Wishing all a Happy Ox Year!!!

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祝贺大家 - 牛年快乐,万事如意, 身体健康!

Today it's our last day at work before Chinese New Year. We will be "balik kampung" tomorrow!!! We aim to reach Ipoh by noon time so that we can still enjoy the fabulous food at Ipoh, a.k.a., the food heaven!!!

We will be away from 23rd Jan to 3rd Feb 2009, and so there will be no posting for this period of time as we don't have internet access at home. But we will certainly take lots of pictures to share, especially to capture the time when Hao Re goes 拜年 with his brand new Chinese New Year outfits, must be very cute, I imagine :-)

By the way, he has already been independantly "trained" by us at home and by his teachers at school on how to do the 恭喜恭喜 or 恭喜发财 gesture. Hope he is willing to do this stunt time over time to amuse our families and friends (ha, bad mummy, use the little boy as the "entertainer"!!!)

Oh, this little guy loves eating, and he would just eat anything. We were making the 芽菇饼 (or 芽菇crisp) over the weekend. This little fellow like never has enough of it (my mum was surprised he likes it cos it has a bit of bitterness). We took out one piece for him, he stopped what he was doing, and concentrated and finished the piece of crisp. Then he would bring the whole bottle of crisps to whoever he saw, me, daddy or Jiu-jiu, and asked us to open it for him, time after time. Though we were worried it might be too heaty for him, but luckily it turned out all right. Daddy and jiu-jiu finished all the crisps in less than a few hours, so I worry no more. But when we are at home (=my parents' or in-law's), when he sees all the Chinese New Year biscuits, I think he will get very excited and he will sure sample each and every type of he goodies!

So, I thought I should post some photos taken yesterday, before CNY, as a record, so as to compare with the version of Hao Re after CNY, because he might gain a lot of weight due to all the CNY goodies he eats!!!

Pictures taken using my very old handphone, so it's not fabulous. We had dinner at Sakae Sushi yesterday, and Hao Re happily fed himself with fingers or with the spoon.

So, with this, we are all set to enjoy our long Chinese New Year holiday! Wishing all a Happy Ox Year!!!
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A piece of wonderful news for year 2009

Make your guess!!!

Take time to make your guess, your wildest guess, of what the good news will be, while I am going to update a little bit on Hao Re, before breaking the news!

Hubby said he wants to have a special bonding time with Hao Re tonight, by putting him to bed, patting, hugging, the soft-talk, etc. So there I go, suddenly I have some time for myself, and so I blog.

Hao Re is drooling a BIGGGGGG time again! Without the bibs on, his shirt would be wet in just a few minutes! Probably he is teething, but we can't see nor feel and sprouting teeth, as yet. I have to get the bibs out from the wardrobe again, as Hao Re hasn't been using bibs since few months ago. Good thing is he hasn't complain on any teething pain or discomfort by being cranky, so that's good.

We do not have any special program over the weekend, only went to JB to get some CNY goodies and went to CSC for swimming, as usual. Anyway, Hao Re is as happy as he is every week. He laughed so much this week, it's really getting more and more fun playing with him. We can communicate with him very well Really have to appreciate this period of time, as it goes pass really fast. Didn't go to the CCK park, but went to the small park near to our house. It's not a child-friendly park for sure, it's pretty dirty, and the surface of the walkway is so rough that even with a small fall, Hao Re injured himself, his knee was bleeding lightly, so poor thing. We were surprised that how come he cried just after a small fall, as when he was at other place, he would just stand up and continue to play. Only then we realised he was injure. We should avoid bringing him to that park as much as we can.

Okay, time to announce the good news.......

........... Hao Re is going to get a sibling around September time, an Ox baby sister/brother! Despite our wish of having a tiger baby all this while, we ended up having our no. 2 child earlier than expected, it's an "accident" :-) Tested positive on Friday morning, will go for my 1st gynae visit only after CNY, so the EDD is not known yet. Nonetheless, we are very happy all the same, especially to think that Hao Re will have a playmate soon! Hubby said if I insisted to have a tiger baby, we can try for no. 3 then........... errrr.......... I am not quite sure though, have to see how things work out.

This early pregnancy period went well. No morning sickness, no nausea, and no nothing, actually no pregnancy "symptom" at all. It's all good. Since it's not a planned pregnancy, I just started on the folic acid and multi-vitamine (Obimin) since Friday, and only stopped drinking coffee and coke on Friday too. Hope to catch up.......

What I felt so far is I couldn't possibly do as much as I had done when I was pregnant with Hao Re, especially on the meals that I am taking (I was cooking almost everyday to make sure I was on the healthiest diet, esp on low sugar and low salt), and that I certainly have to spend time on Hao Re to take care of him, and have to carry him (though I try to minimise as much as possible, but most often you just can't help but to give him a cuddle). Meaning to say, I won't be able to take care of myself as best as I was, since now I have my little Hao Re to care for. So from the start, it's already "unfair" to my no.2 baby, isn't it? And the Hao Re's sibling is going to use all the "pass-down" clothings and toys from Hao Re, among other things. And since Hao Re is our 1st kid, he is always the most special one for me, I felt that I couldn't have possibly given him any lesser of my love.

Hubby also started to doing him part as a supporting hubby - he takes over ALL household chores. Thank you, hubby :-)

Anyway, I will do my best as I can, to take good care of Hao Re, and meanwhile take good care of the little one in my tummy.

Hope you have made the right guess! If you haven't, here you go, surprise :-))))) We will certainly have an exciting year 2009 ahead of us, and hope so have you!

Some pictures of Hao Re:-

From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

Showing Hao Re's "beer belly"
From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

"Bread" time
From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~
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School bully!!!

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Who do you think is the bully?

Yes you are right, no one else but our dear prince, Hao Re!

Hao Re is indeed VERY naughty at school! Teachers told me a few times last week and this week that Hao Re getting naughtier..... well, actually he has became a BULLY, Gosh, he is just a 1-year old boy!

Only this week alone, when I picked him up from school, he was actually being "locked" inside a cot for the "time-out punishment" by his teacher, for bullying his classmates. He would pull other's shirt, hit, bite (used to, luckily now no more), pinch, beat, pull hair...... and does all these usually only to a boy who is 4 months older than him. This poor boy is more of the quiet type, so then maybe Hao Re figured it's okay to bully him?

Luckily he never bully the younger ones, especially those babies, he would go and sayang those babies, phew, can't imagine if he bullies the babies..... would he be expelled from school then :-(

We reasoned that he just wants to be the one with POWER in his class. He is already over-pampered by his teachers, and he knows that, he knows everyone adores him, so sometime when he sees teachers carrying or playing with other kids, he would goes to the teacher and gets the attention from teacher, and pushing other away.

I can't do much on this because he is not like that at all when he is at home! One of our neighbours has a 21 months boy who came to our house the other day, and Hao Re even voluntarily brought out some of his toys to share with the boy and gave him sweet smiles! But whenever I see him doing that in school, I will immediately stop him doing that and tell him that's not the right to do. He would make the crying face whenever I raise my voice on him or show my stern face to him. It's back to his teachers, to see how capable they are in disciplining a young todddler.

On the other perspect, he is learning lots at school. I found out that for the first term of 2009, the "syllabus" for the infant class is to learn thier body parts. Hao Re can now point to his ear when he is asked to, very precise, no mistake. Started to learn where is the nose. Think another month or so, he will know most of his body parts, if not all. All thanks to the effort from his teachers, probably I won't have that much of patience when comes to teaching a toddler! One thing that I especially feel happy is they use Mandarin mainly, so Hao Re learns most things in Mandarin.

I hope the learning through playing approach suits Hao Re well (has been well so far). By playing (even bullying is actually a type of game in the toddlers' eyes, isn't it?), I hope he continues to learn and develop at the right pace!

Showing his "naughty face" when playing at school.
From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

Can you see the tadpoles? Whenever we asked him "哪里有蝌蚪?", he would point to one of them, and gave us a victory smile! And his teachers said Hao Re actually said (or rather, made similar sound) "keh-dou" a few times!
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"Test driving"

Hao Re trying his new gear!

This "car" is one of his birthday present. Only unwrapped yesterday, and he was all excited to see this new toy! He has been testing it a lot at home, but we thought it would only make picture perfect if we bring him out to the park and snap some nice photos.

Hao Re was in very good mood, and the way he explored his new gear and the people surrounding him in the park, man, I can tell you for sure, he is way passed the baby age, he is definitely, officially, qualified as a toddler.

Okay, say no more, and bring on the photos..........

On the mark.... ready.....
From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

Getting excited.....
From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

Mummy and daddy, am I doing well?
From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

Trying out new style.......
From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

Distracted...... too many ladies in the park........
From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

Finished "test drive 1"
From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

Playing with the sand, after "test driving"
From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

From The growing up story of Hao Re ~甘皓日~

Just to complete the story of the day, we went to CSC Bukit Batok for swimming again. Hao Re, as expected, enjoyed the water play very much. At the end of the play, hubby carried him and slided down the water slide (meant for adult), and they both zoomed into the water, even the head was under the water. When they emerged from the water, I can see from Hao Re that he has a bit of shock :-) Nonetheless it's new experience for him, sharing with Baba.

And also, if you realised, the pictures posted today was a bigger than before, and have been edited with the wonderful Picasa software. What do you think about the effect? I have this idea by reading another mummy's blog and she shared some tips with me. I am still learning and improving...... and actually got pretty addicted to blogging, it's already midnight now, and I am tired, but I wouldn't go to bed until I post this entry.

Hope you enjoy the reading, and hope photos of Hao Re put a smile of your face. Have a good week ahead!
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Reveal my secret.......

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...... my weight and my height!

Of course I am NOT revealling mine, but Hao Re's! People we said should always keep your weight as secret, but does that apply to a young boy like Hao Re? Anyway, Hao Re doesn't know how to object for me revealing his weight, and don't think he mind sharing :-)

Officially, Hao Re weighs 11.05kg as of 08 Jan 2009, and 76.5cm tall, and with a head circumference of 48cm., recorded in his health booklet when we brought him for jab at Dr Keoy's clinic. All 3 measurement are about 75th percentile according to the growth chart. And Dr Keoy said Hao Re is "above-average" :-) Daddy said should keep feeding you lots of food, so you can keep your chubbiness for a longer time period.

Hao Re has been doing very well recently. The biggest gift Hao Re gave to Mama is that he managed to SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT, and that's without any training in place and we have done nothing to him!!! It has been almost a week already, making me pretty good mood last week, as I had some real quality sleep! Hao Re has been sleeping very well, once put him to bed, he didn't wake up at all until the next morning. I slept very well myself, didn't even wake up for toilet, and so did hubby. Though I know, and I am prepare, that any day from now, Hao Re might revert to his night feed again, or might wake up in the middle of the night wanting me to carry for comfort again, whenever his is developing his next milestones, or "unconsciously" learning some new skills. That's okay, I won't worry for now. Meanwhile, all 3 of us should just have nice zzzzzz!!!

Other than sleeping, he eats well, actively playing every moment, everywhere. He is just what we want him to be - a healthy and happy boy!
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Hao Re, it's daddy birthday today - 08th Jan!

Remember to give daddy a big wet kiss!!!

Yes, it's hubby's birthday today. It's only 4 days apart from Hao Re's birthday. When I was pregnant with Hao Re, the EDD was on the 20th Jan 08, so we thougth we would celebrate daddy's then Hao Re's birthday. But then Hao Re decided to come earlier, on the 04th Jan, and so we now celebrate Hao Re's then daddy's, even before he was born, he knew how to get the spotlight on him :-)

I wanted to do something special from hubby this year, to thank him for his wonderful support for the past year, and congratulate him for doing so well with his new role - a daddy. Without telling hubby, I have been searching on the internet for options, on how should I give him a special treat.

Intially thought of getting him a very nice watch, but I hinted the other day and he said he didn't want a new watch. So giving him a nice present is out, since I am not good in buying present and we don't use to give each other present for any occasion. Better think of something else.

Then thought of a getaway over the weekend. Thought of the nearest place, Bintan, and even thought of stay a night at Sentosa. But eventually dropped the idea, as I would be going for our first family holiday soon (if everything works well) in February/March, and honestly speaking, Bintan and Sentosa are really not that interesting place, except that can be pampared at the hotel. And also, I thought should do something on his birthday today and not on the weekend. So this idea was dropped also.

So finally came to the seemingly easiest option - FOOD!!! And hubby loves food!!! I have planned for Hao Re to take his jab in the evening (because Dr Keoy's clinic only operates on Monday and Thursday night). But when I was searching for the restaurants, I realised all those good restaurants are located in/near CBD/Orchard, while the clinic is at Thomson Road, Novena. It will be very rush if we were to drive to CBD/Orchard after the jab. It made me felt bad that I still put Hao Re as the first priority, even on hubby's special day, I could have and should have planned Hao Re jab to be taken next week. So right then, I decided to postpone Hao Re's jab, and made today the day for hubby!

When I continued searching for good Japanese food on the internet, most of the reviews recommended Japanese restaurant in hotels, which I tried to avoid, as to me, I think restaurants in hotel is generally over-priced and food is not neccessary as nice as what they claim. And suddenly, I read that one of the highly recommended Japanese restaurants is at Novena!!! And it's very good reviews for its fresh(est) sashami, wagyu, etc. BINGO!!! Meaning that we didn't have to change our plan (luckily I haven't told hubby that I wanted to change the plan), so the schedule would be Hao Re gets his jab, then daddy gets his food!!! Reservation made immediately for 2+1.

Went to pick up Hao Re after work, went back home to pack Hao Re's neccessities (food, diaper, etc) for the night out. Met hubby at Dr Keoy's clinic. We arrived earlier than hubby, so got the queue number and waited for hubby to arrive. I didn't want him to miss accompanying Hao Re for the jab and 1 year old assessment, I think it's important to get him involves. So we waited.

Arrived at the Matsuo (the boss' name) Sushi restaurant a little bit late than the reservation time. It's almost full house, and it's full with Japanese! A very good sign, meaning the food must be so authentically Japanese so can attrack their own people to come. Ambient pretty good. Informal and friendly and Japanese-like, same as the waitresses. And the food - yes, GOOD!!! Though it's pricey, but think it's worth it, it's a treats for ourselves for working hard for the past 1 year, why not! Hao Re kind of enjoyed the food also. I let him try quite a lot of things, except the sashimi (ohh, yummy!).

Reached home at just passed 10pm. The two men were very tired already (cos hubby drank the Japanese wine). Both knocked out at the same time, around 10.30pm. I continued on with the usual washing bottle, laundry, blogging, etc, and finally went to bed at near midnight. That's how hubby's big day passed. A bit not up to what I have imagined/expected, but it's okay. Always have next year to look forward to, and next year most likely will be a combined daddy-and-son-birthday.

Hopefully Hao Re won't wake up tonight (he has been on and off sleeping through the night), and so I can have a good night sleep!
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Jab, jab and jab - about immunisation

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How many times Hao Re has been and will be poked until he is 19 months old?

We signed up for an immunisation package at Dr Keoy's clinic when Hao Re was 2 months. This very ignorance mummy couldn't remember what jabs exactly are included in the package. You see, since it's a package, so it's easier for us to remember and tell people that "it's a package", rather than remembering each ond every of the jab he is going to be receiving. And that's also becasue of some mis-conception. Initially I thought it's the same schedule and same package offered by every peadiatric clinic in Singapore. But only later I found out from other mummies that it actually can be very different schedule and package from one clinic to another.

Since months ago, I told myself I need to take a close look and remember well what jabs Hao Re has and will be receiving (you see, again, since we have the health booklet to keep record of all the immunisation, it's quite handy to refer to the booklet and thus save some brain cells). So now, I think blogging it down is the best way, for me, to remember well, at least for the next few months, before the few brain cells being reuse for remember other things (nowadays, I tend to have fewer and fewer brain cells for memorising things).

So, here come the immunisation package and the schedule for Hao Re:

At birth - B.C.G. (Tuberculosis)
2 months - 6-in-1 (HEXA) = DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) + IPV (inactivated Polio Virus) + HIB (Haemophilus Influenzae type B) + HBV (Hepatitis B)
2 months - Rotavirus (not jab, administered through mouth)
3 months - PREVENAR (pneumococcal)
4 months - 6-in-1; Rotavirus
5 months - PREVENAR
6 months - 6-in-1
9 months - PREVENAR
12 months - Hepatitis A
14 months - Chickenpox vaccine
15 months - MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
16 months- PREVENAR
18 months - DTaP; POLIO (1st booster), HiB (booster)
19 months - Hepatitis A

There are also other optional vaccines available but not included in this package - meningococall, Jap B encephalitis, cholera, typhoid, rabies and influenza.

So far, Hao Re has completed the first 9 months jab schedule. So far, he is okay (finger-crossed), didn't cry, hope he continues to be brave. This Thursday will bring him for the Hep A jab, then another 5 more to go! And we may or may not let him receive other optional vaccinated, let's worry later.

Some information taken from the website:

Hepatits B (HBV) - Given at birth or shortly after, then again between 1 and 4 months, and again between 6 and 18 months. Hepatitis B can cause liver damage, liver cancer, and death.

DTaP - Administered at 2, 4, and 6 months; again between 15 and 18 months; and then again between 4 and 6 years old. This protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Diphtheria can cause paralysis, breathing and heart problems, and death. Tetanus (also called lockjaw) can cause muscle spasms, breathing and heart problems, and death. Pertussis causes very long spells of coughing that make it hard to eat, drink, or even breathe, and can lead to lung problems, seizures, brain damage, and death.

Hib - Given at 2, 4, and 6 months, and then again between 12 and 15 months. This immunization protects against Haemophilus influenza type B, which can lead to meningitis, pneumonia, and epiglottitis (a dangerous infection of the flap of tissue that closes off the larynx when you swallow).

Polio (IPV) - Given at 2 and 4 months, again between 6 and 18 months, and a fourth shot between 4 and 6 years old. Polio causes high fever and may progress to meningitis and cause paralysis or death.

MMR - Given between 12 and 15 months, and again between 4 and 6 years old, to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). Measles causes a high fever, rash, and cold-like symptoms. It can lead to hearing loss, pneumonia, brain damage, and death. Mumps cause headache, fever, swelling of the glands of the jaw and neck, and swelling in the testicles of adolescent and adult males. It can lead to hearing loss, meningitis, and brain damage. Rubella causes fever and rash on the face and neck.

Varicella - Administered between 12 and 18 months to protect against varicella, or chicken pox. Varicella is extremely contagious and causes a rash and fever. It can lead to serious complications including inflammation of the brain, pneumonia, and rarely, a flesh-eating bacterial infection or death.

Pneumococcal - Given at 2, 4, and 6 months and then again between 12 and 15 months to protect against pneumococcal disease, which can lead to meningitis, pneumonia, and ear infections and can result in permanent brain damage and even death.

Hepatitis A - Consult your local public health authority to find out if you need this vaccination. The two doses required in the series should be administered at least six months apart and children and adolescents in these populations who have not been immunized against hepatitis A can begin the immunization series at any time.

Rotavirus - or gastroenteritis, can cause severe diarrhoea, vomiting and fever in young children. It is the second biggest cause of death in children in many parts of the world,'
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12 photos to show you

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Hao Re from birth to 1 year old

Hope looking at these photos brighten up your day :-)

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It has been ONE full year, 366 days......

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What's the best word to conclude the experience of being Hao Re's daddy and mummy?

Ha, howI wish I could sum up the past year with one word, but don't think I am able to. As what hubby said I am - a long-winded person, so I should do it the usual way, i.e., the long-winded way :-)

Parenthood is a very unique and fulfilling experience, brings us lots of joy, laugther and happiness, lots of novel things to learn, lots of new topics to care and talk about, lots of places where we wouldn't have gone if not for Hao Re; on the other hand, it also brings tiredness, takes away quite a far bit of our sleep, takes away the freedom we enjoyed as a childless couple. Oh, I suddenly think of one word which fits our 1st year of parenthood - CHANGE!!! Yes, it is CHANGED, CHANGING and WILL BE CHANGE! Since the arrival of Hao Re, he changed our life, changed our identity, he changed our daily routine, he changed our past-time activities, and he himself and us ourselves is forever changing to suit the growing up of Hao Re, and definitely there are a lot of things that we can already foresee now that is going to be changed, sooner or later. But it's all for good.

It's a good year, after all. I am not complaining or anything. Hao Re is such a lovely boy, it's difficult not to kiss him and hug him everyday (until he refuses to be kissed and hugged one day).

Looking back to the past 366 days........

The first 2 months was really not easy for me, nor for hubby. Although hubby continued going to office everyday, he was never freed of the ups of downs I faced taking care of Hao Re, he has to bare with my post-natal depression (okay, it's not as serious as depression, just a bit blue), and I desperately wanted hubby to be at my side to sayang me. He had a hard time from me, but he just took in all my unreasonable nagging and complaining. And plus that the stress he had at work, I couldn't seem to be understanding, when he had to work a little later and came home later, I gave him very black, charcoal-like face. There were a few times, I cried either in front of him or when talking to him on the phone for nothing, I just couldn't control it, and hubby couldn't see me cry. Think he didn't how to comfort me. Luckily I got more cheerful day after day, and returned to the usual me and not developing into depression. Thank you, hubby, for always supporting and loving me!

Oh and that little Hao Re, for the first two months, he just drank, slept, cried, stared at nowhere and no one, while the days just passed by. My mum was here to help, so I was very sure Hao Re iswell taken care of. I was tired, and I really couldn't wait for him to grow up. I was telling my mum one day, when Hao Re was only barely a few weeks old, that how I wish Hao Re now can already be like his Zhi Jie Gogo (my favourite nephew who was 4 years old at that time).

Life became different again when my parents left after 2 months and I have to go back to work. Initially the idea of sending Hao Re to a infant care centre or to a nanny is very harsh on us, me in particular. I felt very bad at that time that I couldn't take full care of him but to let others doing my duties. Although, to be honest, I was not reluctant to go back to work after the full 2 months staying at home without hubby (with hubby at home together would be a totally different story), I actually didn't mind going to work to get a breather from child caring. Anyway, quiting my job to be a stay-at-home-mum was not an option for us, we couldn't afford to do so, at least not now. Eventually after taking in my mum's and others' advise, and after our consideration and discussion, we decided to send Hao Re to infant care rather than a nanny.

We are lucky, or rather Hao Re is the lucky one. Hao Re is taken care of at the Children Network Infant and Child Care Centre since he was 2 months. And he is really very well taken care of, being showered with genuine loving care from his teachers and when I pick him up everyday, I welcome by a happy little guy! Doesn't matter how "branded" the school is, ultimately it still boils down to the carer, whether they really love what they are doing or they do it as a job, and certainly for Hao Re's teachers, it is the former. As we know that he is adapting very well at "school", we feel a lot less guilt (for not able to take care of him ourselves) and can thus have a peace of mind coming to work everyday.

To tell the truth, with my personality, I don't think I can be a stay-at-home-mum, couldn't make a good one. I don't have the patience, and hubby would again get a hard time from me if I were to stay at home everyday alone with baby. Sending Hao Re to the infant care actually makes us a better parents. To me, personally, I am able to give him my full attention after work on weekdays and during the weekends, without feeling too tired and thus I can hold my temper and be very patient with Hao Re. I (hope the same for hubby) never regret sending him to the infant care, although there were times I wish I could spend more time with him. I, again, take my hat off for those stay-at-home-mums! And me, continue my life as a full-time-working-mum.

From 2nd months onwards, time just fly passed. From rolling on tummy to turning, to sitting up, to crawling, to standing, to cruising, and to walking, all of these just happened without us knowing it, it seemed.

From just milk, milk and milk, to cereal, to puree, to porridge, to cube food, to finger food, and to adult food, no wonder Hao Re's tummy looks very bloated, our friends often said Hao Re has a beer belly :-) And weighing close to 11kg at 1 year old, more than 3 times his birth weigh (at 2.97kg).

From not able to see us clearly, to smiling to us, to communicating with us the baby way, to telling us what he wants by his goo-goo gaa-gaa language, to following our instruction for clapping hands and picking up toys etc, to having his mood, likes and dislikes, to almost talking now.

It's so amazing in just 1 year time, Hao Re has grown so much and his life seems to be a lot more interested than us adult (going to work and come back home everyday all year long, without any big changes and very little excitement). When we looked at Hao Re photos at birth the other day, with the close to 1 year old Hao Re standing beside us, it's so touchy to see that such a little fragile baby has already grown up to be a little strong active and bubbly boy now. Seems like hubby and I are doing a good job? Yeah, should give ourselves a pat on the shoulder, or we should buy each other a present as a reward :-) And of course some credits also have to go to Hao Re's teachers who take good care of him.

Everyone told us Hao Re is a super good boy. Everyone said I should not wait and should plan for our second baby now. Everyone said the same thing. But then, isn't it we keep saying all babies are different? So why should I expect the second child will be like Hao Re? Of course we would love to have another kid (at least :-0), when the right time is here. Though, I have to agree, Hao Re is really a good boy. He never gave us any hard time (except the first 2 difficult months, but that's not because of him, it's because of me, a new and impatient mummy). He learns and grows at his own pace, achieving all major milestones in good timing. Nothing that we are not happy about Hao Re, he is the perfect boy!

The baby year of Hao Re has gone. Now we are going to see him grow as a toddler. More readings to be done to know more about what are the main things/milestones to look out for in the coming year, like potty training, talking the adult language, etc. It's another year of challenge and fun ahead of us, and I am sure it will be as exciting as the first year, if not more.

Lastly, some words about hubby

When I talk about changes, hubby himself is still adjusting to the numerous changes happened over the past year. A secret to reveal - he is JEALOUS of Hao Re!!! Yes, he is!!! Why? Before Hao Re came to our life, almost everythig was centred around hubby. I tend to likes what he likes and do things the way he preferred. But since the Prince was born, the King lost his power! There were a few times he complained to me - see, you no longer care about me, you no longer care what I want to eat/where to go/what to do! Not many times, just a few times. It's not like he loves Hao Re any lesser than me, in fact I think he has a soft spot for Hao Re, he is a good dad. But only that he is still adjusting that he is and will never be the centre of our family anymore! See, even when I blog, he complained I wrote so much about Hao Re, everything about Hao Re...... of course, this blog IS for Hao Re, isn't it? He thought I spent so much time on blogging, but sometime he encourages me to blog, even helps me in picking the photos to be published...... I think he just hasn't or doesn't want to accept the fact that he is no longer the powerful King, he is a King with no power :-)

Hubby, no worries. I told you many times, time after time, you are still the most important person of my life and will continue to be, no one can take your place. And I want to tell you, you are a great husband and a great dad!!! If not for you being there for us, I would have gotten all panic and didn't know what to do when things didn't work out the way it should be. And certainly appreciate of you helping up with the household chores (hint - contunue to do, don't stop!). And the great care you give to Hao Re. I sincerely think the play time or the bonding time between dad and son is extremely important, more important than the mum-and-son time, because dad interacts with son very differently, and this helps building up his independency and confidence. I will sure remind Hao Re when he grows up what a great dad he has!

If for the past year, I did really ignore you or made you angry or annoy in any way, I hope you did understand me, and don't blame me. I am trying my very best to be an understanding wife, and I hope I could do more to help you release your work stress. I hope you are coping well, and we should look forward to a better year ahead of us!
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Happy birthday, Hao Re!

04th January 2009 - celebrating Hao Re's 1st birthday at our new home!

Timing just works out right, so we are able to kill 2 birds with 1 stone - Hao Re birthday party + house warming on the same day. Both hubby and I had agreed to hold a party on Hao Re's birthday a long time ago, it's not only to celebrate the growing up of Hao Re, but as an opportunity for ourselves to share with our friends how proud we are to be parents of the amazing Hao Re.

Our party theme - SIMPLE. No fancy decoration, no fancy cake and no fancy programs planned. Since we are far away from home, most of our family members couldn't come to join us, only my brother and brother-in-law are here. So mostly it's for close friends and colleagues.

This is how our house looks before the party, with DIY-balloons.

Okay. I am not making up story. It's the true story I am telling. At around pass midnight on the 04th Jan 2009, the first hour of Hao Re birthday, for don't know what reason, this little boy woke up and for the very first time, I couldn't make him to sleep within 10 minutes, it's never happened before on Hao Re. Patted him, carried him, rocked him, sang to him, talked to him, gave him water, offered him milk, even scolded him a little bit..... none of these worked, and funnily enough, he didn't cry at all, and he didn't wake up fully, like in the dreamy state..... awake this minute and asleep the next minute. One hour later, I was too tired already, passed him to hubby, and he managed to put him to sleep afte finishing 1 bottle of milk, finally, and peacefully. Could it be because it's his birthday today and he wanted to make it different???

In the morning, he was very cooperative. He woke up to see the balloons hanging all over the house, he was happy and excited. Had a big bowl of cereal, played for a while, had his milk at 10.30am and took his nap. And again, this is really funny - he took a good 2 hours of morning nap! This is very rare, as he usually took short morning nap and longer afternoon nap. Again, he was preparing himself for his party???

Hao Re woke up from his morning nap, had a big bowl of porridge, and got changed into his "Number 1" shirt (I didn't buy this shirt for this party, just coincident :-) Happy birthday boy!
Our first friend arrived promptly at 12noon (should give her a reward for being so puncture, ya). The rest of the guests only started to appear after 1pm. Don't really know how many friends we have, as some friends couldn't make it at the very last minute. Hao Re was behaving soooooo well. He didn't scare of strangers, still being his full self even with the full house of people. All of our friends praised him for being such a good boy, and this makes us very pround parents. Since our first friend arrived, more or less we just left Hao Re alone. He wondered around the house, communicated with big and small people, played with the kids and his toys. For a few times, I didn't know where he was and have to ask people if they saw Hao Re, as I was too busy talking to my friends, and so was hubby, busy entertaining his friends :-)

There are like 8 kids came to Hao Re party. But I think they are a bit too "old" for Hao Re, or rather, Hao Re is a bit too young for them to play with. Nonetheless, Hao Re let them play with his toys.
Think most of our friends took care of themselves. We printed Hao re's past 11 months photos (didn't have time to do the last months one) and put them, probably about 500 pieces, nicely into 3 albums. It's a good way for our friends to be entertained with the photos and for them to catch up with Hao Re's growing up story, especially many of them met Hao Re for the very first time. And people just chatting away......... until just passed 2pm, the cake cutting time!

It looks like Hao Re is singing along, when the gang was singing "Happy Birthday To You"
Of course the birthday boy has to do the "first cut"! Hao Re "Yeah, I am ONE today!"
Some friends reminded us we should take a family photo......... but we didn't take a group one, what ashamed!

After having the cake, people started to leave. We do have some close friends stayed on till 5pm, and the last 2 friends only left at 7pm. And guess what, Hao Re didn't sleep at all since 12noon! He was tired around 3pm, but he managed to keep himself up, without being cranky at all. This little boy of us, he knows exactly what to do!
Finally it's time for opening the present! Quite a good range of present, none is repeated. And we were also given 6 bottles of wine (since it's also a house-warming party, to a minor attention). And some gave ang pao, even friends who couldn't make it gave us ang pao, I mean VERY generous ang pao. Ended up the total amount of the ang pao is more than what we have spent for this party, including the buffet and everything else! Think we have very generous friends :-)

Hao Re with his present. Don't think he appreciates them all. Will keep most of the toys away and only bring them out when the time is right.
Overall, we have a good time. And I hope everyone else has too. It's a simple yet warming party. To me, it's only lacking one thing - we only took very few photos, think the two of us were too busy with our friends, now I really wish we have taken more.

And most important of us, we shared with our dear friends what a lovely boy we have and how proud we are to be Hao Re's daddy and mummy! Mission accomplished!
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Mummy decided not to force-train Hao Re to sleep on his own

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Mummy is NOT going to change her mind, promise!

Mummy told daddy the other day, once Hao Re celebrates his 1st birthday this Sunday, I wanted to start training Hao Re to fall asleep on his own in his cot. There are a few methods available on the books/magazines, and I have watched it on Channel 8. I was thinking one of these methods should work for Hao Re, somehow, and so I decided at that time to start the training of Hao Re soon.

BUT.... I have changed my mind, just NOW! I will tell you why.......
I was putting Hao Re to sleep just now. He was very tired today, he woke up from his last nap at 1pm, and kept playing and "talking" for 7 hours till 8pm! When he showed the sign of sleepiness, I prepared the milk, light off, Hao Re having his milk, and me accompaning him, lying beside him. As soon as he has enough milk, he pushed his milk bottle away, and he hugged me so tight, like I am his bolster, and our faces are so close to each other. He gave me a smile and look at me with his lovely eyes, and then closed his eyes slowly to sleep, still hugging me tight with both his hands. At that very moment, I decided, NO, I am not going to be harsh on my boy, why should I? If he wants me to accompany, wants to hug me to go to bed, why don't I just let him be? How many months or years to go, when he grows older, and don't even want to let me hug anymore, don't want me to accompany him anymore? It's not a difficult job to put Hao Re to sleep, I actually enjoy it very much, so I should continue to enjoy the time with him. Why should I bother what if he might become less independent, why should if bother what if he would want me to put him to bed for the next few years if I don't train him now? What if.... what if.....?????

We should live at the present. We should do what presently make Hao Re a happy and healthy boy. All those "what if", please go away, I won't and shouldn't worry a single bit of it. My dear boy Hao Re is already one of the happiest and healthiest boys in the world, and he deserves continuing to be one!!!
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