Today, I slept till 12pm…For the very first time in 17 months after the arrival of our child. When I awoke, my husband, G had already fed, bathed and clothed my son. When he saw me walk into the kitchen, he casually asked me if I wanted a cup of coffee when he was already making a glass for me. I thought to myself – “Wow, what did I do to deserve this today?” What may seem like very small gestures to others actually mean so much to me because I was well rested and happy to know that the daily chores had been taken care of.
To be honest, I consider myself very fortunate to have married someone who is extremely involved with taking care of our kids. Someone who fully understands that it is not all about fun and laughter, but there are also times when our patience is tested. Being the more impatient one between us, G often reminds me to keep my temper in check when our child misbehaves. He may not be a perfect dad, but to me, he is good enough.
G the ‘Bad Cop’ – Prior to the arrival of our child, G and I had agreed that there has to be a bad and good cop at home. He had decided that he would be the bad guy who will discipline our kid (or future kids then) when it has to be done. I remember him telling me how he did not mind our kids getting upset with him or disliking him when they grew older as long as the kids turn out to be good people.
G the Mentor – As a firm believer that children should try to venture whenever they think there is an opportunity, G always tells me to let our child try everything. Even if it results in a failure, the experience will teach them to try and do it better the next time.
G the Baby Wearing Dad – I can almost count the number of times I have used the baby carrier or rather, the lack of it. G carries the baby almost all the time. Right from the time we used the baba sling (when Isaac was an infant) to the time we switched to the Ergobaby carrier now that Isaac’s a toddler. I always like to see baby wearing dads because it just makes me feel that it is extremely sweet. If I have to tell you when do I think G’s the sexiest, it’d probably be when he is using the baby carrier (partly because it covers his belly too)!
G the Comforter – I remember when Isaac was diagnosed with Herpangina (mouth filled with ulcers), G carried him the whole night and tried to comfort Isaac to sleep. All he kept saying was “it is ok, daddy is here”. I have never been an emotional person, but hearing him say those words, I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.
Sometimes it is funny how simple gestures can trigger me to think so much. I am just so thankful for the amazing people in my life. I hope that one day, my kid(s) will grow up to be like their dad. 🙂
It is unbelievable how time flies with a little one at home. In the blink of an eye, we are 15 months into this whole parenting journey and Isaac is no longer a baby! Like every parent, the usage of the classic line ‘where did all that time go?’ is inevitable. The transition from Isaac being a baby to toddler is a bittersweet experience for me thus far. Here are some of the things I like and dislike about this phase of parenthood.
Our toddler can finally walk! I cannot describe how happy we are with this milestone because we no longer have to carry him all the time! Our friends tell us that it will be even harder to manage him once he starts walking because we have to start chasing him around. Though it is true that it can get tiring chasing after him, we still prefer it as compared to having to carry him all the time.
With the steadiness of his mobility, I now have a hard time changing his diaper or putting clothes on him. I cannot help but feel like I’m battling with some mad Monster fish with crazy body twisting skills. At the end of the day, I give in by using the pull up pants instead. Then comes the clothing him. Before I’m done with putting the clothes on, the topless baby will be up and parading around the house in his diapers.
Sleeping habits – The toddler seems to sleep less during the day now. Some days, he doesn’t even sleep when we want him to just so we can nap as well or get done with our grocery shopping in a shorter time. The good part about this is, this allows him to maintain the usual bedtime routine of 9pm-7am. The less sleep in the day, the earlier he turns in. Just yesterday, he broke the his record by sleeping from 5pm to 7am. That’s a straight 14hr sleep because even when he nudged me to make his milk at 5ish am, he did it with his eyes closed the whole time.
Expressiveness – As the little one is more expressive now, he will show us his emotions towards what he likes or dislikes. For example, he will protest when we try to buckle him in the car seat. He will to look out for dogs, birds or planes when he’s at the park. He is afraid of sudden loud noises. All these little actions allow me to understand him a little better each time.
The curious toddler – With the ability to move around by himself, Isaac tends to check out those random stuffs that we have lying around the house. With whatever he has gotten hold of, he would mimic the way we use it. Just like the television remote controller. He would pick it up, point it at the television and press the buttons on the controller just to see what happens. I like to see how he mimics us because it shows that he is learning, but it also means we have to start child proofing our home. One of my greatest worries are the electrical sockets. Which is why we have to cover all the electrical outlets with the socket covers. Even with those, I will ensure that he is supervised at all times.
Learning to speak – Isaac can now say simple words (1 syllable). It is so much easier when he tells us specifically what he wants instead of us having to play the guessing game. If he is hungry, he says milk or mom-mom. When he wants to go somewhere he’d point and say ‘go there’. Cute toddler babbles, there is absolutely nothing I dislike about them!
Follow simple instructions – This has got to be my favourite. An example of this is when we pass him something and tell him “throw away please”, he brings it to the bin. Trouble with this is, he seems to like to bring everything to the bin now! HAHA! The last time round when I changed our sheets, he was happy to pass me the bolster/pillow cases when I told him to. He can also keep his toys now when instructed. Who doesn’t love an extra pair of hands at household chores?
I am certainly looking forward to more milestones with the little one. Things are just beginning to get fun around here!
26h June 2016 will always be a night to remember. I wish I could say it was a good night worth remembering, but it was far from that. In fact, it was a lesson learnt a very hard way. I will never forget the scene, what I felt and how I thought I was losing my baby.
Over the weekend, Isaac was diagnosed with herpangina – a condition which causes blister-like ulcers all over his mouth. He was feeding poorly and was strictly on liquid diet due to the extreme pain he was going through. After some anti-viral and pain relief medication, his milk intake gradually improved. On Sunday night, after he managed to finish his bottle of milk in bed, he wanted to crawl over to his daddy to show him that he had finish the milk. Daddy’s back was facing him, and I had turned to look for his milk bottle cap. The moment I turned my gaze back to him, I witnessed his hands slipping and he fell – head first. Everything happened in just that split second. We did not see how he landed, did not see if he had hit his head, or if he broke the fall with his hands.
As we rushed to pick him up from the ground, his cries were weak, face white, lips blue. We were uncertain if he was hurt badly or in shock because we could not find any injuries on him. But when his daddy carried him, I noticed that Isaac was losing consciousness. We knew at that moment we must bring him to the hospital immediately.
The whole time in the car we were trying to keep Isaac awake and he was fighting the urge to shut his eyes. As I was singing ‘the wheels of the bus’ to him, I could feel his body going limp. He was not responding to our calls and I would lift him up whenever his eyes started to close. I started smacking his thighs just so he would stay awake but he did not react to that either. So many thoughts in my mind and I kept praying and begging God not to take him away from us. That 20min drive to the hospital, felt like forever.
When we arrived at the a&e, we rushed to the triage without even getting a queue number. All I wanted was the assurance that Isaac was going to be okay. He was given a blue tag on his right leg which acts as an express pass to see the doctor immediately. When he met the doctor, he had recovered slightly. He started to move his limbs a little and could manage a weak smile. However, we were still advised to admit him for the night for observations.
We got to our ward about midnight and had to wait for the neurologist to come by before letting Isaac sleep. Truth be told, we were actually afraid to let him sleep. We wanted to keep him awake for as Long as he can because it was a form of comfort to us both. His daddy got him some toys from a shop downstairs, and got himself many cans of coffee to keep himself awake so he can watch after Isaac throughout the night. Isaac was starting to resume to his normal self by exploring the ward and telling us to ‘go there’ so he could look out of the window. When the neuro came to check on Isaac, he could even give high fives and played with the doctor. We were relieved when the doc said that Isaac is fine and we should not have to worry about any Internal bleeding since he is still active. The observations will be carried out every hour by the nurses to make sure that Isaac is okay throughout the night. They will need to take his heartbeat, blood pressure, temperature and check his pupils to ensure he is still responsive.
The husband and I hardly slept that night. While he sat by Isaac’s cot and I laid at the sofa, I was certain we were thinking the same thing – what if we did not manage to keep Isaac awake during the trip to the hospital? We would have lost the love of our lives due to our sheer negligence. The amount of guilt we felt cannot be described. That night, I cried myself to sleep.
In the morning, the doctors assessed Isaac and told us that he is fit to go home. We just have to monitor him for the next few days for any abnormalities and be careful that he does not hit his head.
As much as I would like to think that it was an accident, and that no one is really to be blamed for it, I knew for a fact that if I had not diverted my attention to get the bottle cover, I could have prevented that fall. I could have. But there is really no point thinking about the what-ifs and should-haves when what happened already happened.
?Lesson learnt – Baby before anything else. #importantnotetoself
Last night we had dinner with the family at a hotel restaurant. Our toddler, Isaac, was not well, did not have enough sleep, appetite was extremely poor, hence, he was cranky beyond words. He was doing all sorts of things to get more attention but what upset his G (his daddy), was when he started to throw his cutleries at him. G told him nicely to stop doing that because it is not a nice thing to do, but Isaac continued. That’s when G stopped whatever he was doing, pulled the baby chair away from the table so Isaac would not be able to reach for more things to throw. Without a doubt, Isaac got really upset and started to cry. Grandparents tried to ‘save’ Isaac by distracting him with ice cream, or wanted to carry him. But G made a firm statement of not wanting anyone to interfere when he is teaching his son. Honestly, I respect and agree with his decision that when he is disciplining our child, no one else should interfere because it would only allow the child to feel that someone else has got his back even if he does something wrong. However, during the whole saga at the restaurant, I started to think of something I’ve never really thought of before – should we discipline our kids in public?
What the husband thinks:
“I did not raise my voice at him, it is not like I hit him. All I did was pull his chair away from his table and gave him a stern look. What is wrong with pulling his chair away from the table? I did it so he is not able to reach for more things to throw.”
What the grandma thinks:
“You should discipline him only at home because he will understand what you are saying. When you go home, just tell him that he should not have done that at the restaurant earlier.” – to which G thinks he will not be able to understand because Isaac is only a year old and he would have forgotten about this when we get home.
What I felt and thought :
I sat there in silence so that I would not aggravate the situation. All I knew was that my son was not at his best because he is unwell. He is usually a cheerful baby. But last night, he did not want to be carried, he did not want to sit at his chair, he did not want to eat. All I wanted was for him to stop crying because it upsets me when I see him crying. I had an urge to just pick him up and walk away where he would probably feel better.
Me being me, I started to feel embarrassed about the situation, embarrassed that people are watching, and I felt that if I were Isaac, I’d feel embarrassed that I was being disciplined in front of everyone. Do kids (a 14 month old toddler in this case) know how to feel embarrassed? I really don’t know. But G thinks that they don’t know how how to feel embarrassed and that he only cried because he wanted his grandparents to save him.
People are always judging
That is a fact. As much as the world is judging us, we tend to judge others without realising too. Take myself for example, when I see someone take tons of food on their plates when they go to a buffet, my first thought would be ‘why so kiasu…Can always take again if not enough what. Later cannot finish the food then it will go to waste’ But who knows, maybe this person can actually finish what he/she has taken? My consciousness of having taken the centre stage when Isaac started making a fuss at the restaurant, made me ask myself if G was over-disciplining. Then it occurred to me that sometimes the way I react towards Isaac’s misbehaviour in public, am I actually overdoing it? Am I not doing enough? Do people think I’m a terrible mum? Does my husband think I’m a bad mother? The ultimate question I asked myself was – am I the same parent in public as I am at home? Because I’m pretty sure I’m quite a chill person when at home which is why I can’t stand making a scene in public.
Sigh, I have so much more to learn in parenting. Need to think of how to teach Isaac if he misbehaves in public without it becoming a commotion. If anyone has any advice how we can deal with this, do share them with me. 🙁
Here I am lying in bed feeling extremely happy that it is a peaceful night tonight. So what is so different about tonight (and the past three nights) compared to the other nights? It is because we have been waking up multiple times in the middle of the night to attend to a cranky baby. Why? Because we are weaning Isaac off of his beloved pacifier. 🙁
I remember before Isaac was born, the hubs and I were adamant not to give our him a pacifier. However, somewhere along the way, hubs read about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and studies have shown that using a pacifier reduces the risk of SIDS. Logic behind it is that sucking on the pacifier keeps their tongues forward and prevents it from blocking their airways. Hence, Isaac was given a pacifier.
The first night without his pacifier, he struggled for a bit, but managed to sleep. In morning when his daddy dropped him off at gramps’, he told them not to give isaac the pacifier. Ok, actually hubs confiscated the pacifier from them. Want to give also don’t have! [[inserts evil laughter here]]
When we picked him up in the evening, my MIL said “he was like a druggie fighting an addiction” and FIL said to bring back his pacifier the next day. But we didn’t. [[inserts even more evil laughter here]]
The second night was probably the worst. I was nursing a wisdom tooth extraction, Isaac refused to sleep, kept wailing even though he was obviously very tired. I carried him, walk around the room, kept telling him everything was gonna be okay and that I am there with him. I almost caved when I saw how upset he was. But I kept telling myself it will be worse if we tried to wean him off when he is older and reminded myself that many children have endured and gone through this phase as well. After a while, he finally calmed down and was about to doze off when the hubs opened the bathroom door a little too loudly, startled the boy, and the whole saga repeats…
By the third night, he was too tired to even finish his milk before bed time. He fell asleep the moment his head hit the pillow. We had it easy. I was telling the hubs how I think he would wake up in the middle of the night in hunger and then we are gonna have to deal with his crankiness in the wee hours. Surprisingly though, he slept till 6am like usual. Today as we picked him up from my in laws’ place, they said he was a lot better today. Although still some difficulties in sleeping without his pacifier, but there seems to be a lot of improvement.
Tonight is the fourth night. Isaac has somehow forgotten about his pacifier (I hope). He finished his milk and blabbered a whole lot to me before falling asleep.
I’m really comforted that the awesome hubby helps out in the middle of the night during this challenging time.
If anyone is going through this horrible period of weaning your kiddos off anything (pacifier/breastfeeding/any sort of gadgets) just know that you are not alone. Stay strong and don’t give up because you will definitely make it through this. 🙂
Hello there and thank you for popping by! Some of you may have already come across punggolbabies during the many blog hops, and would probably know that the super busy Claudia (thelovingmum) & myself are contributors to this blog. Many people are under the impression that Claudia has 3 kids, so I would like to take this opportunity to clarify that Ayra & Zara are Claudia’s 2 lovely girls, Isaac is my toddler, who is Claudia’s nephew. I will be putting up this post here because Claudia has already shared about her life in a week here.
Life of a blogging mum – Honestly, I think this post would be more interesting to read about if i were a SAHM. My weekdays are usually quite boring to read about because I am a FTWM. In a nutshell, every weekday morning I will drop my 1 year old toddler (Isaac) off at my In-laws’ place before heading to work. Thankfully for my hubby and myself, we have a very cooperative little boy who usually wakes up when we are ready to leave the house. Some days he will continue to sleep while I carry him out of the house. Some days he will be up earlier and will have to wait for us to be ready.
We usually pick Isaac up about 7ish in the evening after work. When we get home we will have dinner while he sits with us at the table just to be around us. Some days he will play by himself in the play yard. When we are done with dinner we will join him in the play yard, or watch a movie together. By 9pm, Isaac will go to bed. This cycle continues until weekend. So actually, I have almost no time to write up a post on weekdays. This, is our typical weekday.
On not so typical weekdays, I will be out of Singapore for work purposes. (No, I am not an air stewardess. My height is just not acceptable to the airline company.) While I am away, I will constantly check the (SG) time on my watch in order not to miss the time that I have to FaceTime my family. Usually on the first few days I am away, Isaac will be extremely upset when he sees me over FaceTime. Some days, our FaceTime sessions are kept short because my Husband will need to hang up and pacify an upset Isaac who will be wondering why he can see me but cannot be carried by me. When I started travelling, it was always tough to FaceTime him knowing I would be broken hearted to see him cry whenever he sees me. Gradually I got used to it, so did Isaac. Then it became easier for us both. Whenever I start to feel homesick, I will look at Isaac’s photos and perhaps start to write part of a post. It could be anything from what I have learnt to where we have been to together. Most of which, i do not publish because when I do not complete the post on the same day, I kinda lose the momentum to continue writing on that same post.
Weekends are days I clean the house. I try to take any opportunity to clean the house as much as I can (especially the floor) because Isaac is often on the ground. Once household chores are done, then we decide if we will be heading out.
Here’s a break down my life in a week (11-17 April 2016). *All timings stated are GMT+8.*
11 April 2016
Weekday alarm goes off at 6am. I get up to shower and get ready for work before waking the husband up. Isaac woke up at 6.45am today and is drinking his milk while we wait for his daddy to get ready.
7.35am We alighted Isaac at my in-laws’ place and are on our way to work. It was a super busy day at work and without realizing, it was already 7pm. Left office to pick Isaac up. We bought dinner and got home at 8pm. By 8.45pm, the mister is putting Isaac to bed while I wait till Isaac is asleep before I go into the bedroom. The reason why daddy has to put isaac to sleep is because when i try to tuck him into bed, he just wants to play and it takes a longer time for him to fall asleep. Hence, putting Isaac to sleep is his daddy’s duty. While waiting I will have some time to spare, which I usually spend on surfing the net. Today, I’m researching on playgroups for Isaac. At 9.30pm the husband signaled to me that Isaac has slept and I can finally go to bed.
12 April 2016
Out of bed by 6am today and prepped for work. While waiting for the hubs, spent some time cuddling the little one in bed since I won’t be seeing his for the next few days.
At 8am I’m in the office. Most days i will have my breakfast before starting work because I usually am one of the earliest to arrive. After breakfast, it is time to bury my head into my pile of endless work!
Left the office at 7.30pm and trained down to meet the hub n bub at waterway point. Isaac was playing at the play area when I met them. Had late dinner at Genki sushi at 8.35pm where hubby and Isaac tried out the face swap app.
We walked around for a bit and headed for home. 10pm the hubs is tucking Isaac into bed while I shower and start packing my stuffs for my business trip to Vietnam. Already missing the bubba now. Good thing is, I will be back on Friday evening.
10.20pm I came out of shower to find both daddy and baby have fallen asleep within that 20mins! 11.30pm I am done with packing and am turning on the laptop to get some work done before sleeping. Finally went to bed at 12.40am.
13 April 2016
My day started at 6.45am. Got ready and kissed Isaac goodbye when his daddy brought him over to gramps. Called for a cab and left the house at 8am to avoid arriving late at the airport due to traffic jam. Grabbed a sandwich and hot chocolate from Starbucks at 9am while waiting to board the flight.
2pm and I have arrived in Vietnam. In a cab and heading to the hotel now. Traffic here is crazy, people can transport anything, literally anything on motorbikes. Last time round, i even saw them transporting potted plants on the bike! Hotel is relatively close to the airport. Checked into the hotel at 2.20pm.
Met up with my colleagues and spent the whole day working on our project till 7.45pm and i was beyond hungry! Did not go for dinner till the hubs sent me a photo of Isaac and him dining. We then proceeded to have our dinner at a korean bbq place nearby. Seriously, how do the people here all maintain their slim figures??? Food is cheap and good!
Got back to the hotel 10.45pm and I could barely keep my eyes open. Didn’t even get to FaceTime my baby tonight cos he is fast asleep. I sometimes wonder where did all the energy i had go. I used to be able to stay awake till morning, but now by 11pm, all i want to do is just sleep. Like an old soul.
14 April 2016
Alarm went off at 8.30am. Received a message from the hubs that he fell asleep last night while putting Isaac to bed. He sent me photos of his outing with the baby yesterday. Got out of bed, showered and went to have breakfast at the hotel. It is work again for the day. The weather here is mad hot – 36 degrees today.
I had lunch at a local cafe today at 1.40pm. As we walk along the streets, I cannot help but feel how fortunate Singaporeans are. The buildings here are run down and the cables are just all over the place.
Left work for dinner at 8.10pm. Messaged the hubby to check on him and Isaac. Can’t wait to be home! We had Thai food for dinner tonight but it tasted bad so we went on to have dessert afterwards. Just when I finished dinner the hubby FaceTimed me so I could see Isaac, who was extremely happy to see me. 🙂
9.10pm We took a cab to somewhere nearby and am actually surprised to find some really cool cafes that serve coffee and pastries here. One of them was this Hub Book Coffee place.
This whole cafe is filled with books and magazines that anyone can just from the shelves to read. Unfortunately the photo had to be taken from a distance because we are not supposed to take photos of the place.
Went back to the hotel at 10.30pm in a cockroach infested cab. Showered, did some work and turned in at 12.15am.
15 April 2016
Woke up at 8am to this photo from the hubs telling me that Isaac got impatient this morning because I missed his FaceTime. He not only woke up feeling grouchy, it did not help that his mummy missed his call. Hence, this face.
At 9.10m, it is pho for breakfast this morning because I haven’t had it during my trip here.
Stayed on in the hotel to discuss with my team mates on final details of work before heading out for lunch.
Tried out a Japanese restaurant which was highly recommended by my Vietnam colleagues and I definitely was not disappointed!
Here’s what I had for lunch:
Headed for the airport after lunch and checked in at 2.35pm, only to find out that my flight has been delayed by an hour so I will only be departing at 5.35pm. I sat around and people-watch while updating this post.
The flight back was a good one, no turbulence and even got to see the beautiful sunset. Touched down at 7.15pm and was pleasantly surprised to see the hubs and Isaac waiting for me at the arrival hall. Isaac was all smiles when he saw me and i couldn’t wait to carry him.
Got home took a quick shower and cuddled the little boy to sleep while his daddy went out to meet his friends. Isaac fell asleep at 9.30pm so I decided to make myself a sandwich and start unpacking. Unpacking has got to be the part I dislike most about traveling because there’s always so much laundry to wash! Ok back to unpacking for now. 10.50pm turning in for the night.
16 April 2016
Woke up to isaac’s face right in my face at 8am. He was just lying there staring at me without making any noise at all. Daddy is still sleeping because he came back almost 4am last night. We lazed in bed till about 9am before I showered the boy and brought him to the supermarket just across the house. Came back at 9.45am and Husband watched Isaac while I prepared Isaac’s food for today. He’s having carrot and scallop porridge this weekend. 11.30am Isaac dozed off for a bit so I had some alone time with the hubs eating our brunch. Isaac had porridge his lunch at 1pm and was done by 1.20pm. Watching telly with his daddy now while I wash up in the kitchen. We had intentions to bring Isaac out to ply sand at waterway park with his little friend K, but it was too warm. Shortly after, it started to rain heavily. Ended up at baby hyperstore at 5.30pm to look at strollers. Isaac had fun walking around the shop and trying their bicycle.
After much ‘test driving’ the strollers, we left the store at 7pm with a Quinny Zapp Xtra 2! Traveled all the way down to meet some friends for dinner at timbre+. It was unfortunate that we did not manage to get a seat and there was just too many people so we headed to Marche at VivoCity instead. Isaac had so much fun self entertaining and did not appear to be sleepy even at 10.30pm.
Got home at 11.20pm and Isaac concussed in the car.
17 April 2016
Isaac started crying at 7am and woke his daddy and me up. He was probably hungry because he had fallen asleep last night before finishing his milk. Got up to make him milk and he fell back to sleep when he filled his tummy. The hubby got up to shower Isaac today so I could sleep a little later. I got out of bed at 9.30am to cook for Isaac and cleaned the house before heading out to meet a friend. At 12.30pm Isaac and I are at whisk and paddle to meet my friend and her adorable baby girl R.
After lunch, we walked over to Isaac’s gugu’s (Claudia)house at about 2pm and he was busy destroying the lego buildings that Ayra and Zara had built. Oh, he even got his belated birthday present which the girls were trying to help him unwrap.
Did not stay at his cousin’s place for long because isaac was cranky from his need to sleep. Fell asleep at 3.30pm within 2 mins after I put him on the bed. At 6.30pm Isaac and daddy are both still asleep. Since I’m the first to get up, I have some time to update the blog. I also enrolled Isaac for the full day childcare which I think will most likely only have a slot for him earliest next year. Good thing is, there is no rush for him to go to daycare now because he has his gramps to babysit him. Only thing is that he will have more chances to interact with other kids later. Isaac woke up at 7pm while I was heating up his food. He patiently waited while entertaining himself with his blocks.
At 8.30pm, Isaac has been fed and showered. We are playing with him while waiting for our food delivery to arrive.
Since Isaac had a long nap all the way till 7pm just now, he is only trying to get to sleep at 10.45pm. Most of the time, hubs and I will off the lights and pretend to be asleep so Isaac will go to sleep by himself. At 11pm, all will be quiet. Time for me to sleep too because a new week begins tomorrow.
So this, is my life in a week. Probably not as interesting as many others but definitely just as busy.
This post is part of a link-up with other Singapore Parent Bloggers to share a week in the life of a blogging mum and dad. You can peek into the life of 29 other families over at Week In Life of Blogging Mum and Dad linkup here.
Next up, we have Patrick, daddy to three beautiful kids to share with us about his life in a week.
A few months back, the husband and i were having a debate about celebrating Isaac’s 1st birthday. He thinks that a simple affair is enough because Isaac still does not know how to appreciate attending party/parties, even if it is his own. To that, i have no doubts about it at all. However, is the celebration really only for Isaac? It took me a few weeks to ponder over it and finally, i decided that I still want to hold a not-so-small-celebration for the bub’s birthday. Here’s why.
My baby is almost a toddler! On this day a year ago, a precious little man came into our lives. When i look back at his photos, I cannot believe how tiny he once was. Looking at him now, I am actually amazed at how much he has grown. Hence, his first birthday is a milestone that I really want to celebrate.
Prior to making that decision, i sat down and thought about what Isaac likes. He likes to play with people, anybody (even any random people on the train) for that matter, he likes it when he is surrounded by kids, he likes being outdoors. I actually think he will enjoy being at the party!
Apart from Isaac’s birthday, it also marks the 1st year of parenthood for G and myself. Being a parent is no easy feat. We gave up our late nights, sleep-in mornings, weekly mahjong sessions and even the entire space in our living room just for Isaac’s play yard. I started to learn how to cook because home cooked food is always better, and I have never cleaned the house so much in my life before. I personally feel that we have not only grown individually, but also as a couple. This is like a parenting anniversary to us. Doesn’t it call for a celebration?
Anyway, I won the debate. Now I am really excited for the party! Venue booked, cake ordered, decor bought. ONE MORE WEEK TO GO!
Today as I sat down and thought about how Isaac is turning 1 in the blink of an eye, I started to think how he has changed my life after his arrival. In fact, I think I’ve unlocked some of the superhero powers that I’ve always had unknowingly. Yep, I’ve always secretly thought that I’m a ninja or a superhero of some sort. Now I am just further convinced that I was right all along.
1) Superhero: Wolverine Skill set : Enhanced sense of hearing
I remember how hubs and I used to watch the telly or listen to music at dangerously high volumes because we kept saying we are unable to hear the words well. With Isaac in the house, my ability to hear has enhanced greatly. Even while he is in the room and I’m in the kitchen, I can hear him or his movements without him having to cry or scream. In more extreme cases, I can even hear my neighbour’s baby’s cries and be able to identify that it is not coming from my baby.
2) Superhero : Miss Invisible’s Skill set : self explanatory
Whenever the hubby is out, I will have a spectator whenever I use the bathroom. In order not to be out of isaac’s sight, I will sit him down on his high chair while I plant myself on my inspirational throne. Most of the time, I try to pretend I am invisible and that he is not able to see me because it is just so awkward. Hopefully he doesn’t get nightmares from watching me. 🙁
3) Superhero : The Flash Skill set : Probably the fastest superhero there is
Once I put Isaac down for his afternoon nap, I will take my shower as quietly and as quickly as possible. Hair Shampooed or not, lather washed off properly or not, the moment the baby wails, i am all wrapped up in my towel in less than 5 seconds and out to check on him, hoping that he falls back to sleep.
4) Superhero : Deadpool Skill set : Accelerated healing factor
I’ve always had a weak immune system since I was a kid, so I tend to fall sick very easily and recovery time is usually slow. Ever since I had Isaac, not only do I fall sick less often, I also recover in a much shorter time when I fall ill because I am determined to get well to look after him. More importantly, because I do not want to pass on any virus / infections to him.
5) Superhero : Shazam Skill set: Unknown strength limit. Does not need to eat or sleep when in superhero form
This probably related the most to me during the first few months of parenthood. Waking up in the wee hours just to feed / express milk, and getting up to check on Isaac whenever he made the slightest sound. The first month was probably the most tiring since I had to wake up every night to look after Isaac myself. I would wake up multiple times with an hour and a half to sleep in between feeds. There was this one time, I don’t remember sleeping at all and I was way beyond tired that I felt extremely high. Thank goodness Isaac stopped waking up at night for milk when he turned 2 months old.
When hubs returned to work after his paternity leave, I looked after Isaac by myself in the day. When I started out, I did not know his sleeping patterns well and I tried to do the housework while he slept. I thought I would nap once housework was done. Only to realise that once I had my housework done, the baby would wake. My poor management of time led to a sleep and food deprived me. Slowly I learnt how to deal with this by monitoring his routine. In a nutshell, baby’s nap time equals to mummy’s nap time. I simply left the housework to the husband (LOL!), or at least when he is around to look after the baby.
Actually the more I look at Isaac, the more I start to think he may have inherited some of my super genes. Just look at him.
Now where’s my cape?!
At the age of 6 months onward, Isaac will get extremely upset whenever I am out of his visibility. Even if it is for a few minutes (or seconds!), even if I am in the very next room. Initially, I would stop whatever i was doing and pick him up just so that he would stop crying. Or I would place him on his high chair in the same room as I am to watch what I am doing. Gross as it sounds, but this meant even when I needed to shower or had to sit on my inspirational throne. He would continue screaming even when my better half attended to him to the extent that his face is tomato red and filled with tears and mucus. Like this.
This was when I decided to put a stop to it. Here’s what I practise.
1) Keep calm & Inform him what is going to happen
I will sit him down in his cot, and tell him what I am going to do and how long I would take.
Example : “Mummy is going to put your clothes in the wash, will be back in 5 mins.”
Then proceed to walk out of the room calmly, even if he starts to cry.
2) Mean it when I say it
I try to make sure I have all that I need from the room he is in before leaving. Just so I do not have to leave the room twice. Simply because I realised that me leaving the room a second time agitates him a lot more.
It could be his favourite toy or some Gerber puffs. For Isaac, watching the news anchor lady usually works. 😡
When he is inconsolable and screaming at the top of his lungs, I will tell him (from wherever I am) that I am nearby and about to be done. Hearing my voice usually buys me a little more time at what I am doing.
5) Consistency (routine and caregiver)
Fortunately for me, I have my PIL (parents-in-law) to look after Isaac when we go to work. Overtime, he has gotten very attached to them and has also gotten used to the routine of us dropping him off at gramps’ every morning. This makes things a lot easier for us since we do not have to deal with the whole ‘caregiver is not suitable’ kinda drama.
I must admit that having a baby is really life changing. I never knew I actually can have so much patience for someone until Isaac came along. I know that this phase will pass eventually. For now, this is me, 10 months into parenthood. I will just hang on tight and enjoy the ride!
Many have told us how our baby is still too young to remember even if we were to bring them overseas. The husband also made his stand on not letting Isaac take the plane as he is too young (he’s afraid Isaac’s ear drums will hurt from the pressure). Hence, Isaac’s first trip out of SG is to… Montigo Resort Nongsa. Ideal for us because there is no need for plane ride, nothing much to do except chill & swim, not too expensive.
For our 2D1N trip, this is what we packed for Mister I :
– moisturizer, belly oil, shampoo, body wash. Only two teeth now so no need toothbrush. Use my fingers to rub rub can already.
– 2 sets of pjs in case he dirties one set (which he did)
– three sets of light clothings
– thermal swimwear, swimming diaper
– 2 floats in case one has issues inflating
– a handfan
– a box of mosquito patch
– portable electric kettle
– 4.5 litres of water from home
– most importantly his favourite bolster in case he misses his own bed at night
After we are done with packing, I could not help but feel like we are a walking mama shop.
The ferry ride to our destination was a smooth one, as it coincided with Mister I’s nap time so he catnapped all the way on the ferry. He only woke up for milk during the transfer by a shuttle bus (10 mins ride) from the terminal to the resort.
When we arrived at Montigo, we were greeted by the friendly staffs who helped us to transfer our luggage from the shuttle to the reception where we waited to be checked in. We were offered wet towels and iced lemon grass tea while they assisted us with the check in. We were brought to the villa by a buggy.
The villa we booked was BEAUTIFUL! Three storeys, with sea view and a private pool.
First level is the living room with a cooking and dining area. Attached with a balcony and private pool.
Second level is the master bed room and the guest room. Master bed room has a king sized bed, guest room has 2 single beds. Both have their own bathrooms. Did not take any photos of the guest room though.
I love the bathroom! This photo was taken with natural light coming from the roof.
Third level was the roof terrace overlooking the sea. This is an open air space suitable for BBQ and chilling with booze at night. During the day, it is just too sunny for us to even want to go up.
We traveled within the resort’s premises for meals by calling for the buggy. It is extremely convenient for us especially since we have little children around. We had lunch at a dining place called Tadd’s. They serve local, Asian and western cuisine by the poolside. I did not take a photo of the cafe, but here’s the pool.
Once we have settled our lunch, Mister I and friends went for a dip in the pool. The folks who accompanied the kiddos had fun looking after them and catching up with each other. This was mister i’s second experience in the pool and I am pleased to say that he has become more confident now. Unlike the first time, there were no tears shed. He simply drifted along with the flow of the water while using his neck float. After which, we switched him into a float that he can sit in. I could tell he was happy as he was kicking the water trying to push himself along.
Spent the rest of the day chilling in the resort since the kids had to rest after swimming and went for dinner about 7.30pm. Dinner was at their in-house seafood restaurant (Pantai). Went back to the villa after dinner to tuck Mister I to sleep since it was past his bedtime.
Had buffet breakfast at Tadd’s the next morning before check out. Good food equates to happy people equates to a good morning. Traveled back to SG thereafter.
To sum up this trip – Apart from the amount of things we had to pack for the little one, I must say that it was relatively easy travelling with mister I. I was initially worried he may be cranky from the ferry ride as well as the heat but he turned out okay, still happy and self entertaining. He finished his milk and slept during his usual sleeping timings. That being said, I guess we can bring him along next time if we are going somewhere nearby.