Tuesday, 26 February 2008


I am not sure how many of you ladies are into sports or enjoy watching the sports channel with your husband. The Mrs will only occasionally sit down beside me and watch while surfing the Internet. I will have to give her background details to raise her interest to achieve that.

As for me, I am an armchair athlete because the only sport I do is to follow the English Football and Tennis (only the Grand Slams). So you will find me usually glued to the TV on Saturday and Sunday nights between Augusts to May each year watching football. Oh, not to forget the hours I spent sweating on the football pitch and tennis court taking on the likes of France, Brazil and Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on my Xbox 360.

In reality I am a Spurs fan, no it’s not Antonio Spurs (NBA team for those of you who do not know) but a certain London football club called Tottenham Hotspur. I have been following them since I was in secondary school many moons ago and yesterday was a very happy day for us fans because we won the League Cup. We have not won anything since 1999.

Now what has this got to do with this blog you ask. Well, Everything!! because this is A Husband’s Voice with me being the husband and this is my voice!

Well, the Mrs has always said it herself many times that she jinxes my Spurs whenever we play. The truth is whenever I tell her that Spurs is on live and I am watching it then chances are they will not win. I will not go as far as to say that they will surely lose but I observed that more often than not they will fail to win.

This has gone on for a while so I had the brilliant idea of bringing her to White Hart Lane (Spurs home ground) to “exorcise” her. We were touring in Europe back in December 2006 and London was one of our stopovers so naturally I have to go to White Hart Lane right? I was hoping to bring her to watch Spurs play live and maybe just maybe the combine effort of 30,000 chanting spurs fan will be able to “exorcise” and convert her!

As I have always said God has a wicked sense of humour. Weeks leading up to our departure the tickets for that match were not released for sale yet and by the time I got to London the tickets were all out. Apparently almost all the tickets were for season ticket holders with only a tiny handful up from grasps. Needless to say what chance had I, a fan traveling from over thousands of miles, got?! So that idea was done the drain.

Then I thought maybe by stepping on “Holy” ground alone will do the trick but we couldn't even get in because the day tours were all fully booked also. Sigh…….

So the whole of 2007 I had to see my beloved Spurs endure the curse of the Mrs. The only way around this is NOT to let her know whenever they were playing live. However this was often hard to achieve because we were usually having a round of healthy mahjong during weekends. Okay it’s more like 3 rounds. So whenever I was playing I would have the TV on as well so I could keep up with my game. Don’t forget I need my exercise too being an armchair athlete and all. I will normally not mention to the Mrs the teams that are playing but sometimes she will notice then she will give me this wicked smile where her eyes are thinned to one side while her lips and closed and curled up to one side as well. Sometimes she will nod her head ever so slightly and at that instance I know, it’s finished!

However I believe all that has changed with the arrival of a new Spurs fan in Isaac Tan Tiang Tze.

I challenged the Mrs’s “power” once again when I told her that I will be staying up on Sunday night because my Spurs was taking on Chelsea at the new Wembley stadium for the Carling Cup. She must be wondering why I told her and gave me the “huh” and the “smile” before brushing it off and went to sleep.

I have to admit that when Chelsea scored first and by the player (Drogba) that held the record of not losing whenever he scored first, I thought the curse lives on! I guess I should not have underestimated Isaac’s ability to convert because at the end of the day, we came out winning 2 – 1. This score has more meaning than just the outcome of the 2007 – 2008 Carling Cup final. It is also the outcome of the battle within the Tan family. In the end it is also 2 – 1 with Isaac and I teaming up and winning the Mrs!!

I look upon this as the beginning of many more beautiful results for Spurs as well as Team ID (Isaac & Dylan).

Disclaimer: The above covers only one tiny fun segment of our household. It has no bearing when we talk about love in the family and it definitely does not remotely reflect the love that we have for the Mrs because even though she is not a Spurs fan and had jinxed them before, we love her wholeheartedly none the less.


Thursday, 21 February 2008


I remembered the Mrs once me told during the initial stage of her pregnancy that some women got very depressed when they realized that they are not able to breastfeed. Then when we went for our HypnoBirthing training, the trainer said that every women can produce breast milk. It is only a matter of preparing your body. In fact she claimed that she is still breastfeeding her boy who is 7 this year.

So I was hoping and praying that the Mrs will be able to produce milk and feed Baby so that she will not get any post natal blues over this issue.

My prayer was answered but as you all should know by now I believe God has a wicked sense of humour and once again he proved me right because the Mrs was able to produce milk but it is not quite enough as we found out.

She was only able to express about 40ml of breast milk combined (I believe you know what I meant by combined) each session. She got a little depressed and worried when she learned that some mothers stored 120 – 160ml effortlessly.

She called a couple of places such as the Breastfeeding support group, whom I must say are very kind to do this voluntarily and without monetary reward, as well as the lactation consultant (LC – NOT low class ah?!?!) at Mt E. There were incidents where I had to drive the Mrs down to Mt E so she can show the LC how she was feeding Isaac to determine if anything was wrong.

As it turned out Isaac was latched on fine so the reason everyone gave at that time was because it was still early stage. In fact the Mrs was discouraged to express so early. It was about 2nd week of her maternity leave then.

Alarm bells rang during the third week after we weigh Isaac again. It showed that since gaining 200g from the first 2 weeks, he has not gained any more weight. The Mrs got a little worried and called our PD and according to him Isaac should gain about 150 - 200g each week so he should be about 4kg by the time he is 1 month old. The solution according to him was to switch to formula milk.

We resisted for a further week during which the Mrs did more research and after she saw Isaac’s weight remained at about 3.3kg and her milk supply when expressed had not gone up, we gave in.

The funny thing here was we were certain that he was drinking the breast milk from the swallowing sound plus we also checked his pee and poop everyday and everything looked to be in order.

At this point the Mrs got a little depressed again. She questioned her own milk, both the quantity and quality. She wondered what else could be done to improve the amount and quality of her breast milk. She was already on Motilium & Fenugrek to help generate breast milk.

Don’t get us wrong because we are not against formula but we prefer to delay introducing it till later. Ideally we would like to breastfeed Baby for about 6 months. We told ourselves the worst case scenario will be for at least 2 months since the Mrs will be going back to work after that so may not be able to continue. But after 3 weeks?!?!

Since Isaac was not gaining weight we had to introduce formula milk to him and the good boy that he is, he did not give us any problem drinking from the milk bottle.

5 weeks and a tin and a half of Similac later, Isaac has shown steady weight gain. Today he weighs about 4.4kg which I think is still on the smaller side but I will not rush him. So long as there is improvement then I am happy.

I have to admit feeding him from the bottle was a little nerve wrecking for me at first. After all it was both his and my first time. I told him since it was a first for both him and me so let’s do this together. I’d like to think that he understood me hence he cooperated and finished his very first bottle feed with no fuss.

On the hind sight by giving him formula milk I can chip in and feed him at night too. It used to be only the Mrs but now we take turn. We normally both stay up and give him his last feed of the night and then we all go to bed. I will usually take the 1st shift (around 2 – 3am) and feed him from the bottle while the Mrs gives him breast milk on the 2nd shift (around 5 – 6am).

When the Mrs was on confinement (all of 7 weeks only) and while Baby was on formula she will expressed whatever breast milk she can muster and store them in the freezer. It was only recently that we learned Isaac does not like the milk that had been frozen before. For some reason he has no issue with those that were stored in the fridge and made warm but he really dislike those that had been frozen before. He simply refuses to swallow. This again has caused the Mrs to feel a little sad. If only he knew how much effort the Mrs puts in to try maintain a steady supply, express and then store the milk for his consumption.

After witnessing this first hand I really have to take my hat off to all you mothers who try your very best to provide your babies with breast milk. Take the Mrs for example. Initially she was worried if she can produce any milk at all, then she had to worry about the amount. Later on the quality and now after all the trouble she finds that her effort may be wasted after all since Isaac dislikes frozen ones.

I have not even gone into the engorgement that you have to go through and we all know that it can only be truly helped with your baby’s suckling. Another little miracle of life.

Hope the above picture will cheer you mothers up and encourage you to give your baby more milk!

Didn't make it clear when I post this yesterday but the picture is actually me and Isaac with a milk moustache!

Monday, 18 February 2008


Wow!! Has it been 2 weeks since I last posted here?! Are you all still there or have you given up on this blog already?!?!

I know I was very tied up but I had no idea 2 weeks had flown by without me giving you all any update on our lives.

Well, nothing much has happened. We were busy preparing for Isaac's 1st month celebration which happened on the 26th of January and when I said busy preparing, I was not kidding.

See, besides the usual sourcing for a caterer for the luncheon, we went ...... well a few steps further! Our home was about 6 years old now so we decided to repaint it. It was not easy when we were so close to Chinese New Year. In the end the Mrs, ever reliable, found a relative cheap deal and to make it even cheaper we went out and purchased our own paint.

Isaac's Godma happens to be an Interior Designer so she chose a few colours for us. We went ahead without knowing what they will look like because we trust her and a large part of it was also down to the fact that they are mostly mixtures of different colours and not those off the shelf ones hence there wasn’t any colour chart for them.

We were also tired of our sofa so we got ourselves a new one called Tagliatelle from this place Massimmo, you might know the shop if you followed the channel 8 variety program on renovating houses, Home Decor (actually its more like renovating the living room). They need to fabricate our sofa according to our dimensions so it will not be ready till 8th March. Meantime they loaned us a set so plus the original set, we had enough sitting place for our guests.

Lastly the Mrs also spent a considerably time on selecting the party favours for all our friends and relatives. She had a few options but in the end went with the Hershey chocolates with specially printed wrappers. The wrappers were ordered directly from the States while the chocolates were bought from the distributor locally. We had the same idea for our wedding so we were pleasantly surprised when the staffs remembered us from our last order. Apparently till date no one else has gone to them for this arrangement.

Unfortunately we did not have any family portrait taken during the celebration because we were so busy entertaining our various groups of friends and relatives. In fact come to think of it, the Mrs and I were at separate parts of the house most of the time.

Once the 1st month celebration was over, we were busy with the preparation for the Chinese New Year! The main item on the agenda was to find the Mrs and Baby Isaac some new clothing.

It was impossible to find a red top for Isaac so we ended up buying the usual white and blue. Then Godma surprised us with 2 tops for Isaac and both are from Club 21 (Armani)!! We later learned that each piece costs approximately S$290!!! That was crazy!! So now we have to try and let Isaac wear them more often before he outgrows them.

Notice how you would normally not mind spending a tat more buying baby clothes for your friends’ kids but when it comes to your own, practicality seemed to always win? Not that I am going to buy an Armani for anyone’s kid but we have no problem buying Baby Guess, Gap or Zara as gifts for friends but we have to consider that bit longer when we want to buy for Isaac. Have we gotten cheap skate with the birth of a child or are we merely cheap parents?!

The year of the Rat also mark the first year that we can hopefully half our "loses" because we have been giving ang baos for the past 5 years without taking any in return. A quick survey revealed that we have to stick to my plan of having 3 kids in order to not “lose” money during Chinese New Year. Oh dear!! I think…….its official, I’m cheap skate for just thinking it! Ha Ha

With all the ang paos that Baby Isaac had collected from his 1st month celebration and Chinese New Year, including the baby bonus given by the Government, Baby Isaac could actually pay for his own delivery in Mount Elizabeth, the painting of the house plus the catered luncheon. Hmmm.... come to think of it, he may just be able to pay for the new sofa as well!! Not bad huh?! It was very tempting to seek reimbursement or what I would like to refer to as safe keeping the money for him. But in the end we went out and got him a new bank account.

Lastly, in case you’re wondering, I did not get careless and forgot to “Photoshoped” our names out of the wrappers! I was merely too lazy to do it plus I figured I owed it to all 3 of you who are still coming back to this blog with me going MIA for these past weeks!! So there you have it, our names at last!

Hi, my name is Dylan and thank you for following my blog!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008


This post was written with a rather heavy heart.

The Mrs was informed by our friend to watch the news yesterday as there was something about a maid abusing the baby under her care. Best part was the entire abuse was captured on camera.

Since we did not see the sms until much later we missed the news altogether. I was surfing the net and I came across a blog that had the link to the videos.

Disclaimer: In case you have not seen them and you are thinking of seeing them now, be warned! You know how I always joke about when I put up a disclaimer but this time I really mean it.

It is not very violent, not like there is blood or anything but from a father’s or any parents’ point of view it is bad enough. I think the word I am looking for that best describes my feeling is disturbing. Yes, that’s it! I find the video disturbing!

I find anyone who can lay their hands on any innocent baby to be really disturbing!

So if you are prepared to have the disturbing image in your thoughts for the next few hours then by all means watch them. There are altogether 6 videos but I believe 2 of them are the same.

Maid abusing baby videos

At the time of preparing this post I am still undecided on whether the Mrs should watch them or not. After all we have a maid whose primary role is taking care of Isaac. The last thing I want is for her to be paranoid.

When I watched the videos, I can’t help but to imagine Isaac being the victim. Seeing that their sizes are about the same plus the videos did not capture the baby’s face well, it is not difficult to superimpose Isaac’s face there. So when I saw the maid doing what she did to my Isaac, my heart just sank.

I guess being a father has changed me in more ways than one because I surprised even myself when I realized that the first reaction I got from watching the video was not anger towards the maid. Rather, it was a sense of guilt towards Isaac. I felt extremely sorry for letting such harm come to him. I can actually imagine his innocence big round eyes looking at me, questioning where was I when all this happened!

There were of course some discussion going on that the maid should be given the benefit of the doubt and a fair trial. While I agree that she should be given a fair trial before her sentencing, she should not have done that to the baby no matter what.

Granted she could be overworked or even ill treated by her employers but to take it out on the baby does not make it right.

A personal experience is my SIL’s maid. Not too long ago she was caught pinching the baby’s buttock just because she could not stop him from crying. It must have been going on for a while because the baby's buttock was bruised! We later found out from our maid, Vera that she had no idea she was going to take care of a baby when she was offered this job. I blame the maid agency largely for this although my in-laws should have conducted some kind of interview with her and let her understand her roles before she accepts the job.

We did the same with Vera. The Mrs spelt out very clearly that her primary duty is to take care of Isaac and she will be sent to my mum’s place during the day when we work and only return with us after dinner. The Mrs even made Vera repeat what she thought her duties were.

My SIL was so mad that she threatened to call the police (may be overacting a little) and send her back to the agency (this I agree). I do not know what happened after that but it seemed the maid begged for forgiveness and was given a second chance. I admire them of allowing her to stay because to be very honest, I am not sure if I can do it.

Another incident happened to my neighbour although probably not as serious, depending on how you look at it. They realised that they have some money missing along with an old handphone so they questioned their new maid and searched her belongings and true enough she took them. But what really broke the camel's back was they found a picture of their boy stick to the bottom of her flip flops. So she had been walking and "stepping" on their boy all along. Wonder what kind of Voodoo or Hoodoo was she practicing. My neighbour put it across very simply for us. She can tolerate anything rubbish from her maid but the minute she senses her boy is in danger then she'll show no mercy.

This is what I was trying to tell the Mrs, that we, employers are under the mercy of our maids sometimes. So whenever she made any request, if it is not asking for too much or out of the ordinary, I will try my very best to accommodate her because the last thing I want is to antagonize her and have Isaac bear the consequence.