Friday, November 27, 2009


As yesterday was the US Thanksgiving day and I have a very close connection to the US through my year as an exchange student there (22 years ago!!), I wanted to write about being thankful. As I write this, it is 6:51am and I have my 2 beautiful cherubs on the lounge room floor, playing together. For some reason, they are both waking earlier these days. I fear our 7am sleep in days are over. Ho hum, we will just have to get to bed earlier. I am so thankful to have Alex and Tara in our lives. They light up my world and I cannot imagine life without them.

Tara is on the verge of walking and talking. She stands independently (very wobbly) and walks with the aid of a finger, a trouser leg, pretty much anything. She says "Dada" and "Mama" a lot and is at a beautiful stage of life. So much will change very soon. She is just 5 weeks away from her first birthday. She recently weaned herself. Yes, I did think this was supposed to be my decision, but I am very grateful that I was able to nurse both my babies and I guess that by 10 months, she had received the goodness from it.

I receive a weekly email every Wednesday telling me how old Tara is and what she is up to this week in terms of behaviour etc. This week said "Your baby is 47 weeks old and all of a sudden is showing fussiness where she would previously eat foods without any bother, she is now showing her opinions". Yes, Tara had obviously read this one before - she is definitely acting this way. She is a very opinionated 47 week old!

Alex is starting potty training. I had initially thought we would leave it till after Christmas and we haven't started it fully, but are trying it out. He has a sticker chart which he currently has 7 stickers on. He does really well at telling us when he needs to go, but it is often at the time of going, rather than waiting till we make it to the bathroom. However, we are making progress. I think it will be a slow process though. Yesterday at the zoo, we had 4 visits to the toilet - the first 3 produced nothing and the 4th one (when Gary was on duty) produced the business on the way to the toilet in the nappy. Oh well!! :) He is also quite funny with his announcements - seems like we are always in a taxi when he announces very loudly "I'm doing a poo". I usually say something like "It's ok, you have a nappy on" or "See if you can wait". The other day we caught a taxi and the guy had quite long hair. As we were climbing in Alex announces very loudly "It's a LADY!" I quickly said "No Alex - say hello to Uncle" to which he obligingly said "Hello Uncle".

The past 2 weeks Gary has been on holiday. We have had a really nice time - had a few outings - went to the Bird Park and to the Zoo. We had our first barbie last Sunday - it was a success (lamb chops and sausages). Life will return to 'normal' next week when Gary goes back to work. Gary's Mum will arrive in Singapore next Friday and she will be with us for 3 weeks before heading off to Thailand to spend a couple of weeks with her brother.

I am thankful for my family and friends - I really am very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life.

I am also thankful for my wonderful husband who is currently making me a cup of coffee. I love you Gary.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The past month

As I write this, Gary is lying on the couch with a book covering his eyes sleeping. I think I shouldn't have to convince him too much that it's a hard gig looking after the kids! But also a very rewarding one. Gary is on holidays this week and next and we have just got both kids down for a nap. I'm going to go to the gym shortly.....

We have done a lot in the past month, I really must update this more often.

Mum came to stay for 10 days on November 1st. It was lovely to see her and for her to spend time with Alex and Tara but it was also challenging. Mum's mobility is pretty limited and I really felt the strain of not having a car, so we were completely reliant on taxis. Our condo is reasonably accessible but does have a small hill at both the front and the back so it was difficult for Mum to get out and get in the taxis. She walks with a walker but very slowly and it is tricky trying to deal with 2 small children and help Mum out as well. The taxi at the airport dropped us off at the wrong place and I had a really hard time pushing Mum on her walker and pushing her suitcase along too. We did manage to get out and about a bit though.

Our next visitor is Gary's Mum - she arrives in 2 weeks time. We are looking forward to seeing Ann again - it's been 11 months since we saw her last. Ann will be with us for around 3 weeks then will be off to Thailand to see her brother Neville for a couple of weeks and then back with us for a couple of weeks.

We left Singapore for the first time in 4 months (for the kids and I) last weekend. We took a ferry over to Batam which is an Indonesian Island only a 35 minute ferry ride from Singapore. We had originally intended to stay for 4 nights but as both of the kids were not feeling well - especially Alex, we decided to cut our trip short by a day and came home yesterday. We did have fun and I wish I had more time to go shopping at the mall, but things like naps for the kids cut that trip short! It is interesting going away and I think I know now a lot more about what to pack etc when we are going away for a few days. It was also hard work being out of the familiar environment and needing to ensure everything is safe and kid friendly. We forgot things like Alex's potty seat - he is showing some interest in potty training so I sat him on the toilet and was holding him there, then Tara crawls up, stands up and pushes the lid down, thereby cracking her brother in the back of the head. Oh dear! Anyway, it was a learning experience and we will be better prepared for travelling next time!! It doesn't help packing at the last minute when Gary and I had been out on Saturday night.

We did a fun thing for kids last weekend - we went for a visit to the fire station. All of the Singapore fire stations are open on a Saturday morning for open house and so we were shown around by the firemen who were very enthusiastic and gave the kids loads of attention. A fun trip out - we will definitely go again.

For the rest of Gary's holidays, we are planning a day trip to Malaysia, a trip to the zoo, maybe a farm visit and a few other fun things for the kids to do.

Oh yeah, I turned 40 last Sunday. That was the day we left for holidays. In hindsight, a travel day is not the best day for a birthday - it wasn't exactly stress free but we did enjoy some champagne and wine on the Saturday night followed by a visit to a comedy club here - that was a fun night out. Turning 40, I don't feel any older, it just sounds older than being in your 30's!! In some ways, I still feel like I'm mid 20's!!

Now, I really must get to the gym before one or both wake up!