Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pregnancy #3 - 30 weeks (Third trimester!)

And just like that, my third and possibly final pregnancy has entered into the last trimester! I'm officially in the 30th week now and am closer to becoming a whale.

Usually this is the trimester when I start becoming nostalgic and not wanting the pregnancy to end. But this pregnancy has been quite different special, compared to my first two.

The past couple of weeks has seen the Tews family going through a huge change of diet, no thanks to this thing called "gestational diabetes".

This is the first time I got diagnosed with it even though its my third pregnancy. It's been a huge bummer because gone are the days when I can simply fry some beehoon (thin rice vermicelli) or have some fried rice. Actually gone are the days when I can eat something without thinking twice about it.

These days, I have to prick my poor fingers 6 times (!!!) a day, once before and once after every.single.meal. 

It also means that I can't just eat whenever and whatever I want. I have to space out my meals and have my light 1st and 2nd breakfast, light lunch, tea break, light dinner and light snack before bed.

On weekends, I can't just go to any place to eat out anymore because the usual case is that one is served way more carbs than proteins. Recently, I had a make-up course (it was my birthday present) and I forgot to bring my lunch with me! The course went from 12 - 6pm and I only had a small pretzel with butter as a snack (refreshments provided by the make-up artist).

Needless to say, I was so famished and delirious from hunger by dinner time. But having a small pretzel for lunch doesn't mean that I could compensate by having a bigger dinner! I still had to keep to my sugar limit. We met some friends and ate out, so I ordered some Indian chicken and vegetable curry with less rice and treated myself to 5 pieces of sushi. Only 5!

But my sugar level went through the roof! Sob! So no more sushi / Japanese sticky rice for me either!

Usually on weekends, hub and I take turns to sleep in. Or to be fair, the hub usually lets the pregnant whale sleep in more. BUT, these days, I'm unable to sleep in because I'm too hungry! And if I skip breakfast, I'll more likely still be hungry after lunch since I can't up my carb intake for lunch. It has crossed my mind to just pop a banana and just go to back to bed, but at this point, I can't just do that because I will feel bad that I didn't check my blood sugar. :S 

On the bright side, this is usually not a permanent condition. The majority of pregnant women no longer have diabetes once their babies are born and by God's grace, I shall be part of that 95% majority.

Another silver lining is that the hub has lost 5 kg already because of my efforts to decrease carbs in my homecooked meals. I have also lost 1-2kg, which is really not too bad a thing, especially cos I probably gained some weight just from the incessant eating in London.

This is the only silver lining really. If I look at this as a weight loss / weight control program, it would help me to feel better about being in this predicament. I feel like I'm in the kitchen ALL the time! I cook for lunch and dinner and even on weekends.

The thing that makes it hard is that I still have to cook for my children too. And they need their carbs. And Asian food, with its huge amount of rice doesn't cut it right now. I have to cook at least 2 main courses for Asian meals and that equates to more time too.

So far, my sugar levels have been pretty good. The one-hour limit after meals is 140 and my sugar levels have been hovering at about 110-120, with the occasional spikes. So that gives me more leeway in case my sugar levels do increase with increasing insulin needs as the pregnancy progresses. Again, I'm trusting God that this GD will not deterioriate and this is as bad as it would get.

Sam has been so ultra sweet during this period. Here's our usual conversation.

Sam: Why are you pricking your finger?

Me: Because I want to control my blood sugar levels and make sure that baby is growing well.

Sam: Is it ouch-ah? (painful)

Me: Yes, sometimes.

Sam: Awww, Mummy.

(After I have pricked my finger)
Sam: So how? What's the number?

(I will read the number together with him and practise his recognition of numbers).

I'm happy to say that after the first 10 days of monitoring my blood sugar levels, my specialist said that my levels have been pretty good so she allowed me to monitor it every second day. And instead of 6 finger pricks per day, I only have to prick my finger 4 times per day now.

Phew! That gives me so much relief!

These days, I sorta know what to to cook such that my sugar levels stay within the limit. It's still hard when we go out on weekends, because experimenting with "outside" food usually spikes my sugar levels.

We were looking at some cars today and had to pop by Subway cos there was no other choice. I obediently chose to have wholemeal bread to go with my teriyaki chicken sub (instead of my usual cheese oregano) and despite not wanting to finish the whole thing, I was too hungry to hold back. My sugar level was exactly at 140!

And since we were out and about the entire day, I only managed to cook dinner by 8pm and by then was so famished, so I ate quite a fair bit of rice. My sugar level hit 138, just below the 140 limit. Argh.

And the "best" part of being a control-freak me, I usually prick my finger more than once to get a more accurate result. But it bugs me that my results can sometimes fluctuate up to 10 points!

Well, let's just hope that I got less than 10 weeks of this GD! And after that, may it be adios to GD for the rest of my life!

A bump pix at almost 30 weeks


Sunday, January 17, 2016

An English Christmas - Guest post by Bel

The famous London eye at night
Loved seeing the red London double-decker buses

We went to London over Christmas last year. It was our maiden trip with 2 kids-in-tow and it was so lovely! We stayed over at my friend's Bel's place and she came up with the brilliant idea of guest posting in each other's blogs. 

So, here goes! The first guest post on my blog.... Warning: long post ahead.

----------------------------
Hello!  I've known Priscilla for more than 10 years now.  I remember how we met in University - we were in the same discipleship group when we both joined Campus Crusade for Christ, and later on it was the 4-month student exchange trip to Canada that cemented our friendship.  We were there with 3 other girls from NTU and we all witnessed how Pris and Stephan ("the other exchange student from Germany") got together.  

Fast forward a few years we graduated, they got married and soon they moved to Germany. Little did I know that I was also headed this way to Europe and Pris has been so welcoming and kind, inviting me to join her and her German family every Christmas since I moved to London.  

Pris: 13 years after Canada, just before flying to London

Not only that she put me in touch with her sis-in-law Sabrina who was also working in London at that time. We hit it off and became good friends.  I've never felt more comfortable (adopted even!) in the company of another family such as the Tews and I really do owe them a lot, for their kindness and hospitality.  When Pris suggested visiting us in London this Christmas, I was a little worried that they were breaking the Tews family tradition! 

It's been more than a year since I saw everyone and oh my how grown up are the two boys! Sammy is adorable as usual and I loved being able to hold a proper conversation with him. He no longer calls me "Linda" but "Belinda" instead, hurray to that.  Oh and little Gabriel (Gabe)!  He is so chilled out and is learning quite a few English words ("look, moon!"  "blue! red! yellow!")  I found something in common between us - we both love cleanliness haha *high five Gabe*.  The only unexplained thing was that he kept calling me "Tina".   

The Tews spent one week with us in total over this Christmas and my hubby K and I had a little taste of how life is like with two boys.  I always wondered how Pris and Stephan do it. And guess what - I STILL WONDER! :)

Beautiful English fireplace

K and I were working on the days leading up to Christmas and New Year's but we tried to spend as much time as we could with our guests.  The boys loved the stairs and kept sliding down on their bellies screaming and laughing as they went along.  There was never a dull moment from the time they are awake.

For our big dinner on Christmas eve, I decided on the traditional English way, i.e. Turkey.  

Pris: Our Christmas eve spread

Pris: Obligatory family photo before tucking in



Our menu for the night:

For starters, we had salmon blinis and K's signature salad.

Our mains were Turkey breast with pork, onion and sage stuffing topped with a bacon lattice, with roasted honey parsnips.

Dessert was supposed to be Vienetta ice cream (a Tews tradition) but guess what?  We were so full at the end of it that we had no space for any desserts.  Plus Sammy was too excited to open the presents!
Presents time!


Pris: Sam got English flashcards from Aunty Bel
Pris: Eating Mummy's Tim Tams that Bel got from Singapore

Pris: BINGO! 6 smiling faces at the camera! We hit the jackpot!

Pris: Crazy shot!

As part of an English tradition (they are visiting England after all), I bought some Christmas crackers to go along. We popped them open before dinner which explains the gold crown for each of us.  That was a good dinner I must say and of course, presents galore after that which Samy was the happiest amongst all of us.  He wanted to open every single present.

One of the reasons Pris wanted to visit London was that she's missing all the Asian food big time.  Before they arrived, we whatsapp'ed each other frequently, compiling a list of the different food places they could visit, admittedly mostly surround Chinatown in Leicester Square.  
 
They tried a few places on consecutive days that I told her "Pris you guys are visiting Chinatown more than what we visit in 3 months!" lol  Well I'm glad she's had her Asian food fix.  In fact on the night they arrived, I suggested bringing them to eat one of the best Peking ducks here in London.  K and I love the ambience and the quality of food at Grand Imperial in Victoria.  And then finding out Stephan doesn't like ducks.  oops!

Pris: Having the famous Beijing duck pancakes at Grand Imperial
Pris: Having Singaporean food at Rasa Sayang (Chinatown)

Pris: Having authentic bubble tea and Gabe was a huge fan of the "bubbles!" My little Asian boy!

On days where we couldn't bring them around, Pris and Stephan visited some museums which are kids friendly. Having no kids of our own, I had to admit I did struggle on where to suggest they could go with the boys!   

At the Natural History Museum




On Boxing Day, we went for a walk in Greenwich Park where there was a big playground so the boys were well entertained and I witnessed Gabe's love for swings.  That sad look when he had to give up his seat for another kid in waiting - lol.  

On another day K packed all of us in our car and drove to Knole Park in Kent where we saw free roaming deer.  It was nice, but because it was raining so much on the preceding days, it was all a bit too muddy for our liking.  It soon got too cold after 2 hours and we decided to head indoors to Bluewater, this sprawling shopping centre in Kent which K and I visit ever so often as it is not too far from our place.  

Pris: Roaming deer in the background
Pris: A snoozing Gabriel
The week did pass by so quickly for us.  It was nice to spend time with this lovely family of four (soon five!), catching up with both Pris and Stephan and reminiscing on our good old exchange days.  We agreed it would be ideal if we could all visit Canada again together - that would be so meaningful.

Pris - you super mom - I pray that God will continue to bless your little family and give you and Stephan the grace and godly wisdom on being the best parents you can be.  Thank you for being such a blessing to me, embracing me into the Tews family and I thank God for our friendship.  Love ya lots xxx 

Pris: We loved Christmas with B&K so much, we didn't want to leave!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Pregnancy #3 - 24 weeks

Bump at 20+3 weeks. Only bump pix I have so far!

I've officially hit the viablility date! We had my detailed 2nd-trimester scan a few weeks ago. 

Baby looks great and everything is measuring right on track. This is such a relief, because we had a crazy first trimester at the gynae -- shall not go into details here.

I've since changed my gynae and am very satisfied with my current doctor. He's calm, professional and very reassuring. Nothing like my crazy, over-the-top stressful previous gynae.

Since our lovely baby was so cooperative at the scan, we managed to take a good look at body parts and found out that.....


We are having our 3rd BOY!



We are really excited to be welcoming another blue addition to our family. Having had two boys already, we pretty much know what to expect and have almost everything we need for the next baby.

I'm sure some of you have questions so I'll answer them, Q&A style 

Wow, really? Were you trying for a girl? 

No, we weren't. Whatever trying for a girl means. We wanted to have at least 3 kids, so we tried for a 3rd kid. No specific gender and no gender swaying.

Are you disappointed?

No, actually I'm not. I think disappointed would be a wrong word to describe how I felt when I first found out the gender.

I was hoping for a baby girl, since there is no specific gender tendencies on either mine nor hubby's side of the family. Moreover, I had such horrible MS in the first trimester of this pregnancy (compared to no MS for my first two pregnancies), such that I really thought we could be expecting a girl. So I was surprised when nature's supposed 50/50 coin toss had yet again dealt us the same hand.

My main issue wasn't the fact that baby isn't a girl, but the fact that I have never pictured myself being in an all-boys household.

That said, the more I think about it, the more I'm loving the idea of having 3 boys and being the Queen of my family. My boys are lovely and I feel it a God-given privilege to have the responsibility of bringing up Godly, brave and strong men for the Lord in the next generation.

And when I spent some time with God about this issue, I felt in my heart that for the fact that we can't choose the genders of our children, that decision lies with God and God alone. And if He chose for our 3rd child to be a boy, that means He has a mandate and specific plans for this child to be a boy.

God's plans are better than my plans and I know this is an area of submission and trust to His sovereign will for my life and my children's.

What is the hardest thing for you to reconcile about not having a baby girl? 

Honestly? It's really the shopping for baby girl clothes and dressing up. Call me superficial but after 2 boys, I can't see the color blue anymore! I've come to realize how bias the fashion industry is against male fashion! Boys' clothes pale in comparison to girls' clothes in variety, color, style, everything! These days, I find myself googling for "beautiful boys clothes". If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

How are you feeling pregnancy-wise?  

 

My second trimester has been a breeze so far, compared to the madness of first trimester. I'm massively thankful for this breather, especially now that winter has hit and the usual winter colds / coughs have made its unwelcome appearance in the Tews household.

 

Will you be trying for a #4?

I really don't know! Ask me again in the future! Of course there's still the desire to have a mini-me, but for now, little Gabriel will do! IF we do try for a #4, it could very well be another boy, so I would have to psycho myself for that real possibility and see if I'm up to it! That said, we're totally jumping the gun here. We'll have our 3rd baby first before seeing if we even want to fire up this baby oven one last time.

How are the boys taking the news?

Sammy is so happy and kept kissing my belly. Gabriel doesn't quite understand the concept of baby boy or girl, but he was equally happy and kept saying "Hello baby!", while stroking my belly. Hub is totally happy about another boy and he's the most neutral person when it comes to gender of a baby.

Have you decided on a name?

Nope! This would be our next project. Any suggestions are welcome!

Any final thoughts?

We are very happy and contented to be expecting our 3rd boy. Having gone through infertility issues with our #1 and our recent miscarriage, we don't take for granted the gift of pregnancy and the ability to stay pregnant. We are grateful to God for choosing to bless us with our 3rd child and look forward to our next adventure come April 2016!

Oh and I came across this article that articulates my thoughts too about having a 3rd boy. Do take a read and have a good laugh.

10 things never to say to a Mom expecting another boy

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The story of baby #3 - 19 weeks!

I bet some of you have been wondering if we would go for a #3.

Hub and I always knew that we wanted to have 3 kids.... with an ajar door for a #4 (but please don't go asking me if or when!)

Sam and Gabriel have a 22-months age gap and while I would say that I'm reaping the benefits of a small age gap, now that they are playing so well with each other, I won't mince words and be the first to admit that "chaotic" would be an understatement to describe the first year.

I was changing diapers 24/7! With 2 kids in diapers, there were mornings when I would have to change diapers 4 times before we could get out of the house!

As such, I felt that I wanted to have a bigger age gap between Gabriel and #3, by virtue of the fact that I knew that it would make the first year somewhat more manageable and Gabriel would hopefully be out of diapers by then.

On the months leading up to Gabriel's 2nd birthday, we decided to start trying for another baby and were really surprised when we got pregnant quickly again.

But our joy was short-lived when the pregnancy ended up in miscarriage in the 6th week. I was contemplating about whether or not to share this personal loss because of the usual 12-weeks silence in a pregnancy. Most women are silent not because they don't want to share their joy with the world, but because of the high miscarriage rates in early pregnancy.

However, when I found out that a friend of mine had a miscarriage around the same time too and she was open to share about her experience, I felt that there really was no shame in this experience. On the contrary, I was encouraged to hear about other women's experiences so I felt that I should also share mine.

When I read up about this topic, I found out that most miscarriages happen in a woman's first pregnancy and the chances of a miscarriage falls drastically once a woman has had a successful pregnancy.

So, for the fact that this was my 1st miscarriage despite it being my 3rd pregnancy, I was all the more upset. When a pregnancy ends so early, most of the time it's due to chromosomes error - so I guess it was for the better that the pregnancy ended.

That said, it was still a painful loss for us. The minute one knows that one is expecting, you start making plans and picturing in your mind what your family would look like with another kid. Baby would have shared my birthday month (in December) so this aggravated the feeling of loss and the "if onlys".

I know that baby is safe in God's hands and it comforts me to know that she/he is with my Mom right now and Mom has a grandchild and her own 5th child up there in heaven with her. (Mom had an m/c on her 5th pregnancy).

We decided to just let nature take its course and I'm thankful that I didn't have to go for a D&C, because the m/c was natural and complete.

3 months later, we got pregnant again and this time the pregnancy went past the 1st trimester. Funnily enough, Gabriel was conceived the month after Sam's 1st birthday and baby #3 was conceived the month after Gabriel turned 2.

The past 3 months have been soooo extremely nauseating and exhausting. I only wanted to sleep all day! I've never felt exhaustion like this before! My 2 pregnancies with the boys were a piece of cake compared to this pregnancy.

I was so sick! I couldn't take the smell of anything, really. I developed MSG-allergy and could not order takeout from any Chinese restaurant. I was hungry all the time but couldn't handle looking at, let alone touching raw meat. It was horrid.

And the "best" part of it? I started feeling sick (around 6 weeks), exactly the time when Sam's kindergarten closed for a whole of 3 weeks! That meant that I had both boys with me every.single.day for 3 whole weeks when I was feeling my worst!

I really prayed so hard or should I say, I kept repeating the same one-sentence prayer everyday, "Help me Lord, to get through this day."

I'm usually immune to the kids' shouting / squabbling with each other, but I had such massive headaches everyday that whenever one kid's "talking" went beyond a certain decibel, my headache went into full-blown mode and I could seriously feel my insides throbbing such that my head could burst. I kid you not.

I recall a couple of months ago when I was so eager to wean Sam off his afternoon nap. However, when I was so sick from that all-day sickness, I kept thinking about how thankful I was that Sam refused to drop his naps. I would nap almost everyday with both boys and that nap was truly a life-saver for me.

Oh and have I mentioned how the all-day sickness coincided with the 40-degrees summer heatwave that we had? For the first time in 9 years in Germany, I was sooo thankful and praising God when temperatures plunged in autumn and I could actually sleep better and feel better!

So here you go. My life in a nutshell over the past few months. The silence on this blog was also a direct consequence of my inability to stare at anything that was glaring for more than a couple of minutes.

I'm so thankful that I've finally made it to 19 weeks! *phew*

The 1st-trimester craziness has completely subsided and I'm feeling so normal and fine that I sometimes forget that I'm pregnant. Such a huge difference from the first 12 weeks.

Baby is expected in early April 2016 (spring baby!) and we can't wait to welcome another baby into our home. The boys have been so excited and Sam insists on kissing "baby" ever so often, while Gabriel follows suit because he finds it funny.

While waiting to conceive this baby after my miscarriage, I prayed for a verse to encourage my heart. And the verse I got was "I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence." Ps 16:8

It has been so apt for this pregnancy so far!

Our baby #3 announcement on FB that got so many people confused!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sammy's 4th birthday

Dear Sammy

Just like that, 4 years have passed and you are such a little man now.

You hand-made some invitation cards with Mummy cos you were allowed to invite some kindergarten friends over for your birthday party. This is the first time we had a kids-only party because many of Mummy's friends with kids were still not back from their vacations.

We re-used your "Cars" theme from your first birthday (not that you would remember that) and we DIYed all the decorations and food, except for the birthday cake.

The lovely Fara hand-baked the chocolate Cars cake and it was absolutely, smashingly, wonderfully beautiful. Both pleasing for the eyes and the taste buds.

The only drawback of the party was the meagre amount of food that 4-5 year old boys eat! Most of them ate like mice - nibbled on their food. They were mainly interested to play rather than eat.

We first had about an hour of food-cum-free-play at home, during which Daddy' ear drums almost popped out of his ears. Mummy found it really sweet to see how you totally enjoyed having your friends over.

Thereafter, you boys had a mini treasure hunt around our neighborhood which last clue involved going back to square one (home) to look for mini treasures - takehome goodies wrapped in a bag.

Once we got home, we took out the lovely chocolate cake, sang you your birthday song and you blew out all the candles.

You unwrapped your presents and were totally overwhelmed with the sheer amount of presents you were bestowed on!

The finale of the party was when you guys played "hit the pot" game. Basically, you boys took turn to be blindfolded and with the help of a wooden spoon, you would have to locate the pot by crawling around the floor.

Once you found the pot, you would overturn it and get the little treasure below (a little packet of gummy bears or chocolate bar). Gabriel was the last one to have his shot at the game and he totally acced it because he saw what the other kids did.

Once most of the guests left, you were so exhausted that you were melting down by the second (ie. unexplained tantrums and crying). We called it a day, gave you a shower and you were in bed by 8pm.

It was a very lovely 2.5-hours party and we're really glad we went ahead to have a children's party. It turned out less stressful than having the usual full-blown parties that we've been having until now.

For many kids, their earliest memories started around the age of 4. We hope that in time, you'll remember with fond memories how we celebrated your birthdays.

We love you so much little one. You're such a blessing to us. We are constantly aware of how God uses you to encourage our hearts. You would very often say, "Mummy, thank you for ..... " Even for little things like me bringing you a glass of water.

Thanks for appreciating me / us darling. Thankfulness is a real virtue to be cultivated and we hope that with age, you will only grow in wisdom, deeper thankfulness and a keener sense of God in your life.

We love you always.
Mummy & Daddy

(Due to protecting the privacy of the other children, I have chosen not to include pictures that show their faces)

My desert table. And may I say I'm proud of the way it turned out? :)

Traffic light bites. A pinterest idea which looked so easy, but involved quite a bit of chocolate burning the fingers!

Chocolate chip wheels

Berry muffin garage which was an almost-disaster in the oven, but we managed to salvage some

Some savory bites of cheese and tomatoes, carrots with garlic dip (not pictured)

The "Cars" backdrop. Same as those from 3 years ago.

The hub giving instructions for the next treasure hunt clue

Believe it or not, one of the clues fell through the trampoline hole and we had to fish it out!

Sammy's lovely birthday cake

Pardon the bad quality, but that's the safest photo I could post that didn't include all the other kids' faces

Cake-cutting. The cake was the one thing the kids were most interested in!

During the "hit the pot" game

DIY cars cup and serviette-holder which the boys really didn't care about.

The take-home goodie bags. The kids loved it!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Toilet-training my 2 year old



(Warning: Post for Mummies or those who are simply interested in how toddlers learn to control their bladders.) 

We started toilet-training Gabriel shortly after he turned two because I tried to use the summer temperatures to let him run around the house half-naked. There was only a one-month window of opportunity before temperatures dipped again and it became too cold to let him run around naked.

So far, what I've been doing is removing his diapers and letting him sit on the toilet bowl at regular intervals throughout the day. I try to concentrate my toilet-training efforts when Sam is at kindergarten and I have Gabriel at home with me.

At the beginning, it was horrible! He refused to sit on the toilet bowl and would climb off as soon as I got his butt down. But now, he's quite content to sit on the throne with a book in his hands. I do tell him to pee or kaka (German for poo) and he would just repeat after me "kaka!"

And I'll be like, "No Gabriel, you gotta pee / kaka". And he would just look at me and play with his ah-hem, down there. After 2-3 mins of sitting down, I would let him resume his normal activities and repeat the entire process in a couple of minutes time.

Needless to say, it's been a LOT of work!

This boy knows exactly what he has to do, but refuses to do it! He's very capable of holding everything in and would wait for the opportune time to let everything out when I'm forced to wear him a diaper when he goes down for his nap or when we have to pick Sam up from the kindy.

Of course he has peed all over the house too! Even our brand-new sofa has only gone through the initiation ceremony! (I've since washed that spot VERY thoroughly).

I must say that my patience was beginning to wear itself thin after numerous unsuccessful attempts over many days.

But somehow, something clicked!

In my desperation to get him to co-operate, I started the same method that worked brilliantly for Sam - A reward sticker wall! I pasted a piece of paper on the wall in the toilet with some space to paste stickers. Then I asked Gabriel to choose one, so as to reward his behaviour of sitting on the throne.

Apparently, he was so fascinated with the stickers that without me realizing it, Sam and Gabe went ahead to fill up the entire paper with stickers! (Facepalm)

At dinner time, Gabriel suddenly said "kaka!" I automatically checked to see where it was that he peed again (he usually announces only after he has done the deed). But I realized to my amazement that everything was still dry! And he started to hop impatiently. I swept him up in my arms and ran to the toilet. He actually managed his first successful pee session!

Well, almost. Let's just say that the trigger was pointed in the wrong direction and I had to readjust the trigger to point at the right target before everything was fine.

I was ECSTATIC! I was jumping around the toilet and giving my boy high-fives or rather high-tens. It felt like I had struck lottery!

My boy did his first pee in the toilet at 2 years 3 weeks old!

I only toilet-trained Sam at about 2 years 7 months because when he was 2 years old, I had a 2-month newborn to care for and potty-training was the last thing on my mind.

Since then, Gabriel is able to tell me whenever he needs to do the deed (pee) and would go to the toilet on his own and even climb on the throne. 

It's early September now and Gabriel goes diaper-less most of the time when we're at home during the day. I still wear him diapers at night and when we go out of the house.

Let's see how long it will take for us to take the plunge and go cold turkey on the diapers!

I don't want to pressurize Gabriel to make the switch until I feel that he's ready. And now that the weather is colder, I'm assuming that it would take longer than if it had still been warm. But for now, I'm glad to say that at least half the battle is won with Gabe being able to control his bladder at will.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dear Gabriel - You have turned TWO!


My not-so-little guy


Chilled strawberry cake with a layer of vanilla pudding and light sponge cake underneath

Gabriel absolutely lurved his candle train!

Dear baby-of-the-family Gabe

You have officially entered the terrible terrific twos, although I must say that similarly to your older brother,  I don't see any difference in your behavior for the worse now that you have crossed this threshold.

The only thing that has perhaps changed is your explosion of vocabulary!

You didn't use to talk much. But since you turned two, it's like this switch was turned on. All of a sudden, you started repeating words or even saying words without us prompting you! It totally took us by surprise and from a day-to-day basis, you would pick up even more words to surprise us!

Recently you even said your first two-word sentence, "Mama come!"

Your words so far are -  auto (car in German), Opa, Oma, Papa, Mama, ball, done (when he's done eating), pam-ma (his own invention for falling down), Ge Ge (his defacto answer whenever I ask him why he's crying), come, pika (baby language for bicycle), moom (for moon), star, butt (for bus!) - This one totally leaves me in stitches. 

You're such a darling and absolute Mummy's boy. While Sammy was all "Bye Mummy!" and he "forgets" about me whenever his grandparents took him out for the day, you're quite the opposite. Thankfully you don't have separation anxiety for people that you're familiar with. But I've been told that after a couple of hours, you would keep calling my name in a "I-miss-Mummy" kinna way. *heartmelt*

I'm so thankful to be a SAHM to just be there with and for you. From the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, you're pretty much my little pet.

The only "structured" activity we go to regularly is the English playgroup on Thursdays for 2 hours. But other than that, we do not have any planned activity and I usually plan my days and weeks as they come. I don't believe in packing up your schedule at such a tender age and I doubt I would pack up both yours and Ge Ge's timetables when you grow older either.

There's enough stress and hecticness in the world and I just want to give both of you as much of a childhood as you can have.

Both you and Ge Ge indulge in lots of free, unstructured play. Your grandparents have even marvelled at how long you both can occupy yourselves with just a train track or a puzzle.

I do try to bring you out almost everyday, usually after your nap time. Oh yes, thank God both of you still nap simultaneously for about 2 hours everyday. It's a real breather for me because I find myself sooo tired in those post-lunch, before-dinner hours. The 2-5pm time slot is a real killer, I kid you not. Even when I was working at a corporate job in Singapore, I found it hard to stay productive during those hours. I do think there's reason in having a siesta.

Ok, enough diversion.

Gabriel, you're still very much the baby of the family. You still fit into your onesies and we still enjoy squeezing those lean thighs of yours. You have the funniest way of running, sorta like running on your ballerina toes and you have the most infectious laugh when we tickle you. Oh and you're still at the stage when you enjoy being tickled so we're gonna milk it as long as it lasts!

You have a constant fascination with planes, trains, cars and birds. Planes are "da!", trains are "ta ta", cars are "auto" and birds are "boo boo". Oh and bicycles and bikes continue to be his "pi-ka" no matter how diligently I try to correct your pronunciation.

On your actual birthday, I baked a strawberry cake and prepared craft for the English playgroup. You were totally fascinated at your candle train and how everybody was looking at you while singing you your birthday song. Your stunned expression speaks volumes on how you haven't really understood the whole concept of birthdays yet.

Two weeks later, we celebrated your birthday again with only family and Godparents. There were only 8 adults and 3 kids in total and we did a BBQ.

This is such a far cry from the crazy birthday parties that we organised for Sammy. I think Mummy has reached the point of having more meaningful, smaller and more intimate parties than huge, crazy ones.

Love you little mini-me. One more year before you start preschool. Mummy loves having you around in the morning. Don't grow up too fast baby. Your time with us is too precious to be rushed. Our prayer is that you will be a strong warrior for the Lord and you'll find your place in this generation.

With all your heart
Mummy & Daddy

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