4 Apr // B:6mths3wks // E:2yrs5.5mths

It’s been two months since I’ve written. Taking care of two kids, with no helper, no part-time cleaner and full time work can be crazy at times (who am I kidding, it is crazy all the time). Both the boys and A have gone to bed and it’s rare that I have still some energy in me to pen these thoughts before they go poof.

We took our first family vacation this March! That was exciting and to be honest I was also a little apprehensive. Luckily my mum and sisters came along, and they of course, proved to be immeasurable help. Suffice to say, much as I can’t bear to leave the kids behind, I will be thinking twice whether or not to bring them on the next holiday.

We went to Seminyak in Bali over 4 days, 3 nights. E was mildly interested in the xray machines, but other than that, he was pretty nonchalant about the rest of the experience. He was his usual ball of energy, bouncing off whenever he got the chance to in the Sg airport. On board, we tried out best to keep him entertained without whipping out the tablet, but that eventually made an appearance for our sanity. B slept through the take-off but awoke shortly after we started cruising. He didn’t fuss but was fidgety and wanted to check out his surroundings. I would say the flight went fairly well both to and from Bali.

The four of us didn’t do much as I had expected. It was basically eat, swim/soak in the tub, eat, sleep, eat, sleep. Haha! My mum and sisters went out one early morning to catch the dolphins on Lovina Beach though. That sure looked like a wonderful experience. Nevertheless, the four of us had a nice time. E especially loved the tub and soaked in it up to 3 times a day on average. He was also ok with the food we had since it wasn’t difficult to find a noodle/rice dish on the menu. Desserts were always a hit given he inherited a sweet tooth from his folks 😉 B, on the other hand, chomped on some avocadoes on the last day of our trip. He had just turned six months and I wasn’t too worried that he wasn’t getting food on a daily basis. (Now that we’ve returned, he’s definitely eating on a daily basis though!)

B has learned how to crawl and if you put something in front of him, he’s likely to make an enthusiastic effort to make his way towards it. He’s a go-getter this one. B’s also now trying to sit up and I’m guessing he would be able to master it in a couple of weeks. I don’t recall E being so enthusiastic on the crawling. E more or less skipped the crawling, and went to pulling himself up in the playpen instead.

E’s language skills are just rapidly growing. He can converse pretty well in English and I must say his Chinese vocab had just increased since he went to school. The other day he surprised me by saying “洗手液” when I was getting him some handsoap. Colour me impressed! I’m really enjoying these conversations I have with him these days. Tonight, we were getting ready for bed and for a change, I asked that he pat mama to bed. He said “oh ohkay. what song you want?” I said, “jack and jill!”and he proceeded to sing the song and pat me like I would pat him. So sweet and funny at the same time.

We went for our first parent-teacher meet about three weeks ago! It was a proud moment for both A and I. Both his Chinese and English teacher said he’s a calm boy, could listen and understand instructions well. His English teacher also said that it’s not often kids at this age are calm. Honestly, I don’t think I would call him “calm” at home though… Also, I made a point to ask about his Chinese and his teacher said he can definitely understand and sometimes even replies back in Chinese to her (!). They also observed that he wanted to feed himself and didn’t want help. He also would usually take 2nd or 3rd helpings of the food (haha!). It was really funny too how E clung on to A for dear life the entire time we sat down at his small tables and chairs to talk to his teachers. Maybe he thought he did something wrong! 😉

Speaking of which, while I was getting ready for work one morning, I heard E talking to his soft toy dinosaur, “you stand in the naughty corner”. Next thing I saw when I came out of my room, his dino was placed on the floor facing the sofa! Tickled me to no end! Ah, things kids say and do.

6 Feb // E 2yr4mths // B Almost 5 mths

It’s 11.55pm and it’ll be CNY eve in just 5 minutes times. B only just fell asleep. He was being his usual hungry-hippo self and daddy couldn’t get him to settle to sleep. E finally fell asleep at 11.30pm because he was crying for me while I nursed his brother. These days, it’s very much A and I playing tag-team. 

It’s just begun raining. A has gone to bed. I contemplated just going to bed and not powering on the laptop to write a post. But time is a rare commodity these days, and I told myself since I really wasn’t feeling that sleepy, I should just write one blog post. Plus I re-read my last post and it brought back really sweet memories of how precious these days have been. 

B’s almost 5 months old. He started to flip himself at 4.5 months old and got the hang of it pretty quickly. He’s also taken to sucking his fingers and fists whenever he gets the opportunity. This munchkin is tickled easily. He’s very smiley and turns to you whenever you call his name. He chuckles, chortles and giggles if you put in just a little bit of effort to make a funny face/noise. This little one is also not so little any more, weighing in at 8.2kg a week ago. 

E’s picking up more and more songs in school, including many Chinese ones (yay). We’ve just started him on a multi-sports class on Saturday mornings to get him introduced to different sports and to burn some of that energy off. I think he’s liking it so far, as with most boys and sports. I’m also thinking of sending him Yamaha (a simple music appreciation class) but am not sure if it would be too premature at 2.5 yrs old. 

E can still be pretty whiney and difficult to handle at times. He also knows how to bargain with us for an extra chocolate. And he knows just what to say to get out of the room (when we’re keeping him in for a nap). “mama, I need water”, is his usual delay tactic when we’re trying to settle him down for a nap. “milk first!” is the phrase to use when he wants to get out of brushing his teeth/washing his bum/ changing his diapers before bed time. 

Jan 2016/ E: 26.5mths/ B:Almost 4mths

Yesterday marked the first day of pre-nursery for E. He was a little whiney at first (though I think it’s cause he woke up too early) but gradually warmed up to the new environment. It was a 1.5 hour parent-accompanied session just to get the pre-nursery kids adjusted to the idea of attending school.

Today, however, was the real deal. Parents were not allowed at all. I went into the assembly room with E, only to find that some parents were still sitting together with their kid. Then one of the teachers saw that he looked fine and suggested I leave. So, reluctantly I did.  E didn’t cry at all. But I did catch him looking a little worried or puzzled at the ruckus going on (there was a lot of crying from other kids). Well, even I felt like crying to be honest, seeing those other kids bawl their eyes out. Seeing my little boy all grown up and feeling that separation anxiety (I’m talking about me).

It was an emotional morning, witnessing my first born, in a uniform, head to his first school all by himself with some uncertainty. I picked up E at 11 and I think he was truly tired. He was seated on the floor and looked at me for a while before his face lit up realising it was me. And then two of us, him seated in the baby carrier, headed off to the bus stop to take the bus to my in-laws. How gratifying it is to have the time to pick your kid up from school.

I have been spending the last few weeks of my maternity at my in-laws place, partly to get them used to having to care for both E and B at the same time, but also to spend time with E.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I feel a strong urge to quit my job and spend all my time at home with the kids but I must say it has been an immensely rewarding (and tiring) experience. Seeing E at play, playing with him, teaching him, going through his daily routine with him, watching him grow right under my eyes – this has been real quality time spent. He has grown rather attached to me, more so than ever before, and it is so so sweet. I do fear he wouldn’t be as close to me once I head back to work proper.

Perhaps, he is more clingy because of his baby brother’s arrival, or because he is in “that phase” of growing up, who knows? Sometimes I feel I need a respite, but I’ve been reading so many articles that pop up on my FB feed and I just know I’m going to be like those mothers who look back and sorely miss this toddler-needy-phase. And so, I choose to savour the moment. I choose to savour the “I need mama”, “I want mama”, clinging onto my leg like a koala while I’m carrying baby B, moments. Most of all, I cherish those randomly, out-of-the-blue, softly spoken “I love you mama” moments complete with the most earnest doe-like eyes. They melt my heart into these huge puddles of love.

To get E to fall asleep, we usually leave him to roll about and try as much as possible not to engage him. These days, he insists I am in the room when he sleeps. He would ask sweetly, “mama, can i hug you?” “Of course.” And he would climb atop and give me a tight hug and whisper “i love you”. And then “Mama, sing lullaby!” to which I would hum the lullaby as he requests. He would roll off and not long after be fast asleep.

Last night, I wanted to just get on with my own errands/to-dos while the hubby got a very tired E to bed. I snuck out of E’s bedroom on the pretext of brushing my teeth and didn’t intend to go back into the room unless E made a fuss. The hubby came out soon after (E had indeed fallen asleep as he was so tired from waking up early for school) and told me that E said he wanted to wait for mama and that he wanted to hug mama to sleep. My heart. After that, I told myself I should always try and tuck my kids into bed as much as possible while they still want me to. There will come a day (sooner than I think), that they will be happy to be left alone.

This early evening, E had just woken up from his afternoon nap and wanted to play. I decided that I could make a few quick work phone calls while my father-in-law was available to play with E. But E only wanted me and came to me and said “stop calling” (he meant stop talking on the phone), while I gestured for him to wait / look for ye-ye. I felt so guilty. Sometimes all our kid wants is for us to give them the undivided attention they deserve, not some i’m-here-but-not-really kinda crap ‘attention’.

I never want to forget these beautiful days. I really do hope I never. Today at the kindy, I chanced upon a quote “Children are God’s gifts to us”. I’m not holy by any chance, but how true indeed. No amount of money, no amount of travelling, no amount of michelin stars can bring so much joy in our lives.

 

Nov 2015/ B: 2.5mths/ E: 25mths

Baby B is now 2.5 months old! He’s weighing about 6.7kg now. B responds with coos when we talk to him and it is adorable. To be honest, alot of times when I’m holding him, I’m thinking, “Sheesh, this could really be the last time I’m holding such a young infant that is mine. He’s growing up way too fast just like E.” How do couples decide whether or not to have another kid? How do you tell? In case you’re wondering, at this stage, the answer is no. I think we’ll stop at 2, thank you. 😉

E turned 25 months earlier this week. Kids are honestly like sponges. They pick up things so quickly. E can now say complete sentences –

“Mama, you want some biscuit?”

“Mama, are you hungry?”

“So many things to do!”

“Shall we go there?”

“Are you serious?”

“Don’t say ‘Oh-My-God'” *gigglegiggles

Yesterday, while my mother-in-law was bathing him, I also realised he can understand Cantonese. I had my doubts initially, but he definitely can and kudos to my mother-in-law for speaking to him in Cantonese frequently. E still replies in English though, no matter what language we use to speak to him. Nonetheless, I think it’s a good start.

We also started E on music lessons at Seimpi two Sundays ago. Well, it’s not really music lessons per se, but more to introduce him to the world of music gradually. My sister, who’s definitely the more musically inclined accompanies him (super grateful). I understand they learn about beats, tempo, get introduced to the music language (crochets, treble clef etc) and instruments during class. E is definitely having fun, but I think the class timing at 1pm is just when he gets sleepy and ready for an afternoon nap.

 

 

 

Mummy guilt is real

You never really understand what mummy guilt is till you become a mother yourself.

Last night was a case in point. Armed with a not-so-great memory as I have come to admit myself, I thought I really ought to take this web journal a little seriously. Hopefully the internet doesn’t shut down on us, taking with it all these memories and snapshots we have uploaded.

Little B has for some reason developed yet another cold. I could blame it on a multitude of things and never find out the real reason why. In any case, I’ve now moved him to sleep in the living room in his cot, and me, on the sofa. E on the other hand, has been sleeping with his papa in the master bedroom on our bed.

Usually E would ask for me a few times before he falls asleep (through the night). Last night, he did fall asleep at his usual 10.30/11pm bedtime but woke up crying at 1.30am or so saying he wanted to “poo poo” (which meant either he really needed to poo or pee because he still can’t differentiate the two). We are going through Day 3 of day-time toilet training so maybe it’s interrupting his sleep? Who knows.

After which, father and son head back to the bedroom and E calls for me and wants me to sleep with him. I leave my sofa ‘guardpost’ feeling guilty because little B is having this stuffy nose and I want to make sure he’s ok by being close. I lay on the bed at E’s request, literally perched at the foot of the bed, acting as a human barrier so that E doesn’t roll off.

I mentally cross my fingers that E goes into deep sleep soon so that I can sneak out to little B. It doesn’t happen. E insists on sleeping on the bed and makes a huge fuss when we move him into his playpen. He tosses and turns and the hubbs and I play a nasty game of catch-the-kid-before-he-falls-off-the-bed-real-bad. All this time, I’m trying my best to perk my ears up in case little B awakens. It’s more than just tiring and before we know it, it’s 2.30am and I hear little B whimpering.

I rush out as quietly as I can but E still realises I’m gone and calls out for me, to which I can only say, “Didi needs to drink milk.” and hopes he understands. I pick up B in the living room and hear E making a bit of a fuss in the master bedroom before it goes quiet. As I nurse on the sofa in the dark, I can only hope that E has tired himself out and fallen asleep, and that papa can carry him into his playpen so that he can get some rest himself.

I told a friend yesterday that women have it worse. We suffer through pregnancy, childbirth, post-partum and then we go on these roller coaster of emotions when it comes to our babies. Men don’t get (so) emotional about these things, whereas us women are built this way. It wasn’t a pleasant night, but I know that this too shall pass and when it does, I will look back, all teary-eyed and wonder where all the time went.

Conversations with E

E has started to speak in full sentences / questions now.

“What are you doing?” is his favourite question now. He’s super inquisitive about what everyone is doing and has discovered that the question gets him the answers.

Just the other day, I came out of the shower and was changing into some fresh clothes. E asked me, “Mama, what are you doing?” I said, “Bathing”. E said affirmatively, “No. You’re changing.”

It was really funny. I got schooled by my son.

Then at dinner, I was standing around and eating. E said to me “Mama, sit down. Don’t stand up.”

Oh darling, thinking about our convos make those horrid mid-afternoon nap wars a little more tolerable.