Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Ideas?

Wow! I can’t believe it has been almost a month since my last post. A recent chat message from the Mrs on WhatsApp (you iPhone owners will know) goes like this:

Mrs: Hey. You have not updated your blog for a month liao.

Me: I know. I’ve been so busy with the CES. I’ll see what I can squeeze out before the end of the year.

To say I have been busy in December is really an understatement. There are also times when I wanted to post about the kids’ development but by the time I gotten down to writing things have changed again and what I had in mind originally suddenly seem so yesterday.

So this time I am blogging about things that are more general. Just yesterday the Mrs commented that this year’s Christmas seems boring and asked me if I have any ideas on how to make it more interesting. Frankly speaking my feel towards Christmas has always been the same. I like the hype leading up to Christmas so this means that about a month before the actual day I will get all excited by the buying of presents and nice decorations around me. Unfortunately Christmas Day is always an anti-climax for me. All the hype will eventually lead to nothing. It will usually turn out to be another public holiday where we do nothing special.

The only exception was probably last year when (some of you might remember) we were busy with Isaac’s first birthday bash. We were so occupied with the celebration and making sure that everything is just perfect for our little man.

Last year I was also busy trying to explain to Isaac that when he sees Christmas trees and decorations up, it means his birthday is near and everyone is planning to celebrate it together with him. I don’t think he understands the concept yet at the tender age of one but this year I can definitely see progress. He definitely can recognize Christmas trees and will get all excited whenever he sees one. By the way his favourite is currently the one just outside Ion Orchard but I have not brought him to Ngee Ann City yet. He will always go ‘Wow!’ which incidentally is one of his favourite words now.

All that is left for me to do is to connect Christmas tree to his birthday and most importantly make him understand the concept of birthdays. Soon he will have to prepare a present for the Mrs. Some of you might remember a new family tradition for this Tan family and that is to have the kids prepare (too young to buy) a gift for their mum on their birthday.

This year on the other hand things have gone back to how they usually were since we have no plans to celebrate Isaac’s birthday other than a small gathering that is limited to the family and his Godma of course.
My question to you fellow parents is where and what do you do on Christmas eve and day? Besides going to church of course. While we are at it what are your usual plans for New Year’s eve and day as well?

For the young and single, they can always go to the countdown parties happening all over the island and get drunk and be merry. For the older couples who do not have to worry about their kids’ bedtime can always host their own parties at home where good friends and family can all come together for the big countdown and celebrate. That leaves the rest of us (the in-betweens). We can’t go out and get drunk for we have responsibilities at home. We can’t host a party at night for the countdown as well since most of us have our kids’ bedtime to worry about. I am really curious to know how do you, the more experience parents spend these 4 days.

Traveling is not an option now for I have 3 babies in case you forget. We won’t be traveling with them in tow at least now for another year or two. Then again traveling during this time of the year will burn a really big hole in my pocket, something I have to get used to eventually I guess.

Does parenthood mean the end of such celebrations? Is this just one of the many sacrifices that we parents are expected to make? Even if we can’t party and do the countdown then surely there must be nice family activities for the young (us parents) and the babies right?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Remember

I know for a fact that many of you readers are pregnant and some of you with twins some more. I couldn’t be happier for all of you. Some are you are probably pregnant for the first time hence there are many questions and worries which is normal. While our current journey doesn’t quite apply, you are welcome to go back to the beginning of this blog to find out what we went through.

If there is one advice that I can give you besides the usual “be careful”; “rest more”; “eat healthy”; “don’t jump”; “cannot lift heavy stuffs” etc, it will definitely be “enjoy and remember every moment”. I do not believe this is something that you hear very often from women who went through the whole ordeal. At least we didn’t.

Honestly the entire pregnancy will go by very quickly. We keep hearing parents say how times fly but from our experience this feeling actually starts to apply the minute you’re pregnant. As with all things we do not feel it until the whole event is over. It is usually related more to looking back.

It really didn’t dawn on me until recently when I have readers asked me about our pregnancies. I realize then that I could not answer most of the questions. Some of the more dramatic incidents I do remember of course. Episodes such as how the Mrs was spotting for the first time and being inexperienced then we were really worried (incidentally this is one of my favourite post) and of course the time when we were so close to losing the twins. Looking at the twins now it still gives me goose bumps whenever I recall the entire terrible incident (one of the most touching post and comments page), how helpless we were and how hard the Mrs was crying.

Ok, let’s not scare you ladies. I remembered I once blogged about having positive image and not listen to all the “chickens” throughout your pregnancies (some of you readers will remember this post about chickens and eagles). Don’t let these “chickens” influence you with all their negative, sad and horrible stories about so and so and such and such. If it is not going to help with your pregnancy then tell them don’t bother to share.

What I really want to tell you is to try and remember each moment and document what you are experiencing if possible. Believe me when I tell you this; with so many things happening and so much changes to the environment and your body, you will be hard-pressed to recall in details once the dust has settled. This is exactly what we are experiencing right now. Most things just seem so …………. vague. Many a time we need to remind each other so it is a good thing that we experienced both pregnancies together.

The other good thing is of course how I managed to keep a blog and post on a weekly basis on the happenings during both pregnancies. So now when I cannot answer most of your questions I can always direct you to the earlier posts. For your sake I wish the titles are a little more precise and helpful about the topic but I have always preferred to keep it to one word to give it a sense of “huh”.

Things that I cannot remember are often related to the time scale also. So if you are looking at asking when did we do what scan and when did we do a certain test, I’m telling you now my mind draws a blank. They all seem rather close together but at the same time seem rather well spread out during the pregnancy.

I do remember something of the scans and tests of course. Details such as how long they took hence how long I had to wait to how expensive they were when we saw the bill. But if you mention the name of the test of scan to me, you might as well be speaking French to me as far as I’m concerned. That is how hopeless I am.

But by remembering I am not only referring to the name of the tests, scans, procedures and medicines. I am referring more to how you feel and experience at each stage of the journey. How much of the laksa or curry you have puked for example leaving such wonderful after taste that you will not crave for that bowl of laksa or curry perhaps till after the pregnancy. What about how many times you had to get up and drag yourself to the toilet only to find that you really need to get that 20ml of pee out of your bladder. Or the many sleepless nights that you have due to the weight and position of your child which is made worse by the solo performance (read snoring) by your husband? Who can forget the breathlessness that you experienced making every shopping trip so unforgettable? Suddenly covering Vivo City or Ngee Ann City does not seem like such a good idea after all.

Not too long ago the Mrs made a scary remark to her colleague again. She said she missed the days of being pregnant and we all know what happened the last time she said something like that. I believe she is really just trying to relieve the moment in her mind instead of missing being pregnant.

So ladies, please take my advice. Enjoy each and every stage of your pregnancy now and most importantly try and find your own way to document so you can remember in years to come. It is truly an amazing journey and experience and we all know that good things often pass us by too quickly.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Quiet

It is the Mrs’s birthday today and for once the celebration has taken a back seat. It is not intentional of course but having 3 kids plus my busy schedule we have no choice but to have a quiet celebration this time. I will certainly try my best to make it up one way or another.

We do not celebrate it lavishly each year but at the very least we do go out for a nice dinner at a nicer restaurant. Up to a few years ago I would even pay attention to what she lacked or liked for months leading up to her birthday and then I would buy them and surprised her during dinner. These were limited to tech gadgets which I am definitely more familiar then her and as a result I have been rather successful during those years.

However once the idea in that department has run its course (how many cameras, laptops and handphones etc can one buy as gifts for their wives right) I reverted back to letting her pick her own presents. I have always said that she is picky when it comes to her purchases. Even today after being married for 10 years I dare not go out and buy something, be it jewelleries, handbags, shoes or clothes, as a surprise birthday present.

She is particular about colours, materials, size, shapes etc. With all these considerations I believe most guys will agree with me that it is perhaps better for her to pick what she likes and I simply foot the bill. Sure it may not be as romantic but something’s gotta give right? The idea of receiving a surprise present may be romantic but in reality I’m afraid it is often overrated and short lived, right up to the point of unwrapping the gift of course.

Fortunately and unfortunately at the same time, the price tag does not equate to whether she will like the gift or not. Take diamonds for example, most ladies certainly like them but that doesn’t mean that by splashing out 5 figures on it will guarantee the end result. While the price may cover the basics such as carat, clarity, cut, colour and certificate, the final hurdle of design is often still a gamble. The number of claws on that ring may have a direct effect of whether she leaves her own claw marks on you and also where specifically.

To those of you who are newly wed or have no kids yet, just when you think that selecting your own present is as unromantic as it gets, you will realize that you really haven’t got a clue until you add a couple of kids in the mix.

While I am still up for going out for some fine dining her heart is always with the kids. Throw in the fact that we have to trouble my parents to help care for the kids, going out and enjoying ourselves does not seem so nice all of a sudden.

With the heavy workload that both of us face, we really cherish whatever remaining time we have with the kids each evening and by the time they sleep we are mentally drained ourselves. Weekends are even more precious for these are the only 2 days each week that we actually get to spend more than a few hours with the children. We will usually go out and buy whatever we need to buy for the children so our own shopping has taken a lesser priority.

Till today the Mrs has not identified her gift yet and plus the fact that tonight is my first day of attending a course we cannot have our dinner out even if we wanted to. So this is the first time we are not celebrating her birthday.

There is one saving grace though or at least I would like to think so. I have been sending her flowers on her birthday and our wedding anniversary for the longest time despite her telling me not to and this year is no exception. While completing this post is she has already MMS me the photo of the bouquet.



A bouquet of white lilies!

Even though we are not celebrating her birthday this year I would like to state for the record that it does not mean that I do not think it is any less important. It is largely down to my own poor time management and planning but I promise I will do a much better job next year.

With the kids growing up I imagine that with each year the celebrations can only get more enjoyable and better.

Happy Birthday My Love!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Are we made to do things backwards before we learn how to do them right? Take for example, babies will usually learn to crawl backwards before they move on to the leaping stage and finally they are able to crawl forward. The twins are now crawling all over the place and half the time they’re headed in different directions from each other. Then there is the shaking of heads before the nodding. Isaac is a classic example for he will shake his head every time we asked him something but he has since learned to nod his head when in agreement.

Now his favourite word is ‘No’. We can ask him anything or give him whatever instructions and he will either shake his head or say no.

Each morning he will knock on our door before letting himself in and we always ask him to hug us and give us a kiss and he will sing out no. I said sing because instead of the firm no his version comes in a rather softer tone, higher pitch and almost to the point of singing.

Below are some of the typical exchanges with him on a daily basis.

Us: Isaac, let’s hold hands there are cars around

Isaac: No

Us: Come Isaac, kiss daddy and mummy

Isaac: No

Us: Isaac, finish your food first

Isaac: No

Us: Isaac, call Mama

Isaac: No

Us: Isaac

Isaac: No

Ok, the last one was an exaggeration but you get the drift. Most of the time he will shake his head as well just in case his ‘no’ is not taken seriously.

The hardest thing to get him to do these days is to eat. For some reason he has decided he prefers to be on liquid diet and as a result he will reject most solid food. He has lost interest in food and will only take a few bites of it before shaking his head at our attempts to feed him more.

Sometimes he will hold the food in his mouth for minutes before spitting it out after the flavour has been sucked out. Other times he will stuff his mouth with food such as raisins, chew on them, turn them all mashy and sticky before signaling to you that he wants to spit it out. I quickly learned that when feeding him we really need to have tissues on standby for he is not big on waiting for you to get the tissue in position.

During his Sunday enrichment class he is always the first off the table and he will bring his own bowl and cup to the tub and proceed to wash his hands. Most would probably think that he is a fast eater but if they only knew he fed me most of the biscuits and raisins.

We tried feeding him everything hoping to find the one thing that will tickle his palate but we have no such luck so far. Whatever we eat he eats too other than the raw sushi and sashimi as well as the medium rare steak. We have tried spicy, sour, sweet, bitter and salty too but with no success.

Dr B our PD said that it is just a phase and to encourage him to eat more solids we should consider cutting down on his milk intake. When he is hungry then hopefully he’ll be more receptive towards whatever we feed him.

Thankfully he is showing signs of improvement lately. He seems to be more willing to try out new food and actually eat a little more also. Our fingers are crossed for him to grow out of this phase soonest possible.

The other thing that he is lagging behind is his speech. He is only saying a few single syllable words and naturally most of them are being used on him on a daily basis. Words such as ‘Wait’, 'Wet' and ‘Go’. This however does not reflect his vocabulary for he understands perfectly what we say and is able to carry out instructions meted out in both English and Cantonese.

We can see that he is already mouthing the words so it is a matter of time before the flood gate opens and then we will look back to the peace and quiet that we have now. The irony in life just continues.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Ill!!!

Last week had been very hard on the Mrs. Luke came down with a fever on Monday and only recovered from it on Wednesday. During the first night his temperature reached as high as 39 degrees. Instead of sponging him the Mrs put him in the bathtub and left him soaked in there playing with some toys for 15 minutes. It worked and the temperature never reached that high again. Needless to say we had to wake up regularly to check his temperature throughout the next two nights.

The Mrs took leave the whole 3 days to take care of him. This was the first time that she had to care for a sick baby all on her own. Our kids had the usual cough and running nose here and there, now and then but never this ‘serious’.

We’re all lucky in that Isaac only really fell ill after he turned 1 and even then he was no where near half as cranky as Luke. He will just have his medication and sleep with the occasional waking up in the middle of the night crying. It was all manageable. As for Hayley she is only having the occasional running nose but that’s about it (knock on wood).

Luke refused to be put down when he was ill this time. He demanded to be carried almost all the time. Even when he was being carried he will be cranky at times too. So in order not to disturb Isaac and Hayley we sent them along with Ani to my parents’ place as usual and the Mrs stayed at home to care for Luke alone. As for me, I had to attend an international conference so I was not able to help out for all 3 days until the evenings when I'm back.

Even though Luke was sleepy he simply refused to be put down on his bed for naps. The Mrs had to carry him in her arms and let him sleep on her chest. All this while she was not able to get up and do anything. Luckily for her she had her iPhone next to her to she was able to catch up on the news, visit Facebook and serve the internet.

Coincidentally there were a number of Cantonese serial DVDs at home so she was able to catch up with those while Luke lay on her chest sleeping. She even had to skip lunch in order not to wake him up. Between going hungry and having to carry a crying and cranky baby for another few hours, the choice is obvious.

Through this experience the Mrs may have to rethink about being a stay-at-home mum. I honestly believe she now has another level of new found respect for all you SAHM. It is really not easy caring for a sick child. Some of you SAHM even have to take care of your sick child together with a healthy one all by yourself. That to me is a truly remarkable feat. I have not tried it but judging from the exhausted look on the Mrs’s face each evening I don’t think I will be too eager to volunteer my service anytime soon.

I know I have been lagging in posting new pictures of the children so here they are. I have also posted more on my Facebook photo album. Enjoy!




 



 

 

Friday, 16 October 2009

Frustration!!!

Isaac has just completed his first term of his weekly enrichment class. I am proud to say that within the few weeks of attending he is already mimicking the Zoo-phonics action. He is able to do or at least attempt to do about 98% of the action. The only one he has not really caught on is for Umber Umbrella Bird. He even finishes with the “and we all wake up” action after Zeke Zebra.

We are reciting this with him on a daily basis not because we want him to top the class but because he truly enjoys it. He will always smile when doing the action.

These days he has even improved further by making the sounds for Catina Cat, Kayo Kangaroo and Pee Wee Penguin.

Since he is enjoying himself so much hence we thought of getting the actual Zoo-phonics material so he can try and do the matching watch the CD as well. Now comes the frustrating part.

I’m sure most of you readers know that one cannot get the Zoo-phonics training material unless you enroll your kids with the Zoo-phonics school or Growing Up Gifted. I wasn’t convinced for it does not make sense not to sell a product that you have so I called up and the answer I got was ambiguous. First the lady asked if Isaac is attending any of the 2 schools and when I said no she told me they only sell to those students who are. Then she went on to say that I may have to buy the Deluxe set but she is unable to tell me the difference in these 2 sets and also the price. All she wanted me to do was email her director and wait for him to reply. It was been weeks now and nothing.

The Mrs knows I do not take such poor service kindly so she volunteered to call and follow up instead. This time it seems they’re more apologetic and said someone will definitely call her after 2 days but it has been a further 2 days and yet still nothing.

This led me to write an email to feedback to the main Zoo-phonics office in the States. Besides expressing my frustration I am also looking if I can buy the material from either their office or anywhere else that is close to Singapore.



There are 2 things that I do not agree with here. Firstly, why should a company that developed a good and proven training material limit its use to only students of certain schools? I would think as an Educator they should look at the broader picture. I am not asking them to give it away free or sell it cheaper or even the same price. A better business model would be for us to buy it at a higher price if our kids are not enrolled in their school.

The second thing that I have issue with is who on earth runs a business and do not respond to their prospective clients’ emails, enquires and feedback? I am not sure if this Singapore office is a franchise or a distributor for the main one from the States but whichever it is I am definitely not impressed. Perhaps from my email they know that I only wanted to buy the material hence they ignore me. Maybe if I write to the same person but this time expressing my interest in enrolling my 3 kids as well as my niece in their school he might reply within a heart beat.

This whole “not selling to children who are not our students” thing is silly because in case Mr Businessman does not realize I can always borrow the flash cards from friends and family to photocopy and laminate them. I believe I can also burn a copy of the CD for Isaac. I am trying to do the proper thing here by buying original when almost the entire basic set can be duplicated and yet these people are making it so much harder. In all honesty it is really much easier and cheaper to duplicate it on my own.

Alternatively I can get my friends who are sending their kids to the “preferred” school to help me buy a set. This way it is perfectly legal and it is very simple to carry out too. Surely they can’t be this anal and refuse to sell a second set to one of their student right?

I am not sure if the email to the head office will yield any result but it is certainly a good way to vent my frustration. I will surely keep you posted on the outcome. In the meantime please buy original.

On a lighter note, below is the video of Isaac mimicking a rhyme that was taught in class. He has only did it twice and at weeks apart but it has left enough an impression. Enjoy!

video

Thursday, 8 October 2009

10th!!

How time flies and this time I am not referring to my kids growing up. I am actually talking about being married for 10 whole years!!

19th Sept 2009 marked the 10th year that the Mrs and I exchanged our vows at The Lawn at Raffles Hotel which by the way is no longer there. That’s one thing that our love has outlasted.

We marked the occasion by shopping and getting drunk in Hong Kong. This trip was not planned for this occasion actually. If we were to plan then surely we would have headed to a country further away to mark this little milestone. This Hong Kong trip was actually postponed twice. It was meant to be a little getaway last year but just before we were to depart we found out that we were pregnant with the twins. Hence we postponed it till a few months later as Dr N was not comfortable with us flying so early into the pregnancy. Not sure if you read or remembered but the Mrs had this major bleeding issue and had to be hospitalized? Well, this happened to be around the time that we were supposed to head to Hong Kong after our initial postponement. I was at a lost then with everything that was going on hence dates were really the last thing on my mind. However I was told by the airline that I have to give them a date there and then in order to activate the postponement so the Mrs just asked me to postpone it to a year later.

We were the only ones going initially but in the end my bro, Mike and his wife decided to come along. For them it was a last minute thing too and they had no idea that we will be spending our anniversary there. The Mrs doesn’t like attention hence she insisted that we just spend it like any normal day.

The last time I was in Hong Kong must have been at least 2 years ago and I noticed that they have really done well in the language department. With the influx of Chinese tourists they have brushed up their Mandarin really well. Not only do we hear the service staff speak Mandarin in retail shops, we also heard the waiters try in the eateries normally patronized by the locals. Their command of English has also improved by leaps and bounds. This, I believed is all down to practice and a funny encounter at their airport highlights this. This guy, presumably the Manager at the Popeyes Chicken & Biscuit stall insisted on replying to me in English even though I spoke to him in Cantonese. After a few exchanges I gave up and spoke to him in English. Looking back now I should have stuck to Cantonese and it would have made a very interesting conversation for those behind me.

For those of you who noticed, yes I caved! After having 3 days of nothing but Chinese food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I really craved for other variety so when we were at the airport having our dinner, the choice was really obvious! We came back at different time and airline so imagine my surprise when I learned that Mike had the same thing too at the airport.

Although the trip was only for 4 days but it was already rather long for us. The Mrs really dislikes inconveniencing others so to leave our 3 kids with my parents was really uncomfortable for her. Especially when they are all babies and this being the first time, no one knows how they will react. Naturally phone calls were made to check on things on a daily basis (twice a day).

When we found out that all 3 babies did not sleep well the first night they were at their grandparents place, it sort of ruin the trip for the Mrs. She felt so apologetic towards my parents and Ani for they did not get much sleep at all. Thankfully they got better with the second and third nights.

The first night for us was rather interesting for upon touching down we met up with them and headed to Macau, a promise to Mike. We were there from about midnight and did not return to our hotel till about 6 the next morning. We were about S$200 poorer while my bro won around S$1,500.

The rest of the time we were just behaving like the commercial for visiting Hong Kong because we were really shopping and eating the entire trip. Every once in a while us guys will normally asked to stop and sit down for a cuppa or some light snacks or desserts.

We went to Lan Kwai Fong for some drinks on our last night. Within the 3 hours we were there my bro and I had the following:

1) 1 x Jello shot

2) A huge glass of Hoegaarden beer

3) 1 x Tequila Sunrise cocktail

4) 1 x Sex on the beach cocktail

5) 2 x Tequila Sunrise shot

6) 1 x Sex on the beach shot

7) 1 x Kamikazes shot

8) 1 x Zombie shot

9) 1 x Bourbon Coke

It had been a very long time since I had this much alcohol and thankfully I did not “merlion” and had no hangover the next morning. We managed to meet up bright and early for breakfast and then continued with our shopping before parting.

From this little experience I learned something interesting. Before departing we were just wondering which kid we will miss most and I thought I will miss Isaac the most since he is the most interactive one now. I am happy to announce that at the end of the trip we miss all 3 kids equal for their various reasons. The Mrs was watching their videos on her iPhone on the way to the airport and on the plane.

I believe it will be a few more years before we will embark on another trip without the kids. Then again it might be even longer for us to go on holiday with the kids due to the cost involved. Hahahaha

Monday, 14 September 2009

Improved!!

It didn’t feel like it was that long ago when the Mrs and I were still wondering which school to send Isaac for his enrichment class. By now Isaac has already finished half the term already.

Last Sunday marked the fifth week that he was at this class and he has certainly made a lot of progress since. Although he has not really spoken yet but he is certainly enjoying the songs and story telling and his vocabulary has also increased. However I believe the area that he has most improved on is his sociability.

I remembered our Isaac was all teary-eyed when we were there for the first time for the trial class. He was so afraid that he would cling on to either of us tightly and wherever we went he would follow. He would not sit on the mat but instead on our laps. When the teachers tried to engage him he would turn to face us immediately and cry a little.

We went for another couple of trial classes before committing on this current one. When we officially started his first lesson with this school, although a little more experienced with the concept of attending a class for songs and games, he was still a little weary. He still required a little time to get used to the environment before settling down. Luckily for us we noticed that he likes a particular toy amongst all the others that were laid out before each class starts. He has always like wheels. Be it on an actual bicycle or toy cars, he likes to spin them. So happened that there is a toy truck at this school and it acted like a comfort toy for him. He will sit on our laps and spin the wheels while quietly observe the going-ons in the classroom.

I remembered he was always going for the door during the first two lessons. He would try and open it to let himself out of the class. It is with good reason why there is a little device on the door knob that will prevent any child from opening the door. The fact that it is in place probably means Isaac is not the first child that had wanted to escape and skip class. During the first two classes, Isaac will always aim for the door while waiting for the other kids to arrive.

By the 3rd class Isaac is participating more already and he smiles at the teachers more often too although he still sat pretty much close to us. He also helped with putting all the toys in the box before each class starts and when the teachers start singing “Toys away. Toys away. Time to put the toys away.”

On the 4th lesson he has decided that he is a big boy now and is probably the Master of the room for he will get up and walk to the middle of the class and smile cheekily at the teachers. When he got restless he will get up and round behind all the kids and parents in circles. Sometimes he will make the center of the mat his official resting place too for he will just lie down there and watch the teachers.

Last Sunday, his fifth class, he starts to warm up to his classmates for he will voluntarily wave at them when they arrive. In the past he always gets up to head for the exit and we have to run after him to sit him back down. These days we still have to run after him and get him to sit down but for a different reason altogether. I did not want him to be too disruptive in class by standing right in front and blocking the other kids from seeing the story books.

When the class ends while he used to be one of the first to head for the door, these days he prefers to stay behind and give his teachers the hugs, the high-fives and the blowing of kisses. He seems to really enjoy himself for he even headed back to the classrooms after I put on his shoes for him.

We are glad that he is enjoying himself so much that even though the classes are held during his usual morning nap time he has never been cranky. Oh, in case you are wondering the arrangement we have is the Mrs and I will take turn (alternate week) to be with him in class. We figured this is the best because it will allow us time to play and bond with him.


Isaac's first master piece. Opening bid at S$1,000.00. Anyone?


This piece of art was painted with real jam. Opening bid at S$500.00.

At the time of posting I only have pictures of these 2 pieces of work by Isaac. I'll be posting a couple more once I find the photos so do come back to place your bids.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Paranoid??

So last Friday was an interesting one for the Mrs and I. Both of us took leave to enjoy a long weekend. She was clearing her leave while her boss was out of town but mainly it was to allow us the time to run a very important errand.

The very important errand was to visit Isaac’s nursery again for I am still not convinced that he is suitable to join them in January next year. For those of you that are new to this blog I touched on this months ago when we were deciding on which nursery to send Isaac to comes January (click here to read). Basically because Isaac is a December baby I feel that he is too young to join nursery when he supposedly turned 3 in January. Then there is also the issue of him going home in a school bus. I cannot imagine my young Isaac at the tender age of 2 having to board the school bus and come home without any known family members with him. Honestly the thought still scares me a little now. I imagine him being helpless and lost as I am typing here.

So a call was made to the school in advance to arrange just in case we miss the bus. After speaking to the person-in-charge I began to see myself as a big time paranoid parent. She actually told me that she has never had such a request from a parent before. To go down and observe how the kids finish their classes and how they will be gathered and led to the school bus. I find that hard to believe honestly. Surely I cannot be the only parent on the entire island that is not comfortable with the idea of having his 2 year old go home in the school bus without a parent around right? When told of this the Mrs naturally had a good laugh.

Upon arriving on Friday we had a little conversation with the person-in-charge again since the classes were still going on. She tried reassuring me that even if Isaac is a December baby, not potty trained and plus the fact that he is not really speaking yet he is still going to be fine in class. In fact a few of the teachers even commented that Isaac seems a little tall for his age. Although this was not the first time I have heard this remark but I still see Isaac as being about the same height as those his age.

Anyway we were told that there will be an orientation come November where the Principal will address all the new parents and we will also get to meet all the teachers. We also learned that one of us is allowed to attend the first 3 days of the class with Isaac. I guess this is to help introduce him to the new environment. Guess it will be a little like the enrichment class that we are attending with Isaac each Sunday. I will touch on that in my next post.

Not long after the kids were all dismissed from class and based on my observation I have to say they are very organized but I couldn’t help but to wonder if any child had gone “missing” before because they are all about the same size and all of them in the same uniform. These kids were led by their teachers from the classrooms holding hands all the way to the area where the parents waited patiently. No child was running around on his / her own. They were all walking along hands in hands. Naturally the Kindergarden kids were a lot noisier for they have a lot to say to their classmates before they next meet on Monday.

For those that were going home by the school buses, they were led to a room where there will be 6 queues for the 6 different buses. The teachers will accompany them there until the number is right and both the bus driver and his assistant are there to collect them. What happen next is there will be a rope with rubber rings in the middle and these kids are to hold onto the rubber rings and led out with the bus driver in front and the assistant at the other end. They will then be led down the stairs to the bus bay at the carpark where they will be helped up the bus. The assistant will make sure that they will put on their seat belts before moving off.

While everything seems to be in order and well organized I have to say the parent in me is still a little worried. I actually have this plan to secretly hide and observe how Isaac will fair being led by complete strangers to the bus on the fourth day of school. I’m sure he will cry his eyes out on the first day he has to go home on his own and I know for a fact I will be there waiting to receive him when the school bus pulls up at my dad’s place.

Having said the above I must admit that when we asked the teachers to point out the nursery 1 babies to us, all of them looked confident and independent. It seems a few of them are only 2 weeks new in the school environment. I guess it will not be as bad as I had imagine but one thing’s for sure and that is January will be more unnerving for me than Isaac I’m sure.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Punishment

It might be a little too early to discuss punishment now since Isaac is only coming to 20 months old. Hence this is not really about him. What brought about this topic was an episode that we witnessed during one of our dinners at Vivo City.

Those of you who read this blog will probably know that due to the space Vivo is probably one of our favourite haunt these days. We usually like to go to the Asian Kitchen at the basement for dinner and we always reserve the table just outside the restaurant so that we have more space for the high chair and prams.

Anyway it was during one of our usual dinners there that this happened. Just when we were about done a family of 4 came and sat behind us. It was a pair of parents, a grandmother and a young girl that cannot be more than 6 or 7 years old.

When we got up to leave both Ani and I witnessed the mother pinning the girl's hand down on the table while hammering it with a tumbler. The mother hit her for about 5 or 6 times and all the while the girl was wailing. I could see that her hand was all red from the torture. I believe if the mum were to be the one at the receiving end she too will be crying let alone her poor child. Frankly I do not know what the little girl did to deserve such severe punishment but then again I do not think any child would have done anything to deserve such treatment. It was so bad that although the Mrs heard the commotion she dared not turn around to look.

Maybe some of you will feel that it is probably easy for me to blog here and criticise them but even though I am close to losing my patience with my 3 kids sometimes, I know for a fact that I will not resort to such punishment. I believe for a parent to mete out such punishment the problem will mostly lie with the adult rather than the child. Perhaps the adult need to learn some anger management.

Having said that I am actually the type that believe in "spare the rod and spoil the child" philosophy but this does not mean that I will bring a cane along wherever we go. By the way we have actually seen parents bringing canes out with them in shopping malls before. I do not believe the Western way of only grounding the child and not spanking them at all will work although I have not decided on how I’ll discipline my kids yet.

Another incident we saw was just as dramatic if not more. We were driving along Commonwealth Ave West when we saw a car stopped outside one of the main gates outside the Singapore Polytechnic. Next thing we saw was the driver, presumably the father, came out and open the rear passenger door and took out a bag, some books and other stuffs and started hurling them over the gate. There was a little girl crying and trying to stop him. Getting very concerned the Mrs asked me to go around and swing by again and if things looked to be out of hand she was all ready to call the police. When we came back there was another car stopped behind the original one and a man was seen trying to calm the driver down while the mum and the girl tried to retrieve the bag and stuffs. This man definitely needs help and I hope for his family's sake he is seeking treatment.

I heard on radio once that the Flying Dutchman does not believe in the good cop bad cop routine because both parents should be able to dish out the punishment there and then when the child misbehaved instead of having to wait till the disciplinarian comes back from work. By then the impact would not have been the same. I tend to agree with that. However at this point in time I do not think I am capable of punishing Isaac for all his naughty little habits. I can't help but smile back whenever he flashes his cheeky look. The Mrs is much better in this department. She will definitely have to be the bad cop for now.

I keep hearing about the Terrible Twos and Isaac is months away from turning two so maybe I should start getting help on the kind of punishment that a 2 year old can comprehend. These days if Isaac does not get his way he will cry and lie on the floor but thankfully he has not done so in public. Super Nanny will recommend me to identify a corner in the house as a punishment corner where the child cannot move out of for a give period of time but I honestly don't think Isaac will understand that yet.

So all you experienced parents, how do you punish your 2 year old and ensure that they understand what they are punished for at the same time?

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Late!

In case some of you get creative and ahead of yourselves, NO this is not what you think. It is not about that kind of “late” and we are expecting again! God, no!

I guess it is due to the way we announced our pregnancies to our close friends, always over group dinner, these days whenever we meet up for dinner and when I told them I have something to say, they will usually go “Pregnant again hah?!” The best part is they say it with such enthusiasm the people next table could have easily mistaken it as our first. Each time we will have to tell them a big ‘NO!’ and reaffirm that we are not trying already but I guess hearing it is not good enough. So here it is guys, in writing.

“We wanted 3 and we have 3 so we’re DONE!! The factory is closed!!”

Anyway back to my original post.

This is something that I wanted to blog about since before we even have the twins which makes the title even more apt.

I actually took pride that I was almost never late for anything besides work but that is a complete different thing altogether. As a matter of fact I used to be early on most occasions because I really dislike having to wait for people who practice rubber time. This was until I attended a sales seminar and the trainer said that being early is also a form of poor time management as we should be on time and not waste precious minutes waiting. Since then I always try to be on time, not too early and never late.

This all changed after we had Isaac. I am not sure if this only applies to us or maybe some of you parents share the same sentiment. Somehow after we have a child we are always late for all gatherings.

It is not like we have gotten lazier or fatter or simply cannot be bothered. We actually plan and time and make it a point to leave by a certain time so that we will not be late but sadly we fail each time.

When there was only Isaac we had to pack his bag and fill it with diapers, change of clothes, milk, water (both normal and hot), biscuits, toys, tissue, wet wipes and God knows what. Even when we had the bags packed the night before we still find ourselves rushing to clean and change him before dashing out the door to the car hoping that I can make up lost time with my driving.

Now that we have 3 kids, you can only imagine the kind of mad rush that we have to go through each time. We have told so many people that going out these days is a really big project. Whatever we had to pack for Isaac, we have to triple it now. Most of the time we have to go out with 2 bags of the kids stuffs. I have to clarify that the Mrs and Ani will usually organize things way before but it is still hard to leave at the designated time due to the children sleeping. As much as possible we try not to wake them up so most of the time we waited impatiently.

The moment they’re up, it’s different roles for each of us. We will have to take turn to change ourselves as well as change all the babies. Whoever is ready will have to carry the babies and make last minute check before we dash out of the door. On the way to the venue we will be busy texting our friends to apologise.

With 3 babies sleeping at different time of the day it is quite challenging to even go out at all. Having said that, we still managed to go out for a total of about 6 hours with all 3 babies in tow. This happened after one of Isaac’s trial enrichment class on a particular weekend. By the time we got home both adults and babies are exhausted.

I will blog about the trial classes that we have attended after Isaac has started his actual enrichment class. In the meantime below are some of the most recent pictures of our babies!

The big boy that Isaac is now!

Although big boy now but he still has his infamous cheeky smile!!

Doesn't Luke look like Isaac?

The 3 little pigs! Actually more like a pig and 2 oxes!


Notice how happy Isaac is with his siblings?


The helpers that truly adore them!


The Mrs and our babies!!!



Our first ever family portrait!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Enrichment

I have always viewed ourselves as pretty relaxed parents except for a couple of things. Some will probably view us as lazy but ultimately I would like them to enjoy their childhood hence I am not too big on all the enrichment classes and flash cards etc. Honestly I prefer for them to learn at their own pace instead of us forcing it down their throats. They can only have one childhood so I would like to make it a nice one for them.

I was having lunch with my sis yesterday and she was asking me about the pictures of Isaac in my previous post. “What was he doing with the mop?” she asked. So I went on to describe to her how he is now mimicking us when we go about our business at home. Mopping the floor and putting the laundry in the washing machine are just two examples that I managed to capture with my iPhone. Off hand I can recall another incident where he actually took a piece of the tissue and climb on the sofa which is against a glass wall and started wiping the glass. According to my sis we are training him under the Montessori Method without realizing it.

It seems the Montessori Method basically involves showing him repeatedly how things are done while he observes and then he will repeat the action later on his own. This is followed by us praising and encouraging him. He is now at the age whereby he is very observant towards the things that we do. Take another example, he is always watching very closely whenever I put him in his car seat or any high chair and buckle him down. Although I believe he has an ulterior motive for he is trying to figure out how it is done so he can free himself.

After taking those pictures and video I was discussing with the Mrs that instead of him throwing his toys and make a racket at home, we should look into playing with him using house chores. Things that will still be interesting to him and he can work on his motor skill and creativity at the same time.

I have always been a skeptic of all the classes that will turn your child into a genius with exceptional memory or a linguist or the next Mozart. I believe there is about 1 out of hundreds if not thousands that will achieve such results and I think that kid is already born gifted to begin with. These schools will naturally profile on those kids that are good and deemed a success but I always wonder if anyone asks the parents of the tens or hundreds of kids that attended the same training method but yield no amazing result. Surely we must know somebody who knows somebody that sent their kids to the Glenn Doman and the Shichida classes. Maybe you can enlighten me. Do they all achieve such fantastic result? In the event that the kids turn out normal and not exceptional, what then is their excuse? That we parents are not working hard enough on them? That we are not consistent or dedicated enough? Or maybe these kids just need that couple more semesters with them.

But please don’t get me wrong for I am not against sending the young to enrichment classes. At the end of the day such classes are there to help make them better. The Mrs and I are currently looking at sending Isaac for “fun and educational” classes too (any suggestions by the way?) but our intention is not to turn him into a genius. All I want is for him to have an hour or two of fun where he can learn to socialize and learn to do something things with his hands (maybe even feet) and imagination. What we are NOT trying to achieve is to make him that much smarter than the kid next to him so that he will finish higher in class. Whatever class we decide to attend is also to provide us with a chance to bond and do things together with Isaac.

Part of our reason for sending Isaac for such once a week class is also to prepare him for the nursery comes January. We are hoping that being in such a “classroom” environment will soften the culture shock that he will surely experience when he has to attend the nursery. Some of you might remember that I had to struggle with the idea of sending him to nursery next year. To me he is still very much a baby so surely classes and schools can wait. However the Mrs convinced me that he is not attending a class per se. Instead I should think of it as sending him to play and socialize with other kids his age rather than having stay cooped up at home and not learning much. Anyway it is only for 2 hours a day so I can live with that.

Anyway I was so excited after speaking to my sis about the Montessori Method that I went over to Borders and Books Kinokuniya after work that very same day to see if I could pick up a book or two on it. Most of them are rather dry and describes the science behind the method but I am glad I managed to find one that sounds interesting and direct enough.


I am not a speed reader and plus the fact that I am so busy with so many things you will have to be patient if you want my book review and update on Isaac's progress.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Handful!!

Life has been pretty nice but mundane lately. It is usually work and then rush home to be with the kids by about 6 plus and then what follows is probably the most tiring part of the day for me.
See, while the children are nice to us, they sleep by 9pm and will not need our attention till the next morning when we go to work, it can be hard handling 3 of them for that 2 hours or so.

Once we’re home after dinner at my dad’s place, Ani will be doing her chores and that leaves the 2 of us to handle the 3 of them. Although the twins are still pretty much lying around only but they can be cranky at times for they sometimes need that little nap of about half hour and with Isaac creating all the rackets they will protest violently.

Although only 2 hours but it is still pretty demanding physically or maybe it only applies to me, the out of shape father. I know, I know some of you may argue when have I ever been in shape.

Isaac is at this age whereby he knows no fear and also no boundaries. He will open all doors and drawers as well as pick up any and everything. Worst of all he will get tired of whatever is in his hands and he will drop it (read throw) like a hot brick within minutes. Hence besides looking out for his safety I also need to look after the many remote controls, handphones, digital cameras and laptops in our room.

As he is able to climb up and down from our bed now we also have to take extra care that he doesn’t slip and fall or sit on his defenseless siblings. Being the sweet big brother that he is, he will occasionally decide to show some affection towards the twins by patting them but with a little too much strength sometimes.

So during these two hours it is a lot of getting up and down and running after Isaac. Whenever the twins are cooperative we will be able to sit down and read with Isaac or watch some educational kids’ videos on YouTube. This will keep his butt planted for a while.

Sometimes, thankfully this doesn’t happen often, both twins want to be fed around the same time and it will be impossible for us to watch after Isaac so Ani will be called in to watch over him for a while.

Once the twins are fed, they will normally sleep soon after and then it will be Isaac’s turn to be fed and tugged in bed. Nowadays with the twins sleeping early the Mrs has the chance to coax him to sleep. I believe this is the time of the day that she looks forward to the most. I know she really appreciates the opportunity to have this little quiet and bonding time with Isaac.

Now if the way Isaac behaves is a preview of what we are to expect from the twins then I am worried. Friends have been pretty generous with their compliments on how well we are coping with the 3 of them now but I like to remind them that the hardest is yet to come. I truly believe that it will be much harder once they are about Isaac’s age now.

While I am bracing myself for that inevitable I am also secretly wishing that by then Isaac will be old enough to understand things and reason with. Wishful thinking? I don’t know, you experienced mothers tell me.

Right now we are enjoying whatever ‘me’ and ‘us’ time that the children have generous granted us. With all of them asleep by 9 plus we do have some time to do our own readings or finishing the serial that we like, in my case True Blood. Oh did I mention that all these were done in the comfort of our own bedroom and on our bed? The twins have no issues (knock on wood) with us switching on the lights and TV once they are sound asleep.

We can even squeeze in a night of Mahjong with the two of us playing at the same time, although this is only done occasionally. All we need to do is set up the trusted baby monitor and be on high alert but so far (knock on wood again) they can still sleep through the night. Lucky us? I definitely think so!

I know many of you readers miss Isaac so below are some of the latest pictures and a video of him helping out at home.

video


From the video you can see that Isaac was really struggling whether to wash the clothes or not. I think part of the reason besides the weather is the load.

When Isaac is not busy with the laundry he likes to keep the floor clean so that he and in the near future his siblings can crawl around safely.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Smile!!

The twins are at the stage where they know how to smile already and sometimes if we are lucky we might just catch them chuckle too. This is a little hard to achieve for we need them to be in the right mood.

The babies' smile is really something that is very heartwarming. No matter how tired we are after a hard day’s work their smile will somehow take it all away. So what we do these days is to pop our face close to theirs and then call them by their names with an animated tone of voice of course and they will give you that sweetest smile. With Hayley I always call “Baby Hayley! Hayley Baby!” whereas nothing much rhymes with Luke so it is just “Luke Luke!” Pronounced as “look look”. Although simple but it works just as well on him.

Besides evenings, their smile will also brighten our day when they flash it at us first thing in the morning. It is a very nice thing to see them stretch themselves, yawn and then when they see you they’ll flash that toothless smile. It is mornings like these that make me want to skip work and spend more time with them. No wait…….. that could be my lazy bug actually.

For whatever reason I seemed to be more successful in getting the twins to chuckle and coo with me. Sometimes I will change them after their night feed and while they are lying on the changing table I will make funny faces and play with them. This will sometimes lead to them chuckling. The Mrs while feeding the other twin will stretch her neck out to see what is going on and how I managed to do that.

Just the other day she was wondering aloud why is it that I can get them to chuckle while she can’t. She concluded that it could be due to the fact that she is more concerned about how much milk they are taking whereas I am happy just feeding and playing with them. Typical man? Perhaps.

From my observation there seems to be this jealousy / competition thing going on between parents. Things such as which parent the child will learn to call first or who will the child run to first when both parents come home together. This is happening to friends and family around us hence I believe this applies to you all too. I’m sure it is all done in good humor. For your information we sometimes do this with Dino too.

Honestly I may tease the Mrs a little here and there whenever I succeeded in making the babies laugh or do something different but I really will have no issue if she can get the babies to do stuffs that I can’t or even if they learn to address her first. Take for example she taught Isaac to point to his own head whenever we ask “Who is the bad boy?” and also shakes his head whenever we ask “Is Isaac a handsome boy?” What she taught him is still providing us with hours of fun which is the key thing here hence it is not really important who taught him that. If only he is more consistent and not get distracted so easily I’m sure more people will get to experience and enjoy it.

Speaking of Isaac he is still having that infamous cheeky smile of his and in fact he is getting more mischievous although he is still a good boy most of the time. It is just that it is getting harder to bring him along whenever we meet friends for lunch or dinner. He just wouldn’t sit still for long. In the past we are able to pacify him with food but these days this method will not last long. Before you know it he wants to be off the baby chair and move about on his own. As a result if we have to bring the kids out with us then more often than not we will bring the twins instead of Isaac.

I guess we will just have to wait for him to turn older and maybe can reason better and then it will be the twins’ turn to stay at home while we bring Isaac out for meetings with friends.

In case reading this post does not bring that smile to your face then I have the following video that might just do the trick.

video

Monday, 15 June 2009

Needs??

It is the exciting time of the year again. The Great Singapore Sale!! Not sure if you all noticed but the commencement of this sales period seems to be getting earlier with each year. Some shops are even offering pre-GSS sale.

Anyway the Mrs seems to be quite excited this year now that she has 3 babies to fill those clothes with. What’s even more exciting for her is this year we have a baby girl to doll up.

Babies aside this is usually the time when the Mrs looks around for a bargain on some of the designers bags that she has been eyeing for some time. Credit to her for she has no problem waiting for such sales before committing on the bags and wallets. I definitely cannot say the same about me. I am the typically impatient male where I will not even wait for another day if it means a saving of 10% by borrowing a membership card from friends. I’ll usually look at the price and deduced that the saving of 10% is not worth the wait so more often than not I will end up paying for the retail price.

Anyway the Mrs already proclaimed that she is on the prowl for 2 designer bags which she intends to use for work. She has already gotten one from TOD’s and she is still on the lookout for a second one although not too wholeheartedly. This is the ‘problem’ with her because once she has spent a certain amount of money it is harder for her to commit on another item. Knowing her character I will usually be more encouraging whenever she wants to buy anything.

I was having this conversation with my bro, Mike the other day that the same usually cannot be said for the wives. Case in point, I have always wanted to buy a home theater system but due to the lack of wireless speakers I have been putting it on hold. That was until recently when I came across a promotion on a Panasonic one which includes a Blu-ray player. There was an almost 37% discount and I was getting really excited but the Mrs’s response was “Do we really need it? You seldom watch your movies in the living room anyway.” To be fair to her she was pointing out the truth but I imagine that scenario will be easily changed once I get my hands on the system.

Back to the conversation with Mike;

Mike: How? Are you buying the Panasonic system?

Me: The Mrs asks if we really need it leh. She commented that I hardly watch TV in the living as it is.

Mike: Ya but that is because you don’t have the system there mah.

Me: Somehow we husbands are more supportive when it comes to encouraging them to buy whatever they want.

Mike: Ya but we are so supportive because we hope that they will in turn be just as supportive when it comes to our purchases.

Me: Imagine if we ask them do they really need those new bags, shoes or wallets.

Mike: Ohhhhh…. Bro, you don’t want to go down that road!

Both: Hahahahahaha

Mike is experiencing pretty much the same thing with his intention to purchase. He was using the buying of more camera lens for his new hobby and DSL as an example and he knows for a fact that Kat, his wife will definitely ask does he need so many lenses.

The four of us were out having lunch and shopping when I told the Mrs that most of us buy stuffs base on our wants and only a small percentage of our purchases are really based on our needs.

Speaking of lunch I learned another thing about wives and purchases. I commented the other day that actually I was hoping to buy us both a new pair of wedding bands so we were looking around and I told her that I actually like the Bvlgari classic B.Zero1 ring for sometime now so if it looks good on us both then we will buy them. We went ahead to try but it looks better on me than her so we did not purchase them.

She encourages me to buy it for myself first while we continue to source for another ring for her. The strange thing here is it actually costs more than the home theater system that I wanted to buy. Then I came to the conclusion that maybe with the system we are not speaking the same language but with jewellery she understands my want much better!

If you think this post is about our voicing our dissatisfaction towards our wives then nothing is further from the truth. At the end of the day our wives will not really say no to our needs and wants since they know how hard we work and they understand that sometimes even guys just want to pamper ourselves a little. I believe in every marriage they are there to be our check and balance and we all love them for that.

Now Honey can I buy the home theater system and the ring?

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Courageous?

Wow!!! Has it been more than 2 weeks since I last posted here?!?! How time flies especially when you have 3 kids and work as well as other stuffs that you have to work on. I know my bro has always been reminding me whenever he meets me that my blog needs updating but it never quite occurred to me that it has been this long.

Besides the usual excuse of being busy I guess there is nothing much worth updating from the Tan family. Everything has been pretty much same-o same-o and mundane.

As parents I believe the Mrs and I are pretty relaxed and courageous (some say stupid) at the same time. Most people would have agreed when they see that we tried conceiving so soon after Isaac but I have different thing in mind.

About 2 weeks back when the twins turned 3.5 months we brought them to Dr B for their routine check up. She has always been the rather relaxed doctor and the instructions she gave was for us to bring the twins to her when they are 3 or 4 months old.

Hmmmm…. Now which should it be? 3 months old or 4 months old? Finally I decided to bring them in when they’re 3.5 months old. Typical of a dad right? That was an easy enough decision.

So on that fateful day both the Mrs and I took childcare leaves and the Tan family headed to Dr B’s clinic. Isaac and Ani came along of course. Isaac was due for his 15th month checkup and we were already late for that. Blame it on the government (typical of a Singaporean right?) for not giving us 6 days of childcare leave for each kid. As a result we have to time their visits to the doctor to be on the same day.

Bringing all the children to the PD for their routine checkup at the same time is all good and fine but what we forgot was Isaac was also due for his jabs. Now don’t ask me what he had because if there is one thing I am not following, it is the injections. I have totally lost track of what he had and will be having. I normally leave it to the good PD and the ever reliable record book.

Anyway imagine my surprise when I learnt that besides the twins Isaac needs to be jabbed too. While the twins were required to have their 6 in 1 jabs, their big brother needed 3 jabs!!! Dr B said that there were 3 outstanding jabs for Isaac but she would only recommend that he takes 2 of them that day leaving the 3rd one till when he comes back in another few months time. The best part was the silly old me was thinking “Sure! What is a 2 in 1 jab when the twins are having 6 in 1 right? I mean come on, while we’re at it why not give him all 3 in 1 and get it over and done with?”

When things were finally explained to me and after I had my blonde moment I actually looked at Isaac and felt sorry for him. I wondered if he will be traumatized by this episode considering some adults already have problem with handling a single jab to the arm let alone 2?!?!?!

The next wave of awakening hit me and I suddenly realized that with all 3 kids are getting their jabs on the same day, we will really have a handful should all of them develop fever. We were smart enough to always arrange for the jabs to take place on a Friday so that we have the weekend to take care of the kids but no weekend is long enough should all 3 of them develop fever!!

Being the relaxed and courageous (again some say stupid) parents that we are we went ahead with all jabs for all kids.

First up was Isaac and being the big brother that he is he showed his younger siblings how it should be done. I was wondering how were they going to administer both injections because Isaac will probably reject the second one right? The answer became clear when I saw Dr B and a nurse holding one syringe each. One of them aiming for Isaac’s arm whiles the other the thigh. They synchronized it to perfection (in my opinion definitely a gold medal is due) and all we heard from Isaac was “erh!” and then Dr B quickly shoved a toy in his hands and he went off playing! He took it like a real man there! I couldn't have done better myself. Really!

Luke faired better than Isaac when he had his 6 in 1 because he did not cry at all but Hayley being the girl in the family and the manja one cried a lot more but she too forgot about the pain in a couple of minutes.

For the rest of the weekend we were very vigilant, patrolling their rooms armed with our trusted Cadi thermometer.

Maybe the kids know that their parents are inexperience and courageous (some say stupid) they decided to be kind on us for they did not have any side effects of any kind. Either that or they took pity on us for the damage to us were probably more severe than them as the bill came up to about S$700 for that day.

After this experience will we have all 3 kids take their injections on the same day? ABSOLUTELY!!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Switched

I read with interest an article published in the Today newspaper today about how a pair of girls were switched at birth in the hospital and had led their separate and happy lives for 56 years. They have only just discovered the truth.

This is nothing new of course as I have read a couple of such stories before but it always brings to my mind a burning question. What if Isaac was switched at birth too?

Note: The following is only a hypothetical question that I played around in my mind. There is no evidence to suggest that I should be concerned or should think otherwise. I am only using Isaac as an example and this is just something that I am curious to know how will parents react in general.

I had wanted to do a post on this topic but never quite gotten down to doing it so today's article is a timely reminder especially when I am running out of things to post about.

I remembered asking the Mrs when Isaac was only a few months old what will she do if the hospital rang one day to inform us of their mistake. What if Isaac actually belongs to someone else and our baby had been raised by another couple for the past few months?

The Mrs brushed my question aside can called me ‘Seow’ (mad in hokkien) for bringing up this ridiculous question. I suspect deep down she did not know what her own answer might be hence the easiest thing to do is to brush me and my nonsense aside.

Honestly till today I am still pondering and trying to find my own answer. What do I do? Do I return Isaac and welcome my own boy with open arms? Do I tell the other couple that let’s just continue raising each other’s boy and continue to keep in touch to witness the growth and progress of our own boys? Will the other party even contemplate such a bizarre request?

I hope you realize that as the days go by the answer to my lingering question is harder to answer. As we spend more time with Isaac it will be harder to let him return to his rightful parents for sure. Looking at the flip side does this also mean that the decision should be easier? Since it is so hard to say goodbye then surely it will be easier to just continue with this mistake right?

This would be the case if we take our own child out of the equation. We are only looking at it from keeping Isaac point of view. Surely this will not be so easy if you know that your own flesh and blood is still out there raise by another couple. It will most probably be made worse if you get to see your actual child. Will you then be able to tell yourself to continue with this mistake and prey and hope that the other party continues to take excellent care of your child?

Honestly as of today I am still at a lost as to what will I do so I am curious to know how will you, fellow parents react. What will you do? Do you know of something similar happening to people around you? It certainly is an interesting topic to think about isn’t it? But please do not spend too much time dwelling on it and definitely do not scare your spouse into thinking you know something that they don’t and as a result causing a family panic.

The only thing I know for sure is I will sue the hospital till the cow comes home!!

Let’s just treat this as something that we toy around and scare ourselves with for surely this cannot happen right?

Then again try telling the 56 year old ladies that……..

Friday, 8 May 2009

Progress

As much as I like to keep you all posted on the progress of the twins and Isaac I have been rather tied up with work plus life is getting a little mundane hence nothing interesting to write about.

The most exciting thing is Isaac finally walking. This happened about one and a half weeks ago. All along he was showing signs that he will be walking soon but he just did not take that 1st step. He always chose to go back down on his fours and crawl. One Tuesday after work when we got to my parents' place we saw him standing and walking rather unsteadily. Since then he has been walking around non stop and he has improved a lot within a week and he is walking pretty fast now. Most will comment that he is a little slow since he was about 16 months old when he walked but we're not concerned.

Another very good development is that the twins are finally joining the STC. For the past few nights both of them have been absolute angels. Having their last feed at about 9pm and going off to sleep usually between 10 and 11 plus. They will normally wake up at about 6 plus for their breakfast. Last night was amazing. Luke had his feed at 8 plus slept at 9 plus and did not wake up till we had to send him to his grandpa's at about 8am. It sure looks like they are very much like Isaac in this sense. The downside of course is they are not drinking as much milk as they should be but according to the PD so long as they are still gaining the right amount of weight then it is fine.

Speaking of weight gain, the twins seemed to be doing better than expected especially for Luke as you can tell from the picture below. The rule of the thumb is twice the birth weight by 6 months and about three times by the time they turn 12 months. As of now Luke is already about 5.8kg and Hayley at about 5kg with their birth weight at 2.4kg and 1.9kg respectively. It sure looks like the twins have caught up quite a bit.

Luke being the stronger one is able to flip himself now. In fact he fell off his mattress 2 nights ago. Luckily their bed is only a thick mattress on the floor so no damage was done. Looking back now it is a little funny because when we heard him cry the Mrs walked to the mattress but could not see him on it. She was shocked and asked where he was. Before I could switch on the lights the Mrs found him lying on the floor. Luckily she did not step on him.

As I had mentioned in my last post Luke likes to sleep on his tummy and because of this he has developed the strength to lift his head and hold it for a few seconds. These days his legs and body are also stronger he is able to push with his leg and twist his body and as a result he will be lying face up. Between the two of them Luke is the one that covers most of the bed when he sleeps. He will actually crawl and rotate as he sleeps so we will always find him in a different position and facing each morning. Sometimes at night Hayley will complain when Luke invade her territory with one of his limb touching her. One would think that they would have gotten used to sleeping and banging against each other by now right?

Anyway back to our mundane life. Each day it is really just work and rush home to be with the kids. Have dinner at my parents' place before we head home. Usually it is this time at home that is the most tiring. Ani has to do the house work so it is down to the Mrs and I to watch over the 3 of them. If the twins are sleeping quietly then it is no problem but this is almost never the case because Isaac being in the same room will cause too much racket that it will be impossible for the twins to sleep. We even tried putting the twins in a separate room but to no avail.

So somehow we managed to pacify the twins and at the same time keep Isaac occupied until Ani is done with her work. She will then feed Isaac and put him to sleep by 9 plus. Now that the twins are sleeping earlier it also means more free time for us. Soon I will be able to go onto MSN and Facebook at night so look out for me ya?

I know I owe it to many of you so here are some of the latest pictures of the twins and Isaac.


So can you tell if I'm Hayley or Luke?



With my picture you can tell for sure right?


See how happy Isaac is with his siblings?

"What do you think they're up to now?"

"Now I'm certain no one will mistaken me as a boy anymore!"


"HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!"