Sunday, May 31, 2009

Baby monitors

It was one of those things we expect to happen - just a matter of when. Well, it did - on Friday evening. We were interacting with Craig and making funny faces at him like we normally do when I noticed that his body felt a little too warm. So we took his temperature and discovered that he had a slight fever. We quickly decided that we'll give him a brief bath before we add a little baby paracetamol into his bottle. 

He was his usual self when we prepared him for his favorite time of the day but when I lowered him into his bathtub, I noticed that for a split-second his eyes rolled back like in a fit. While I have heard that some babies experience seizure when they have a fever, I did not expect Craig to react this way as his temperature was not that high. I immediately screamed out to Brian that something is not right and lifted C from the bathtub onto the changing table. As I placed him on the table, I noticed another split-second eye-roll! I was so scared I panicked! Throughout, other than those two moments, C was his usual happy bath-time self. 

I hurriedly dressed him up while Brian called the pediatrician. The doctor suggested we bring him to the hospital nearby. We called one of our friends close by who works as a nurse at the hospital's ER to ask about the procedures involved. She promptly came over and after observing C for a half-hour, she suggested that we monitor him overnight instead of bringing him to the hospital. C really did not seem sick at all - he finished his bottle like usual. So, we decided to give him some medication for his fever and see if his temperature goes down.

We monitored him all night taking his temperature every half hour. It was the longest night! (We're sure that many more will come...!) I had him sleep with us so that we can observe him better. Thankfully his fever subsided rather soon after his first dose of meds. 

By 8:30 am the next day, we were already at the pediatrician's! He examined C thoroughly and found nothing wrong with him. In fact, C seemed quite cheerful while he was being checked out. The doctor advised that we have his blood and urine tested just to be sure. So we did and the results showed a viral infection. We were told to continue to monitor him but the infection should clear in a day or two. True enough, since that first evening, his fever has not returned. He was a little subdued yesterday but today he is mostly back to his normal self. What a relief that Craig's first non vaccine-related fever is over!

I must say that our sweet little one is a brave boy. First, while his blood was being taken, he cried but when we tried to distract him and talked to him, he smiled back though I know he was still in pain as the nurse was still drawing blood from his heel. And throughout the two days when his little body was fighting the infection, he was not particularly fussy. He still smiled and cooed when we interacted with him. 
Is it possible to love someone too much???
The verdict is still out on the Bumbo (notice the Vulcan a.k.a. frowning eyebrow!!!)
While we were at the doctor's we also measured and weighed him: he weighs 6 kgs (that's a little more than double his birth weight) and 62 cms long (that's about 25 inches)!   

Ah - now that he is better, tonight we can have a better night's sleep!
Enjoying his toys: Perfect eye-hand coordination


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eyes wide shut

Many have asked us what is the color of Craig's eyes. To be honest, we don't really know yet. Babies normally have black/blue eyes when they are born and the color will eventually evolve into their permanent hue after a few months. Well, C's have turned from the black/blue almost dark gray tone to the present brown-olive green. We're equally curious how his eyes will finally look like. I'm not sure if these pictures faithfully capture the color of his eyes but what do you think?

He is finally able to sit in the car seat and stroller without much fuss - yay! We think the solution was the little clip-on fan we added. Poor guy must have been steaming in the seat the last few times we put him in the seat. Seen here is him asleep while we ate our dinner peacefully at Botak Jones. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


After much consideration (and prayers), we have decided to take my boss, LT, up on his offer: that I take some time off to care for C while Brian takes over my work responsibilities. This means Brian will have to take a year's leave of absence from his doctoral research to do this. This is possible as Brian and I are trained in similar areas and hence the versatility of him doing my job. This new arrangement will begin at the end June after I return from a work trip to the US.

We are very thankful to the local Board of the organization I work for for their flexibility and understanding. Our initial plan with C after I go back to work was to put him in childcare for half a day and then B and I take turns to care for him the rest of the day. However, my work requires that I travel quite extensively in the region. And, to my surprise, I cannot bear the thought of leaving my young baby so often for extended periods of time. Besides, childcare is SO expensive in Singapore that we can barely afford it. When C is older next year and requires less one-on-one care, I will return to work (this is part of the agreement with the Board) and put him in playschool - which will be cheaper.

So, considering all factors, we believe that this new arrangement would work out great. I am very excited to be a Stay At Home Mom for a year while Brian is very enthusiastic about his new role.

On an unrelated matter, it is 5:45 am now and for the first time C has slept through the night (so far!) and here I am up since 3:30 am and not able to go back to sleep! Go figure!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Updates: Craig and my mom

We took Craig for his third month vaccinations a few days ago and got a chance to weigh and measure him. His weight is on the lower percentile at 5.33 kgs (that's 11 plus lbs) but he is a chart-topper for his height/length at 61 cms (that's exactly 2 feet). While I'm a little concerned about his feather-weight (he is such a small eater!), the pediatrician  says that his weight is perfectly acceptable. We are very thankful that he's healthy and growing.

A few days ago he gave his first laugh/chuckle - it was so precious! Since then, he's been laughing at us or with us when we play or talk to him. Yes, Jan, his laugh is the most wonderful sound in the world! Though affectionately known as the "cute frowning baby," he sure smiles a lot these days.
Someone commented on how long he looks in this pix.
A lot of you have been wondering about my mom. I am pleased to inform that she is doing very well. She is able to walk slowly now. While she still experiences a lot of pain - especially in the evening, she is quite glad that she is mobile again. In fact, she is planning to come visit us here in the Lion City next month! Thank you all for your love and prayers.


Here are some names we use on the little chap:

1) Squirmy McSquirm
2) Mr Big (as in big eyes)
3) Fussy McSquirm-a-lot
4) Bubbles
5) Slobber King
6) Charlie Brown
7) Mr Drool

I'm sure more will be added to the list soon! 
Frowning in his sleep! (Pic credit: Simon Fong)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Separation anxiety

It is Mother's Day today and guess what I found on the kitchen counter top when I woke up at 3 am to give Craig his bottle? A bunch of lilies! It's C's Mother's Day gift for his mommy! (How sweet, daddy!) I cannot wait till I receive a "real" gift from C. Later in the day, I received various text messages wishing me a Happy Mother's Day. It is wonderful and strange at the same time to be receiving Mother's Day wishes.  
As we celebrate Mother's Day today, it's also my last day of maternity leave. Tomorrow I go back to work. While we have childcare lined up, it does not start till June. Hence, for the next few weeks, Brian will take time off from his research and care for C when I am at work. I have been dreading going back to work for weeks now as I think of the many hours I will be away from my little boy. Tomorrow will be the first time we will be apart for more than 6 hours straight! I will miss him so much. But is is also good to know that he will be with daddy as opposed to a stranger caretaker. Daddy will need all the prayers he can get for the next few weeks!

Meanwhile, Craig's better gift to his mom today is his 3-hour long nap (still sleeping while I'm posting this)! His naps are still so erratic. They are typically short (20 minutes on the dot!) and when he does sleep past the 45-minute mark, he will go on to sleep for at least 2 hours. We are VERY thankful that he sleeps well at night, though.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's all good

I, I'Ching, am having a bad day so far (work issues). But I took a few minutes off my work to transfer a picture I took this morning of C with his daddy. And one look at C's precious face (see below), all my anger, frustrations and disappointments just melt away. 
Today C turns 12 weeks old (or 3 lunar-months old). It seems rather confusing to me - are we supposed to count C's age according to calender month or lunar month i.e. 4 weeks a month? Anyway, he's a big boy now. We cannot believe how he has grown right before our eyes!  

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Personal space

It has been exactly a week since Brian's mom went home and we are really thankful that her visit took place before the outbreak of the swine flu (pardon my political incorrectness for referring to it that way) gained profile. If not, her travel would be so much more complicated.
Out and about showing Nana around the city:
Now that Craig is almost 12 weeks old, it is also almost time for me to return to work. Just when I am beginning to enjoy my maternity leave with my son, it is time to go back to work. I cannot believe that it has been almost 3 months - in some ways the time has just sped by, and in other ways, it seems like it has been forever since we fell in love with the little chap.
A favorite recent shot of him - I love his grown-up expression!
He achieved yet another milestone this week - we moved him back to his own room 4 nights ago. He has been sleeping in his crib placed in our room since day one and this week we decided that it is time he (and we!) has his personal space. Now that he has gotten into a night time routine pretty much (goes to bed at 8pm, wakes for a dreamfeed at 3am and then sleeps till 7am), we figured that it would be better for all three of us if he goes back to his own room. I think all of us sleep better now. We are so proud of our little boy as, all things considered, he is a pretty easy-going baby. Well, grant us some allowance to be optimistic (versus realistic!) since we are first-time parents as  we hope things stay that way...