Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (well, almost)

We could not justify spending $20 on C's modest volume of thin and fine hair at a popular toy store that also offers haircuts for little kids. But he needed a trim badly. So we decided to take matters into our own hands. Not too bad, you think?

Monday, December 20, 2010

We're back

The past few weeks since we got home from our month-long visit to the US had been a blur to us. Between jetlag, a hectic travel for work schedule (for me) and a mysterious bout of fever (for C), we simply lost track of time. It just occurred to me that we've been absent here for a month! And Christmas is already knocking at our door!

I just finished my last speaking assignment for the year and am looking forward to being home-based until mid-January before the traveling picks up again. It is time to start thinking about Christmas presents for the little boy and getting the house guest-ready for family members who will be visiting over the Christmas holidays.

Meanwhile Craig has been keeping us entertained with his expeditious verbal communication skills. He sings, tries to speak in short sentences and even attempts to say big words like escalator, elevator and watermelon. Loads of fun!
Here's the face I get when I say, "Smile for Mommy":

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ticked off

We have been enjoying the vast expanse of Brian's mom's home here in Maryland the last five days. The weather that has been mostly cooperative with lots of sunshine complemented by the crisp chill of Fall has enabled us to run and roam in the yard in close encounter with barn animals like horses, emus and donkeys. It has been a joy to see Craig enjoy the indulgence of space.

However along with blessings of the great outdoors come some not so pleasant disadvantages. In our case, ticks. My last trauma with such pests was when I was 10 when there was a lice outbreak in school. This time it came rather unexpectedly. The nightmare began two days ago when we noticed a tick climbing up C's face after we took an evening walk. Then as we were brushing his teeth before his bath, we found one on the sleeve of his sweater. But we doubt any of them had a chance to feed on the little boy's blood. We made a thorough check to make sure he's clear of the arachnid. So far so good. But guess where who was sucked on? Me! We found one latched on the back of my right shoulder - horrors! B managed to dislodge it carefully and kill it. Now we are keeping our fingers crossed that the sucker brought nothing else to me.

Today we finally could bring ourselves to take a walk in the yard again but we are careful not to tempt the arachnids with any exposed skin or else we'd be really ticked off!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three to being two

A day ago Craig turned 21-month old. Hard to believe that in just three months' time our little boy will be TWO! It seems like just weeks ago when a little red-haired infant was placed in my arms in the hospital. Today, he is the unstoppable toddler whose curiosity is perhaps only second to Curious George - who incidentally is one of his favorite book characters.

Our visit here in Williamsburg has been very good for all of us. But as all good things must come to an end, we leave in two days' to Baltimore to visit with Brian's maternal side of the family. It will be no less indulgent for C, I believe, as Nana cannot wait to have him in her arms again!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Soaking up the cold

We're having a good time of rest as we visit with family here in Williamsburg. The chilly but mostly sunny weather is a wonderful change for Craig. We have been able to spend much time outdoors - at the playground and at the park. Yesterday we drove down to Yorktown where the York river is to soak in the crisp air and waterfront sight. On the way back we took the historical path through the surrender fields and spotted some deer frolicking around in the shadow of the setting sun. See more pictures here.

Today we look forward to seeing some friends and more of family who will join us at our time-share apartment for some meat on the grill. Good times!
Our little bundle at the playground:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sun, sea, sand and stress

After a grueling 30 plus hour journey we finally arrived Naples in Florida for my annual conference. As usual, we're accommodated at a top-class resort and this time is no different. But work always leave us with little time to enjoy the facility. On the contrary, the weekend is typically very busy and stressful - packed with meetings and presentations. This time was no different. In fact it was more stressful than usual as all of us are still battling an evil cold that does not seem interested to take leave.

On our last day we did manage to squeeze in some R and R on the beach. Craig got to dip his toes in the Mexican Gulf but was not too keen. He preferred to run his fingers through the white sand in search of odd-shaped shells. See here for more pictures.
Can you spot C in the middle of the picture?
Now that the work part of our trip is over, we are happily in the company of Grandpa and Grandma in Williamsburg. This also means no more traveling for two weeks - yay- a real break! (And hopefully we will recover from this DARN cold!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Express Mumbai

My visit to India this time ended with a very brief trip to Mumbai. This was my first time to this populous city and I must say that I was indeed charmed. Looking out of the descending plane, the sprawled out city reminded me of New York City - sky scrapers and bodies of water. I later found out that Mumbai is really made up of seven islands - very similar to the geographical make-up of NYC! Modern and historic architecture intertwine in most parts of the city contributing to its unmistakable beauty.

As my sojourn there was less than 24 hours, I only got to experience the vicinity of my hostess's apartment - which is located strategically by the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel across from the famous Gateway to India. Another lady who organized the meeting I spoke at works for the Taj Hotel group and she treated me to a breathtaking lunch on top of the hotel at the Souk restaurant. The panoramic view from there was magnificent - of the Mumbai harbor and of the coast:
Having survived a whirlwind work trip to India, it was good to be home for a few days before traveling again. Unfortunately it was during this time home that I, too, caught the bug that Craig brought home from the creche. So, all three of us are down with a head cold which is accompanied by a barking cough. Brian is recovering and hopefully C is too. We're keeping our fingers crossed that PohPoh's body will not succumb to the nasty bug. Meanwhile, it's time to pack for another short trip - this time to Malaysia and everyone gets to go!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Survival kit

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE Indian food. In fact, when I lived in Turkey, one of the things I missed was Indian Banana Leaf Rice - much more than Chinese food! But when I'm served curried food for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner, after the second day, my palate starts to develop curry-fatigue. So now, whenever I visit India for work I make sure that I come prepared - to combat the occurrence of curry-fatigue. My survival kit includes my electric travel kettle (as not all hotels here in India provide that in the room), sachets of Milo and instant cup ramen (for days when I work late and am too tired to drag myself down to the hotel coffeeshop for some late-night grub).

As I arrived Chennai two evenings ago, I realized the last time I was here was two years ago when I was still pregnant with Craig. So the past two days I've had the pleasure of giving my Indian colleagues a pictorial update on C. Meanwhile news from home have been encouraging - C is doing great with daddy and PohPoh. Once upon a time I thought that traveling fro work and being away from C will get easier as he grows older and when I "get used" to it. But so far it hasn't gotten any easier for me and I don't think it ever will. I miss C like crazy! Good thing after this trip, we will be traveling together for the next few weeks. Lots of time to play catch-up with my little boy.

Friday, October 8, 2010


As I am writing this, I realized how quiet our hotel room here in Penang is. No stern-talking daddy responding to demanding toddler in the background. Why? That is because Craig is with my parents 150 miles away while Brian and I are here in the idyllic island of Penang for work. This is the second time in the last two months that C gets to spend the weekend with his PohPoh and GungGung sans his parents. The last I heard from my mom, other than a fluke vomit episode (hopefully!), he is having a ball. Such news is always welcoming for parents who have to be away from their children for work.

On the way to my parents, due to some unforeseen circumstances, we had to buy a full ticket for C (he gets to fly for almost free for a few more months before he turns 2). Needless to say, he thoroughly enjoyed his flight. As we were waiting to board our flight, I pointed out to him our plane to which he responded, "Plane!... Nice." Now that he is older and more aware of his world, he gets excited over things like new shoes, new books and toys, and the anticipation of being in a plane. He was acting so silly (cute-good silliness) as we got ready to take off but was very good in staying in his seat belted, to which we all thought - Nice!
Notice how he has his legs are crossed:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Uncharted territory

Last week work took me to the uncharted (well, for me, at least) territory of the state of Kelantan in Malaysia. Geographically located on the northeast of Peninsular Malaysia, Kelantan is right by the border of Malaysia-Thailand. As the state is populated predominantly by Malay Muslims, the ruling party there is an Islamic party. All these factors contribute to the uniqueness of this state compared to the other states in Malaysia. The differences were obvious to me as soon as I arrived. See here on more information on Kelantan.
The famous Sultan Ismail Petra Arch - notice the Quran on the pillar:
I was really anticipating my visit to Kota Bahru (Kelantan's capital city) having heard so much about its rich heritage and reputed Malay-Siam cuisine. And I was not disappointed. While my schedule did not grant me the luxury of seeing much of the town, I did manage to squeeze in a quick tour of the famous colorful Siti Khatijah market that graces every almost postcard on Kelantan. What one can buy at this market is amazing - from everyday fresh meat, vegetables and fruits to the exotic cacti and turtle eggs (which are illegal?). For more pictures, go here.
On the home front, Brian did wonderfully with Craig all by himself though on the second night C did cry inconsolably looking for mommy. But overall, B scored an A+!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"I'm lovin' it"

Stomach flu, work, high fever, work-travel, family-wide cold, death of dear friend and more work. All of the above and more occupied most of our last few weeks - hence the absence from this space. It is not unexpected that my return to full-time work will leave me with little time to report to family and friends the little fellow's rapid growth.

And swift it has been! Since he started at the creche (and turning 19 month old), Craig's social and verbal development have embarked on the express train. He is stringing two to three words together to form simple sentences and even picked up a few Mandarin words from his teachers. He is loving his time at the creche - always full of anticipation in the morning. Like most babies and toddlers, he loves the routine at the creche. This is a great relief for me, especially, to know that C's time away from us at the creche is so positive for him.
See him in his uniform:
It is hard to believe that it is the crazy time of the year again when my travels for work will be back to back the next few weeks till we make our annual pilgrimage to see Brian's family back east (of the US). But till then, I will be away at least three days a week from this week on. Meanwhile, I can't wait till November...

Last week C brought home his first handicraft project - a lantern for the Mid-Autumn festival. He is rather proud of his "handiwork" as he's been swinging it around at home rendering it its demise soon:

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Before Craig started at the creche, my fear of mess (especially those which require soapy clean up) had been a deterring factor in Craig's delay to acquire the skill to self-feed. Other than using the fork on his eggs (for breakfast) and cheese squares (for snacks), he was not intentionally encouraged to learn how to use the spoon to feed himself. Besides, everyone tells me that the tots will soon pick up these independent skills when they see how dexterous their classmates are. In addition, mealtimes are happy and easy affairs for C and for us who feed him as he loves his food (his teachers at school never fail to be impressed by his appetite).

However, last evening C decided that he will no longer tolerate being held captive in his high chair and insisted on using the spoon himself. So, after attempts to assuage the hellion's ardent and feet-stomping determination failed, I decided to let him have his way with the spoon and his dinner. I had expected mess and a turned over bowl but the little boy surprised us all by his deft spooning - leaving very little for me to clean up. So I guess a toast is in order as we celebrate this significant milestone of our fast-growing toddler! Congratulations, little boy! You are growing too fast for us to catch our breath!
Post-dinner happy spoon-dance - obviously pleased with his feat:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Breakfast on Saturdays

My mom is here on her monthly visit and as always her presence is greatly welcomed. This means, other than having additional company for Craig, I don't have to worry about dinner on week nights but instead come home to familiar comfort dinners.

We are pleased to announce C is rather adjusted at the creche though so far he only stays till after nap time. Especially with my mom being round, the little boy gets to come home early for his snacks instead of at 5pm when I pick him up.

As a family we've started some kind of a tradition where we have breakfast out on Saturdays when I don't have to work. With the weather permitting yesterday, we indulged in Mickey D's latte and deluxe breakfast at the beachside outlet close by. A stroll on the beach park was perfect to round up our big breakfast outing. Unlike our past few visits to this park, this time C was much more interested in the playground. We took time to let him run around bare foot in the sand and he was absolutely thrilled! Afterwards father and son took delight watching the marine traffic out at sea.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Say Cheese!

Many parents have told us that once a child starts at the creche they will learn independence in many ways. I remember Brian's mother telling me how Brian blossomed when he started going to home-based childcare. We are beginning to see the same with Craig. On a daily basis we see his personality coming through - his laugh, sense of humor, babbling, etc. Good fun!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Inaugural Youth Olympics Games

The inaugural Youth Olympics Games officially began two days ago here in Singapore. A day before that, we had the opportunity to witness the Olympic torch relay pass right by our apartment block. Years from today, Craig will tell his friends that he was that close to the torch relay of the first ever Youth Olympics and the following video clip will prove it. (Please pardon the unintended commentary in the beginning of the clip):

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Creche landing

Our little boy turned 18 months old yesterday. A major milestone in many aspects but a significant one is that he is now old enough to start at the creche. As this is his first week, he is there only for half of the day and one of us is asked to stay with him. The real test will be next week when he will stay on longer and without either one of us with him. Having spent the first day with him, I think he will do alright although tears will be inevitable next week.
What a big boy! Riding the train holding on by himself:
We love the fact that the creche is a mere 7-minute walk from our apartment. The plan is that Brian will send him there in the morning while I will pick him up in the evening. He has two English-speaking teachers and two Mandarin-speaking ones. We are looking forward to his learning Mandarin from his Chinese teachers who are native-speakers (they are from China). Maybe the day will come when C will teach his parents some Mandarin!
Anxiously waiting for lunch to be served:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"No, no, no, no, no!"

As work required both Brian and me in Penang over the weekend, we took advantage of the close proximity to where my parents live by leaving Craig with them for a few days. Though initially apprehensive of how the little boy will do in view of his recent intensified separation anxiety, our fears were allayed after the first night when they reported that he is happier than ever. And having loads of fun.

It is hard to believe that I've been back to work for a month now as the weeks just flew by. Though greeted by a few pressing projects upon my return, my calender was still rather manageable for the rest of the year. Not so the case today. The months ahead are filling up with various speaking engagements including quite a few that require travel. Ah, yes, it is all coming back to me now...

Having worked over the weekend, we decided to take Monday off for C. It was a day well spent at a mall here which has a huge children's recreation area. As it was a school day, we did not have to deal with crowds both at the park and at the restaurant afterward for lunch. Other than a few minor tantrums fueled by exhaustion and hunger, C did really well. Nonetheless, we are very aware that the dreaded T2 is closing in on us as we definitely see manifestations of the phase - favorite expression now: "No, no, no, no, no!"
Being his first time, he was reluctant to approach the water spouts. I had to coax him:
He clearly enjoyed them subsequently:

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, July 17, 2010


It has been too long since we took Craig out to the city. So we decided that we will eat out for dinner. On the way back, we dropped by a CD shop to browse around and C could not resist the beat of a song that was playing at the store. Modestly, he moved his booty as evidenced by the video below. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Father and son days

After enjoying a year of Stay-at-Home-Mom privileges, I returned to full-time work two days ago. This means my days of long commute and brown bag lunches are back. As Craig is a month short of turning 18 months, the creche that we have him registered at would not be able take him in just as yet. Hence instead of diving straight back into his doctoral research, Brian will have to take another month off to stay-home with C. I'm confident that the two boys will have a blast bonding over books, toy trucks and cars, duplos and daddy's music of preference (Though I beg to differ, B reckons that it's never too early to introduce C to White Stripes!).
My handsome boys:
I have mixed feelings about heading back to work but I believe that it is time for us to move on to another phase in our lives: for me to resume my professional life, for B to make progress on his research and for C to embark on new learning experiences.

Thankfully my first work week was a short one (I was back to work on a Thursday!) and my mom arrived yesterday for another visit. Her being around will definitely alleviate some of the pressure and anxiety of my work mode as she helps B with the curious toddler and eases the burden of meal preparation for the family. Here's to ten days of comfort mommy-cooked dinners!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Toddler diarrhea

Travels and sicknesses occupied most of our days last few weeks leaving us with very little energy left at the end of every day for luxuries like blogging. Soon after my last post, Craig was admitted into the hospital for an intestinal infection. Turns out his fever was not vaccine-related but a precursor to a bout of diarrhea, vomitus, diaper rash, temporary lactose intolerance and yeast infection (in that order!). While the little boy was not too sickly throughout, his Pediatrician recommended that he be admitted for observation.

After two nights of antibiotics treatment, he was allowed to go home when his fever finally broke and when his blood work came back negative. I stayed over with him the first night while Brian took over the next as I had to leave for Toronto for work. It was extremely tough to leave but I knew C was in the good hands of my mom and Brian. Yiyi also flew in to surprise C and her visit definitely sweetened his otherwise miserable weekend in the hospital.

By the time I returned from Canada, the toddler was almost back to his normal self. Unfortunately, he had another bout of diarrhea almost ten days later when we made a day trip to Malaysia for work. This time his fever was short lived though. A few days of intense lactobacillus supplement, his stomach finally stabilized. (By the way, we highly recommend any Probiotics supplement which contains the strain of LactoGG lactobacillus)
In the midst of all these, he turned 16-month old! Here are some tricks up this toddler's sleeve:
  • Says almost 70 words (guess who's counting AND listing!)
  • Hums when you ask him to sing
  • Plays "baby-pictionary" with his parents on the floor with crayons
  • Knows and says what's hot and stays away
  • Rummages the pantry and asks for crackers and cookies regularly
  • Goes to the kitchen, points at the pot where we make his food and says, Mam mam, around meal times
  • Plays hide and seek with his parents (we hide, he seeks)
P.s. Some new pixs of C here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Little did we know

When I was Craig's age, my mom told me, I would throw up whenever I had fever. So far, that has been the case with Craig, too. (Should I be consoled by this fact that at least he does takes after me in some ways?!) After the last vaccination shot he had three months ago, he threw up in the middle of the night with a temperature. Then, over a month ago he barfed profusely at the onset of a viral fever. So, we were prepared this time when we took him in for his 15-month vaccination. At least we thought we were prepared.

As always, the little boy took the jab in stride and merely let out a brief cry. And as we were getting ready to leave, the doctor informed that he may experience some mild side effects in 5-10 days' time. "In 5-10 days' time???" I thought. But don't side effects manifest almost immediately? Apparently not this time. After some online research (which I really should have done before the doctor's visit) , I discovered that reaction to the Mumps-Measles-Rubella-Varicella (chicken pox) vaccination typically show up days later. Common reaction include fever (I read: Barf!) and rashes. And, some toddlers also experience intermittent fever over a period of two weeks.

This information does not bode well for me at all as I leave in a few days' for a week for work. Thankfully my mother will be arriving tomorrow and Brian will not have to handle the situation all by himself. Besides, the boy started having a temperature today (no vomit, yet - I'm keeping my fingers crossed). Hopefully after tomorrow the side effects would have run its course and C will be fine while I'm away.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sicak! Caliente! Panas!

No matter how you say it, it's still hot, hot, hot! The weather here has been most unbearable - almost saturation-point humidity plus sweltering heat from the scorching sun. You would think the occasional precipitation would bring some relief to the soul but in reality, the rain actually worsens the humidity (imagine water landing on hot surfaces - yes, steam!) and leaves one feeling more clammy than before. And under such draining conditions, one hardly has the desire to do much - even on a weekend.

However, it would be heartless to cage up an active toddler at home. So we decided to brace the mugginess and go for ice-cream at The Daily Scoop (Click on name to their site) an ice-cream parlor that serves up the most delightful concoctions, and most wonderfully, very close to where we live. It was the right thing to do as after a few scoops of Utterly Avocado and Nutty Macadamia, the world was a better place for all three of us!
Craig helping himself to the cold treat:
Happy ending to weekend:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What do you see?

Imagine yourself lying comfortably on a couch. Now take a deep breath, relax and tell me what you see in the picture below:
Today Brian and I found ourselves being tested mentally but unlike the Rorschach test we were not being evaluated psychologically. It was merely a Craig Thomas test of his parents' patience and limits. This afternoon, the boy was playing in the den alone for a few minutes as we both had various chores in different rooms around the house. As our living space is small, we were always aware of where the little boy is and what he's doing. And when I finally was done with what I had to do, I found the toddler hard at work on a piece of, well, postmodern art. Up till a few days ago, he was barely interested in his Crayolas but today, he gave us quite a piece of work. So here it is - Craig's first piece of "artwork" - not quite Kandinsky's Composition series but it's a start.
Toddler angst feeding the creative soul:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Craig turned 15-month-old yesterday. Many baby books cite this month as a month of milestones and we are excited as we anticipate the little boy's next developmental milestone - be it physical, mental, emotional or verbal. He continues to surprise us on a daily basis with how much he understands of what we say to him and also the words he attempts to say - he says at least one new word everyday!

Today he surprised us by his ability to associate a tune to a song to a word! I was playing with him and humming the tune of nursery rhyme, Sing A Song of Sixpence. He smiled and shouted, pie, pie! (For those of you who are not familiar, the word pie appears numerous times in the song). This was truly a major milestone for the boy and as his parents, we are SO proud of him!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Missing So. Cal.

Two days ago, though down with a running nose and a cough (we're very thankful that there's no fever!), we decided that Craig was feeling well enough to go on a small outing to the beach park nearby with another mom and her two little girls. While it was a beautiful park with sufficient amenities it falls short of the beautiful beaches Brian and I used to go to in Southern California. And I hope C will get to visit those beaches one day. Meanwhile, the beach parks that we have here will have to do.
Craig was so excited to see a dog and decided to run towards it:
Ahh... Southern Californian beaches:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Early talker

A little over two weeks ago, Craig and I took off to visit my parents in Ipoh. We decided to stay a fortnight as Brian was going to be away for the two weekends consecutively and I didn't want to be home alone with the toddler. Besides, this was going to be my last long visit before I head back to work in July. As always, C had a blast with his grandparents (Gung Gung especially) and it was a a double bonus when B dropped by for two nights on his way back to Singapore from his travel the first weekend. Check out more pixs here.
Looking out at our plane as we waited to board. Hard to believe that the helpless baby I once held is now an increasingly independent toddler:
C is entering a really fun stage (though every stage he's been through had been a fun stage for us!) now that he's walking and learning to talk. He understands simple instructions like, "Give ... to mommy," and even slightly more complex ones like, "Get the book and give to mommy" (referring to a book lying on the floor and without gesturing). According to the last Baby Center email I received, C would be considered an early talker as he knows close to 20 words while an average toddler his age would probably be able to say three to four words. He attempts to say new words on a daily basis. It's especially cute to hear him say, "shhh" (shoes), "lala" (umbrella) and "car."
Any empty box is a respectable toy:
Since our return last evening, I have been busy working! Sure, I'm still officially on my extended maternity leave but duty calls (yet again!) and I've to rise to the occasion. In fact, there will be another trip coming up for me when B and my mother will have to tag team again on the little boy.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Reading corner

Remember that corner of the house where I found Craig contemplating the world the day after his viral infection? Well, he tucked himself in that little space again the other day - this time reading. Among books that were strewn around, he sat in the tiny nook which, by the way, has the best light in the apartment, for almost 10 minutes going through pages of his various books. You can also watch the short video HERE.
Lately, other than his exploding verbal and passive vocabulary, he has also been toddling - for real this time! Yesterday, I decided to put some shoes on him and made an errand-trip to the mall. When we got there I let him loose from his stroller onto his feet - he had the widest smile ever. He was so pleased that a whole new world has opened up for him now that he's a beginner bi-ped.
Attempting to pull along his toy crane:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Craig's list

As Craig approaches his 14th month, his speech development has been impressive. I honestly did not expect him to be able to say some of these words so soon but here they are:

1) Dada (still no mama, yet!!!)
2) Book
3) Ball
4) Clock (he points at wristwatches and calls them a clock!)
5) Truck
6) Cheese
7) Pipe (don't ask me why this word!)
8) Kai kai (Cantonese baby word for walk or going out)

Craig is fascinated by the ubiquitous pipes of Singapore public housing:
He also effectively signs the word, pain, and gestures his wants by pointing - most often at the front door as he's always up for a walk. His passive vocabulary is also expanding daily and we found ourselves losing count of how many words he knows. The challenge for me is to ensure that both his English language and Cantonese vocabulary grow equally. Fun days, these are!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spontaneous excursion

Easter Sunday was off to a wet start but unlike last few days, it was really comfortable. As the day was still pleasant by the time Craig woke up from his nap, we decided to check out the Chinese Garden. Though it's so close to where we live (two train stops away), we have never thought of going there. But we are glad that we did today. It boasts of a Chinese Garden and a Japanese Garden. We only managed to see the Chinese part of the park and promise to return soon for another excursion. It drizzled a little when we first got there but the sky soon cleared up and presented us with a lovely weather for such an outing. Check out more pictures from today here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Quiet weekend

It is a good weekend so far but the weather has been dreadful - it's presently rainy outside but extremely hot and humid in the apartment. (We're talking about 150% humidity!!!) Craig is in a much better mood than he was last few days and having his dad around helps. He is cutting his 8th tooth and we think that that has contributed to his fussiness.

I have been able to catch up on sleep and hence feel much rested overall. Since it's Saturday, I'm determined to leave the house solo to run some errands and have some me-time come rain or shine!

p.s. Just uploded some 13-month pixs of C here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


After 36 hours of non-breaking fever, Craig emerged the victor in his battle with some nasty virus clan. By Tuesday morning he was almost back to his usual happy self though his eyes were evidently battle-weary. Though tired, he continued to fight - this time with us as we tried to put him down for a nap that he clearly needed. No point asking who won that contest! He finally succumbed to a long 3-hour nap with me in the afternoon. Today, he seems all fine but still a little clingy and fussy which does not bode well for a mother who is still engaged in her own viral match.
I found him tucked in a corner contemplating the world this morning:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Les Miserables

It all started when I felt a slight scratch in my throat on Thursday night. We all know where this is heading - my down with a cold. As Craig's primary caretaker, I tried my best to be vigilant about not spreading my germs to him. Evidently I did not try hard enough. On Sunday 3 pm, the little boy was still his usual curious self - surveying every room in the apartment and stopping to poke into anything interesting along the way. By 5 pm, he could hardly move a limb! We were at a friend's place for dinner and before dinner could start, C started throwing up. Upon confirming that he has a fever, we decided we'll head home and skip dinner. But on the way back in the taxi, he threw up a few more times and looked extremely pale. He could not even keep his eyes open. We made a quick decision to bring him in to ER.

The doctor confirmed that he has a viral infection and that otherwise, he seemed fine. We were also told to expect a few days of high temperatures. So, here we are - after the first 24 hours, Craig is still feeling miserable. He hasn't much appetite though he did manage to take some cereal for both lunch and dinner. His fever, though rather low grade, has not broken. We are monitoring and waiting as we anticipate another long sleepless night...
Sunday 4:30pm: Joyful on the train
Sunday 6:00 pm: Miserable!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Learning fast

Craig is at the stage in his life where he is picking up new skills exceedingly fast. On most evenings before Craig has his bath, Brian would brush his teeth. But last evening, after the routine brush, C decided that he wants to do it again - this time on his own. He took the toothbrush from B and shoved it into his mouth and started to brush - well, more like poking it around. But the point is, it was really sweet to see him wanting to do things independently. Here is some pictorial evidence (pardon the poor photography but as most parents know, it is difficult to snap a good one with a toddler):
Having scrambled eggs for breakfast on his own:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hong Kong Post-97

Flying into Hong Kong's international airport made me realized that this is the first time I'm visiting the Post-97 Hong Kong. Hard to believe that the last time I was here was 1996 (not counting the endless times I've transited here)! Other than the fact that more Hong Kongers now speak Mandarin, the city seems unfazed by the change of government. However, beneath the fashion and the feasts, a lot more is going on in this bustling city: On one of the nights, I, together with two of my other colleagues, joined Ravi (Zacharias) on the Q&A panel after his talk. A poignant question on suicide was asked. I was subsequently informed that filicide-suicide is on the rise here. See report here: Time article It is most tragic when such hopelessness drives the heart.

My week away was extremely busy - packed with meetings and speaking engagements. I barely had time to see much though my hotel was smacked right in Causeway Bay. But I did manage to pick up some Cantonese kids CD's for Craig. Needless to say he was thrilled to see me home when he woke up from his nap on Sunday. Brian and my mom did wonderfully with the little boy and I was glad that I took the few days off to do some "work." This trip will slowly help ease me back into my working mode come July...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Welcome, weekend!

One may wonder why a stay-at-home mother like me would be so excited that the weekend is here. Well, for one, Saturdays are Craig's daddy-day. This means, I get to take a break from the routine and have some me-time. This weekend though will see me working and preparing for my upcoming trip to Hong Kong. I have much to do for the past few days with PohPoh around were mostly play for C and me. So I am having to catch up this weekend. Thankfully my mother will stay a few more days with us upon my return promising the prospect of a couple more days of lunching-out-lazy-afternoons-play during the work week.
Fooling around with mommy's shades on way to lunch with PohPoh today:

Monday, March 8, 2010

He toddles, he toddles not

While July is still four months away (that's when my extended maternity leave expires!), I found myself being called up for duty this month. In a week's time, I would have to travel to Hong Kong for a week to join the rest of my colleagues for various meetings and speaking engagements. During this time, Craig will be under the watch of his daddy who will work from home. My mom, who arrives in two days to visit, will also stay on to tag team with Brian to care for the progressively active boy.

A milestone was "sort of" achieved last week - C took his first two steps! He was trying to grab something from me when he took two tentative steps. For weeks now he has been able to stand very stably on his own but had not taken any independent steps. The next day after the first two steps, he took a couple of steps on several occasions. I thought - "This is it!" Finally I can inform friends and family through virtual social networks that my son is officially a toddler!

But since then, he hasn't attempted any independent walk. He cruises around effortlessly, climbs enthusiastically but - no walk. Hmm...

We are informed by countless baby books that a baby's foray into independent walking is also determined by the child's personality. What we have seen of C is that he is a very cautious child. On numerous occasions, he was able to prevent a serious hit on the head thanks to his careful stance as he fell. We are thankful that he is not a reckless baby but you can't blame a first-time mom for wondering when her little boy would toddle...

Let's hope the following episode will not be repeated when I'm away next week: