Monday, 29 September 2008

Twins!!

Since we announced to the world that we are expecting twins I realized that there are 2 most common questions.

The first question was always, “Is the gene from your family or your Mrs?” and they will normally follow it up with “Is it a boy and a girl?” The second question does not apply to you readers of course since you will know if you follow my blog long enough that we generally try to avoid knowing the gender. Needless to say the gender is already known to Dr N as well as the other Gynaes that did the scan for us and as usual at the beginning of each visit we have to remind them that we do not want to know the gender.

Back to question one. For your information the gene is from the Mrs’s side of the family. To be more precise it was from her grandparents. Her grandfather and granduncle were actually twin brothers who married her grandmother and grandaunt who were also twins themselves. In other words it was a pair of twin boys marrying a pair of twin girls. How cool is that right?! I wonder if they occasionally got their spouses mixed up …….. kidding!!

So there you have it. Answers to the two most commonly asked questions!

Truth be told while we were thrilled that we are expecting twins this time round, we can’t help but to feel a little worried as well. The initial part was for their safety because it is not uncommon for one of them to be “dropped” during the early stages. This was also why we waited until the Mrs was into her 15th week to announce. Even Dr N told us to be extremely careful till the very detailed scan which was carried out some time around the 14th week.

Once the novelty of having twins has settled down, we start to think about the real issues such as logistics and monies. We wonder whether or not my parents and Ani are able to handle the 3 of them during the day and more worrying is whether we can cope when we come home each evening. Can the 3 of us “take on” the 3 of them?! Currently we’re quite comfortable in that we can take turns to entertain Isaac in the evening right through to his bedtime but when we have 3 we will have to take care of 1 each. What about whenever we go out during the weekends? I can’t imagine how big or how many diaper bags we have to bring.

My sis is also due to deliver her daughter, Cate pretty soon too. So between her maid, Ani and my parents, they have 4 babies to take care of. Pardon me for referring to the future Isaac as a baby but I guess he will always remain just that, a baby!

Although they are not major issues but we were also thinking about transportation and prams and sleeping arrangements and cots and car seats! In fact the thing that bothered me quite a bit was the space in my car. By installing a permanent car seat I will not have space for Ani and my parents and that was before we knew we had twins. So as soon as we knew, we went out and got our car changed. Unbeknownst to Mike and Kat, they went along to help test the cars with us thinking that we were just tired of our car. Since we were looking at getting a MPV I figured we could use the extra weight and no, I’m not implying anything about Mike and Kat. It’s just that she was heavily pregnant then and Mike, well …….. let’s just say the Mrs and Kat have always been teasing that he looks 5 months pregnant.

Next of course we have to look at money matters, now that the milk powder and diapers consumption will be three times higher. While we are managing Isaac’s monthly expenses just fine, we can’t help but to start thinking about the additional money that we have to spend on a monthly basis. The only silver lining is we do not have to worry about their clothes since we can always use Isaac’s should there be a boy and receive hand-me-downs from Cate and Kaitlin should there be a girl.

Speaking of gender, I really hope that at least one of them will be a girl because as you know I have always wanted to be a parent to both genders. So I don’t mind if they are a boy and a girl or both girls. However I am mentally preparing myself in case they are both boys. I’m not sure if I will remain sane with 3 screaming boys running amok in my household.

Stay tuned for never seen before pictures of the twins unless of course OK! or Hello! comes calling first.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Journey

Over the weekend we attended a very nice wedding. It was a church wedding on a Saturday afternoon followed by a dinner reception at the Ritz Carlton on Sunday night.

I have attended church weddings before but this was a little different. To begin with the dress code was lounge suit so almost all the guys there were in suits and some of the ladies, my oh my, came in their nicest Sunday church dresses complete with the floral hats and feather hair pieces. It was like one of those weddings that we often see in movies.

The dinner was just as extravagant and the attendees included an Ambassador, Mediacorp artistes, businessmen and company heads and directors. I was commenting to the Mrs that only with weddings for the people much higher up the social ladder will you be able to get 99% of the men to turn up in suits. I know for a fact that even if I were to host my wedding reception again this weekend and indicate that the dress code is Black Tie, I will have at least 50% of the people ignoring my simple request. It is just not in us the common people. I know my parents’ friends and relatives are people who do not wear suits much less own one.

Anyway it is not my intention to talk about the spectacle of the wedding but rather about the meaning of weddings and marriages.

I have attended many weddings and most of them with the Mrs but somehow the wedding over the weekend “touched” me the most. I believed it has everything to do with the fact that the Mrs and I celebrated our 9th anniversary on Friday, the 19th of September. We got married on the 19.09.1999.

Sitting there in church and listening to the Reverend it felt as if he was talking to the two of us instead of the bride and groom. So many of the things he said made sense. What made the most impression on me was when he told the couple that the marriage is a journey that the two of them chose to embark together. It is 2 people living 1 life and the sooner they realize that there is no perfect marriage and there will be arguments and quarrels then the better it will be for them.

He went on to add that with each other they will fear no rain because in each other they will find shelter. With each other they will not have loneliness because in each other they will find companionship and with each other they will not fear hardship because in each other they will find support. (I have to clarify that what I had typed above was something to the effect of what the Reverend said. Wished I took notes then I can quote him word for word).

During the dinner the Best Man also gave a speech and what he said also made a lot of sense but for the life of me I can’t recall word for word what he said. All I remembered was it was wise and definitely sound advice. Spoken like a true married man I am not sure if the newly weds will be able to grasp as much as I did and if they did then I truly hope they did not forget just as quickly like me.

The Mrs and I are married for 9 years now and on the 7th year everything was smooth sailing as well. There was certainly no itch whatsoever. I am not sure if it is good or no good because over these 9 years our life (2 bodies living 1 life remember?) has been rather uneventful. There were of course the owning and moving into our current place and up until the birth of Isaac the most interesting and exciting things that happened to us were our holidays and cars changing (speaking of which we changed again slightly more than a month ago but that is another story for another day).

I remembered very clearly in my speech during my own wedding 9 years ago, I said that “to find your soul mate (ok, I didn’t use soul mate then but you get the idea) amongst the millions upon millions of people out there is really not easy so we have to really cherish one another”.

Now, I think I understand better that marriage is more than just signing a piece of paper or merging of the 2 families together. If someone who is not married were to ask me today what marriage is, I will tell them that it is a commitment to each other that you will work hard in keeping the marriage alive. It will be mundane at times, it will also be hard and that is why you both have to work doubly hard to keep it exciting and interesting.

After having spent the last 9 years together we have probably taken certain things about each other for granted. Even simple things like we will wake up to find our other half breathing right next to us. I hate to imagine how life will be should I wake up one day to find the Mrs no longer there and I have to continue on with the journey alone.

Each year I will arrange to send the Mrs a bouquet of flowers on our anniversary with a simple message and this year’s was:

To my dearest wife,

Thank you very much for 9 wonderful years and Isaac and now the twins!

Love always

Dylan

Monday, 15 September 2008

Benchmark

So my friends Mike and his wife, Kat gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Kaitlin last week at Gleneagles Hospital. It was such a happy occasion that the Mrs and I visited them at the hospital twice.

Looking at them brought back many memories for us. For instance how small Isaac was about 9 months ago. How we carry him around using only one hand and it freaked many people including experienced parents out there. Now, we sometimes struggle with even 2 hands when carrying Isaac.

However what hit me the most was the diaper changing and crying. The smell of her poop seemed so familiar and then it dawned on me that diaper duties will be back soon but that I think is still manageable because we have Ani. What got me a little worried there was the crying. See, Kaitlin has a very healthy set of lungs and she was not shy in using them to the full capacity (she cried till she turned red). Unlike Isaac who needed almost no feeding during the first 2 days, Kaithlin was a hungry baby and as most mothers would do, Kat tried to latch her on but had no luck during her short spell in the hospital. Each failed attempt was greeted by loud wailing by little Kaitlin.

My “look” must have been pretty obvious for the Mrs to shoot me a “don’t be rude” kind of look. I like to clarify that she was mistaken. I was not “frowning” at Kaitlin for crying out loudly because that is the most natural thing for babies to do when they need to vent their frustration and communicate with us. The reason I had a look on my face was because I was recalling if Isaac went through the same thing. Funny how being a dad shorten my memories because I drew a blank hence the “look”.

I was standing there trying to recall what went on in our hospital room with Isaac about 9 months ago. I guessed I was just curious how we handled the wailing Isaac because what I had just experienced was really a wake up call for our coming babies. If our babies turn out to be totally unlike Isaac then we may have gotten way over our heads this time.

Isaac for the most part had set a pretty high benchmark for the coming babies. He was a relatively quiet baby during the initial few months. All he did was eat, shit and sleep. There are of course the night feeding duties but that was manageable for us even though we did it without a confinement lady. He drank almost every 3 to 4 hourly day and night. He was able to sleep through the night shortly after the fourth trimester.

He is not a picky eater. I mean he has his likes and dislikes of course but he is alright with most things. He is even happy with just plain water. Sometimes he gets a little restless in the car, we feed him plain water and he will drink it and be quiet for a while.

Isaac sets and follows his own routine rather religiously. He will eat when he is supposed to and for the most part sleep when he is supposed to also. Actually come to think of it, Isaac will almost never say no to eating, be it milk, porridge or puree. He has even upgraded to eating just plain rice nowadays. He will make noise whenever we have our dinner so we give him few grains of white rice at intervals and that will keep him happy for a while.

Isaac is also not sticky and at the same time not afraid of strangers. This goes a long way in sharing the burden (read his weight) with friends and family. There are of course days that he feels a little cranky and he will be a little more selective who gets to carry him but these occasions are few and far between.

He also gave us no headaches when we brought him for his injections. Besides crying really loudly for his very first jab at the PD he never shed any tears for the subsequent two and he also did not develop fever after each of those jabs.

Looking back it could be because we had a relative easy time with Isaac that gave us the courage and final push to try for a second one so soon.

Our fingers are crossed for the coming babies to be as good if not better than Isaac. We really need them to be in their best behaviour otherwise we will really have a hard time handling them together. Managing one crying baby may not be too much of a challenge but if both of them cry at the same time then it is a different ball game altogether and I seriously hope and pray that they will not affect Isaac when they cry.

I have a feeling our lives is really starting to get interesting.

Meanwhile it is official that Isaac is a plus size baby. I was never too convinced that Isaac is a plus size (cannot use the word Fat) baby because the way I see him, he is really not much difference from other babies. I mean they come in different shapes and sizes right but in my defence I did not really have a baby of about his age to compare in person.

So what convinced me was the birthday lunch that we attended yesterday. It was my friend’s son who turned one. During lunch a stranger (seated at our table) whose wife is also expecting twins approached us for our “secret” in getting Isaac to the size that he is today. My honest answer, it is all his own credit because he was the one who ate the quantity that he has been eating and also set his own routine. Guess I was not of not much help huh?!

By the way, the birthday boy is only about 9.2kg and 1 year old and Isaac weighed in at 8.8kg that morning, nuff said!



Never get tired of seeing this "ugly" face!


Just as happy when carried by mummy!



Isaac at 8.5 mths old is only 400g lighter than birthday boy, Aloysius!



What's the secret for keeping such round and smooth face?



There is always time for a little father and son fun!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Rights??

Isaac has not been feeling too well lately. First it was fever over the last weekend and it went on and off for a couple of days. Now that the fever has subsided he has been coughing for the last few days.

The last time he coughed like that it was about 2 months back and we wanted to bring him down to our PD, Dr Belinda but were told not to after we called. She is a firm believer of not administering medicine for babies unless absolutely necessary. So she told us to apply Vicks on his chest and feet. Let him wear socks and elevate his legs when he sleeps. It proved to be effective because the cough was gone in a matter of days.

This time however my parents were more anxious and insisted that we allow them to feed this Chinese medicine that will help remove phlegm. I resisted when they called me yesterday afternoon even though they had already bought the medicine and mind you it is not cheap. For 3 small packets it cost them S$61. What transpired after that were lots of complaining from them to Ani about me. The poor girl probably felt very helpless since she was caught in the middle that she cried a little last night when relating her ordeal to the Mrs.

Yesterday was not the first time that my opinion clashed with those of my parents. The first incident was the sarong issue. My mum being old school “strongly encouraged” me to get a sarong for Isaac and this was when he was a newborn. I stood firm then and told her I definitely do not want him to develop the habit of being rocked to sleep. Although she complained she knew there was little she could do knowing how stubborn her son can be. By the way my MIL also had issues with us for not allowing Isaac to sleep in a sarong. Did I mention I was so proud of Isaac when he simply refused to sleep in one after my MIL insisted on putting him in? She conceded defeat and exclaimed that she has never come across a kid that doesn’t like the sarong. If you ask me it is all about conditioning from young.

Next was the walker issue and although this was a smaller matter but a battle that I lost no doubt. Without informing us my parents went out and bought Isaac his walker. I can understand and appreciate the kind gesture. After all they are grandparents buying stuff for their grandson. I was a little surprised when we got to their place to pick Isaac up and saw him in the walker. So I went over and explain to her why I prefer for him not to be in the walker. I could tell that she did not understand my logic after all there are millions of kids on walkers so I told her since Isaac was still too young to learn to walk, they can put him down and push him around. However once his legs are touching the floor then I would prefer for them not to introduce the walker to him. That conversation either fell on deaf ears or forgotten because he is now pushing himself about in his walker everyday.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing seriously wrong with the walkers. It is just that my sis sent me this article so I though I would like for Isaac to try and go without the walker. In any case Dr Belinda is also not a believer of the walker.

I may be complaining here but there is absolutely no doubt that I understand they are doing all these out of their love for Isaac. It is just that how do you tell your parents you want your kid to be raise a certain way without hurting their feelings? Do you lose the rights to your way of parenting the minute you leave your kid with a caregiver?

This is also precisely why we are working towards the goal of making the Mrs a stay at home mum when Isaac turns 3 or so. Currently it is impossible for us with all the financial commitment and our current lifestyle. And with more babies coming and no way of knowing how much a financial strain they will add on us, that goal is still but a dream at this point in time. (The Mrs will no doubt be sad to read this bit)

Anyway for your interest we relented this morning. Isaac was coughing and we could hear that there is phlegm so we told them to proceed to give him the medicine. So it is now my parents 2 and me 1 but how is keeping score right?

Meanwhile the Mrs finally went on the drip last week. On Thursday she was so dehydrated that the nurses at Dr N’s clinic kept her at the clinic to be on the drip till about 8.30pm and Dr N had to make a special trip back to the clinic just to see her. She was told to go back again on Friday for another day of drip and I do mean a day because she was there from 8.30am till about 4.30 in the afternoon. She was given MC till Monday but she went back to work yesterday as her own boss is back in town after about a week of traveling. She is feeling better now. At least she is not vomiting 6 – 7 times a day. There are even days that she can go without hurling at all but usually there will be about 1 – 3 times.

To end on a lighter note, below are a few pictures and a video of Isaac after he turned 8mths old. Enjoy!


Hungry hungry Hippo?!?!


I always refer this as his "Ugly Face". Oh, don't miss out the little exposed tummy!

Any resemblance you think?

Unfortunately can't get the little one to look straight. Nice family photo nonetheless.


video