Friday, August 31, 2007
We also received a really positive formalised feedback report from both his teachers today, informing us of the content and activities that he has been exposed to so far and his progress at each. I am surprised that they cover such advanced content at this level already. Of course I wonder how much of it is really absorbed, though I know for sure that Marcus has already benefitted when he asked me to spell "parallelogram" and "trapezium", told me about mooncakes, sang songs that I haven't taught him and wrote the alphabet, just to name a few.
Like Marcus, this little baby loves anything with wheels.
As the first child, Marcus was a lot better "guarded" when it came to toys. I remember going through every single package and examining whether they are really age appropriate and educational enough before allowing his little fingers to come near them. He didn't get his first small little car till he was almost 2 since we were worried of the little wheels dropping off and ending up in his tummy, or worse, stuck in his throat. His first toy car was suitable for 1 y.o. and he got it as one of his presents from our neighbour R on 1st birthday. He pushed it around daily for about a year, so it is well worth the $19.99 price tag.
Now that Marcus has over 50 small vehicles of all sorts with tiny wheels the size of my eye ball, a box of Mosaic lego with pieces suitable for 4 y.o., his box of Colours & Shapes with pieces shorter than his thumb etc.. etc.. which he plays with daily, it is extremely tiring to keep them out of Nicholas' reach.
One of my favourite moments is watching my 2 boys play and interact together. Even when they are snatching toys from each other, I still enjoy the moments since these are still healthy interactions from which they learn something, as long as they don't end up in tears and injuries.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
On National Day, E took Marcus to his office building where there was a small party with snacks for little kids, some entertainment like balloon sculpturing and body tattooing and the great unblocked view to watch the fireworks. The boy stayed there for hours, chasing his favourite Kana, eating little cocktail sausages, popcorn, got himself a balloon and had the Singapore flag tattooed onto his face. He played with his balloon which was sculpted into a dog holding a flag and was upset when it lost its shape and became just a long straight balloon. He went to the balloon sculptor and told him sadly "Uncle, the dog has become a snake!" while holding it high up for the man to see, which promptly brought tons of laughter from all surrounding him. When the fireworks came on, the children feasted their eyes taking in all the colourful displays and explosive sounds.
A great view with free snacks and airconditioning, throw in a few entertainment and his favourite company of papa and Kana, a train and taxi ride to and fro and best of all, we don't have to spend a penny. We will go again next year!
Nevertheless, E and I finally took the boys to Bishan Park for a full 2 hour stroll on a weekday morning. It was a simple outing, but highly enjoyable for the boys and me. We stood and shouted "yikes!" a lot at a half baked eel that looked dehydrated and dead, when it was actually sunbathing out of water on a dry, hot rocky surface and when it suddenly moved, it shocked E enough that he jumped and took a few steps back. Marcus kept asking papa "what happened to the eel?" Then I squatted with Marcus to examine a dead fish, or rather half of a dead fish on a bicycle track and I had to explain to him what could have happened to the fish that it had only half a body left. We chased squirrels and followed the ant trails and he laughed at me while I jumped up and down in fright after almost stepping on a dead rat that has started to decompose.
We passed by half naked joggers and Marcus observed how skinny or flabby some of them are. And E and I took turns to carry Nicholas so we could whisper into his ears the same commentary we have been feeding his older brother, while kissing and sniffing his wet neck and chubby cheeks. All these experiences in under 2 hours.
Marcus enjoying a swing with papa.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I watched it in my living room with Marcus sitting on my lap enjoying it with me. It is a great experience for me to watch the musical now, since it has special meanings to me and Marcus. After all, our warm little home has been made even warmer lately with the sounds of music coming out of my Marcus’ little mouth as he hums or sings many songs from the musical. He first got interested listening to the CD, and has loved the Do Re Mi straightaway. He learnt the lyrics all by himself, simply through listening to it nightly before bedtime. His only requests are “mama, keep the light on and door open please. And I want Do Re Mi please’. Then one night he surprised us by being able to sing the whole song and we were even more pleased when he started “the hills are alive with the sound of music… “. We couldn’t stop smiling.
Three weeks ago, E got him the DVD and he watched it with papa with full concentration. It must have been such a memorable experience, to be able to watch the whole story unfold for the first time, while listening to the familiar music and songs that have been accompanying him for the past weeks during his slumbering. One day we shall take him to Salzburg and the mountains for a complete experience! Hah!
No wonder I always feel that I was cheated of a proper childhood. No toys, plenty of TV and never even visited a playground till I was 10, though for years there was one right next to the void deck of my HDB block. I did watch plenty of TV though, too much for a child, in my current opinion. And the problem is I couldn’t remember a thing of the kind of programmes I watched either.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Just as I got into the living room, E carried Nicholas out of the bedroom and the little baby who was dressed in pajamas looked a little tired and wasn't smiling. The moment he saw me, his whole face lit up and he gave me the widest smile, showing all his 8 teeth and dimples and he was simply too happy for any words to describe. I rushed towards him and immediately, he threw his body forward and wanted me to cuddle him. Both hands moved to touch my face and he was holding my neck tightly and won't let go. I had to go wash up before touching my little baby but the temptation was just too great. Now he was all perked up, so I had to cuddle and put him to bed. He just won't take his eyes off me and kept touching my face and arm and when I cuddled him, his little hand just clutched my arm and body so tightly. Aww... my sweet little coconut. I planted kisses all over his fuzzy head and chubby cheeks every few seconds and I am sure he enjoyed that, as shortly after, he sort of relaxed and I placed him in bed. Within seconds, he was in dreamland.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Since Marcus' arrival, we have gotten our fair share of soft toys, none of which I contributed. It is just not priority for me to buy a boy cuddly toys, and I can't explain why. I rather spend the money on books, clothes, other more boyish and/or educational toys than a cuddly bundle. But amongst the 25 or so pieces of cuddlies we have got for the boys, I've got a few favourites like the Pooky, Teddy Bear and the Pig. And the latest addition to the collection is the little Piggy which E bought for Nicholas for his first Xmas. It was supposed to be the first Xmas present that Marcus gave to his baby brother.
Both boys fight over it daily. Nicholas talks to Piggy, rolls in bed with him and give him cuddles. Piggy makes Nicholas smile and cheers up the crying baby. Marcus wants Piggy to accompany him around the house and makes Piggy his special audience who inspects Marcus' latest projects and shares his ideas.
This little piggy is certainly worth every penny. So much so that I am considering buying another 2. One for Marcus and one for me. Haha!
Friday, August 24, 2007
Sleepy baby. aww.. so sweet..
Mama, is this a good apple?
A proud mummy!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
L: 3 haddock fish fingers with 1/2 a large sweet potato mashed and peas
D: Honey baked ham and cheese toasted sandwich
L: Scrambled egg with tomato and tuna, served with buttered toast
D: Fried seafood noodles (from HK Street restaurant)
L: Mashed potato with beef and scrambled egg as side
D: Millet porridge with fish, broccoli and pumpkin
L: Dory fish with cheese sauce, peas and steam corn cob
D: Stir-fried eggy udon with soy chicken and mushrooms
L: Celery and prawn stir-fry, baked beans and tofu, served with brown rice
D: Savoury sweetcorn pudding, served with broccoli and a French bread pizza with tuna and cheese (he ate all the pudding and apple, but refused the pizza) and a Royal Gala apple
B: 2 wholegrain crackers
L: Stir-fried udon with minced beef and peas
D: Panfried sole with sweet potato mash
B: A boiled egg
L: Large piece of savoury sweetcorn pudding
D: Stir-fry pork with bell pepper and mushrooms, garlicky pumpkin and rice
L: Macaroni with cheesy lentil and sweet potato
D: Chicken stew with potato, carrot, celery, mushroom and wholegrain pasta
Most days, Marcus just drinks 240ml of FM for breakfast and would eat a piece of fruit or cracker during snacktime at school. On weekends, he tends to nibble on some of my breakfast or eat a snack before lunch. After or in-between meals, he may have a yogurt or fruit, so overall I'm happy with his intake in terms of quantity and quality, though I shall try to incorporate more varieties of fruits/veg and wholegrains.
Monday, August 20, 2007
In fact, it was more of his papa's efforts that we got the party going last year. If left entirely to me, I would probably have cut the guest list by half and get some simple party food, no toys and just a quick hour of celebrations. But papa wanted to make it more special, so we ordered a custom-made cake of the Very Hungry Caterpillar and moved all our musical toys down for the kids to play. The toys turned out to be a huge hit but not the cake, which was quite "blah" for my taste. Too much cream, not enough sponge and rather tasteless I think.
Few months ago we had some grand plans.. and I even did some research. But after a few months, the plans are shelved as they require a bigger budget than I am prepared to spend for a kid's party and would much prefer to spend that $ in future when he is older (so I assume he can appreciate even more), or on a holiday or some excellent toys/books etc.. Anyway, if we can get our act together, we will have a bash for him. If not, we can still have a cake of his choice, some presents and the immediate family around to sing him a song. I am sure he will like that just as much as a big party.
I am not really that excited about planning for Nicholas' 1st birthday bash either, which is also round the corner. Urrgghh.. Well, E is very particular about being fair to the boys, so Nicholas must have a big bash the same way that Marcus had his. It is more for the adults than the babies really, and now I prefer a quiet affair, with only a few close friends and family around to celebrate with him. After all, why invite people who don't care about him to his party? There were so many people who called and wanted to visit Marcus when he was a baby and less than half of these people bothered when Nicholas was born. But I want to be fair to baby Nicholas too and he should have a celebration no matter how small it is. So here it goes baby... mama shall start planning something fun. :)
- crawl steadily, pull himself up and cruise
- sit down on his own after cruising
- stand on his own for 2 - 3 seconds
- point at things
- mimic sounds we make, especially fond of "ahhh", "boo" and "hmm"
- call "mama", "papa"
- sign "milk", "all done"
- wave when he hears us say "bye bye" and "hello"
Has weaned himself off the pacifier around end June when I replaced his old ones with a new one, supposedly more suitable for 6 month old baby. He disliked it and after several days of refusing it, he just didn't need it anymore to fall asleep or to soothe him.
He loves all the musical instrument toys we have, especially fond of the piano and drums.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Since we bought Marcus his first box of colour pencils, he has been drawing buses and taxis and filling them with vibrant colours. His first experimentation was with the white colour pencil, which he learnt quickly that it doesn't show up on a white paper. So when the adults weren't looking, he drew a white bus on his red Ikea table. Heehee.. But it didn't take us much to get him to own up to it. When I saw the white bus, I asked him if he knew who drew it and he just paused, then told me "umm... it's Marcus, mama." I told him again then that the colour pencils are for drawing on papers only, not the table, he replied "ok mama, sorry". Aww... I wasn't expecting an apology and i wasn't even upset!
According to Marcus, the white part is the advertisement on the double decker bus, and the stars in the picture below is a Star advertisement! :)
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Just earlier, I gave Marcus a piece of Hello Panda biscuit as a treat and he asked for more. I told him that he has to brush teeth later. He obediently replied "yes mama", paused and added cheekily "mama, I will brush your teeth later" though I knew he understood me earlier. Looked into the bowl I gave him and frowned at me, "mama, why only 2 more? I need more! Cheeky mama..tsk tsk tsk". We often call him 'cheeky' whenever he does something differently on purpose instead of according to our instructions. I refrain referring to him as 'naughty' since i don't believe that he is, at least at this age. And he has learnt that usage and use it often too. Hah!
Whenever I tell him that I need to go toilet and excuse myself in a rush, he would always ask, "mama, you wet your pants?" which is something that we often said to him after his toilet visits. It is funny how he would say it in a matter-of-fact tone though as if he really means it. And since we have been rewarding him occasionally with potato chips or some wheel biscuits, he would even ask me if I am visiting the toilet so that i can eat chips later, which never fails to make me laugh.
Recently, he resumed his love for yogurt and fromage frais, which pleases me a lot. He calls them his ice-cream and would perform a little dance after every spoonful. He insists on standing up to be fed his ice-cream as he needs to dance and would do so with a mega smile.
I just can't get enough of all the cute and innocent comments and questions he has. If only I could record them all so that when my memory fails in future, I could just watch them like a video and savour these moments.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Four jobs I have had in my life:
1) senior marketing manager
2) project development manager
3) business development assistant manager
4) management trainee
Four places I have lived:
1) Toa payoh in singapore
2) woodlands in singapore
3) London, UK
4) Newcastle, Australia
Four Countries I have been to on vacation:
Four of my favorite foods:
4) Char Kway Teow
Four places I would rather be right now:
1) Sleeping in my bed
2) Spa massage at Banyan Tree Maldives
3) Buffet dinner with my best friends
4) some luxurious 5 star hotel holidaying in some romantic cities with hubby
Four mums I’m going to tag:
1) Luke's mum
2) Mommy of 5 Js
3) Keira's mum
4) will think about this one
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Granted, with the hubby around, it is some form of help. So for most SAHMs, there will be some form of help from hubby too. The problem is most hubbies only help out on selected tasks and very, very few fathers can really do EVERYTHING when it comes to looking after their kids and still manage the household. They either can't wash their dishes well, or can't/hate do housework, or they will feed their kids junk since they can't find time to cook/can't be bothered to, or they will miss the kids' mealtimes, or they will just let the kids watch TV all day long if the childminding gets too tough, or they just won't be bothered to wash the kids' clothes and let them wear the same smelly clothes for 3 straight days and convert their toilet trained toddlers back to nappy wearing since it is much easier to throw away a soiled nappy than to deal with soiled underpants and wet floors.... and blah blah...
For a couple of days last week, I had the challenge of looking after both my boys all alone, without the husband who was away on business trip, no maid (since I sacked my last one) and no village help. Just the 3 of us. It was a challenge nonetheless to attend to the children's needs all on my own, manage some light housework and still ensure we all have some nutritious food at every meals. Of course I made simple fare but I am sure a nutritionist won't fault me on my selections. I kept the boys happy and throughout the week, they only watched TV once for an hour and we still managed to go for strolls twice for an hour each. The boys had their daily baths, played as usual, napped and had plenty of cuddles, kisses and love.. I managed to put both boys to sleep at normal bedtimes too.
I wish I have a double stroller, like the Phil & Teds so we can venture to malls, parks etc... but oh well, I made do with what we have and stayed indoors to do whatever I could with them. The days passed, we survived pretty well and I wasn't even grumpy which was a surprise for me. I was tired though, physically, from lack of sleep. But I love the fact that there is no invasion to our privacy too.
In those days, I contemplated not getting another maid. After all, my boys are getting older, so easier to manage. In a few months, Marcus can attend full day school should I wish to, and Nicholas will be walking and eating same food as us. I can always get PT help again, and just buy a double stroller so we can go out on our own. Hmm.. it is all too tempting..
But after 14 months of having someone in the house attending to the not-so-interesting chores, I also come to terms that there are plenty of advantages to engage one. For a mere $10 daily salary, we are technically buying 10 hours of someone's time and energies which could be channelled into doing the things that I am not fond of doing or rather not do, so in exchange, I could be with my loved ones, rest, or do things I like. So we hired another one. Which is why I have a little time again to blog and sit down for a cuppa.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Nicholas is fascinated with his little fan. Delights him when it is working. Stuns him when I turn it off. Surprises him when his little fingers could turn the blades and make the fan work manually.
This boy hates clothes.. Wants to be naked all day long, if only I would allow him. Happiest when I strip his clothes off, screams when I put his nappy back on. Once on the changing mat, he struggles, wriggles and kicks while I try to dress him. He looks so utterly adorable without clothes that I often give in for ten minutes or so.. just let him crawl around our bed sans-clothes and nappy, while I admire his butt cheeks and cute tum-tum and giving him millions of kisses on his fuzzy nut and that smiley face. I just know that one of these days, I will regret this freedom should he do a giant and messy poo on my duvet covers or big wee on my Simmons bed. But for now, the temptations are too great, I just have to indulge my boy. :)