Saturday, 31 July 2010

Kids in motion

Kids. They never stop moving, don't they?! :) and seriously... I don't ever want them to! Great to see the kids so active!

Left to right: Isaac, Natalie, Rebecca and Isabelle

Our very own gymnasts!
pix taken on 21st May 2010
Isaac @ 2 years 9 months
Natalie @ 2 years 6 months
Isabelle @ three days to 4 years old
Rebecca @ 6 years 6 months

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Isaac in school with his favourite friend!

Pictures as of 14th May 2010... Yeah, my mum's birthday! Which was why I managed to catch the kids at the playground coz I went to pick Isaac early that day - we wanted to leave early so that we'd reach my sis' place earlier... special day, so must make special effort, right? :p
Recently, like only last week, I think. I managed to finally ask my mum how come my birthday is 2 days earlier than hers. I mean, like how come, since I came out via ceasarean (I was sitting upright in her tummy - you upside down fools! ;p) - how come she didn't arrange for me to be born on her birthday?

Apparently, there were no more timeslots for the surgery on the 14th of May! The nearest date was 12th May... and so 12th May it was. I'd wanted to have a May baby myself. But hubbs and I didn't make it (ooops, literally!;p ) in time for a May baby. We had two January babies instead! Hahaha well, perhaps the next one then...
So anyway, this post is about my August baby - Isaac. I love to take pictures of Isaac in school. See him "in action" hahaha and he always is in action. very active in school, the teachers tell me. Above, he's climbing the ladder with Kevin behind him.
Isaac's grown quite a lot since he started childcare in March this year. I know so from how he fits in his school uniform. When we first bought it, it was more than a tad oversized. But we figured he'd grow into it since he would likely spend a good 3 years in it. But recently, I was pointing out to hubbs that they weren't as oversized as they used to be.
Hmmm then again, perhaps those aren't his clothes?! :p I had bought clothing labels to be ironed on to his clothes but kept forgetting to put them on. Then one day when I got Isaac to pee before we went home, I saw he was wearing another person's pants - it wasn't even his classmate's coz I didn't recognise the name. (Goodness! Have you been getting into other people's pants, Isaac?!) FAINT. Anyway, that put an end to my procrastination - quickly ironed on those labels :p
Teacher Foong Ling tells me that most of the teachers in school really like Isaac. Which I kinda/sorta noticed - coz every morning when we go to school, he'd be greeted by all the teachers by name - even though they don't teach him. They'd go like "Hi Isaac!" or "Good morning, Isaac Tan!" and the Vice Principal in school even calls Isaac by his full name hahaha...
Apparently, he has this way of charming his way into all the teacher's hearts... with his smiles and cheeky ways. Like...

One time I was 'complaining' to T Foong Ling about how Isaac always whines and whines... and she said that he doesn't do so in school. I was like !?!? then how come he does so at home? She says he knows that it "doesn't work" on the teachers - so he tries another way... Isaac'd smile at the teacher, and grin and smile and work his charm till the teacher gives in to whatever he wants (or compromise at least - I can imagine!).
T Foong Ling also told me that she noticed one thing unique about Isaac is that he plays very well with the girls in class. The other boys usually play amongst the boys only, but Isaac plays with both the boys and the girls. The girls would even say "Come, Isaac." and they wanna hold his hand. So, everyday, Isaac can have his choice of whose hand he wants to hold that day :)

But at home, when I ask him whose hand he has held that day in school, Isaac tends to name me one of the boys. Qiuyi, or Marcel, or Arash. Hmmm... so young already know how to keep from me that he's holding hands with girls?! :p
Isaac loves to play with all his friends. He mentions most of the kids in class, when I talk to him about school, at home. So when I first asked Isaac who his favourite friend was, I really had no idea whether he had one, or who it was going to be. And his reply was "Dinesha". I was thinking to myself - huh? who is Dinesha? Must be a new classmate - saw quite a few new indian girls in school lately.
It was quite awhile later, after much effort in trying to find out who is Dinesha, when T FL told me "Huh? There's no Dinesha - Alycia, issit? Isaac is best friends with Alycia." hahahhahaahaa silly Isaac. Apparently, it was Alycia he was referring to!

I still remember T FL's exact words, she said "Ah yes, Alycia is Isaac's new best friend." And my reply was "Oh really? Who was his previous best friend?" and T FL stunned a split second, then shrugged and said "Nobody. He was... looking." Not sure why, but this conversation left a deep impression on me. hahaha...
So anyway, this was only shortly after Isaac started childcare, like less than a month - when he already found a 'best friend'. Furthermore, we started childcare on the March holiday week - and Alycia was away for the whole week (family went on holiday) and the week after (sick!). So Isaac and Alycia actually became firm friends very quickly indeed.
"How come huh?" I asked T FL, I was curious as to why Alycia, and not the others. And she replied that perhaps it was coz Alycia and Isaac are the two in class whose speech is most developed. The rest of the kids couldn't really speak as much as these two could yet. As a result, Isaac and Alycia enjoyed talking to each other quite a bit. During snack time and lunch, the pair of them would be chattering non-stop to one another.
It also appears, that everyday Isaac would make a fuss during class time, usually coz that day he wasn't assigned to a seat beside Alycia and so he's trying to get to sit beside Alycia. One day, one of the teachers (can't recall if it was T FL or Laoshi) told me that Isaac fought with Xinrui one day. And when I asked why - it was coz he was trying to sit in Xinrui's seat - which was beside Alycia.

Another day, the teacher said, "Oh Isaac today didn't fight over seats with anyone - coz Alycia didn't come school today." hahahaha sigh, my Isaac, my Isaac.
But Alycia's really very sweet, isn't she? Pretty little one (my Isaac got taste :p). In the mornings, when we get to the centre, Alycia is usually already there. Some mornings, Isaac would be quite cranky and start whining or crying, refusing to let me go. And Alycia would always come over, place her hand on Isaac's shoulder, and try to comfort him. So sweet, yah.

I even think Alycia and Isaac look kinda alike, don't you think? Like, they look like... "the same pattern" kind. They even speak kinda similar sort of. hahaha...
pix taken as of 14th May 2010
Isaac @ 2 years 9 months plus

The kids all turn 3 years in 2010

Oh! I forgot to say. Alycia is officially Isaac's favourite friend. When I ask this question, he replies "Alycia!" at least 80% of the time. The rest of the time, he mentions another classmate at random, and usually launches into saying almost all his classmates names - naming them ALL as his favourite friends. It's really great hearing that he likes all his friends :) one of the best things about sending him to childcare has been this :)

Just recently, when I asked him who was his Favourite Friend, he replied: "Marcel! ... and Alycia! and Qiuyi and Macy and Xinrui and Jiaying and Arash and Kevin and Teacher Lina and Teacher Foong Ling!!!"

P.S. Jean, Alycia's birthday same as yours - 28th June!!! :)

Friday, 23 July 2010

Isaac's favourite teacher is...

Remember how I was telling you that Isaac had learnt the meaning of the word "favourite"? This was the post I made in May about his favourite food. At that time, I meant to quickly follow up with two more "favourite" posts - Isaac's favourite friend and his favourite teacher. In a blink of an eye, it's now July...

Isaac has two main teachers: Teacher Lina and Teacher Foong Ling. He loves them both. Teacher Lina takes the class in the morning up to nap time, whereas Teacher Foong Ling takes the class in the afternoon. Something like that.

I first found out who Isaac's favourite teacher was one evening as I was driving us both home after school/work. Isaac gets cranky after school, primarily coz he's tired after a long day. So he was getting cranky (as usual), when, just to distract him, I asked him who was his favourite friend, who's his favourite teacher etc.

The first time I asked him "Isaac, who's your favourite teacher?" He paused awhile, thinking, "Ummm..." and replied "Teacher Foong Ling!" I was surprised, coz I thought he would reply Teacher Lina since Teacher Lina technically spent more time with the class. Subsequently, everytime I asked him the question, 90% of the time, he would reply "Teacher Foong Ling!" without hesitation.

I wrote the following account of one morning... in... I dunno when, sometime in May 2010 perhaps. On that morning, I quickly typed it out after I reached office, but never got the chance to post it...

It was a regular weekday morning as we made our way from home to school/work. Isaac was a bit cranky this morning, for some unknown reason. Just cranky. Maybe didn't sleep well *shrug*. As I turned into Pasir Panjang Road…he went...

Isaac: Mummy, I don’t want laoshi… *mumble*mumble*

Me: What? What did you say? I turned down the volume of the radio

Isaac: I don’t want laoshi… I want *mumble*mumble*

Me: Why? Laoshi is very nice what…

Isaac: No, I don’t want Laoshi…

Me: Why you don’t want Laoshi?


Me: Then who did you say you want?

Isaac: I want Teacher Foong Ling…

Me: Oh. Hmmm… But Teacher Foong Ling only comes in the afternoon, you know that…

Isaac: No… I want Teacher Foong Ling…

Me: She only comes in the afternoon, dear.

Isaac: No… I want Teacher Foong Ling…

Me: In the afternoon, you’d see her, ok?

Isaac: No… I want Teacher Foong Ling…

Me: Hmmm… Laoshi is also nice, right?

Isaac: No… I don’t want Laoshi, I want Teacher Foong Ling…

Me: Oh. I looked at him. Why? You miss Teacher Foong Ling?

Isaac looks at me and nods…

Me: But you just saw her yesterday…

Isaac: I want Teacher Foong Ling…

By that time, we reached the childcare centre… Isaac looked me in the eye and said “Mummy, I want Teacher Foong Ling…” “Okay…” I said. What else could I say? I didn’t suggest Teacher Lina, coz Teacher Lina was on leave yesterday, and I didn’t know if she was on leave or on mc today. Better not make empty promises till I check out the situation that day.

Laoshi was there but Teacher Lina wasn’t. The kids were all in the play area.

Isaac screamed:”I don’t want Laoshi! I don’t want Laoshi!”. He ran back to the classroom area where there was the wooden teddy bear set of kiddy table and stools outside. He sat down there and said “I sit here and wait!”

“huh? Wait for what? Wait for who? You want to go Music Room and wait?” I said as I saw the kids being herded into the music room.

“No! I wait here.” He said, as he sat himself down on a stool.

“What are you waiting for?” I said, exasperated, coz I was running late for a 9am meeting.

“I sit here and wait for Teacher Foong Ling.”

“Oh… I see… Well you’re gonna have to wait for a long time… coz Teacher Foong Ling only coming in the afternoon…”

“I WANT TEACHER FOONG LING” he said and started bawling…

I hugged him, and carried him up... I walked toward the music room as that was where everyone was... suddenly I heard...

Hmmm... I dunno what I "suddenly heard" that morning. But I do remember how embarrassed Laoshi was. She was embarrassed that Isaac didn't "want" her - she explained to me that that was coz she didn't spent much time with the class in the past two weeks, as she was assigned to take another class.

I told her, it's okay, it's just one of Isaac's cranky moods when he only wants the thing he wants, and nothing else. Coz I had interacted with Laoshi before and she IS very very nice. Isaac was also okay with her before, so it's not Laoshi lah, it's Isaac.

For everyday, almost a week after that morning's Teacher Foong Ling episode, the conversation in the car went like that...

Day One after Episode: I want Teacher Foong Ling!
Isaac: Mummy, Laoshi is very nice, right?
Me: Yes, Laoshi is very nice.
Isaac: I want Laoshi.
Me: *surprised* Oh okay! Good!
Me: *worried* okay, let's hope she is in school already, ok?
Isaac: *mumble*mumble*
Me: What? What did you say, Isaac?
Isaac: Teacher Foong Ling come in afternoon.
Me: *raise*eyebrow* Yes, that's right, Teacher Foong Ling only comes in the afternoon.

Isaac nods and looks out of the window. When we reach the centre, he sees Laoshi and willingly goes to her. He didn't cry for the entire journey.

Day Two after Episode: I want Teacher Foong Ling!
Isaac: Mummy, I want Laoshi.
Me: Oh okay! Good, good...
Isaac: Laoshi is very nice?
Me: Yes, Laoshi is very nice.
Isaac: *mumble*mumble*
Me: *turning down radio* What did you say, Isaac?
Isaac: Because Teacher Foong Ling come in afternoon.
Me: Er, that's right, Teacher Foong Ling only comes in the afternoon. *pause* You know that, right?
Isaac: Yes.

He is silent till we reach the centre. Again, he sees Laoshi and willingly goes to her. He didn't cry for the entire journey.

Day Three after Episode: I want Teacher Foong Ling!
Isaac: Mummy, is Laoshi in school already?
Me: Er, I think so. She is usually in school when we get there, right?
Isaac: *nods*
Me: Yeah, so I think she will be there.
Isaac: Laoshi is very nice, right?
Me: Yes, Laoshi is very nice.
Isaac: I want Laoshi.
Me: Okay, that's nice.
Isaac: Because must wait for Teacher Foong Ling.
Me: Yes, you have to wait for Teacher Foong Ling... She only comes in the afternoon. *pause*
Isaac: Yes. Must wait. I wait for Teacher Foong Ling.
Me: Okaaay...

It went on like that for about a week I think... everyday, roughly the same conversation. It's like he's trying to control his emotions. I thought it was very... matured, of him. After that week or so, he stopped talking like that, and wasn't so hung up on it. But after that whole episode, I really know who his favourite teacher is ;p

Often, I would ask him, "Why is Teacher Foong Ling your favourite teacher?" But he could never really answer me - but I think that's coz he doesn't really know how to explain himself yet. My guess is... coz Teacher Foong Ling teaches him all sorts of interesting things... like... about germs and stuff. Well Teacher Lina also teaches him stuff - which is why he likes Teacher Lina too. Just that I think he likes Teacher Foong Ling a bit more than he does Teacher Lina, even though he likes Teacher Lina very much as well.

I think it's just "fate" or "karma" or what we say in chinese "ren2 yuan2". Just one of those things you know, like you can "clique" better with someone, compared to others. Well, that's the only reason I can think of, coz generally, all the teachers at the centre are all pretty nice. Teachers that Isaac would voluntarily mention on his own are Teachers: Foong Ling, Lina, Laoshi and Teacher Mira. It was Isaac who taught me Teacher Mira's name, coz he mentioned her often enough for me to go find out which teacher was Teacher Mira.

Alas, Teacher Mira who used to take the Toddler class, has left the centre some weeks back. And today... is Teacher Foong Ling's last day in school. She is moving on to try a different sector of the education field. We're happy for her that she is trying on something new which is a form of career progression. But at the same time, I'm kinda sad that she won't be teaching Isaac anymore. I'm sure Isaac will miss her very much, and I'm not looking forward to dealing with those tantrums when they arise.

Nevertheless, we wish Teacher Foong Ling all the best, and we thank her for being such a great teacher to Isaac, and making such an impression on him. She has the honour of being Isaac's First Favourite Teacher.

I have no doubt that Isaac will have many more favourite teachers to come in his long education path ahead of him. It's probably in our family's karma - both hubbs and myself each have our own favourite teachers whom we still keep in contact with, till this day. At our wedding, I had my favourite teachers from secondary school, junior college and university present to share in our happiness. Isaac's Godmother is a teacher, my best friends are teachers, the cousins I am closest to are teachers, and ... yes, I even married a teacher! :)

Teaching is such a noble profession! :) Kudos to all teachers, everywhere!

And... thank you Teacher Foong Ling! You're Isaac's 1st Favourite Teacher! :) We'd miss you!!!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Brush teeth, brush teeth

These pix are dated more than 2 months ago on 16th May 2010. At that time of these pix, Isaac allowed us to brush his teeth for him - like in these pix. The shortly after, he didn't - he would refuse to allow us to brush his teeth.

The funny thing is, just recently, he allowed us to do so again! So, his phase of not allowing us to brush his teeth, lasted about 2 months :) hahahaha... now, we can brush his teeth for him again :p Of course, we allow him to brush himself first. Then we take over and brush some more... We actually insist he allows us to help him brush, coz he can't do it properly himself and his teeth end up very yellow... yucky poo! pix taken on 16th May 2010
Isaac @ 2 years and 9 months plus

Monday, 19 July 2010

One up you uh!

We have more milestones to report! Asher at 6 months and a week plus old, can start crawling already. hehehe... actually, even during the week that he was sick, when he was better and out of hospital, we could see that he was starting to crawl already.
pix above taken on 15th May 2010
Asher & Shawna @ 4 months plus

But now, he's really starting to crawl. He can leopard-crawl style pull himself forward while at the same time use his legs to propel himself forward as well. Just slightly. Shawna hasn't begun in this aspect yet. But both of them are very proficient in moving about - by way of flipping and turning and flipping and turning. They're really amazing in how they can move themselves all over the place like that.
When I was telling my mum recently about these milestones - Asher crawling while Shawna has been sitting up and her teeth emerging first - she commented "Wah, they trying to one up each other huh! Very smart, they champion different areas!"

I instinctively got a bit irritated - it's my recent (well, the past 6 months that is) pet peeve that I hate it when other people (as in everyone else but me and hubbs ;p) compare Asher's against Shawna's milestones.
pix above taken on 19th May 2010
Asher & Shawna @ 4 months plus

I mean, sure, it's very natural to compare. To see who's done what first? Who's heavier than who? Who's taller than who? Who has more hair? It's endless. Cousins or kids of friends born in the same year inadvertently get compared to one another, what more TWINS, right?

So yes, I think it's unavoidable that they'd be compared against each other. That's normal. What I don't like, is when it is implied that one is worse off than the other, or one is not as good, etc. Ya know, comments like "Wah, this one is the winner! That one no good."

To me, they're just different, that's all. As different as you are compared to me. We're all unique. We all each have our own speed of learning and growing. But that's not to say we're not normal.

Frankly, when the babies were first born, we - inexperienced in having two babies at one time - were also constantly comparing them against one another - mainly in milk consumption and weight gain, actually. Coz Shawna was drinking lesser than Asher, and consequently weighed lighter as well.

It was the paediatricians that kept reminding us: "They are both growing well and in the normal weight range for babies their age. It's only because Shawna is being compared against Asher, that she seems lighter and smaller. But actually, if Shawna had been brought in (to see the doctor) on her own, she would be considered perfectly normal weight for a baby girl."

I constantly have to remind myself of that - that we're very blessed that both Asher & Shawna are developing well and good and in the normal range for all milestones as can be compared to singletons.

So, anyway, coming back to my mum's comment, about how they seem to be "one-upping" each other... well, that just goes to show that my point!!! They're both doing well, with each doing slightly better in different areas :) hahahhaa...

My clever boy and clever girl lah :) Good babies! So blessed we are!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Both at once!

Yes, this is my show-off picture - me carrying both babies at the same time! I can! I can!!! :) They're my babies! MINE! MINE! :D
pix taken on 10th May 2010
Asher & Shawna @ 4 months

Friday, 16 July 2010

Isabelle & Rebecca

This above is Isaac & Isabelle. Becca's below. Look at how big the girls are, already!?
Isabelle's in Kindergarten 1, with Natalie in Nursery 1 - in the same school. So Isabelle gets to play big sister and take care of Natalie on the school bus, and in school.
And here's big cheh cheh Rebecca. In Primary 1 this year, Becca's been enjoying school. She's in gymnastics as a CCA since school started this year and she's apparently doing very well. Well enough, that they're putting her in the school team!!! Wooohooo!!!
Recently, Becca's picked up badminton as well, and also doing very welll... such that.... YES! They're putting her in the school badminton team as well!!! woooohooooo!!!! way to go, girl!!!! :)
Ah look! My mum with all her grandkids. All 6 of them. The government telling my mum to stop-at-2 thirty years ago didn't stop her from being a grandma of 6 kids at age 60. kekeke...
It was certainly tough work coordinating a decent picture with all 6 kids! or 4!!! ;p
pix taken on 8th May 2010
Asher & Shawna @ 4 months
Isaac & Natalie @ 2 years plus (both turn 3 in 2010)
Isabelle turns 4 on 24th May 2010
Rebecca turns 7 on 12th November 2010


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