Archive for the ‘christmas’ Category

Raaahh! Christmas is Coming!

We brought out our little tree since Christmas is fast approaching.  Actually Asher was the one who kept asking us to take it out cos he wanted to decorate it.  Besides the pegs that we decorated it with last year, guess what he decorated it with?  See the pics below…

My Christmas Baby :)

Decorating the tree with....


Yep...it's a dino Christmas around here

Two fossil dinos admiring Asher's work

It’s dynamic deco though.  He takes them out everyday, plays with them, then puts them back to sleep on the tree.  So everyday our tree looks a little different.  Then one day it went eco.  He took small empty boxes lying around the house and put them in the tree.  So yeah…who knows what is going to be on the tree tomorrow?

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Ellery-Jude Nair arrived at 1.33 am on Christmas Day :)  No wonder Asher kept wavering on his answer to the question “when will Ellery come out?”.  He kept switching between ‘before Christmas’ and ‘after Christmas’… that’s cos Ellery arrived on Christmas! Maybe that boy knows what he’s talking about haha.

It was a fairly easy delivery.  Had spent the late morning with Jon walking around ION, the afternoon with Asher, and the evening with Jon again grabbing a cup of Spinelli’s Christmas blend, the gingerbread latte, which is fabulous.  The contractions were frequent but not painful.  But given all the (horror) stories I heard from friends and neighbours about their quick second deliveries (at home, in the car…), we decided not to risk it and head to the hospital anyway around 11pm.  Just as well, since it wasn’t too long more before Ellery decided to show up.

Christmas romper for Ellery (well, actually it was Asher's but it fits him and the occasion :) )

We wanted to find a name that had a similar meaning to Asher, which means ‘happy and blessed’.  Ellery means ‘cheerful’, while Jude means ‘the praised one’, although that praised one refers to God.  How apt, since being born on Christmas really points to the birth of Jesus!  James and Jude are both books of the bible, so both Asher and Ellery can draw on the principles from those books.  And Jude is also the brother of James.  I like the synergy in their names :)  What will we do if we ever have a third boy??

We had actually come across the name ‘Ellery’ very early on in my pregnancy, and it was the first name that caught our fancy.  And in that same sitting, we came up with Ellery-Jude.  But it seemed to good to be true, or too soon to be true, that we had found the name we liked.  But well, it seems we had!

The four of us

Can't not have a picture with the Christmas tree can we?

Ellery was actually the first baby born on Christmas at Thomas Medical Centre, and they gave us a hamper to congratulate us!  We didn’t even know that they gave out hampers for such things!

Ellery's first prize!

Asher’s taken very well to Ellery so far.  When he comes home from school he asks to see Ellery; he includes Ellery in his play, etc.  But you can see that Asher does feel the difference in attention from me.  Cos I’m breastfeeding, I necessarily have to spend quite a bit of time carrying Ellery.  But still, he seems to have come to terms with that and doesn’t mind that I carry Ellery, as long as I still sit close to him, and talk/play with him.

We had in the previous few months read in a story about how a boy woke his little sister by stroking her ear when she fell asleep while nursing.  Asher found it very funny and we often talked about how he could do that with Ellery :)

Carrying Ellery and stroking his ear.


Boys napping together

I’m glad that we’ve fallen back into the old bedtime routine, so Asher feels more settled.  And it really helps that he’s settled very well in school too.

Lots more to update, but I’m gonna catch up on sleep first!

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I think I may never get around to updating everything, so I’ll just ramble off some of the things that have been happening in the last couple of weeks.

We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary by running some errands and doing Christmas shopping.  Our aim was to finish all our shopping before I deliver.  It may be an everyday thing for a lot of people, but having a whole day to hang out, just the two of us, is something Jon and I don’t get to do that often.  It turned out that our anniversary took on an ‘old school’ theme by accident.  It started with lunch at Wishbone, a restaurant that’s been around since I was a little girl.  My Mum had a cooked food stall opposite, and between plucking tao gay and picking tau suan, my brother and I would hop over to buy ice-cream from Happy Kappy, their dessert arm. 

Dinner was at Shashlik, a Russian restaurant at Far East Shopping Centre.  It’s a place with special meaning for us cos Jon once brought me there for a surprise dinner.  It was one of those times that he really really managed to surprise me :)  Things haven’t changed at all in the intervening nine years.  The place looks the same, and the food was just as good.  The Borsch was heavenly and the Shashlik, of course, was great too.  As for dessert, we just couldn’t resist ordering the ever indulgent baked Alaska.  How things have changed for us personally though.  We’re now married with one kid, and one more on the way!

Day 2 of our wedding anniversay (our wedding was spread over 2 days, so we have an excuse to celebrate more!), we had lunch at the chicken rice stall on the top floor of Far East Plaza – another old school joint.  Somewhere we both went to as students. 

For me it felt like we were dating all over again, and it was just sweet and romantic in an everyday, ordinary way :)

Now that we’re both on leave too, we’ve been settling stuff in the day while Asher’s at school.  We haven’t had so many afternoons out together since we were students!  So we caught Narnia, and I’m hoping to catch the sneak of Gulliver’s Travels tomorrow.

As for Asher, he’s settled very well into his new school.  Although initially he’d protest a bit when I left, now he walks off to join his friends and blows us kisses as we head off :)  He always seems to happy when we pick him up, and I love how he runs to us to greet us with a big big hug :)  Things really took a turn for the better when Jon started dropping off and picking up Asher together with me.  I think that helped him adjust more quickly.  I was worried that if I continued to drop/pick Asher alone, when Baby comes Asher would feel abandoned or neglected if I suddenly stopped sending him to school.  So these last 2 weeks we’ve been doing it together, and it has come to the point where Asher’s ok even if Jon picked him up by himself. 

Jon’s been more hands on these last two weeks at home, and that has helped me lots, and is great for Asher.  From helping with laundry to bathing Asher when I need a rest.  Asher’s now even closer to Jon, and it’s evidenced by requests from Asher for Daddy to read to him, even though storytime is usually done by Mummy.  I’m really happy to see them bonding :)

Asher’s also eating SO much better.  I was reading up on picky eating sometime last month, and found that kids who are not pressured to eat end up getting all the nutrients they need anyway.  I think that perhaps in my anxiety about his weight loss and his poor food in-take, I was unconsciously making meal times stressful for him.  I decided to let go, to not press for him to “take another bite”, to just offer him a wide variety of healthy options and let him pick when he wants to eat from that selection.  I decided to let him be in charge of his intake, afterall they say breastfed kids know how to regulate their food intake well.  And the results were quick and satisfying.  Within a day or two he was eating more, and he started drinking milk again (yes, he had rejected even that!  At it’s worst, he could go an entire day with less than 200ml of milk and just 2 tablespoons of rice!).  He now generally eats heartily, even though there are some meals where he just picks at the food.  But that’s ok.  I’ve come to be very zen about it, especially cos I now adopt the mindset that it’s just one of many meals in a week.  He’s still more of a vegetarian/fruitarian, not liking to eat meat that much, but I’ve found a pretty decent list of almost full-proof food that he’ll take, some of these he ate even during his picky phase.  Some things are, well, fast-food, but I’ve also come to think that if he will eat it, let him be.  It’s still food afterall.  At home offer him the healthier stuff, outside, close one eye. 

So here’s the list: all fruits, veg (esp carrots and corn), my bolognaise sauce, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, egg tofu, rice (esp if he helped to cook it), roti prata, tortillas, eggs (in one form or another – but you must give it to him in the form he wants or he won’t eat it), and the KFC breakfast platter (he esp likes the biscuits).  Besides these, the cuisine that seems to work almost all the time is Indian food.  So far, he has without fail (to my memory at least) eaten well whenever we have Indian food.  Roti prata is one case in point.  He will happily munch on egg prata, and sometimes even dips it into the curry.  He loves briyani rice, he eats dahl curry, has munched up palak paneer (a mild spinach and cheese curry) with gusto, likes vegetable korma, eats dosai and apun jala (pancakes which look like spider webs), and enjoys papadum no end.  I think he likes their stronger flavours, and I’m not surprised, given how much Indian and Malay food I ate when I was pregnant and breastfeeding.

So it was a very happy Selena tonight as we left Samy’s curry.  He ate very well, eating half a good sized piece of dry curried fish (he actually ate fish without me having to sneak it in!), dahl with briyani, papadum, and a cup of mixed fruit (this is something I didn’t know they offered until today!).  I have always liked going to Samy’s curry, and we’ve brought him there before, but tonight I left thinking, “I love Samy’s!”.  The staff are always so friendly to him, saying hi as they walk by.  He likes having his own banana leaf to eat off, free flow of papadum and dahl, fab lime juice, and now there’s  even fruits to end the meal!!  And for the parents – great teh tarik too :) 

We weighed him tonight, and I was very surprised and happy to see that he’s finally broken 12!  He’s 12.4 kg!!  What a vast improvement from a month ago when he fell back into the 10 range! 

So I’m very very happy to see Asher happy at home, at school, at meals.  He’s really been a jolly fellow these few weeks with Mummy and Daddy being available to him.  I hope it keeps up when Baby comes, and when Jon goes back to work. 

Speaking of Baby, we’ve decided on the name already, but we’ll keep it under wraps until he arrives.  Asher’s been refering to Baby by his name for the last several months, and I suppose we can’t change it now else he’d be so confused when Baby is introduced with a different name.  Anyway, it’s a name we like very much, and in fact was the first name we considered many many months ago when I was about 3-4 months pregnant.  We deliberated several others in the last few months, but nothing quite sat as well with us. Anyway, I’ll elaborate more on the name when Baby arrives.

Asher’s been very sweet though.  He talks about Baby as part of the family.  A few days ago when playing with blocks he built a house for Baby.  He has also in his new school played with a baby doll, and called it by Baby’s name.  He carried the doll, brought it for a stroll around the room in a stroller, fed him milk, and included him in storytime :)  (I’ve some pics, will see if I can upload when I move to a new site.)  He says that Baby loves him, and he loves Baby.  I just hope that this good feeling keeps up! 

I’ve been getting him prepared for the arrival of the little one.  Asher chose to give a toy to Baby, and he’s picked out which toy.  He knows I’m going to be in hospital for two days, and he’ll stay with Por Por.  He knows it tiring to deliver and Mummy might be sleeping a lot after.  And the most recent piece of info I’ve introduced is that Mummy doesn’t know when Baby is coming.  Only God/Jesus knows.  I realised I had to tell him this last piece of info too in case Baby comes in the middle of the night and we’re not around in the morning when he wakes up!  Right now Asher’s not the most reliable predictor of when Baby will come.  Every time I ask him whether Baby is coming before or after Christmas the answer changes :)   

And as for Christmas, I can’t wait! :)  Where will I be celebrating it?  At home?  At a friend’s house?  In hospital?  Let’s just see how it goes!

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Canine Christmas

We started the day slowly, lazing in (that means sleeping in till 8am…yes, that’s lazing nowadays…gone are the good ol’ days of waking at 11am. That’s an unheard of luxury, an impossible luxury these days. But I shall end this very long parenthesis…).

Our first stop, Woodlands, for the yearly feast at Joanne’s mum’s place. First, an interesting little nugget (to me at least). I had put Asher’s shoes on the table top cos he kept wanting to take them and bring them to his playmat. I thought he didn’t know I had put them there cos they were out of his sight. But before we left the house, he tip-toed to retrieve his shoes on his own, and pointed to them to indicate he wanted to wear them for the outing! :) I was quite pleasantly surprised!

Anyway, it appears that Asher loves dogs. There were many dogs in the house, and Asher ran around following them, petting them, and sometimes just looking at them. There were one or two that he seemed to like more, partly cos they were friendlier towards him as well. These two were the ones he liked best, and he gamely pet their fur, and tried to stay near them most of the time :)

The feast on the table, and Asher below waving at the dogs

We went to Aunty Evelyn’s house for dinner too, and there we saw another two dogs! And Asher again crouched near them to pet their noses and their fur :) Maybe we can consider getting a doggie in time… Jon, are you reading this???!? :O)

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Ripping Wrapping

It’s Christmas!

And the first thing Asher did in the morning was to attack his presents. Well, attack is a bit strong. I had to coax him into opening them. I’m sure many (a few?) years from now he’ll need no coaxing whatsoever though…

The first present he opened was from TQ & SS – A Spot life-the-flap book along with a soft toy of Spot! Asher loves the book, and when we come to the end he starts to complain and I have to start all over again!

Then a present from Jane & KL – Another book! Yay! Christmas book with several jigsaw puzzles inside :) Asher’s intrigued by the puzzle pieces, and like for the Spot book, when the puzzles are pieced back together he fusses, and I have to take them apart again. Hope we don’t lose any pieces though!

A present from my parents – A piggy bank! Or rather, a froggy bank! Asher loves it to bits, and the minute he saw it, tested it’s quality to make sure his savings will be safe from the clutches of greedy others. Yes, half an hour after opening everything, he was still lugging his bank about and putting it through more stress tests, like dropping it on the floor, hitting it against some books, etc.

JJSB & Epoh got Asher a wonderful set of cars, planes and helicopters. Asher has since learnt that aeroplanes go “wheeeee” and helicopters make some other noise (I have no idea how to spell that sound! Anyway, Asher can’t say that one yet :) ) I find it adorable how he’ll wave the plane about and go “wheeeee” in his baby voice :)

What else did he get?

PS got Asher crayola drawing materials! I’ve yet to break them out cos I’m saving them for a day I need to keep Asher occupied! But it’s a set I’ve been wanting to get too – the markers that only draw on the special crayola paper – that means, no stains on the wall/floor/table!

Chye & Celia got him a driving toy, which he straightaway put his hands on to steer about :) I think he’s seen Jon and I drive so often, he knows how the steering wheel works. But it’ll take a while to get the hang of all those signals. Good thing for him, baby cars don’t need licenses!

He had several other presents as well – from school (there was a gift exchange), neighbours, and other friends and family.

What did we get him? Board books! I have been looking high and low for some good Christian baby board books, and I finally found some! I pray that these books will be treasured by Asher, not just because they are from us, but because of the message these books bring. Asher, remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

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Christmas Eve

Christmas eve was spent at our place with my family, and in the run up to it we were reminiscing a little about how my parents used to hold a big Christmas party every year. I have many fond memories of Christmas spent together with my family and family friends, feasting, playing bingo, listening to the adults joke and chat, playing with my cousins and neighbours, staying up late, etc. I remember the pile of gifts under the Christmas tree that my mum and I would put up together, and my dad picking up each gift and announcing who it was for and from whom, and each person opening the gift there and then :)

It’s the first time we had a Christmas gathering with the little ones, even though technically it’s their second Christmas. Last year they were too young to really know what was going on, especially Aidan, since he was born just about a week before Christmas!

But one year on, what a difference! The two of them toddling about, babbling, gesturing, playing :) Asher was too sleepy to stay up, so he only received and opened his presents the next morning. But Aidan happily opened his presents to unravel toy trucks and books!

My mum had lovingly prepared dinner of aglio olio pasta, creamed cauliflower, potato gratin, sausages, fresh salad, and TQ brought minestrone soup. All very hearty and healthy. But we eventually moved on to more sinful pleasures like chocolate lava cake with ice-cream, fruit cake and such.

Christmas with family feels right, and I’m glad we spent time chatting, and finding out more little quirks that each of us have (like toothbrushing idiosyncracies…) ;)

Lets keep up this Christmas tradition!

p/s: TQ – pictures!!

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The Boy In The Hat

The school bag was packed,
All set to go.
The boy was dressed,
But what do you know?
We took a while,
There was a delay,
He was just so cute,
I can’t help but say!

The hat was out,
It’s old, it’s worn.
Was a little too big,
But we used it that morn.
On his little head
We popped it over,
He tried to pull it off,
But it went lower! :)

Halp! I can’t see!

He soon learned to bear
With this thing on his head
And went about playing
Beside the bed.

But we had to go,
It was getting late.
Mummy needed to work
And he hadn’t ate!

Before going up to school

On the car ride home
He played with the hat.
“Put it on your head”, said Mummy
And he tried to do that!

Yoo Hoo!
See what I can do!

So that was the day
a special day was that.
The day we found out Asher
Was the boy in the hat!

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