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.
We finally visited an indoor playground after procrastinating for some time. I initially thought that indoor playgrounds are just obstacles, slides and big ball pits for kids who have started walking. G (my other half) also kept telling me that Isaac is too young and there is probably nothing for him to play there. Nonetheless, we still went ahead to check it out.
When we initially entered the playground, Isaac refused to be put down. He was afraid, yet curious of his surroundings. We took turns to hold him and slowly put him down when we felt he was ready.
After some time, he became more confident and started to move about. Since the playground was not suitable for him, we spent most of our time at the Toddler area where he had lots of fun.
After our experience today, I am glad I can say that Isaac had a good time during his first experience at an indoor playground. What I liked most about bringing him there, is seeing him become more confident and how he gradually learnt to share. Can’t wait to bring him here again next time!
With one, we could dedicate and give her our 100%.
When the second arrived, we doubled our love and dedication.
The eldest has a companion and the youngest has a role model.
They both have a playmate.
The grandparents always say, “One more one more” and so they got their wish come true.
With the arrival of a number three in the family they are kept busy and accompanied with three little ones.
And that’s also how Punggol Babies come about.
Because it is more fun together!