Saturday, 29 January 2011

CNY reunion dinner 2011

Cock-a-doodle-do, my Mummy's lost her shoe... our father's lost his shaving kit, whatever shall we do?!
Hubbs and I haven't that many pix with the twins. It wasn't easy to have a moment to take a picture with the both of them, and with Isaac too. So when we have the chance, we grab it! Isaac stood with hubbs and the twins to take pix, but by the time it came my turn, Isaac lost patience and went off to play with his cousins. Nowadays, whenever Isaac didn't want to be in a picture, I'd remind him:"Please remember that you are the one who refuse to be in the picture. So next time, don't ask Mummy how come you're not in the picture okay!?"  Yes... he's been throwing tantrums, questioning us why he isn't in pictures...
Our Chinese New Year reunion dinner at my parents' place. We forgot to take a family picture that night, urrrghh! Look at the yummy food though! Every year I put on weight during Chinese New Year! urrghhh!!!
Pictures taken on 29th January 2011

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Balance bike

Pictures taken on 23 January 2011 | Isaac @ 3 years 5 months 
Isaac and his balance bike! We'd heard from a friend of ours who bought a balance bike similar to this one, for his son. The bike set him back a good $350 though. That's a hefty sum to pay indeed. We went down to the store several times, but each time we came away without buying it as we just couldn't justify paying so much for a children's bike.

So when we found this other supplier which was selling this for $199, we thought it was a steal! We immediately bought it! Isaac took to it very quickly, as it's pretty intuitive to ride this bike. You simply use your feet to push against the ground, propelling yourself forward. And if you should feel like you're going to fall, your legs automatically reach for the ground. This is the easiest and most natural way to learn how to ride a bike - for, essentially, you learn to balance. Once you've got the balancing down pat, learning to pedal is not an issue at all.

The height is adjustable so it'd be suitable for as young as 2+ to 5 or 6 years old (depending on how tall the kid is). It look really fun and we've had people ask us if there are bikes like that big enough for adults. I don't blame them, sometimes I wish I could ride Isaac's balance bike too!

If anyone's interested, we're a retailer for this as well, details here.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Do the twins look alike?

What's up, Asher?
 People never fail to comment "But they don't look alike?!" when they find out that Asher & Shawna are twins. Some people go as far as to say "How can they be twins? They don't look alike!" Fortunately, there is an easy explanation for this: Asher and Shawna are non-identical twins. Asher, the boy twin, looks like his Papa. Shawna, the girl twin, looks like her Mummy. They look as alike as any brother and sister may look like, just that they were born a minute apart. I'd usually flip this around and say to people "Well, a pair of brothers may look very much like each other, even though they are born 3 years apart. But looking alike doesn't necessarily mean they're twins!"

We love our Big Blue Car! The third row of seats can be flipped up and we'd have lots of space to stow away all the stuff that we need to bring out!
Pictures above taken on 21st January 2011 | Asher & Shawna @ 12 months | Isaac & Natalie @ 3 years plus | Isabelle @ 5 years plus

Fridays are one of the kids' favourite days - they get to meet their cousins and play with them!

Monday, 17 January 2011

The story of the double stroller

I don't think I've told you about the story of the double stroller. Yes, this double stroller in the pictures. It's a MacLaren twin stroller. I'm not sure how much it costs but I'd bet it's more than a couple hundred dollars. Even though we have three kids, we've been so blessed that we didn't have to spend a single cent on a stroller. With Isaac, we received two strollers, one Peg Perego from the Chanders, my cousins. And a second one, a Combi, from my ex-colleague Faith Soh. Both strollers were used by the families who gifted them to us, but we didn't mind - and the strollers were in great condition anyway. In fact, we're still using them!
When we were pregnant with the twins, hubbs and I discussed about whether we should get a twin stroller. We decided against it, primarily coz our house is already filled to the brim with all assortment of "baby stuff", ya know - strollers, walker, high chair, cot, play pen, toys etc... Also, we wanted to save money, and we figured that technically, we already have 2 strollers, so we didn't really need another one. We figured we'd buy a Buddy Board to attach to the Peg Perego for Isaac. The Buddy Board was basically a board with two wheels below, that can be attached behind any stroller, for toddlers to stand on. 

When the babies came, we were kinda glad we didn't buy the twin stroller, coz most of the time, the babies didn't want to be in the stroller. Or, well, not both at the same time! In fact, we found that bringing out two strollers would often give us too much to handle if one or both of the babies refused to stay in it. Thus, most of the time, we only brought one stroller out, so that there was always "spare capacity" to carry the babies, if both needed to be carried.
Pictures above taken on 17th January 2011
It was only when the twins were a little bigger, approaching a year old, that I started to think that we could perhaps get a twin stroller. The twins were by then more "settled" and could sit in the stroller. And it'd definitely be more handy if we only had to handle one twin stroller, rather than two single strollers. I started to trawl the Singapore Motherhood forum's "Want to Sell" sub-forum... looking at the ads for pre-loved twin strollers.

Then one day, when we were attending mass in church, this lady tapped my shoulder and whispered in my ear "Do you have twins?" I, out of reflex, glanced at Asher & Shawna, then looked at the lady and replied "Yes, I do." Her face lit up with a smile that her suspicion was confirmed and she quickly said "Do you want a twin stroller?" I gasped "Yes, I want!" a wide grin across my face.

Apparently, Ivy has 4 sons (yes, four!!!), none are twins, but the boys' age gap was pretty close so she'd bought a twin stroller some years back. She didn't need the stroller anymore and was trying to find someone to pass it off to. I tried asking her to sell it to me instead, but she wouldn't hear of it and told me that she was just glad to find someone who would make good use of it. I thanked her as best I knew how - I gave her some of the brand new boardgames that I was selling in my online shop. I hope the boys enjoyed the games!

We were very thankful to Ivy and her family, and to God, for the stroller. Ask and you shall be given! We're very blessed, indeed! :)

Friday, 7 January 2011

Kor Kor Isaac

Pictures taken on 7th January 2011. Isaac @ 3 years 5 months and Shawna at 12 months.
Isaac was taking to the twins very well. We constantly told him that he should be a nice kor kor to his brother and sister. He had also more or less gotten over his jealousy over them after we enrolled him in childcare. We made sure that either hubbs or I would give him one-on-one attention when he was at home. That helped things a lot. 

I also made sure that I'd constantly hug Isaac and reassure him, telling him that I loved him very much. And that I still love him even though I loved Asher and Shawna as well. I think it helps a lot.

One day, Isaac kissed Asher's and Shawna's feet and he said to me:"Mummy, I kiss my babies' feet because I love them! Just like you!" I almost cried when he said that. He was imitating me as I loved to kiss and smell the babies' feet!

I didn't know he even saw me kissing the babies. This is because I have been trying to avoid kissing the babies in front of Isaac as I thought it may make him feel even more jealous of the babies. But obviously, Isaac is more observant than I thought he was, and he was more loving than I credited him for! 

See in the second picture Shawna's climbing up the chair on her own. At 12 months, Shawna could walk already. She was faster than Asher in this aspect. As early as 11 months, Shawna could stand up on her own and attempted to take steps.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Mini-cuzzies hang out!

Pictures below taken on 2nd January 2011. We had just come from Asher & Shawna's 1 year old party at Evans Road. All adjourned to Hillcrest from for a swim and to hang out for the rest of the day. We tried to get all the kids on the couch for a mini-cuzzies pic - but yes, it was quite unsuccessful :p

The Chanders were still in town and we managed to catch them for this gathering. This is no simple feat, given how packed their schedule is when they're back in Singapore on visits. Jarrod and Zachary were as charming and as handsome as ever, if not more so. And lil' Caitlin was so cute we just wanted to hug her all the time!

Isaac was happy to have some male cousins to play with and he happily started playing wrestling with them. Asher saw the body pile and wanted to join in!

Seeing how the little cuzzies play together reminded me of the days when we were kids and us cuzzies playing together at our grandparents' place. We often remind each other that we should meet up more often to let the kids play together so that they will be as close as we are to our cousins. 

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Asher & Shawna's 1st Year birthday party

Post written in Feb 2012, backposted to 1st Jan 2011. Yes, I know, more than a year late... ah wellz... better late than never :) I'm also trying out blogger's new interface - which is a bit too smart for me, so if the formating looks weird, yes, it's a lil my fault, but mostly blogger's fault :p

We celebrated the twins birthday on 1st Jan 2011, coz it was a public holiday, and coz 6th Jan 2011 fell on a weekday (a Thursday, if you're wondering), and traditionally, Chinese believe that you should only celebrate birthdays in advance, but never belated. I wonder who set such 'rules' to begin with. It's silly, if you ask me. But some things are not worth arguing over, and some "rules" are quite harmless to follow, and so people of our generation usually just shift our schedule around to follow these (probably archaic) "rules".

 Hubbs managed to book this huge function room at the MOE Recreation Club at Evans Road. It was nice and huge, had grounds outside for the kids to run around and play frisbee and catching. There was even a grassy slope that the kids started climbing, until some got hurt and they naturally wised up and stopped...

As you can see, I had our usual Spiderman cake made. Yes, Spidey cake for Spidey kids okay. That's always the case for 1 year old Spidey Tan Family babies. Yes, because I say so ;p Besides, the kids wouldn't know the difference, right? Also, the first year birthday is not only to celebrate the first year of the kid's life. It is also to celebrate the parents surviving the first, and toughest (in our humblest opinions) year of the kid's life. Yes, indeed, a celebration of life - that we have lived through that year!

 Indeed, looking back, 2010 was very tough for us all. The twins were born on 6th Jan 2010. Those of you who are parents would know, that having one infant to take care of is tough enough. Having two... really takes the cake. (I can't even start to imagine how having triplets would be!) So we had two little infants to take care of. Double the diapers to change, double the time I had to spend breastfeeding them, double the crying, double the bathing, double the everything. On top of that, we still had to cater to Isaac's increasing demands for attention. And to make it worse, because we started Isaac on childcare, he (understandably) caught viruses and bugs and whatnot - came back and passed them to us too. Bad for Isaac, worse for babies, and hell if we adults got it too.
Imagine hubbs and I with 11 kids!!! Cool, eh!? :)
In June 2010, it happened. Hubbs had been sick for a long time, with cough and whatnot, remnants that never faded with an earlier episode of when Isaac came back with a cough/flu (I can't remember), got fever. Either Isaac or hubbs passed something to the twins... Asher came down with croup, triggered by whatever it was Isaac passed him. We brought him to KK Hospital Children's Emergency, but coz he was less than 6 months old and had difficulty breathing, he was admitted to stay in hospital. I stayed with him. We were there for two days. Meanwhile, my mother-in-law who was staying with us to help out with taking care of the kids came down with the bug too. From the hospital, I told hubbs to bring Shawna to my parents place to quarantine her from everyone at home who was sick. My helper soon came down with the bug too.
My parents, my sister's family, and us.
After two days in hospital, we discharged, and went straight to my parents place, intending to stay there to keep away from all the sick recovering back home... but when I saw Shawna, and heard her breathing... I went back in to KKH with Shawna - she had developed croup too. I checked into KKH with Shawna the same day that I had discharged with Asher. I spent my third consecutive night in hospital.Back home, my father-in-law had fallen ill as well. But thankfully, Isaac was better already, and my mother-in-law and helper could rest since the twins weren't home.The following day, I discharged with Shawna and went to stay with Asher and Shawna at my parents place. My mum started sniffling too. And two days later, I started to cough as well. Thankfully though, by the time I fell to the incredi-bug, everyone else was well, and so, I could finally rest, after a very trying week. These two weeks were the most challenging period of the first year of the twins lives for us. Within the first 6 months of the twins' birth, hubbs lost 10 kg. Yes, seriously.
Hubbs' parents, his sister (and her husband) and us! :)
Thank heavens, that episode was not repeated again, and we're praying that it never will. Every time I pray now, the first thing I pray for is good health for my kids and everyone we know. We are also thankful for the amount of family support we had, for without them, we would not have been able to cope with Isaac and the twins. We were also blessed with good a good helper Lina, whom we hope would continue to be a good helper.
My parents and their 6 grandkids!
When people realise that we have three kids, of which two are a pair of twins, there are invariably two comments. Those who are not married or who do not have kids, will comment:"Wah!!! Twins!!! I want!!!" Those who themselves are parents would comment:"Wah, not easy ah, twins. One already cannot cope..." :) To this we'd reply:"Luckily God sent us Isaac for training first! :)"

Yes, having twins is not easy indeed. But we wouldn't change it for the world.We love you, Asher & Shawna, happy birthday! :)
All pictures in this post taken on 1st January 2011.
Asher & Shawna @ five days to 1 year old
Isaac @ five days to 3 years 5 months old


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