27 May 2011

Little Baby in Tummy

Jo: Mommy, when I was a little baby, I was in your tummy. why did you eat me up!!??
M: No, Mommy didn't eat you up. God put you in mommy's tummy :)

27 February 2011

4 years ago....

at this time, I think I was looking at Matthew and thinking about his future, worrying if he will accept his little sister, wondering how we are going to handle 2 children, wondering how he is going to be during my 3-night hospital stay.

In another 10 hours, 4 years ago, we saw our beautiful daughter for the very first time. I remembered she was screaming, I talked to her, she immediately stopped crying as if she knew mommy was talking to her. Tears rolled down her cheeks and my cheeks! Her big eyes were open! I still remember our paediatrician Dr Dorothy Ong pushing her screaming into my hospital room and she was already a chilli padi at 1 day old!

Watching Joanne grow up everyday, her cheekiness, her big smile, her smily eyes, her tantrums, her sweetness. How she slept alone as a baby, how she stopped latching on one night (after I reprimanded her for biting me, she refused to latch!), how she is addicted to TV, how she loves her brother and always remember to share good things (such as sweets) with him. It has been an amazing journey with her so far. She made a difference to our life and she continues to amaze us everyday...

Dear Joanne, Happy 4th birthday! Be good, less tantrums and eat less! We love you!

26 February 2011

Bedtime Issues

We are having bedtime issues with Joanne. She's definitely not having enough sleep for her age....

Typical weekday waking time: 730am
Typical sleeping time: 11pm
Naptime: 1+ hour
Total amount of sleep: 9.5 hours
Required amount of sleep: >10 hours

Every night I have to struggle with her not wanting to sleep. She will struggle here, struggle there, talk to herself, talk to us, talk to Matthew. I have to threaten her with a cane. Last night, I finally caned her. She cried, quietened down and fell asleep.

Bedtime routine? By the time I come home everyday, the children would have had their dinner and would most likely be watching TV. Matthew will play piano and some PC game. Jo will do her own things (such as drawing, colouring) and watch TV. They will brush their teeth after milk / milo, change into their pyjamas and go to the room at 10pm for bedtime story. After which, it's lights off.

Matthew will lay down on bed quietly, sometimes sing softly to himself and will sleep shortly after.

Joanne is the terror. She's our Energizer bunny. She will move move move, talk talk talk till she's totally drained and "out of battery"... sometimes I'm so tired that I fall asleep before her. sometimes while I'm sleeping and she disturbs me, I'll wake up angry... sigh.. what am I to do with this girl?!

So what happens when a child does not have enough sleep? Cranky, sleepy and uncooperative child. It shows more in Matthew when he doesn't have enough sleep, compared to Joanne.

Some articles on sleep.
How much sleep does your child need?
Connection between sleep and growth - 2 to 4 year old
Connection between sleep and growth - 5 to 8 year old
Irregular sleep tied to kids' obesity

Irregular sleep are associated with kids obesity!? oh no....

24 February 2011

6 years ago....

at this hour, I was worrying about having to go through C-section to deliver Matthew. I had always wanted to give birth naturally, but my kids' heads were simply too big and I'm too small sized.

In another 13 hours, 6 years ago, we set our eyes on our son Matthew for the 1st time. It was such an emotional experience. But I did not get to see him again till more than 24 hours, because he was admitted into NICU for water in his lungs. For him, I had to make myself get up to go 6th floor to see him. For him, I had to pump pump pump in order to get some breastmilk for the nurses to feed him. For him,.... everything else was secondary.

To see Matthew grow everyday, finding out about his left ear at 6mths, our 1st family trip to Perth at 13mths, doing jigsaw puzzles, building duplo at 15mths, singing and dancing in Dr Lynne Lin's office at ENT during one of the review sessions, carrying his little sister Joanne at the hospital, kissing her, going to CCC at 27mths, from a shy boy to a confident boy, changing to church kindergarten at 35mths, starting music lessons at his request at 38mths, switching to full day CCC at 4yrs, learning to play 1 page piano piece at 5yrs and now he's 6 yrs old...

Happy 6th Birthday, Matthew! You are a big boy now, be good!

10 December 2010

Japan Trip - Nov 2010 - FOOD

If anybody was to ask us about food in Japan, we can only say one thing. UDON! We had UDON everyday! The children love Udon. Each time we asked them what they wanted to eat, they would reply in unison - Udon! But it was not easy to find Udon. Udon was not as common as Soba, but it was definitely one of the cheaper foods in Japan.

our 1st udon meal in Japan. Osaka!

we had udon in Kyoto...

and Nara....

We managed to get them to eat other foods, such as saba fish with white rice, Tonkatsu-don, ramen. At times, we let them have their Udon fix, while we bought bento sets from the supermarkets. The supermarkets were amazing! I forgot to take photos. They sold almost every type of Japanese cooked food. They even sold cooked salmon, cod fish slices. We bought a piece of cooked salmon slice one day for the children. Yummy!

Ramen by the roadside at Tsujiki Market

our last meal in Japan. Saba Fish set...

Tonkatsu-don-Udon set.

And the two days in DisneyLand and DisneySea, we practically survived on BREAD and cookies! Butter rolls, Raisin rolls, butter cookies. and SWEETS! these kept them occupied while we queued for the rides.

To give the children some credit, they did try other food. more like snacks. it's either you like it or not. Mealtimes were also disastrous when they were tired.. :P

Food issues. Do you have the same problem as I do?

Yesterday was a special day. We went to the zoo (as requested by Jo for umpteen times). M & Jo were excited. They still remember what they want to see in the zoo. I think the last time we went was in May?! We have the family membership, but have not been going there for a while.



The kids finished the Gardenia butter rolls we brought along and each had a small cup of Ben & Jerry ice-cream (very expensive at $4.40 per cup after discount). Then we went to eat fishball noodles at Yishun market and definitely one of the cheapest around. $2.50 per bowl!

In the afternoon, we watched Rapunzel at GV Vivocity, as promised to the children. By the time the show ended, both children were hungry and tired. We wanted to go off to IMM for dinner, so they could rest in the car. But NO! M wanted to eat there. Jo wanted to eat salmon. The only place I could think of was Marche.


M ate half a slice of salmon with white rice. Jo had the other half slice of salmon and a jumbo chicken cheese sausage. M complained he was hungry, so we ordered grilled turkey breast. He didn't like it. Then we ordered a pizza (half salami, half mushroom). He complained the pizza was bitter, salty, too sweet. omg. We gave up. $60 spent for a dis-satisfied meal. And the two children were fighting over colour pencils!

Conclusion of this special day was disastrous!

but i managed to get Jo to smile for this photo. actually she was the one who wanted to take photo! :P

Food? We better stick to Japanese food, chinese food. No more western style cooking, i.e. we cannot plan a trip to Oz with the Tans!

P/s - has anybody else spotted this trio of a pea-hen & her 2 chicks in the zoo? cute!

08 December 2010

What happened?

The blog has not been updated. I have been so caught up with my work from the role change and other responsibilites in the office. In the midst of the work madness, we sold our flat, moved to my mom's place and travelled to Japan for 10D 11N. It was fun, but very tiring for me and Mike.

After the trip, I went back into work madness and my paternal grandmother passed away last Tuesday. The kids were curious. Both requested to look at great-grandmother in her coffin. She looked very peaceful. I was not sad. Glad that she passed on peacefully in her nap after her usual breakfast w coffee. The tears only came when we took one last look before the coffin was closed.

M & Jo got to know the extended family whom we meet only twice a year, at CNY and grandmother's birthday. There were 7 great-grandchildren (including M & Jo), from 1.5-year-old to 6-year-old to 21-year-old. The two older ones (19 and 21) helped to take care of the little ones and kept them entertained while we went about our duties.

Last night, M requested to write an invitation. To invite his new-found friend / cousin XinYi to our house to play. He probably doesn't remember, but they did play together before. We will meet up soon.

11 March 2010

Time flies

Time flies. Matthew is now 5 years old and Joanne is 3 years old. The whole timeline started when I became pregnant on 31 May 2004, gave birth to Matthew on 25 February 2005. Then pregnant a 2nd time, I think on 10 June 2008, gave birth to Joanne on 27 February 2007...

.... School Celebrations on 25 Feb 2010....

Photobucket Photobucket
Joanne requested for a chocolate cake. We got her a Hello Kitty royal chocolate cake from Polar. Standing behind Matthew are his good friends, Cadence and Seth. He liked strawberry, so we got him a strawberry cake from Four Leaves.

.... Home Celebrations ....

Photobucket Photobucket
Matthew loves strawberry so much that we got him a smaller one to celebrate at home. We got Joanne a chocolate banana cake from Awfully Chocolate. :)


Mike: What goes up and doesn't come down?
Matthew: Height!

Smart answer :)

27 December 2009

How come so long?

My parents are on holiday this week. We sent them to the airport on Thursday. In the car, Matthew asked my mom: "为什么你们去 holiday 那么多天,我去那么少天?"

How will you answer if you were my mom? she was totally speechless.

21 November 2009

Diaper Free... TOTALLY!

I just found out that this is our 200th post on this blog and I'm happy to announce that Joanne is totally DIAPER FREE! YES, even at night.

I'm quite surprised that she managed to go dry so soon, because she always woke up with a full wet diaper.

It started when Mike went reservist 1st week of November. Joanne refused to wear her diaper. I think she wet the bed for that week if I didn't get her to wake up and pee. Subsequently she cut down her water intake before bedtime and holds her pee till morning or wakes up in the middle of the night to pee.

HAPPY! :) no more spending money on diapers! :)

19 November 2009

I can cycle!

I have been caught up with work that I have not been giving the children attention.

This week, I found out that Joanne could cycle! Really cycle, as in pushing the pedal all the way and round. Matthew could only do that after he turned 3 years old. Joanne is 3 months short of 3 years. Her motor skills are definitely more advanced than Matthew at the same age. She walked, jumped, skipped much earlier. This was perhaps not a real surprise.

Well done, Jo!

18 November 2009

By Itself

On the way home just now, Jo had some coins in her hand. She dropped 4 of them.

Papa: Jo, 钱掉在哪里?
Jo: 钱掉在这里.
Papa: 钱怎么会掉在那里?
Jo: 钱自己掉在里面 by itself!

my bilingual daughter!

21 September 2009


Last Saturday in the car, the kids had 2 mini bags of dino gummies. Matthew finished his 2 gummies and out of the blue complained that he had a tummyache and that led him to cry and whine. After he stopped, we asked him why he had tummyache.

Matthew: Because I had too much sweets.
Mike: You don't need to finish everything.
Matthew: But I don't want to waste. The people in earthquake areas have no food. I cannot waste food, so must finish everything.


20 September 2009

An improved version of Matthew

Matthew has been attending childcare for six and a half months now. Intellectual development, he has always been quite good, so I was not so concerned on that part. He has definitely picked up more, as the teachers here are able to "tune" to his needs and development levels due to a smaller class. He has an almost endless thirst for knowledge.

What impressed me was the improvement in his social behaviour and interpersonal skills.

His teachers said that he is able to apply the correct behaviour to the situation. When it's schoolwork time, he really put in the effort in the piece of work he's given. He plays hard at playtime. He eats quietly at mealtimes.

He has more friends now. I think it's good that at childcare, the kids get to mix around. Matthew loves to be with the older kids, because they can communicate at the same levels. It seems that at his previous school, he tend to stick to himself more, because most of the kids were not able to express themselves well enough and he got frustrated communicating.

He is better behaved, much much less whining and crying. Whining and crying usually happens when he's tired or hungry.

He feeds himself, asks for a wider variety of food, questions the benefits of each food that he eats; willingness to try new foods and telling us how he feel about the food.

He is now more sociable, smiles more and greets people when told, even to neighbours in the lift.

Last but not least, he learned from his friends that they sleep alone without papa and mommy with them, he told us he wanted to do the same. The first big step was to "kick" Joanne out to our master bedroom and he slept on one mattress, Mike slept on the other. He told Mike that Papa cannot hug him at bedtime. The second big step was on Thursday night, he had no choice but to sleep alone, because Mike had a late appointment and I had to put Joanne to sleep. I switched on the aircon and fan (he complained it was too hot) and left the room door half-opened. He was scared of machines, aliens and monsters. I told him that they won't look for good boy who sleeps on his own. They only disturb naughty boys. Less than 30minutes, after calling out to me several times, he slept on his own...

One time only, but it's definitely a big step... :)

Well done Matthew. Jia You!

>> Matthew eating a strawberry sundae, 6/9/09, bt batok macdonalds