Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Nathan!

In the weeks leading up to your birthday, mommy's been teaching you to say "two", in response to "how old are you, Nathan"? Initially, you needed some prompting. Now, you are able to respond enthusiastically... "TWO"! Gosh! Mommy's little boy is growing up so quickly. We celebrated your birthday in school with a Cookie Monster cake. Mommy prepared Elmo goody bags, which you had fun giving out to all your friends. Teacher Jaime said you went up to each of your friends, and made sure that everyone had a goody bag to take home.  We also got you another cake so we can celebrate with at home with the family. You had difficulty blowing out your candle, and promptly got daddy to help. And before we even got you to cut the cake, you've already stuck the knife into the cake! Mommy & daddy are so thankful for you, and we continue to pray that you'll grow into a fine young man who'll honour God and remember His grace.

As for presents... mommy & daddy got you a Strider Balance Bike, while por por and gong gong got you a yellow bicycle helmet. The first shop where we got the bike from, didn't have many helmets to choose from. Mommy didn't like the helmets they had there, and wanted to get your helmet from somewhere else. You got really upset when we asked you to take off the helmet that we had let you try on. You were more interested in getting the helmet than the bicycle! After some coaxing (and tears), we finally managed to get you out of the shop, with just the bicycle, no helmet. Thankfully, the second shop we went to had a nice yellow helmet! Now that we've gotten all we need to get you riding, mommy's hoping that you'd be doing stunts on your Strider in no time. :)

At two, you love playgrounds, raisins, swimming, school (most days), Sesame Street, painting, stickers, water play, sand play, roaming around toyrus... 

You are able to string words together and say stuff like...
- I like swimming pool... I like playground...
- More, please?
- Jaime, push, please? (when on the swing)
- Mommy, carry ya (been trying to get you to say 'me' instead of''ya')
- Bye bye gong gong, good night, see you!
- Where is it? Find!
- Daddy, where are you? And this applies to objects too... you'd say things like... bear bear, where are you? playground, where are you?
- Noah, Noah! Noah, Noah! (sounds like you are cheering for Noah)
- Noah, careful.
- Mommy, poo poo, please. (when you want to go on the potty. so far, you are able to tell us AFTER you've poo-ed... but we've not consciously started potty training... 
- ABC AGAIN! (when listening to your nursery rhymes CD in the car, you have a tendency to request for a particular song over and over again. but it's rather amazing, as you can now recognise the intro of each song, and know which song is coming up next. you even know what song comes after which, for the songs that you like)

Vocabulary wise... you are able to name many more objects, like fire engine, dustbin, dinosaur, penguin, balloon, heart, telephone, daiper, train, bus... You are able to sing the entire alphabet song, and count from one to ten. You try counting to twenty, but get the x-teens mixed up. You can also count to ten in mandarin and lao shi's pretty pleased. :) You enjoy music and movement, and can sing several other nursery rhymes including, itsy bitsy spider, butterfly song, mr golden sun, two little dicky birds. You've are able to put on your pants but sometimes you get them on the wrong way around. You are also able to put on your own 'cookie shoes', but sometimes get them on the wrong way around. Mommy's been trying to teach you colours, but we haven't quite succeeded. Whenever we asked you "what colour is this", you'd say "purple" or "yellow". With shapes, you always say "circle". You enjoy sorting and arranging things neatly... It's nice to have a neat freak at home. Cos even though daddy's a hoarder, he rarely has time to sort out his 'treasures'. So if you do become a hoarder too, I hope you'd at least be a neat hoarder... though I think that our house might not have enough space for so many hoarders.

You enjoy playing with Noah and making him laugh. I do hope that when he gets older, and is able to fight over toys with you, you'd still be as loving as ever. It's such a blessing that our home is filled with your laughters. 

Moving on to your third year, there'll be some exciting changes to look forward to. Two major ones would be moving to our new house, and you starting 'big boy school' in 2012. As with all changes, mommy feels excited and apprehensive (mommy's a perpetual worrier). Let's continue to trust that our good God who has blessed us so abundantly will continue to see us through the changes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

22 months old

Dear Nathan,

We're 2 months away from your 2nd birthday. You're growing up so quickly, and I'm already missing the time that has flown by. This month, you've taken to calling 'daddy' very loudly and enthusiastically. You'd stand at the foot of the stairs and yell 'daddy, daddy'! And daddy will respond with, 'yes Nathan'? And you'd smile. So sweet. Mommy's really glad that daddy gets to spend more time with us now that things at work has eased up a little. Some days, daddy works at home and we even managed to take an evening walk together. It was the first time we walked around our estate as a family. Noah and you were riding in the double stroller that the Loh's just gave us... and we were just enjoying the evening breeze as we walked and chatted. Simple joys.

This month, you've added more words to your vocabulary, like 'aeroplane', 'sunshine' and 'shark', and you've also started to sing songs other than 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'. Now, you'd also sing along to 'ABC' and 'Happy Birthday' (in English & Mandarin). I must say that I was pretty surprised when you starting singing in Mandarin. The first bit comes out a bit muffled, but the 'kuai le', you'd sing loud and clear. We hear from chen lao shi that you've also started saying 'xie xie lao shi' lately. I think we must try to converse in Mandarin more often.

You really love watching Sesame Street and you are able to name most of the main characters - 'Big Bird, 'Elmo', 'Cookie', 'Bert', 'Ernie', 'Elephant' (Snuffy), 'Oscar', 'Grover'. Mommy was really excited when I found out that there was going to be a Sesame Street Meet at Greet at the Young Parents' Fiesta. Got you to take your nap so that you'd wake up fresh for the Meet and Greet. But when we got there, we found out that the show has been cancelled as the costumes were stuck with the customs. So disappointing. But mommy's gotten tickets to Sesame Street Live 'Elmo's Green Thumb', and you'd be able to meet all the Sesame Street characters in October. That's something to look forward to.

For the weekends out, we've been to the Art Museum and Singapore Discovery Centre. The Art Museum was having a special children's program this month, so they had many interesting displays that were just right for you. At the Discovery Centre, you got to watch your first movie 'Sammy's Adventure'. It was a 3D show, and you were quite scared initially, cos it really looked like the turtle was crawling towards us. But when we assured you that all is well, you managed to sit thru the entire 40 minute movie. We also brought you to the library to borrow books, and we think we'd make going to the library a routine. The books at the newly opened Clementi library are nice and new, and they have a whole variety. Think it's good to cultivate a love for reading.

Mommy got really worried when you came down with a recurring fever. The fever kept coming back every 24 hours. You'd be fine for the rest of the day, the fever would come on in the evening, subside after I gave you nurofen or paracetamol, and come back again the next evening. It happened 3 days in a row. So we decided to had it checked out. You were really brave and didn't cry when the nurse pricked your finger to draw blood for the tests. Thankfully, it wasn't anything serious, and you recovered soon after.
Mommy and daddy celebrated our wedding anniversary a few day ago. 4 years on, we are a family of 4. We had a lovely dinner at Salt Grill, a restaurant on the 55th storey of Ion Orchard. You enjoyed running up and down the slope in the restaurant, and we all enjoyed the panoramic view of the city.

Mommy is so thankful for how God has blessed our marriage, given us 2 adorable children. I look forward to many good years ahead.

Lots of love, hugs and kisses,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

To Daddy With Love

I am so thankful that you are the daddy that you are, and I can imagine that if Nathan (and in time, Noah) can blog, these are the reasons why he loves you so much...

1) Daddy is so much fun to be with.  

2) Daddy took baths for me when I was too little for the shower, and now that I am old enough, we enjoy splashing in the shower together.

3) Daddy looks after me when I'm sick, and makes me takes my medicine... even the ones I do not like, so that I will recover faster.

4) Daddy takes me swimming, lets me jump into the water all by myself, and is always there to catch me.

5) Daddy got me lots of Sesame Street videos which I really enjoy watching.
6) Daddy tucks me in bed, and will oblige when I ask him to sleep beside me. And when I wake up crying in the middle of the night , he is there to comfort me.
7) Daddy taught me how to drink from the straw, and he's now teaching me how to drink from a cup. Cheers!
8) Daddy takes me on holidays, and we get to spend lots of time as a family. I enjoyed swimming in the sky pool, eating B&J ice cream, seeing fishes at Underwater World, taking the aeroplane, and lazing by the beach. More holidays please?
9) Daddy feeds me my lunch/dinner, making sure to cut up my food so that the pieces are small enough for me. He also makes sure that there are no bones in the fish, cos bones can't be eaten.
10) Daddy knows that I love milk shake... and when there's not enough to share between mommy and me, he'd buy us another cup.
11) Daddy lets me sit on his head, so that I can have a better view of Elmo and Friends.
12) Daddy makes me a bottle of milk in the mornings, and makes sure that all the Pediasure is properly dissolved so that I do not miss out on the goodness. I just have to have a bottle of milk every morning. :)

But most of all, I love daddy because daddy loves mommy, Noah and me! *HAPPY FACE*


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's one of those days...

Daddy has been working really long hours the last 3 weeks...  working weekends, and coming home at really odd hours. This morning, he came home at about 6am, was going to shower, then head back to work. I offered to send him to work, like we did yesterday. Yesterday, we dropped Nathan off at school, then sent daddy to work, with Noah in tow. Everything worked out well, and we got to spend that little bit more time together. Today, daddy was running late, and we had to drop him off first, before dropping Nathan off at school. Maybe it was mommy's instincts... I kinda knew that it wasn't that good an idea.

When we arrived at daddy's work place, Nathan was so upset that daddy had to leave for work. He cried when we drove off after dropping daddy. Probably the worst of Nathan's cry that I've ever encountered. Even teddy wasn't of any comfort. He cried, cried, cried... until he vomited his breakfast... in his car seat... all over his school uniform. After a while, he did find comfort in teddy, like how he always does, and stopped crying for the rest of the journey. In fact, he fell asleep just as we were reaching home. Mommy decided that she had to drive us home, take a shower for Nathan, before sending him to school again. And cos the car seat was already dirty, I had to move Noah's infant seat to our other car, so that Nathan can sit in a clean car seat to school. Imagine having to do all these, with Noah in tow. As I was driving home after dropping Nathan, I was just thankful that the day isn't worse than it already is.

To add to my bad day, my office email wasn't working... People were chasing me for replies, and the helpdesk took over an hour to fix the problem.  And dismantling the car seat so that I can get it cleaned is actually quite a challenge. At this point in time, the seat covers and shoulder straps are clean after having gone in the washing machine. I've soaked the seat belts that cannot be removed, and now they are drying out. Have also surface cleaned the rest of the seat. The next challenge is fixing everything back. Yikes!

On such days... I'm just thankful that...
1) I have a very hardworking and loving hubby, who I get to send to work.
2) I have 2 adorable boys that I get to clean up after... and boys who love their daddy so much.
3) We have 2 cars.
4) I have a job.
5) The office helpdesk managed to fix my problem remotely, and I didn't have to bring Noah all the way to the office to get the problem fixed.
6) We own a washing machine.
7) My mom's coming over in a few minutes to share my burden.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meeting the Teachers

PG2 Table
I had the opportunity to meet with Nathan's teachers during the school's bi-yearly parent-teacher meeting. I love to hear about what he's been up to in school, since that's a side of him that I do not get to see. The last time we got to meet the teachers was about 2 months back, when Nathan 'graduated' from the infant class. Thus far, he's been in playgroup for about 2 months. Transiting from infant group to play group took a little getting used to. The routines were different, they took their naps in a different room, and they are expected to be more independent. Nathan took about a month to settle down. Thankfully, he was still able to nap well despite the new environment, and continues to eat well in school. A few of his friends 'graduated' as the same time as him. So I guess having familiar faces around helped.

Nathan's pigeon hole with loads of purple diapers
Teacher Nor shared that two of Nathan's favourite activities in school is cooking and sand play. I'm not surprised that he likes cooking, since he loves to eat. But I didn't quite expect him to enjoy sand play, since he didn't really like getting his hands dirty, and is pretty fastidious when it comes to mess. I shared that it is so much joy when I see Nathan being able to do something new... things that he picked up from school. Like saying 'please', holding his pencil properly, attempting to sing 'baa baa sheep', and counting from 1 to 10. Also shared that when we ask Nathan 'what number', he always says '2', and when we ask him 'what colour', he always responds with 'purple'. And teacher Nor says she thinks Nathan likes purple (for now), cos that's also the first colour he picks when he's asked to colour a picture. She thinks it might be because of his purple diapers. Ha! As to learning things like holding his pencil correctly, counting etc, teacher Nor believes that Nathan likes to be praised. She praises Nathan when he does it correctly, doesn't force him if he decides that he's not ready to try, but encourages him to, when he's ready. 

Like most kids, Nathan likes knowing in advance what's going to happen next, so the routine in school helps. Teacher Nor says that Nathan knows the routines very well, and is sometimes ahead of her. Mommy's proud of my little boy.

One of Nathan's quirks is that he doesn't like it when his friends touch him. An accidental nudge, or a light tap on his arm... and he'd go "PAIN"! Very funny to watch.

Chen lao shi shared that Nathan has not attempted to speak Mandarin as yet, but is able to take instructions very well. He'd also participate during Chinese lessons, responding with actions/animal sounds etc. I hope that he'd not have as much trouble with the language as I did.

All in all, it sounds like Nathan has settled down well in play group, and is enjoying his time in school. Ms Angela says that the next thing we can look forward to is the school's annual concert. That'll be fun to watch. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

21 months old

Dear Nathan,

At 22 months, you can do / say so much more than before! Your favourite song is "Baa Baa Sheep", and you know the parts that go "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and "Yes Sir! Yes Sir!". You also know some lines to "Twinkle, Twinkle", and are able to sing along to some parts of "Old MacDonald". You've also started to hum tunes, and the tune you usually hum is baa baa black sheep. The funny thing is that you'd clap and go 'yay' after you've finished humming the entire song. Very cute to watch. You are able to count from 1 to 10, though you tend to skip '5'. You'd sit on top of a slide, say "1, 2, 3, go", before you slide down. Mommy gets very amused watching you at the playground. You've also started to help when mommy/daddy takes a shower for you. You'd ask for shower gel, and you'd rub it over your face, body and legs. Now that you know more words, you'd point and say the names of objects you recognise when we are out and about. "Guitar! Car! Boat! Bus! Baby! Cat! Spider! Lizard! Ants! Elephant! Horse!...".

Daddy had to work late as well as go back to work on several Saturdays / Sundays this month, so we didn't get to go out much. Thankfully, po po comes over to help look after you and Noah when daddy's home late. There were several weekends when mommy had to look after both of you alone. It was rather exhausting, but not too difficult, since you were pretty cooperative most times. Once, when mommy was feeding Noah, just before your afternoon nap, you fell asleep waiting. 

You continue to be a really sweet 'kor kor' to Noah, and mommy hopes that you'd be able to play well together with Noah is older. I think we've gotten you confused over the 'kor kor' title when we say, "Noah, kor kor's home" etc... that now you've started to refer to Noah as 'kor kor'. 

You are rather creative and are better able to play with your toys on your own. Once, you put the yellow screws from your little engineer set on the little red stool, and started clapping and singing the birthday song. And mommy must agree that you little creation does look like a birthday cake. I'll need to replicate the cake and post a picture here some time soon.

Mommy's heart is filled with so much joy as I watch you grow up. You've filled our home with much laughter, and we know that there will be more as Noah grows older and starts running around too. Mommy looks forward to celebrating your 2nd birthday, and I already miss the months that had gone by. Know that mommy and daddy love you very much.

Hugs & kisses,

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Little Red Stool

Nathan pointed to the BIG Ernie sitting on top of his book shelves and asked me to take it down for him. Because Ernie has been sitting there for quite a while, collecting dust, I tried to distract him with the other items on his shelf.

Me: Nathan, do you want this? * hands him toy no.1 *
Nathan: No. Put back.
Me: How about this? * hands him toy no.2 *
Nathan: No. Put back.
* Nathan continues pointing at the BIG Ernie. This time, standing on tip toes. *
Me: OH! You want Ernie. But Ernie's too high, mommy cannot reach.
* Nathan walks away... Phew! I thought. Until I realised that he's gone to his room to take the little red stool. He puts the stool beside the book shelf, and asked him to stand on the stool so I can get Ernie for him. *

Gosh! My little boy is really growing up. He knows how to solve problems now. And because of that, I had no excuse not to give him the BIG Ernie.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Noah's First Smile

Noah has been smiling in his sleep or halfway thru a feed eversince he was a few weeks old... and all the while, he smiles with his eyes closed, half asleep. 

Today, for the very first time, he smiled at mommy when he was awake. Mommy was holding Noah, talking to him. And he smiled in response. :) So heart warming.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

20 months old

Dear Nathan,

You are now 20 months old. Now that you know more words, you are able to tell us what you want. Your favorite word this month is 'no', and your latest craze is STICKERS and bananas! You have not said 'yes' but you're able to respond with a nod when your answer is 'yes'. And for some strange reason, you have started refusing your tea time and bed time milk. Puzzles me cos you've always liked to drink milk and used to fuss when you finished your 240ml bottle. I suppose you are refusing the tea time milk cos of the yummy tea breaks you get in school... big boy prefers solids. As for bed time, some days you finish the entire bottle, some days, you'd say 'no' and push away the bottle when offered. I've started giving you fresh milk instead, and you drink some, cos you like the "cold, cold" milk. I suppose if you are still able to sleep thru the night, and are taking other forms of food, it's probably ok to cut down on your milk intake. Thankfully, you still finish the entire bottle of 'breakfast milk'.

Mommy won ourselves a voucher that gives us a term of art classes at Kid's Gallery, so you've been going for free art classes. The first couple of lessons, you refused to speak a word to your teacher. By the third lesson, you've warmed up, and now respond when she speaks to you. Mommy's proud that you are getting more independent, and are able to attend classes on your own. But a part of me doesn't want you to grow up so quick too. Sigh!

Daddy & Nathan at the Istana
For our family outings, we've recently taken you to the Istana on May Day, and we've also visited the Art Science Museum. The open fields at the Istana was a nice change from indoor air conditioned places that we frequent. You enjoyed running around the fountain at the Istana. It was so nice to hear your squeals and see your smiles. They've also set up Little Tikes play areas on the fields, which you wanted to run to, but it was getting late, so we gave that a miss. Would love to do more outdoorsy stuff with you, but the weather has been sweltering. You also enjoyed viewing the exhibits at the Art Science Museum, and mommy's pretty amazed at how you are able to sit thru entire video screenings at the museum. A pity we went there a week + too early, and missed the Dali exhibits.

Mommy and daddy bought you colour pencils and a sketch book that we can carry around to keep you occupied when we have our meals outside. You've started feeding yourself, but haven't quite mastered the spoon, so meal times are messy affairs when we let you self-feed. On one hand, mommy would love to have you feed yourself, but am afraid of the mess. I suppose I just have to loosen up a bit, and let you practise at home, where cleaning up is easier.

This month, mommy and daddy got to vote for our country's new leaders. GE 2011, unlike other years' elections, saw more parties contesting. It was in fact the first time that mommy and daddy got to vote. Previously, we stayed in 'walkover constituencies'. Disclaimer: The photo on the left is NOT an indication of the party we support. Our vote is secret. :) But the photo is probably a sneak peek of what we'd get to see more of in future. Scenes of you playing with your brother. You continue to be a really sweet kor kor. You are able to say "Noah", but when we ask you "what's your name", your reply is "Nay". Still waiting for you to respond with "Nay - than". You've been saying "mommy, mommy" when you want my attention, and my heart melts each time I hear you say "mommy". Ah... the simple joys of parenting!

Nathan, you're growing up so quickly! Always know that mommy and daddy loves you very much and we are thankful for every moment we get to spend together, even the times when we are tired from work / lack of sleep. You've brought us so much joy. Such a blessing!

Lots of love, hugs & kisses,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

19 months old

Dear Nathan,

You turned 19 months old 2 days ago. This month is marked by several changes. First, the addition of Noah in our lives, then your "graduation", and finally your move to a big bed.

You've been a real sweet kor kor. You'd wave at Noah when you come home from school, or when we ask you to say 'hello' to Noah. When you hear Noah cry, you'd say '"uh-oh" and proceed to look for him. He'd usually be lying in his rocker, so you'd then try to rock him (though you can be a little rough, and rock him a little too hard). Mommy's looking forward to Noah growing a little older, so that you two can play together. Not quite sure what to expect right now, but I'm sure our home will be filled with much laughter with the two of you running around.

On April 1st, you "graduated" from the infant group at Sunflower, and have joined the older kids in play group. Now that you are in play group, you need to wear the Sunflower uniform to school. The first morning, you didn't like the collared top, and kept pulling at it. When mommy explained that it was the "big boy" uniform and that all the other older kids will be wearing it, you relented and stopped wanting to take it off. The first few days in play group, you'd cry when mommy/daddy drops you off. But we hear that you settle down pretty quickly, and have no problems at meal times and nap times. That's good to hear. However, you'd still want the attention of your infant group teachers when they walk by, and would fuss if they 'ignore' you. The kids in play group are able to feed themselves... so mommy's looking forward to you being able to do that soon. Now, you do not fuss when we drop you off anymore. I'm guesssing that you are getting to know the teachers and friends in your new group better, and have more or less settled down. Well done, Nathan!

You've also decided that you do not want to sleep in your baby cot anymore, and have started sleeping in your big boy bed. We're thankful for this bed that our neighbors gave us. It comes with a ball pit at the side, and mommy still remembers your grin when you first saw it. You enjoying playing in the pit, and have also fallen into it a few times when sleeping. Now, we have a bed rail, and have pillows strategically placed, so that you won't fall in at night. Sleeping in your big bed, some days, you fall asleep without any fuss, and other days, you need mommy/daddy to lie down beside you till you fall asleep. Some days, you wake up in the middle of the night crying, and we have a hard time settling you back to sleep. Can get really tiring for mommy/daddy. We're not sure if it's the new bed/environment, the changes in school (moving to play group) or the changes at home (addition of Noah), that's causing the distress. Praying that you'd be able to settle yourself back to sleep when you do wake, just like you do in the past. The last couple of nights were better - i.e. you've stopped waking up at night... so mommy's praying that it stays this way.

You can now say more things and it's really fun now that you are able to verbalise your thoughts. Mommy/daddy gets all excited when we hear you say a new word. Yesterday, you said "Ernie" for the very first time... think "Big Bird" was the first Sesame Street character you named. Followed by "Bert". You enjoy watching Sesame Street, and will ask mommy/daddy to switch it on for you. It's cute when we see you smiling as you see the familiar screen popping up on TV. We try not to let you watch too much TV, but I must say that it's a really good baby sitter. You'd sit quietly, completely engrossed, and would not bother us for as long as Sesame Street's on TV. Mommy's looking forward to having you string more words together and telling us "stories" about your day. 

It's such a joy watching you grow up, and mommy's already missing the days that has gone by. Know that mommy and daddy loves you very much, and we are so thankful that God has placed you in our lives.

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nathan's one-and-a-half!

Dear Nathan,

You are now one-and-a half and you've brought us so much joy since you entered our lives. You have a ready smile for us, are cheeky at times, and you have never failed to amuse us with your new 'tricks'.

You continue to enjoy school, and hardly fuss when we drop you off. Some Mondays, you'd cry when mommy drops you, and that really breaks my heart. But when I see you playing happily with your friends when I pick you up, or running to me with a big wide grin on your face when I get you, I know that you enjoyed your day at school, and that makes me feel a lot better. I hear that you enjoy playground time, and would sometimes get upset when it's time to go back indoors again. Next month, you'd 'graduate' from the infant group, and join the older kids in play group. Mommy hopes that you'll settle down well, and enjoy the time of learning and playing with your new teachers and friends.

You enjoy reading a lot more, and are able to point to pictures when we ask you to. Sometimes, you amuse us when you start doing actions to specific words / songs. Like when you see a picture of a 'scary fish' in your book, you'd pat your chest, indicating 'scared'. Then when I played you the 'Ten Little Indian Boys' song on my iphone, you started doing the actions to that song. In recent times, you can fill in the words to songs like 'Twinkle twinkle' and 'Old MacDonald's'. It's so cute to hear you sing.

You know quite a good number of words, but we find that you are pretty shy when it comes to talking in front of strangers. You are able to understand / obey instructions, and are also able to indicate your wants either through words / actions. The words that you can say include: duck-duck, dog, bear, drop, take, that, bubbles, flower, nana (for banana), bird, daddy, mommy... and the ones you understand and can respond with the appropriate actions include: wait, roar, lion, pray, sleep, snack, go, book, keys, shoes, socks, where, school, five, clock... You are able to point to your body parts like head, hair, eyes, nose, ear, mouth, tongue, knee, elbow... We've been teaching you to thank God before each meal, and it was so heart warming when one day, you bowed your head and clasped your hands together, when daddy said grace. We look forward to having you string words together, telling us about your day at school and leading us in thanking God for His abundant provisions for our family in the near future.

You are able to walk steadily since 13 months, and enjoy running around with daddy. I love to hear your chuckles as you try to run after daddy in your little father & son game of hide-and-seek. We've also taken you kite flying at Marina Barrage, where you got to run around in the field. Kite flying all started when we were reading your Sesame Street ABC/123 book. Each time we came to the letter 'K', you'd stand up, raise your arms above your head, as if you were flying a kite, like the Sesame Street Characters in the book. Mommy decided to get you a real kite, so you'd get to experience the real thing. After a long and tiring week at work, mommy looks forward to fun times as such... simple activities, simple joys with mommy's favorite boys.

We've gone on 2 more mini holidays with you in tow. One at Amara Sanctuary Resort (Sentosa), and another at Marina Bay Sands. We've a lot more to pack in our luggages with you around, and we've got to plan our schedules around your nap times. But you are generally an easy traveler, and holidays are so much more fun with you around. We've started visiting 'old' attractions like the Bird Park, Zoo and Sentosa... places that mommy and daddy haven't been to in a long time. We enjoyed splish-splashing at the MBS sky pool, even though the water was so cold!

About a week before you turned 18th months old, we welcomed your baby brother into our family. You've been a really sweet kor kor thus far. Once, when Noah was crying, you went to get your bedtime bear to give it to him. It's so heart warming to see you wanting to comfort Noah with your favorite bear. Mommy and daddy hopes that as the two of you grow up, you'd find companionship in one another, and build each other up as you walk the straight and narrow path together as brothers. We wait for the day that Noah can play with you, and look forward to having both your laughters fill our home.

Mommy and daddy continue to pray that you'd grow to be a fine young man who'd love God with all your heart, soul and mind. Know that mommy and daddy loves you very much, and will always want the very best for you.
Hugs & kisses,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Noah has jaundice

Noah was discharged from Mt A, after 2 nights of phototherapy. Am so glad that his jaundice level has gone down, and that he's feeding and sleeping better.

Two days ago, I took Noah to Uncle EK's clinic for his newborn review. Was so upset when we found out that his jaundice level has gone up to 17.1 and that he needed phototherapy. Before discharging from RH, he had already undergone one day of phototherapy. He didn't look yellow, so I wasn't expecting him to require another round of phototherapy. Uncle EK said we had the choice of doing phototherapy at home by renting the light, or admitting him to hospital. I was actually intending to rent the light, like we did for Nathan previously. But when I told Dean about it, he was more in favour of letting the hospital handle it. I was kinda sad to admit Noah to the hospital, but at the same time, I remembered how stressful it was when we handled it on our own at home. when Nathan had jaundice. So upon Dean's urging, I made plans to get Noah admitted. I also asked for a room for myself as well, so that I could nurse him.

I missed Nathan and daddy when I was at the hospital with Noah. But it was nonetheless a good decision to admit Noah. At the hospital, the nurses only brought him to me for feeds every 3+ hour. Apparently, he would sleep thru out after each feed. That gave me the much needed rest. When he got home from RH, he was feeding every hour or two, and I was exhausted. I suppose it was because the photo light made him sleepy, and also cos my milk just came in the day he got admitted. Dean and Nathan visited us on the first day. Told Dean not to come on the second day, cos he was visibly tired from a long day at work and also cos I didn't want Nathan going to bed later than his usual bedtime. The second night that they didn't visit, Dean called me on Skype and we chatted for a bit. He had taken a shower for Nathan, and both of them were in their 'pajamas'. Dean sat Nathan beside him on our sofa, and I could see them over the web cam. My heart melted when Nathan waved at me and blew me a kiss at the end of the call.

Noah's jaundice level dropped to 10.7 this morning, and we were given the green light to go home. So thankful.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Noah's Birth Story

Noah joined our little family of 3 on 1 March 2011... and now we are 4!

Daddy left for a business trip on Sunday, 28 Feb. Nathan and I went to the airport to send him off. Prior to that, Dr Han said that I can deliver any time. That got me really worried. Two weeks ago, during the routine visit, she said not likely to deliver so soon, and that it should be ok for Dean to go on his trip as long as he doesn't extend his stay. Then two days before the trip, she says anytime. By then, all the trip arrangements have been made. So we decided to just go ahead as planned.

I teared as we said our goodbyes at the departure gate. "Why mommy? Just 3 days...", Dean asked. Told him that I was really worried that I'd go into labour when he's away. That I wouldn't know what to do with Nathan, cos I really didn't want Nathan to wake up one morning and realise that mommy and daddy wasn't at home with him. Dean assured me that he'd be contactable and would rush back if needed.

On Monday, when sending Nathan to school, we thanked God (we prayed in the car like we always do) that we made it past the first night without daddy. We managed to speak to daddy over Skype the night before, and Nathan was real glad to be able to see daddy on mommy's iphone screen for a brief moment. Then in the evening, when we got home, I was so glad, cos we are closer to having daddy home. It was nice to be able to communicate thru Skype calls while Dean was away. It was like the good old days once again. We chatted for a bit that night. He was showing me the stuff that he bought, and told me that the training was not too bad, but that he had a lot of work to clear. We ended the call early so that he could get on with his work.

That night, 1 March 2011, at about 2am, I felt a gush of water. Think my water bag was leaking. With Nathan, that was also the first sign of labour. I prayed that the leaking would stop, and that Noah will wait till Thursday when Dean would be back. But I felt a few more gushes. It was for real. I finally decided to call Dean. at 2.55am I felt a lot better when I heard his voice over the phone. Was telling him that I intended to wait till morning... to send Nathan to school, before making my way to the hospital. But Dean insisted that I get my parents over, and go immediately. After all, Dr Han did mention that she wants me in the hospital within an hour if my waters break. Meanwhile, he assured me that he'd call Amex and find the quickest way back home.

I called my mom, but she didn't answer her phone. Called my dad, he answered and I asked for my mom. Told her that Dean wasn't home, and that I need her over right away. While waiting for my mom and dad, I took a shower and packed my hospital bag. Checked thru Nathan's school bag, and wrote down some instructions for my mom - Nathan's feeding times and how much he usually drank etc. Briefed my mum when she arrived - where Nathan's milk powder, milk bottles, diapers etc were kept, what time he's expected to wake up etc. Told her to send him to school after his milk feed. Didn't want to disrupt Nathan's routine as much as possible. When all that was done, my dad sent me to the hospital.

4.25am Arrived at Raffles Hospital. Hooked up to baby heart rate monitoring machine.

4.45am Contractions 9 min apart. VE revealed that I was 3cm dilated. Enema administered.

After all the admin was done, I spent some time reading the Bible passage on Noah's ark. Prayed that Noah will be strong and healthy, and that he'd be a righteous man who will find favor with God and man. Prayed that Dean and I will be good parents to Nathan and Noah, teaching them to walk in God's way, and grow up to be men of honor, wisdom and grace.

Tried to get some sleep, but couldn't really fall asleep. All the while, was in touch with Dean thru SMSes. He managed to get his flight changed to the first one in the morning, and would touch down in Singapore at about noon.

7.10am Dr Han came in to check on me. VE - 3.5cm dilated. She said my water bag had burst and she ordered for a blood test to be done to make sure that I do not have any infection. Said if I don't deliver by 2pm, she will induce me. Wanted me to deliver by this evening, to prevent any risks to baby. I teared. Was worried for Noah cos I was told that there's a risk of infection since my waters had broken. I teared. Dr Han saw me tearing and asked me why I've been so emotional thru this whole pregnancy. She said not to worry too much and to just hope for a smooth and quick delivery.

Nurse puts a drip device on my arm and draws a huge tube of blood. Thereafter, she drips me with water to keep me hydrated.

10am Breakfast is served. Chwee kueh, milo and watermelon, plus a cup of apple juice which I saved for later.

11am Nurse says that one of the blood tests indicated that I have an infection. Antibiotics administered so that baby won't have any infection. I didn't know what the implications are. Just prayed that Noah would be strong and healthy, delivery will be smooth, quick and painfree, and that Dean would be kept safe as he traveled.

11.12am Contractions still far apart. Drug administered to induce contractions. Turns out that the swab test done during my last visit to Dr Han also showed that I'm positive for strep B. So Dr Han wanted to speed up labour. Any antibiotic was given.

11.45am Went to pee. Contractions about 3 to 4 min apart, 30 seconds in duration.

11.49am Dean landed at Changi Airport. Contractions about 2+ min apart. Pain intensity increased, but still bearable.

12.18pm Contractions 2 min apart.

12.30pm Dr Han came in. Said that my water bag probably burst because there was some clinical indection. Blood test result was borderline. Will not affect baby, so long as I deliver within the next 12 to 18 hours. She asked when Dean would arrive. I told her that he was in a cab on the way to the hospital. She said he'd be in time for Noah.

12.50pm Dean arrived. Mommy's glad.

Pain becomes more and more intense. Asked nurse to standby ethanox.

1.13pm 5cm dilated. Asked for pethidine.

I really struggled with the last bit of contractions. Was getting high on ethanox and the pethidine didn't seem to relieve the pain. I was even thinking if I should ask for epidural. As I contemplated, I heard Dr Han's voice. So glad. She came in, says I'm fully dilated, and that when the next contractions came, I can push. Think I pushed about 3 to 5 times. Very hard. Noah was board at 2.11pm, 2.81kg, 49cm. Praise God! Phew! So glad it is over.