Jon once brought me there for a surprise dinner.  It was one of those times that he really really managed to surprise me :)  Things haven't changed at all in the intervening nine years.  The place looks the same, and the food was just as good.  The Borsch was heavenly and the Shashlik, of course, was great too.  As for dessert, we just couldn't resist ordering the ever indulgent baked Alaska.  How things have changed for us personally though.  We're now married with one kid, and one more on the way!

Day 2 of our wedding anniversay (our wedding was spread over 2 days, so we have an excuse to celebrate more!), we had lunch at the chicken rice stall on the top floor of Far East Plaza - another old school joint.  Somewhere we both went to as students. 

For me it felt like we were dating all over again, and it was just sweet and romantic in an everyday, ordinary way :)

Now that we're both on leave too, we've been settling stuff in the day while Asher's at school.  We haven't had so many afternoons out together since we were students!  So we caught Narnia, and I'm hoping to catch the sneak of Gulliver's Travels tomorrow.

As for Asher, he's settled very well into his new school.  Although initially he'd protest a bit when I left, now he walks off to join his friends and blows us kisses as we head off :)  He always seems to happy when we pick him up, and I love how he runs to us to greet us with a big big hug :)  Things really took a turn for the better when Jon started dropping off and picking up Asher together with me.  I think that helped him adjust more quickly.  I was worried that if I continued to drop/pick Asher alone, when Baby comes Asher would feel abandoned or neglected if I suddenly stopped sending him to school.  So these last 2 weeks we've been doing it together, and it has come to the point where Asher's ok even if Jon picked him up by himself. 

Jon's been more hands on these last two weeks at home, and that has helped me lots, and is great for Asher.  From helping with laundry to bathing Asher when I need a rest.  Asher's now even closer to Jon, and it's evidenced by requests from Asher for Daddy to read to him, even though storytime is usually done by Mummy.  I'm really happy to see them bonding :)

Asher's also eating SO much better.  I was reading up on picky eating sometime last month, and found that kids who are not pressured to eat end up getting all the nutrients they need anyway.  I think that perhaps in my anxiety about his weight loss and his poor food in-take, I was unconsciously making meal times stressful for him.  I decided to let go, to not press for him to "take another bite", to just offer him a wide variety of healthy options and let him pick when he wants to eat from that selection.  I decided to let him be in charge of his intake, afterall they say breastfed kids know how to regulate their food intake well.  And the results were quick and satisfying.  Within a day or two he was eating more, and he started drinking milk again (yes, he had rejected even that!  At it's worst, he could go an entire day with less than 200ml of milk and just 2 tablespoons of rice!).  He now generally eats heartily, even though there are some meals where he just picks at the food.  But that's ok.  I've come to be very zen about it, especially cos I now adopt the mindset that it's just one of many meals in a week.  He's still more of a vegetarian/fruitarian, not liking to eat meat that much, but I've found a pretty decent list of almost full-proof food that he'll take, some of these he ate even during his picky phase.  Some things are, well, fast-food, but I've also come to think that if he will eat it, let him be.  It's still food afterall.  At home offer him the healthier stuff, outside, close one eye. 

So here's the list: all fruits, veg (esp carrots and corn), my bolognaise sauce, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, egg tofu, rice (esp if he helped to cook it), roti prata, tortillas, eggs (in one form or another - but you must give it to him in the form he wants or he won't eat it), and the KFC breakfast platter (he esp likes the biscuits).  Besides these, the cuisine that seems to work almost all the time is Indian food.  So far, he has without fail (to my memory at least) eaten well whenever we have Indian food.  Roti prata is one case in point.  He will happily munch on egg prata, and sometimes even dips it into the curry.  He loves briyani rice, he eats dahl curry, has munched up palak paneer (a mild spinach and cheese curry) with gusto, likes vegetable korma, eats dosai and apun jala (pancakes which look like spider webs), and enjoys papadum no end.  I think he likes their stronger flavours, and I'm not surprised, given how much Indian and Malay food I ate when I was pregnant and breastfeeding.

So it was a very happy Selena tonight as we left Samy's curry.  He ate very well, eating half a good sized piece of dry curried fish (he actually ate fish without me having to sneak it in!), dahl with briyani, papadum, and a cup of mixed fruit (this is something I didn't know they offered until today!).  I have always liked going to Samy's curry, and we've brought him there before, but tonight I left thinking, "I love Samy's!".  The staff are always so friendly to him, saying hi as they walk by.  He likes having his own banana leaf to eat off, free flow of papadum and dahl, fab lime juice, and now there's  even fruits to end the meal!!  And for the parents - great teh tarik too :) 

We weighed him tonight, and I was very surprised and happy to see that he's finally broken 12!  He's 12.4 kg!!  What a vast improvement from a month ago when he fell back into the 10 range! 

So I'm very very happy to see Asher happy at home, at school, at meals.  He's really been a jolly fellow these few weeks with Mummy and Daddy being available to him.  I hope it keeps up when Baby comes, and when Jon goes back to work. 

Speaking of Baby, we've decided on the name already, but we'll keep it under wraps until he arrives.  Asher's been refering to Baby by his name for the last several months, and I suppose we can't change it now else he'd be so confused when Baby is introduced with a different name.  Anyway, it's a name we like very much, and in fact was the first name we considered many many months ago when I was about 3-4 months pregnant.  We deliberated several others in the last few months, but nothing quite sat as well with us. Anyway, I'll elaborate more on the name when Baby arrives.

Asher's been very sweet though.  He talks about Baby as part of the family.  A few days ago when playing with blocks he built a house for Baby.  He has also in his new school played with a baby doll, and called it by Baby's name.  He carried the doll, brought it for a stroll around the room in a stroller, fed him milk, and included him in storytime :)  (I've some pics, will see if I can upload when I move to a new site.)  He says that Baby loves him, and he loves Baby.  I just hope that this good feeling keeps up! 

I've been getting him prepared for the arrival of the little one.  Asher chose to give a toy to Baby, and he's picked out which toy.  He knows I'm going to be in hospital for two days, and he'll stay with Por Por.  He knows it tiring to deliver and Mummy might be sleeping a lot after.  And the most recent piece of info I've introduced is that Mummy doesn't know when Baby is coming.  Only God/Jesus knows.  I realised I had to tell him this last piece of info too in case Baby comes in the middle of the night and we're not around in the morning when he wakes up!  Right now Asher's not the most reliable predictor of when Baby will come.  Every time I ask him whether Baby is coming before or after Christmas the answer changes :)   

And as for Christmas, I can't wait! :)  Where will I be celebrating it?  At home?  At a friend's house?  In hospital?  Let's just see how it goes!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Gotta Move!

So...I finally had a little bit of time to try and upload some pics and post some updates.  Then I realised that my blogspot account has run out of photo space!  Gonna search around for a new home.  Thinking of wordpress cos there's 3GBs worth of space there, compared to 1GB here.  Plus, I can move all my old posts over too!

But it'll all have to wait for another time when I'm more free.

Still busy busy!  Finishing up work, weekly gynae appointments now, settling baby stuff, Christmas shopping, sorting out the house, etc, etc, etc.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Busy Busy

There's lots to update! 

I've been busier than ever, at work and at home. Trying to settle everything at work before I go on maternity leave, but new work has foiled some of my winding down plans.  Then took Asher out of his old school early cos there were several cases of HFMD, and I didn't want him contracting it, especially since he was gonna be moving to a new school soon.  Didn't want him bringing any viruses over.  Then needed to take leave to help Asher adjust to his new school.  It's only day 3, but so far seems ok.  The new place has a similar routine to his old school, so he's pretty used to that schedule.  He occasionally still talks about his friends from the old school, which is quite sad for me since I know he's not going back.  I always wonder what he's really thinking in his head.

Anyway, here's a run down of what we've been doing.  If I've time I'll update on them in more detail (will be back-dated).

7 Nov: Josiah's Birthday
12 Nov: Asher's Birthday in School
13 Nov: Asher's Birthday @ Loewen Gardens
14 Nov: Asher's Birthday @ Charlie's Corner
14-16 Nov: Changi Village Staycation
17 Nov: Reuben & Cindy's Wedding - Asher was a page boy!
18 Nov: SSO's Baby Proms
27 Nov: Bob the Builder @ West Coast Plaza
28 Nov: Thomas @ Millenia
30 Nov: Swim date at Sentosa
1 Dec: Asher's new school
3 Dec: Walking with Dinosaurs


Let me first settle the downloading of pics to my comp!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Turning 2 at Changi

These were the last pics I managed to squeeze onto my blog. 

We celebrated Asher birthday with family at Charlie's Corner in Changi Village.  Our Changi stay was planned to coincide with his birthday, so we thought it'd be convenient to celebrate it somewhere in the area.  Plus, my Mum really likes the pork chops there :) 

The highlight for Asher and Aidan were the car/bike rides available just next to our dinner spot.  They started on the individual bikes, and later shared a car ride.  It amazed me how quickly they both got the hang of riding the bikes.  And the uncle operating the rides said that almost all parents were surprised!  The kids he sees all apparently take to the rides really quickly.  He kept repeating in Mandarin how you must just give them a chance to do it, and they will amaze you.  They did!  After just a short while they were both independently biking around the circuit.  But, there was one thing that highlighted that they were still just very young toddlers - they were easily distracted.  When an aeroplane flew by they'd go, "AEROPLANE!", forgetting to watch where they were going.  That's when we had to step in to prevent them from crashing into the curb/cones :)  Anyway, the uncle said that some of the older kids he sees can probably reverse park better than their parents! :) 
Happily biking on his own

Going for a spin in the car.  Aidan is really good with machines.  After a while he figured out how to steer the car and brake too!  Asher just enjoyed his joy ride :)

A small blackforest cake.  Predicted (rightly) that we'd all be too full after dinner :)

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Whaley Bouncy Birthday @ Loewen Gardens

I had been prepping Asher for a while by repeatedly telling him about the event, so he knew that he was having a party that day.  

It was held at The Pantry @ Loewen Gardens, and the invite list was the same as last year :)  Besides his very dear cousins, there were the playmates he meets more often who are basically the second generation of Mummy and Daddy's long-time friends.  It was nice that more of the kids (and parents) could come this time around :) 

Think The Pantry suited our needs very well. We wanted somewhere fun for the kids, somewhere with nice food (good coffee was a bonus!), and somewhere not too far from our place. It worked out well, I think, with the children occupying themselves at the many play spaces, the adults seemed to enjoy the food, the cake which the cafe made was delicious, and we even had an impromptu post-party of sorts at the trampoline. And at the end of all that, no cleaning up to do!! Yippie!

Didn't really deliberately set out to have a whaley theme.  It kind of just fell into place.  Whales are one of the creatures that Asher really likes, and basically his party centred around what he liked.  He liked the place the last time we went there, he likes whales (among other things), and whatever was in the party pack he also personally liked.  Yes, he really liked what was in the party packs.  After packing them the night before, I had put them in bags on the floor all ready to be picked up and brought along.  In the morning, Asher didn't come to wake me as usual, but I awoke to the sound of rustling plastic bags and realised he was rummaging through the party packs!  He wanted to take everything!!  He wanted to keep the water squirters, to play with the aeroplanes, to blow the bubbles....he didn't get around to seeing the cookies or he'd ask to eat them I'm sure, and if he saw the stickers, he'd probably have peeled them off already. 

I extracted him from the treasure and told him it was for his friends, but he didn't want to accept that.  Somehow in the end, I can't remember how, we managed to distract him, and at the party we covered the party packs in case he refused to have them be given away :)  Yes, like I said.  He really really likes the stuff in there. 

Prepared some noise makers or 'shakers' for the kids to decorate.  It was quite a hilarious process to make them though.  I had put some beans inside the folded paper plates to help create the noise, then glued it close.  After making the first one I happily beamed at Jon and said, "Ta Da!" while shaking it.  It make noise for two shakes...then silence....the glue hadn't dried...my beans got stuck to the side!!! So I had to quickly pry open the plate again and try to stuff in more beans.  But cos it was half glued shut, I had a little bit of difficulty holding the plate flat, with the result of having more beans get stuck to the side!  But in the end managed to get some in the middle.  Then I left it alone to dry :) 
The second try, I thought I left the plate long enough to dry, but again, after two to three shakes...silence!!  Scrambled to get more beans inside again.  Decided to not shake any of the rest until the next morning, just to be sure! :)) 

All ready for the guests to arrive.  Those yellow balloons didn't last beyond 30mins.  Either cos some burst, or cos they were hijacked by the kids.   But that was the whole intention anyway, for the kids to play with the balloons, and not just be decor :)

Lots of spaces for playing

Checking out the Christmas decor

The giant cake.  The owner of the cafe, Jane, told me that it was a 12 inch cake.  But she didn't say how high!   I generally like savory food more so I found the icing much too sweet for me, but the chocolate sponge was really good, and by the end of the day I had eaten wayyy too many slices of cake.

Gathered the kids together in the hope of getting a group shot, but in the end could only get 6 of the 7 on the sofa

More play spaces

The start of the post-party trampoline fun

Fun with adults

Even more fun with no adults!

Group hug!

Tao pok!

Getting tired

This was super fun.  Emma's Dad went under the trampoline and pushed the kids up with his legs, making them fly!  The kids had no idea what was happening and why they were flying cos the bottom of the trampoline was opaque, but they absolutely LOVED it! :)

Taking a break

Post post-party!


Asher, I love you more than you know.  You bring me so much joy, and I feel so blessed to have you in my life.  You have taught me many many things by what you notice, what you say, and I have loved all our little excursions together.  You enjoy going to the zoo, to the beach, to the Botanic Gardens.  You absolutely adore running through fountains.  You love the playground - in school when it's time to go to the playground you always eagerly shout "outdoor!".  You are very observant, and often spot little things that I don't even notice, like the way some animals move and tiny aeroplanes in the night-time sky.  You love books, and you enjoy reading together very much.  Your memory also often amazes me, like how you rememered what the fat penguins did on Philips Island, how the rhino in the zoo looked at you, what characters are in your books, etc.  You are also getting cheekier and chattier, and I love getting an insight into what goes through your mind.

You are such great company, lots of fun, very sweet, sensitive, and loving.  Caring for you has not been without it's difficulties, but the love and happiness you bring more than out-weigh all that.  I love you for who you are.  I am so amazed by how much you've grown, how much you've changed, how much you've developed, and I can only thank God for all this.  Happy Birthday Sweetie! 

Friday, 12 November 2010

Celebrating 2 in School

We celebrated Asher's birthday in school two days early since his birthday fell on a Sunday.  Got some small party favours for his classmates which he happily shared out one-by-one, then had a simple cake cutting session at their tea time. 

I ordered an agar-agar cake because some of his classmates can't take dairy.  With a regular cake, they'd miss out on the fun.  Thought the cake was really cute and I was a little bit afraid that Asher may not want to cut it.  He sometimes gets upset when something gets cut up or broken, and he will keep asking for it to be put back together, even though sometimes it's utterly impossible, e.g., if you broke a cookie in half, or already sliced a fruit...how do you put it back together?  A new cookie will not do.  That broken cookie must be put back together.  Having had several run-ins with this idiosyncracy, which hits at the most unexpected times, I really was a little concerned that it'd surface in school.


Thank goodness that wasn't the case at all.  In fact, he acted completely different from what I expected.  He happily slashed away at poor Cookie Monster!  Hacking and slashing and cutting!  I had to stop him after a while to make sure we could actually cut the cake into proper pieces to give out.  I guess the feeling of cutting agar-agar can be quite interesting - firm yet soft, smooth, and not messy at all.  And after cutting, the line seems to disappear somewhat. 

Anyway, the cake was yummy.  Not the mushy type of agar-agar.  It was firm with a slight crunch.  And very fragrant too.  Will definitely order from this lady again :) 

 C is for Cookie!

Slashing away

Not the most flattering photo for me, but it was our only family pic

Think this is the school's usual birthday set-up.  Thought it was grand for a little boy to sit at the head of such a large table!

After everyone had their (second, third, and even fourth!) serving of cake, Asher asked to cut Cookie Monster again.  I relented and let him have a go, which resulted in Cookie Monster's very injured eye.  My friend commented that it looked like Cookie Monster got into a gang fight!

It was simple and enjoyable.  I'm glad we did it for him :)