Thursday, 18 January 2018

Kai and Yu made their first calls

Tuesday, I was starting to walk to Yu's school from the MRT station when Mum called. I picked it up only to find that it was not Mum; it was my son!

Of course Mum had intended for him to locate me so that we could go pick Yu. But my dear Kai didn't relay my replies very much or well. When he finally did, he didn't want to put down the phone. He was rather taken with the drawstring of his hoodie coming off that day and kept asking me if that was ok!

It was so cute :) I thought he sounded a little different on the phone. And I could hear Yang in the background too!

And Monday, Yu woke early and started playing with my phone. I didn't really take note but I saw Sito look at his phone in the dark. Turned out that Yu had called him from my emergency call page! I only learnt about this from Sito when I got to work. Had a good laugh over it. What if he had dialled 999?!

All three of them have sent WhatApp voice messages before, Yu's first being this evening when I asked him to say "papa" to Sito who's on the plane home now. Perhaps I should let Yang have a go at the phone one day too!

"I trumped my brothers by making my first call at 15 months!!"

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Finally, updates on my boys

The past few months have been so full of activities - and work! - that I have not been updating on the boys' dailies!

We had quite a few runs to various clinics in December. Dentist, ENT, vaccination.

Kai had his second scaling and polishing done!

So relaxed, watching movie and putting up legs..

Yang had his first polishing done too!

Mountain of yummies while waiting for his turn to see the ENT doc!

He loves the sandwich too

Kai goofing around in the room - the ENT doc really indulged him!

Roaming the clinic during the wait to be vaccinated

Found a toy some kid left lying in the wrong place

Yu was really good at this!

As the youngest, Yu changed the most in the past few months. The last trip in 2017 to our regular bingsu place, he was totting around rather unsteadily. The first trip on Sunday, he was walking around like he had been walking forever!

I'm so guilty of letting him fall off the bed that I am always relieved to see him develop well! Call me paranoid *.* But last month when Sito was away, he fell off the bed two consecutive nights - I was too dazed on 18 Dec and let him roll off my arm, though I broke the fall a little, and I was careless the next night and let him fall off Sito's side. He cried more the second time :( The third night, he somehow bumped his head in his room. At least it was only from his sitting height.

Yu has a knack of playing on his own

He pulled this big toy off the bench to play all on his own

Yu can wave hi! And he waved to a cute little girl at the next table :p

Make him practise :p

Two nights ago, I asked Yu whether he wanted his pacifier when he woke in my bed* and refused to go back to sleep. He was sitting up and he nodded! I was so surprised! This afternoon, I asked him whether he wanted something. He was standing this time and when he nodded, I could see his whole upper body nodding! It was so cute! I don't remember when his brothers started nodding though.

* I often woke to find him in my bed. But Sito did not put him there. I did not remember putting him there!

Another cute thing he does these days is to turn his palm upwards when I ask where :p The same action could be use for "no more" with a mere rotation of the hand. The best part? His expressionless expression when he does it!

Yu has also learned how to roar, thanks to Kai for roaring at everything and everyone!

My fearsome fearless baby can get on and off the rocking horse all by himself

His brothers are not to be outdone too much.

Yesterday, Kai read a book out loud with very little help - I'm so proud of him! I think he might have remember part of the book but it was a loooong time since we read this. So proud of him :)

Posing happily coz I said I would tell Papa

Today, he slipped on a wet floor coz it was just mopped, and the Lego house he had with him came undone. He cried bitterly but later managed to fix everything back with the help of the manual. I taught him about improvising when he couldn't find the original piece for one part. He even improved on the house - one side was empty by design but he filled it up with his own bricks, coz "why no wall??" So proud of him :)

I just realised today that Yang had stopped coming into our bed in the middle of the night. I don't know whether I should be happy or sad =/ He would still crawl in when he wakes in the morning - he likes to cuddle with me a bit before he wakes for good. This morning, he told me somewhat proudly that he did not wake up last night. Grown up already! =/

He also says grown-up things. Asked him where he wanted his ketchup and, "Hmmm, let me think..." That was the Saturday before my birthday, when we had ribs at Morganfield's. We hadn't been there for a long time. The last time, both Kai and Yang were roaming around, especially Yang. This time, Yu roamed around quite a bit. But Kai and Yang were mostly seated. And Kai could actually finish his kiddy meal!

With lots of ketchup of course!

Yang did too though his attention was on the TV!

Yu just wanted whatever we were having!

But I still have three full boxes of baby cereals, argh...

The kids also do and say the darnest things.

Sito had to change his pants at Uniqlo due to wrong colour - black vs. navy blue?? While waiting for him, Kai and Yang did some shopping too.

"Which pair is good?"


Everything was yucky until this!

We showed him pictures around the shop, showing models wearing Uniqlo stuff, and asked him whether that was handsome. Nope.... When I led him to a mirror and asked whether the guy inside was handsome, he said yes! So confident!

I'm reading Raising Men now. I was especially taken by one part where the author's kid asked him why the other fathers weren't in the pool like hers, and the author realised that the other kids probably realised that their fathers weren't too. I've always wanted to spend more time with them and this was the catalyst spurring me to action!

I planned outdoors and wet weather plans for Kai and Yang this morning. Of course we had to turn to the wet weather plans due to the constant rain.

Measuring and mixing for a chocolate cake!

They both wanted to do everything it was exhausting trying to distribute tasks!

Turned out that I used double the amount of oil accidentally! But luckily, it still rose; it just turned out more moist - and unhealthy? But olive oil? :p

And the boys loved it!

We still fought a lot though, the boys among themselves - even Yu as he started to want in on many things but his brothers wouldn't share - and me scolding them. But we spent some nice hours together, baking, eating, looking at old photos of Mama, lying in bed a little, reading, even cutting nails!

Must remember not to be lazy and do more with our kiddos while they still want us!

No more, yet contented

Realised some time this month that Yu was conceived about two years ago. We had wanted a year-end baby then.

Two years on, I look at my babies, and especially Yu, and I feel a little sad that my womb is forever empty.

Then I look at them again, and find my heart is so darn full it can burst.

I was there at every step of Kai's first couple of years. Then I got busy with Yang. Then I got busy with Yu. But now, I can finally be there at every step of the next couple of years for Yu, and hopefully have growing bandwidth to be there at every step of all of their growing years :)

Our little family

Monday, 8 January 2018

The birthday with the accident

I woke on my birthday to find a little person standing next to my bed. That was 2.35 am. I drifted in and out of sleep. At 3.20 am, I found him in the midst of an hour-long nursing marathon! I think he finally slept at 4.30 am or so.

I woke proper at close to 7 am, upon hearing Kai saying something like, there's something rolling on Yang's bed! Freaked out, I came out to find that it was a fruit fly on his PLATE. Coz of the bananas on the table. But it was nice to find out that Yu was still asleep - he had not slept past 7 am since months ago!

Kai refused to wish me happy birthday. But he gave me happy face and cheeky smiles. When I asked Yang, he gave me a fierce face and said, "Again?!" But he sang me the song using random sound words.

"Again" coz we did this yesterday

But this was the first do - last Wednesday in a surprise move by my team at work

And of course before that, I had my first surprise in the form of Mr Dyson, which more than one had mistaken to be a hoover after I posted it on Facebook!

But I digress... Back to today..

Coz I was on leave, I decided to take Mum's turn to send them to school. It was raining so I drove. Then I did a pit stop at our new place to check things out. It was still raining hard when I left the place. I was so scared I would bump into cars in front so I just rolled along slowly - on leave, the malls were still sleeping, plenty of time. Then I got bumped by a lorry.


It was just before the turn up Jalan Anak Bukit. My trip in the evening confirmed that it was in front of the Bukit Timah Shopping Centre. The car in front was a naughty fellow - I saw it from way back, leaving the queue into PIE and then blinking left the whole time trying to cut the queue in front! So I just rolled slowly. I didn't want to change to the right lane - fewer changes, lower chance of accident, right? No!

As expected, that car took some time to get back into the queue. He was only halfway into the lane when I got near so I slowed down. There were very few cars on that stretch; there was only this car in front of me and no one came whizzing by my right. Then it happened. A slight jerk followed by the terrible sound of glass shattering.

Cannot forget this spot, ever!

I could see that the whole back window was gone. Glass continued to fall off as I stared. Thank goodness the kids weren't there already!

I veered right to the kerb and exchanged IC and phone number with the lorry driver. But I forgot to take down his plate number *.* I drove back to Holland, parked there and called Mum and Dad and insurance. Also got the plate number from lorry and spoke with him again to confirm we would each report to insurance. No police report required when there are no injuries.

So here I am, waiting for Mum to go together to a workshop authorised by the insurer.

Will I ever get my shopping done?? I'll update later...

Update 2.10 pm

It was a fuss free process. Some paper work, then we went for lunch across the road. Queued a long time for fish soup and it was worth it! Mum also got some chives kueh from the same coffeeshop.

Quite a spread!

Then we went back to get the replacement car. Mum sent me back and went on her way to run errands. I'm just hanging around relaxing. I gave up thoughts of shopping now. I just want a relaxing afternoon, with massage and coffee and cake. Then I'll pick my boys up and be on my way for my 39th year!

Update 9.34 pm

So I had a foot massage. I zoned out and had my social media fix. Then I shopped at Watsons :p Bought myself a new blusher since my current one is running out. And then it's cake time!

To 压惊

I took the train to fetch the kids today though we have the replacement car. If I'm unlucky today, I'm not risking it! I arrived early and walked around Hillion Mall. Got slippers for the boys! :)

On the way back, I weaselled a happy birthday out of Kai :p Still failed with Yang. And I told the boys I had an accident.

Kai: You're kidding, right?!

I wish, my dear... It started raining again on our way back via taxi. The boys pulled on their jackets which they wore during nap time for the first time today.

And Yang's hair flattened down! :p

All in, this was quite a pleasant birthday. I didn't rush anywhere. I didn't fill it up with too many things, though it wasn't by choice. I just relaxed. But I do need to go buy some stuff. Have to find a day...

Update 13 Jan

So consumed by the accident that I forgot about our little celebration last Saturday!

We had ribs :)

But no cake coz too full!

And yesterday marked the last celebration for this year. My colleagues brought me out for pho - perfect for the recent cold spell! I quite like this new thing among the heads to go out for lunch to celebrate birthdays, thanks to a new SDD who organises these. The rest of us are antisocial, ha!

Saturday, 6 January 2018

One-week-old new school

Finally, on Tuesday 2 Jan, Kai and Yang went to their new school!

In their new uniforms

Mum and I worked out an arrangement such that each of us would go to BP once a day. She will send them in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and pick them up every Tuesday and Thursday, whereas I do the opposite. But for this first week, we took the time to familiarise ourselves with the routine and route.

On the train to school on the first day

It was about 8.15 am by the time we got to school. After the photo check-in and handing over to teachers amid some chaos coz we weren't the only newbies that day, it was circle time and they didn't have their usual second breakfast in school.

Happy to introduce himself and his younger brother

Moving from a big circle to a tight circle

When they got into the big circle, a boy about Kai's age sat next to him and they exchanged a few words. I didn't hear of course. But the boy was squeezed out when they moved into the tight circle. And this happened:

"I stare at you"


Ok, dinosaur phase...

They seemed ok so I bade them goodbye and left at about 8.40 am. Kai's teacher happened to came out from inside and we spoke a little - she would only take K2 until the K2 teacher came. I was with the admin outside but could see the principal starting on bible reading as she wrote a line on the board. In fact, today, Kai was singing something about god giving him everything and amen!

I took a bus to work. It was a 45-min journey!

I met Mum at Holland at 5 pm to fetch them at the end of the day. As we turned into the carpark, Kai's Teacher L called me to update me on his first day as she was leaving already. So he was playful during outdoor and she had to set rules for him - trust him to be so at home already! But he was focused in class, which was great!

But he cried twice in the afternoon. Once coz tea was green bean soup and he didn't like it. Of course he had never had it in his last school which was predominantly angmoh! Teacher L asked him to take three scoops, and he asked her why she was forcing him to eat! Then, he cried when he thought two kids were laughing at him. Teacher L investigated and found that the two were just playing next to Kai. My boy was too sensitive *hugs*

I saw Yang's teacher when I was getting him. She said Yang did well, no fussing. But he didn't like the green bean soup haha!!

We swung by their old school to pick Yu up, and reached home in good time.

The next day, Mum and I drove them to school. I didn't even bother to stay for a short while. They ran in like they lived there the whole time! I left work pretty early to catch the bus to fetch them. I tried to do some work on the bus but ended up being car sick. I got the boys and grabbed a car back to fetch Yu and go home, feeling car sick all the way.

From Thursday, Mum and I went solo. I sent them by train and Mum got them by car. I was going to walk Yu home but they came back early and picked me up to go via the school. Yesterday, Sito and I drove Yu to school and came back just in time for Mum to drive his brothers to school.

I had a little scare in the afternoon when I saw a call from the school! Turned out that it was Kai's teacher who wanted to ask me to send her a few photos of Kai in the past few years and bring an empty jam bottle to school for an activity. Phew! She also included this in his communications book - and incidentally, their comms books are A5 and created by the school, and there is a proper protocol to place it on a tray every day when we get there! Stress ah, means I must check it more regularly and more frequently than every couple of weeks!

Anyway, at the end of the day, I decided to try taking the train from office to BP - two changes but well worth it! Fast and no carsickness! But I found Yang with wet eyes. So he had been naughty and was pulled out from play by his Chinese teacher. She explained to me and said that he seemed ok after a cry. We went home by cab as usual and grabbed Yu along the way.

Today, Kai and Yang stayed at home in the morning coz it's just too much hassle to bring them all the way to BP. We went for breakfast at the hawker centre after sending Yu to school. Yang didn't like toast but loved his warm Milo. Kai had a lot of toast *.* Then we went by the mini playground with the animal rides. Kai used to play them a lot last time. Now they are really old and creaky.

Yang didn't want to go home so I distracted him with bugs and ants along the winding pathway leading to our block. They were so interested! It was so cute to see two little people squatting there looking at bus! I forgot my phone so no pictures, but I'll hold the moment dear :)

So we survived the first week at the new school! So glad that they are both adapting well :) Next will be Yu in April - hope he adapts well too!

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy new year!

It's already 2018! Where did 2017 go?? Answers:

1) My boys growing up
2) Sito and me growing fat

I realised I have not been talking much about the boys lately. Been real busy at work and too tired to blog after working second (kids) and third (paid work) shifts every week night. Have to try to be more regular in my updates this year on!

So this second consecutive long weekend started on quite literally the wrong foot. But Saturday was good - S told me about one-for-one ice cream at Haagen Dazs so we brought boys downstairs for a treat!

So pleased with his ice cream

Yang wanted a photo too! PS: That's Kai's ice cream stain behind Yang!

Happy to gaze outside on the way to Clementi

Passed by Bata and got them some shoes for Lunar New Year. They couldn't make up their mind! And when they did, they wouldn't let go of the shoes! Even the salesgirl realised that and packed their shoes in separate bags so that they could carry their own shoes!

We met for S for dinner at Clementi. She was the first brave one to venture out with us with the kids coming along! We managed to have snippets of conversation going with Sito and I taking turns to watch the kids with N.

Yu had fun at the playground :)

Kai was so sweet to Yu

Kai had a run-in with another boy at this playground. That boy was shorter but probably not much younger than Kai. They exchanged a few fists and words. And Kai couldn't stop talking about Ryan - yes, he knew his name! - when we sat down for dinner! And when we got back to the playground after dinner, he was asking where Ryan was *.*

Yang wanted a photo in front of this poster

It rained most of Sunday so we stayed in mostly. I baked some muffins and an oatmeal flapjack early in the morning for afternoon snack and dinner dessert. After tea, we went to Mother's place for dinner.

Us at a red light!

My minion is great with cars

We had great plans for the first day of the new year. We wanted to go outdoors so the renovated Jacob Ballas sounded great! But the rain from NYE didn't stop. So we stayed in, which was just as well coz N left after us on NYE and did not come back until noon today! Said she had to get her sister who was coming to Singapore via Batam, and couldn't make it in time for the last ferry back. But the first ferry today was 6 am. Whatever.

But this experience told me one thing - we could possibly survive without a helper! Yu woke at 6 am and lazed with me for some 45 min. Then we got out for breakfast, and his brothers joined us. And I managed a whole hour on my own until I had to pee - that was the cue for waking Sito :p And we managed on our own until lunch time. Lunch is always bad coz it gets messy *.* Else, we managed to get breakfast, clean up and entertain the kids. I say not bad, not bad at all!

And since we were holed in, I took the opportunity to do some housekeeping. With them going to a new centre that requires them to wear uniform in the afternoon, we won't need so much street clothes. So I packed away all clothes with the slightest stain to give away on Carousell/Facebook. And of the remaining, I packed those looking worn into a bag labelled HOLIDAY - we'd use them on our next holiday, and probably not bring them back.

One whole bag of clothes to get rid of!

All three boys napped well. I was surprised that Kai and Yang didn't ask for a movie after their nap - great! Coz this morning we already watched Rise of the Guardians and one disc of 十万个为什么 which I got from the recent book fest. They just played a lot and whined a lot until Mum they all came over with their shopping from New Zealand, and then we went out for dinner together.

So we ended this first day of the new year with lots of carbs! Sito and I are definitely not getting lighter. We have grand plans to exercise more when we move to our new place. But I'm a little sceptical, and perhaps distrustful, of myself. Coz I didn't exercise regularly the last time I had a gym right downstairs! But my motivation is stronger now - I'm as heavy as I was in my first year in Oxford :(

Need to think through how to manage time though. There are three main things to do after work - settle the kids, gym, work again. And I still hope to fit in a fourth - writing - and sleep at a decent hour. I might have to alternate gym and writing. Better than nothing? Jia you in the new year!

My first sprain

And hopefully the last coz it was damn painful on impact!!

Sito and I were on leave on Thursday. After lunch at Geylang, I somehow stepped into a drain hole at the kerb side as I was getting into the car. It was so painful I shouted out. Sito had to hold on to my right foot coz wa, so painful!!

Luckily, the pain subsided pretty quickly so I was able to drive - to Changi and back! It wasn't until we got back that we thought it looked swollen. So we went to our fave shop downstairs - not for foot reflexology but to check my ankle. The lady pressed my ankle a little and proceeded to give the sides of my right knee a good go. So painful!!!

The swelling looked a bit bigger than this

Dragged my foot to work on Friday coz it was a really busy day. Why was this December so busy??! A colleague saw my foot and said it looked bad. That scared me. And best, I got confused over a meeting time and had to dash out 10min before the meeting time to grab a cab to HQ! Rushing is bad; rushing with a bai kah is worst!

By Friday night, somehow I could walk normally on flat ground without pain though stairs were still challenging. We decided to go to the bone sinseh in Bukit Batok on Saturday morning.

The sinseh pushed my tailbone before starting work on the ankle. I said it didn't hurt. And after a few pulls and tugs, he pressed onto a spot on my ankle, and wa, so painful again?!!! 哪里不痛!你是痛在里面!Whatever you say but don't press anymore!

The foot was ok until the early hours of this year. I was up at night as usual and felt like there was a huge bruise on my foot! I just peeled off the sinseh's plaster. Foot is still swollen, sighs. Hope it gets well soon! But I think my right foot will never look the same again - Sito's right foot is still slightly bigger after his sprain in 2012!!

Friday, 29 December 2017

The first goodbye

Kai and Yang wore their red and blue uniforms for the last time today. Just yesterday, Facebook reminded me of Yang's first day in uniform - his pants were at his ankles; this morning, they were at his knees. Similarly for Kai except that his pants were even shorter now.

Happy with their candy bags

This morning, I told them solemnly that they were wearing their uniforms for the last time today. Kai stopped me. He told me to stop saying that and not to make him cry! I wondered if he was sad or his teachers mentioned farewell and sadness to him.

Last Friday, I ordered 60 cupcakes etc from Coffee Bean for their Christmas party, to share with their classmates and their teachers. Today, I packed two bags of candies for them to give to their friends as they bade them farewell. They were very happy to share goodies with friends. When we arrived in school, Kai opened up his bag to the first teacher there - his N1 teacher, A. Then he said he would give Madam C as well and went upstairs to find her. So sweet :)

Last weekend, Yang wrote a note to his oldest friend H, with only their names written by me and some sketches in orange crayon. Kai wrote his and his oldest friend's names on a note but we didn't know where that went! I popped Yang's note into his candy bag.

This evening when I picked them up, they had only a couple of goodies left. I asked Yang if he had given the note to H. He said yes. I changed my question and asked if H was in school today. He said no! So where was the note? After a pause, he had his friend R took it!!! I forgot to take a picture of the note so I can't send H's mum the note. Oh well...

I thought about this at work this morning, and felt quite sad. Yes, it's expensive and we thought Kai might have picked up some bad habits from some angmoh friends. But they grew up there and made friends there! The centre itself feels like a home coz it's made of two houses. And gosh, I'm sure they will miss the trampoline!

But we have been planning this for while, toying with various options depending on when we move. Since it's clear that we will move by 2018, we decided that Kai will go to the new school from the start of the year so that he will have the whole year to make friends in his K2 year. And so he won't be lonesome, Yang will follow him though it doesn't matter as much for Yang when he moves over.

As for Yu, I want him to finish up infant care to minimise changes and also coz I really like his current teachers. In any case, the new school doesn't have infant care. We were looking at the PCF right downstairs but they were super disorganised - first they told me they had a place for Kai and Yu,  and asked me to check for Yang's place in October after they had sought parents' reply on whether their kid would carry on the next year; when I called back in October, they said no, they had a place only for Yu. I was so pissed.

Lucky for us, we found another school very quickly. Rather, I acted on the search very quickly haha! No choice.. And it turned out that they had three vacancies and they had an open house on Sito's birthday AND they were so friendly too! I registered during the open house.

The quality of the uniforms isn't quite so good though - can't really iron on the name tags, and the fabric melted during ironing! N got her friend to fix the hole but I won't see the results until Sunday night. If it doesn't work out, I'll just buy another set.

We brought the kids to the open house, which was useful coz they were very taken with the sandpit in the outdoor area! Also helped that they each received a fidget spinner in their goodie bag! So they both know that they are going to a new school. I'm not sure if Yang understands it much though. Kai was a little confused between new school and new house, but I'm sure he'll get it clarified by Tuesday!

I hope the two of them will get used to their new school quickly! For now, well, they still have a half-day in their current school tomorrow :p *gasp* their last drive through Chip Bee Gardens??!

Ok, too sentimental...
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