Embracing the Next Phase of Parenthood

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! 

Isaac at 15 months

The Night We Thought We Might Lose Our Boy

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

Isaac at the hospital’s play area before he got discharged

Should we discipline our kids in public ?

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. 🙁 

Day of fun at Alive Museum Singapore

Last weekend, we visited Alive Museum Singapore. Many of you would have already been to or at least heard of Alive Museum Singapore – the largest attraction in Singapore, with an area of more than 10,000 sq ft and has over 80 art pieces!

It was our first visit there and the moment we stepped into the place, the mister immediately said “quick take a photo” while I was rummaging my bag for the camera. I looked up to see him and Isaac already posing for the photo.

FullSizeRender (2)

Initially, we felt sort of awkward to pose with people walking around and looking (at the art pieces not us). After a while, we figured that no one really cared since they are all there to do the same thing. So for those who are visiting Alive Museum, just know that there is really no need to be shy. Just have fun and enjoy yourselves!
We took many photos but will only share some of them in order not to spoil any fun for those who have not visited the place. As Isaac was the most dramatic one among the three of us, I decided that his photos actually look the convincing. Hence, you will see most of the photos are of him and his well hidden daddy. His dramatic genes … must be from his father because I can assure you that no one taught this 14 month old toddler how to behave in any of the photos.

Little Merman Isaac
Little Merman Isaac
The Secret Stairway
The Secret Stairway
Someone is up to some mischief with the artists
Someone is up to some mischief with the artists
Checking to see if there is anyone obstructing his path even though his legs cannot reach the pedals
Checking to see if there is anyone obstructing his path even though his legs cannot reach the pedals
Definitely looks like I am not contributing to the kayaking
Definitely looks like I am not contributing to the kayaking
The two loves of my life on a love boat

See, I kid you not when I mentioned how expressive Isaac is. HAH!

Here are some things I learnt from my experience there:
1. For better quality of photos, take the photos using a camera. I prefer using my camera because I can adjust the settings to my desired mode.

2. If you know you will be one of those who will feel awkward about posing in front of many people, try visiting on weekdays if possible to avoid large crowds.

3. Bring enough water to ensure that the kid(s) are hydrated. Even for Isaac who is only slightly over a year old, he was fascinated with the paintings around and was moving around a lot to try to get to them. This is probably one of the things I like about Alive Museum. Instead of the usual “Cannot touch this” or “Don’t touch that”, we can actually touch these art pieces.

4. Make sure you take all the photos you want with a particular painting until you are satisfied before moving on to the next room. Reason is because, the moment you go through the door to the next room, you are not able to go back to the previous one. A lesson we learnt for us because the mister and I went into panic mode when we realised that had we left Isaac’s baby carrier in the previous room. We had to wait for someone to open the door before we can go back and retrieve our carrier.

5. Go with friends so that you can take turns to take photos for each other. Otherwise, bring a tripod stand. As you can see, most of our photos are mainly of Isaac. We had to take turns to carry him while the other takes the photo.

Another thing that I like about the museum is the indication of the photo points on the floor, which tells you where to stand to get the best shots. Angling is important here otherwise the photos will turn out looking strange. Oh, did I forget to mention the free wifi? Yes! There is free wifi at the museum so you can share your photos on your social media instantly!

Alive Museum Singapore has just launched a special 40% discount for a limited time only! You can purchase your discounted tickets online to avoid the ticketing queue. So wait no longer, get your tickets here!
For more information on Alive Museum Singapore, you may check out their official website here.

*** Punggolbabies Giveaway ***
Punggolbabies will be giving away 4 tickets (2 adults + 2 children) to a lucky winner. Just 3 simple steps to participate in the giveaway. Check out the details of the giveaway on our Instagram account @thepunggolbabies.
Giveaway ends 12 June 2016, at 2359hrs. Winner will be picked at random and contacted via pm on Instagram.

The ‘W’ Word

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. 🙂 

 

Fun at eXplorerkid @ Downtown east

On 23rd April 2016, the Punggol babies  spent the morning together at eXplorerkid @ Downtown East. The minute Zara boarded the car, she kept saying “we are going to the slide! Wheee!” This girl is just too funny! The kiddos’ could not contain their excitement when we arrived. They took out their footwear and put on their socks as quickly as they could. Within a few minutes, they were out of sight while I spent most of the time with toddler Isaac.

The indoor playground was divided into sections, I shall sequence it based on the sequence of what I saw.

Sand Play area :
Playing with sand has always been something I’ve considered bringing Isaac to do when he is slightly older, because I believe that not only is it a great sensory ‘toy’ for him as he learns to manipulate his hands by molding the sand, it also promotes his creativity at low, or no cost. This was Isaac’s first encounter with the kinetic sand. He cringed the moment he touched it.

Evidently, he did not like what he touched
Evidently, he did not like what he touched

As the hubs took Isaac to play elsewhere, I spent some time with Missy Z making shapes and buildings with the sand. Every time I was done building, she’d tell me “I cut the car, I cut the boat!” Then she proceeds to use the spade to poke poke at what I’ve made. Here’s the cheeky girl trying to make her own castle.
sandplay2

Mega Play :
Although this area is more suitable for the older kids, that did not stop Isaac from having a go at climbing the obstacles. I know most toddlers have learnt to walk by 12 months old, but Isaac has yet to start walking.  One thing i must say though, he is a really good climber. His determination is pretty impressive too!

Mega Play area for kids aged 4 and above
Mega Play area for kids aged 4 and above
Isaac on one of the obstacles

obstacle

Ball pit :
What’s an indoor playground without the ball pit? At eXplorerkid, this is no exception. In fact, there are two ball pits. One for the older kids, one at the toddler area.

Isaac looking at the older kids in the bigger ball pit
Isaac looking at the older kids playing in the bigger ball pit

Toddler area :
I spent the most time hanging around the toddler play area because Isaac loved the little stations here!little stations

He spent the most time in the kitchen pretending to cook up a storm. He also pretended to be a vet in the pet shop.

Head Chef at work
Head Chef at work
Anyone looking for Doctor Lin?
Anyone looking for Doctor Lin?

ride

He also had fun pushing himself along on the ride on toy.

Apart from the ball pit, there is also a mini slide, and a not so mini Ship slide.

mini slide for toddlers
mini slide for toddlers
Ship slide
Ship slide

To be honest, this slide is actually quite steep. Missy A and myself actually got abrasions on our elbows when we came down on this slide. Did not have the same problem with the other slides in this playground.

Adventure highlands :
Personally, I feel that this has got to be the most interesting part of eXplorerkid @ Downtown East to me. It challenges children to complete a rope course in a circuit of suspended bridge which aims to build their confidence and motor skills.

Adventure Highlands
Adventure Highlands – Kids have to be at least 110cm in height

It was definitely a fun filled morning for the kids and a tiring day for the adults.

For more information on the play rates or birthday party packages, you may check out their website here.