Tuesday, 19 September 2017

So exciting - can't wait to move!

I was waiting at the traffic light this evening when I saw on Facebook that someone had received an email to make payment and collect key! I was so excited and wanted to read more but the green man appeared! I had to cross quickly, get past the MRT gantry coz my card is on my phone and slip into the train before I could read more - the suspense almost killed me!!!

As of now, two future neighbours have posted about getting key collection notification. I usually check my emails every day. Now I'm checking my emails many times a day! But I think, my notification is likely to come in the mail... Check every day instead of once a week!! :p

So on Friday, I read - on Facebook too - that Hillion got its TOP on Friday itself. I don't know man, my future neighbours so resourceful! But finally! We bought Hillion in March 2013. It's been four years and a half!

Don't get me wrong. We love our little place in Holland, which, btw, is no longer ours - we transferred it to Mum and Dad on in November 2013 in order to claim back the additional buyer stamp duty on Hillion. But this little place is really little. And it got more crowded every two years since we came back heavily pregnant from Evanston.

The sky from our bedroom floor

Dawn in April this year from the corridor

Just before a shower from the lift lobby

One morning at the carpark

And lovely flying flags this National Day 

Yes, I grew up in a three-room HDB flat too, with five in the house. At one point, there were seven and sometimes eight, coz we rented a room to a couple and my paternal grandmother stayed over sometimes. Since as young as 11, which was my earliest memory on this, I had wanted personal space, specifically my own room. That didn't happen until Oxford. And back in Singapore, that didn't happen until 2007.

Now, my biggest beef is about sharing toilet with our domestic helper. I really cannot stand sharing toilet with someone other than Sito even after four years of having a helper. Hate it when the toilet floor is always wet coz of handwashing even though I offered use of the washing machine. Hate it when the toilet seat is always wet coz - I don't want to know why!

Hate it that my sons are sharing the toilet with her too - I always have to make sure they don't touch the toilet unnecessarily coz they'll somehow end up touching me or worse, Yu. And hate it coz the ratio of one toilet to five users just sucks.

Toilet aside, we really need more space.

We took some 10 months to settle into current sleeping arrangements - kids and adults separate. For a long while, Yu was sleeping in our bed coz I tried and failed to keep him asleep in his bed in the kids' room.

We have too many bags hanging off the shoe cabinet, sitting on the sofa and the TV bench. Every bag gets a wipe-down weekly else it's just too gross when they always come in contact with the ground outside. Except my bag - I never put in down on the ground, and I always look before I put it down on any table or chair. Same treatment be it my current $50 backpack or Ms Chanel, which is sitting in a cabinet packed to the brim with stuff and more stuff, so much so that I have given up on rotating bags when going out on Saturdays - just use the same accessible red bag.

The kitchen and hence the toilet can be downright inaccessible at times, e.g. blanket needs to be air-dried on a rack, or N has to stop cooking or ironing to move aside so that someone can pass.

When it comes to dinner time, there is no space to accommodate the whole family. When we move, I'll organise a steamboat where everyone can gather around to eat together! :)

But it's also nerve-wrecking, this whole moving thing. I have been jotting down things like what kind of storage areas we need, type of furniture, how to arrange stuff, etc. But now that we're so near key collection, I realise there are lots to be done, e.g. shopping for beds - no bed how to move?! And all the kids' stuff....!

Still remember the time when we moved into Holland - seemed so easy back then. I found a record dated 3 Sep 2013, that said that I went to retrieve the lease duplicate lease of our flat on the Monday prior. It's a A3 or similar-sized document with the names of the first purchasers from HDB in 1979. We were only the third owners; the names of subsequent owners are listed at the back of the duplicate lease. The best part of the document is the price of the flat back then - $11,000 in 1979 dollars! *.*

Another exciting thing that happened this week - yesterday, in fact - was that my intended child care centre in BP called! I emailed them in August when we decided that Kai and Yang would change schools wef 1 Jan 2018 while Yu would finish up infant care at current place. So there are vacancies for Kai and Yu but (1) Yang's slot is pending withdrawal of current N1 kids or a new teacher, and (2) Yu can't go on 1 April but he also can't stay in infant care beyond 9 April. Will wait to hear from them again in October. I can still manage for Yu but am keeping my fingers crossed for Yang...

And, another exciting thing will be happening this week. Kai can't wait. Papa and Mama also can't wait :))))

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Updates while the baby is sleeping

I realise there are so many fun photos but so little time to post them all! Work has been better these days but some nights, I was so tired that I just dozed off with the boys and couldn't do anything after that, not even leisure stuff.. Hope to be able to post about the boys more regularly!

Yu napping in a weird position on my Ah Yee's bed on Sunday

Kai sleepy on me; we were both on the floor

But eventually, he went to nap on my Ah Yee's bed while Yang napped on another bed in the other room, which wasn't being rented out at the moment. When these two were awake, they jumped on all the beds, and I realised that my poor Ah Yee has suffered two generations of kids jumping on her bed!!

Standard sight at TPY, though considerably fewer than last time

Half-watching a magic show at Sito's colleagues' kids' birthday party at Cool De Sac on Sunday

Thought Kai would enjoy the magic show like he did in school before but he was restless. Lesson: No need to plan birthday parties :p They enjoyed the playground more. At two points, this Yang disappeared on us! He had dashed off to the play area on his own, argh!

Yu had fun too, fearlessly crawling towards his targets in the baby area


Makan time! All junk food for the kids hoho!

Playing with their balloon bow and arrow while waiting for Papa

My super big baby, you're too big for the baby chair! (That was his hardboiled egg breakfast)

Staring at the carpark cat

Had fun styling Kai's hair last night - "I look good!" "This is even better!" :p

And Yu pretended to drive this morning

"Where's the ignition...?" 

"Alright, here we go! Hold tight!"

Let Yu had Kai's leftover rice and soy sauce-free omelette

While Kai had his first whole apple!

And Yang too!

And then, every boy went to sleep

And they are still all sound asleep, even the baby! I'm happy :)

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The big, the funny and the eh-eh-eh

We had a nice evening today.

I was looking forward to seeing my babies on my way back home. Got to school and everyone was happy to see me :)

Back at the carpark, I opened the door to get out with Yu and touched the door of the car next to me. Owner who happened to be about to drive off heard it and came down to inspect. Of course everything ok, just a normal bump. But I didn't want to make him come over again so when it was time for me to grab the bags, I tried to not open the door fully, but that meant I couldn't reach my backpack.

I grabbed three school bags and trotted over to the other door to grab my bag. The carseat was in the way so I struggled a little to get it out. I must have said something coz Kai offered help the moment I walked towards the front of the car - he wanted to help with all the school bags. I thanked him and asked him to carry his own bag coz everything would be too heavy. But he said he could take more else it would be heavy for me! So sweet! Can I melt already?

In the end, he took his and Yang's bags while I continued with Yu's bag which was the heaviest of the three and my backpack with laptop and milk pack inside. He wasn't carrying the bags most effectively but he said he was fine. Sobs, 我的儿子长大了!

Randomly related: Kai in 大字形 on the bed that he just made

Really, he has grown so much that I feel guilty that I'm mostly tracking Yu's growth these days and missing out on Kai. And Yang too. They're all growing!

Look, he can read!

He can recognise Holland Road Shopping Centre - the name is right in front of us when we stop at the traffic light on the way home from school! One day, he saw the road sign for Holland Avenue - Holland Ave - and he asked what Holland "ave" was. He also spells out random words he sees here and there, and asks how to spell words he can say and understand but cannot read.

I remember that I read my first English storybook at 8yo. It was a random book I picked up at my first trip to the library. Strangely can't remember when I read my first Chinese one, though I remember browsing Mother's pregnancy books in Chinese coz I saw her reading - must be when she was pregnant with YQ!

Yang isn't reading yet but he can recognise 一 and 大 when we read in the evenings. He can even write quite well now!

When it was his turn to be the teacher (as opposed to being "the boy")

And just now, I asked Yang why he did what he did in the video below:

Yang was really playing the fool there - so funny!

Yang: Because I play the slide and lie down like this!
mf: Why do you lie down?
Yang: Because I am so funny!


Toddler jokes are so cute! Here are two more:

Yang: You have a pimple nose! Piak piak! Hahahaha!

And I triggered this when I said 你 to him:

Yang: 你你你你你你你!
mf: What??
Yang: No, say "not me!" ...?? .... So funny!
Yang: 你你你你你你你!
mf: Not me!
Yang: Hahahaha!

This is really a cheeky one. Funny expressions and cute poses all the time!

One of his fave - head to the side! 

He's also the sporty one, almost forgot... He likes to stand at the head of my bed, and fall backwards saying he's swimming! Or he falls forward and swims. It's quite clear he's doing backstroke and freestyle - must have watched too much SEA Games a couple of weeks ago!

Yu looks set to be a sportsman too - a diver coz he keeps diving off my bed haha! Oops, evil mama... His preferences are yet to be seen but for now, I'm definitely his most preferred person, followed by Papa. Sunday at Ah Yee's place, he only wanted me. When N took him, she had to distract him so he wouldn't cry for me. He refused to let others carry him though some succeeded by stepping outside to distract him. And when Sito appeared, he happily stretched out his arms towards him - only baby to do that! Daddy's boy :)

Happily playing with me nearby

And when both of us are not around, he still likes company. If ignored, yup, he goes eh eh eh! Hoho! Teachers found him the most troublesome of the three. One of them nicknamed him Johnny coz of his eh eh eh, but but but.....Why?!!!! 

Mr Eh-Eh may not be able to talk much but he can understand so much now. Just now at bedtime play, he was throwing bolsters, his bear and his pacifier around. I asked him to bring me his pacifier and he did! He usually can release his grip to give me whatever is in his hand but today was the first time he went to fetch something for me :) And then, he fell asleep while nursing - bliss :)

We're counting down to our holiday next week now. Very excited!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Yu turns 11 months today on 9/9!

And he fell off the bed for the fourth time in as many months! :( And I can't believe it but think three of these four happened on his monthsary!!!

We were breastfeeding in bed this afternoon. Sito needed a pin from his bank token so I got up to get N to watch Yu while I settled the admin. He was in the middle of the bed when I left him. When I turned around from the door, he was smiling at me from the edge and as I reached for him, he slipped off!!!

I saw his tiny forehead hit the floor and he cried :( I thought it was the area from his right eye and up but a bruise on the middle of his forehead informed me otherwise. My poor baby. I shouldn't have left him alone. He may know how to get off the bed but accidents could still happen.

Getting off the bed legs first

On a happier note, he has really grown this month! New half tooth, more words, more actions, closer to walking...

To the sian-ness of Sito, he said a new word that is not papa - bear! I attribute that to my constant reading of Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See. So I brought out his Gleneagles bear for him.


And this week, he started saying "bread" - not papa again?! - coz N has been giving him bread in the morning while I snuggled with Yang just a little bit more while he wanted me :p But he eats more than just food...

"Why? Why can't I eat stickers??"

"Can I eat my first ziplock paint then?"

"Ok, I eat ball!"

Yu is very troublesome at changing time. Every diaper change is a struggle. Every post-shower is a struggle. But plastic balls buy me a little quiet time. This evening, I managed to put on his diaper properly before he turned and crawled off! And speaking of that, I realised that I haven't managed to take a photo of Yu in the bathtub! He's soooo cute!

This boy is quite the daredevil - he likes to just stand up in the middle of nowhere, and smile! A few times, when I was near, he started to bounce too. So scared he would just fall and hurt himself.

He loves the camera...

Playing in the dark during his bedtime routine

This afternoon, he decided to stand up and show off!

Now we have fallen into some sort of bedtime routine. We'll read and play a little at the shelf before milk. After milk, he is seldom drunk so he will crawl around the room - I have to lock the door to prevent him from going out and to prevent his brothers from coming in!

Playing a little before milk milk

He seemed very taken with the fish!

It takes some time for him to go to sleep. There were a couple of days when I could just pat pat him and he would sleep. But most days, I had to rock him madly. Or like these two evenings, I simply held him still while I sat down and let him cry until he dozed off!

He still wakes for milk. Many times, he crawled all the way to our bed before anyone heard him! Within a week or so, he became super skilled in pulling open his door. And at least once a night, he would refuse to go back to sleep. Sometimes, he'll grind his 2.5 teeth, argh! So I'll spend two hours patting and rocking him. On Thursday night, I let him roll on my bed until he fell asleep.

How I wish he could be like Kai who got drunk on milk easily! This baby Yu gets distracted and moves around a lot during nursing.

See how he shifted until he was almost standing?!

He can even slide off the hipseat via little movements! And if we're in a car, he'll just move off the hipseat. He can even stand and get out of the soft carrier *.*

Shadow of a still Yu on hipseat

Back-carried him once! He didn't seem to like it...

My carrier is really old now. But not going to get a new one. The hipseat comes with an attachment that I could use to transform into a carrier, just that I can't back-carry him. I would really love to! Will try again :)

Was sitting on the floor in front of the TV while he moved about this evening, as we were waiting for someone to repair the TV which died suddenly yesterday. He had his back to me as he played with the music table. Such a tiny back, his sleeveless onesie showing off his cute tiny shoulders. And I thought - no baby of mine will ever be this small again. He's troublesome, as are his brothers, but must really really treasure every moment with him and his brothers.

His brothers love him too!

Monday, 4 September 2017

The three rules

For some reason, Kai tugged Sito from behind as we were walking toward Bugis Downtown Line on Saturday, and Sito almost tripped with Yu in his arms. We scolded Kai on the spot, and Sito stripped him of his farecard and his post-shower video that evening.

In the train, he came over and roared at me so I told him he had to go to the corner when he got home. For a few train stops, he kept saying he didn't want to go to the corner. He looked so poor thing that I wanted to cry and hug him!! But I sat still with Yang.

He did go to the corner back home after shower. During the post-corner debrief, I told him we had to set rules but I didn't have time then so we would do it the next day.

And the next morning, we sat down and talked through the rules:
  1. Safety - do not cause danger to anyone or anything, e.g. do not carry Yu!
  2. Respect - respect people and things, be polite, e.g. don't be rude to parents!
  3. Hygiene - keep hygiene in mind, e.g. wash hands after toilet, no spitting of saliva!
He can be playful as long as he keep within these rules.

We will probably change rule 3 as they get older but for now, it's important!

So these two days, I kept reminding Kai and asking him about the rules as we went about the day. It was mostly rules 1 and 2 though. For rule 2, Kai would usually say "polite". Eventually, he told me respect means being polite.

Even Yang got schooled on the rules along the way. And amazingly, he seemed to have learnt well!

Yang threw a book.

mf: Yang, remember rule 2?
Kai: Respect!
Yang: Respect books!

Yang wanted to horsie* me...

mf: Don't you do that! Remember respect?
Yang: Respect people!

I'm impressed.

I realised I forgot a rule about whining! Maybe can park under respect... Let's see how that turns out in practice...

* They were rowing a boat here but horsie refers to the same position but with a parent instead of the green pillow!

Five full days with my boys!

And I didn't go crazy!!

School was closed 31 August to 4 September. This must be the longest stretch ever - Teachers' Day, Haji, Saturday closure, Sunday, Monday closure.

On Thursday, it was just me and N against three kids. N looked shocked when I said we were going to the Botanic Gardens without Mum :p Forgot Yu's bib and my whole purse so N went back twice along the way to the train station. Oops, that's for going out understaffed for the first time...

Monkeying around most of the morning

Had a date with Na who had help from her mum. But our kids didn't interact beyond a very curt "how old are you" by Mr Kai *.* They watched squirrels and roosters together but that was it. Yang decided to stay in the stroller meant for Yu the whole time while Kai whined as he trotted alongside me. Yu took a little nap despite the heat.

Squirrel up the tree!

The adults didn't have much of a conversation amid the child care! We started out late but tried to keep to an early lunch so the kids could nap. Lunch was miserable coz the table was small and Yu was needy and Yang was naughty and Kai was whiny. At least I got to squeeze HX's chubby thighs - 10 kg against Yu's 8 kg just 10 days apart!

"More Gerber puffs!"

Kai and Yang went down at 130 pm. I headed out for bubble tea and to buy bread with Yu before setting him down for his nap. I didn't get a chance to nap coz Kai woke soon after Yu went down :( And then the other two woke.

A painting activity with a lesson on primary and secondary colours, which Kai already knew some of

Turned the nanny on - sounds wrong, hoho! I meant the TV.. Somehow we survived until Mother arrived. I did some work while there was an extra pair of hands :p And then it was playground time! Yang ditched his scooter once we got there. Kai asked him like we asked them before - then why do you bring your scooter down??? :p

Dinner was just downstairs at La Mian. I overate coz their fried rice was huge!!! The boys had their wish after that - ice cream at the daily scoop.

I agreed to premium cones...

Kai finished first so N took him back to shower first. Yang took his own sweet time savouring his ice cream. Oh, he had zero warm-up time today - he said "hello 外婆" without prompting and then "look, (some TV thing)", and at the end also said bye bye properly.

As we walked home with Yu sitting quietly in the carrier, Yang started telling me a story about a boy who was alone and there was a ghost, ending with "that's my story of the ghost" :p I was so curious and asked him to tell me his ghost story again. Well, he gave me a brand new story, about the boy kicking the ghost and the ghost ate the boy!! There were a couple of other lines but I forgot. I asked him and it seemed like he thought of the story himself. So cute :)

But I was so tired I slept at 915 pm!

Day 2 was better. N was off but Mum and Dad were with us at River Safari, and it wasn't too hot. And we were lucky - we saw both pandas even though we were told Jia Jia might stay inside! Kai Kai even walked towards us and sat down roughly for a snack. His girlfriend was so much more demure. Or less of a brute? Heh!

Fake boat

Yu looked at fish

Kai touching a crab - forgot the name!

With the fake panda

Kai Kai reaching for his snack - carrot, I think

Jia Jia snacking on bamboo

Kai was very happy that he could take the Amazon boat ride while Yang couldn't coz it became the big boy ride for him. Yang looked so sad that Sito got him an ice cream but he didn't like it coz it had nuts! Ah well...

Just before he found the ice cream-in-lieu-of-boat-ride yucky!

After the boat ride, Kai was getting tired. When Yang left the stroller, I think, to pee, Kai rested on the stroller. He didn't want to get up and Yang was upset. I coaxed him up saying he was too heavy for the stroller. And this boy bravely stood up but he was on the verge of crying. I managed to stop the flood with the promise of a nice drink at lunch. He was still upset so I had a chat with him about how primary school kids no longer nap so take this as practice... the "grown-up talk" worked like a charm! Despite all his whining, he's really understanding :)

Lunch was very late at two plus. The older boys napped less than 30 min in the car and that was it. They went down really quickly at night, yeah!

Yu didn't nap after his short nap while Kai was on his boat ride. He was very active. At one point, he stood up in front of me on his own! I was so pleasantly surprised! He was so pleased with himself too :) He had a good day, eating a wassant when he shouldn't have haha! Close two eyes by the third kid :p

What a happy day!

Saturday was almost usual except that the boys were in the whole morning. Sito wasn't well and went to see a doctor late morning, leaving me and N with three. But Yang somehow fell asleep while snuggling in my bed - at 11.15!! Kai wanted to nap with him but he also wanted lunch so he had lunch before an early nap at 12.30 pm. Amazingly, Kai woke at 2.30 pm and Yang at 2.15 pm!

My cutie pie in my bed

Kai and Yu in the other room

Our activity of the day was fishing at Bugis. It was longkang fishing with a net but Kai wanted a rod so he settled on prawning. The shop couldn't take all of us so Sito sat with Kai and Yang while N sat outside and I went walking around. I bought six towels and four pairs of pants within 20 min :p

Uncle Kai, need a beer??

Got back within an hour coz Yang was getting bored. Turned out they didn't catch any prawn. Sito got the staff to help and he caught one in a minute!! No luck at the end of the hour but got some photos!

They touched it and the bits of chicken heart baits too for sure - plenty of handwashing...

Yu pooped during dinner and we had to change him in the small baby room - smallest I've seen among the newer malls! Job hazard... But Bugis + isn't exactly for families though we saw many. Sito pointed out that they were young so probably more used to this place? I had another job hazard thought from this, heh... Anyway...

There was an important development on the way home. So important I'll record it separately.

Sunday was the usual routine. Sent the boys to Chengzhu and went to the bingsu place downstairs. We had a drink there last Sunday. This time, we shared s bingsu before 11 am :p

Yummy! :p

The baby who fell asleep to K-pop and my aerobic dance steps!

It was the last class of the term so it was open class! This time, I went to Kai's class while Sito went to Yang's class. Kai was very participative! But he was using English to ask questions unless it was part of what he was supposed to do. The teacher was also very good in getting them to participate and weaving in the beginnings of hanyu pinyin.

Spot Kai? :)

Yu was also captivated!

On the other hand, Yang was not participating! He was standing at one side at the end of last term but that was his first term. He was apparently still the same this term. His teacher said he was usually like that *.* But at least there was a video where he said 跳 when asked whether he wanted to 跳 or 转呼啦圈 - that word cost $400!!!

And in this funny video, he slid down and stopped, with his head to the floor!! Super cheeky boy!

And yesterday, Yang ate very slowly and reluctantly at dinner. For some reason, he didn't eat well the past few days. So Sito took Kai and Yu back first. When I was on the way home from Mum's place with Yang, I had a bad stomachache - the kind that would saw me go running for the toilet. But I was in the lift with two stops before ours!

Spent a good 30 min or so in the toilet. Had to shout for the pain a few times. And I was breaking out in so much cold sweat I had to take off my top which was drenched. I almost gave up, wanting to call for an ambulance - like 12 years ago - but I couldn't talk properly to give instructions on milk for Yu! But eventually, the constipation passed and the diarrhoea started - I think that was the reason for all that pain, constipation plus diarrhoea!! IBS??

I took a bottle of bao ji wan and the pain subsided. But the next morning, the pain was bubbling just beneath the surface. By the time we got to IMM, it was started to get worse but no poop. Over lunch, the pain changed to become gastric pain, which I'm more familiar with. I let Mum and N take care of Yu coz I couldn't.

So happy!

Perhaps coz we took Kai out for waterplay a lot more than Yang, he is very happy with waterplay. When we arrived, Yang wanted to go to the playground. When I asked Kai, he said he would go with Yang. But later, he really wanted to go for waterplay so we changed them both. But Yang mostly stayed in the perimeter and out of too much water. Hope this would change when we move...

Kai wasn't pleased he didn't have a turn at this water gun, which shoots higher than the rest

At the end, I asked N to bring Yang out first so that Kai could have a go but he decided to leave as well. I think despite what he said about not liking Yang, he does like him enough to want to be with him. After all, this is the brother who can play with him, even if he doesn't find him cute like Yu!

Monkey at lunch - always trying to climb out!

Gotta entice him with biscuits...

Took two bottles of bao ji wan this time and laid down to rest. Got better as Yu fell asleep. Then I went downstairs to get some buns for their tea time. And the whole afternoon passed very s l o w l y....! But we finally got to me sitting here typing - I survived the long weekend!! :p

It was tiring but there were highlights that I would have missed if they were in child care - Yang's ghost story, Kai's grown-up moment, Kai and Yang applying their new rules, Kai's love for his brothers, Yu standing on his own and more of Yu which I'll detail later. Just spent a couple of minutes watching their videos with Sito - so cute :) Love our boys!
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