Because… There are Super-Dads too

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. 🙂

G & Isaac
Dad & Son

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. 🙂