Friday, January 21, 2011 ;
Wow, long hiatus...
Many reasons... End of year craziness in 2010, then the new year, school reopening, the kids' birthdays coming up and then Chinese New Year.
Important updates prompted me to finally log in to post, because if I don't, I will forget when the kids sprout their teeth, and so on. :)
Little dd has 9 teeth now. The latest one, the upper right premolar, sprouted about 2 weeks ago. She's been mightily chewing on anything in sight and stuff all kinds of things into her mouth, and drooling copious amounts since a month ago.
On the other hand, she's been cruising for a long time already but she has yet to make the step towards walking. We do realise she is more timid than her brothers. However, it is still early to say if she'll be similar in reaching the walking milestone as them or later. ds1 started walking at 11months+, and ds2 at 1yr (12mth+). dd is 11months + now. She still has 1mth's time before we can really say she's slower or not! Jia you!
So far, she has been standing unaided, and taking one step only. But with that unsupported one step, she will usually realise she is not holding onto anything, get scared, look down, and then squat and start to crawl instead. Even with all my encouragement, she'll still not take more than 1 step. I'm leaving her to be ready herself. :)
Linguistically, she is not saying anything meaningful thing yet, although her babbling is taking on more and more "sentence structures" and similar intonation to how we speak. So it can be very entertaining and "cute" to listen to her and nod my head knowingly like I understand what she is saying, in order to encourage her.
She does understand quite a bit of what we say though. Words like "no" from us gets her very excited cos she will want to repeat the action we forbid her to do. "Give" when I want her to pass me something... "drop down" or "fall", and she will look down at the ground to check what has fallen off. This comes from letting many things, including food, drop from her high chair, of course.
She learns cause and effect from throwing her things off, according to experts, but it makes me have to clean up a lot more and I have to patiently pick things up and repeat to her, "drop down, mommy pick up".
It's a lot more fun playing with her now though. She laughs readily when we play endless "catching" games and peekaboos. She also shakes her head, sometimes very violently, especially when I want to feed her something new!
As for ds2, he lost his 1st tooth already. Same as ds1, at 5yo. His came out on 8 Dec. It had been shaky and loose for 1-2 months. Several times he asked to have it out, and several times both Dh and I tried, with our old thread pulling method, but it usually slipped out cos his new tooth was emerging and it blocked our access to encircling the thread really high up on the old baby tooth.
Finally Dh did it that day! Ds2 was so happy cos he had seen ds1 get visits from the tooth fairy several times already, and he eagerly got into bed that night. The next morning, he woke up super early! Earlier than me, cos he jumped into my bed and woke me up, holding a S$2 note, announcing that the fairy did visit him and he found it under his pillow! (I slid it in after he fell asleep the night before).
ds1 caught on that it was me early on, but ds2 was still blissfully unaware, he still believed the fairy flew in through the window, past the window grill! But he knows the truth now already, thanks to ds1 who informed him, and burst his bubble of magical fun.
I gave him $2 cos when ds1 dropped his first tooth, he was overseas, and I used the exchange rate to make sure we gave ds2 the same amount. So the kids have had visits from the tooth fairy in USA, China and Singapore, with different currency!
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
Thursday, January 6, 2011 ;
I will be moving to my new blog.
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Thank you for being such a great reader and friend!
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
Tuesday, January 4, 2011 ;
We attended every day, but Dh will stay for most of the lectures while I'll bring kids home to nap when they needed to. At night, there'd be the gospel meeting. It was a very busy week, but very edifying. Great to hear from speakers hailing from so many different countries around the world, because they bring with them refreshing ways of teaching the same Word.
ds1's 3rd chess competition this yr. This one is by the Singapore ZongXiang Huay Kuan. Nice premises, organised but lasted much longer than expected. We couldn't even pick him up and had to let the teacher bring him back to CPS cos my dad's Appreciation Dinner was at 6.30pm.
So our whole family went for the Appreciation Dinner except for ds1. Didn't expect the competition to end so late.
My dad stepped down from his presidency. Old age (he is 74 this yr), health reasons, and perhaps I think he wants to slow down and do something else. Since the Bible college is modelled after US colleges, they now termed him the President Emeritus. With this prestigious sounding name, he still got a huge pay slash but not much reduced workload. He was mumbling about it but not sure what will happen next.
Pics of the dinner are on FB. My sis was late cos she had to drag both her kids from Queenstown, and then she didn't realise the dinner was quite formal. (Everyone was wearing their best clothes, incl our family, and other guests.) She rushed down and had no time to dress up, so was in her jeans and nursing top. Not the nicest nursing top too. However, she still looked fantastic in the pictures, so I think it didn't matter at all.
Met Mary and kids at Thai Express for lunch.
Pics at FB. It's lovely to live nearby so we can meet up impromptu and have a good time together.
Dh and I have been married for 9 yrs on 8 Dec! But we chose to celebrate on Friday cos Wed is in the middle of the week and there was Bible class at night.
We dropped ds1 off with mil and ds2 at school, then brought dd (no choice, the nursing one) along with us to Applebees at Triple One Somerset. We'd a lot of happy and yummy memories at Applebees when we were in Utah, and this is their only outlet in Sg.
After lunch, we planned to walk around 313 and just enjoy the time together leisurely.
Alas, something happened that caused us to spend the celebration of the anniversary in the paed's office instead.
I do have to be thankful that at least we had a great lunch. It was after lunch that we decided to walk to the nearby NTUC finest to check something out. Dh sat dd on his shoulders and I walked to a separate aisle to browse.
Suddenly I heard dd's piercing scream cum wail. It was a kind of cry that I seldom hear from her (i.e. not the want-to-nurse or diaper-full or sleepy kind). It was more like "i'm terrified and in a lot of pain" kind.
I rushed to their aisle and saw that there was a crowd there already! Later on, I learnt from Dh that a promoter was already in that aisle, he witnessed the whole incident. And then he went to grab a lady promoter in the next aisle, and both fussed over dd. And an expat couple was also there, and they stood there, shell-shocked but concerned. Then, 2 other couples, one Singaporean and another Filipino probably rushed over from another aisle cos they heard the loud cries and wondered if there was anything they could help with.
What happened was, Dh held dd by her legs as she sat on his shoulders. Initially they were just looking around, but then she started to play with his glasses and pull his hair and shift around.
Suddenly, she threw herself backwards (maybe cos she was restless or wanted to get at something along the aisle). At that point in time, Dh slipped or loosened his grip on her legs, and she fell from his SHOULDERS onto the ground. Yes, the NTUC concrete floor.
There was a loud smack when she fell. She was on her front when Dh went to pick her up and he told me, ashen faced later on, that he thought he'd see her face flattened and full of blood when he carried her up. Thankfully, that was not the case.
Me, who was oblivious that she fell from that great a height, and only reached her when she was crying, in Dh's arms, did not sense anything amiss and thought it was just a normal fall. I just carried her over and patted her back and she stopped crying. When she was whimpering, the onlookers came over to give advice.
I did wonder why they all looked so shocked but just dismissed it as us being in the NTUC in Orchard, maybe everyone was more friendly? The guy promoter kept saying I should let her drink some water to cure her from shock. The lady promoter said nevermind, don't be too alarmed, kids all have falls, just make sure she doesn't vomit. etc etc.
Since she had stopped crying, we walked to the cashier to pay for our stuff and left NTUC. I did notice the expat couple and Filipino couple trailed us for a while, observing dd.
It was only outside NTUC did Dh give me a detailed account of what happened. I was glad I didn't witness it. I might have a bigger response, which might have scared dd and not be able to calm her down so soon.
I examined her whole body for bruises, only her thighs looked very red. Her head did not have big bumps, but there was a small one on her forehead. I put her in the sling and she slept while we were still thinking whether we should get her checked. At first, we thought let her sleep, so we did walk to 313. But after I walked into Zara, I felt that I had no mood to browse anymore.
Dh was still pale and shaken, and he kept checking to see if dd was still breathing, quite funny, now that I am recalling the incident. So we finally decided, to give ourselves the peace of mind, we should bring her to a paed.
Since she hasn't seen a paed from the time she was born (in the hospital), we decided to go to the boys' doc at her clinic in Bt Timah. That's how we spent the rest of the day. Fortunately, she was given the all-clear after a thorough check (rib-cage, breathing, heart beat, head, stomach). Doc says it was surprising she came through with so few injuries, so she felt that dd must have tumbled before falling on the ground, hence the impact is lessened. Perhaps she did, on Dh's back?
Thank God she is fine!!
11 Nov Sat
Our boys were invited over to Mary's! They had so much fun watching TV, playing Nintendo, playing chess with ZY, and making sushi with Mary for lunch! Thank you thank you!
Meanwhile, Dh and I also had a great time having lunch at Bakerzin (with dd), and then grocery shopping. haha. It's nice to go shopping with just a baby (who has to go wherever we go) rather than 3 kids, all of whom would like to go in different directions. So we love this arrangement. Sometimes we'll take their kids, and sometimes they'll take ours! yay!
In the evening, after dinner, the church youth came to our place for Games Night. Remember how we decided to entertain friends but had to restrict the numbers? This time, it was the youth, so no families with young kids. Thus, the challenging board games and wacky card games were taken out, and everyone had fun laughing at each other.
Everyone also brought drinks or snacks. Ben (kwan) made fruit salad, and Andy baked choc chip cookies. I made banana pudding. There was so much food! Some brought their games to share as well. Philip (VW) brought Super Munchkin, Zel brought Slamwich and Janelle or Eustacia brought Rummikub.
They are young and full of energy, so they made the atmosphere in our house much livelier! At 10.30pm, I had to make our boys and dd sleep. It was way past their bedtime and the next day was Sunday. Somehow, even though I told the youth to carry on playing, they seemed to take this as cue. Audrey said her car coupon was set up to 10.30pm only, so they decided to leave.
By 11pm everyone was gone.
It was great fun, should have more of these. We will definitely do so, since dd is getting older and older too, and we'd hopefully be able to entertain more.
9am - 5pm
Vacation Bible School
This was organised by LAP congregation so every morning, Dh has to send ds1 all the way there. It's open to P1-P6 kids only so ds2 can't join yet.
I went with dd on Mon though, just to meet the youth there, and see how it is like. ds1 looked like he was enjoying himself with the introduction and ice breakers, so I left with Angeling. We went to Compass Point to walk around, eat breakfast at Starbucks, sit in the library and read and chat softly... Then we borrowed some books, had lunch at Jack's Place and took bus back to Angeling's house. I would be there till evening when Dh came to pick ds1 up. ds2 had school and would be at my mom's place till evening time when we got back.
On Tues, it was the day they were going to Bedok Reservoir for the Forest Adventure. It builds up confidence and self-esteem through a series of challenges above-ground. Something like an obstacle course. I find it fun and very good for the kids indeed. Because if they can complete it, they will feel like "I did this, I can do it, so I can try other things and succeed too!"
I brought ds2 along because he saw me surfing the net on the place and said he wanted to try as well. I wasn't sure if he met the height requirements so we just went to try. Dh kindly agreed to take time off work and drive us there.
Pics are all on FB. ds2 was very brave. He barely hit the minimum height requirement. It was 1.1m. He fell shy of 0.1cm I think, but the guy said he could go, so I paid for him (ds1 is covered by the VBS). Thankfully we came as a group cos he was paired with this P6 boy from LAP, Shawn, who was such a sensitive and caring boy!
He took care of ds2 throughout and watched out for him. Whenever ds2 felt scared or hesitant, he will shout encouraging words to ds2. The trainers were very good too. They put ds2 in between Shawn and another boy who is P6 as well. This is so that if ds2 gets stuck, he can get help from the one in front or behind.
The problem is that parents or other adults cannot get up to reach the child. And the child cannot come down halfway. Only at certain stations there are ways to come down. Else you are just stuck up there. Trainers may be able to reach you, cos they have the harness, but generally they discourage you from stopping halfway.
ds2 couldn't reach some of the ropes, too high, and he couldn't manage his clip sometimes. Too short, arms not strong enough. haha. Worse, some steps were so far apart, his feet and legs couldn't reach the next step despite stretching his widest. I wondered how he got his courage to get up there. Cos the VBS organiser was concerned for him and asked him "are you sure?" and showed him the entire course. I think at that time, he just wanted to do it cos his brother was going up and he didn't want to be left out!
But once he was up there, and ds1 was way in front, where he couldn't see him, he was scared! I was worried he'd cry and want to give up. Thankfully he completed everything, albeit a few, I almost thought he would give up, cos he hesitated for so long! At these times, Shawn and the trainer would encourage him and help him and he'd eventually pluck up enough courage to do it.
Funniest thing is, at the last part, when the kids get to sit on the flying fox thingy and zip all the way down, it looked very fun and was certainly much easier than some of the courses he'd completed, he started to cry! Yes! There at the end!
I wondered what he was thinking. When he came down and I asked him, he said he wanted to go again. He didn't want to come down. I was not convinced. He just went through the course with so much difficulty... I asked if he cried cos he was scared of the zipline? He said no... But then, I don't know why he had to cry then. Later was discussing with Dh, perhaps it was pent-up feelings. He was scared at all the earlier courses, and those were all over, so when it was the last station, it was tears of relief?? Just our guess.
ds1? Why didn't I talk about him? Cos we saw he was totally in his element, so there was no cause for concern. In the end, we took pics of ds2 mostly cos ds1 was so fast. He did not give any thought to risks or danger. He just plunged ahead onto every course without any hesitation or fear. That fellow. There was one station he just walked on without holding on to the rope above till someone shouted at him to hold on. Fortunately there was a safety harness around his waist, else I'd have freaked out.
2 sons, 2 different personalities. But I was so glad ds2 overcame his fear. Now whenever he is scared and don't want to try something, I am so happy that I can bring that Forest Adventure up and say, hey, you survived that right? You can do this, it's nothing compared to that! :)
After that we went to Ikea for a nice lunch (Tampines Ikea is nearby).
I didn't follow on Wed or Thurs. Had chores lined up at home to complete. ds1 went alone. He enjoyed himself a lot and got to know many LAP youth and kids. So happy for him.
On Thurs I even managed to go to Amore for cardiolatino with Mary! It was a disaster though. I found out I have 2 left feet! I used to dance Chinese dance in Pr sch and learnt gymnastics when I was young too. Had no problems with the rhythmic routines on the gym floor and danced my Chinese dances pretty well lei. Somehow, after growing up, I must have become more and more clumsy. I remember in JC, dancing the mass dance was quite ok for certain songs but for the fast ones, I was already not catching up, and always forgetting the moves.
Well, now I have confirmed it. It will be the last cardiolatino session! I will focus on toning and cardio-aerobics kind of exercises in future! (Btw, we were accosted by the staff cos I went for only 6 sessions in the whole of last yr! Tsk tsk. So my new yr resolution is to go more frequently else I can't use up my sessions!)
On Fri, I followed ds1 to LAP and then went Ikea Tampines, this time with ds2. We met Angeling, Mary and kids there, and played and ate, then went back to Angeling's house for the kids' nap. Mary and her kids left after the nap. At night, the presentation at LAP was at 8pm. We all went to watch the kids put up skits and show us what they learnt and did during the entire week of VBS.
They went to the Marina Barrage for a tour on Thurs and the pics were put up by the VBS organisers in a slideshow too. Very interesting. They also painted a wall mural on Friday. Lovely. Then the kids presented a cup they made for Daddy and an apron they made for mommy, and an art piece for their siblings, as well as a glove showing the whole family.
The whole camp was free! I am sure to sign him up this year again and this time, ds2 will qualify too!
Supposed to be my group's LF session but dd fell sick so I couldn't go. Mary was going for a staycation again so her helper came to our place for the night that night.
The next day was Monday, and Angeling came over for some fun activities. We made ice cream and popcorn, and the kids learnt how to make ice cream. Then we had lunch. I cooked simple lunch. Rice with soy sauce chicken, french beans and carrot, and eggs. Then the kids watched a DVD together while eating the pop corn. Then they napped.
After the nap, we had ice cream with toppings of graham crackers and Hershey's Choc fudge. Then we all headed for the playground to swing and climb! That was the end of our gathering. Mary's helper left with them to spend one night with Angeling as well. I hope it was fun for her too!
Brought the kids to Mz's house for a Uni friends gathering. ds2's school was having an Xmas party but we skipped that for this rare reunion.
There was a lot to play there. Hot Wheels, Beyblade etc.. ds1 also played chess with Yunhao who used to be a chess champion in school. Yh taught ds1 a few tips also and gave him some can2ju2 to work on. Wah... ds1 was so engrossed and interested.
It's amusing cos we were discussing how my sons were not interested in the violin when dh is so good at it and has tried to teach them. Yh's sons are also about the same age as ours. His older son is also in P2 now. But his sons are not interested in chess.
I had lots of fun chatting and catching up with everyone. We had a good time eating too.
At night, it was ds2's Yamaha class concert so dh, ds1, dd and i all went. Next year he'll be switching to the Sat timeslot so this was his last day in this class. Pity cos this class had more kids his age, and a couple of really cute girls. :)
He played Tug of War and Happy Day. Everyone sang and danced a few items too. The parents were all very supportive. Pics on FB.
My turn to host. Last time while I was teaching, I was so glad that my school became such a warm and friendly place where my colleagues were mostly my friends. Some of us became really very close friends. These relationships were very important to me because it made going to work very fun and I looked forward to it. It also made all the irritating admin work or the lousy terrible days feel better cos your friends are sure to cheer you up.
Even though I taught Biology, besides the Biology teachers (who have become like family), I was also close to several Physics and Chemistry teachers. Last time, we all sat in a mixed bunch. (Now I heard they have zoned it such that Bio sits with Bio, and thus there is less interaction across subjects.)
And as you know, I have been on no pay leave for 4 yrs now. My friends have all moved on and moved UP. haha. Yes, so my friends are now principals, VPs, HODs, subject heads, and some have fancy names like Dean of xx, Consultant, Director...
This particular day, I played host to a very busy principal and a very busy other friend who moved to another JC. We had a simple lunch and basically just chatted. Years have passed but we still had so many things to talk about!
This special day had ds2's school tr come visiting too! She brought the kids each a surprise! She bought them a cupcake each (dd incld!). And she also brought ds2 all his Xmas presents from his friends and teachers in school. I took him out of school for the last 2 weeks in Dec, you see. So kind of his teacher. I think I love her more than he does, haha.
That night, we all went to Leon's house for games night. His place is really good for games cos there are 5 storeys and free parking. haha. So many different games were played by different groups, so he could host a large large group. I got to play BIG taboo, which is a new form of taboo. I like it, all the new twists were funny.
The rest of the time, I spent trying to keep dd out of other people's games. :)
ds1 had a field day playing Risk with the big guys and also Saboteur, which I had never heard of. ds2 played Slamwich and Uno. We all had a smashing time.
The last week of Dec will be updated in my new blog. Decided to set up a new blog for the new year, since it's high time, with the new member in the family being almost 1yo now! Can't have this URL anymore, it is stale! :)
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow