Sunday, April 27, 2008

Babies put anything in their mouths

14 month old Nathan has really been growing from strength to strength. He is no longer like a marshmallow man! After having 2 girls & 1 boy, you can really see the difference, as boys have endless energy - literally moving from activity to activity.

The other day, I decided to give them a 'treat' and bathe them in a small little bathe tub together. (Parenting tip - your kids will love the experience, as they bathe & splash water together)

After soaping them down, I decided to brush Nathan's teeth.

I put on this blue little finger brush, plastered on the children's colgate, and stuck my fat fingers into his mouth.

I was greeted by an instant "CHOMP!" as little Nathan thought it was a little hotdog! What's more, it hurt as well!

My little boy really gave it all he got, as he found my fingers in his mouth!

In fact, this has been the life of Nathan at the moment. He is the official food and appliances taster in the family. He puts mobiles, computer mouses, & anything he can find into his mouth.

You better hold on to your belongings, the next time you hang out with him :)


Friday, April 25, 2008

Asking Smart Questions

Nicole has been learning a lot from school...

The other day, as we were window shopping at the Suntec City Mall, we walked past Anderson's of Denmark Ice Cream Parlor.  Immediately, she stretched out her hand and pointed to the parlor, and exclaimed,

 "Daddy, What's that?!?"


I immediately turned away, and pretended that I did not hear her. Hey! I was not going to fall into a trap of talking about ice-cream and feed my daughter's appetite for sweets!

The ploy seemed to work, as she did not repeat her question, and I was successful in diverting her attention to another store.

About 50m down the mall, I decided to ask my daughter, "do you know what was that store selling?"

She replied,


...It was ICE CREAM!!!"

A sudden realization came over me....

My daughter was trying to outsmart me....It was a rhetorical question. She knew the answer all along...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nursery & babies

Nadine has been adjusting well and mummy has been successfully breastfeeding the new baby.

nadine 1 week old

Nicole has also been very loving towards Nadine, but particularly so when Nadine bought Nicole a princess wallet & a princess umbrella (This is a rite of passage we practice, where the new addition to the family will buy a present for his/her siblings.


Nic loves the umbrella and she even plays with it inside the house - but she is still adjusting to the new addition.

The other day at the hospital, she looked adoringly at Nadine. After that, we put her back into her cubicle.

The next moment, she saw our neighbor (couple in the next bed) pushing out his baby.

Nic immediately commented, "Where is he taking Nadine?"


Then she went to the hallway, and she began to ask mummy,

"Why are there so many Nadines?" (she is just so funny!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 2 - Hospital Visitation

Nadine in capsule

Many thanks to the people who came down to the hospital to see us the last few days.

It has been great seeing everybody and very encouraging to receive all the well wishes through your SMSes, and though the blog (with the Tag Box and the Comments Page)

Here are some happy pictures of the whole day:

Nadine visiters collageWe are preparing for Nadine's arrival home tomorrow and the confinement lady should be coming in as well. Praying that Nadine will settle down as quickly as possible.

Some helpful tips for parents:

1. Try to stay for at least 2 nights in the hospital. Mummy needs all the rest possible! When the Baby comes home, baby cries as she needs to adjust.

2. We always play music in the hospital when baby is around, and we will play the same music at home. Creating an identical environment, will help the baby adjust, when she goes home.

3. Engage an external confinement lady. When you pay somebody, you can demand for more. Relatives have their little quirks which may make things a bit difficult, especially when it comes to parenting issues!

4. Pack your overnight bags early. I went to the hospital with my DSLR camera. Wanted to take some pictures, but my battery was left at home. I charged it too last minute! Thankfully, I still have my small little digital camera with me. Thank God for backups! 

Before I go, here's another video:

Its about Nadine's 1st walk to the Hospital Nursery. This was taken as she was wheeled out of the labor ward!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Inside the mind of a woman in labor

Delivery Suite - April 15, 12.01 a.m.

Nurse: This is your 3rd child? What time your pain started?

Me: 10 p.m.

Nurse: Why you come in so late?

Wanted to snap back at her, to save $$! But smile. You need her later.

Me: Please, can I have epidural now?

Nurse: I must check you first. See if you're ready to deliver.

Are you nuts? Can't you see I'm in pain? Still need to check if I'm ready? Wait... be nice. don't scream. smile. let her check all she wants. You need her later..

Me: Can you call the anesthetist now? Please? I cannot not have epidural.

Nurse: Ok. You are 5-6cm dilated. We call him. You relax. Use this gas. Just breathe in it.

I've tried this gas before! It doesn't work. But for now no choice. I'll do what she says. Breathe deeply. Have faith. Tell  yourself- the gas works, the gas works, the gas works. urgh.. it still doesn't!

Me: Where's the anesthetist? Did you call him?

Nurse: It'll take 15-20 min. He's coming from home.

You must be joking. He'll still need to change and drive down. He'll be here later. You're trying to comfort me. Ok, at least she has more power to help me than Ed. He is holding my hand, but she has the phone numbers to the doctor! Hey, maybe she can adminster the epidural.

Me: Where's the anesthetist? Did you call him?

Nurse: It'll take 15-20 min. He's coming from home.

Me: Nurse, please don't walk away. Stay in the room.

Nurse: I'm here.

Me: Where's the anesthetist? Did you call him?

Nurse: It'll take 15-20 min. He's coming from home.

This goes on for another period like eternity. Then...

Nurse: He's here. The anesthetist is here!

Anesthetist (in whisper): Get another nurse in. Hold her down.

Why? Am I very violent? Can you hurry? Do you know if I'm too dilated, epidural cannot be administered. I think I'll be one of those violent, scratch face, do emergency Caesarian people. IT'S ALREADY SO PAINFUL!! I can't keep smiling. I'm already snapping at you.

Nurse: Ok. You curl up. Face me. Keep breathing the gas. Keep still.

God, please help me. This is last hurdle. Keep still. Let the doctor do what he needs to do to prepare the epidural. Don't move. Keep still. Keep breathing this useless gas. Oh God, you must help me...

Moments pass. I'm still. No contractions. Doctor does his stuff. My body relaxes. Epidural takes effect. It's a miracle! I check the contractions graph, through out the period, there were contractions. But I didn't feel a thing! I was calm, curled up neatly, breathing steadily. Thank God!

After that, I'm more level headed. Apologised to the nurse if I was rude before. Smiled. Ask questions. Got back to my usual self. No more snapping at her.

Now I can rest. Later, just push. I consider the labor over. Praise the Lord!

My Adventure as a New Parent

IMG_1041This is me...typing in the entries at 2.46 am, as Jiahui needed to be kept in the labor ward.

I was here in the Hospital until 5am, slept for 2hours and then sent Nicole to school.

Now, I am back here at the hospital, looking after my lovely wife.

Thanks for all the well wishes this morning, JL was the 1st to wish me at 4am in the morning. I was like - "U don't sleep one ah?"

...Anyway, It was a pleasant surprise to hear from her. (At least, now I know who to call at 4am, when I need help :)

Something noteworthy that happened today:

When Nic woke up this morning, she asked me, "Where is mummy?"

I said she is at the hospital. Then I told her that Nadine is born!

To my surprise, She lifted up her hands, And She let out a triumphant "YAAH!" I was pleasantly pleased and elated at such enthusiasm so early in the morning. :)

Mummy looks tired as I am typing this entry. It looks like our little endurance of coming in after 12 midnight is paying she gets extra time in the hospital.

Only thing is that, the bed next to us is occupied, and they are leaving only tomorrow (Should have prayed for an empty bed, next to ours! A bit too late now)

Anyway, Here are more pictures:

Nadine birth collage

Here are also some videos that I loaded up to Youtube while I was asleep this morning. I will let them speak for themselves.

Nadine in pictures

Room Door

Here are some pictures that I did up to tell the story:

delivery collage 1 When she was first wheeled in, the anathestician was not there yet. So they administered to her gas (we always felt that this gas thing doesn't really help - my wife says it is just some psychological trick, as its still very painful)

When jiahui was sleeping, the nurses started to prepare for the doctor to come.

Check out 1 of the essentials for the doctor:

1 pair of Phua Chu Kang boots or English Wellies!

It's not bright yellow, but I don't think think you can find anyone else wearing a pair of these lovely boots, except in the delivery room! 

And of course, here are some pictures of our lovely daughter:






Live Update : the Miracle of Epidural

Sorry, but did not have time to post, take pictures and hold on to Jiahui's hand at the same time. So, bear with me, if the posts are a bit out of sequence!

A Continuation from the earlier post:

Jiahui was immediately wheeled into the delivery room.

The first few words she uttered out as she entered the room was: "Nurse, I want my epidural!"

edpidural collage

For mothers - This is the miracle of modern science!

With this anesthetic, no longer does one feel the pain. At $500/dose, this is also no ordinary shot!

After this she just rested like a baby and after about 1.5hrs, it was time for Nadine to come out!

Baby Nadine is Born!

It was quick and easy.

2 pushes and she was out on 15 April 2008 at 155am.

Pictures will be out shortly. Stay tuned!

Nadine is on her way

Jiahui felt contractions since 10pm.

As the hospital charges us 1 full day, before we enter 12 midnight, she aimed to enter the hospital after midnight.

Here is a video to keep you updated:


We left the house at about 1135pm, and when we reached the carpark, it was only about 1155pm.

The pain was a little bad for Jiahui, as she has a low threshold.

When we went to the carpark, we realized that the lifts were locked at it was after 1030pm (That was really irritating!)

I had to drive the car out again, and we went in to the main reception.

When the security guard saw us, he immediately brought a wheelchair out....To be continued!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mummy posts ... Nostalgia II (Nathan)

It's 2.45 a.m, April 13, 2008.

Well, I thought I better prepare Part II, just in case I pop tomorrow! After penning how I felt about being a mummy to Nicole in my previous post, I knew writing about Nathan would be something quite different.

Preparations for Nathan's birth was a very non-affair event for us. We thought we knew everything. It was more than the "been there, done that, taken the photo, bought the shirt" feeling. It was the "tried it, tasted it, touched it, nothing to worry" feeling. (And the "it" I'm referring to is NOT the baby... parents would know, with all babies, the package includes pee, poo & puke!)

So with Nathan, my mummy instincts arose very quickly and naturally, since they were already all in motion. But what no one told me or prepared me for, how different things would be.

#1 Baby boys and baby girls are VERY different.

#2 With Nathan, I'm physically 2 years older than when I had Nicole. Ohh.. the tired back, the lost stamina ...

#3 Nathan is a combination of Ed's & my personality and character. So was Nicole, but that doesn't mean the qualities of the combination are similar!

Simply put, it was like being a mummy from Day 1 all over. Sure, the head knowledge of the what to dos & how to dos, gave me an advantage. But other than that, Nathan is really just as unbelievably precious as Nicole was!

Lesson learnt. Fast forward. Nathan's now one. I'm so amazed by God's design and creativity. 2 Kids, such difference, yet such similarities too! I'm thankful I DO NOT have to apply cut and paste parenting formulas.

That may be easier, but oh... what joy I get when I learn how to get him to smile, what makes him excited, and especially especially how much he longs for my smile, me to hold his hand, and give him his bear hug! It is worth the learning experience!

So here's Nathan, from Day 1 till now:

Nathan birth

I learnt from this gorgeous son of mine, that God is really no robot-making God! I thought I knew that, but I really only knew when Nathan came along!

Before I go, here's a video of my little boy, just minutes after his birth :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mummy posts ... Nostalgia I

It's 1.45 a.m... I can't sleep despite feeling really exhausted. The past 10 days were days of faith and stretching!! Our domestic help went back Philippines for her home leave, and we have been praying and believing for Nadine to come only when she returns on Apr 13 (which is today!!! yeah!)

There's loads of nostalgia in the air as I'm typing this. Both Nicole and Nathan are sleeping now, and Ed too. So it's really quiet now, save for my tapping on the keyboard.

This was like the night before Nicole was born. Ed was sleeping, and I was starting contractions. It was mild, and about an hour apart. Naturally, I couldn't sleep. I went about tidying up the house, keeping stuff, packing and repacking things. It was a feeling of a new beginning is round the corner... do what you can even with that big tummy!

Well, I did that just now too! Cleaned the kitchen, did one round of laundry, packed the clothes, cleared the house a little. I'm going through the photos in the desktop, and came across Nicole's birth pictures.

I can't believe it! I've been a mummy for close to 3 years! I never thought I would be one, let alone a mummy of 3 kids! Looking at Nicole's photos, and turning around to see her sound asleep behind me now, I really thank God for giving me the chance to be a mummy to this child!

Can you imagine I play a part in shaping her life, her character and her destiny? Woah! What an awesome responsibility and what a privilege to have someone to love you, honor you and look up to you, simply because you are her mummy!

Well, with Nadine arriving shortly (it really can be tomorrow, day after, or following day!), I'm making a conscious decision to enjoy being a mummy! The last 10 days taught me With God, All Things Are Possible for Parenting!

So here's Nicole from Day 1 till now:

Nicole birth

Stay tuned for Nostalgia II - Nathan's edition!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Dirty Dancing on Oprah Winfrey

Recently on the Oprah Winfrey Show, she did a tribute to YOUTUBE. Amazingly, the most viewed clip was one of a wedding couple, who danced on their wedding day.

The wife, being a fan of 'Dirty Dancing' ( A 1987 romance film)persuaded her husband to do the "Time of my Life" dance from the movie, at her wedding party.


For all my readers who are born after 1987, this film was a real hit among teenagers then. My wife had to smuggle the video tape version of the show into her room, as the title was too suggestive for her parents. Imagine telling your mum: "Mum, I am going out my boyfriend, and we are watching this movie called 'Dirty Dancing'!!!

Anyway, the wedding couple who posted their dance sequence on YOUTUBE, wanted to entertain their guests. They posted it on the web to show some friends and it just took off! Receiving more than 2 million hits, they became famous overnight! They appeared on local talkshows and became instant celebrities.

So, for all you wedding couples out there. This is for you!

P.S - Jared & Jerblinn, Edmund & Minghui, Joseph & Emily - Can we expect something like this at your wedding? :) 

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Simpsons at Kinokuniya

Last week, I was at Takashimaya and we went to Kinokuniya - I can never pronounce the name of this bookstore, let alone spell it! :)

As we went to the children's department. guess what I saw there:

Fridge magnets!

Ok. you might say no big deal. But these magnets were the special  "Dress up your favorite person" magnets.

When I was growing up, the girls in school, always had these in their bags.

Back then, they were made of paper, and there had little paper hooks on the dresses, so that you could clip it on to the picture.

To give you a better idea of what I am talking about, this is a sample of what they looked like:

barbie collage

Ok...This is the modern version. But doesn't it bring back memories?

Well, guess what they had at the bookstore on fridge magnets:



simpson collage

Check out Homer's belly and underwear...I don't think I need to elaborate! :)

I can't imagine myself playing with these magnets...especially the one with Homer.

To sign off, here's another funny commercial, I stumbled upon recently:

Friday, April 4, 2008

Home to Philippines

Today, Weng my domestic helper went back to the Philippines for 10 days.


For those of us who are foreign to the term domestic helper - Most  Singaporean families hire a maid  help at home. This is because in Singapore, labor is relatively cheap (S$400/month), and the with the government strongly encouraging 2 bread winners, someone has got to help with the kids.

As you can probably deduce - Being a stay at home mum or dad, is not a very common entity in this part of Asia.  

Meanwhile, according to my my widgets calculation (the one which tells Nadine's arrival - on the left of your screen) My new girl will be arriving in 22 days.

Some people have questioned my sanity, on allowing Weng (my domestic helper)  to go back, especially when the baby is due soon. Furthermore, there are also additional costs involved in sending one's helper back. We have to subsidize her exit visa of $280 and a proportion of her airfare as well. But I believe that with the added responsibility coming up, she needs a break!

Besides, a Happy worker will be a Great worker!

Yesterday morning, the whole family woke up early to send her to the airport. Kids were OK with her leaving but Nic (the oldest) says," Auntie Weng, You must come back soon!"

With that, Weng left us for the Philippines. No fanfare, No screaming children...But Nic was kinda down when she reached school. But otherwise, the kids are coping well.

Today is our 1st day of being 'maid-less'!

We have not flown solo for quite a while, and we are still getting used to the routine again.

But we are believing we can cope, and praying that the new baby will only arrive after Weng comes back.

Do pray for us during this time, as both of them are really quite a handful at times.

Before I go, here is another funny commercial. For my Asian Viewers, Bud light is an American Beer (Kind of like our Tiger!)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Movie Review - The Bucket List

Life as a parent means that:

After putting out kids to sleep, we sneak off to the pictures to spend some time together, while our maid looks after them in their sleep.

On Monday, we managed to catch this new movie called "The Bucket List".


Having a cast of 2 Oscar winners in Jack Nicholson & Morgan Freeman, we were drawn to the "Big Star Billing", even though we did not know what to expect.

Basically, it's a movie about 2 old 'fogies' who discover that they both have less than a year to live.

Freeman decides to write a list of things he would like to do before he 'kicks the bucket', therefore the movie is entitled 'The Bucket list'

Nicholson being a millionaire jumps on the idea and makes the fulfillment of this list possible.

For all those kung fu enthusiasts out there - If you are looking for action, car crashes and dead aliens, this movie is not it!

But if you are looking for a tear-jerker and wanting to cry your eyes out - this movie is an Excellent Choice. My wife says that the last time she cried so badly, was when she was watching "Dead Poets Society".

The movie examines the basic issue, "If you could number your days, what would you do?"

Having a good balance of comedy and poignant conversations, the movie makes good food for thought.

I especially liked the insight given about Egyptian Culture.

According to the movie, when an Egyptian dies, and goes up to heaven. He is asked 2 questions.

How one answers the questions, determines whether one goes to heaven or hell (kind of like a game show, hor!)

The questions are:

  1. Did you experience joy on this earth?
  2. Did you bring joy to somebody on this earth?

Well, I believe that I can definitely say YES to question 1. And Hopefully I am fulfilling question 2 effectively at the moment. :)

Anyway, go catch the movie, if you have the time!

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