Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Party!!!

It has been a while since I am able to sit down here at Starbucks Paragon to update this blog. Those of you who had followed this blog long enough may recall that a number of the posts here were conceived while sipping my cuppa here waiting for the Mrs to knock off or to be done with her shopping.

It is probably apt that I am finishing the last post of the year here.

Had my year end company lunch at The Line at Shangarila and since the Mrs is still busy reminiscing the good old times with her friends over some coffee, presumably at the PS Cafe, I decided to sit here and blog about Isaac's recent birthday party. So many of you had asked for pictures and updates so I felt I couldn't be lazy anymore.

Isaac's party turned out to be exactly what we had expected it to be, a rather small affair. Apart from the odd few who couldn't make it, most of our invited guest managed to make it so Isaac celebrated his 1st birthday with his immediate families and a bunch of his parents' close and good friends. To these family members and friends, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks for taking the time to drop by on Christmas Day. I hope you will mark it in your calendar permanently because from the look of it we will most probably be celebrating Isaac's birthday each year on Christmas.

I'm sure many of you had been down to the Ben & Jerry's at Vivo City and as I recalled one of you even had doubts that it can actually hold 40 people. Well, from our own experience it did hold about 40 people as well as made room for the buffet spread. Of course not all 40 people were seated down at the same time but somehow we managed.

I particularly like the fact that on this day, besides celebrating Isaac's birthday we were there to exchange season’s greetings and a few presents for the other kids and babies. It was also a good time for some friends who were too busy or whose offices are too far apart to arrange for the occasional lunch meeting to catch up.

Overall I would like to think that the party was successful where most if not everyone had a good time. We definitely do not regret holding it at Ben & Jerry’s because it is amazing to witness the effect that ice-cream had on both the young and the old. A couple of adults even had multiple servings of the free ice-cream (single scoop on a wafer cone) that we had promised.

Since a picture is supposed to say a thousand words I shall let them do the rest of the talking then.


The Venue

The Occasion

The Star

The Birthday Boy

The Cake

The Candle

The Young Lady Photographer


The Parents

The God Parents

The Paternal Grandparents and Cousin

The Maternal Grandparents

The Blowing of Candle

The Presents

Presents Unwrapped

As usual I have posted only limited pictures here. You are invited to visit me at Facebook to view the rest of them.

Lastly the Mrs, Isaac and I would like to give special thanks and credit to Crystal, the young and pretty photographer for that day. Incidentally she is also Isaac's God Sister.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas!!

The way I look at Christmas this year is rather different. In the past I have always enjoyed only the period leading up to Christmas. I always felt that somehow the actual day is a bit of an anticlimax perhaps due to the over hyped during the preparation and presents buying. In the end Christmas Day is just like any other normal day that we do not have to work.

Needless to say I am not a Christian or Catholic hence I feel the way I feel. Unlike all you religious people you will have churches to go to and families and friends to visit to celebrate Christmas.

This year however is different and it is all because of Isaac. Although he is probably too young to understand but whenever we are out shopping for presents and he is attracted by the decorations I will always tell him that all these decorations are preparations to celebrate his birthday. I believed very soon he will understand that when he sees such hype and decorations it means his birthday is near.

Many of you readers have commented how fast a year has passed and Isaac is turning one already. Personally it felt as if it was only yesterday that I was sharing with all of you my inexperience as a Father-to-be.

I can still remember the joy I had when I learned that we were expecting a baby and this being our first time I really wanted to document every step of the way. Besides I hoped that I can learn from all you readers hence the birth of this blog.

During this past year the Mrs and I had witnessed the birth and growth of Isaac. He was this ugly (yes I can say it now) little monkey look-alike baby that was rather yellow. He was so tiny that we could carry him in one hand to the shock of many people whom clearly did not attend Mrs Wong’s class.

If I breakdown his past year into quarters and describe how I remember them in relation to his progress, it will go something like this:

0 to 3 months

This is probably the easy time to handle him since all he did was eat, shit and sleep. Even though we had to wake up a few times each night to feed him, I had a lot of ‘me’ time. During the weekends, while he was sleeping in his cot I could be playing in front of my Xbox while the Mrs rested or do whatever she pleased.

So despite the nightly feeds which I helped, it was considered to be a piece of cake but not quite as fun to play with him.

3 to 6 months

To me this was perhaps one of the best stages for a baby to be in. Isaac still ate, shitted and slept a lot but he also added this element of fun because he was a lot more responsive. He was able to sit up with the aid of bumbo seat of course. He was smiling a lot and was still very easy to handle. Whenever we were busy we could simply placed him on the bumbo seat and carry on with our chores and he will just sit there and watch you go about your business, although not for long.

One of the highlight for us was of course his size. Back then he was rather chubby and really looked like he could really give the boy in the Nippon Paint commercial a run for his money.

6 to 9 months

To me this was the stage that was noisiest and wettest so far. Not only did he make a lot of ga ga noise he was also drooling and spitting a lot. He was much stronger hence the bumbo seat had to retire because he will tip himself over. Luckily we usually placed him and the bumbo seat on the sofa so he did not hurt himself.

At this age he also laughed the loudest and the most. He was usually very ticklish and when he was in the mood one can make him laugh effortlessly as video evidence posted in this blog had shown.

Although he was crawling he was unstable so we had to follow him every step of the way just to try and prevent him from plunging head first into the concrete floor. This was perhaps the hardest part due to all the back ache.

9 to 12 months

He is a lot more demanding at this stage. He has learnt how to express his displease (read complain) and be sure that everyone at home will know. When placed in the playpen he will throw all out the toys and stuffs in there if he is unhappy or happy and simply wants to get your attention to play with him.

Due to his strength and weight he is a lot harder to handle now. We were out shopping for Christmas presents with him last weekend and after carrying him for about 3 hours straight I had to admit my back felt like it was going to give way.

He has learnt how to get off the bed and crawl to wherever he likes so he needs to be watched all the time. He knows no fear and it does not matter how high the beds or sofa are he will apply the same method that he learned from the low mattress and try to climb down.

Although he has laughed less these days but he has certainly smiled much more. He is definitely much more fun to play with bearing the back ache on my part of course.




Here's wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Birthday!!

I’m sure those of you who have been following this blog long enough will know that Isaac’s birthday is coming up. For the benefit of those who have no idea, his birthday happens to be on Boxing Day!

Our friends, family and even readers of this blog have expressed interest as to how we are going to celebrate for him and how is the preparation so far.

To be honest, at the time of posting the Mrs has only confirmed a Wednesday meeting with the Manager of Ben & Jerry’s at Vivo City for further discussion and possibly leaving a deposit. So literally nothing was done or confirmed yet. It is very unlike the Mrs to leave things to this late but I think I need to clarify on her behalf.

Originally I was the one who did not want to do anything because my logic was Isaac does not really have any friends yet. So it will turn out to be just an excuse for us adults with the family in tow to meet up and gossip. No offense to all of you who are celebrating or have celebrated your kid’s birthday but I thought it was rather meaningless from Isaac’s point of view. I thought we should leave it be until he has his own friends in the form of classmates in the future.

However almost everyone around me, the Mrs included feel otherwise. They all feel that we must celebrate Isaac’s birthday especially this first one. The minimum we should do is have a dinner with the immediate families, i.e. Isaac’s grandparents, aunts and uncles from both sides.

Majority of the people of course prefer something a little more party like so the Mrs had been kept busy thinking and researching what we can do. It was not easy largely due to our intention to hold it on Christmas Day so most places and food will not come cheap.

Another reason was due to the Mrs’s condition also since we were not even sure if she can make it should there be a party as she was supposed to be resting in bed till she delivers. So everything was held back and by the time I was convinced to do it for Isaac we’re worried most people cannot make it since it is Christmas Day after all.

Now we have more or less an idea already and that is to hold the party at Ben & Jerry’s where we will cater food, order a birthday cake and of course everyone young and old gets ice cream. The Mrs is now busy sourcing for caterer because we do not want to have a Christmas menu and that is proving to be a challenge.

At one stage I suggested to the Mrs that maybe I should invite all you readers to the birthday party as a get together and meet Isaac in person session but since there is no way of knowing how many, if any of you would like to come or be able to make it, I decided it is probably not a good idea. I’m sure you’ll appreciate it is impossible for me to cater the food with the attendance unknown.

However if you are in town and not too busy attending church or visiting your relatives and happen to be in Vivo City on Christmas Day, do drop by Ben & Jerry’s between 2 to 4pm and I will buy your children ice creams.

With all the Christmas decorations wherever we go, I am beginning to explain to Isaac that everyone is preparing to celebrate his birthday. I tell him that whenever he sees such decorations it means that his birthday is just around the corner.

Oh and speaking of Christmas and birthday, all friends and relatives reading this, please be advised that Isaac will be expecting 2 presents from each of you because presents for Christmas and his birthday should be treated as separate issues.

Lastly I would like to announce a new tradition in the Tan’s household and that is each kid of mine will have to get their mother, namely the Mrs a present on their birthdays. This is to thank her for all the ‘sufferings’ that she had to go through carrying them to term and also for delivering them to this world. Personally I do not know anyone practicing this but I would like my kids to do that for their mum although it can only commence when they are slightly older.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Modeling

Two Fridays ago Isaac had his first taste of what it was like to be a model. I believe he now understands that it is a tough job being a model although I feel that he has all the makings to be one and it is not because he has the X factor or he looks extremely good in photos.

It is perhaps easier for me to list down a few of the things that he did that has Top Model written all over it.

- Walked (ok, more like crawled) off the set whenever he pleases.

- Natural in front of the camera. In fact he was so natural one could say that he was oblivious to the photographer and the shoot itself.

- Throwing tantrums while shooting. He was throwing away props that were required for the shoot once he felt he had enough shots with them.

- So comfortable with a whole entourage of crew (made of parents, godma, god-sister and maid) following him around, changing him and attending to his every need.

- Turned all cranky when he was tired and would not continue without having a rest or some fun first.

- Had his artistic views as to how the shoot should be. It took a lot of persuasion from his managers (parents) before he agreed to wear the chef’s hat and even that it was only for a very short while.

- Had no problem baring his body or modeling in his undies (diapers) so long as they are done in an artistic manner. Calvin Klein, in 20 years time perhaps?

Back to the shoot, it was all thanks to a reader friend, Evelyn (Thanks E!) for recommending Isaac to her sister-in-law, Jacqueline who is setting up her own photography business, Soul Photography. Jacqueline was looking for babies as models to increase her portfolio so Evelyn asked if we would be interested to help. This was when the Mrs was thinking of engaging a photographer to take family photos for us and maybe even herself while she is still pregnant so we agreed.

Jacqueline’s concept for her business is to go bring her studio to the comfort of the client’s home instead of having everyone travel to a studio. This is perhaps most useful with the toddlers since they will be more relaxed in a familiar environment. Not to mention the clothes, toys and props that are available at one’s home instead of picking and choosing the few that one has to bring to the studio.

Since Isaac’s Godma has a rooftop garden at her place the Mrs thought it will be more interesting to conduct the photo shoot at her place instead of ours. The plan was to focus mainly on Isaac with a few family shots and if the Mrs was up to it then she will have her own photos taken with the big tummy as well. Unfortunately she wasn’t really feeling up to it that day and all the coaxing and getting Isaac’s attention wore her out even more. As a result she took only a few pictures with us.

We were initially a little worried as to how Isaac will ‘perform’ that morning and will Jacqueline find him to be a prima uomo and difficult to work with. Luckily all our worries were unfounded because Jacqueline being a mother of 3 boys knew exactly what to expect from kids at Isaac’s age. She was very patient with Isaac’s many movements and will work around him to find the angle or shot that she wanted.

Prior to the shooting she was also opened and was willing to discuss any concepts or ideas that we had in mind.

Right now she is having a promotional package so you might want to find out more from her website or discuss with her what you hope to achieve. Have fun shooting!!









The above are only a handful of the pictures that we got from Jacqueline. As usual I will put up the rest of them plus whatever shots that we took on the same day in my Facebook!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Mistake?

Haven’t we all heard from friends and relatives or read through forums that there is someone who knew someone who was told she was carrying a baby of one gender but came out another?

Ok, maybe to find out only during delivery is a little extreme because I would imagine that the couple would have gone for a few more scans from the time the gender was announced till delivery right?

I think it matters little when the couple found out about the ‘mistake’ because if it was the gender that they really wanted and it turned out different it would be quite devastating especially if it is their 3rd or 4th attempt. On the other hand for a couple that wanted a gender and got their wish later it will be an absolute delight for them.

Personally I have never come across anyone I know that had such an experience. Come to think of it I have only heard of such an incident through people who happened to know someone from work or some acquaintance and I don’t even remember who they are now or how the story goes. It is almost like an urban myth to me.

The reason I brought this up is because for some reason the Mrs was having this really bad feeling that maybe Hayley (Yes she has decided on this name) is a boy after all. Maybe it was her paranoia but she was definitely feeling rather uneasy. When telling people of the twins’ genders she was always a little hesitant. She was always saying it like it is only 90% sure.

I guess we should have named her Hayden instead huh?! In case you’re not aware Hayden is a unisex name just like Dylan.

So since about 3 weeks ago when we found out that we are expecting a Boy / Girl combo, she has been looking forward to yesterday’s appointment with Dr N to double and triple confirm that it is indeed Hayley in there.

I believe she feels a little more stress now that we are receiving gifts for Hayley. This is also probably why she has not been buying anything for her whenever we are out. I can sense the urge to buy her something whenever we are in Baby Gap or Zara looking for clothes for Isaac but she always resisted because deep down she is worried that there is a mistake with the gender.

It got to a point that even I was beginning to believe her that maybe just maybe we weren’t so lucky after all. When carrying Isaac the Mrs did not have any such strong feelings towards the baby’s gender. At least back then I dreamt of playing with a boy (can’t remember his face of course) so that got me to think that he was a boy. So to hear that she has such bad feelings about this ‘mistake’ it sort of unnerved me as well.

Anyway as you know by now we went to Dr N’s clinic yesterday for her routine checkup and to make sure that they twins are growing fine because the Mrs has hardly gained any weight since her pregnancy. This by the way was also another concern of ours.

The good news is the Mrs and the twins are all doing fine. The twins are growing within the average percentile and their weight is slightly below that of a singleton at the same stage but that is acceptable.

When Dr N started the scan the first thing I told him to check was the twins’ gender and I told him about the paranoia that the Mrs was experiencing. While having a good laugh he proceed to check and the result is the below picture.

I was considering if I should post this scan but on second thought how many of us can seriously make out what it is right? Unless of course you are a trained Doctor but I have a feeling that there are no Doctors amongst you readers.

So for the whole lot of you who cannot make out what the picture is and after torturing you for the last 5 minutes or so, you will be pleased to know that we are indeed having Hayley after all.

Bad Boy??

Recently we discovered that by his own admission Isaac does not believe that he is a good, great or excellent boy. Don’t believe me? Watch the below video.


video