Sunday, February 28, 2010
After being with them day in day out, I kinda "see" them and yet sometimes don't "see" them.. If you get what I mean..
So recently, with all the CNY visitings, I am quite pleasantly surprised when various people mentioned how cute looking En and Xuan are, how alike they are, how long their lashes are, and how adorable Xuan is with his beautific smile..
Everyday when I see En and Xuan, I do not see their big eyes, nor long lashes, nor Xuan's dimples..
I see them fighting, eyes briming with tears, or laughing hilariously climbing on one an other's backs/ other body parts, I see them fighting over the same toy, yelling at each other.. Or sometimes, quietly.. talking about various things that happened in the day..
I have just kinda.. Stopped Seeing them.. their day to day experiences and behaviors have overshadowed their physical looks.
So for the past 3 days, I really looked at them.. still the same behaviors, same conversations, and also their faces.. their little fingers, their little bodies dancing, running, or lying next to me...
And I must say, it is all coming back to me now..
Once kids grow out of their 1 plus age, and become more independent, we kinda see their personality, their behaviors.. and sometimes we just forget to see all the little things about them,especially physically I guess.. Kinda always trying toi read their minds and expressions but forgetting the actual faces, the eyes, the eyebrows and all that make up their exquisite little frames..
And I realise, I am seeing Xuan Xuan in quite some new light..
He has a really beautiful smile, wide and carefree, with slight dimples making him very boyish looking..
His legs are filled with cuts/ bruises, evidence of his carelessness as he still stumbles or runs into things..
He laughs so easily, at every little thing or event that tickles him..
And he makes everyone laugh and smile with his singing or his dance moves..
And he is growing up everyday...
He is always such a little carefree boy in my eyes, but he surprises me with his moments of "logic"..
Always thinking that he is very easy going and not too fussy a boy, albeit with clear preferences such as his beloved Thomas or his white bear named "Bao Bear", he told me 2 days ago that..
"I do not like this sheep (on his bedsheet).. I like blue bedsheet.I do not like this one. (And we have had the bedsheet for like.. a long time...)"
As I lie next to him at night before he dozes off to sleep for the past week, he makes sure I have a bolster, like he has, and he will offer to bring me a red bear to cuddle, as he has his Bao Bear to hold and to hug.. But he refuses to let me have one of his 2 pacifiers! Still!
And one afternoon, I heard him say to our helper..
" I am coughing, I have to drink water you know, or I cannot go AckDonalds."
Ah.. my baby is growing up, but in my mind, I still see his big wide smile, easy going shakes or nodding of his head, and stumbling and struggling to do little tasks such as feeding himself and wearing his shoes...
Bao Xuan, you are always Mummy's little baby bear..
I love you... muak muak.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The jingle performance by Yap Bao En and Lim Kai Pin, with 'Pots" as the Guest star..
"We will, we will
Kick your butt
Make you fart
All the way to PizzaHut.."
And En later told me that it was not PizzaHut, but Picture Heart.. (think he mis-construed, but that is besides the point..)
We asked him what does Picture Heart mean, he says
"It is something you give your papa and mummy when you love them."And much later that night, again, he displayed his Picture Heart when I was lying with Xuan in the kids' room, accompanying En and Xuan to dreamland..
En: "Go to your room to sleep, Mummy"
Me: "Why, I want to sleep here.."
En: "Then Papa sleep alone?"
Me: "Yes, is that Ok?"
En: "Then he will not be scared?"
Me: silently going.."Orrr...真有爸爸的心, sigh.."
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Mainly cuz I was in confinement last year and really have little recall of last year's new year.. except dressing the kids..
I vaguely recall the new year 2 years ago when I was in the full new year mode, decorating the house, the oranges, making DIY hampers that can beat the professional establishments'..
So in comparison, this new year seems quiet, and relatively less festive.. and I really have to struggle to get into the new year mode.. and trying really hard to recall how to address the aunties and uncles in the hainanese terms..
So while I did not manage to have any time, or any mood for that matter, to do up our hampers/ dress up the oranges.. I made sure we take photos as much as we can remember to amidst the usual chaos with 3 kids!
I sure hope everyone is having an enjoyable CNY thus far, in all your own little ways..
Here are some initial ones.. others to follow after copying them from others' cameras!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Friday, September 04, 2009
Me: "En en, do you think Papa love you more or does Papa love mummy more?"
En: "Papa love you more.."
Me: "Why do you say that?"
En: " If I say Papa love me more, I scared you have no friends wat.."
Me: o_O (speechless) and hohohoho...
I have always wondered about the Yangtze cruise and as we were debating on where to bring the boy (the Pandas in Chengdu, the Children's musuem in Shanghai etc etc), Husband eventually did the logistic planning for the cruise to the Three Gorges.
It as an eye opener for me personally, and now, I am a total cruise convert. I used to think cruises are boring etc.. but well, now I am convinced that the sights from the vessel and from the shore excursions are worth the "cooped up" feeling on board the vessel. It is a more than worthwhile trade off !
The boys enjoyed themselves lots and have been real troopers in terms of energy to walk and keeping up with the rather militant and rigorous cruise schedule. The only thing that stressed me out were over meal times, when they really gave us a hard time, making me wonder and worried over whether they are eating enough and getting enough nourishment etc etc.
But all in all, there are more happy times as seen from the ever cheeky Xuan and the occupied En.
Not a great start with flight delay to Yichang. think it is common for flights going into the various smaller cities to be delayed.
Waiting for papa to buy Burger King.. hungry - way past lunch time, We just realised Xuan has motion sickness as he has a tendency to puke in taxi rides.. so we dun feed him a lot prior to any car rides.
We were definitely impressed by the room, and its decent size balcony. It is just enough to laze in the room as we watch the magnificent sights sail past the windows.. When Xuan first got into the room, he said "I like this room". Subsequently, everyday we will hear him say "I like this room". :) He really looked like he enjoyed himself lazing around the various pars of the vessel.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
The tods, En and Xuan are in the school here. I often wonder what they learn in schol, and wonder whether they will lag in their phonics and maths and have to do catch up when they return to SG. However, I am also convinced that the boys are learning different things now, some more desirable - such as adaptability, Chinese language, and being more street wise to a certain extent. Other less desirable traits include the more active/ violent gun play (from the pervasive military culture here in China and imitated and aspired towards by kids in school), the guggling, or even the spitting..
One thing that we managed to implement is to "Use the ears" rather than " Use the eyes" moments. I have been trying to undo the TV addict habits of the tods, and now manage to do music time rather than Tv time during meals. While I do think it is OK for some amount of TV, but I think the boys have exceeded the healthy amounts of TV since papa is always on the computer showing them all sorts of Youtube clips. I really frown on that - just cuz papa adores silly contents on Youtube does not mean those clips are suitable for the kids.
Therefore, we have tried exposing the kids to different music genres instead, from classical, to Disney movie's theme songs (the kids love the songs from Lion King), and surprisingly, when I bought the Korean OST for Boys Over Flowers, the boys love it. En and Xuan will sing "Almost paradise" when the song comes on and En will say that he like various songs from the OST.
Hence, we also started playing Oldies for the kids as well, such as "Only you", "Moon River", "Smoke gets in your eyes".. Rather unorthodox I guess, but I did read somewhere that exposing the kids to different music genre from young is good. In any case, En has a v rhythmic body and will move his body according to the beat for songs he like. Well, according to NJ, today's pop will become tomorrow's oldies/ classic :)
In addition, En has become very interested in animals and have started asking us to read to him about the animals. It started with a Chinese encyclopedia that he picked up at the bookstore and since then, he has been reading facts about animals before he goes to bed. So when we were on the topic of dragonflies, I googled for the song 红蜻蜓 by 小虎队 and he was really amused. From the same website, we also found out that they have another song 蝴蝶飞呀 and we listened to that as well and read up on the butterflies as the next topic. Come to think of it, 小虎队 has some really nice inspiring songs much as they are from the bygone era!
Well, the problem with reading Chinese encyclopedia for me is I do now know many of the nouns that are used - e.g. the specific variants of various animals species (dinosaurs, whales, sharks etc). En wants us to translate it while reading, so that is a chore too. Hence, on the recent trip, I bought him an imported English encyclopedia instead and it is a joy reading it t both En and Xuan.
One of En's favourite activity here (besides drawing, and he can draw pretty well, one day i ought to do an online art exhibition for the boy here..), is to play with his Logico. We were first introduced to to it by Nj's fellow Singaporean friend here whose wife is a Primary school teacher. I saw it at the bookshop before and had thought that En will be interested, Little did I know that it was actually a German system of developing kids' brain with the various activities sheets and that it costs half the price cheaper in China (probably due to lower cost of production etc). The only drawback in buying it in China is that the worksheets are in Mandarin. However, as NJ's fren said, and we observed, over time, En actually know the "system" and will be able to do on his own sometimes, without us always having to give him too much instruction. It is a good way to keep En occupied when we go out for dinners, as he will always want to bring his Logico along.
The Nikulin Circus was in town last weekend, and we brought the kids to the matinee show. It was an experience for the kids, En loved the tiger show, which was the highlight of the show, while Xuan was captivated by the acrobats flying and falling (yes, falling. Not sure why, the acrobats actually fell and it was rather heart stopping to watch, even though there is the catchment net below). Later, when I asked Xuan which part of the circus did he like best, he replied "the flying one". I was surprisingly impressed by the juggler, it was a highly energetic performance by a single juggler, and the skill and the rhythm of the segment enchanted me. I was much saddened by the performances of the bears though, as it seem v sad for a large bear to be looped and then asked to perform all the various dances etc.
A packed matinee on a Saturday. The boys in their seats!
Xuan learning to use the binoculars (it only cost SGD 2!)
After the circus...
Why the bears, and not the tigers etc? Check out the bear doing the hoola hoop here..
Well, I can see from the tigers that they have the ability to rebel, as seen in the various tigers refusing to sit on more than one occasion and the performers have to "threaten" them with a long rod. I feel that the tigers held the power in the relationship with humans, at least more so than the bears. the bears seemed really helpless. One of the bears kept moving left and right, and left and right, and Nj told me that that is a sign of potential madness/ an expression of stress. I feel very much saddened by the whole performance after that. Of course there are other animals, but e.g the dogs and the horses, their performances are in line with what they typically do anyway, e.g. horses carrying the riders who performed various stunts on the horsebacks, while the dogs run through obstacles etc which is much like a game to them. Hence, in my view, the bears probably got the worst deal. it is my first circus, I doubt I would ever go to another one, frankly. My heart feels bad. The kids love it though.. so as an experience for the kids, it has its value.
Rui is now learning to crawl, and eat biscuit on his own. Check him out on his first biscuit!
He is one tough kid.. It is quite heart stopping to see him try to get on his knees, but it is a real experience for me. In the past, as a working mum, I hardly get much of the first moments. Now that I stay at home with the boys, I do see so much of their different aspects, it is a very enriching experience. There is really nothing compared to watching them grow.. and well, in Rui's case, learning to crawl, sit up, balance etc..
So while the boys learn, so do I. Leanr to cook and plan nutritious meals for them..
Xuan enjoying his watermelon, strawberry shake
The "vege-saur" Dip Dip party
In addition to the variety of purees that I have been making for Rui, we started him on Chicken, and I use Annabel Karmel's recipes and they are yummy, even for adults. While browsing for recipes, I also came across the tods' recipes for dips. So I started making tomato puree from scratch, and the Summer Picnic Dip is fantastic (try the Chicken on the Griddle is yummy and healthy too!). The boys love it and we had a vegetable party for their lunch snack after they came home from school. It was a good way to get Xuan to eat his veges, as he love to "dip dip: :)
Staying with the boys for bulk of the time, is also a constant learning journey for me. Learning about their likes and dislikes, their individual character differences, and how to read their emotions and needs. The last has to be the toughest I guess. Although En has learnt to articulate his emotions, e.g. I am sad/ I am scared etc, but most of the times, his emotions will overwhelm him which lead to the whining, cryings and wailings.
Xuan needs to be managed carefully and if his needs are met, many a times, we can prevent a tantrum eruption. I read from a forum that some kids do not have the ability to calm themselves down after tantrums as there is some hormones that are missing. And these kids tend to be hyper-active and intense. As such, it is recommended that such kids should be engaged in more active activities to build up that specific hormone which is needed when the kid is in tantrum, for them to be able to calm down. I thought that seems to fit Xuan well.
Since we moved here, he has been missing his quota of outdoor play, and when in College Green, he has always been able to sooth himself by crying in front of his book shelf, but here, somehow his tantrums just seemed very out of control. And he did behave much better when he started school here and we do a daily outdoor play in the estate. So the various active activities may indeed help to give him some form of self control.
More importantly, I think trust helps. Over time, I think Xuan has learnt to trust me and we have arrived at an understanding for some tasks without having to wrestle and fight.
As the time for home going approaches, I do feel time slipping away. I will so miss all this when I go back to work I guess. I guess we always want what we did not have, when I first started out on this journey, I really dreaded the endless noise at home etc etc.. Now guess I will soon miss it!
Sunday, August 09, 2009
First, we went in search of Singaporean foods! NJ and I went to check out the Nonya Restaurant while the boys nap. Feel like having some local food.. Been missing the spicy SG food quite a bit. And while I was enjoying my Laksa, while Nj had Nasi lemark, we wondered if we should join the other singaporeans in the National Day celebration. There are various events, and eventually hubby decided that we will join his friends at the Singapore Embassy which is broadcasting the National Day Parade live.
We figured the boys will be excited and boy they were!! Check out the pics and the videos!
Live broadcast at the Singapore embassy
Captivated by the soldiers, planes, choppers and fireworks!!
Yummy Hainanese Chicken rice for the boys.. Yum! That is the one of the few non spicy dishes served!
Holding the boys up high for the Grand Finale photoshoot for CNA..
And I feel that when one lives overseas, one do feel more emotionally for one's nation. It could be pride, or nostalgia.. Whatever it is, it makes one feel very much Singaporean. I mean, while we were in singapore, we probably never really think or feel very much about being Singaporeans. However, when away, I do miss Singapore quite a lot.. from the tangibles to the intangibles. Well, before I depart, I will summarise what I really miss about Singapore and what I will miss about Beijing in another entry..
In any case, I remarked to Hubby that perhaps, nations which have a siginificant population diaspora may have a greater sense of national pride, as their overseas citizens seek the emotional connection with their nations. Something not unlike the old adage "Absence makes the heart fonder". Perhaps distance magnifies the good stuff, and diminishes the bad stuff? Well, i sure had a great time at the Singapore Embassy, as did the boys! And i do miss home much when I look at the live broadcast with all the rest of the Singaporeans and enjoying the Singapore cuisine provided!!
The boys sure enjoy the soldiers marching, the planes and choppers, the fireworks and the songs and dances. I was dreading that I will have to hover over them, but surprisingly, they were entertained by the various other Singaporeans there, and not once did various people approach us for permission to take pics withe the 2 boys.. *very weird I thought..* I mean we are getting used to being stared at by the Chinese whenever we go out with the boys, either cuz we have 2 boys which is envied in the One child policy China, or we will overhear people remarking that the boys are twins - another rarity, or having them mistake Xuan or both as gals.. But I did not expect them to be poster boys amidst Singaporeans too..
One of the students taking pic with Xuan.
Boys playing with the fellow Singaporeans there..
Xuan was a natural with strangers. He has no qualms playing with the others in the crowd, or went around the hall and returning to find us in front of the large screen.. En was a tad more cautious but had a great time playing with Xuan and joining Xuan in playing with the fellow Singaporeans.. By the end of the day, the boys were exhausted but happy on the way home.
Despite the thunderous rain this afternoon, I am glad we went. It is a real experience indeed!
Monday, August 03, 2009
我不说 并不代表 我不懂
我不说 并不代表 我没感觉
因为 安静的带过 也是一种 感觉
Recently, in many incidents, with the kids and the people around me, I find myself being more passive. Maybe I need a pause. Maybe I am really getting older..
But it is a clear departure of some of my older ways..
I was always of the stand that if we want something, or to be the agent of change, we need to be active.
Active participation, active confrontation, active assertion...
So I always state my views and my thoughts, as clearly as I can. Even if it does not get through all the time, it is a platform of communication, which leads to understanding..
But recently I realise that Passivity and Time, are agents of change too..
Time, if you allow it to do its magic, brings about changes too..
And let time play out the consequences.
Believe that Time will bring about the same realisation that you want in others..
Particularly in kids, I think this is important.
Some things just need Time to nurture and come to fruition.
Forcing the issue do not always help.
When it comes to relationships, giving time and space may also help to open up a clearer field of vision. And it is a also a test of how the different parties understand the other parties intuitively.
And if the understanding is not there, even speaking it, will not being it about.
I am beginning to understand this.
Ultimately, if it is not to be.. it may never be.
Monday, July 27, 2009
And hubby brought a happy kids meal which came long with this 小丸子变脸 freebie.
It was a normal toy till.. i found a way to use it.
I read the Babycentre emailer just this morning that silliness is good for kids and it helps diffuse the tension off situation.
So as En was stalling over his milk earlier as usual, and I was fiddling with 小丸子 next to him.. I showed him this face with me mimicking the face..
and I told him that when he finished his milk, I can be the smiley face again..
That tickled him no end and he started laughing non stop.. and in a short while, he finished his milk, in between his hilarious laughter looking at the face. So, I thought to myself, humor is quite key to relationships indeed. Be it between parents and kids, or between spouses or even friends..
Many asked what do the kids and I do in our lives here, and it is very hard to answer as there is just overwhelming amount of things to do..
I shall just attempt to litter bits of them here along the way..
Papa brought this set of toys for the boys on one of his trips to the baby store.
It is a really nice playset for a gal, but I guess, boys will play it their own way. Not too bad yah?
Anyway, I also believe at this age, kids's toys should not be limited by gender.. so En and Xuan do enjoy playing with it other than their train sets and building blocks.
En operates a confectionary store with this, and I will call for orders while he prepares and send them to my place. Along the way, he learns to remember where our address is as well as to remember the specific orders that I have. Perhaps in the future, I should get him a cashier as well and teach him entrepreneurship!!
Xuan loves to sing the birthday song when he sees the cake and loves to imagine himelf eating the cake. He would cut the cake and serve it to the others and ultimately himself! He is really a cookie monster!
- Houhai -
*Pic Taken by Bao En* - Photography seems really natural to Bao En..
We brought the boys to the Houhai area for a walk over the mild weathered weekend and En was really excited over the ducks he saw. He kept singing the duck song which I find really amusing.
Xuan as usual - with food, the trip is good I guess :)
The place is littered with pubs with interesting decor mix of East and Weat and is really more of an expats' or tourists' watering hole than for the family, but I am glad there are the boats and the ducks to entertain the kids..
- Rui's toys and food -
Rui is really sitting up quite well now, and can't wait to put everything he can grab into his mouth. And I am busy reading up on how to manage and tweak his feeding schedule with the introduction of solids.. in addition to the weaning recipe book for purees to make him.. Thus far, he has tried most of the stuff that he is supposed to at 6 mths and moving on to more variety each day.. (banana, apples, carrot, papapya, broccoli, peaches, cauliflower, pear, pumpkins of various varients, sweet tapocia of various varients). I am gonna work on peas for tomorrow, that is really an effort as I hate shelling the peas but I guessed he better start eating start eating his greens early.
We got a blender here for Rui's puree but I am happily making use of the juicing function to make juice for the tods as well.
The weather here is just too sweathering hot and it is a good way to have them drink more liquids as well as making sure they are getting the Vits.
I also got myself these handy books with recipes of food for kids through the various seasons. The section on summer is particularly useful as it teaches us how to boil the various soups and use the various ingredients to combat the heat.
The best part? Each of these books costs less than 5 SGD bucks!! Books are really affordable here, the Chinese ones anyway, so I really enjoyed going to the bookstore 2 streets away to buy books for myself and the kids. The street stalls at WuDaoKou (the hangout area for students) also have "pirated" English books going for as cheap as 2 SGD dollars, with covers so authentic that you would not have tot they are fake!
Hence, I am like reading 5-6 books all at the same time, depending on what interests I have or the mood I am in. I have..
1. Marketing for Rainmakers - Phil Fragasso
2. 100 details to bring up magical boys (Chinese)
3. The Leader in You - Dale Carnegie
4. 3 岁决定孩子的一身
5. The Baby Healthy eating planner
Where do I find the time to read? When I am pumping, before I sleep, while I get the boys to do their own stuff in peace (though these moments are really rare!).. Well, if I dun accomplish anything during these long period away of work, I guess I see it as a retreat to recharge and brush up the knowledge on parenting and work. There are always tons of books that I wanted to read but just no time when I was working, so I am really indulging myself here. And reading keeps me sane. It is an adult world, and it reminds me of who I am. Being a SAHM sometimes makes me forget that there is a very much sane world out there, with meaningful adult conversations and stuff that trigger my interests!
Of course, there are really many many interesting kid moments too, but for me, I can only take so much of the kids in any given day. Any more of the quota and I go a bit crazy, seriously. And there are always the parenting books to make me think and re-think about our ways of approaching the kids..
Are we stifling them? Am I mis-understanding them? Am i decoding their signals and emotions correctly? Are we engaging in meaningless power struggles... etc etc.
Life has never been more challenging, but at the end of the day, I tell myself I may never have such a time with the boys again. The present is now, with them at these ages, and we can never do this again. So for this one chance, for the good and the bad, I must do the best I can and make the best of it. Carp Diem..
Babies En, Xuan & Rui's Antics
Dedicated to both Baby En and Baby Xuan and Baby Rui, the babies who have managed to create havoc in the entire household before they have even begun speaking.. who have inspired love and dreams even though they are still too young to understand what these are.. who brought smiles to many even before they have learnt to smile, and of course tears, heart-ache and anxiety to their parents even before their physical presence are felt in this world!! For you all, the dynamite babies..
Babies' Favourite Sites
- Shopping Mama Queen
- Every Little Blessing
- All that Glitters About Vincent
- Back to Basics
- Fatherhoot - Catch How En Terrorizes Momo (exclusive)
- Momo the Corgi's Travel & Adventure - Momo's On Holiday But her adventures Dun Stop
- The Discerning Eye - New Reads!
- nOrmad iN Me
- Skyy Low
- Princess Wenzel
- ► 2009 (31)
- ► 2008 (76)
- ► 2007 (111)