Wednesday, November 5, 2008

First Hair cut



Ha ha ...we finally did it. I took a pair of craft scissors and chopped off her fringe, while cheeyuen sat her down in the bathtub. It is a little too short ... but not bad for a first attempt. Sorry babe, there will be a lot of experimentation on your hair from today onwards. I will always remember the time my mum (your popo) gave me a full perm ... now i'm glad i don't have any photos of that episode.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cough and cold season ...also known as Fall






Fall is my favourite season...the colours, the air and the rustling of falling leaves. Too bad for Kay and I have been down with the cold as well. She is already much better but I still have a hacking lingering cough...used a puffer for the first time in my life.

Anyway, we still got through Thanksgiving weekend having fun at the pumpkin patch and hit some balls at the driving range.

I have also updated Muun Design's blog with new projects and inspirations.
Click HERE.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yeah ! Many first Words + Pee Pee !



"Shoes, Ball, Fish, Cat, Dog, Bird, *snort*snort > for pig, *coccocco > for chicken, *moomoo > for cow, *roar ! > for lion or shark or tiger, *thish>for please, Open, Door, Oh-Oh !, Da-da, *ma ma > for milk, *arter > for water, Up, *un, two, three, for > counting, More, All Done, *Po po > for grandma, Hot" ... for anything that is remotely warm or even cold...is hot.

Kay's repertoire of words are growing and it's fun to watch. We were exclaiming why the English language is so complicated. Kay understands the concept of *Open*, so she uses it for everything from *opening the door *opening (flipping) the pages of a book *opening the box *opening (twisting) the lid of a bottle...

And even though both Kay and I are down with the Cough and Cold of the fall season, we are really really proud today. She did her first pee pee in the potty today (October 7th) since we bought the thing almost 2 months ago. We were just doing our normal bath routine of stripping down and she would normally go sit in the potty for (2 seconds) to "pretend" to pee pee (we call it "she she")....only that this time, she actually made a face and there was real pee in the pot ! I was so happy to see pee ! Never would I think of being happy about such things but here I am clapping and cheering at the yellow liquid.

But we are both down with a bad cold...sore throat, cough and all. So our Thanksgiving roadtrip to NYC to visit Joyce and Megan are cancelled. We will have to postpone it to another weekend for sure. Finally ordered a Dyson vacuum cleaner through Amazon and it's now sitting in Joyce's basement in NY.
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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Today's rant, TV and the night





Last night's story is pretty much becoming a trend in this blog. I'm wondering if she will ever sleep in her own crib again. I don't think she has slept in it for more than 2 times this whole week. And when she did, she went down screaming and crying her lungs out. Maybe that's why she hates the place. But I do need a break sometimes. Kay decided to wake up at 1am ... crying. So we gave her some tylenol for teething pains and we stayed up watching TV and went to back to bed at 2am. Fun times.

Well people think 3 days at the baby sitter seems like a lot of time for me to find time for myself. But no one really understands. No one. The time it takes to set up your own business is 24-7. You'll be constantly thinking about ways to make things better, plus on-going projects, plus trying to get new clients travelling downtown, plus administration, plus running around to meet suppliers. I have to do all that in 3 days a week, plus taking care of Kay is also 24-7, her daily meals, clean-ups, playtime and bedtime takes up all the rest of my time. So sometimes I don't even have time for lunch. So tell me where i can find time to myself? Daddy does his starbucks routine in the weekends, all the home repairs, mows the lawn, does laundry and tries to find time to exercise in the weekends. So there i am, doing all the same stuff in the weekends as the weekdays, without a break for myself. Unless you consider taking a 20 minutes shower a huge break. My goal for next week is to sign up for a yoga class. That'll be at least an hour of "me" time.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

my little helper

Yes, this is true...she has started helping out around the house.
Hmmm, i'm wondering when i can say this with certainty.
But she is snatching the vacuum cleaner from me while I was 'trying' to clean the house.





Before bed time...



Her classic face followed by "shiver" when we pour water over her head !

More videos

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Sleep ... or the lack of ?

It's been 2 weeks in a row that Kay's been climbing in bed with us. She has been unable to go down in her own bed, which has recently been like a magnet she repels. Let's hope it's all part of the teething phase. Wish us luck.

But check out this new game that she has been playing with daddy before bedtime....it's pretty fun. Hhmmm now i'm thinking it's probably not the best game for winding down for bed ?


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Monday, August 25, 2008

Swearing in as Canadians






These are the scenes from the ceremony. Cheeyuen actually met a fellow co-worker there and out of the 52 people swearing in, they actually ended up sitting next to us. What are the odds? But it was all good. The judge was quite a "mascot" himself. There must have been people from 15-20 different countries becoming Canadians in that room, which is the amazing thing about this country.

the balloon !

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Summer fun, eating and video






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Maybe there is hope after all.
Kay actually finished every single pea on her plate tonight. For dinner, she had 1/4 soft spinach tortilla wrap, 1/2 cup of peas and corn, a spoonful of my Mee Goreng and a cup of apple juice !! That is such a great achievement. And she fed herself the whole time....I must say with the help of "Wonder Pets" and "in the night Garden" on TV. My girl is finally eating...maybe her teething woes going away soon.

Here are some videos and photos of our summer spent with friends.

That teething monster and O' Canada.



My poor Kay is plagued by the teething monster. Two incisors, two upper molars and two lower molars breaking through at the same time is no fun for everyone. She hasn;t been herself. Cranking, not eating, not sleeping well and waking up screaming in blood-boiling pain. Thank goodness for pain killers. Her gums are all swollen, and we confirmed with the doctor that it wasn't anything else like ear infections. My mum didn't recall us going through this stage..hmmm... Yes, it sounds too much for a little body. She hasn't been able to go to sleep in her own crib at night anymore. I have to sit with her on the sofa in her room until she's down before putting her in her bed. And once she wakes up, she'll only go down in our bed. So what happened to training her to be independent since she was 4 months old?

By the way, Cheeyuen and I will officially become Canadians today. August 25th at 1.30pm, we are going for the swearing in ceremony in Oshawa. Apparently they'll make us sing O'Canada and take the oath in English and French. We'll post photos in the next update. This is kinda of a big milestone for us ... establishing our home permanently in canada.

For Kay, the big milestone is being able to tell us when she peed or pooed in her diaper. She'll point at it or squat down indicating she's done it. But so far, she hasn't done it in the potty.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Civic Holiday blues...



What's all the hype about long weekends ? It's pretty much the same as any weekend, long or short. It kinda feels like that when Kay is not napping well or eating well. It's frustrating really. You can't get anything done but you still feel exhausted at the end of the day. I think it's probably the teething. Her incisors (or fang teeth) are cutting through the gums. The molars are also emerging. So the pain must be pretty unbearable ...plus the buckets of drool !

Well, we managed to go the petting zoo nearby and then the splash pad at the playground. All these in an attempt to tire Kay out so that she would take her nap. And it worked. She is now napping finally at 5pm in the evening...seems a bit screwed up cos' it almost close to dinner/ night time. But what are we gonna do ? Just go with the flow.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Summer time in the backyard







I just realize it's almost impossible to keep this blog updated as often as i like. Now Kay is watching TV as i'm typing this. So i guess i have to choose between turning my baby into a couch potato (which she already is ... ) and keeping the blog updated.

It's fun times for us this summer with Kay being 17 months coming on 18. She is speaking her own language and communicating like a real adult. I guess photos will tell the story better than words.
All i wish now is for Kay to eat her meals properly.... she is not a big fan the food I make. Makes me feel so dejected every time. She doesn't even want to try it sometimes. Well, at least she ate half of the oatmeal-whole wheat-blueberry-pancakes that I make from scratch. I try my best....no packaged food, cooked fresh and organic if the price is not too much. But I'm not getting the response from her. All she wants to eat are biscuits, wheat puffs and rice cakes. So wish us luck with the eating.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back to her old self


This stomach flu thing has been transferred to poor daddy. Cheeyuen was in bed and the toilet for the past 2 days. What a terrible father's day gift. Kay is well for a week now...thank goodness. She is now bobbing her head to Elmo's CD of silly music. Granny Giggles Lynn got it customized with her name in the songs. It's pretty cool. And she is stuffing her face with Arrowroot cookies at the same time. Hmmm, what's there not to like about music and food. Together they are perfect way to start a day. We are having breakfast now. After this I get her ready to go to the baby sitter, or the back-up sitter (Dorin). She has really taken to Dorin very quickly. We still don't know when Auntie Oz is ready to take her back. Found out that she's having problems with moving into her new place.

My herb garden and strawberry patch are growing nicely.
Now we have a collection of organic Orange Thyme, Chocolate mint, rosemary, Siam Queen basil, Dark Opal Basil and Thyme. Thanks to this little organic garden I chanced upon downtown. Hopefully we'll have some strawberries to harvest in time for the Strawberry festival on July 1st weekend.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Poor baby with the runs.


It's now Day 4 of changing poopy diapers and no appetite. Touch wood the vomiting seems to have subsided. Kay is down with stomach flu or so the doctor says. There is nothing they can do because it's viral. But come to think of it, there is nothing much the doctors do here except tell you that you have to wait it out. No medication and no relieve for my poor baby. It's hard to watch them go through so much pain. All that crying for an hour and half before bed was excrutiating to my ears. Sometime i wonder why anyone would bring a baby into this world of suffering. I would think there is more to having a baby then to propagate continuity of a species. But when I see them suffer like that I'd rather face extinction. Then again, when you see them smile and give you a hug and kiss, you wished there were more of them. Life is so full of ironies.

She looks fine in the photo but her tummy was actually rumbling inside. For the past 3 days we have been hibernating at home hoping not to spread it around. Playing in our backyard wasn't too bad either. We'd spend half an hour playing on the swing, doing the slide, walking around plucking the tall grasses that daddy missed while mowing, and just watching the birds catching worms in the neighbour's yard.

Wish my baby well.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Meeting up with friends and their kids in singapore






This trip to Singapore seems to be quite different from the past. It seems to be "kids-centric", and revolved around meeting up with friends and their children. Feels like we have been pretty far behind some of our friends with 3 and 4 kids. But we really had no regrets waiting as we are at a far better location and mind-set now than we were 10 years ago. Yes, it's funny that we were amongst the first to get married but we have just started in our journey with Kay. So we do have a lot to learn from many of these 3-times parents. I often wonder how they do it with more than one. We are doing ok but would be struggling if we had another. Again it made us realize how important it is to have immediate family around when we have kids and being faraway in Canada didn't really make it easier. The culture in Singapore endorses and embraces the employment of a live-in helper, especially for families with kids. It seems like a norm and people squint when we tell them that we don't have a "maid" at home. That term seems to used less and less in the current context but that is essentially what they were treated as. For us, we never could get use to the idea of having a stranger live-in our house with us and taking care of our kids. So that's not an option. But it was nice catching up with everyone....and their little ones.

We went to the places like the Jacob Belles Children's garden at the Singapore Botanical Gardens, somewhere we would have never considered visiting if we didn't have a kid. It was nice even though it was extremely hot. It was the second generation of my architecture mates meeting up for the first time. There were 7 kids altogether that day, ranging from 6 months old to 6 years old, all playing bubbles and just running around, while the adults chomped down on local fare. It was a nice picnic. Thanks for organizing it, Gyn.


And here is the list of friends with 3 or more kids...just as a reminder to myself for future reference:
Karen & Steven Bay-with Benjamin(4), Bridgitte(3) and Ignitius (3 months)
Trish & Glen Lim - with Ethan (6), Elliot (5) and Trinity Ming (3)
KahHan & Winnie Liaw- with Timothy(7), Elizabeth(4) and Dominic (1.5)

Thanks everyone for sharing family moments with us.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Singapore and back....another 2 months has passed.



Catching Up...

Nothing is stopping time I guess, Kay is now 14.5 months and I'm just lagging behind on all the blogging. So much has happened since Kay's birthday, we have gone to Singapore for 3.5 weeks, experienced extreme heat and humidity, met up with her grandparents for the first time, had her first hair-cut, got a great tan, came back to Toronto, suffered from jet lags and colds, terrible teething episodes, visited the Toronto Zoo for the first time.....and ooohhhh....that was just a short summary of those months passed. My weekly resolution for this week is to be more diligent with blog updates because we know a lot of family and friends are depending on it to get the latest news about us in faraway Canada. Sorry everyone, if you missed out on some of the great stories these past months. I will try to catch up and put them in as best as I can.

Ok, since my mommy brains do not have much of a short term/ mid-term memory, I'm just trying to recall the events after Kay's birthday. I guess we were just busy trying to get our work out of the way, so that we can prepare for the long trip to Singapore. Well at least I was. Then a whole week was spent packing the bags and buying gifts to bring back to family.

Packing for the long trip
Hhhmmm, what could we buy from Canada besides maple syrup, ice wine and Ontario Ginseng? Well, not much, so we went with the Uncle Bill's Ontario Ginseng for this trip, since we did Ice wine the last time and us Asians don't really know what to do with maple syrup. So we stocked up on everything from ginseng roots to teabags and ginseng candy for Cheeyuen's family. The largest Samsonite we have was packed with just gifts. Of course we went to the doctors to get advise on what to "medication" to take along for Kay's long flight. She was also having a cold when we left, so it brought on some worries about pressure on the plane causing ear-infections and so on. Remind me why i shouldn't be reading too much of these on the web. Well, the best they say was to feed the baby on take-off and landing, to prevent this problem. And so we did try that and loaded up on kids' Benadryl and Gravol. These were the hardest part of the packing. Kay had her own small Samsonite, full of skimpy summer clothes, baby formula and diapers. Cheeyuen and I just shared one luggage, with me taking up 90% of the space as usual. His policy is to buy when we get there. Ok, like I wasn't going to do any shopping.
Anyway, the biggest concern we had was what to bring on the plane so that Kay will get everything she needed for the day. So on our carry-on bag was a huge back-pack with 10 diapers, wipes, change of clothes for all of us, a Macbook loaded with DVDs of the Backyardigans and Wonder Pets, toys, toys and more toys. Another duffle bag was just filled with the days selection of fresh fruits, yogurt, cookies, nibbles, bread, formula, a thermos flask and 4 baby bottles filled with boiled water. Phew, it was a lot of stuff to take on the plane.
Anyway, the day came for us to make that long 24-hour flight.

In order to relate better to the incidents below, you can start browsing the above link to see the photos.

The flight...and sale of our iRobot "Buddy"
The night before we left, this guy on Craigslist decided that he wants to buy my Crazy iRobot Vacuum cleaner which we affectionately call "Buddy". So he haggled with me from $100 bucks to $50. Whatever, I was too busy worrying about my long flight to care about this guy. Anyway, he lives in Mississauga and wanted the vacuum cleaner right away so he wanted to pick it up from me at the airport. I can't believe i agreed to it. So amongst all the luggage and carry-ons, we brought along a box with Buddy in it. Our friend Mike gave us a lift to the airport, so at least there was an extra pair of hands and to help take Buddy home in case that crazy guy didn't turn up. So minutes before we got to the airport, this guy was messaging me on my cell, telling me to look out for his Yellow Hummer at the departure lanes. What a joke.!Why would someone driving such a big A** Hummer (in yellow, nonetheless) care about a crappy $50 vacuum cleaner. Anyway, it was done. Mike helped do the exchange while we were busy lining up to check-in and I never got to meet the guy in the Yellow Hummer.

Everything seemed to be going well, and like Mike said, if things fall into place at the beginning of a trip, it's a good sign that the rest of it will be fine. And he was kind of right about that.
So we boarded the plane and got into our seats. Kay was squirming and wanted to walk around.
But it was chaotic with people loading up luggages overhead so that wasn't good and we had some screaming. Anyway, while the plane was taxiing for take-off we decided to make her a bottle so that we can feed her on take-off. Problem is we made the bottle too full and it started leaking all over. And with the seat-belt signs on we thought getting an air-stewardess to help empty a little of the milk out of the bottle was a good idea. But who know, she actually emptied the entire bottle !! And there we thought the bottle will help soothe our struggling and screaming baby. Well, minutes before the final seat-belt warning came on, we scrambled to make a new bottle and things worked out.

Considering that it was Kay's first flight, I think she did pretty well. Albeit the struggling to get out of the seat-belt and screaming about not being allowed to walk around, she was a pretty good traveller. Air pressure didn't seem to bother her, but the fact that she can't move around as much did. So our advise is to travel with a baby who is not so mobile yet. It'll be easier.
Anyway, she slept for 5 of the 16 hours to Hong Kong, where we made our transit.

The two hours in Hong Kong was spent filling up our tummies with proper food and freshening up. Then it was another 4 SHORT hours to Singapore.
We arrived and survived !


The party...and first night at Clementi.
Finally landing in Singapore gave us a sense of relief and achievement. The welcomed excitement on Cheeyuen's mum's face and my brother Austin and his wife Tib, made the journey all worth it. You could see their elated expressions through the glass barrier as they waved frantically, while we waited collected our baggage on the belt.
It was a nice "welcome party" and we were quickly whisked into the car enroute to Cheeyuen's sister (Laihong's) place where we'll be spending the first week.

It was almost 11pm when we got to Clementi on the west-end of Singapore island. Of course the first question we were asked was "Are you hungry?". It was Singapore? Food paradise, you shouldn't expect anything less. Simon offered to go get some supper for us at the coffee shop downstairs. Hmmm...what did we have? With a sure answer from Cheeyuen, we had Braised Duck Rice, Grilled chicken wings and Western style Chicken Chops. A wierd choice since we just came from the Western lands. You can pretty much get great food at anytime of the day or night within a stone's throw. We really miss this aspect of convenience and accessibility to food since we moved to Toronto. Well it just got a little farther in Stouffville where we'll have to drive to get to anywhere with decent food. This and of course, we missed being close to family and friends even more.

There is also a need to clarify the difference in definition of "Supper" in Singapore. Unlike in Toronto where Supper equals Dinner, here Supper was the meal after dinner. Somewhat like a midnight "snack". So there is Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon tea, Dinner and Supper all laid out for our itinerary here. Or so we hoped.

The first night was pretty much rolling around the mattress in the dark, playing catch with Kay.
What do you expect? It was morning time in her body clock. She just wanted to play. So we did a few hours of "naps" like she did in her regular daytime schedule. Woke up at 7am in the morning and went down to the Hawker Centre for breakfast with Cherie (Kay's 12 year old cousin) and Laihong (Cheeyuen's sister). None of us could resist the idea of breakfast even though we were tired as hell and had no sleep. So off we went into the sweaty heat, the first of many such days for little Kay. She was one moody baby in the heat and humidity, we have all the photos to prove that.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Freedom and Saying "No"



My little girl has gone pass the one year mark and in style I might say. She is walking around hands-free and mommy-free nowadays. So it makes her look so cute in little dresses that previously get dragged along the floor. Well, of course mommy cannot wait for her to wear all those dresses in summer and for our trip to Tropical singapore.

Asserting her feelings more and learning to say "No" while shaking her head was the latest of her many antics. She would pick out the omelette pieces i have mixed with toast on her tray, show it to me and shake her head to say she didn't like it. Talk about being specific. This girl sure knows what she likes and doesn't like. People say that is good because I know exactly what she likes, but I'm torn as I also want her to try everything so that she can have a wider range of food.

It is finally sinking in that she is really growing up ... FAST !

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy first Birthday !





March 18, 2008
A year flew pass and Kay just turned one 2 days ago. Was meaning to post something on the day of, but like the rest of the year past, it just slipped by. Many thoughts and many emotions running through my mummy brains right now....but rest assured, they are mostly good thoughts. Would like to thank all our family and surrogate families in Toronto, Singapore, NZ, Alberta and NYC for making this such a special occasion for us.

Well, like how they would do it at the Oscars, I would like to thank:
the group of stouffville mums & kiddos (Rossana/Niall, Eilla/Mina, Maria/Paige & Rita/Caitlin) for all the good times; Samantha & Rachel (her friend since I was pregnant together with her mum Sam); Lydia/David/Richard/lydia's mum (for the support and friendship); Art & Mike (for the many dinner parties and being great neighbours); Yolande/Jason (for helping me through some tougher days); Thuwaibah (for always being there ...somehow); Paul (for all the great advice and being a dependable friend); Elaine/Gab (for sharing Kay's first sushi & museum experince); Joyce/ChungWoh (our dear friends in NYC who are so gracious hosts and such great friends); Ivana/Dan/Neil (for shoveling our driveway and being fantastic neighbours); Granny Giggles/Lynn (for the spiritual and emotional support, advice and laughs online... and off); PoPo/Judy and GongGong/Henghuat for being there during the toughest months; MaMah/YeYe for being that loud voice on the other side of the phone sending their love; Cheeyuen's siblings Laihong/Lailing/CheeHwee for taking care of matters in Singapore and giving us peace of mind to start our lives here in Toronto....well the list goes on and is not in order of importance. Forgive me if I have missed anyone out but i'd like to thank everyone who crossed our paths and made a difference.

Kay's One ! ... as I've piped it on her birthday cake....a pretty ok first attempt i should say.
She has achieved so much in a year that it makes my own progress in life a little shabby in comparison. She is constantly learning with every step, every breath, every touch and every taste. I can see why some people make babies as a hobby :) it's pretty rewarding to say the least.

Well, thanks to everyone's contribution, Kay's Time Capsule is filling up nicely with notes, keepsakes, loud-singing cards, photos, a recipe book, CD, dried up umbilical cord!, size #1 diaper, poems, bracelet/necklace, mini scrapbook...and her first pair of shoes. It will be such a great memory for her when she turns 10 and for us when we turn 60.

Maybe it's appropriate to say Thanks and wish everyone a Happy Easter too ! Enjoy the long weekend and pray for Spring to come.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Walking for the first time


It's exciting times. There is huge snow storm outside and Kay is turning one next week. There has just been too much snow this winter.

March 6th- Kay has started walking two days ago. She made her first steps before that, but this time she actually walked all the way from the sofa to the TV, while chewing on a toy in her hands. It might have been an unconscious effort because she hasn't gone that far ever since that day and started crawling again. But we are hopeful that she'll do it again before the 18th. She has started taking the walker for a walk literally and changing directions as she pleases, and it's been so much fun to watch. Her hair is also getting fuller, soon i'll be able to put a bow on it.

Well, reality has started to sink in as some of the mommies are going back to work in the next few weeks. We cramped quite a lot of activities into this week's agenda as these days are coming to an end. Hope we'll still stay in touch after that.... it has been fun times.

Kay is adjust well to her new baby sitter, but there is still some screaming at the door when i leave in the morning. But she'll have to get use to it i guess. I'll be submitting my business application to the government soon, so it may mean more days at the baby sitter for her.

Oh, just to a note to wish my mum a Happy Birthday today and all woman ... Happy Woman's day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

First swim !


February 15th - Kay took her first "dive" into the swimming pool on Friday. Well, it started off with a little anxiety, as shown in the photos, but she did eventually enjoy the experience. We led the pack in getting the babies to do the head-dive /underwater experience. The trick was to blow real hard into their faces just before immersing their heads, so their natural reflex would be to close their eyes and hold their breath. Kay was pretty brave, no cries, no struggle. We did it for 4 times. Not bad for a first try. Well, of course we had mouthfuls of tasty chlorinated water at some point, but all went well. Those new floating things are great !

February 17th - Dinner tonight was scrumptious. We had seared carrots & string beans with Salmon and saffron raisin rice. Kay's first taste of Salmon. I ended up eating most of it, as with all other food that I make for her. It was yummy. She seems to like the braised string beans better.

February 14th - Just a note to say that Kay's first day at the baby sitter's went well. Ozleyis, the absolutely adores her. And Kay really loves her kids, a girl-6-Dilara and a boy-4-Shawn. Dilara got a big hug and kiss from Kay that day. It's strange how Kay like little girls better...