Friday, August 31, 2012

Flashback Friday #8

22 May 2011: After dipping Blake in the swimming pool to train him how to hold his breath underwater over 2 sessions, my aunt passed us a baby neck float which my cousin (who's 9 months older than Blake) had been using. It had gotten a little too small for her, and my aunt thought it would be one way for Blake to enjoy the water fully.

The day we went to the swimming pool to test out the baby neck float on Blake, we went with high hopes. We really, really hoped that he would enjoy playing in the water with the neck float on. Sadly, that wasn't the case.

Blake was still terrified of the swimming pool, and the moment we changed him into his swimming costume, he started crying. He knew we were going into the swimming pool, and he probably thought we would dip him underwater again, which we did.

Truth be told, we weren't sure how many sessions it would take for Blake to learn how to hold his breath underwater. Perhaps just one session, with maybe 3 dips, was enough... All I know is that after the first time we brought him to the swimming pool, our little darling begin to develop a phobia for swimming pools.

Every trip to the swimming pool was tough on Blake, and on us. Handling a crying baby isn't the easiest job to do. From changing him into his swimming costume, to trying to get him to play in the pool, to getting the swimming costume off, to bathing him, and dressing him - he cries throughout, and it really breaks my heart. The only way to stop him from crying is to have him strapped up to one of us, and taken on a walk for a little while, after he has been bathed and clothed.

In any case, after this particular trip to the swimming pool, we kept all swimming gear away, and decided not to put him through this again.

Related posts:
Blake's First Swim
Blake's Swim (Video)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to Baby

Recently, Blake has a taken a liking to a Chinese cartoon called《摩尔庄园》(loosely translated: ‘Mole Garden’). The characters in this series of cartoon (there are quite a few series and movies) are exactly the same as the ones in the Mole Kart game he enjoys playing on Sean’s HTC. Sean had chanced upon the cartoon when we were showing Blake recorded demos of the Mole Kart on Youtube. Not sure if the game was a spin-off from the cartoon, or the other way round, but I’m guessing the former.

It doesn’t really matter, cos I couldn’t be happier that Blake enjoys watching this cartoon. It is his first Mandarin cartoon!

Here’s an episode from one of the many seasons we found on Youtube:

Watching this cartoon has also made our big boy a baby again. Why do I say that? Well, if you watch the above clip, you will notice that there are tiny creatures in the cartoon that only says, “Bi bo! Bi bo!”, and Blake took it to mean “Baby! Baby!”

Blake will pat his chest whenever the tiny creature speaks, and says, “Baby! Baby!” as many times as he could till he catches our attention and we acknowledge that he is ‘baby’. By the way, “Baby” was Blake’s first word. He used to pat his chest and say, “Baby”, but stopped subsequently as he grew older. He knows mommy calls him “Baby” almost all the time.

At one point, he had wanted to go back to sleeping on Sean, like when he was a baby!

Thankfully, this period was short-lived.

And now that we head out without a stroller, cos our big boy prefers to walk or be carried now, we have also gone back to using the sling which Sean used to carry Blake in, when Blake was still a baby. It is only used when Blake sleeps though. Blake will try his best to wiggle his way out the moment he wakes up, and finds himself ‘trap’ in the sling.

All these happening before our number 2 arrive; Blake enjoying being a baby again. It’s definitely something worth putting down on record for!

Oh yes, how could I possibly leave this out? Here's a video recording of Blake going, "Baby! Baby!" :P

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tale of a Boy and his Duckie

It all started on when we went to my mom’s place on 18th August 2012 for dinner, and Blake explored the place solo, venturing into the bedrooms. He saw a soft toy duck laying on my sister’s bed, and promptly took it to play with. He grew attached to it within seconds. It was pretty funny because this soft toy has been in the house, on my sister’s bed (which he often plays on), from since he was born, I think. And he never noticed it till that particular Saturday.

He then took it out of the bedroom and into the living room, sat on the sofa with it, and started to shower it with kisses – something he never does to anyone, even me! He always leans in for me to kiss him, but never ever kisses me.

It was quite a hilarious sight – the way he hugs and kisses the toy duck.

Sean and I discussed, after seeing how reluctant Blake was when he had to return the soft toy when we left, and we decided to get him the soft toy too. Sadly, it’s no longer available in that big size; there are only the medium and small sizes left. I even called up the manufacturer/distributor to ask!

My mom had wanted to get my sister to give up her big soft toy duck to Blake, but we came to a conclusion that it would not do Blake any good in the long run. We do not want him to think that by simply wanting it, he can just take someone else’s toy.

It was also just as well that the big sizes have gone out of production, Sean says this can teach him how to differentiate items that belongs to him, and items that belong to others, especially items that look very similar to one another.

In any case, we bought him the medium-sized soft toy duck, the name’s ‘Duckie’, and he’s so attached to it.

I’m really puzzled by this sudden love for this particular soft toy duck! Haha. I had to get him the small-sized duckie - for him to bring out, and to school. His school teacher messaged to let me know Blake was in a foul mood, and I’m guessing it had something to do with the absence of his Duckie…

Such bonding. Hehe.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flashback Friday #7

14 May 2011: We try to take a family photo every month. Reason #1, cos I particularly enjoy taking photos. Reason #2, cos we can see how much Blake has grown, and how much we have too :)

21 May 2011: My sweet little darling and me enjoying one of the many, many afternoons we spend together - eating, sleeping, playing (and for me, working) :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Of Boys and Cars - Video

On National Day, we had lunch at Long John Silver, and Blake had his toy cars to entertain himself with while we ate. The sound effect that he is making is from a game called Mole Kart, which Sean plays with him on his mobile phone. Apparently, that's the sound the character will make when it takes the ramp and fly to the other side of the track. Haha! Too cute! :D

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Of Boys and Cars

I think it’s in them. Boys just seem particularly attracted to cars and other motor vehicles. We do not even have to teach them how it’s supposed to be used. They just know!

Blake started to take a fancy to cars after his first birthday. He would find it amusing that toy cars would move on its own with just a little push. Naturally, seeing how our little boy enjoy playing with cars and other vehicles, we bought vehicles in all shapes, sizes and colours for him to play with.

These are just a few of all his toys with wheels that he decided to line up

As he got older, and gradually started to prefer roaming around on his own and ditched the stroller, Blake took a liking to those car rides seen in most shopping malls.

His face would light up when he sees one and he would make a beeline towards it, regardless of how crowded the shopping mall might be.

Once, Sean brought Blake to every single ride in the shopping mall while I went to the supermarket to get groceries done. It was really fun for Blake, but tiring for Sean!

The strangest thing is, we never have to spend a single cent on these rides! Blake is just happy to be sitting in it, pushing all the buttons, and playing with the steering wheel. He would even make his own sound effect, and go, “Voooom! Voooom!” Haha!

Yup, even the motorcycle rides are fun for him!

The other place Blake likes to go to play with cars is the arcade. He enjoys this more than those found around shopping malls because there are actual visuals in front of him. There is a couple of such racing car machines at the swimming club’s bowling alley, and Blake would always try to get into the bowling alley and make his way to the cars. If we don’t let him enter the bowling alley, he would kick up a big fuss!

Then, he realize that arcades in shopping malls have similar machines, and would sometimes run into the arcade when we’re in shopping malls just to find these racing car machines to sit on and pretend to race. It’s quite an amusing sight. It’s also easy on us, cos he’ll just sit there and play. When he’s ready to go, he’ll get up, wave and say, “Bye! See you!” Haha!

I know some parents might be shaking their heads in disapproval now, towards arcade gaming, but I think it’s perfectly fine. Sean and I used to frequent the arcades together on weekends, solely playing a racing car machine called Battle Gear 3. I guess the gaming blood runs in the family. Haha. The only problem I have is that it’s kind of a loud place for Blake to be in at this age. I fear for his ear drums! And then, I fear for my pockets, should he really enjoy going to the arcade. Haha! Maybe I could make a deal with him when he’s older. Hmm….

And not forgetting...
Selamat Hari Raya Adilfitri to all my Muslim friends and readers!
Have a great celebration! :D

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

National Day 2012 Part II

Once again, I received an email notification from Blake’s preschool to inform me that photos from the eve of National Day (the day they celebrated in school) have been uploaded onto their online school portal. I’m super in love with this portal! The teachers have also been very hardworking in helping us parents take photos of our children at such celebrations and events, and taking the time to upload them onto the portal too! ♥

What’s he looking at?

Oh yay! A Singapore flag!

Wave it! Wave it! Do the Singapore flag wave!

There is a new girl in Blake’s class, and I think they seem to get along quite well. I mean, just look at this:

So cute, right?

Read my earlier post about Blake’s first National Day Celebration here!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blake's First Hair Cut

Blake has never had a shave nor a hair cut from the day he was born. Only a tiny snip was given as significance for his first month celebrations. At 23 months old, I have absolutely no idea how Blake would react to a pair of scissors to his hair.

So, about a week ago, when I was bathing for Blake, I thought it would be a good idea to give Blake’s hair a little trim. It was getting long, with his fringe close to his eyes. And being in his favourite duck tub, playing with all his toys, it seemed like a good opportunity for me to take for that trim!

One of his latest photos before the trim I gave him

But alas, what a terrible, terrible idea! His hair looked really good after trimming when wet, but the moment it dried… Let’s just say, now I know why some children end up with hairstyles that look like a bowl was placed on their head during a haircut. Only a mother with no hair styling, hair cutting experience, and skill could cause something like this to happen.

After my failed attempt in trimming his hair

I felt really bad, but I also could not stop laughing when I see him in that hair style! It was a vicious cycle. I would look at him, burst out laughing for a good five to 10 minutes, then I’ll feel guilty cos I was the one who did that to his hair! Then I will look away, but the moment I see him again…

Since then, I’ve been contemplating sending Blake to a hair salon to rescue his mother’s very failed attempt at trimming his hair.

That day arrived, on National Day.

Sean went for his own haircut at EC House at Bedok Point. And I had Blake look at Sean having his haircut. The lady (her name is Janice Loy) cutting Sean’s hair asked about Blake’s hair, and I told her I was the one who messed it up. She said it wasn’t so bad, cos the back looked okay. She even offered to cut Blake’s hair, and will only accept payment if she managed to cut it properly for Blake! We took up the offer immediately!

When it was Blake’s turn to have his haircut, we decided that it was best for Sean to carry him, while I distracted him with games and videos on our mobile phone. Blake struggled a little from time to time, and throughout the whole time, Janice was very careful with Blake. She reacted really fast to Blake’s sudden hand movements to his head. Impressive!

Blake soon settled down when Janice gave Blake a box of sweets to play with. Sean took a piece out, and gave it to Blake. Blake happily sucked on his candy, while watching his favourite videos. In no time at all, Blake had nice hair again!

My handsome and brave boy after his first proper haircut!

No photos of the process sadly! Blake’s first hair cut, and I only remembered about taking photos and videos when we left. But hey, that’s what journals are for, right? If I can’t have it in photos or videos, at least I got them down in words! And that’s good enough for me J

Friday, August 10, 2012

Flashback Friday #5

4 May 2011: So, there comes a time where all parents will start feeding their child semi-solid/pureed food. And when that time came, some parents might become a bit adventurous and let their child spoon feed themselves.

On my part, I was getting lazy spoon-feeding him, so I wanted him to feed himself. But alas, the mess it came with was even more work than spoon-feeding him!

While I enjoyed showing him how to feed himself using the spoon, I actually laugh and cheered him on when he does it right. However, the aftermath was seriously... unsightly, and a little of a motivational killer. Haha. It gets both him and me frustrated, cos I'll have to leave him in the playpen while I clean up the mess, and he doesn't understand why mommy won't play with him after eating.

So we tried it out for a couple more days before I gave up trying to teach him how to scoop food from the bowl and feed himself. This, I shall wait till I am able to communicate with him with real words that we can both understand. (This will be done simultaneously with potty training - another story, for much later entry.)

Instead of letting him scoop the food on his own, I decided to scoop the food for him, place the spoon in his hands, and teach him how to put the spoon with the food into his mouth. We did this only when I had 'sticky' food prepared for his lunch. This way, together with me holding onto his hands gently, means less mess for me to clear! Haha.

Now, Blake can hold his own spoon, with food on it, and put it into his mouth. He still messes up once in a while, but because he loves eating and food so much, he will try his best to be careful, and get everything on the spoon into his mouth! Hehe. He hasn't learned how to scoop his food yet, so when he fails to scoop up the food, he ends up using his hands instead. It's alright! One step at a time!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

National Day 2012

It’s the eve of National Day!

Blake is celebrating it for the first time ever! Last year, we didn’t do much to join in the celebrations cos… I can’t quite remember now. Haha!

In any case, Blake went to school dressed in a red t-shirt and checkered shorts, all ready to celebrate the nation’s birthday in school!

Waiting for my parents to pick us to have breakfast together

His t-shirt is pretty special. My mom bought it from a flea market in Australia. The little octopus was handcrafted, and sewn onto a t-shirt from Gymboree – high quality children’s t-shirt! I would say it’s a one of a kind t-shirt for sure! Thanks, mom!

Tried to get him to take a photo with me, but he was busy counting cars going in and out of the car park, in his own language. Haha!

After having breakfast, and on the way to school, I switched to the front camera mode (very lousy 1.3mp, but nice effect!) and Blake was more willing to take a photo with me


Just want to share something that happened last night, which made this particular National Day even more special.

Last night, I came across good men who came to Singapore to work; who ever so kindly lend me a helping hand when I needed one.

Sean was chasing after Blake, who ran into the car park unexpectedly, and did not realize that his pouch, where his mobile phone was kept, was left open. It probably dropped off in the midst of this frenzy chase, or it could have been pick-pocketed when Sean brought Blake to have a look at crabs at a nearby coffee shop, which was rather crowded. I was not with them at the time, and when I found out from Sean that his mobile phone was gone, I panicked. It was a brand new mobile phone, used only for a little over a month.

I asked Sean to show me their route from the point of chase to the coffee shop, where I found them. For the next two hours, after Sean took Blake home, I spent it prowling the route, hoping to find his mobile phone.

While looking for the mobile phone, a group of foreign workers had just ended work, and were piling onto the lorry. I approached them, asking them if they saw Sean and Blake playing, and if they saw a mobile phone lying around. I told them the mobile phone was missing.

They must have heard me wrongly, because their faces went pale, and they started to panicked.

One of them asked me, “How old is the boy? How tall? What he wearing?” I was puzzled. I was wondering why he asked me all these questions when I was looking for a mobile phone. Then I realized that they heard ‘small boy’ and ‘missing’, and instantly thought I was looking for my son!

I calmed them down, and told them Blake was safe at home with Sean, and it was a mobile phone that was missing. They relaxed a little and shockingly, got out of the lorry and started looking for the mobile for me! They asked me about the brand, model and colour of the mobile phone, and started combing the entire car park with me to look for it. One tried calling Sean’s mobile phone, but to no avail.

After helping me search around the car park twice, I told them to forget it. It was probably gone for good already.

I thanked them profusely, and after they left, I continued searching for a while more. Sean called, and told me to return home, to forget about the mobile phone.

When I got home, I told Sean what happened, and how the foreign workers had helped me unconditionally, not seeking rewards or anything, just out of pure goodwill. It really made the difference between having to go to bed feeling horrible (due to the loss of the mobile phone), or going to bed feeling grateful.

Despite the loss of the mobile phone, I experienced first-hand the kindness and contribution some foreign workers bring to Singapore. They had a long day of physical/construction work (they do renovations), yet they did not hesitate to help me when it was time for them to head back and rest. This really opened up my eyes, with a whole new perception towards foreign workers.

I went back to find them earlier today. I had bought drinks and biscuits for them, as a way to say ‘Thanks’.  To my disappointment, the group of kind workers was not there. I hope to be able to see them again, to express my thanks once again.

Happy National Day, everyone! J

P.S. Blake's hair looks different because I made a failed attempt in trimming his fringe on my own, when he was having his bath. It looked really nice when his hair is all wet, but after it dried.... Sigh.

P.P.S I never got to express my thanks to the group of foreign workers cos they were assigned to another location. Sigh.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bus Rides Home from School

Bus rides home from Blake’s school is always a nightmare for me. Before leaving the house to pick Blake up, I will mentally prepare myself to miss at least one or two buses before being able to board one that’s fairly crowded.

Once, we had to wait till the 7th bus before we could board! I picked him up late that day, and had to squeeze with the super peak hour crowd. By the time we boarded the bus, Blake was very cranky. Poor boy must be wondering why we were stuck at the bus stop for so long!

On days when we managed to board the first bus that comes along, Blake will give a loud roar of, “Yay!” upon boarding the bus, which always amuses the bus driver. Haha.

Blake has also taken a liking to wave and say, “Hello” and “Bye, see you” to all the buses that stops at the bus stops, so much so that most drivers will wave back at him before leaving. Once, a bus driver stopped and got off the bus to pass Blake a piece of chocolate! I was surprised, so were Blake and the people at the bus stop. I couldn’t stop laughing! Days like these really do chase all negativities away.

Yes, that's creepy eye at the side is me. Haha!

I have also been very lucky to meet kind-hearted people on the buses we take home. Whenever there were no seats left, people would immediately get up and offer their seats to us. There were only two very unpleasant encounters (seat snatchers), but even then, I had aunties who got up to shame those people and gave up their seats to us. I am eternally grateful to all these aunties who had our backs.

And because Blake has been taking the bus for most parts of his life, with the exception of the first 6 months where we took taxis a lot, he is quite a good commuter! He says, “Bye” to all the passengers getting off. And now, as long as he has his own seat, he will either sit quietly or stand the whole way, admiring the scenery outside the window, pointing at things he see and ‘commenting’ on them. Hehe. This little boy is so curious of his surroundings! I like!

Hmm… Come to think about it, the bus rides home from Blake’s school is not so much of a nightmare after all J

Friday, August 3, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Racial Harmony Day Part II

Today, I received an email notification from Blake's preschool to inform me of updates on the school portal. I logged in, and to my surprise, the updates were photos from the Racial Harmony Day Celebration they had in school! These photos were taken by the teachers. Ok! I shall stop blabbing and let the photos do the talking! :D

Playing with all the different traditional and cultural games and toys!

Snack time!

With his classmates! Yes, only the three of them in a class! Hehehe.

Read my earlier post about Blake's first Racial Harmony Day Celebration here!

* * *

Oh oh! Just an add on, while browsing through the online portal, I came across this section where teachers give parents a termly progress report of their child! I didn't know they had that! But now I do!

Here's what one of Blake's teacher said about my baby boy!
Very simply and loosely translated:
Blake loves colouring. When given worksheets, he will concentrate on colouring non-stop, and he doesn't like it when the teachers help. He's one who enjoys doing his work independently. Even though he has yet to speak, with the teachers' continuous effort to speak to him, he is able to babble similar sounding words, and that's really good! As long as Blake continues to try, and attends preschool daily, he will improve gradually.