Monday, December 22, 2008

Caitlin is 1

I can’t believe Caitlin is one, but she is. It just seemed like only yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital. Our little itsy bitsy baby has become a little girl walking (and trying to run a little) all over the house. An early walker she is, more interested in climbing up the sofa and onto the table than she is in reading picture books and playing with soft toys like her sister did at the same age. After months of putting up with a strong-willed sister who would try to bit her and lean too hard on her, Caitlin has started to fight back. Now that she has presents of her own (birthday and christmas ones) Caitlin is staking her ground, she tries to bite back when Ellie gets in her way or takes her pressies. That said, there is really not that much biting these days. On good days, the sisters play together.

We had a family hotel -high tea inspired lunch for Caitlin’s birthday. It was lots of fun but I think KM and I just underestimated the preparation time. I was still in my home shorts when the guests started arriving. I can’t remember how many sandwiches I made.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Not quite started

Not quite started yet. My blog is still with wordpress.

Off the cuff again

December 13, 2008

I haven’t written in ages and haven’t posted a photo in months. It’s just been words words words for a long time. So what I’ve decided is to insert my photos via backdated posts, now that I have cleared my backlog of photos in my camera. Hundreds of photos. 4 GBs worth. The postdated entries will have an * at the end.
That aside, bringing the girls out has gotten easier. I used to dread the mealtimes out of the house, but now we have begun to have civilised sit-down meals at cafes and restaurants with Caitlin wolfing down her meal and part of ours and Ellie drinking her juice and nibbling on chips and nuggets (definately, definately! not my idea of a meal but at least she sits at the table). 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ellie's first "Princess Pedicure"

03 Dec

For a while Ellie had this thing about going everywhere with me. She actually behaves pretty well when we are out alone (without having to compete with Caitlin for attention) so I sometimes bring her along for my girly outings. This time it was a pedicure with my good friends PS and J.*

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pink playdough (by the way Pink is Ellie's favourite colour)

I try to have activities that both sisters can do together. We dance in the mornings, play games like football and hide and seek. A lot of the time it is pretend-play. We shop; Ellie and Caitlin go around the house with hats and handbags, Mama is both the mama and "shop-lady". We play dress-up; Ellie pulls hats out of our dress-up box, sometimes Ellie and now Caitlin wear my t-shirts. And we play "doctor-doctor"; Caitlin is the nurse, Ellie directs the patients, and her doll is the doctor.

When we are in the whole day I try to involve both girls in sometime arty or crafty. This is Caitlin's first experience with playdough.

01 Dec 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tiredness and first steps

Its been a really tiring these last few weeks. Just been minding the kids and doing housework non-stop. Just don’t know how other moms manage without a helper or housekeeper. I leave the girls alone for a couple of seconds and Ellie is leaning too hard on Caitlin or scratching her hand or trying to roll over her. Its just almost impossible to get anything done. I put Caitlin in the carrier to get her away from Ellie and have my hands free and she’s squirming to get out. There is always a table to clear, toys to put away, the laundry to get done, stuff to wipe off the floor. I think I went one week without reading the papers which just moved from the doorway to the pile in the kitchen to the recycling pile in the yard.

Caitlin’s just all over the place. Our portable vacuum cleaner eating everything in her path. Ellie is always drawing, colouring or cutting something so there is always paper to munch and paper to get out of her way. Caitlin’s a lot more active than Ellie was at the same age. She’s already trying to walk. She took her first baby steps two days ago on 18 November and was walking 5-6 steps on her own the very next day. She’ll probably be running by her first birthday. Ellie walked at 13 or 14 months.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Will the lights be off or not?

Just when we think we really need a break from the kids, Ellie says the funniest things which remind us it is all worthwhile
  • When KM tries to tell Ellie how to arrange her shoes at the door, Ellie says, "This is my job."
  • When KM walks around without his shirt in the house, Ellie says," Don't show everyone your tummy papa"
And for the first time yesterday, Ellie sat through an entire show-The Very Hungry Caterpillar. One whole hour. Enjoying every minute (well, almost) of it. She has this thing about having the lights on in the show and about (not) watching scary things, so I had to really prep her about the lights being off, how you need to have the lights off to see the puppets, how she needed to sit through the entire thing. She's growing up, my little girl.

Lately Ellie's been asking tons of questions. Non-stop. And asking the same questions again and again. "I told you the answer Ellie... don't ask again." Her latest series of questions end with "or not". "Is Mama coming or not?".  "Is Papa going or not?" Back home we were looking at the programme for next year's children's theatre festival and there she went again, "Will the lights be off or not."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Catilin started calling Mamama on Saturday 4th Oct. And now she goes Jiejie sometimes. Caitlin loves her big sister. They are such a giggly pair when Ellie is not in one of her leave-me-alone moods.

And Ellie has started eating (properly). It has been a long battle. More than a year of ups and downs. I can’t say we are over it because it has only been two days. The best meals in months I think. I can’t remember when she emptied her plate, but she did tonight and sitting down in one spot to boot. Wow. I don’t even expect her to eat everything on her plate, at least something. The eating had gotten so bad at one point I was down to charting all her meals and reading Supernannny for help. I hope this is a good beginning.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pet Caterpillars

Ellie loves butterflies. Butterflies have been her all time favourite creatures since she was one. We don't watch much TV so she really isn't quite up-to-date with the latest or coolest toy. I am happy to have it that way- she has her whole life more to catch up on TV. When grandma mentioned that you could buy caterpillars at a farm in Sembawang I googled it and found that the butterfly farm was just 10 minutes from my home, and made plans for an outing the next day (that was Wednesday) with my friend M and her two children.

The rest of the farm was a mess. Sort of run down and definately not like any farm you'd see in a storybook. But the butterfly enclosure was magical. Should have brought that camera. With hundreds of butterflies fluttering in the sunlight, colouring the whole space with specks of orange and blue and yellow. Ellie was enthralled, and just stood there looking and the butterflies, trying to touch their wings. "Gentle, Ellie, gentle." Then we stopped by the farm shop to buy the caterpillars. We chose one of each of the two types, got our supply of leaves, made a stop to buy fresh veg, another last walk through the butterflies and then headed back with our caterpillars. Ellie's first pets.

I'd appropriately taken out Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Ke Ai de Hu Die (chinese butterfly book), and the beautifully illustrated "A Caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Ellie put her four caterpillars (two for Ellie and two for her cousins Erika and Tim) on her table and started reading to them. I haven't had pets in ages and found my self strangely drawn to these creatures. Fascinated at the same time- checking to see if they had eaten. Emptying their poo. I think one caterpillar has begun to spun its crysallis.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another turning point

Everytime I want to blog and have the time to, something happens. Yesterday, the server was down or just too slow. And today the USB port just wasn’t working well. By the time I get down to anything serious I am either too tired or some one wakes up. Maybe I should switch to blogger or try to streamline the downloading process. I don’t know.

Anyway yesterday marked a turning point in growing up. Ellie that is. For the first time in a long time, I left the house with Ellie awake to go for a course. KM babysat, spent the morning with Ellie, and when I left Ellie hardly fussed, didn’t cry, said a decent goodbye, and I was on my way. Sounds like nothing great, but definately a big step. I used to have to run out when Ellie was asleep or have to deal with hysterics, or a babysitter calling halfway. The next step would be KM and I both leaving the house together leaving Ellie with the grandmothers at home. So far the grandmothers have had to take Ellie out before we leave. And Ellie played big sister when KM babysat- helping to feed Caitlin, playing on her own a lot, going into the room to nap all on her own. I was so please to hear that everything went well. Of course Ellie took great pride in reporting that she tried to “squash meimei” but that by all accounts was nothing major.

Caitlin 9 months old

We had J and her two little girls over for lunch today. And without me realising it, Caitlin, nine months old today, had her first playdate. She’s always tagged along with her big sister and never quite had friends to play alongside, but found a little friend in Katie who turns 1 next month. Nevermind that they didn’t talk very much. They shared toys, didn’t snatch, patted each other on the head (or at least Caitlin did). 

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tidbits and milestones

Ellie is full of what is this? what is that? what are you doing? And lately, why this and why that. Non-stop. We were in the car a few days ago

Ellie: Mama what are you doing?

Me: I am driving

Ellie: You are driving me mad!

And caitlin started crawling on fours last week on 2nd sept (eight and a half months). This week she is clapping and waving on cue.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Caitlin crawling

I was reading old blog entries. At eight months Ellie was still not crawling. Caitlin however has been crawling for 2 weeks. Since last Tuesday, Aug 5th. Commando-style- on her tummy with her hands clasped in front. She makes a beeline for all of Ellie’s stuff. Stuff she knows Ellie doesn’t want her to get near. Waffles the bear. “Mama’s scarf” (Ellie’s security blanket).

Ellie has been so difficult. And its mostly Caitlin related. Acting up in every way imaginable to get the undivided attention she used to get. Of course, the fact that she is going through an especially willful stage of her life doesn’t make it easier both for me and for her. I would definately go potty if not for moments like these:

Me: What are you doing?

Ellie: I am writing e-mail to mama.

Me: What are you writing?

Ellie: Thank you for making my day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Off the cuff

Its been a bit rough. With bad days. Fussing. Crying. Negotiating between the 2 sisters. So little time to myself. Caitlin is gaining her ground. Now that she sits up and wiggles her way to get her toys, she has become a little being that Ellie has to reckon with. A bit less of scratching her sister, no more biting (at least not in the last few weeks). Although both sisters have begun to play together a little, I think Ellie still misses being the only little girl at home. We try to give her one on one time, which is after Caitlin goes to bed at 8:00 or 8:30. That means that Ellie sleeps late and we sleep later.

I never realised how much work kids were. Till now. Thing I took for granted before are now luxuries. Even a trip to the bookshop by myself needs to be orchestrated around feeds, naps, moods and the babysitters timetable. More later.