B: 1 year 3 days old!

Dear B,

Happy 1 year old! This past 1 year has really gone by in a flash. “The days are long but the years are short.” I can’t tell you how much this saying has resonated with me this past 365 days.

Papa and I agree that you’re such a different baby from your elder brother. You’re much calmer and easier to manage. We remember nights your elder bro kept us awake, crying and refusing to sleep. We remember fretting over his eczema that persistently stayed on his cheeks for a good 18 months. You, yes you still wake up in the middle of the night and demand for milk, but we hardly had to pace up and down the room to rock you to sleep. You don’t wake up crying like your bro who did for a good part when he was a baby. You wake up calmly, you sit yourself up and you look around quietly before calling for someone to come for you.

Eating and drinking wise, you’re also not like your bro! Big bro drank a fair amount of milk and made mama worry about her milk supply daily. You, on the other hand, don’t drink as much. You’re still drinking 120ml and only once a day! We introduced you to foods at six months, but you’re still taking your time to explore different things. It’s so difficult to feed you. Papa and I can count the number of times we’ve succeeded feeding you a decent amount of porridge. You would turn away or close your mouth so tight to indicate that you’re not interested. Or you would kick up a fuss and demand to be carried. Let’s just say your big brother had a much better appetite. I’m hoping you don’t continue to be this fussy with your foods my dear!

You’re a big explorer. You ask to be put down on the floor so that you can crawl everywhere on your own. Give you some toys and a big area to crawl and you’ll be most happily entertaining yourself for a good few minutes.

I’m sorry sometimes papa and mama have had to leave you wailing and crying while we attended to your brother. I’m sorry sometimes it feels like we don’t give you enough attention. But we do try. We really do. Sometimes I panick and turn to papa and say, “we need to take more pictures of B.” Time is going so quickly that I am worried I will forget how adorable you are at this age. Papa reassures me we have taken many of you.

Parenting 2 kids with no help is overwhelming on weekends. Sometimes I have to remind myself to let go of some things in order to maintain some sanity. But there are some moments that I insist papa continue doing no matter how tired we both are. We still try our best to take monthly shots of you. And like today, I wanted to take some photos of us so that we can remember this little milestone. One day, if and when you have your own kids, you’ll know how difficult it is to get just ONE good family photo. Your brother is in the i-don’t-enjoy-taking-photos phase in his life so today’s photos are just of papa, mama and you. Perfectly fine because you deserve a shoot all to yourself. I still think we don’t take enough pictures of us and we really should.

I love how niam you are to me. I love how you make me feel so loved. Sometimes I’m carrying you and you wouldn’t want anyone else. You would turn away when people outstretch their hands to carry you. At night, when papa is done bathing and comes over to your brother’s room to take you to the master bedroom to pat you to sleep (while I get your brother to sleep), you would drop everything you’re doing once the door opens and crawl as quickly as you can to me and cling on tightly. We realised you had gotten the hang of the routine! I love how your eyes twinkle when you see me at the door after I come back from work. It never fails to make me so happy to see you so smiley.

B, papa and mama love you to the moon and back. I hope you’ll always be healthy and happy. Hopefully one day you do get to read this and know how much joy you bring to our lives. You’ll always be our littlest baby.

Love
Mama

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29 July // B (10.5mths) E (2yr 9mths 1wk)

“E! It’s snowing! Soooo Cooooold!” I said. E’s eyes lit up immediately, realising I was about to play make believe with him last night. I love it. That look of sheer joy and twinkle in the eye when he realises I’m going to play pretend with him is just such a treat. It’s really his absolute favourite activity, next to ‘cooking’ now.

Like many other children, E also likes to take my mobile phone to play. But half the time he’s more interested in reviewing the photos and videos on my phone. Otherwise, he has recently taken to watching “Tasty” on instagram – short 30-60second recipe videos. He would sometimes watch this strawberry banana yoghurt recipe video and say “I wanna make this tomorrow.” adorable (i’m biased).

This age is indeed wonderful. That sense of wonder, the shrieks of excitement, so authentic and so, so precious. The other day, I pulled out a mini Magnum and E just looked at me with a big big smile and hands clenched into waving little fists and said “ICE CREAM!”

Also, last Sunday, we sent E to the KKH A&E for the first time. He didn’t look too well, wasn’t eating well and more imptly his tummy was rising up and down and he looked like he might have had trouble breathing. Dr suspects it could be asthma but wouldn’t label it as such since it was the first time this happened.

Can’t believe it’s less than 2 mths to B’s birthday! I am completely unprepared and not sure if I / we wanna celebrate it with a (small) party. As I type this, he’s fast asleep on the bed with me and just when I stole a peek at his chubby cheeks, I caught him smiling in his sleep. B’s completely enamoured by E. Whatever E does, B wants to do or wld laugh / be tickled. E on the other hand is not so taken with his brother – always fighting and snatching things from B.

 

 

6 July // B (9.5 mths) E (2years 8mths 3wks)

It’s been way too long since I’ve updated here. But honestly it’s been pretty crazy at work and extremely tiring caring for two. 

B can now hold himself up quite steady by the sides of the playpen. He has also started to call papa/ mama(non specific) and also can do the bye bye hand action already. He’s quite niam to me. Sometimes he wouldn’t want A to carry him and would wail in protest. 

E is super chatty now. And sometimes he says the darnest things. Just last Sunday hr said to me after I went to change into going out clothes, “why you wear this forever?” 

There were a few times when A braked quite hard and be said to A, “Papa say sorry to mama. Say sorry to me. Say sorry to didi!”

7May // B:7mths3weeks // E:2yrs6.5mths

Today’s favourite moment has to be at Sushi Tei. We were accompanying HM while she had her late lunch and ordered a couple more things as a snack. The waitress came by and delivered the rainbow row we ordered. E said loudly and excitedly, pointing to the plate, “mama look! SUSHI!” All of us, including the waitress, was most tickled!

Terrible Twos seem to have struck at the stroke of midnight when he turned 2.5years old last month. E gets frustrated easily and for reasons unknown to us. Also, he has become very adamant about not brushing his teeth and not washing his hair, kicking up a big fuss whenever we insist. So we’ve had to find various ways to distract him / coax him into doing so.

E also really knows how to tug on our heartstrings. Coincidentally, A and I had been discussing about going on a holiday without the kids. At the same time, E started saying to me, with the sweetest voice ever, “I love you. I love you so much…” E would sometimes even give me a big hug, or would put his head on my lap. Then sometimes he would flash me a big smile. PLUS, A and I would ask him, “E, can mama and papa go on a holiday and you stay at nainai’s house?”. His answer has been cosistently, “No.” And we would ask why, to which he would say “Because I also want to go on holiday” Haha. So yeah, suffice to say, A and I are contemplating bringing him along but leaving B here with his parents.

E’s also really understanding that adults get angry with his behaviour. I can see that he really doesn’t want me to be angry with him. After his bout of naughty behaviour and my reprimanding him, he would ask/check in with me, “mama, are you happy?” or “mama, are you happy now?” with the most earnest of tones.

B’s two bottom teeth are peeking out! This happened about 2 weeks ago just after he turned 7 mths. I think E only had his first tooth at 10mths. We’ve been trying to get B to eat some solids. So far we’ve only been successful with avocado, sweet potato and pumpkin. B, compared to E, doesn’t seem quite ready to eat more solids at this point.

B has also mastered sitting up about 2.5 weeks ago? Last weekend, he also mastered pulling himself to a standing position in the playpen. Fast huh! He’s also getting the hang of peekaboo. It tickles him when he sees someone playing peekaboo with him using a cloth.

At the last check up on the 3rd of May, B weighed in at 9.22kg.

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.