Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Boxing Day Part 1

A quick update for our friends and family on the Western part of the world before we leave for Malaysia early tomorrow to spend Christmas with my family. We decided that we will open presents early this year (all Craig's as Brian and I decided since a couple of years ago to not get anything for each other as we have all that we need) as we will not be home on Christmas morning. So this evening I made dinner (yes, I actually found time to make a chicken dinner I saw on Martha Steward's show!) and we opened Craig's presents. He seemed to have been overwhelmed by all the new toys he received and did not know what to make of it. Still, he was thrilled by all the unwrapping and the packaging boxes.
Unfortunately, this morning I found the little boy sniffling a little. He hasn't any fever so far and was mostly his usual self. So, we hope it's just a slight runny nose and will not progress to anything serious.

Meanwhile, Merry Christmas everyone!
Brian commented that Craig was doing a Nana here
- except that he's happy:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Larger than life

Craig has just recently discovered the refrigerator and is now constantly banging on its door hoping that it'll open to him:
Another recurrent frustration: trying to get to the Christmas tree:
The resultant expression - I was SO close to that ornament!
Next to his Christmas present from my boss's wife (his Nanee - Grandma in Hindi):

Future friends

Over the weekend, Brian and I had a couple and their son over for dinner. What was unique about this rendezvous was that we have never met them in person before that evening! It was kind of like a family blind date. I met C on an online February mother forum and subsequently became "friends" on Facebook. Finally after months of talking about it, we got together for our sons to meet.

While it is still too early for Craig and Caleb to socialize and play with each other, both sets of parents thoroughly enjoyed the tete-a-tete. In view of the success of this first meeting (not to mention how I hit the jackpot with my spaghetti meatballs), we foresee many more dates in the future.
Seen here is Caleb and Craig in parallel play - almost oblivious to each other:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

First Christmas for a 10-month old

Now that Craig has joined the family, everything about Christmas will never be the same ever again for Brian and I: from the location of our Charlie Brown tree to the number of presents under the tree. As C is now a beaming 10-month old who is pulling up on everything (from furniture to our pant leg!), cruising and even foiled an attempt at standing unsupported, we have to consider creative ways to put up the tree. So, we ended up having the tree on a the high side table in the living room. We also had to forgo breakable ornaments and stuck with only safe ones. Trying my hand at baking, I made some decorative cinnamon-scented cookies as ornaments.

I also realized that the My First Christmas tee I got for C is getting too small for him now that his appetite is back with a vengeance. Hence the early debut of the tee in case it longer fits in two weeks'. Go here for more of C in his tighty tee! Meanwhile we are anticipating our first Christmas with the little boy in Ipoh with my family. We will travel there on Christmas eve and C and I will stay on for two weeks - will be fun!
Here's Spock wishing you and yours A Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Big Easy

Craig has finally gotten over his jetlag and we are pleased that we are getting some reasonably decent sleep albeit being roused a few times a night by C's nocturnal cries (we are learning that sleep training is an on-going challenge). Nonetheless, C is getting back to some sort of routine after our trip and I am hoping that things will stay this smooth till our next trip in two weeks'.

While we were in Baltimore at Brian's mom, I had the opportunity to take off to New Orleans - solo - for a conference. C stayed back with Brian in Baltimore.

My love for Creole/Cajun food coupled with my passion for jazz has always had the Big Easy high on my City To Visit list. Hence, imagine my thrill when I found out that this annual conference that I attend every other year was to be held there. The city did not disappoint me - from my arrival into the Louis Armstrong airport with the sweet sound of blues in the airwaves to the jambalaya and gumbo, the ambience was what I had expected it to be.
Background: St. Louis Cathedral; foreground: Jackson Square
I just love quaint little cafes like this one:
The interior of the French Market - which was a disappointment
to me as I had expected it to be like Seattle's Pike Place Market:
Unfortunately, due to the demanding schedule of the conference, I had little time to explore the city. As my hotel was smacked right in the centre of the French Quarters, I did not have to go far to appreciate the old city. I wish I had more time to do more but alas... Perhaps when C is old enough to travel more conveniently we will make another trip to this old city. If his love for jazz is for real (as evidenced by his clapping and shaking of his booty every time I play Ella Fitzgerald), I think he, too, will appreciate the Big Easy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Entertaining on Thanksgiving

It's been almost three days since we arrived home from our visit to the US but we (mostly Craig) are still dealing with jetlag. Hence this post will be brief. Meanwhile, we wanted to feature this video of Craig entertaining his family at our Thanksgiving get-together last week. Notice that at the end of the clip, he was trying to turn the page of his music!

As it was his first Thanksgiving, he also had his first taste of pumpkin pie. He must have loved it as he gobbled up his slice pretty fast!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Back east

Since over a week ago Craig has been enjoying the attention of his Granddaddy and Grandma Vicky here in Williamsburg, Va.. Unlike previous visits where we would stay with Brian's dad, this year we are treated to sojourn in a nice time-share apartment here. This has worked out great as the place is not only large enough to have relatives over, it is sufficiently spacious to accommodate Craig's growing exploring needs! On Saturday, Nana joined us from Baltimore and will drive us up to her place this weekend where we will spend the rest of our time here.

While it was the first time Granddaddy and Grandma Vicky meet C, the little boy warmed up to them almost immediately. Other than his grandparents, C also met his first Great Grandma here. Go here to see more of our time in Williamsburg.
Picture perfect: Craig with Granddaddy and Grandma Vicky
C meeting Great Grandma Radcliff:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Home visit

Craig's first long haul flight went much easier than we had expected. We were as prepared as we could be for 20 plus hours of screaming but C fussed only a little and even slept for a third of the flight. Thanks to dozens of tips from other frequent traveling moms, Brian and I survived yet another parenting trial.

Our first stop in the US was Los Angeles where we spent two days catching up with friends and on Mexican food (I just LOVE those Machaca burritos!). Thanks to the hospitality of K and L, C found himself in a beautiful home in La Mirada where he could simply crawl to anywhere! Unlike his familiar abode of cold hard tiled floor, he was thrilled that his playground was not confined to a 4 feet by 6 feet playmat but a whole carpeted house!
C is wondering what that book on the chair tastes like!
Upon arrival in LA, he adjusted rather easily to the time change - much better than me. He slept through from the first night itself though his bedtime now is much later than his usual. The plus point of this "new" routine is that he gets up later, too. Works great for Brian and me.

After two days in LA, we flew to Phoenix for our conference. Many friends and colleagues who only virtually met C got to see him in the flesh. During our four days in Phoenix, he achieved two milestones: he did a proper crawl and pulled himself up to stand. We also noticed that his third and fourth top tooth are on their way - increasing the total count to six!
Pulled up on the hotel crib:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Family visit

Since our last entry, we have traversed two different continents. I shall recount our journey chronologically. Our trip to Melaka in Malaysia was a lot of fun as my family (mom, dad and sister) joined us there. Needless to say, Craig had a ball with all the attention lavished upon him. He also got away with a later bedtime in preparation for his time zone-crossing trip. So, instead of going to bed at 7:30pm, he was allowed to stay up till 10pm. However, the little boy played so much in the day, he was more than ready for bed by 8:30pm. He ended sleeping in the carrier as I towed him around town.
A rare picture of tyke with mommy. Notice his mischievous look!:
He could get away with anything with GungGung:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pack and Play

Tomorrow morning we leave for Melaka in Malaysia for the weekend as both Brian and I have to teach at a conference there. We return on Sunday evening and immediately on Monday early morning, we board our long-haul flight to the US.

Brian has been out of town this whole week for work and if not for my mom, who is here again to visit her grandson, I would not have been able to do much in planning and packing for our trips. As Craig is active as ever now (pulling up to stand whenever there is an opportune moment i.e. none of us are watching!), it has been challenging trying to balance letting him explore the world around him and ensuring that he does not get into anything he is not supposed to.

The last two weeks saw me researching, planning, drawing up check-lists and enquiring on how to fly to the US as uneventfully as possible. While we have traveled with C quite frequently, this will be a milestone for us, the parents, in surviving our first 26-hour long flight. Since PohPoh arrived, C has enjoyed the extra attention and kisses he gets. So, while mommy is busy checking off her packing list, C is working hard at playing with PohPoh.

Craig getting acquainted with his PeaPod - which we hope will be his snoozing zone for the next four weeks:
Toys? Checked. Passports? Checked. Tickets? Checked. Boardbooks? Checked. Sleep? I think it's about time...

Monday, October 12, 2009

In a baby minute

Craig turned 8-months old a few days ago. Today, when we took him to his doctor to get the second dose of his flu vaccination, we also did the routine assessment (as we will be away when he turns 9-months old when his assessment is actually due). He is doing great - lighter than he feels on our arms but in the 75th percentile for his height. Overall he is a happy growing baby - and we are thankful.
The following is a snapshot of what can take place in a baby-minute:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Teething blues - encore

Typically Craig is a happy boy when he eats. But he has been uncooperative at mealtimes since last evening due to the sprouting of his third tooth. Hence, today I had to play the role of an entertainer to keep his spirit up. Well, from the video above it is evident it worked - in that my antics made him laughed, but he still did not finish his lunch. I even offered his favorite - the pumpkin pie concoction. But nope. The mouth was sealed shut. He did much better at dinner this evening and hopefully by tomorrow, his appetite will return.

The usual chirpiness after lunch that has been missing:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Creeper Jitters

From the clip above it is evident that Craig is becoming very mobile. He's seen here combat crawling/creeping towards his dragon lantern. Yesterday was the Mid-Autumn Festival and kids typically would walk the streets with a lantern in hand in the evening after dinner. Though C did not manage to do his walk (he was fast asleep by the time the neighborhood kids were out), he did receive two lanterns - a fish one from PohPoh and the dragon one from Aunt Kaye.

These are getting rare as they are handmade from paper and hand drawn instead of the new plastic versions:

As Craig approaches his eighth-month mark, we are working fast to baby-proof our apartment. For one, we have lowered the mattress platform of his crib now that he can sit unsupported. We are also on the lookout for a new television console to replace our current one (but these items comes so pricey and we are taking out time to find a reasonably priced one). Thankfully, he is not an overly active and determined baby who simply goes for what he wants. Nonetheless he loves exploring the world around him and we can never be too careful!

Daddy reading to C:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Of beauties and orchids

This morning, I, I'Ching, gave my last talk (a series of 5) to the ladies at the International Baptist Church here. One difference between having a mixed or male audience versus an all-female one is that ladies are usually more expressive of their appreciation. This morning saw me leaving the church with a bunch of purple and white orchids and at least 2 other boxes of little gifts from various ladies in the group. While I never expect such returns when I give any of my talks, these little gestures never fail to warm my heart.
I have never received orchids before! Aren't they beautiful:
As it was the case the last few Thursday mornings, Brian worked from home so he can watch the tyke, too. When I left this morning, C was snoozing on our bed with B after his breakfast bottle and I could not resist the photo op.
My sleeping beauties:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Home projects

Now that most of the work projects that I have agreed to prior to my new arrangement to stay home are over, I am beginning to work on some of the home projects that I have listed on my little black to-do book. One such project this week was to clear out clothes that we no longer fit (see related post here). Today, while I was busy sorting out our clothes, Craig was busy going through them "tastefully." As he is going through an "oral" phase now, everything that he encounters is experienced via his mouth!

Craig seen here fooling around with some preloved clothes:
Otherwise, C is doing well. He has two teeth now and loves to hold my face with his hands and bite my jaw. He does this only to me and I would like to believe that it is his way of showing his affection to his mommy. Brian's work schedule has also slowed down a little - which is good - and our next big project is our annual visit to the US next month. This year will be interesting as we fly 26-hours with a then 8-month old baby. I am doing all the research I can - from travel insurance for C to pediatricians near all the different locations that we will be visiting. More on our trip soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Great help

It was wonderful to have had my mom over to help me with Craig while Brian was traveling for a week. As always, we're either too busy or distracted to take any pictures of PohPoh and the little boy. Here's the only one I've got from the whole of last week!
PohPoh cleaning the boy up after feeding him his lunch:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two girls and a boy

It is 4 pm in the afternoon and there are two nappers in the house while I am satiating my Ohdeedoh craving. This only means one thing - PohPoh is in town! Yes, with Brian away for a week in Indonesia, I've asked my mom to visit us for a week so that Craig and I have an excuse to live a little out of our routine i.e. lunching out and shopping! And we two gals and the boy are having a ball.

During this time, my crockpot has also been worked like it has never before with mom cooking up the various kinds of Cantonese soups that I love. Mind you - I'm not the only one who is being spoiled this week. The little boy has also been indulged with much affection in the form of being picked up at the first hint of fuss and being cuddled. It is amazing how babies recognize the fact that their grandparents will not hesitate to give in to their wants!
Craig loves drinking from his sippy cup:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Spot the difference!

What a difference six months made! We're looking forward to the next six months that will undoubtedly be marked by many more milestones. This also means that Brian and I will have to be on high alert constantly. Just this morning, I left him alone for only 30 seconds and the next thing I know, he has transported himself to the television console and was licking the base! Then later in the day, I found him, in the nick of time, pulling our DVD's from the console. Yes - we REALLY need to do something about baby-proofing our place - pronto.

Today he had a bad nap day and was tirelessly active. I was totally exhausted by the time Brian got home from work and was so ready for him to take over!
P.S. I've consolidated my other two blogs and migrated to Wordpress but THIS blog will remain here for now.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Yesterday, for a mere minute I left C playing on his mat alone (so that he could practice his "skills") to go into the kitchen and here's how I found him when I came out:

He's gotten his playgym, which was placed leaning against a chair by the mat, overturned!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Of first tooth and independence

We have been quiet here as we were away for a week and then upon our return, we had various obligations that left us with little time for luxuries like blogging. Anyhow, we are glad to be back and here's a recount of the past two weeks.Craig and I (I'Ching) left Brian home alone to go to my parents' for a week. While our last visit was fairly recent, this trip was planned to coincide with a short break in Malaysia for Brian and I in Penang. Brian had to be in Penang to conduct some seminars and I was roped in to help. And after the few days of seminars, there was a retreat planned for the staff of the organization we work for there, too. So, we decided to do a brave thing - that is, to leave C with my parents for a few days while Brian and I attend the retreat. As my parents live in a city halfway between Singapore and Penang, it worked out great that I could spend a few days there before joining Brian in the Pearl of Orient.

C did very well with my parents and had a wonderful time bonding with his PohPoh, GungGung and YiYi (who visited from Kuala Lumpur over that weekend). He was great with his feeding, naps and bedtime. My mom did great, too. Though she still experiences pain in parts of her body where she was injured, she is able to manage most, if not all, of her everyday tasks. While it would not have been a problem for her to care for C on her own, my dad took time off from work to help. Needless to say, C thoroughly enjoyed the attention and affection lavished on him by the two, especially the walks GungGung takes him on!

Initially it was difficult for me to not have our little boy with us but after a few phone calls of positive report from my parents, I breathed a sigh of relief and made it a point to enjoy our break.

Hanging out with PohPoh:
The E & O Hotel where we stayed was beautiful. True to its rich heritage, the service was excellent, the facilities were first-class and the food was superb! We especially enjoyed swimming in its salt-water swimming pool. After indulging in sleep-ins and feasts of buffet a few days, we were more than ready to go home. I was very ready to see my little boy again.

C was very pleased to see me again - evidenced by his gummy grins and laugh when I greeted him. Then when I fed him his oatmeal, I discovered that his first tooth has finally made its debut!

Loves his teething biscuits:
The experience of C doing so well without us clearly testifies that our little tyke is growing up fast and is increasingly independent of his parents. In fact, today, when he was on his tummy, he pushed himself up with his arms and knees and tried to move. With his fast-developing crawling ability, he will soon be independently mobile as well!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Free from temptation

Now that Craig is half-a-year old and learning various new skills, we believe it is time for us to start thinking about baby-proofing our apartment. For a few times the last couple of days, I caught him on his tummy staring - with much interest - at our entertainment unit. We need to look for a better way to house our television, music system and dvd player. We shan't tempt the tyke to any attempts that he (and we!!!) may regret afterwards!
Below: See how close he gets to the "untouchables"?
Today should be marked on C's growth journal as well - he swam in a big-people pool! A friend invited us over in the morning to swim with her and her son at their condominium's pool. While Brian and I had planned a day out over the weekend at the public pool a block from our apartment, I decided that an additional dip would be fun. And fun it was! After the swim, three year old Wesley commented, "That WAS a great time!"

After that, while the moms were lunching over gourmet mushroom pate on home-baked bread, the boys hung out. It was evident that C has found a pal in Wesley - see picture below that captured an intimate moment between them - very sweet!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Furiously kicking

Finally I'm done editing the video clip of Craig and his first dip in a pool albeit inflatable. Could have done a better job with the clip but I'm still new to the movie making application on my computer... so this will have to do for now.

Notice: If you are not Craig's parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, you will probably not have the patience nor interest to endure a whole 1:48 minute clip of a baby kicking up splashes!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Yesterday evening we took out Craig's six month old onesies from storage to replace the ones he is wearing. Though he is more than a week away from turning six month old, he is outgrowing many of his clothes. It continues to astound me how fast the little boy is growing.

Onesies is not the only thing he is outgrowing - he is also outgrowing his playgym. Now that he is rolling over all over and making attempts to either sit or crawl (by pushing his posterior up), his play-space calls for an expansion. Two days ago, and frequently since then, I found him rolled over with half his body on our cold hard floor and the other half on his playgym as evidenced by the picture.
To meet C's need for an extended amusement territory, we have ordered a Korean playmat - popular among mothers here. Though a tad costly we believe the investment would be well worth as it promises versatility and durability.

Craig continues to love his solids - he has progressed from merely rice cereal to apples, bananas and pumpkin. His clear preference for pumpkin bodes well when we visit the US during Thanksgiving when pumpkin pies are aplenty.
Craig looking for more food:
Though a month has passed since I began my unpaid extended maternity leave, I am still feeling the weight of work. While I'm officially off-duty, I have to fulfill a few speaking engagements which I have agreed to prior. This coming week will see me juggling the tasks of caring for C and preparing a talk on marriage for the weekend - and ALL this while nursing a lingering cold. As the Turks would say, "Kolay gelsin" - May it come easy to me!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Trial run

Craig and mommy took off the whole of last week to spend time with family in Malaysia. With the introduction of a direct flight service from Singapore to Ipoh (where I'Ching's parents are), it's a breeze to travel to visit C's PohPoh and GungGung. While I traveled there alone with C, Brian joined us over the weekend and flew home with us last night. My solo flight with C was not bad at all - he merely fussed a little but settled down soon enough. Of course, it was a really short flight - an hour and a half.
Craig enjoying the company of GungGung:
As expected, C was showered with much attention and affection by his maternal grandparents. He also got to take a dip in his cousin Ru's inflatable pool. Now that he is over five months' old, we reckoned that it is time for us to take him swimming. And the inflatable pool was an opportune trial run before the real thing. C had a splash - kicking his legs as he floated around with mommy's arms around him. We think he's ready for the real pool!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Working out

Together with a few mothers from the circle of February moms here, we took Craig to a baby gym trial class. It was a lot of fun for both parents and baby. While it was obvious that C enjoyed it thoroughly, he was exhausted halfway through and fussed a little. Here are some fun shots from the outing.
"Let's stretch those legs!" (Pix credit: Loke Kit Kai)
"Shyann, where do you get all this energy from??? I'm exhausted!" (Pix credit: Kris Tay)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Five months old!

Craig turned 5 months old yesterday. It is hard to believe how rapidly time has flown by and how much this tyke has grown! He has always been a cooperative baby and as he grows, he is increasingly easy to care for. A friend remarked that he has spoiled his parents!
Here are some updates:

1. Sleeps through the night: 8 pm - 6 am
2. Rolls over back to tummy and this morning managed to roll back to his back from tummy
3. We started him on a little rice cereal 2 days ago and he seems to like it - knows how to open his mouth as the spoon approaches

1. Music - especially jazz (he especially loves Ella Fitzgerald!)
2. Kisses - loves to be kissed
3. Smiles - though he frowns a lot, if you smile at him, you will most definitely get a wide toothless grin back - even when he is very tired
4. Playing with his toys by himself - sometimes, he gets impatient when we hold him too long. He wants to be left alone to play with his toys or practice his new motor skills
5. Being read to - he would look at the page we are reading and touch the page with his little fingers - as if he understands what it is about!
6. Being carried face-out on his carrier when we go out - he gets so excited, he would start kicking his legs furiously!