Saturday, December 31, 2011

Staycations and Vacations. 2011

I'm post dating this. My list of staycations & vacations for the year 2011. We actually did get out A LOT this year.

  • January-Photography conference at Kuala Lumpur, Gardens Residences
  • June-Church Family Camp at Kuala Lumpur
  •         School holiday Vacation at the Movenpick hotel Sentosa
  • August- My Birthday Treat at the Ritz Carlton
  • September- Grandpa gives us a free stay at Fraser Suites. We pretend to be expats in out own country in a out of town serviced apartment
  •                   Alpha Weekend at Nanyang Executive Centre
  • October- K  &; M's Wedding at Bali. Ellie, Cait and Kristen are the flower girls.
  • December- Family holiday at the Marriott Phuket

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Case notes

Kristen at 15 Months.
79cm tall. 9.5kg.

My blog is beginning to read like a doctors case notes. Just the facts. Nothing more. My mind seems watered down to that.  Surviving on 5 hours of sleep each night. On average. On bad nights it is five hours of broken sleep. Kristen isn't letting us sleep through the night yet. I blaming those 4 molars brusting through those baby gums. She makes up for the bad nights by being absolutely funny and charming in the day- which is why I manage to get by- and don't actually look the zombie I feel I am. And yes it is God's grace. To remain calm and collected with the 3 girls whizzing by, talking non stop, occasionally attacking each other (Kristen, a-ha! is a fighter too!) chasing each other round the house, asking me all sorts of questions as I am trying to reverse park at 1 km/h. (Of course I end up scraping the side of the car ever so slightly.)

At the end of the day, I am just too pooped to even think of writing about the 101 exciting things that happen each day. Which is why the log is just, a log, notes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kristen at fourteen and a half months

Poor Kristen gets so little blogtime.

Kristen's words to date: There!, Jie Jie, Mama, Papa, Mmm (Milk), Up!, Bear, Buh (Bunny), Sh Shh (shoes), Ha-wa (Hello), Ba Bai (Bye bye)

And her molars are coming through already!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The girls are growing up so fast!

Kristen is turning one tomorrow. She is walking almost 6 steps all on her own, unaided,  has 6 teeth and is putting together all sorts of sounds. Papa, ba (her favourite stinky smelly bunny), bare (bag). She shakes her head no, loves pasta and has decided she doesn't like pasta anymore. She still smells like a baby except at the end of the day.

Ellie has lost her first tooth, with another one already shaky and has two permanent teeth peeking out of the gums.

And Caitlin is just Caitlin. As funny as ever saying all sorts of things that amuse us.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A (very) short break

With three under-sixes, its a lot more tiring going on holiday than just staying in. A break is never a real break. The change of environment helps and the girls LOVE hotels. But at the end of it we (the adults) feel more tired than before we left. Tiredness aside, it is always nice to get away, even if it is just a half and hour drive away to rediscover parts of our tiny island. Sentosa, for all its tourist tackiness, can be enjoyable. I like exploring new cities or enjoying good weather with a mountain as a backdrop or some mongolian plain but I think those sort of holidays will have to be on hold for now. So we made last minute holiday plans for Sentosa at the newly, and half-opened Movenpick Heritage Hotel. For just one night.

Kristen enjoying with room.

Buffet Breakfasts are the best. The girls love the choice of food. There is always something to eat. KM takes this as a chance to introduce the contraband BACON!! to Caitlin. Love the decor.

10 Month old Kristen gets to pick at the food too.

Peas in a pod.

A tired momma

Picking shells on the beach

Monkeying around

Lunch at Palio. Just across our hotel. Great pizza. Ellie and Caitlin chomp up almost half a Margherita.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Teething problems

Kristen's fussiness must be related to all those huge teeth coming out. Five teeth out now and more counting. The latest was the upper left tooth.

She's all over the place, which makes doing anything with the older girls really difficult. Put her in her fenced play area and it's only a matter of minutes before she is clamoring to get out. Let her out and it is another matter of minutes before she is in the kitchen or under the table or munching Ellie and caitlin's drawings. she's putting everything in her mouth. Yes this is a critical developmental phase but the parenting books don't tell how tiring it is trying to push every dangerous object out of the way or yelling at the older girls to pick up there tiny toys. At the end of the day I'm totally pooped.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kristen says "Pa"

Its been a crazy few nights. With Kristen getting up too many times at night. I think she just doesn't feed enough in the day with all her sisters running around and wanting to be part of everything. She just stops the minute Ellie or Cait run into the room and it is impossible to nurse in total silence with zero interruption. So I am wondering if this 3rd little girl should be weaned earlier than her sisters. Or else its her stuffy nose that just isn't clearing.

That plus the eternal cough and cold making its way around the family. I can't remember the last time when someone wasn't ill or coughing (us parents included) and I just can't remember the last time waking up feeling rested. (Ok maybe there was just one day last week that that happened.)

Bad sleep and tiredness aside, Kristen has been steadily growing out of her "babyhood" into early "toddlerhood".
  • said her second word "Pa" today. (9 months and 1 day old). The other word in her vocabulary
  • she pats herself/ the person when asked "Where is Papa/Mama/Kristen" (sometime last week, 8 months and 3 weeks old)
  • she stands up hands free for a couple of seconds and looks very pleased with herself (just this last week, almost 9 months old), and cruises all over
  • her top two teeth came out (two weeks ago, 8 1/2 months old)
This one is going to be an early walker, I reckon.

I sometimes wish I could blog a little bit more than I do, and just tonight am reminded why that doesn't happen. As I write, I have been interrupted three times by Kristen because of her stuffy nose. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Learning to stand in one week

11 April, Monday. Ellie rushes out of our room saying, "Kristen is standing!" She is, but on her knees. She's pulled herself up using her cot.

12 April, Tuesday. Kristen pulls herself up on her feet.

15 April. Friday. Kristen stands up by pulling herself up and is shuffling slowly by the sofa, using the sofa as support.  A baby milestone. They call this cruising.

I think Ellie and Caitlin did this a little later than seven and a half months. Maybe their little sister will the earliest walker in the family.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Off the cuff

Let's think of one thing to thank God for, I say to Ellie and Caitlin just before I start our nightly prayer.

Ellie says, "I thank God for my parents." (How nice, it is good to feel appreciated after a long day.)

Three year old Caitlin says, "I thank God that I will be able to cut my carrots with a knife." Uh, I how do I fit that one into my prayer? Every prayer is precious and no matter what, I need to make Caitlin feel that her prayer is important too. So I try to weave it in at the end. But before I get to the end, Caitlin goes, "Where is my section?"

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A week at home

I wasn't really looking forward to this week. KM was going to be in the US which meant that I had to put all three girls to bed every night. No break after a days hard work at home. Then on Monday morning, I noticed these spots on Caitlin's fore arm, and neck.  The all too familiar spots. The same sort Kristen had 2 weeks before when she was diagnosed with chicken pox. Something in me said that this was going to be a longer than expected week. I went to the doctor and he confirmed my suspicions. Chicken Pox. The very week KM had to be out of town.

Chicken pox meant that I had to take Caitlin out of school for a whole week. And for good measure I took Ellie out too. Just in case. That meant a whole week at home with the girls out of school. Sigh.

As it turned out, everyone had a lot of fun. The girls especially. And I? I just wasn't as tired as I usually am. I kept to my scheduled activities- something arty on mondays, science on wednesdays, cooking on fridays, with bit of other things in between, and managed to survive a whole week at indoors. Not even a trip downstairs to the playground. (I did manage to attend a google talk on tuesday, while my mom babysat! hooray!) But other than that were were pretty much indoors. Ellie and Caitlin had a blast playing together.  Caitlin's 10 pox(es) didn't seem to cause her much discomfort.  Kristen now that she can sit up and commando crawl could join in some of the fun. Amazingly Caitlin's usual whininess didn't get to me as much as it usually does. Must have been prayer.

We ended the week with the girls.......

a. making a collage each.

Caitlin always wants something fish-related. This time she wants to make a fish tank even though the lesson plan by the instructor (me) is to make a bedroom. Heck! Go with the flow I think. When I suggest making some seaweed, Caitlin says, do it for me I am so tired and runs off to bounce on the sofa. She comes back when I ask her to put the fish food in (thats all those little spots) and cuts just one rock (the bigger mass amongst the spots) for her fish.

Ellie sat down (and I am really amazed at this) for almost one and a half hours to design her princess bedroom. I helped cut the clothes for her princess out but she did pretty much everything else herself. There is a clothes stand on the right. Bed with drapes in the middle. Two dressing tables, a wardrobe with clothes and stuff in it, a tiny purple rug in the foreground and a toilet complete with a floor trap. (that's the architect in her.)

b. making their own dinner.

They love making their own favourite food. Pizza on whole meal pita, topped with heaps of Mozzarella, Cheddar and Parmesan, not forgetting the veggies- asparagus.

Caitlin's never serious when it comes to photos.

Ta-da! Pizza for dinner!

and here's Kristen, seven months old cheering everyone on.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kristen . 6months

Weight: 8.166kg
Height: 66 or 69cm (not sure which, 2 different measurements in consecutive days)

1. says "Mmmm"- for mummy I think
2. puts her hand up and down to wave (25 Feb 2011)
3. lifts her tummy off the bed in an (almost) crawling position (27 Feb 2011)
4. has taken to waking up at night!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Catching up

It is half way through February, and no post for the month.

In fact this has been a rather lean year for posts.  There just isn't enough time for so many things each day. By the time I put the girls to bed, I have a few hours before my bedtime to catch up on my Mother and Child Project work (that's the onlineshop, photography, facebook publicity I am doing), email, time with KM, newspapers, catching up on whatever reading material I can get my hands on. There is just so little time to blog. Maybe because it hasn't been much of a priority. Just a note on newspapers. We have our newspaper delivered to us on fridays and weekends because I still love getting the real newspaper. Reading the newspaper online just isn't the same. So, maybe making Sunday night my official blogging night will help. You really do need the structure to get the writing going.

I guess I am just not one of those twitter types. Typing in whatever comes to mind at any point of the day. I need my moments of reflection.

This blog is a chronicle of my life. At least bits of it. Whatever I remember or have the time to write about. So what happened in February?

Chinese New Year. We celebrated this year, after missing the New Year last year when we were down with stomach flu. Yucky and messy. Kristen's first new year.

KM's birthday. Took days to plan this surprise party, which wasn't as much of a surprise in end.

"What time do I need to come back from my party tonight." KM asked as he went off to work on the morning of his birthday. What really surprised KM was 1. what we had for dinner. "The best (homemade) Bak Kut Teh in town" in the words of my brother.  2.  The chocolate fudge birthday cake from Lana cake shop. A blast from the past. And wow! this now costs S$37. I think it cost at least S$10 less the last time I bought a cake from there. I love how the deco hasn't changed since I was little. The old mosaic floor, bits of wooden furniture straight from some old grandmother's house. 3. The fact that the guests were early. Ok, we should have thought of hiding the shoes. 4. His birthday presents. The girls and I got KM chips chips and more chips. I stock the larder with healthy snacks. So this was a real treat.  

Kristen starts to eat real food. 10 Feb: Rice Cereal. 11 Feb: Rice Cereal with banana. 17 Feb: Rice Cereal and Pureed apple dessert. Her poo starts to change- now do you really need to know that?

Ellie alternates between defiance and sweetness. She helped to carry Caitlin from the car to the lift today when Caitlin was all whiny and wanted some one to carry her. I really should have taken a photo of Caitlin with her eyes closed on her sister's shoulder.

Caitlin is just plain playful. I know kids are kids, but you just need to yell once in a while to get things done.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kristen . 5months

Kristen's first tooth came out exactly on the day she turned 5 months. 25th Jan. Two days later, another one popped out. 

I used to take so many pictures of Ellie. Not as many of Caitlin.  And now for Kristen, I have to remind myself to take those photos. Photos of significant moments, photos of the banal everyday life at home because you just don't remember the times when the girls are little when they grow up. Ellie is almost five and Caitlin is three and if it were not for photos I wouldn't have all those memories. They grow so fast. So fast my mom says that suddenly they are 30. She is talking about me. And of course I am much older than that already.

I really got caught up with the phototaking this time round.

 Five months old and loving it. 

 Look at that arm(pit).

Our new fuzzy rug.  Really effective in cutting down the visual clutter in our home. We try desperately to gain some sort of control over a space taken over by toys toys and more toys. At least now every toy looks good against this neutral background.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Arty Farty Artwork

One of my resolutions for the year is to have a more structured home programme for the girls. For most part of 2010 I was 1) nauseous from my morning sickness, 2) achy because of the pregnancy 3) tired -my energy levels were at an all time low, 4) recovering from my delivery. We did stuff (now what did we do?) but largely on an ad hoc basis according to how I felt for the day.

This year, I decided to have a weekly schedule of after-school activities. Monday-Art or something crafty (what I enjoy doing). Wednesday-Science and Math (what I need to get the kids interested in because we don't do much of that), Friday-Baking or outings. And chinese every morning. (I think the girls have so much to catch up on because we don't speak it enough). I bought two great books on Amazon with lots of ideas so that I don't have to do my research online the night before. I just need to choose something in the book and follow the lesson plan.

We started with our first "formal" art lesson last monday: An introduction to the LINE. Adapted from a book called ART for the very young. What I did was cut up a whole lot of strips of different lengths and get Ellie and Caitlin start looking at what lines can do. The first exercise was to drop the strips of black paper all over and glue them down- let the lines become something. Caitlin wanted me to help her make a fish with the lines, and contributed the seaweed. Her next piece was titled "happy" because the lines "make me happy".

Ellie couldn't get past the desire to make her lines resemble something. Just drop the lines and let them decide what to be, I told Ellie. The end result was pretty interesting even if the most "random" drops were deliberate.

Last Wednesday, we experimented food colouring in a science lesson about with diffusion. Ellis's more calculated piece and Caitlin's more random one.

And yesterday, our 2nd Art lesson. Still on the subject on the LiNe. Using scotch tape to explore lines created in the negative space. Both girls loved the scotch-taping.

Caitlin's piece. (I had to fill in the orange background). She couldn't sit to finish her piece.  I thought she did a good job with the one horizontal line tying up the vertical ones.

Ellie's piece. Titled "Rainbow floor". "I want the floor in my room to look like this". Drawing is one thing Ellie will sit down for- no matter how long it takes. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


For the first time in years we have

1. presents under our Christmas tree.
2. decorations evenly spread throughout the tree

This is because

1. Ellie is now patient enough to wait for christmas before opening her presents.
2. Caitlin isn't quite interested in opening her presents before christmas
3. Caitlin isn't pulling down the decorations from the christmas tree or rehanging them somewhere else
4. Kristen is too little to chew up the presents or to pick the decorations off

We took this on Christmas morning. Kristen's first christmas by the way...