Monday, 31 December 2012

2012: Thankful what happened... and what didn't!

This post first appeared as a guest post on The Gingerbread Mum blog.

2012: Thankful what happened... and what didn't!

This is the first time I've written a year end post recapping/summarising the year. I guess, usually, December is a busy time for me and I've never really gotten around to doing this. However, having now attempted this (albeit at the prompting of the lovely Gingerbread Mum), I think I shall make it a point to write such a post every year.

My problem is: I think too much. And I get all long windedy. Not very good. So! I have decided to write this in point form! Doing that usually helps to rein myself in... 

 For 2012, I'm thankful that...

#1: We didn't have to go to the hospital A&E this year!

Every since Isaac was born, he's had croup. And he seemed to have had a fixed quota to at least make us rush him to the hospital in the middle of the night with a croup attack - minimum once a year. The doctors at KKH tell us that it is a childhood condition and that he would outgrow it in time. We couldn't wait for that time to come. When the twins came along, we were afraid they'd get this condition as well - since Isaac was so prone to it. Our fears were not unfounded - the twins caught it and were hospitalised even before they turned 6 months old. Thankfully, the twins have since proved that they are made of stronger mettel dispite their smaller size (compared to Isaac at that same age) and they have not been having croup attacks. So, I'm happy to say that in 2012, we didn't have to make a trip to the hospital in the middle of the night due to the kids having breathing difficulty :) 

#2: Thankful for what didn't happen!

I'm thankful that my family and our loved ones didn't fall gravely ill this year, nor did we get contracted with any serious illness/es etc. My mother-in-law's lymphoma condition (which we found out last year) has also gone into remission after a successful course of chemotherapy treatments. We pray that the cancer goes away and never comes back again. My parents have been blessed with the oppotunity to go travelling very often after their retirement, and have been very blessed to be kept safe on all their journeys. Our Perth trip in October was also quite uneventful in that nothing traumatic happened to us, so we're glad. Currently, my sister's family and my parents are on the road (or in the air!) again. Different trips! Praying that we'd always be kept safe when travelling, be it in Singapore or abroad.

#3: I'm glad Asher has started eating and pooing!

Asher used to have 2 big problems. Eating and pooing. He wouldn't eat solids (only drink milk). And he wouldn't, no, couldn't poo. I guess they were sort of inter-related. But this year, he finally started eating solids. He had a "red spaghetti" phase - spaghetti with tomato-based sauce. Then he ate spaghetti plain, without sauce, and now, he eats spaghetti, any noodles, bee hoon, and even rice and soup. He has started to eat school food and can now take two servings during lunch where before he would only drink soup, or at most eat half a serving. In tandem with his eating, he also started to poo without problem. Having improvements in this area is a huge relieve for us!

#4: My First Games - my soon-to-be full time business!

I've been very busy with my sideline business venture: My First Games. I've just received news a few weeks back, that the HQ (of my current day job) may decide to close the Singapore office soon, in a bid to cut cost. Thus, I may be out of a job soon, like in January 2013. But I think that this is a divine sign for me to concentrate on My First Games as a full time occupation. So that's cool too. I've also been really blessed to be part of a wonderful group of women known as the Singapore Mom Bloggers.They've been really supportive of My First Games in trying out our games, and writing reviews etc. There are also many other mumpreneurs within this group, and we they constantly inspire me and spur me on to persevere.Virtual support from these people is very real! :)

#5: Hubbs is going back to school!

For the past three and a half years, hubbs (who used to be a secondary school teacher) was seconded to Ministry of Education HQ to be the HQ liaison officer for a co-curricular activity. Come January 2013 - he'd be going back to school to teach again! I'm thankful he had this chance to be in HQ for these past few years. It came at the time when we had the twins - the flexibility of time this posting afforded him was really invaluable for the past few years. Now, hubbs gets to go back to teaching - something which he has a passion for, and misses dearly. Just praying that the new school will not be too crazy and demanding that he'd need to work late every day.
I guess that's it. The 5 major groups of things that we're thankful for this year. May 2013 be an even better year than 2012! :) Here are the Spidey Tans of the Tan Family Chronicles wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Trivia Thursday: Isaac the big kor kor

For today's Tan Family Trivia - let me share something with you that I just found out myself. Last week, we went to the childcare to have our yearly tea sessions with the school teachers, about the year coming up. The school organises these yearly to tell us their syllabus, what they'd be doing, what we should be expecting etc. We were talking to Teacher Rev, who would be Isaac's teacher in K2 next year. She also happened to be Asher & Shawna's teacher last year, when they first started childcare. So she was telling me that...
August 2011 - Asher & Shawna's first day in childcare
More than a year ago, in August 2011, Asher & Shawna started attending childcare. They were 19 months old. During the twins' first few weeks in childcare, Isaac would constantly come to their class to keep them company, whenever he could - when he didn't have any lessons on. In the beginnning, the teachers allowed him to do so, since the twins needed to adjust and having their big brother there was a big help.

However, after a week or so, they decided that he should stop doing so as it was disruptive to both classes. So Isaac resorted to coming to the the twins' class during nap time to nap with them. Seeing as the teachers just stopped him from coming when the twins were awake, they also allowed this for awhile...

Then, they decided that it should stop too. So, Isaac had no choice, he could only stand outside the twins' classroom, and look in on his siblings during nap time, with tears in his eyes...

*giggles* hehehe I can't help it. I'm giggling away (with tears of laughter in my eyes) as I type this. So sweeeeet, right? This is the trivia I just heard from Teacher Rev. I knew about all that happened before - but not about the "tears in his eyes" part ;)

My sweet Isaac! He has grown to be a good big brother and as much as he sometimes quarrel and fight with Asher and Shawna, he also loves them and takes care of them. The three of them also play very well together :) I hope they keep it up!

Tan Family Chronicles

Friday, 7 December 2012

Asher the Chocoholic

Look what I saw yesterday on my Facebook feed? Chocolate!!! They looked so delicious I resisted the tempatation to pop down to the nearest convenience stall to grab a few bars of these! My friend Evelyn has the same thought as I did: If only we could pluck chocolate out of the picture to eat! That would be fabulous! And that reminded me...
Picture from Geek Culture - Name them all and be a Chocolate Geek! :p

Do you know who's a chocoholic like me? It's Asher! Shawna and Isaac both like to eat chocolate as well, but the one that reeeaally appreciates chocolate and can eat it for meals is, without a doubt, Asher. 

Asher has always been a picky eater, and when he was young, he refused to eat solids at all. He would refuse porridge of all consistencies, refuse noodles and pasta of all shapes and sizes, refuse breads of all make and texture - he just didn't open his mouth. We got desperate at times and tried to force food into his mouth - and he would either spit them out, or gag on them.

At first, we thought:"Oh, he's still young! Haven't learn to eat solids yet." But by the time he was 18 months old and Shawna was eating rice and noodles with gusto - we knew the "he's still young" excuse couldn't really hold. Then we started worrying that he had some kind of "condition" that causes him to gag and have trouble swallowing solids.

My mum wondered whether it's because his teeth were too small. But we put him beside Shawna and saw that their teeth were roughly the same size. So, scratch that. Then my sister asked whether his tongue was "stuck to the bottom of his mouth" - but, no, when he cries or laugh we can see his tongue waggling well, and he can stick out his tongue as long as Shawna can. So, nope. Tough luck being a twin, buddy!  You ain't pulling wool over our eyes!
Asher & Shawna, my Little Twin Suckers, I mean Stars - Little Twin Stars @ 17 months old
Last year, in June 2011, we visited Perth, Australia. Asher and Shawna both went on a food strike as there weren't familiar with the food and environment there - we tried cooking porridge/rice/noodles but they wouldn't eat. This is quite usual for Asher, but not so for Shawna. At that time, they were both still breastfeeding, and so they depended on me for sole sustenance for the whole of the 10 days we were there. They were 17 months old. They sucked me dry, really.

So, it was actually in the Perth 2011 trip that the twins ate chocolate for the very first time in their lives. My cousin Yew Hui was trying to pacify Asher to ensure that he would remain seated in the carseat during the long drives - so she fed him the chocolate pastelles that they sold at the Margaret River Chocolate Factory. And then we realised, that Asher had no trouble chewing and swallowing chocolate. He ate them at lightning speed. We have never seen Asher eating anything that fast before! We tried giving him bigger chunks of chocolate, and chocolate cake, chocolate muffins, chocolate cookies... and it confirmed our suspicions - Asher had no problem chewing and swallowing solids! Oh! The little tike!!!

And hence the chocoholic was born.

Back in Singapore, Asher continued to refuse all other solids and only drank my milk for sustenance. We were trying to wean the twins off my breast and so we tried to introduce formula milk, which they did take a little of. Shawna decided one day to stop drinking from me, and so she self-weaned herself. Now, Asher had both breasts to himself, making him one happy boy indeed. On weekends, we decided to give Asher a bit of practice eating solids, so we allowed him his chocolate fix of chocolates and chocolate cake etc... Thankfully, we slowly managed to transit him to solid food thereafter... and his food fads... well, I will leave that for another post.
Cheeky Asher the Chocoholic! @ 33 months
So that's cheeky Asher, our Chocoholic boy. We do not allow the kids to eat chocolate or other candy very often, though. Coz it is heaty and they have a tendency to start coughing if they eat too much of it. So, most of the time, they'd get to eat chocolate say once a week, or even two weeks or more, if they have been coughing. Not very often.

One day, in the morning while we were getting ready to leave the house for school and work, I saw Asher, walking, and while he walked, his left hand pulled open the pocket on his shirt, while his right hand reached in and plucked out an imaginary item and he popped this imaginary item into his mouth! He then started moving his mouth in a chewing motion...

Me: "Asher? What are you eating?"

I was stunned. And started laughing. 

Me:"Oooh, looks good. Can I have some chocolate too?"

And he reached into his pocket, picked out another chunk of imaginary chocolate, and fed it into my open mouth. He then took another piece, and popped it into his own mouth, happily chewing... and walked away.

I was giggling to myself and went to find hubbs to tell him about it. Suddenly, I had a pang in my heart. Was I too strict in not giving him the chocolate he so loves often enough? So much so that he had to pretend to eat chocolate?! So poor thing! But then, too much chocolate is really not too good, so I'm glad he found his own way to eat chocolate! Ah, my clever chocoholic Asher! :)

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