Picnic at the Botanical Garden

What a nice evening!

On Saturday, we went to attend a friend's wedding at the National Arts Museum, it's their ROM cum wedding dinner. The ROM + wedding ceremony was held in the little chapel resides within the museum, and the ceremony was carried out nicely, warm and touching. After that, it's buffet dinner for all guests. Good thing about this simple ceremony was that everything settled in about 3 hours time, short and nice, as compared to those 10 courses dinner one.

We left the place at about 6.45pm. On our way back, we decided to detour to the Botanical Garden. One reason being that we haven't let Hao Re run around today, so must find a way to tire him out :-) And there was another more important reason why we decided on Botanical Garden, reads on and you will find out.......

We reached the Botanical Garden at 7+pm. I packed Hao Re's dinner in the Foogo Food container. So Hao Re had his dinner there. I wanted to feed him. But he requested to feed himself. See photos below, he asked to bring the jar in front of him and scooped out the food (steamed pumpkin + rice) and fed himself. He did it so well that he managed to finish all the pumpkin (more than half a jar) all by himself with little help from us. He certainly enjoyed it. So proud of him!

This is MY food - you want some?

Mummy just sat beside him and watched.
Later, he decided to sit on daddy's lap to finish off his dinner, maybe the grass was a bit wet?

Hao Re having his dinner at the Botanical Garden under the moonlight...... a romantic night with Baba and Mama :-)

After he finished his dinner, he ran down the hill so fast that hubby has to run and grab him. Didn't spend much time there, off we left the garden, as it's getting very dark then, and we didn't want him to be attacked by mosquitoes.

Now, come to another reason why we detoured to the Botanical Garden - for DURIANS!!! It's the durian stall at the carpark at the entrance to the Dempsey hill. This stall was recommended by my ex-boss. We tried it last time, and till now, I can still remember the taste of the few extremely superbly very nice bitter durians we got from here. But due to its location, we don't always come here for durians, and also there was a couple of times, we didn't get what we want, and the price here is a bit more expensive than elsewhere. This time round the boss recommended the XO ones. We got 3 and yes, 2 out of the 3 was really nice = bitter, very much to our liking! It's definitely worth the detour :-)

Talking about durians, hubby is a BIGGGGGG fan! For the past 2-3 weeks, he has been eating durians about 4-5times per week, and he can eat 2 durians all by himself! I love those bitter ones very much, so hubby tasted first, if got bitter ones, I will eat a few seeds, if sweet one, I will pass. I tried to restrict myself..... a bit worry of having big baby..... and the heatiness of it. Hubby has not much problem with heatiness (and certainly no problem with big baby :-P), so he happily feasts himself with durians! We try not to let Hao Re eat, as it's really heaty, so we usually start the durian feast after he went to bed.

We have tried so many different types (or species?) of durians - XO, 101, D13, D17, D24, merah, "jing feng", "mao shan wang", "red prawn", "zu jiao", etc, etc - you named it, we tried it all, almost (and still exploring different types available). And to name those that we like most, for the bitter taste, we prefer XO, merah and D17. Others okay, but it really depends from tree to tree, as sometimes even with same species, it tastes different.

Righto. Enough about durians :-)

For Sunday, it's a quiet day stay at home. Hao Re finally got his hair cut (despite hubby's objections). Will post photos of his new hair cut later. For dinner, at the very last minute, we decided to go to Jurong Point, as I felt lazy and tired to cook, while hubby craved for the Penang Assam Laksa. We went to Jurong Point a couple of weeks back and saw this restaurant "Penang Peranakan". Didn't try it then as we had other stuff for lunch already. We ordered Penang Assam Laksa, Penang Prawn Noodle, and the Penang Char Kuey Teow. I gave all 3 a "pass", just good enough to solve our craving, but not as good as those we had at Penang :-) But might still go back, as there is nowhere else in Singapore we could find this.
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Infant / child care centre and nanny

Finally decided........ all SET!!!

Because of the high cost (it's $1,200 now and even higher at other "branded" centres) to send our #2 to infant care centre, and because as Singapore PRs, we would receive a very generous $0.000 subsidy from the Singapore government (while Singapore citizens would get $600 subsidy every month, tax rebate, etc...... okay, don't want to get myself start on this.......), we have decided to engage a nanny to take care of #2. We are very lucky as this nanny that we have booked is a friend of Hao Re's teachers, and she is a trained and certified child carer, and worked at a childcare centre before. We visited her place and talked to her for about 30min, and found her pleasant and genuinely loves kids, house is clean and tidy, and everything else is satisfactory. We have booked her, at current "market price" of $700 (will increase to $750 when baby starting to eat porridge).

So, all set for #2 (sorry, girl-girl, daddy still can't decide what to name you, so for now, have to continue to address you as #2 or girl-girl).

While for Hao Re, we thought of switching him to another child care centre. Not that we are not happy with the current centre, we actually are very happy with them and have no complaints whatsoever. The reason why we thought of this was that since Hao Re would be staying home with me during my 2-3 months maternity leave, he would have to readjust himself after the 2-3 months when he resumes "school". So it's a good chance for us to switch him to other centre. My rationale was that though the current one is good, but there might be something out there better that worth to take a look/consider?

I started to search for childcare centre available near to our house and my workplace. We have to think of the logistic issue carefully because when picking up the kids in the evening, most often it's only me as hubby works late quite often. So has got to be something that I can handle easily. I have found 1 that is just next to my office, and 2 near to where we live. We visited all 3.

First one at my workplace, I didn't like it. It's inside an office building and the minute I stepped into it, I can feel the air circulation is so poor, it's stuffy and some kind of funny smell. The whole centre is very cramp with many kids, no partitioned rooms only half body height partition to separate the kids into different groups. It gave me a bad impression, it's the worst out of the 3.

The second one is just 2 blocks away from our house, so it's the most convenient location. It's the Little Skool House runs by NTUC. It's okay. But then to us, everything seems to be too neat and too organised, which made us feel a bit uncomfortable. Yes we are weird parents, I don't know how to describe this....... but it's just like living in Malaysia and Singapore, the former is "chaos but fun", the latter is "safest place but boring", if you get what I mean. Think the kids will be forced to follow routine and the fixed schedule, forced to do this and that, might kill off his imagination/creavitity? So also not keen on this 2nd one.

The third one is about 5 minutes drive from our house, and it's on the way back home. Not the ideal location, but what attracts me to this one is it's a montessori school. Well, I have to admit I don't know much about Montessori, I only read about it from the internet and I understood it as a different method of teaching and learning, whereby each kid are encouraged to learn/grow at his/her own pace, or self-direct learning, without sticking to a fixed schedule/curriculum and hence minimal or no comparison with his/her peers, a bit like "free-style" by the layman term :-) The environment of the school is pretty nice too, though it's located at a HDB void-deck. Surprisingly the cost of this school is actually pretty cheap, considering it uses Montessori approach (which usually linked to pricey tag). So this 3rd one stood out to be the most satisfactory and worth considering among the 3.

We stopped at visiting 3. We didn't make any booking for the Montessori one, since it's still a few months away and we are in no hurry to make a decision. We talked about this a few times. But still, no decision.

Suddenly, one day, something struck my mind, don't remember what/why was it exactly. Maybe it's the combination of reading books/magazines, and talking to hubby/mum/friends/Hao Re's teachers........ and I posted this question to hubby - 'What's the most important thing for Hao Re at this stage??? We talked, realised and agreed - it's LOVE! And that's exactly what this current childcare centre is providing to him - lots of love, all the teachers and staff really love and care for him (and other kids), and he is happy to be with them. Why should I then change him to other places? The environment of the centre is good as the teachers themselves work closely with each other, no "office politic". Looking at the extremely low turn-over rate, I can pretty much judge that even the teachers are happy there. Some teachers have been there for years, so long so that they "witnessed" a few kids grew up from 2 months old till they left the centre for primary school, and all of them are still there since I sent Hao Re there 1.5 years ago. It's all positive, and so we have decided that Hao Re will be stay put in this centre. It's okay that he still couldn't manage A-Z till 2-3 years old, so what? Most importnat thing is he is HAPPY with lots of play time, and build up the right attitudes - love, care, sharing........ at this young age. While for us as parents, we have to take on the responsiblity to cultivate his imagination, creativity, observation, thinking, etc....... Though they do have these kind of activities at school, but we parents can't depend on others, but ourselves to educate our children, and that's what we believe in.
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Change of nap time

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Self adjustment

Let me explain why I said so.

In preparing for Hao Re to be "upgraded" to the toddler class in July at the childcare centre, the teachers were actually plan to help him to slowly change his naps from 2x to 1x and shift the 1x nap time to the afternoon, i.e., after lunch, just like other toddlers.

They planned to start the "training" last week. Amazingly, before the teachers start the training, Hao Re took the initiative to cut down his nap from 2x to 1x, as if he overheard the conversation between the teachers and so he started to self-adjust before the teachers do it. I found it pretty amazing, though it probably is pure coincident, as how I remind myself - toddler is forever changing, doesn't he?

It's not just that one day, it's has been since last Monday till today, including weekdays and weekends (though since many months ago, he has already cut down to 1x nap during weekends at home), for a stretch of >10 days, he only takes 1 nap. We know that he has successfully changed his nap habit for sure.

But then, he still needs to adults' help to do more adjustment. For the past week, though he only napped once, but the nap time was all over the place, can be late morning, early afternoon, or late afternoon. If he naps in the morning, he got super grouchy in the afternoon that gave his teacher a fair amount of headache. Same if he only naps in the late afternoon. But luckily his teachers are very kind to bear with his unusual grouchiness as they know it's not easy for a toddler to change his nap times. I am sure his teachers have had enough screaming/wailing from Hao Re for the past few days :-) Same for us over the weekends, my little boy was pretty grouchy when he became tired but refused to take a nap. On Saturday, he finally gave in and napped from 2.30 to 6pm! On Sunday, after much struggling, he only took his nap at 3.30pm and I woke him up at 6pm, else he might continue to sleep till 7pm!

I hope for the next 1-2 weeks, Hao Re is able to, with the help from his teacher and from us at home, to adjust his nap nicely to just right after lunch, preferably about 2 hours of nap between 12 to 3pm. And that will prepare him very well to join the toddler class next month.

"Jia you", Hao Re!!!

(p/s: by the way, the change of nap time doens't affect his bedtime routine at 9-9.30pm)
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I am a BOY!!!

Do I look like a girl???

Hao Re: "Why people think that I am a girl?"

Emmm...... let me think.........

"Maybe I have fair skin?"
"Maybe I have longer than usual hair (for boy)??"
"Maybe I have big round eyes???"
"Maybe I like to act cute????"
"Maybe they think my sweet smile is a bit too girly?????"

But I know for sure mummy and daddy never let me wear pinkish or girlish clothes; I know I am very rough guy, definitely not the soft type; and I think I don't look like a girl, but very the MAN look, when I look into a mirror...... why people said I am a girl??!!!! Okay, I must admit, my hair is a bit long now, since I haven't been to a hair saloon for a few months, but that's daddy idea, as he says I look cooler and more handsome with longer hair :-)

Yes, that's right. During the past week, we have received 3 such comments from strangers. It's actually quite amusing, for us :-)

Incident 1 - Hao Re and I were waiting for Baba in front of the MRT station. One Ah Ma stood next to us with her granddaughter started the conversation by saying "how old is your GIRL?". I paused for a while and answer, "HE is a BOY!". Then the Ah Ma quickly said, "oh, then your #2 must be a girl since your boy looks like a girl".

Incident 2 - We were having breakfast at the coffee shop. A kind auntie brought a balloon for Hao Re, and she said, "Girl-girl, you want the balloon?" I looked at hubby and smiled, and replied to the auntie, "HE is a boy-boy!"

Incident 3 - We were at a neighbourhood playground. One young mummy said to her son, "Ah Boy, please be careful, Meimei is standing behind you hor". Then I quickly responded, "HE is a Didi, not Meimei". The mummy said again, with a bit of apologizing tone, "Ah Boy, watch out Didi hor".

Just record this down for fun. These comments didn't insult us in any way. No matter what other people think, our dear darling boy is still the most handsome and cutest BOY :-)
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Happy Father's Day.........

..... to Hao Re's wonderful Baba!!!

Happy Father's Day, my dear hubby!

We didn't do any celebration yesterday, and in fact, it's one of those very rare weekend that we spent at home all day. Nonetheless, I cooked both lunch and dinner for the family, so it's kind of a small gesture I have for hubby :-) And oh, hubby had his durians! So, that's the gift he got for himself (actually not quite, because he has durians almost EVERYDAY for the past week!!!)

What I really want to say in this post is that hubby is indeed a WONDERFUL BABA to our dear Hao Re. Hubby is a very hands-on daddy, for that he is very willing to take care of Hao Re since Day 1. He bathes Hao Re since week 1, and he really does a good job on bathing Hao Re. Other than that, he changes the wet or soiled diaper and plays with Hao Re, without complain. Though feeding and putting Hao Re to nap/sleep is very much my duty, hubby actually doesn't mind doing it, but it's just that Hao Re only wants me, it's difficult to break this (hubby used to do all these when Hao Re was younger). And when Hao Re was younger, hubby woke up early with Hao Re on the weekends, and let me sleep a little more. There was even 1 day when Hao Re was running a mild fever and I couldn't take leave. Hubby actually be a stay-at-home-dad and took care of Hao Re full day, and he even cooked porridge for Hao Re, amazing right! And what's more, since I was pregnant with Hao Re until now, hubby is the one who did all the housework, honestly, this not many men can beat!!!

Due to hubby's heavy workload, he usually comes home late during weekdays. Although I know he wants very much to spend more time with the family, he just can't. But he makes all his weekends available for the family. He brings us out to the park, to the zoo, to the beach, to every corner of Singapore, even though sometimes he is very tired and needed a rest, he still brings us out for a short trip. That's fantastic!

Dear hubby, I truly appreciate what you have done for the family and I know you are the best daddy and hubby!

I read from books and magazines that if a daddy is involved in taking care of a child since early days, it brings a lot of "benefits" into the child's growing up and development. I totally agree on this. It is very important for both parents to be involved as each of us would interact with our boy differently.

On a more not-so-serious note, the most enjoyable bonding time for the two men of mine is TV time! They both love watching TV so much (but for now, hubby is #1, wonder if Hao Re will catch up later and be the champion). This pair will be glued to the sofa with their eyes fixed on the TV. Sometimes Hao Re will sit comfortably on daddy's lap, and sometimes mummy even provides snack (fruits, biscuits) for them to go with the show. There are many articles saying it's not recommended for young kids to watch "non-educational" TV program. But to us, we don't care much, to us, TV is for entertaining, if you can learn something, that's good, if not, then at least should have a good laugh watching it. Hence, we don't buy any special children/educational DVDs. We just tune to whatever is interesting on the TV, be it cartoons (of all levels), national geographic, animals, Mr Bean, chinese drama, reality show, MTV, etc. The only thing we are concern is the length of time that we should let Hao Re watch TV, which we (well, to be precise, I, as it's difficult to get hubby to switch off the TV at times), to limit watching TV to 30min at most times, or 6o minutes sometimes, no more than that. TV switches off to let his eyes to get a rest, play or do other activities, and can switches on the TV again only after 30 min, if he insists.

That's what I wanna say for this special day for Baba. Keep up the good job, Baba! Since Hao Re can't say it now, I say it on his behalf - "I LOVE YOU, BABA!!!!!" And I am sure the little girl in my tummy wants to say the same to you too :-)
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It's ZOOoooooo, again

Kangaroo, Elephant and Waterplay!!!

The last visit to the Singapore Zoo was about 1 month ago, and now here we were, again! The good thing to make frequent visits to the Zoo is that we can focus on a few animals/things and spend shorter time there, so not to tire everyone out, especially the little boy and the preggie :-)

Right, this time round, our main aim was to let Hao Re to feed kangaroos. After having breakfast, again, at the Ah Meng Cafe (by the way, their Nasi Lemak actually tasted pretty good, so we don't mind to have our breakfast there), we walked straight to the kangaroo display area. Along the way, we passed by the white tiger. Stopped for a short while. My little boy can obviously recognise the tigers very well, as he actually roared when he saw the tigers! Then walked pass the pygmy hippo, no sight of the hippo, but there are many fishes in the tank to keep my boy entertained.

We were just in time for the kangaroo feeding time. Luckily we were there like about 5 minutes early, as they only limit 5 families to feed the kangaroos, with a small token of $5. It's certain worth the experience for my little boy. He was not scared at all, very brave boy. But he didn't know how to open up his hand and let the kangaroo to lick his hand to get the food. His way of feeding (himself) is to pick up the food with his 2 fingers, but obviously kangaroo doesn't eat that way. Only at the end of the feeding, he started to learn to open up his hand and let the kangaroo to lick to food off his hand :-)

Look how focus Hao Re was in picking up the food with his fingers

Be a good boy, roo-roo! Despite the size of the kangaroo, Hao Re was not scared at all to pat the kangaroo!

Right after that, we went for the Elephant Show. We thought Hao Re was going to enjoy the show very much, as elephant is another aniaml that he can recognize well. But no, he was not. He was not concentrated that much, kept looking here and there, didn't seem to be interested in the show, but more of the people and the surrounding. Fed him milk after the show but he only drank half of it.

Elephant as the background

And next we moved to the highlight of today - the waterplay!!! We have "banned" Hao Re to go to the swimming pool since the outbreak of the swine flu and also his PD advise against swimming because of his eczema. This poor boy has not had fun with the water for a couple of months already. So we decided to let go a bit and let him play at this waterplay, well, at least it's not soaking in the water like in a swimming pool, should be okay bah (that's how we convinced ourselves anyway :-0) He absolutely loves it! And had so much fun with daddy (think the big boy also enjoyed it quite a bit too!).

The happy pair!

Oh, water, nice, nice, nice!!!

p/s: for those who follow Hao Re's development closely, from this photo, you can see Hao Re's tummy has gone much smaller than the last time, looks fitter now without the HUGE stomach. His teacher said he is even more charming now :-P

After spending about 4 hours at the Zoo, it's time to go home. I was very tired because of the walking, as my tummy grows bigger and bigger, I can't walk that much nowadays. And my little fella hasn't taken any nap since 8am! When we arrived home, gave him a bottle of milk and made him took his nap. He slept soundly for 2.5 hours.

Hubby was still thinking of his durians! So he went off to get lunch and to buy 2 durians. I just couldn't resist and have a few, it's NICE, bitter as the way we like it! After that we also went to take a nap with our stomach full of durians!
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28th week routine checkup and Hao Re's first visit to the West Coast Park

A nice day passed by so quickly!

It's finally the time to see our little girl in my tummy, it felt like a long time since my last checkup though it was only 4 weeks ago, and especially longer for hubby as he didn't attend the last checkup.

The checkup was a quick one. Dr Tan did a scan, showing us our little girl. Dr Tan commented our girl is growing very well, estimated weight is 1.11kg at 27 week 5 days, quick a big size baby, ya! Dr Tan said girl girl is still in breech position, but there is no concern for worry at all since it's still early stage and very likely baby is going to turn to the right position in the coming weeks. Dr Tan did mention that Hao Re gorgor has already turned at the same week though. Baby girl is well, and for mummy, I have gained 2.5kg for the past 4 weeks, and I blamed it on durians! Dr Tan smiled and said, oh the durians season is back, and for the very first time didn't scold me for the unacceptable 2.5kg of weight gain :-) In fact, not only durians, but my appetite is very good now that I always think of eating, but trust me, I have tried very hard to control myself, and only eat when I am really hungry. Have to watch what I eat carefully this coming month. The next checkup will be 3 weeks later. Getting closer and closer to THE day.

Oh yes, the checkup went very smoothly because we didn't bring Hao Re along! Decided to leave it with his teachers for the morning, so that we can have a peaceful one :-) After the checkup, we went to have a late breakfast at Chinatown, ran some errands, packed something for our lunch, and by the time we picked up Hao Re, it's already 12.30pm.

This little man was in extremely good mood today. Don't know why, he was just so cheerful and put on a big smile when he saw us, really made our day different. Went back home to rest. He continued on with his good mood and played with us happily at home.

Later we decided to bring Hao Re to the West Coast Park, it's his first time there. We have been there but that was years ago. We arrived at this big playground area. Hubby went off for jogging and I accompanied Hao Re to explore the playground. The park has many different types of obstacle courses for the kids to challenge with. Our 17 months old boy is really a brave boy. While some older kids were not willing to try the different obstacle courses, our boy went on to challenge one course after another, all by his own, of course mummy was by his side to supervise him. Daddy joined us after some exercising. Then mummy took a rest while daddy accompanied Hao Re to run around. Let's the photos below do the storytelling (some of the things he tried/did):

Hi mummy, I am ready to start!

Walked carefully......

Trying to climb up

He managed to climb on to the string and then stood up on the platform, all by himself without any help!

I am off the floor (this photo a bit cheating.... we put him on, and only lasted a few seconds for the photoshoot :-))

Running up.....

And sliding down.......

And out of a sudden, it rained, pretty heavily. Luckily we were in time to rush to a sheltered area. And luckily the rain didn't last long, as Hao Re started to feel hungry already and we left everything in the car. Made milk for him, he finished it all, and we headed to the West Coast Plaze for dinner (Sushi Tei). Though Hao Re just finished 8oz of milk, he still ate a lot! He finished the whole piece of tofu, some rice and a bit of what we ate. Gosh, it's like he has been starved! On our way home, he was already so tired and dozed off to zzzzz. Since he was already sleeping soundly, we didn't wake him up to bath him despite his very smelly (the sweat) and dirty (playing with sand and all). Daddy helped to wipe him down with a piece of wet clother, changed his clothes, and off he went, slept till the next morning!!!
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Hort Park revisited

A relaxing Saturday afternoon in the park

The first time we visited Hort Park was back in mid February. It has been a good 4 months, and since the last one, we said we are going to revisit the park for sure. So we did, though this visit to the Hort Park was kinda unplanned.

This Saturday, we had breakfast at home as usual. Mummy prepared the French toast for all 3 of us, and for drinks, it's coffee for daddy, milo for mummy and cold fresh milk for Hao Re. It's a joy to have Hao Re joined us for our breakfast and eating the same thing as us, felt he is so grown up already. He fed himself using a fork and his hand, and drank his milk from the cup, a big boy alreadyl, right :-)

We then left the house at about 11am. Hao Re accompanied Baba and Mama to run some errands in the city. After we finished doing all the stuff, it's almost 4pm. So we thought maybe it's nice if we stopped by a park and let Hao Re ran wild. Hort Park came up as the choice as we were kinda close to that vincity and it's on our way home thus didn't have to make a detour.

When we first arrived, it's way tooooooo hot!!! Can't really enjoy it due to the heat, making us (or rather me, the pregnant woman) lazy to walk around and explore. Hao Re was interested in the spiral staircase, and he walked down and up and down by himself (of course with Baba's supervision). Mama just sat there watching the dad and son.

Just arrived at the park, excited and happy little boy!

Walking up and down the spiral staircase, carefully

After that, it's still hot. We picked a shedded area to sit down on the lawn, and Hao Re ran on the big patch of green under the hot sun for a short while. After that, he showed sign of tiredness. Ya, it's expected that he was going to need a rest, as he only took a 30 min morning nap for the entire day. Mama carried him and soothed him to sleep. Once he fell asleep, we let him sleep on the lawn. It's so nice to take a nap under the blue blue sky on the green grean grass, so naturally!

Oh ya, it's HOT!!!

My King and Prince are taking a nice, hot nap

That's for the 3 of us, the shoes

This pair of little fat hands belong to - Hao Re

While Hao Re slept, me and hubby had some great time to have a nice chat, just the two of us, talking about anything and everything, even the nonsense, and this brought us back to our sweet memories in Cambridge, all the very romantic moment happened there easily :-) Really missed those times very much!

Hao Re slept for almost an hour (didn't know exactly as we didn't have the time). He was a bit blur at first when he woke up. After that, he joined a newly-met little friend of his, who was playing the blow bubble with his dad. The 2 of them were happily chasing after the bubbles.

Just woke up, a bit loss, kinda

Later, the mum of the boy was so generous to blow up a balloon for Hao Re, when we were trying to coax him to leave. Hao Re explored the park a little bit more before we left the place.

Then, we made a short pause while leaving the place at the fish pond. This little was absolutely amazed and loved looking at the fishes swimming around! And the way he walked on the walkway with quite a big gap between each slap amazed us too.

When we reached home, it's already passed 7pm. Mama quickly fixed the dinner, and Hao Re went to bed as usual.

The "damage" to Hao Re after this "adventure" - he slept from 9.30pm on Saturday all the way to 9.45am the next morning!!! Yes, you saw it right - it's 9.45AM!!! It's the record time since Hao Re was born. Of course we slept in together with him, oh, it's total enjoyment for us! We figured we should try to pack his Saturday full and tire him out, so we can often have late Sunday mornings to laze on the bed :-)

Talking about lazing on the bed in the morning during the weekends, we enjoy it very much. Usually we won't wake up until Hao Re wakes up. Once he is awake, he will come to disturb us, either kiss us (sometimes a very very WET kiss, like half of our face will be fully covered by his saliva yucks!), or crawl on to our body, especially onto daddy and "ride" on daddy like ridding a horse, or talk to us in his own language, or squeeze under our arm or body, or just lie between us and spreads his arms and legs onto us....... until we are all fully awake, then it's the start of the day!

Sunday was almost a full stay at home day, except went out for a short while for lunch and hunting for the bitter durian. That's how we spent our simple and nice weekend.
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My boy has turned 17 months old

Here comes the updates..........

Didn't manage to post the entry on the very day. Oh well, only late by 1 day, not too bad, still.

The clock is ticking, and my boy is now 17 months old, just 1 more month to the very important 18 months; important as that's the cut-off date for the school to "upgrade" a kid from the infant to toddler class, among many other things, like developmental milestones also state 18 months as the important month. Looks to me that reaching 18 months is a big thing :-)

I was amazed that a young 17 months toddler can already understand us, adults, so well. I asked my mum were we like that when we were little? My mum couldn't recall as that's >30 years ago already. Nowadays, we talk to him in the "normal" way, as in our way. And we can give him instructions to do different things and he follows. He can understand us well and respond well to either nob or shake his head, to indicate he wants or don't want, likes or dislike, etc. The cutest thing is whenever he wants something or wants us to do something, he only uses 1 word - "na". Hubby said it's me who taught him this without realising it. For example, if he wants us to switch on the tv, he brings to remote control to us, then say "na, na, na....", sometimes just a few "na", sometimes "na" until we do it. Same when he asks for food, ask to be carried, etc.

He started to talk but still very minimally, only as and when he likes, or call Mama and Baba clearly especially at times of desperation. Sometimes he suddenly came out with some difficult to pronounce words, like "thank you", "电视", but that's just one off, and he refused to repeat it again. Other single syllabus words he is okay, can pronounce or speak more and more words, be it meaningful or non-meaningful ones. I just read from a book that if we continue to give him things or follow his ways according to his body language or baby language, this will delay his urge to speak the words properly. I think it's true somehow. So I have just started to ask him to say out the proper word before I give him something, for example, if he wants to drink water, he has to say water, else he won't get it. Of course, I do it the gentle way, not the harsh way, as in ask him several times, if he still refuses to speak out, I still give him the water.

With the lately unfortunate diagnosis of eczema and the HFMD episode, Hao Re's appetite has been affected a little bit. I think he didn't eat as much as usual. And also we have to be careful with his diet. Seafood and berries and nuts are not included in his diet for now until his skin condition improved and then we re-introduce the food one by one. That's okay, as long as he still drinks his milk and eat his meals willingly. Having said that, he has become a little bit more picky on food, though he is still willing to try or eat most of the stuff, but nowadays when he doesn't like the food, he would puke it out and throw it on the floor, after giving the food a few bites. Yucks! He starts to like sharing food with us, more willing to give us a share of his food.

We have come to the conclusion that he has got sensitive skin. Not only the eczema, but other things like heat rashes, red dots (don't know what it is), dry (super dry) skin patches, etc, also develop easily on him (or maybe all related to eczema, I don't know). And once he gets a mosquito bite, the scar will be there for months! Those he got during CNY are still here, it's already 4+ months! We have got the perfume-free mosturiser for him, to apply on his whole body once or twice a day. Change his clothes more often. And that's almost all we can do to help him get a nicer skin condition. Just hope he would outgrow this one day, soon.

Oh, his weight, probably dropped to <12kg from the highest of 12.3kg a couple of weeks ago. Still, he is very HEAVY, to me at least! And his height is 8x cm (don't know the exact measurement), and that's already more than half of my height (yes, I am very short!). Can you imagine the scene whereby a short-built mum with a super duper big tummy carrying a heavy and tall baby? Ya, that's me and my boy. Really tires me out carrying him.

He is having full blast of separation anxiety these days. He is so sticky to me, until at times that he even refused daddy. But later we learned we have to be tacticful to distract his attention, so he would allow daddy to carry him instead of crying for mummy, though these tactics works sometimes, but not always. Putting him to the childcare in the morning has become a nightmare now. Worse thing is now when it's bath time, he wants me to be in the bathroom also! Aiyoh, I used to treasure this 10-15 min of ME time to just relax on the sofa etc, now gone, have to accompany him when daddy baths him, else he would either refuse to take bath or scream/cry like mad. Oh well, another round of separation anxiety, hope this will get over soon.

Teeth. Top row of teeth are all out - 4 has grown to full size, 6 are still half growing. Bottom row of teeth - 4 has grown to full size, 2 are growing, 2 are about to erupt (can see the white-ish thing on his gum) and the 2 molars still not there yet. Soon he will have a full set of milk teeth. Best thing is, and hopefully, by then he will eventually stop drooling! And I think having full set of teeth will make him look different, won't it be?

This post is a bit random..... just note down whatever I can think of.

Play time! I always think we don't have enough toys for Hao Re to explore. Hubby always think we bought too much toys for him! Now, I come to the conclusion that toys are never enough especially now that there are just simply so many toys in the market, and everyone claims thier as the best for different purposes, like stimulating the brain, motor skills, imagination, etc. But most importantly, an even more important conclusion that I have made - it's not the toys that matter, BUT it's more on how we parents play with him that makes all the different. If we spend time playing a toy with him, a simple toy can be so much fun, if we don't play with them, doesn't matter how great the toy is, a toy is just a toy. I told myself (and hubby) to put in more effort and time to play with Hao Re and his toys, so he can get the most out of it. Still, outdoor play is the best, and so we try our best to bring Hao Re for outdoor play every weekend.

Think gonna stop now. It doesn't sound like I am writing the monthly update of Hao Re, but it's more like some random thoughts on Hao Re, but anyway, it's still about Hao Re, so that will do :-)

This time round posts 2 grumpy looking Hao Re :-)

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Stay At Home Mum

To be or not to be.......

For me, personally, the answer is clear and straight - NO, not for me, thanks, at least not now.

Especially after spending one whole week with Hao Re at home, alone, just the 2 of us, I know for sure that the stay-at-home-mum (SAHM) "job" just doesn't work for me. Wait, don't get me wrong, it's not that I didn't enjoy the time spent with Hao Re last week. I totally enjoyed it, as that one week of bonding was indeed priceless, and I learned and experienced a lot of new things together with my dear little darling (and if it's not because of my big tummy, I might have enjoyed it even more!). And I also realised, after that 1 week, that no matter how well or how wonderful other carer is, be it grandparent or nanny or at the childcare, taking care of your child, NO ONE, yes, no one else, can beat the love and care from a parent!!!

Then, you may ask, if I enjoyed it so much and came to the realisation that the love and care from parents are irreplaceable, why my answer to SAHM is still a big NO?

Okay, call me selfish!!! As much as I love to spend more time with my dear little one(s), I don't want to be stuck at home for 24-7-365! With me alone at home with the kids while hubby goes to work, it can really drive me crazyyyyyy! With no relatives and families in Singapore, we have no help, and to have a maid is never the answer for us as we both strongly against the idea of having a live-in stranger at home. So without any help at all, I have to get stuck at home all day long, the answer is therefore no. And I am worry that I would feel so distant away from hubby once I am out of the society and become "huang nian po".

Many told me it takes time for the transition of being a SAHM...... and so eventually you would adjust to it and enjoy it, and all worries would become no worries. Oh well, it may be true. But no, I still won't try it, selfish me :-)

To make me feel better of being a selfish self, I use my positive thinking - I do think, sincerely, the present arrangement works great for us, i.e., with us going to work while our kid(s) being taken care of by other capable hands. Of course, with this arrangement, we miss out ~45 hours every week to be with our kid(s), but hey, we have ~123 hours per week to spend with him (though that inclusive of sleeping time :-)), not that bad, isn’t it? Honestly, most importantly, we don't feel that we are left out or missed any of Hao Re's development milestones. We follow through his growing up closely and we witness each and every of his many "first". He is always close to us. And we know he loves us most (not his teachers at the school), and he knows we loves him most. Furthermore, the benefits of sending him to the infant care is that he learns other things from his teachers, get to play and socialize with his classmates, and he eats and sleeps well at school (much better than at home), which are crucial for the physical development of a baby/young toddler and for boosting of this immunity. Okay, I won’t say more, else it seems like I am making up excuses for myself for not willing to be SAHM, haha!

Quote from another mummy - "I think I am a better mum, if I continue to work and let others to help taking care of my kid(s)". And yes, this is absolutely true for me! Reason is, without being with him full day, I am a lot more patient to care for him during weekdays' evening and weekends. I don't lose my temper (okay, maybe <5 times for the past 17 months), I don't shout and I don't scream, everything seems to be manageable and nothing seems to be a problem that can't be solved. I play with him and teach him lots of things patiently. Or put it in other words, I want to be the best mum, and I try very hard to be the best mum because I somehow feel guilty for not giving my son 100% of my time.

I know very well I have been doing the right things for the past 17 months, seeing my son grows happily and healthily, and so I will continue to play my role as a full time working mum.

SAHM, huh, maybe, just maybe, in another 5-10 years time, when I am really so sick of working, and our financial has become stable, then it would be the next chapter of my life - being a "SAHM + wife", just maybe........
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Happy birthday

To mama!
(note: back posting, birthday on 30th May 2009)

No, not that Hao Re can already say this sweet warm wishes to me, yet. Hubby did :-) Though Hao Re did called me Mama, very sweetly on my birthday.

No special celebration, as usual. Me and hubby usually don't celebrate amything, usually just a meal, that is. We are used to that. But sometime, just sometime, deep down in my heart, I do expect hubby would give me a little bit of surprises (ya, he did before, but VERY RARELY), oh well, fat hope, not this year :=P

Actually to me, as a Buddhist, I remember my birthday as the day where my mum had to gone through all the suffers, so we called birthday as "母难日". It's the day when we supposed to thank and to be grateful to our mum {感恩}. Without fail, every year, I would definitely call my mum (and dad), not to thank her (which what I supposed to do, but I only keep it in my heart, never say it out), but to receive the warmest wishes from her and dad. It's the same this year, PLUS, for the entire call, the main topic is still around Hao Re :-)

Yes, the "biggest" thing that happen today was that we brought Hao Re to see Dr Keoy and so happy to found out that Hao Re is cleared of HFMD!!! Later went to Vivo City for our lunch. But only felt a bit dissappointed because of the UNUSUALLY incooperative Hao Re. Well, we didn't blame him, as he has been locked and bored at home for the past few days, and it's not surprising that he got all too excited and wanted to run around. Plus that his appetite has not been back to normal, so his interest in food is still not there, thus can't keep him quiet with food as we usually do.

We decided to call it a day. But before heading home, we went to Jurong West (as recommended by some friends) to buy some durians. Happy to find that place is actually selling a variety of local fruits. So we decided to prepare a local fruit feast - durian, rambutan, mangosteen, langsat, and lychee (okay, lychee is not that local). One of the durians we bought was really nice, the bitter type, which we like, and Hao Re enjoyed it very much too! Oh well, considered this made up that not-so-enjoyable lunch :-) The other part of the day was just staying at home.

Received many well wishes from families and friends through e-mail, sms, FB, calls....... thank you all very much!
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