Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Hello Kitties!

Just about everyone's started to feed LV's love for Kitty. Grandma bought her the kitty foil balloon, and KGB got her the other tiny ("original Japanese ah!") kitty doll for Christmas which she loves so much! She's been carrying it around with her since KGB gave it to her last night. Lucky baby!

Growing vocabulary

It's just amazing to watch a baby grow and learn, and at an amazing rate too.

This morning, LV signed (and said!) "dirty" (I was telling her to stop biting the CD case cos it was "dirty"). Just yesterday, she learned the Sign for "scared/afraid". And also just yesterday, she learned how to say her own name! Her diction is also getting better for "Grandpa" (or "Papa"), "Grandma" (or "Mama").

I hope to be able to find the time to start scrapping these bits of memories soon! So much to document!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Baby won't stop growing up!

I *really* wish time would stand still. This morning, KM commented while watching her sleep, that she's such a big girl now - she's actually started hugging her little teddy bear to sleep. She's certainly a lot more fun now, but oh I wish I could go back to when she first started babbling and saying her signature "yoikoyoikoyoikoyoi!" Now, she can say

Daddy (so clearly too!)
Mummy (though her "m" is more nasal than it should be, sounding almost like "Mah-bee" at times)
NooOooOOooo!!! (very clearly!)

She can also sign


And she has started to string words together to make simple 2-word sentences, like "want more".

So proud of my baby and all she's achieving, but I so do wish time would stand still too. Just for a little while - I haven't had enough of each stage of her life yet!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Every child needs a teddy bear

I've always loved stuffed toys. Having LV just gave me the excuse to accumulate them all over again. In the past year, friends and family have also contributed to LV's small collection. But to think of all the nice, pretty and carefully thought through teddy bears that were bought for her, she's taken to this little one that came in a hamper! Every child needs a favorite bear. Looks like LV might have found hers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Would I get a KidSAFE line?

OK. Day 3 of testing kidSAFE by M1.

As I said in my previous post, the features of the phone aren't much to shout about, but then KM pointed out to me that it's really not that bad, especially if you consider the following:

1. The phone is only $48. *really* For a pretty fine looking phone, $48 really is a steal.

2. The phone is light. Really light. It's 9.9mm thick (just 0.1mm shy of a cm! Heheheh...) and weighs just 95g. With enough things in a kid's bag and pockets to weigh them down, having something light and small is good. I've always been partial to anything light and small anyway, so another tick in the reasons-to-get-it list.

3. The service is free. Nothing's free these days, ya? But this one is. I just checked it out. If you're an existing customer with M1 which I am, whee! You pay $0 for the SIM card (which is needed 'cos the service is tied to the SIM), $0 to activate the service, and $0 for the monthly service. It's expensive enough bringing up children these days. Anything that's fee has my stamp of approval.

4. More cost savings. If I limit my kid's calls to only 40 numbers, I'm also limiting the number of calls (and to where) she can make. Better yet. Calls to me and from me? FREE! I'm liking this more and more. *grin*

So who should get this phone?

Parents? Duh. I hate asking questions just to get a duh response to it. While that may seem the most obvious answer, surely parents aren't the only ones who'd find a use for it. So here's my suggestion:

a. People who want a clear distinction between weekday calls and weekend peace. As with my earlier post, I think this could do for a weekend phone when only your top 40 favourite people are allowed to have access to you and your weekend life. Why not?

b. Teachers, or any other person that wants to get a phone only for work and another to shut the rest of the world out but whose company won't pay for. I'm just thinking here. You don't need to give all 500 of your students your number. Neither would you need to keep an unlimited store of their numbers once they've graduated. Truth is, only a small handful remain friends, yet there are times students would really need your contact, eg. at a camp, on a hike, when exams draw near, times like these. I know some of us really don't mind that our students (or their parents) have our contact number. But I also know and respect colleagues who want to keep a clear distinction between their private and professional lives, and we all have heard of students who pass our numbers around without permission, and then privacy goes down the drain. Not so nice when that happens. KidSAFE takes on another meaning for those of us in this profession then. Heh heh heh... and 40 numbers - just nice to list all the kids in your form class ya?

c. Your new domestic helper. Not that you would see a need to control her calls. Whatever for? She's an adult. But I feel bad whenever I have to call my helper on the mobile, cos phone lines really aren't cheap, and I'm just eating into her phone bill. Having such a phone is then kinda... convenient, and cheap. Besides, if you ever intend to fully provide for your helper's mobile phone line and *if* you *are* paranoid enough about the people she's in touch with, then yeah, well, I guess this is the phone for you too?

d. Schools! Well, actually parents. BUT! If we could make this a school standard, like electronic calculators and school uniforms, it would cut down on unnecessary SMS'g and calls by students while in school. And I honestly feel it keeps them safe from unneccessary MMS advertisements and whatnots that I'm quite sure target students. Besides, having a limit to 40 numbers forces you to be selective about the people you put on your call list and that in itself is a discipline kids (and anyone for that matter) could learn to exercise.

So, would I get it? Yeah. I think I would? LV's not old enough to use a mobile phone yet. But I can see other conveniences connected to this service, and I'm ready to consider it now, if for nothing else, to shut off from the rest of the world I don't want to hear from when the weekend comes. And then, when LV's ready to use a phone, I'll let her have it. She looks like she could be ready to use it in no time though. *grin*

After thought: How about having it as an army phone? But then the phone has a camera. Hmmm...I can foresee many mums wanting one for their son when they enlist though... no? Oh well...

Monday, December 22, 2008

KidSAFE, TelemarketeerSAFE, bothersomephonecallSAFE

OK... So I've been fiddling with the Samsung SGH-E200, which is supposedly the only KidSAFE compatible phone in Singapore (or anywhere else for that matter methinks). I can't say I'm liking the features much at the moment. LV's only 13 months old at the mo', so truly, I'm not looking to get her a mobile phone, though I must say she looks awfully cute running around with one, speaking to imaginary friends. I'm therefore really testing this phone with me in mind, and right now, I'm thinking, this phone is not exactly gonna score high on intuitive use. Here's what's wrong with it:

1. Too many steps to take just to send out one SMS. I have to click on menu, then
> go to "Messages"
> choose "create new message"
> choose "1. text message"
> type message (on a keypad that seems to have very delayed reaction)
> click "options"
> click "send only" or "save and send"
> click on the "to" dialogue box
> choose "phonebook"
> scroll to find number
> tick the checkbox next to the name I want to send the message to
> click "options"
> click "select"
> click "options" again, THEN
> click "send"

I think the sun would have set and risen again by the time any message gets sent out. So if the intention is to discourage kids from SMSg, they sure got it.

2. This darn phone locks when there's like about 7 seconds of inactivity. So, no, you cannot pause to think too long about the composition of your message or the next course of action on your phone before which it you out. Neither can you start on something and put it down for a short while to do something else before coming back to it, so in my books, not a very convenient multi-tasking companion. And it takes about 2-3 seconds to respond to the unlocking function. So far, this phone might just drive me crazy on these 2 functions alone.

3. As with point #1, any navigation through its functions to alter/amend/customise would drive you nuts with the numerous steps which are so counter productive in a day and age where speed is imperative. We're trying to keep communications here kid-safe, not impede it.

4. The phonebook, which is tied to the kidSAFE function, makes no sense at all. Phone numbers can be saved either to the phone memory or SIM card. Only numbers in the SIM card are given access for use to call out or receive calls from. That's all well and good. Presumably then, kids (or whoever else) who might want to save numbers from whoever for later approval could just key the info and save it to the phone memory for transfer into the SIM when approval is given. Right? Wrong. This silly phone, unlike other phones I've used before, does not let you transfer numbers between the phone memory and SIM. So to get the number approved, I have to re-enter the information into the phone and save it (again!), this time into the SIM. Tedious, tedious.

I suppose I *could* get used to using such a feature-intuitiveless phone; its good looks are definitely on its side if you can stand the dumb-blondness of its features. But to heck with the phone for now. I'm more interested in the filtering feature of this service. Seriously, for an adult, if I had to pick only 40 phone numbers to allow calls from (and to, since this goes both ways), who would I add to the line? I'm already trying to filter my 100+ long name list on my other mobile. In today's state of hyperconnectivity, I sometimes (actually frequently so) resent the fact that I can be so easily reached. Sometimes, other than filtering out nuisance calls from random telemarketeers, you just want undisturbed, protected family time. KidSAFE features in this regard, are looking *really* attractive to me at this point as an adult user. I'd seriously consider getting a second "weekendSAFE" phone attached to the same mobile number I usually use, but with this 40-number restriction. Whaddya think, M1?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I got me a new gadget!

Well... I *sorta* got me a new gadget. I was actually lucky enough to get the opportunity to trial M1s new Kidsafe service, a mobile service with parent controls. Basically, with this service, parents can determine up to 40 numbers their kid can make and receive calls and SMSes from. I haven't actually started fiddling around with it much yet, but I'm already thinking maybe it's a good phone for me - no more irritating calls from telemarketers! MUAHAHAHAH!!! Not too bad an idea ah? Or for the hubs - no more irritating phone calls from clients who don't know what it means to stop calling at insane hours of the night and waking the entire household up! Good ah? *grin* Doesn't hurt that the phone (which is tied to the service) looks rather slim and pretty. We'll see how this trial will turn out. I'm serious about using it to restrict irritating calls that I don't want to pick up. Why not, ya?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My daughter's first Hello Kitty doll

For some reason, LV has suddenly taken a real liking to Hello Kitty. I swear, it's not me. Really. I *do* own Hello Kitty things, but it's not like I throw it in her face, 'cos the Hello Kitty items I own are really unobtrusive, like my key ring (which is always in my bag), my bento boxes (which I pack and take to work way before she wakes up), or my Hello Kitty handkerchief from when I was 5 years old, which is folded and kept away in the tie drawer. So why she loves Hello Kitty this much, I do not know. It's cute nevertheless, to see her go, "Kitty! Kitty!" when she sees the cute mouthless cat, and I finally decided after much consideration, to get her her very own Hello Kitty doll. KM reckons this will be her only Hello Kitty doll, because he's quite certain he does not want her room to be filled with nothing but Hello Kitty dolls of different sizes and colours. Well, that's what he thinks now anyway. We'll see. *grin*

Friday, December 12, 2008

She changes everyday

My little angel is growing so quickly! I wish time would just stand still, yet it's so exciting to see all the changes as they come each day.

Her language skills are improving everyday. She understands more Mandarin with each week she spends with her grandparents on daddy's side of the family. She's also beginning to sign a bit more, showing sure evidence that she's been absorbing the language and understanding it better than I thought she would. She's now about to sign "more" during meal times when she's not had enough to eat. Just this evening, she was also signed "no" for the first time when asked if she wanted to continue with her meal! And a couple of nights ago, she signed "yes" when asked if she wanted to go down for an evening walk with us.

She is also learning how to be gentle with the cats, petting them instead of yanking at their fur. And she loves Hello Kitty! No influence from me, I swear! She just does! Seems like her first, repeated word is "Kitty"! Oh my!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Cereal conspiracy

I swear, there's a cereal conspiracy going on at Cold Storage outlets and Cold Storage-linked supermarkets. Each time we find a Post (or any other brand) cereal we like, it goes off the shelf! It has been months since we've seen Fruity Pebbles. Then the Honey Bunches of Oats series disappeared. And now, my Apple Cinnamon Cheerios! Instead, more "First Choice" (Cold Storage housebrand) cereals of similar flavours have been taking their spaces on the shelves at not just Cold Storage outlets, but at Giant and Market Place too! ARGH! "First Choice" certainly ain't my choice and I think I just might have to start shopping at NTUC or Sheng Siong from now to find my cereals. I want my Fruity Pebbles!

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Baby's One!

So fast, time flies. This time last year, we were waiting anxiously for her to arrive. Then in the early months of trying to get to know each other, there were trying moments of figuring out what each cry meant, and getting through the difficulty of breastfeeding. My fatigue at that point was at an all time high and there were moments I wondered if I could actually see it through.

Today, LV's a bubbly, lively, extremely happy baby. She breastfeeds with no problem, eats just about any kind of solid food, runs around independently, loves music and has a good sense of rhythm, says hi to just about everyone, and is an all round agreeable little girl. That's not to say she's not naughty or mischievous. She has a temper which we shall have to learn to manage; she chases the cats everyday and pulls at their tail and fur, often refusing to let go. She can go on and on with her complaints if she doesn't get what she wants. But then that's having a personality. She would be unreal otherwise.

We love her more and more each day, even as she gets naughtier, even as she gets a little more difficult to handle. We thank God for her every moment, and pray she continues to grow in His wisdom, strength and favour.

Happy Birthday, my little one!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Developing a personality

My little sweetheart is growing up so quickly, I wish time would stand still. Everyday, she changes just that little bit more. Her eyes get brighter, her lashes just that bit longer and darker. She's stronger, walks more confidently and has a better sense of balance. And she's developing quite a personality.

Many people ask us if Lauren ever cries or has a temper. It almost seems unbelievable to many that she does anything but laugh and smile. The answer, alas, is 'yes'. She would otherwise not be human. Indeed, I always tell people that we are so blessed to have a daughter like Lauren. She truly wakes up in the mornings with a smile. She can spend long stretches of time in her play pen reading (yes, she actually babbles something in her own language while flipping the pages of her books and we figure she's actually trying to read like the way we read to her). If the telly is on, she can stand for almost half an hour in her pen watching the telly - she can't see much through the mesh so she has to stand, which serves us all well cos it limits the amount of TV she watches since she will sit and start reading when her legs get too tired. She eats just about anything and hardly fusses over meals. Strangers don't scare her. Relatives can pick her up and pass her around at family gatherings and she will almost never fuss. She sleeps wherever and whenever she's tired so it's easy to take her out most anywhere. But you see, it's "almost", "most" and "just about". Yes, my daughter does scream and cry, and goodness me, she definitely has a temper. This evening was one such evening. She screamed and screamed and screamed just because she did not want to be left alone in her play pen. Harry Potter had ceased to amuse her, and her books did not do. She started throwing her books and tamborine out of the pan, and she screamed till her face went all red with anger. Everyone was too busy to pick her up though, and she was told she simply had to stay in there until we all had our dinner, cleaned up and showered. Everyone must learn to be patient.

I'm quite certain she didn't really pick up on the patience bit this evening. She certainly did work herself into great fatigue and fell asleep by 8.30pm though, so peace and quiet came early tonight. Nice. Nice that quiet came early. Nice that she was screaming and yelling before that. Nice that my baby is developing a personality. I like it that she's got a temper. I like it that she tries to make herself heard and doesn't give up easily when Mum and Dad walk away. She's determined. I like it. My cheerful little bundle of cuteness has spunk. God has given me everything I asked for. I am continually amazed and thankful for the gift that is her.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nothing-is-right day

I'm angry. I'm feeling angry. Today's just one of those days where one single piece of news can get one so upset that nothing else good in the day can make up for it.

My macbook hard disk crashed. It died over the weekend, but today my IT colleague confirmed that he could not do anything in-house to recover the data. And I am angry. Upset, then angry. Angry that the Apple is no longer as reliable as they claim it to be. Angry that Lauren's photos from April to July were in it and they're gone. Angry that people ask me things like, "You didn't back up ah?!??" If I did, would I be this upset? If I did, would I be in tears? The insensitive nature of some people! I'm angry!

I'm angry that hard disk manufacturers are the same people that recover lost data when hard disks crash. I'm angry that hard disk manufacturers charge you for recovering data when their hard disks crash! I question the ethics of this practice!

It irritates me that people tell me that nothing is irrecoverable. As long as you are willing to pay some $1.5k to recover the data. It irritates me that people tell me that if they were me, they would pay that much to recover the lost photos. It irritates me that people who tell me that if they were me, have no children of their own. If they were me, they would have a daughter to provide for. They would have to justify depriving her of activities and fun classes because of a $1.5k data recovery job which should not even be a cost for me to bear! Damn you, hard disk manufacturers!

It irritates me that men tell me I have many more months of nice photos to take of Lauren. Her baby months are over. Those are what I want to remember. It irritates me men tell me memories lie in the heart and don't have to be documented. What do I leave to show Lauren of her baby days? I wish I had more photos of my baby months. I wanted Lauren to have what I didn't have.

It upsets me.

It irritates me.

It angers me.

Go away if you have nothing nice or consoling to say.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh the things she can do!

LV's starting to learn how to mimic. Just 2 days ago, she heard KM coughing very loudly (and somewhat badly) in the shower room. She looked at me, shocked, and when I asked her, "How does Daddy cough?" she went, "ahu ahu ahu!" Heheheh...

Today, she blinks her eyes when asked, "Who has beautiful eyes?" We have no idea who taught her that. And she can say, "Mama" on demand! Hahaha...

Ooh... my cutie pie is getting cuter. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Apple Pulp

I have in my hands apple pulp. That's right. Pulp. Dead mush. My macbook is fit for the apple bin.


I have no idea what I did, except try to run a programme to convert jpeg files into vector images, and then poof! I got apple pulp in return. Dammit.

KM says I should stop messing with my computer. But I didn't! Honestly *did not*. Something went wrong with it, and I blame it on... something. It wasn't me. Whatever it was. Not me. Argh.

Pulp. Pulp. Pulp.

Fed up.

It's not supposed to happen to Apples. But then, KM says I trust technology too much.



I can't get over it.

I shall sit in a corner now and mew.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Doodle diner

LV has a paper placemat where she sits at the dining table. We got her these Crayola baby crayon holders and have been encouraging her to doodle just for the fun of it. Gives her something to do when we're doing work at the table. She hasn't quite figured out the crayons yet (except for when she recently bit the tip of the blue one off), but she's managed to make a couple of dots already. Meanwhile, the fancy doodles are all Daddy's. Heh.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rock on, Kitty!

Suzanna and I went to Swee Lee this afternoon and lookie what we found! A Fender Hello Kitty electric guitar going for $399. Makes me wanna pick up my guitar and play it again just so it could remotely justify me getting this guitar. But for the sake of pretty nails... Hahaha...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How much do you give up for motherhood?

I have been thinking. For a long time now.

How much does one give up for motherhood?

Sleep? - you manage
Time? - every bit of free time is for your child, no regrets there
Hobbies? - baby becomes your hobby
Energy? - as with sleep, you manage
Youth? - everyone ages, so deal with it
Career? - this is where I cannot decide

And especially if you are mother to a daughter, what kind of example do present her with in your choices in life?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lauren, my linguistic experiment

I've been signing to Lauren since she was 6 months old, though not very consistently. I try my best to make signing natural, speaking and signing at the same time. But sometimes, I forget to sign as I speak. Nevertheless, inconsistent as my signing may be, Lauren's finally picked up some of the vocabulary. Today, she signed "milk"! Repeatedly too, with purposeful intention! YAY! Baby can sign!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I've been wanting to blog for a long time.

Nothing has been forthcoming.

Not because there hasn't been anything to write about.

Perhaps it is precisely that.

There have been too many things happening, till I've decided I can't keep up with my own thoughts, the most current being that my online presence will out live me. Then what of passwords? Can my online presence be removed once I'm gone? Who will do it for me? Will I want it removed? Why am I even thinking this? I know why I'm thinking this. Is there a point thinking this?

Bah humbug.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The artist in me

As part of teacher's day celebrations today, we were all given a small piece of canvas to work on. This was what I came up with.

I call it "Celebration".

This, together with the rest of the works done by the other teachers, will be put up in the school. I look forward to it being displayed.

Happy Teacher's Day!

It's the last day of term today and it ended on a high with our first Teacher's Day celebration at SOTA.

I love Teacher's Day. If there's any day in the year I am reminded why I chose to enter this service, it's Teacher's Day. The best bit about it? The cards and notes my students give me.

And the hugs. It's nice to be appreciated.

Thank you.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


We decided to splurge this weekend on a room with a view at the Ritz Carlton. It was the Fireworks Festival with the French team kicking it off last night, and we thought that Lauren was old enough to enjoy the visual delight of exploding, multicoloured flares, and did she! The show started rather late at about 2130h, and we were beginning to get rather impatient especially because Lauren was beginning to get sleepy and fussy. We tried everything to keep her awake, including putting her into a warm bath, which certainly worked - baby's afraid of the bathtub, so we discovered! Methinks she might not actually enjoy swimming much, but that shall be another experiment for another day. Once the fireworks started, I don't think I saw Lauren blink once for the 30 minutes it lasted. Almost immediately after though, she fell into a deep sleep.

So, will we do this again? Perhaps. The Ritz is a nice place and the view is undeniably pretty. The beds, however, are stone hard. It could well be that I have been spoilt by my tempur bed at home, but then again, I've been to other less glitzy hotels which beds are just like baby bear's - soft, fluffy and absolutely inviting. I spent most of the night trying to fall asleep, while KM got fed up with the flickering lights of the city buildings and wondered why we'd paid so much to get our sleep disrupted. Well. Maybe the Mandarin Oriental next year instead? No lack of hotels with a view of the Marina here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Baby loves curry!

Thought Lauren was old enough to try some spicy food and gave her a bit of curry from the prata place at Thomson Road. She loved it!

Case of the missing double eyelids - SOLVED!

My mum said that before my double eyelids became permanent, a show of them when I was a baby meant I was coming down with fever. What an indicator! Looks like Lauren's got that from me!

She falls asleep easily

Sometimes, I'm amazed at how easily Lauren falls asleep. This morning, she got up at 6am. I was very reluctant to entertain her and put her in her crib and went back to sleep. She fussed for a bit but I was honestly too tired to pay her any attention. The next I checked, she'd fallen asleep on her own. If only it was ALWAYS this easy.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Red, rashy baby!

Lauren has Roseola. Explains her fever and rash which surfaced after her fever broke. We took her to Children's A&E anyway to be sure, and the doc said she was a classic textbook case with swollen lymph nodes at the back of her neck and a very happy, rashy baby! At least it's not serious. Thank God! And strangely, her double eyelids have disappeared. Weird.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Becoming sentient

Today, Lauren truly understood the term "no" and what it meant to be disciplined.

She tried to bite the table while she was sitting on her high chair during dinner. For the umpteenth time, KM said to her firmly, "No." This time, however, there was a reaction. She looked at KM for a while, then her lips started to curl downwards and suddenly, "Waaaaaaahhh!!" She finally understood that she was getting scolded and it wasn't any fun!

Poor baby. And poor daddy. He felt so bad, but decided he had to be firm and gave her a hug while he said to her, "Daddy's sorry you got scared and upset, but a 'no' is a 'no'. You don't have to be scared when someone says 'no', but if you don't agree then just give your reason. No need to cry." Hurray Daddy!

Red, hot baby

Lauren's been running a fever since early Tuesday morning. The highest it got to was 39ºC yesterday morning. She's been taking her paracetamol every 6 hours, but the fever seems to return before the 6 hours are up. When the fever gets a little too high, she gets a little listless and loses her appetite. Breaks my heart to see her like that. But as the doc said, babies build resistance by fighting viruses, so she'll have to work this one out. Poor little baby. We're just monitoring her temperature every few hours now.

On an aside, she developed double eyelids these past 2 days - first on her left eye yesterday, and this morning, her right!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Random blogging thought

Two of my school buddies are away this week - one's doing his In-Camp Training; the other's gone to Harvard with a school team. Another one's just returned from a conference in Italy today, but she's asking for a bribe of cookies and cupcakes before she'll do a write-up for some school-related thingamajig. Perhaps I'm better off a loner this week.



Saturday, July 26, 2008

Baby's got a bento!

This bento business just gets better. *grin*

I found me a mini traditional bento box (kitty, no less) for LV and filled it up with puréed sweet potato and carrots, a piece of peach and some biscuits. It's a really tiny box - I've got my hand there for scale - but as with bento practices, a tightly packed box holds a pretty decent meal.

Every time story time

Lauren loves books and story time, and I love it when KM manages to come home early enough to have dinner with us and read her a story at the table. Anytime's a good time for a story. Especially when it's read by daddy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More bento attempts!

Tried making siew mai last night. Not quite the right skin for it - turned out to be flowering wontons instead. Thought it still looked pretty good as far as packed lunches go though. *grin* So well. That's today's lunch. Flowering wontons and vegetable gratin. The taste test will be at 1245h.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's Bento Time!

This is the next thing I'm into. Bentos. Started with a search for Kitty cookie cutters, then I fell to the temptation of Kitty sushi rice moulds. Before I knew it, I was on the hunt for Kitty Bento Boxes!

Truth be told though, I've always liked the idea of packed lunches. I spent most of my teenage years collecting lunchboxes of all sizes. Big ones, small ones. Cute ones, practical ones. Fancy ones, simple ones. Thermal ones, and well... ordinary types. So it's all really just coming together - the baking, the cooking; being a wife, being a mum.

I've now got me a meal planning notebook where I plan my meals ahead of time, and with the help of Jimelyn in the mornings, I've managed to pack KM and myself bento lunches for 2 days now. Nothing fancy. But very satisfying indeed to know that I'm able to put together something reasonably healthy and in good proportions too for KM to take to work.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The next phase of baking

Kitty faces! I couldn't resist buying a set of Hello Kitty cookie cutters last week. In fact, I'm on an ebay prowl now for more (better) kitty (and other assorted) cookie cutters. As long as they're cute, they've got my attention. But I digress.

Needing therefore, to justify my purchase, I'm now on a quest to bake and decorate cute cookies. It's just that our weather's just so humid, it's really difficult to work with cut-out cookie dough. Nevermind decorating them. Just getting the dough rolled out and cut is so time consuming! Exactly the reason why I used only to bake drop cookies. But persevere, I shall (cos the dough's made already anyway, and who could resist Kitty shaped cookies?) Maybe the more I bake, the faster I'll get. In the meantime, Meowrr!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Potty time!

We've started potty training Lauren. Rather accidentally, actually. She's started on solids already, and poo-ing in her diapers is no longer easy for her - she finds it uncomfortable and has been squirming in her pants every time she needs to poo, so we decided to put her on the bowl, and sitting to poo helps. She looks visibly more comfortable pooping and peeing in the toilet, and that's always good for all. Let's see how well this goes. The sooner she goes on the potty regularly, the lower my diaper bills. I have an agenda. *grin*

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vanilla cupcakes for Sunday School

Recipes make all the difference, and as expected, the first recipe I tried from the book I got in Sydney did not disappoint. This was the Crabapple Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes. I was sure to use only New Zealand butter as the book suggested, full cream milk, and all ingredients at room temperature. They rose very nicely, the nicest I've ever had from my oven, as in, every cake rose evenly and nicely with a slight dome, almost flat. Purrrrrrrrrfect! Of course, it should be noted that I also filled the cups very evenly, each weighing 55g exactly. I didn't get to try any though 'cos these were baked for the Sunday School kids to decorate for Father's Day today, and all 24 were snapped up even though there were only 10 kids in class. Some decorated 2 cakes - one for daddy, one for grandpa; others ate one and decorated the other. Judging from the fact that none took a bite and went, "Ewwww!!" the cakes must've tasted pretty decent. All in all, I think this recipe deserves an A*!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

She grows so quickly

The photo to the left was taken when she was about 1½ months old. I had to prop her up to take the shot, supporting her neck carefully. At that time, I wondered when she would be able to sit up on her own and not need me to hold her all the time. I was lacking sleep and feeling so tired and defeated. It seemed almost painful (physically) to be a mum that I even wondered if I had made the right decision to become one.

Today, she sat on my lap as she has done countless times to date, and we took a few shots using the Photo Booth application on the Mac, something we've been doing quite regularly, it's almost a ritual. So soon, and she's 6½ months old already. She's able to hold her head up effortlessly, grab one foot with one hand, and stuff the other in her mouth while still looking glamourous (how does she do it? Hahaha.) In 6 short months, she's grown so much, I'm already looking at past photos and feeling the twang of nostalgia, praying that time will stand still or at least slow down a bit more.

Tonight, she sleeps on her own in her hammock. Still in our room, but she's learning how to fall asleep independently. Soon she won't even need me to get around, much less prop her up on my lap to take photo booth shots. She grows too quickly.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Afternoon tea

Wouldn't it be nice? Yes, I'm still dreaming and the dream's just got a bit more fancy. I'm now scouring the web in search of a nice dessert/teacake stand. You know, those cute little plates on a 3-tiered stand for presenting cakes and sandwiches at teatime. Of course I don't need one. I don't even have space for one. In fact, I so don't have space that the cupcake stands I bought are in my mum's place. But wouldn't it be nice anyway, to have one? KM says I need a bigger kitchen. I now think I do too. I never thought I did, and honestly didn't think I'd be baking this much when we got our home renovated. Just didn't seem like I had the time to back then and I thought that that would pretty much be life. Then I figured out the convection function in the microwave oven my sister gave me, and when baby came along, instead of having less time, I found the need to become more domestic. The need? Yeah, the need. The need to create a magical childhood for my little princess where teatime on the weekend is filled with cakes and sandwiches and hot chocolate and all those sorts of treats that are made by mummy. Not that my mum baked. She didn't. But we did do stuff together, like cross-stitching and simple crafts, doodling and writing, simple cooking. And there was always teatime. Mum didn't bake, but she would buy (mostly) chinese teacakes and crackers, and we'd have them with Milo, or milk. There was always teatime. Everyday.

Little Vicky won't get to have tea with me everyday because I'm a full-time working mum. But there ought to be time for weekend tea, and when she's old enough to have some, I will bake teacakes for her, and we'll eat them off pretty cake stands. That would be nice, wouldn't it?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Dreaming about baking cupcakes

I bought this book in Sydney after browsing through quite a few other cupcake books in the bookshops there. The recipes look rather good and I must say I have a good feeling about the cakes that could come out of it. I am now itching to bake. But the lazy, in-denial-that-my-holiday-is-over bug is still very much alive in my bones, and I can't bring myself to do much more than flip through the books we bought back (goodness knows why we buy books in Australia when they're so darn expensive there), surf and blog (this is the 3rd blog today already). When I eventually do get down to trying the recipes, I might post them here. In the meantime, I dream of ingredients and a tea cake stand which I don't need, but what the hey - it's fun to dream.

1½ weeks left

Time passes way too quickly when you're trying to rest. What is ironic in all of this, is that in order to get good rest, you try to finish up as much work as possible before the designated rest time, working late or over time in order to achieve that end, such that you end up getting very tired and the designated rest time ends up being insufficient; or you just simply can't finish the work before the designated rest time and you spend a good part of your rest time thinking about the work that's waiting to be done, and you end up not actually getting enough rest. Good rest means having enough time to sit until you rot. Then you will truly feel ready for work when it's time to get back to it. But there really is never enough time for such, is there?

For the reason that there isn't enough time to just space out and rot, the mind becomes perpetually wired up and unable to truly find the space to relax, which at least for me, results in a state of absolute restlessness. This restlessness in me leads to the inability to settle down to work properly, constantly being interrupted by the sense that personal pursuits, more commonly known as hobbies, must be fulfilled. I am certain that if I had the time to rot, I would not have any hobbies at all.

Therefore, since I have not had enough time in my mind to rot, I am now plagued with the absolute desire to find the perfect cupcake recipe that will rise to perfection and not pull away from the cupcake liners. That must then be followed by the search for the equally perfect cupcake frosting that is neither too sweet nor too soft so that it will hold its shape and taste without refrigeration. This in turn fuels the dream to be able to open a cupcake bakery like the ones I saw in Australia, which will likely remain a dream because I reckon baking cupcakes will cease to fulfill the category of "hobby" should it become a job. Nevertheless, I applaud and cheer for my dear friend and ex-colleague who actually quit teaching to become a pastry chef. Truly wow-worthy.

Then, there's also some scrapbooking which I feel must absolutely be done, because knowing me, the longer the photos stay in the computer, the less likely they will be printed and put in an album, and before long, the excitement to want to scrap those memories will die out. So, yes. I also need to scrap. I need to scrap Lauren's past 6 months; I need to scrap our Sydney holiday; I need to make nice layouts to place in my cubicle in the office; I need to fill the empty wall in our hall with pictures of us. I need, I need, I NEED! to have more time.

I have 1½ weeks left. I need to get enough energy and enthusiasm gathered to start thinking about and doing work.

Mourning the end of our family holiday

If only we could have 2 full weeks away together, but KM's work wouldn't allow it. *sigh*

We got back late last night, and already, KM's worked beckoned. Barely 10 minutes home and he had to rush out to meet a business partner, as usual, "Just to drop something off. Won't take more than an hour." Yeah rite. If I had a $1 for every time I heard that, I'd have a pretty decent piggy bank collection for Lauren already. That's a thought. I think perhaps I should charge him a dollar each time he tells me that and doesn't fulfill it. I'll soon earn enough pocket money for Lauren's first year in school.

So here I am, totally mourning the end of our family holiday. Actually, KM's not the only one with work beckoning, except his doesn't beckon passively with a red pen from a stack of papers on the dining table. Admittedly, phone calls are a lot more difficult to ignore. Unless you're like me. I just let the phone ring until the caller on the other end kills the call him/herself. I hate phone calls. It's true. Not that I never pick up calls or make them or have long chats with friends. I do. Just not often. Most times the instinct is to ignore the phone. The numerous phone calls (and phones - he has 3 mobiles and counting!) he gets therefore really upset me. I wanted to stomp on his mobile when it started beeping the moment we got off the plane last night. It truly signalled the end of our holiday. Not that it didn't beep and ring while we were in Sydney. It did. And there were idiotic, needy clients that kept him on the phone for some good 15 to 20 minutes while we were on holiday, but at least he couldn't drive out to attend to them. Barely home last night and he was out again! One day, I shall throw his phones into the rubbish chute. In the meantime, I shall try to enjoy the rain that I have returned to. At least it's not sweltering hot.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Cupcake Holiday!

The highlight of my holiday has to be the cupcakes I'm getting to try at specialised bakeries. I had googled them out before we came, and found that they turned out to be pretty near where we stay. We actually stumbled upon the first one on Monday.

Here's the first cupcake I tried from The Cupcake Bakery. Chilli Chocolate with Chocolate Buttercream frosting. Just a hint of chilli. Not too bad. Not too sweet either. AUD$3.50 a piece at this bakery.

Kee Min decided he would have the Vanilla with Vanilla Buttercream. Nice too. And again,while the icing was sugary, the overall taste was not too sweet. We had our cakes with hot chocolate, and it was a rather nice way to end a relative cold day.

Then we found Cupcakes on Pitt a block from our hotel on Tuesday. Their cupcakes are smaller. Mini cupcakes at AUD$2.00 a piece. Cupcakes on Pitt apparently sells award winning cupcakes, and indeed, they taste award winning!

This one's the Vanilla cupcake from Pitt. The texture's a lot fluffier and lighter. Not too sweet, very satisfying. The icing's a lot more "buttery", and actually not sweet at all.

This was my order. The Tiramisu. It was the icing that held the tiramisu flavour though. The cake was very chocolatey, very light, very yummy! Special mention must also be made of the hot chocolate. Much better than the one at Cupcake Bakery.

And today, I had the Honeycomb! KM stuck with his old, faithful Vanilla, but I thought I should try as many flavours as possible. Again, the honey flavour came from the icing. The cake was basically a chocolate cupcake, though I thought there was a little hint of honey taste in it. I wish they sold recipes too.

Well, tomorrow's our last day in Sydney. Maybe I'll buy a box of 12 tomorrow and try out the remaining flavours. Except Sticky Date and Blackforest. The thought's icky.

Walking Holiday in Sydney

It's been rather wet here in Sydney. In fact, the only day of sunshine was the Saturday we arrived, but we were too knackered then to do much, having hardly slept on the plane. Regardless, we've still been going on long walks through the city and parks in our raincoats with Lauren tucked in snugly beneath daddy's jacket in her Björn. She looks so cute in there, we've had many people stop to talk to her; a group of seniors took a photo with her last night! So with our little precious with us, we continue our trek through Sydney's Botanic Gardens, en route to Woolloomooloo for (apparently) good hotdogs and pies. Maybe we'll pick up some culture at the art gallery on our way.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Living a dream

The sheep had dinner today. It's been 2 years since I left the Higher Education Division (HED) at MOE, and today we met up for a farewell dinner to send one of us off to Paris. She's off to Cordon Bleu in a week's time to study to become a pastry chef. Isn't that just exciting? She actually quit the service and will soon be on a journey I could only dream of. Not that I dream of becoming a pastry chef, but it did get me thinking on my way home. Do I have a dream? And would I dare to drop all and chase that dream? The youngest of us all remarked at dinner that it would be nice to be able to live such a life, doing as one desired (another of us had also quit the service and was living life, travelling the world). She was told she could do so, as long as she remained single. Otherwise, convince her husband-to-be to travel too and hold off having children for a while. But were these the absolute conditions for living a dream? Perhaps, I'm already living my dream. Or maybe, I'm just not curious enough to have a dream. I'm not sure. It might not even matter, although, I will live this life only once. What do I want out of it?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Morning baby

Lauren's a morning baby. It's 5am now, and she's up, rolling around and talking to herself, smiling at me. She was up since 4.30am, and shows no signs of wanting to go back to sleep. Come to think of it, she was probably up since 4am, but I ignored her and tried to sleep through her gurgling and kicks. I gave up soon enough though, and decided perhaps it would do us both better if I just turned on the lights and surfed a bit while she (hopefully) talks herself back to sleep. The last time this happened, she rolled around until dawn. Thank goodness it's the school hols now, otherwise I'd be in a foul mood.

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's the last day of term! Yippee!

Finally, we get to rest. Sorta. Of course there's work to be done still. Whoever said holidays were for resting? I reckon it's just meant for us to catch up on admin work. Teachers have a pretty bad deal actually. We get no leave days and get called back to work during the school holidays. The only way to not get called back is to go away, i.e. leave the country. But they really don't pay us enough for us to be able to do that for 4 weeks. Nevertheless, the holidays are upon us, and I do get to sleep in. We're also off on a family holiday end of next week - can't wait!

Meanwhile, here's a recent shot of my little princess. There was a campfire at school yesterday so she spent the day at work with me. My colleague took this shot of her. Check out the drool. Heh heh heh. The paed says it's more an indication of her being ready for solids and wanting to eat than it is her starting to teeth though. So since the doc's given the green light, I started her on a wee bit of rice cereal on Wednesday. Hoping to get her ready to eat mush by the time we leave for our family holiday. I'm actually rather having fun feeding her from a spoon. Have been getting ready for this next phase of her life over the past couple of weeks, buying her spoons, bowls, a booster seat... Ah... so broke, but so happy. :)

Monday, May 05, 2008

It has finally come.

The request for longer skirts, that is.

I find it terribly funny. Perhaps I shouldn't. But I've been getting funny responses from friends I've told. "Plunging necklines from tomorrow then?" suggested one. I told him that was worth considering, since I now have boobs thanks to breastfeeding. Another said, "That coming from a place where people prance around in tights?" Hahahaha... I never quite thought of it that way. And yet another responded with, "the things they bother with..." Ah well.

My response? I'm flattered. I must have terribly nice legs to draw such attention. And skin thicker than an elephant's hide. Oh! Such heightened self-awareness too! And skin thicker than an elephant's hide. *snigger* Truly though, I don't mind being told to wear longer skirts. At least this skirt's lasted 2 months at work. Dad sums it up best. "Too bad you've chosen a profession where you can't flaunt your legs." We had a good laugh and agreed that skirt's just got to be "reassigned". I accede. They'll just have to move into my weekend-wear-wardrobe now. Dad's great. For someone who retired from the same profession, he doesn't hold any of those anal, archaic norms many still cling on to. No I-told-you-sos.

Well then, another excuse to go shopping!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Term 2 Week 8

That's tomorrow. The start of it anyway.

Goodness. I have been back at work for 2 months already. Time's going a bit faster that I thought it would. Would like it to. Would not like it to. Depending.

When you're in school, time inevitably rushes by. It's this whole scheduled time thingy we have called a time-table. You just end up moving quickly 'cos the days are predictable, the weeks are predictable. Wake up at 6; leave work at 6. Odd week; even week. Class now; break later. Tests today; mark this week. And so on and so forth. I'm glad for it, 'cos work doesn't seem torturous (like it did once upon a recent office time), and I'm truly loving it. The way time whizzes by also means soon the school holidays will descend upon us! Yippee! I think yippee anyway. Cos in the same manner, that'll whiz by too, and sadly, we've already got meetings lined up during that time. So much for wanting to catch up on my scrapbooking then.

Then there are times it moves too quickly. Lauren was 5 months old last Sunday and got baptised. Pretty baby. Lovely sweetheart. Growing too quickly. She's getting very fun to be with, 'cos she's starting to respond to our voices, toys, books, sound (she likes the jingling of our house keys). It's all very nice, and I love every moment of it. Every moment that lasts just that second. And every moment that's spent in school is a moment lost to me. I felt so sad when I wasn't the first to see her make her first flip from back to front at 4 months. Sometimes, I don't want to sleep, just so I can watch her every move for as long as possible. But that's not possible. She'll soon be 1 and I wouldn't have known where the time went.


Term 2 week 8.

5 months and 1 week.

Tick tock tick tock...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shoe Talk

There's no one to talk with -
I'll talk with my shoe.
He does have a tongue
And an inner soul, too.
He's awfully well polished,
So straightlaced and neat
(But he talks about nothing
But feet - feet - feet).

- Shel Silverstein


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Where is all my time going?

So here I am, finally back at work. Week 2. So far so ok, but I'm beginning to wonder where all my time is going. Between being at work, doing work (which continues well beyond my leaving school) and taking care of Lauren once I'm with her, there doesn't seem to be much time for anything else. Of course I could let the help continue to mind her even when I'm home so that I can do my work more quickly and then sleep earlier - it's a real skill nursing her while she lies propped up on a pillow on my lap, and typing in bed on my laptop - but as it is, I don't see her for a good 10 hours once I'm up and out of the house by 6.45am, so nope, I'll take care of Lauren myself once I'm home, even if it kills me. And I think it just might. But then I'm SUPERMOM! Or greatly dellusional. Either way, women just cope somehow. At least I'm hoping that we just cope somehow. Otherwise, I shall soon go insane.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Total Defence Award - for whom?

The nominations for the Total Defence Award 2008 is open. I hear the call on Power 98.0FM rather frequently to nominate employers who have "enable[d]...NSmen employees to fulfill their NS obligations with ease" because of their "strong support and commitment." Each time the call comes on, my toes laugh. Sarcastically. And then my mind automatically replaces the words "NSmen" and "NS" with "breastfeeding" and "parenting". I return to work next week, then everything goes into full-swing the week after the school holidays. Don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to going back to school, to returning to the classroom. I love teaching. But there are things beyond the classroom that I'm concerned with, I worry about and am miffed at.

As has been rightfully pointed out to me by a health care professional, schools, for having the highest number of female employees next to hospitals, show the least understanding towards (breastfeeding) mothers' needs. And here is where I pause to let my toes guffaw. You would not believe the things that have been said to me and by whom in the name of "understanding mothers' needs". The irritation that pulsates through my nerves when I recall statements that have been passed with regard to pregnancy, mothers, work and the related, particularly when they come from women themselves. Someone I know recounted a lunch time conversation with a colleague who said that she was bored after her first week in confinement following the arrival of her baby. A quick retort came in response to that. "You must not have been a breastfeeding mum!" *Clap* *Clap* *Clap* Bravo! There is no time to be bored, much less rest, when your baby needs to feed from you every other hour.

Which is precisely that. Your baby needs you. She needs your touch, your care, your time, your love. There are those who would then of course say, "In that case, be a stay at home mum. Don't work." But that's not today's reality. So quit making suggestions of the archaic form. Move on with the times. Get with it sistah!

So the government wants more babies. Singaporeans are becoming extinct. And money makes the world go round, or so they think. That's just how it is, isn't it? If they don't want you to do something, they take money away from you. If they want you to do something, they give money to you. But it doesn't work that way! As an acquaintance said to me, "Baby bonus? Can't even last you a year to meet baby's basic needs." I'll tell you what would be a far more practical and encouraging incentive - nursing/lactation facilities at the work place. Nothing fancy. Just a simple room with chairs and a steriliser. Is that too much to ask? A friend's wife is in the teaching service. She expresses her milk for her baby in the toilet. Let's move the school pantry into the toilet as well. I'd like to see if anyone would like to pour themselves a glass of milk or make themselves a cup of tea in the toilet. Her baby has to drink milk she prepared in the toilet! I'm almost in tears for my friend's baby just thinking about it.

Then, there are meetings that last past 6pm. Worse yet, called at 6pm. My friends share their frustration with me. "Don't they have kids they need to get back to, or pick up from school?" They either don't, or have their parenting obligations hived off to someone else on a regular or permanent basis. In preparation for my return to work, Little Lauren has been put on bottle feeds (of expressed breastmilk) from about 8am to 5pm daily. She has been reverse feeding for the last 2 weeks, which mean she drinks less in the day and waits for me to come home so that she can feed direct and feed more then. She doesn't fuss in the day, but essentially, my little 14 month old baby is teaching herself to go hungry until mummy comes home. So the later I get home, the longer she stays hungry. Breaks my heart to know that!

"Total Defence is about the different things that we can do everyday in every sector of our society to strengthen our resilience as a nation." Let's start with having a nation. Mothers are providing the basic resource to even have a nation. So let's try this again. Recognise the role played by employers to support your employees who are parents (let's not forget the dads here) to fulfil their parenting obligations with ease. Then nominate these for the Total Defence Award. They would be the ones worth recoginising.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Some of my Scrap Pages for Lauren

My favourite layout of Lauren and Daddy.

For KM's desk.

This one's a record of the hours before and after Lauren's arrival.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Quiet mornings

I have forgotten what it's like to be up and about in the early hours of the morning before the sun rises, moving around and getting things done in the quiet time that is mine and mine alone.

KM left for the airport very early this morning, and in keeping with my Back-to-School practice runs, I got up at about 5.20am to get started on my routine. Since we're not going to my parents' today, my domestic help's still sleeping, and I've truly got this time all to myself. I'm reminded of the time before I got married, getting up early, ready and out of the door for work by 6.30am before the rest of the house even started to stir. I miss that. There's just something very nice and calming about this time of the morning, and to think it was part of my everyday routine for a long while. Pity I shall not have much of these times left once I return to work. 5.30 mornings will no longer be a slow, quiet time for me anymore. I'll have to share it with someone else soon, and I rather resent that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Back to School Dry Run

Perhaps it may seem like I'm unduly stressing myself out by conducting a dry run of my "back to school" schedule, which actually won't happen until 3 weeks' time, holiday week inclusive. Nevertheless, I'm glad we started on this, judging from yesterday's assessment - Lauren seems a likely candidate for reverse feeding, and that's not good!

I started recording her bottle feeds yesterday, and from 9am to 6pm, she drank only 305ml! That's barely enough and is already causing me a slight bit of panic. She doesn't scream anymore when given the bottle, and will cooperate with whoever's feeding her. However, she won't drink more than 70ml each feed. Getting 90ml into her is a real accomplishment. And all of this translates into a very hungry baby by the time I supposedly get home, which is about 6pm or thereabouts. Last night, she practically drank every hour through direct feeding from 6.30pm onwards, and woke up twice in the night to feed. There goes her (and my) 6-hour sleep stretch! Breaks my heart to think my little princess could be starving herself in the day just to wait for me to come back to feed her. Hopefully, we can reverse this trend by the end of 3 weeks.

Separately, she's starting to really kick and spin in bed in her sleep. I placed her pillow-side up on the bed this morning when I woke up and returned from my shower to find her at a 45˚ angle from where I left her.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sleeping through the night

Lauren has been sleeping an average of 6 hours at night now for the past 3 nights. I continue to pray this is the start of her taking longer stretches of sleep and not just a one off "happy occurence" for me. Last night, I tried putting her in her hammock to sleep, thinking that if indeed she was beginning to sleep through the night, I might be able to get better sleep if she was in a different bed.

Alas, I was WRONGer than WRONG.

1. She didn't want to fall asleep in the hammock. Strange, 'cos she loves to sleep in her hammock in the day and would be willing to be rocked to slumber in it. KM reckoned she could be afraid of the dark and hence wanted to be cuddled to sleep instead. Whatever the reason, she fussed and fussed and... FUSSED.

2. She did finally fall into a deep sleep in our bed, and when I woke in the middle of the night, I decided to put her in her hammock to sleep through the rest of the night. This time however, I couldn't fall back to sleep. Every little turn she made in the hammock woke me up. Every tiny sound woke me up. I found myself staring at the hammock in the light from the street lamps. I finally gave up, carried her out and hugged her to sleep. Then, I could rest. *slap on the forehead*

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Baking Projects

Just for the heck of it, I'm listing the stuff I've been obsessing about baking:

1. Oreo Cupcakes
I am now in search of a recipe... meanwhile, I've gone ahead and bought the cookies already. ;)

2. Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins
I might give up on these soon though. Have been thinking about them so much that I just might've overdone the eating of it (I keep running to Coffee Bean to buy me the Double Choc Chip muffins there) and could well be close to being sick of them soon. :P

3. Tuna Buns
Following my successful attempt baking with yeast, I've now got it in me to bake some tuna filled sweet rolls. :D

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls!

Finally! My first attempt baking bread with yeast. Well, 2nd actually. I did a batch earlier but the recipe called for 20 mins and I popped it in the oven in good faith, went off to express milk for my princess, and when I got back to the oven, the bread had burned. :P I immediately made another batch, and this time I put it in for only 10 mins. Ta-dah!

Now I very "gian" to bake more bread. :D

A great sense of inertia

I have so many things I want to do swimming in my head.

I still have a blanket I want to knit for Lauren (which I have not yet managed to complete).

I want to find and bake the perfect double chocolate chip muffin.

I have the urge to bake cinnamon bread rolls.

There are ideas for scrapbooking pages forming in my head.

I'm beginning to obsess about making Oreo cupcakes.

But then, I feel so so so sleepy...


Prepping Us

Three more weeks before I return to work. Can't say I'm looking forward to it.

This morning, I got up at 6.15am in an attempt to get myself back into my work routine and also to prep Lauren for changes in our morning schedule. The plan is to express some milk in the morning, shower, change, and breastfeed her at least once before leaving for work. Hopefully, such a routine in the morning would give me time with her still and keep the milk flow up. Also have to start "disappearing" in the mornings when she wakes up so she gets used to seeing Daddy instead of me, so when she started stirring at about 7ish today, I just sat at the edge of the bed and watched her (also waiting to see how long it would take Daddy to wake up and attend to her). Poor darling started complaining to Daddy once he woke up. She wanted to have her milk and at the same time suckle to sleep some more, but Daddy was no use in that department, so she complained and complained... broke my heart to watch her get so upset. *sigh* If only I could just take her to work with me everyday.

Friday, February 15, 2008

At an absolute loss

Just as my maternity leave is about to end, Lauren suddenly won't take to the bottle. We've been letting her take expressed milk through the bottle occasionally since she was about 2 weeks old, and in the last month or so, at least once a week. But all of a sudden in the last couple of weeks, she's suddenly refused to drink from the bottle. She would scream and cry and in baby terms, probably yelling murder already, and absolutely refuse the bottle. What am I to do? How to return to work knowing she won't feed all day??

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Hammock Heaven

She loves being rocked to sleep, and as much as I love carrying her around in the sarong all day, it does take a toll on my back (all day leh!!!). And since we're no supporter of babies crying it out (babies are traditionally carried around in sarongs or left to sleep in hammocks and I haven't yet seen or heard of generations of brats), we thought a hammock would be a good investment. This one cost us $500+, but she loves lying in it so much - look at her sleeping so soundly! Makes me wish I had a hammock too.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Do 2-year-olds understand?

My dad left Dylan and Megan at my place yesterday afternoon for a short while. I was left instructions as to where Megan's diapers were and to change them if needed. So this was the conversation I had with her.

Me: Are your diapers wet? Yes or No?
Meg: No.
Me: Do you need them changed?
Meg: No.
Me: Will you tell me if you need them changed?
Meg: No.

By now, I was wondering if she was just saying "No" for the sake of it.

Me: Do you understand what I'm saying??
Meg (lifting her pinafore and point to the bit of her diaper sticking out from under her bloomers): Chee? No wet.

OK. She got me. :P

Monday, January 07, 2008

Projectile Poop!

I've heard about babies deciding to pee while between diaper changes. I've even experienced it. But "Projectile Poop"?

I was giving Lauren her evening wipe ("tze-ek" in Teochew) - a towel bath, I think that's what you call it. All was going well and fine until the diaper change when all of a sudden, she shoots poop out of that tiny butt! It got onto the floor, the chair that was about 1.5m away and would've got on the wall if not for the chair. Thank goodness I was standing away from her butt, otherwise I would've been hit for sure. Gives new meaning to "Bombs Away!"

Time to Ourselves

We finally went on not one, but two dates over the weekend! Left Lauren with Grandma and Grandpa for a good many hours on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and caught us a musical (Beauty World - so so lah) and a movie (I Am Legend - oso so so lah). Reviews of our weekend entertainment aside, it was really nice to be able to be out on our own, walking through the malls and talking about stuff. Any stuff except baby stuff. It has been months since we've had time and opportunity to just bum around - I was very tired when carrying Lauren and walking long stretches in the last trimester was almost an impossibility.

It's nice to be going on dates again. Thank God for grandparents!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

And Another Year Has Gone By...

Feels like I was still puking my guts out just yesterday, and today, Lauren's already 5 weeks old. Where did 2007 go?

I hate new years. Close friends know how much a New Year's Grinch I am, especially when the clock strikes 12 as the year comes to a close. I hate countdowns and am always in bed before midnight on 31 Dec. I usually just spend the last day of the year in deep thought, too moody to do anything else. This year though, or is it "last year" now, things seem different. I haven't suddenly started liking new years. Definitely not. But it certainly feels like I haven't quite caught up with time, or perhaps time has run too far ahead of me that I haven't had the time to catch my breath and my thoughts. I haven't had the opportunity to think about the year that has passed and am therefore not too sure what to make of the year to come. So perhaps I'll just "wing it" this year. After all, the biggest uncertainty has entered my life - Lauren. And a good one I'm expecting it to be. Not "good" as in "fine and dandy, happy and glee", but good because there is nothing quite as challenging, and nothing that requires as much faith and dependence on God as a child who is and will be totally dependent on you, and as my colleague pointed out to me, it will be for life. As much as she grows, so will I. That has to be good.

Have a blessed year ahead, one and all.